Sermon 87. The Majestic Voice
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, June 22, 1856, by the
REV. C.H. SPURGEON
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.
"The voice of the Lord is full of majesty."-Psalm 29:4.
All God's works praise him, whether they be magnificent or minute, they all discover the wisdom, the power, and the benevolenceof their Creator. "All thy works praise thee, O God." But there are some of his more majestic works which sing the song ofpraise louder than others. There are some of his doings, upon which there seems to be graven in larger letters than usualthe name of God. Such are the lofty mountains, which worship God with uncovered heads both night andday; such are the rolling seas, too mighty to be managed by man, but held in check by God, and such, especially, are thethunders and the lightnings. The lightnings are the glances of the eyes of God, and the thunders are the utterings of hisvoice. The thunder has been usually attributed to God more especially, though philosophers assure us that it is to be accountedfor by natural causes. We believe them, but we prefer, ourselves, to look to the first great cause, and we are content withthatold and universal belief, that the thunder is the voice of God. It is marvellous what effect the thunder has had uponall kinds of men. In reading an ode of Horace the other day, I found him in the first two verses, singing like a true Ithurean,that he despised God, and intended to live merrily; but by-and-bye he hears the thunder, and acknowledging that there is aJehovah, who lives on high, he trembles before him. The most wicked of men have been obliged to acknowledge that there mustbe aCreator, when they have heard that marvellous voice of his sounding through the sky. Men of the stoutest nerve and theboldest blasphemy have become the weakest of all creatures, when God has in some degree manifested himself in the mighty whirlwind,or in the storm. "He breaketh the cedars of Lebanon;" he bringeth down the stout hearts; he layeth down the mighty, and heobliges those who never acknowledged him to reverence him when they hear his voice. The Christian will acknowledge thethunder to be the voice of God, from the fact, that if he be in the right frame of mind, it always suggest to him holythoughts. I do not know how it may be with you, but I scarce ever hear the rolling thunder, but I begin to forget earth andlook upwards to my God. I am unconscious of any feeling of terror or pain; it is rather a feeling of delight that I experience,for I like to sing that verse-
"The God that rules on high,
And thunders when he please,
That rides upon the stormy sky
And manages the seas;
This awful God is ours,
Our Father and our love,
He shall send down his heavenly powers
To carry us above."
He is our God, and I like to sing that, and think of it: but there is something so terrible in the tone of that voice whenGod is speaking, something so terrific to other men, and humbling to the Christian, that he is obliged to sink very low inhis own estimation; then he looks up to God, and cries, "infinite Jehovah, spare a worm, crush not an unworthy wretch. I knowit is thy voice; I reverence thee with solemn awe; I prostrate myself before thy throne; thou art my God,and beside thee there is none else." It might well have occurred to a Jewish mind to have called the thunder the voiceof God, when he considered the loudness of it, when all other voices are hushed; even if they be the loudest voices mortalscan utter, or the most mighty sounds; yet are they but indistinct whispers, compared with the voice of God in the thunder;and indeed, they are entirely lost when God speaks from his throne, and makes even the deaf hear, and those who are unwillingtoacknowledge him hear his voice.
But we need not stop to prove, that the thunder is the voice of God, from any natural feeling of man; we have Scripture toback us up, and therefore we shall do our best to appeal to that. In the first place, there is a passage in the book of Exoduswhere I would refer you; where, in the margin, we are told that the thunder is the voice of God. In the 9th chapter and the28th verse, Pharaoh says, "Entreat the Lord (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderingsand hail." The original Hebrew has it, and my margin has it, and the margin of all you who are wise enough to have marginalBibles-"Voices of God." "Let there be no more voices of God and hail." So that it is not a mere illusion, but we are reallywarranted by Scripture, in saying, that "the thunder is the voice of God lifted up in the sky." Now, for another proof; towhat shall we refer you unless we send you to the book of Job? In his 37th chapter, 3rd verse, he says, "he directeth it underthe whole heaven, and his lightning unto the ends of the earth. After it a voice roareth: he thundereth with the voiceof his excellency: and he will not stay them when his voice is heard. God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great thingsdoeth he, which we cannot comprehend." And so he says in the 40th chapter, at the 9th verse, "Hast thou an arm like God? orcanst thou thunder with a voice like him?" I am glad, in this age, when men are seeking to forget God, and put him entirelyoutof the creation, and trying to put laws in the place of God, as if laws could govern a universe without some one to executethose laws, and put power and force into them-I am glad, I say, to be able to bear testimony to something which men cannotdeny to be caused immediately by God the mighty One himself.
There is one striking proof I would offer to you, that the thunder is the voice of God; and that is the fact, that when Godspake on Sinai, and gave forth his law, his voice is then described, if not in the first passage, yet in the reference toit, as being great thunders. "There were thunders and lightnings, exceedingly loud and long." God spoke then, and he spokeso terribly in thunder, that the people requested that they might hear that voice no more. And I must referyou to one passage in the New Testament, which will bear me out thoroughly in describing the thunder to be, indeed, thevoice of God; and that is in the 11th chapter of the Gospel according to St. John, where Jesus lifted up his voice to heavenat the tomb of Lazarus, and asked his Father to answer him; and then a voice came from heaven, and they that stood by said,"that it thundered;" it was the voice of God which was then heard, and they ascribed it to the thunder. Here is a remarkableproofwhen God's voice has been heard on any remarkable occasion, it has always been accompanied by the sound of thunder, or,rather, has been the sound of thunder itself.
Well, now, leaving these considerations altogether, we come to make some remarks, not upon the voice of God in the thunder,but upon the voice of God as elsewhere heard; for it is not only heard there naturally, but there are spiritual voices andother voices of the Most High. "The voice of the Lord is full of majesty." God has spoken in various ways to man, in orderthat man might not think him a God so engrossed with himself that he does not observe his creatures. It hasgraciously pleased the Divine Being, sometimes to look upon man, at other times to stretch out his hand to man, sometimesto reveal himself in mortal appearance to man, and frequently to speak to man. At sundry times he has spoken absolutely withoutthe use of means-by his own voice, as for instance, when he spoke from Sinai's blazing mountain-top, or when he spoke to Samuelin his bed, and said unto him several times, "Samuel, Samuel;" or when he spoke to Elijah, and Elijah said, "he heardthe whirlwind, and he saw the fire;" and after that there was "a still small voice." He has spoken immediately from heavenby his own lips on one or two occasions in the life of Christ. He spoke to him at the waters of Jordan, when he said, "Thisis my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." He spoke to him on another occasion, to which we have already referred. He spoke-itwas God that spoke, though it was Jesus Christ-he spoke to Saul, when on his way to Damascus, "Saul, Saul, whypersecutest thou me?" He has spoken several times immediately by his own voice, without the intervention of means at all;at other seasons, God has been pleased to speak to men by angels. He has, as it were, written the message, and sent it downby his messenger from on high: he hath told to man many wonders and secrets by the lips of those glorious beings, who areflaming spirits of his, that do his pleasure. As frequently, perhaps, God has spoken to men in dreams, in visions of the night,when deep sleep falleth upon them. Then, when the natural ear hath been closed, he hath opened the ear of the spirit,and he hath taught truths which, otherwise, men could never have known. More frequently still, God hath spoken to men by men.From the days of Noah even until now, God has raised up his prophets, by whose lips he hath spoken. It was not Jeremiah whouttered that lament which we read, but it was Jehovah, the God in Jeremiah, speaking through the natural organs of his voice.Itwas not Isaiah who foresaw the future, and foretold the doom of nations, it was God in Isaiah thus speaking. And so withevery prophet of the Lord now living, and every minister whom God hath raised up to speak: when we speak with power and efficacy,and unction, it is not we that speak, but it is the Spirit of our Father who dwelleth in us. God speaks through men; and nowalso, we know that God speaks through his own written Word of Inspiration. When we turn to the page of Scripture, we mustnot look upon these words as being in any degree the words of men, but as being the words of God. And though they be silent,yet do they speak; and though they cause no noise, yet, verily, "their sound hath gone forth throughout all the world, andtheir noise unto the ends of the earth." And yet, again, God even now speaks himself by the use of means; he does not makeman speak, he does not make the Bible speak merely of itself, but he speaks through the Bible, and through the man, and therebetimes when the Spirit of God speaks in the heart of man without the use of means. I believe there be many secret impulses,many solemn thoughts, many mysterious directions given to us without a single word having been uttered, but by the simplemotions of God's Spirit in the heart. This thing I know, that when I have neither heard nor read, I have yet felt the voiceof God within me, and the Spirit hath, himself, revealed some dark mystery, opened some secret, guided me into some truth,givenme some direction, led me in some path, or in some other way hath immediately spoken to me himself; and I believe it isso with every man at conversion; with every Christian, as he is carried on through his daily life, and especially as he nearsthe shores of the grave-that God, the Everlasting One, speaks himself to his soul, with a voice that he cannot resist, althoughhe may have resisted the mere voice of man. The voice of the Lord is still heard, even as it was heard aforetime. Glory beto his name!
And now, my beloved, I come to the doctrine, "The voice of the Lord is full of majesty." First of all, essentially, "The voice of the Lord" must be "full of majesty;" secondly, constantly, "the voice of the Lord is full of majesty;" thirdly, efficaciously, in all it does, "The voice of the Lord is full of majesty."
I. First, then, "THE VOICE OF THE LORD IS FULL OF MAJESTY." Ay, and so it should be. Should not that voice be full of majestywhich comes from Majesty? Is not God the King of kings, and the Ruler of the whole earth? Should he, then, speak with a voicebelow his own dignity? Should not the king speak with the voice of a king? Should not a mighty monarch speak with a monarch'stongue? And surely, if God be God, and if he be the Master of all worlds, and the Emperor of theuniverse, he must, when he speaks, speak with the monarch's tongue and with a majestic voice. The very nature of God requiresthat all he does should be God-like. His looks are looks divine; his thoughts are thoughts divine; and should not his wordsbe words divine, since they come from him? Verily, from the very essence of God, we might infer that his voice would be fullof majesty.
But what do we mean by a voice having majesty? I take it that no man's voice can have majesty in it unless it is true; a lie,if it should be spoken in the noblest language, would never be majestic; a falsehood, if it be uttered by the most eloquentlips, would be a mean and paltry thing, however it might be spoken; and an untruth, wherever uttered, and by whomsoever, isnot majestic; it never can be truth, and truth only can ever have majesty about it; and because God'sword are pure truth, unalloyed with the least degree of error, therefore does it come to pass that his words are fullof majesty. Whatever I hear my Father say in Scripture, whatever he speaks to me by the ministry, or by his Spirit, if hespeaks it, there is not the slightest alloy of untruth about it. I may receive it just as it is.
"My faith may on his promise live,
May on his promise die."
I need not reason about it; it is enough for me to take it and believe it, because he has said it. I need not try to proveit to the worldling: if I were to prove it, he would believe it none the better; if the voice of God's majesty doth not convincehim, sure the voice of my reasoning never can. I need not stand and cut and divide between the voice of God and the other;I know it must be true, if he has said it; and therefore I will believe all that I believe God hassaid, believing that his voice is full of majesty.
Then, again, when we speak of a majestical voice, we mean by it, that it is a commanding voice. A man may speak truth, and yet there may be but little majesty in what he says, because he speaks it in a tone that nevercan command attention and catch the ear of his fellow creatures. in fact, there are some men, expounders of truth, who hadbetter hold their tongues, for they do truth an injury. We know full many who affect to preach God's truth, who go out tobattle,who take the lance in their hands to defend the honor of Christ, but who wield the lance so ill, and who have so littleof God's Spirit, that they do but disgrace his holy name, and it would have been better had they remained at home. Oh! beloved,God's voice, when he speaks, is always a commanding voice. Let the monarch arise in the midst of his creatures; they may havebeen conversing with each other before; but hush! his majesty is about to speak. It is so with the majesty of God; if heshould speak in heaven the angels would hush their hallelujahs, and suspend the notes of their golden harps, to hear him;and when he speaks on earth, it is at all times becoming in all his creatures to hush their rebellious passions, and makethe voice of their reason be silent. When God speaks, either from the pulpit or from his Word, I hold it to be my duty tokeep silence. Even while we sing the glories of our God, our soul stands trembling; but when he speaks forth his own glories,who ishe that dares to reply? Who is he that shall life up his voice against the majesty of heaven? There is something so majesticin the voice of God, that when he speaks, it commands silence everywhere, and bids men hear.
But there is something very powerful in the voice of God, and that is the reason why it has majesty in it. When God speaks, he speaks not weakly, but with a voicefull of power. We poor creatures, at times, are clothed by God with that might, and when we speak grace comes pouring fromour lips; but there are oftentimes seasons when we meet with small success; we talk and talk, and have not our Master's feetbehind us, nor our Master's spirit within us, and thereforebut little is done. It is not so with God: he never wasted a word yet; never spoke a solitary word in vain. Whatever heintended he had but to speak and it was accomplished. Once he said, "Let there be light," and instantly light was. So he saidin past eternity that Christ should be his first elect, and Christ was his first elect. He decreed out salvation; he spakethe word, and it was done. He sent his Son to redeem, and proclaimed to his elect justification in him. And his voice wasapowerful voice, for it did justify us. Any other man's voice could not pardon sin; none but the voice of the monarch canspeak pardon to the subject; and God's is a majestic voice, for he has only to speak, and our pardon is at once signed, sealed,and ratified. God is not magniloquent in his words; he does not speak big, sounding words, without meaning. The simplest wordhe utters may have little meaning to man, but it has a power and meaning in it equal to the omnipotence of God. There is amajesty about the voice of God which might suffice to nerve my soul to fight the dragon; to say, "Where is thy boastedvictory, death? Where is the monster's sting?" That one promise hath majesty enough in it to make the dwarf a giant, and theweakling one of the mighties of the Most High. It has might enough in it to feed a whole host in the wilderness; to guidea whole company through the mazes of mortal life; majesty enough to divide the Jordan, to open the gates of heaven, and admittheransomed in. Beloved, I cannot tell you how it is that God's voice is so majestic, except from the fact, that he is somighty himself, and that his words are like him.
But just one thought more concerning the voice of God being essentially majestic; and I must trouble you to remember that,if you forget everything else that I have said. In some sense Jesus Christ may be called the voice of God, for you know heis called the Word of God frequently in Scripture; and I am sure this Word of God "is full of majesty." The voice and theword are very much the same thing. God speaks: it is his Son. His Son is the Word; the Word is his Son, andthe voice is his Son. Ah! truly the voice, the Word of God, "is full of majesty." Angels! ye can tell what majesty sublimeinvested his blest person when he reigned at his Father's right hand; ye can tell what were the brightnesses which he laidaside to become incarnate; ye can tell how sparkling was that crown, how mighty was that sceptre, how glorious were thoserobes bedecked with stars. Spirits! ye who saw him when he stripped himself of all his glories, ye can tell what was his majesty.And oh! ye glorified, ye who saw him ascend up on high, leading captivity captive-ye beloved songsters, who bow beforehim, and unceasingly sing his love! ye can tell how full of majesty he is. High above all principalities and powers ye seehim sit; angels are but servants at his feet; and the mightiest monarchs like creeping worms beneath his throne. High there,where God alone reigns, beyond the ken of angels or the gaze of immortal spirits-there he sits, not majestic merely, but fullofmajesty. Christian! adore your Saviour; adore the Son of God; reverence him, and remember at all seasons and times, howlittle so ever you may be, your Saviour, with whom you are allied, the Word of God, is essentially full of majesty.
II. Now the second point, IT IS CONSTANTLY FULL OF MAJESTY. God's voice, like man's voice, has its various tones and degreesof loudness; but it is full of majesty, constantly so-whatever tone he uses, it is always full of majesty. Sometimes God speaks to man with a harsh voice, threatening him for sin; and thenthere is majesty in that harshness. When man is angry with his fellows, and he speaks harshly and severely, there is littlemajesty in that; but when thejust God is angry with sinful mortals, and he says, "I will by no means spare the guilty;" "I, the Lord, am a jealousGod;" when he declares himself to be exceedingly wroth, and asks who can stand before the fury of his countenance-when therocks are cast down by him-there is a majesty in that terrific voice of his. Then he adopts another voice. Sometimes it isa gentle didactic voice, teaching us what he would have us learn. And then how full of majesty it is! He explains, he expounds,hedeclares: he tells us what we are to believe; and what a majesty there is in his voice then! Men may explain God's Word,and have no majesty in what they say; but when God teaches what his people are to hold to be truth, what majesty there isin it! So much majesty, that if any man take away from the words that are written in this Book, God shall take away his nameout of the book of life and out of the holy city-so much majesty, that to seek to mend the Bible is a proof of a blasphemousheart, that to seek to alter one word of Scripture is a proof of alienation from the God of Israel. At another time Goduses another voice-a sweet consoling voice. And oh! ye mourners that have ever heard God's comforting voice, is not that fullof majesty! There is nothing of the mere trifling that sometimes we employ to comfort poor sick souls. Mothers will oftentalk to those who are sick in some gentle strain; but somehow it appears to be affected, and is, therefore, not full of majesty;but when God speaks to comfort, he uses his majestic words. "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; butmy kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercyon thee." Oh! is there not majesty in this sweet voice? "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassionon the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee." How sweet, but yet how majestic! We cannot avoidbeing comforted by it if God speaks it to our souls. Sometimes God's voice is a reproving voice; and then it is full ofmajesty. "The ox knoweth his owner," he says, "and the ass his master's crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth notconsider;" and he speaks reprovingly, as if he had a controversy with them, and calls the mountains and the hills to hearhis reproof of them on account of sin; "I have nourished and brought up children, but they have rebelled against me." ButGod'sreproving voice is always full of majesty. At other times it is a voice of command to his children, when he appears tothem and says, "Speak to the children of Israel that they go forward," And how majestic are God's commands, how mighty ishis voice, when he tells us what to do! Some of you have a very poor estimation of what God's voice is. God tells you to bebaptized in honor of your Lord and Master; he speaks to you, and he tells you to come round his table, and to remember hisdyingsufferings; but you do not think much of it: it seems to be lost upon you. But let me tell you, that God's voice of commandis as full of majesty, and ought to be as much regarded by his people as his word of promise or his word of doctrine. Wheneverhe speaks there is a majesty about his voice, whatever tone he may adopt. Ah! beloved, and there are times coming when Godwill speak words which will be evidently full of majesty-when he will speak and say, "Arise, ye dead, and come tojudgment." There will be majesty in that voice; for Hades shall then be unlocked, and the gates of the grave sawn in twain;the spirits of the dead shall again be clothed with flesh, and the dry bones shall be made alive once more. And he will speakby-and-bye, and summon all men to stand before his bar; and there will be majesty in his voice then, when he shall say, "Come,ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you;" and oh! dread thought, there will be tremendous majesty inhis voice, when he shall exclaim, "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
Again. God's voice is full of majesty in all the different degrees of its loudness. Even in calling there is a difference in the loudness of God's voice; many of you were called gently to Christ, and youdid not seem to hear the thunders of Sinai, like many of God's people; but whether the voice be loud or soft, it is alwaysfull of majesty.
And in all its mediums it is full of majesty. God has sometimes chosen the poor to speak his wisdom by. If I go and hear a countryman or an untaughtman preach, who makes many mistakes in grammar, yet if it is God's word that he preaches, it "is full of majesty." And sometimes,when a little child has repeated a text, we have not noticed the child, by reason of the majesty of the voice. In fact, themeaner the instrument employed, the greater the majesty in thevoice itself. I have noticed a tendency in many to despise their poorer brethren, members of smaller churches, where thereis a more humble minister than one they are in the habit of hearing; but this is all wrong, for God's voice is full of majesty;and he can as well speak by one as the other.
III. In the last place, I must briefly refer to the majesty of God's voice WHEN IT IS REVEALED IN ITS EFFECTS-when it is spokenhome to the heart of man. Just look at the Psalm, and let me briefly refer to the facts here mentioned. I shall not understandthem naturally, though, doubtless, they were so intended by David, but I shall understand them spiritually. As Dr. Hawkerremarks, "Doubtless they were intended to set out gracious operations, as well as natural ones."
First, the voice if the Lord is a breaking voice. "The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars." The proudest and most stubborn sinner is broken before him when he speaks.I believe that even the spirit of Voltaire, stubborn as that spirit was, and hard as a millstone, would have been broken ina single instant, if God had but spoken to him; the hardest heart I have here needs only one syllable from God to break itin a moment. I might hammer away to all eternity, butI could not do it; but "the voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon."
In the next place it is a moving voice, an overcoming voice. "He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn." Who wouldever think of a mountain moving? It stands so fast and firm. But God's voice, like his voice in Zerubbabel, speaks to thatmountain, and says, "Who art thou, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain." There is not a mountain standingin this world that God cannot move away by his voice, whetherit be the mountains of Rome, or the mountain of the false prophet, or the mountains of colossal systems of heresy, orinfidelity, or idolatry. God has only to speak the word, and the idols shall fall from their thrones, and the firm mountainsof priest-craft shall skip like a calf.
In the next place, the voice of God is a dividing voice. "The voice of the Lord divideth the flames of fire;" or, as it should be, "The voice of the Lord cutteth out withflames of fire." You saw the lightning on Friday, and you remarked then, when God's voice was heard, that the flash seemedto part the cloud and divide the sky. Just so with God's word. Where God's word is faithfully preached, and his voice is spirituallyheard, it is always a dividing voice. Youbring all kinds of different characters into a chapel, and God's word splits them all in twain. It is in this place Goddivides you. The son of God holds his throne, and sits in judgment here. It divides men from men; it divides sinners fromtheir sins; it divides sinners from their righteousness; it splits through clouds and darkness; it divides our troubles, breaksa way for us to heaven. In fact, there is nothing that the voice of God cannot divide. It is a dividing voice.
And then, again, the voice of the Lord is such a loud voice, that it is said to shake the wilderness. "The Lord shaketh thewilderness of Kadesh." Stand in the middle of a wilderness or a desert, and conceive if you would make anything hear; butwhen God speaks, his voice ringeth through the wilderness, and startleth the desert itself. Minister of God! you have onlyto speak God's voice, and you will be heard; if you have only half-a-dozen to hear you, you will be heardfurther than you know of. None of us can preach a gospel sermon, but it is heard and talked of more than we imagine. Yea,there is not a pious conversation with a poor woman but may be carried all over the world, and produce the most wonderfuleffects. Nobody can tell how loud is God's voice, and how far it may be heard. "Lift up thy voice; lift it up; be not afraid;say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God." And your voice may be ever so weak, and your ability ever so little: onlylift itup, and God Almighty, by his grace, may make the very wilderness to shake, yea, he may make the very wilderness of Kadeshto tremble.
And then in the 9th verse there is another idea, which I must not pass over, although I might have preferred to do so, possibly."The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to calve." By this I understand what the ancients believed-that so affrighted werethe hinds by the noise of the thunder, that the period of calving was often hastened on, and frequently prematurely. It isjust so with God's voice. If a man has in him a desire towards Christ, the voice of God makes himbring forth that desire, to the joy and rejoicing of his soul. And very frequently, when a man has a bad design towardsGod, God has only to speak, and his design becomes abortive. It is brought forth, as it were, before its time, and falls likean untimely fruit to the ground. Whatever man has within him, God can make it come out of him in a single moment: if he hasa desire towards God, God can bring forth that desire, and he can bring forth the soul, and make it alive; and if it be adesireagainst God, God can frustrate that desire, kill it, overwhelm it, and overthrow it; for "the voice of the Lord makeththe hinds to calve."
And in the next place, the voice of God is a discovering voice. It "discovereth the forests." The trees were your former hiding-place; but in the forest, however thick it may be, theredoth the lightning gleam; and under the mighty trees, however thick their covering, the voice of the Lord is heard. God'svoice is a discovering voice. You hypocrites! you get hiding yourselves under the trees of the forest; but God's voice thunderethafter you when it speaks. Some ofyou get hiding under ceremonies, good lives, resolutions, and hopes; but God's voice will discover the forests; and recollect,there will be a day with some of you, when you will hide yourselves, or seek to do it, under rocks and mountains, or in thedeepest parts of the forests; but when he sits upon his throne, the voice of the Lord will discover the forests. Ye may standunder the old oak, or creep within its trunk, and feel that there you are hidden; but his eyes like balls of fire, shallsee you through and through, and his voice, like a voice of thunder, shall say, "Come forth, culprit; come forth, man;I can see thee;
'Mine eye can pierce the shades, and find thy soul as soon
In midnight's darkness as in blazing noon.'
Come forth, come forth!" And vain then will be thy disguises, vain thy subterfuges. "The voice of the Lord discovereth theforests." Oh! I would to God that he would speak to some of you this morning, and discover your souls! I wish he would discoverto you your lost and hopeless condition; that you are damned without Christ, every one of you! Oh that he would discover toyou how horrible is your position, considered apart from the Saviour; discover to you the fallacy ofall your legal hope, and of all your experiences, if they are not experiences allied to Christ! I pray that he would discoverto you that all your good works will come tumbling on your head at last, if you build them for a house, and that you muststand surrounded by no covering, but unveiled before the God who discovers the forests.
I would have preached to you this morning; but I cannot. Yet, perhaps, amidst the multitude of my words there may be somestill small voice of God, which shall reach your heart. And if the rest of you should despise it, what of that? The voiceof God will be as full of majesty in the reprobate as in the elect; and if ye be cast away into hell, God shall get as muchglory from the voice which ye heard and which ye despised, as he does from his voice which the elect heard,and at which they trembled and fled to God. Do not think that your damnation will rob God of any of his honor. Why, sirs,he can be as much glorified in your destruction as in your salvation. You are but little creatures in the account of his glory.He can magnify himself anyhow. Oh! humble yourselves, therefore, before God; bow down yourselves before his love and his mercy;and hear now what the plan of salvation is, whereby God brings out his elect. It is this: "He that believeth," in thatvoice, that Word, that Son of his; "He that believeth,"-not merely he that hopeth; "He that believeth and is baptizedshall be saved; he that believeth not shall be damned." Ah! hearers, if I could leap out of my body, and could lay aside theinfirmities of my spirit, methinks that then I might preach to you; but I know right well that even then it must be God thatspeaks; and therefore I leave the words. My God! My God! Save these my people; for Jesus' precious name's sake. Amen and Amen.