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God's Still Voices.

God's Still Voices.

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Published by glennpease
By Rev. James Vaughan

"Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.'*
-I Samuel iii. lo.
By Rev. James Vaughan

"Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.'*
-I Samuel iii. lo.

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Published by: glennpease on Apr 24, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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God's Still Voices.
By Rev. James Vaughan
"Then Samuel answered, Speak; for thy servant heareth.'*-I Samuel iii. lo.I THIK you will agree with me, that one use of asermon is, that when the text meets us again any-where afterwards, it may come with greater force, and withmore intelligence. It is partly on this principle that I havechosen to preach, this morning, on a verse in the eveninglesson.The subject which I wish to bring before you is God'svoices, — how they may be heard, and when expected.I believe that the world is full of God's voices, but theyare not heard; or I should express my meaning moreaccurately, if I were to say that God is always waiting tospeak, but His voice is kept back, and there is no utter-ance, because minds are not in the posture really to listen.God will not speak to minds that are not set to the note towhich His voice is pitched.We were considering last Sunday, that God deniesanswers to prayer when the life is not in unison with theprayer. In like manner, this morning, I want you to seethat God withholds communications because the mind is notin a right state to entertain them.Four times the Lord called Samuel before He spoke tohim. He waited till there was that frame of mind which214 God's Still Voices.my tact conveys, — "Speak, for Thy servant heareth."You may have been hundreds of times on the eve of amessage, but you missed it, and it passed away, becauseyour heart was not ready.
Little Samuel had been working all day for God; — " The child ministered unto the Lord before Eli ; " — whenlying down for rest, God gave him a wonderful commu-nion with Himself. If I had to name what occasion,above all others, is the most likely for God's still voices, Ishould say the time of meditation after labor, — when weare very quiet after we have been very busy for God.I do not see any reason in the narrative for the popularidea that Samuel had gone to sleep. All that the historysays is that " Samuel was laid down to sleep," and thosetwo words "to sleep," as you will see, are in italics, andare not in the original ; we have only therefore " Samuelwas laid down."If there be a moment favorable for holy influences,which God seems to select out of the four-and-twentyhours, for His own special pleadings and communings withthe soul, — it is that. Let every mother remember it wellwith her child ; it is her vantage ground ; it is her goldenopportunity for close, fond, holy talking.Samuel was just laid down, and Eli too, — for "his eye,dim with age," could not see in the twilight, and he keptthe hours of a child, — "and the lamp," — not the chief candlestick, for that never ceased to bum, — but some lesserlight in the temple, "was gone out," when the voice came.Many think that the voice came from the shechinah, — />.,from the ark over the mercy-seat, and that herein is agreat lesson, — that it passed by Eli, and came only to thechild. But if it were so the three first times, it doe$ notGod's Still Voices. 215appear to have been so the fourth, for then, " God came,and stood, and called as at other times."However this may be, whencesoever the voice came, itmust have come in soft accents and human tenderness, andit must have been very fatherly, for Samuel took it forEli's voice. Eli, better taught than his young- acolyte,was the first to read the true meaning of it all, and to seethat God had something to say, but that He stayed Hiswords till the hearer's mind was fit, and therefore he
instructed Samuel to say, — "Speak, Lord, for Thy servantheareth." He knew and he conveyed to the boy theargument, — a speaking God will have a hearing servant,and if so be the servant does hear, then the Lord willspeak, — " Speak, Lord, for Thy servant heareth."I do not know whether it is that there is less reverencein childhood than in age, — or whether it was Samuel'sinfantine affection, which would not apply to God a wordwhich it was not his wont to use to the man he loved, — orwhether it was purely accidental, — but he certainly omittedone part of what Eli taught him to say, and said only," Speak, for Thy servant heareth."But now let us pass on to the words themselves, and seewhat is the state of mind which they represent ; — /.^., whatis that state of mind which is a pre-requisite for thathighest privilege given to man, — the privilege of beingindividually spoken to by God.First, I see in them a mind disengaged, — 2. mind at liberty, — the door is open, the conscience is free, there is room,and the heart bids welcome. ow this is a great matter.There are so many entanglements, — there are so manysecret sins which give a consciousness which makes usafraid to hear a voice from heaven, lest that voice should2i6 God's Still Voices.say something which we should not like to hear. It isthat which stops the voice, — that our whole heart is notready to come out to meet it. But there is a beautifulfrankness and a good conscience about that simple" Speak, Lord/' It must be so if you would ever hearGod indeed. God does not speak till there is the stillnessof the calm of an easy conscience. You must not bepre-occupied, — there must be nothing in the way, — theword must have free course when it comes down into theaffections, and through into the heart's deepest places ; forit is a penetrating voice, and unless you can recilly say, " Iwish it to penetrate," it will not come.And this connects itself with another necessary feature, — the mind was unbiassed, — let God speak what He will ; — there was a simple desire to hear only truth. This is

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