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we ought not to imitate him ? Persons are apt to consider that when they are told they ought to live to God's glory, that this is only a high aim attained by few, and not a necessary point for a Christian. But this is a sad mistake. We may well fear that those whose strongest desire in the matter of religion is the salvation of their own soul, will fall short even of that. Because if they were seeking that in the right way, they would soon learn to have a higher aim, and to wish for the salvation of others, and for the glory of the Saviour they would have learnt to love.

If we know anything of the true and damning nature of sin, we shall hate it cordially, and desire and strive for its overthrow in ourselves, in others-in the whole world.

If we love God for His great love to us in the gift of His dear Son, and all the blessings from our election in Him to our final reception into glory, we shall feel a holy jealousy in His cause, a holy zeal and indignation against His enemies.

If we have really believed what God has said concerning hell, and the only way of deliverance from His wrath through the atoning blood of the Lamb, we shall feel

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how precious are those for whom Christ died, and desire to bring them under the influence of the Gospel.

Thus shall we be very jealous for the Lord of Hosts. Thus shall we be prepared indeed for death. And though we may not request that we may die, we may at least be in that state of freedom from this world's love, and readiness to meet the Lord, that we shall not fear death, but rather meet it with a bold and happy spirit, as could Elijah.

But let us next notice the peculiar manner in which God appears to Elijah at this time and answers his prayer, and his “intercession against Israel."

There was a peculiarly gracious character in all God's dealings with Elijah at this time. God seemed to meet the desires of his heart in an especial manner.

Elijah was mourning over the iniquity of his people, and the fearful ungodliness of the government under Ahab and Jezebel. God now told him of how all this would be avenged. Elijah had thought God's elect had ceased upon earth. God tells him He had yet seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to Baal. Elijah had asked to die, and yet with


desire that the work he had in hand should prosper.

God grants

him the blessedness without the bitterness of death, and makes him appoint Elisha as a successor to carry on his work. Hence the Lord directed him to go and return on his

way to Damascus ; anoint Hazael to be king over Syria ; and Jehu to be king over Israel ; and Elisha to be prophet in his room. And one object of these appointments he his told ; “And it shall come to pass,

that him that escapeth the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and þim that escapeth from the sword of Jehu, shall Elisha slay.”

But great grace was also seen in the peculiar manner God appeared to His servant now. A beautiful description is given of it. While Elijah was standing in the mount, “Behold the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord ; but the Lord was not in the wind ; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire ; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still, small voice."

What, then, was the peculiar meaning of this way of revelation?

Perhaps it was to assure Elijah, that God's way of speaking to men might be




ent from what he was expecting. Not always by outward and open might or by power, but by His Spirit. Elijah had been looking for an open and striking exercise of God's power to convince the people of His power and Godhead. Now, God reveals Himself, not in the mighty hurricane which tore up the rock; nor in the mighty heaving of the earthquake which shook the ground; nor in the awful blazing of the destroying element of fire; not in any of these did God speak to His servant, but in a still, small voice, which followed these.

So does God choose to reveal Himself to His people. It is true, when He spoke and gave the law from Mount Sinai, there was fire, and blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, besides the voice of words. But that was the giving of a law which cannot save, it was the “ministration of condemnation." But in what way has God spoken in the Gospel of salvation? It is in the still, small voice of a loving Saviour, gentle and lowly, who did not strive nor cry, whose voice was not heard in the streets. And how does He speak now to sinners and reveal Himself to them? It is in the silent, but powerful ministry of the Word. The Gospel is preached, by

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weak instruments, and "it pleases God by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe.”

By what means is the proudest, and most rebellious heart broken, made contrite, and brought under the yoke of Christ? Is it not by the unseen influence of God's Holy Spirit; opening the sinner's eyes and touching his heart with the truths of God's Word ?

As then Elijah was assured and comforted by this way of God's addressing him, so that he could thus without fear go out of the cave and listen to the Lord ; so are sinners now, in this day of grace and salvation, and before the day of fire, and of judgment, and of vengeance, encouraged to come and listen to what the Lord God will say to them.

Only let us take heed that we are indeed regarding this voice, and are among those to whom God thus graciously reveals Himself. 1 God has many ways of speaking to men. And when the gentle way of a still, small voice is unheeded, He will speak by His awful judgments. “See that ye refuse not him that speaketh : for if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven ;


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