As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness…
John Baptist is a type of those who resolve, at all risks, to discharge their duty and to deliver the message entrusted to them by God, without one single thought of self, without one transient wish to appear themselves in the matter. There is no indolence here, nor cowardice. There is simply an absence of any ambition to be prominent, and of any desire to hear their name whispered among the crowd. It is enough to be a "voice" — to preach God's Word, and not their own; to pursue some truth which is not to enhance their own reputation; to advocate some cause which is not to redound to their own advantage. Alas 1 how few are such persons; but how precious in proportion to their rarity I If any of us, then, be on the way to the attainment of this high grace, let us be supremely careful that our own selfeffacement be both genuine in itself and be a sacrifice offered to a worthy cause. For if I merely surrender to the first comer, or abdicate in favour of some worse person than myself, the very humility that " should have been for my wealth, becomes to me an occasion of falling." Instances are not uncommon, in every one's circle of acquaintance, where a man has surrendered not his pleasures, or his advantages, but his principles, to some other person's opinion. But if a single person's private opinion be sometimes thus overpowering, what must the combined force of a thousand people's opinion, of "public opinion," be! Every one, it is obvious, has a visual horizon of his own, in the centre of which he lives and moves and has his being; and just so every one has a social circle — "a world" (as the Bible calls it) of his own, amid which he lives, and which reacts too often with fatal influence upon his character. We must, by prayer and watchful circumspection, safeguard this precious grace of humble self-effacement, lest we expend it on unworthy objects.
(Canon G. H. Curteis.)
Parallel VersesKJV: As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.