Why (as the Holy Ghost said, To day if you will hear his voice,…
I. THE VOICE THAT SPEAKS. "To-day if ye will hear His voice": whose voice? The voice of God. It is the Holy Ghost that speaks, the source of all inspiration; so that all Scripture may be regarded as "His voice." And if it he the voice of God, does it not demand your deep attention, your prompt obedience? Shall God speak, and man refuse to hear? Nor does He speak to you in vengeance, but in love. He does not make His appeal to-day to the sword of justice, but He makes His appeal to the blood of His Cross. And oh 1 can there be any subject more momentous — involving, as it does, your highest interests for time and for eternity? "To-day if ye will hear His voice." But how does He speak? Most impressively, most earnestly: by His Word, by His Gospel, by His providence, by your teas, in, by your conscience. But what does He say? There are two subjects, on which He addresses you: your own condition as a sinner in His sight — your guilt, pollution, and depravity; and the rich provision of His mercy in the mediatorial character and work of His beloved Son.
II. THE PROMPT AND IMMEDIATE ATTENTION IT DEMANDS. "To-day if ye will hear His voice." Why "to-day"? Because to-day all is ready. The great salvation is ready; the way of access to the throne is ready; the great Intercessor there is ready; the angels that hover over this assembly are ready; and the Church on earth is ready, to bid you welcome to its communion, Why "to-day"? why "to-day"? Because you will never have a more suitable season than to-day. Be assured, that the longer you delay, the more deep and firm will be the hold which the world will get of your heart; " the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches," like the thorns in the parable, will have grown up to choke every good resolution. Why "to-day"? why "to-day"? Because you have delayed long enough. Ah! too long — too long. You should have heard His voice long ago; you should have heard His voice in the days of your youth; you should have heard His voice in early childhood. You should have heard His voice the first time He spoke to you. You should have heard His voice in the advantages which you enjoyed; in parental instruction — in the Sabbath School-under a faithful ministry. Why "to-day"? why "to.day"? Because you may not see to-morrow. Amid the stillness of "this night," death may enter in at your window. Or to-morrow may come, and this voice not speak to you to-morrow. Or if the voice speak to you to-morrow, you may not be in circumstances to profit by it. Now, it convinces of sin; to-morrow it may not convince. Now, conscience speaks; but to-morrow conscience may be seared.
III. THE SOLEMN WARNING, the admonition, the remonstrance, by which a prompt and immediate attention to the voice that speaks to you is enforced. "To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts."
1. "Harden not your heart" with infidel objections. Do not say — "The Scripture is not true." Have you proved it? Can you stake eternity upon it? You know you cannot!
2. Do not "harden your heart" by saying you cannot believe. You will not. It is not for want of evidence, but for want of inclination.
3. Do not say, "I am not responsible for my belief." Iris false. You are responsible for your belief; the great God holds you responsible for your belief; and so far from your not being responsible for your belief, your destiny will turn upon it. It is upon that very thing it will hinge. "He that believeth, shall be saved; and he that believeth not, shall be damned."
4. "Harden not your heart." Oh! think of the consequences if you do. The result is inevitable; the consequence is infallible. He will turn upon you in indignation, who now bends to you in condescension and love. The cup of salvation is handed round amongst you; dash it not untasted from your lips. The sceptre of His grace is stretched out to you; touch it and live.
(T. Raffles, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice,