As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness…
The way of the Lord should be prepared in our hearts. If we would have the Lord come to us in our Sabbath worship, we must think of Him in our week-day work. As it often is now, when the Sabbath comes, the gathered rubbish of a whole week must be cleared away. The way of the Lord is blocked up by the remembrance of the week's cares, h man brings his business right up to the borders of the Sabbath, and, of course, the Sabbath itself is full of it. Boxes and barrels, bales, dry goods, groceries and hardware, remain over in the mind from the week's work and worry. Now, a man has no more right to take these things with him in his thoughts, than to leave his goods exposed for display and sale in his store. If it were not for disturbing others, he might just as well take his ledgers and invoices with him to church, and be making out his bills and checking off his goods while there, as to be doing these things in his thought all day. He might just as well wheel his boxes and bales right into the aisle, as to have them present to mental vision all the time. Jesus drove out the traders from the temple with a scourge of cords. But if He should come into our modern churches and drive out all who in their thoughts have brought money, and merchandise, and trade into the house of God, He would leave some very small congregations. If all the business that is planned in church were really transacted there, it would make that a busier place than ever the Jewish Temple was in the days of the Passover. If we would enjoy the Sabbath as a day of rest and communion with God, we must drive these money-changers of our thought out from the sacred temple of our hearts, and let those hearts be again the temples of the Holy Ghost. We must prepare for the day, not merely by laying aside our work, but by excluding it from our hearts, that God may come and dwell there. Thus, in all things, we must prepare for God's work. We must lay our plans for it, and shape our affairs for it. The Lord comes to reign, if He comes at all. We must so prepare the way that He can come and can reign. There must be forethought as well as good will; preparation as well as diligence. It is true the Lord sometimes comes suddenly to His temple. But when He thus comes, "Who shall abide the day of His coming? for He shall be like a refiner's fire."
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.