THOUGHTS ON HEARERS AND HEARING
What is merely heard is liable to be forgotten; but what is practised is sure to be remembered.
If I sincerely desire a gracious frame in going to hear the Gospel, the Lord alone must frame that gracious desire.
When the Lord applies wisdom to the heart of a hearer of the Gospel, that hearer applies his heart unto wisdom.
It is one thing to have truths learned in the judgement, and quite another to have them burned into the heart.
The Lord alone can open and circumcise a man’s ear. “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made even both of them.”
There is no fruit without first a blossom; but there is much blossom, both naturally and spiritually, that never comes to fruit.
If Jesus had not seen the blind man (John 9) when He passed by, the blind man would never have seen Jesus. If Christ had not sought Zacchaeus, Zacchaeus would never have sought Christ.
A good hearer will not often rest contentedly in the house of the Lord, unless the Lord of the house meets with him and condescends to bless him.
A critical hearer who looks only for chaff, is sure to find more or less of what he seeks; but he will find chaff sorry food to live on, and a poor pillow to die on.
Oh, for less looking to the ambassadors of peace, and for more looking through them to the Prince of Peace who sends them! “My
sheep hear my voice”, “I will hear what God the Lord will speak; for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints.”
We read that Bethel was called Luz at the first. Luz signifies separation; Bethel, the house of God. In experience it is true that a real separation must take place from the world, before the house of God is rightly used or prized.
If there are mysteries in nature which the most enlightened men of science cannot fathom, how can we expect in this time state, to comprehend the great mysteries of grace and godliness?
To an unwise hearer a parable is like a cloud which hides the sun:
but to them to whom it is given to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, a parable is like a mirror to reflect the sun’s rays. “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him;” and “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
It takes as much grace to receive reproof into the pew as it does to give it from the pulpit.
A searching sermon will produce different effects upon different hearers. Some it will drive to their feet; others it will drive to their knees. However deeply probed the soul may be, it is a profitable hearing time which cause the hearer to pour out his soul before the Lord in secret, desiring to be made right and honest at any cost.
A wise hearer makes a glad preacher; but a glad preacher cannot make one of his hearers wise.
It is sometimes ordered, by the sovereign pleasure of God, that, of two hearers sitting on the same seat, one will be favoured to drink in the Gospel message, and the other a barren season.
The devils believe the truth of God, and tremble; unfallen angels believe it, and rejoice in it, and love and prize it. But Gospel-hardened sinners, even though they are constantly under its sound, will do neither one nor the other, but despise and reject it. Such hearers are generally very satisfied with their state, but it is a very unsatisfactory state to be in.