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Not An Orator

My friends, we have too many orators. I am tired and sick of your
"silver-tongued orators." I used to mourn because I couldn't be an
orator. I thought, Oh, if I could only have the gift of speech like
some men! I have heard men with a smooth flow of language take the
audience captive, but they came and they went, their voice was like
the air, there wasn't any power back of it; they trusted in their
eloquence and their fine speeches. That is what Paul was thinking of
when he wrote to the Corinthians:--"My speech and my preaching was
not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the
Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom
of men, but in the power of God."

Take a witness in court and let him try his oratorical powers in the
witness-box, and see now quickly the judge will rule him out. It is
the man who tells the plain, simple truth that has the most
influence with the jury.

Suppose that Moses had prepared a speech for Pharaoh, and had got
his hair all smoothly brushed, and had stood before the looking
-glass or had gone to an elocutionist to be taught how to make an
oratorical speech and how to make gestures. Suppose that he had
buttoned his coat, put one hand in his chest, had struck an attitude
and begun:

"The God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has
commanded me to come into the presence of the noble King of Egypt."

I think they would have taken his head right off! They had Egyptians
who could be as eloquent as Moses. It was not eloquence they wanted.
When you see a man in the pulpit trying to show off his eloquence he
is making a fool of himself and trying to make a fool of the people.
Moses was slow of speech, but he had a message, and what God wanted
was to have him deliver the message. But he insisted upon having an
excuse. He didn't want to go; instead of being eager to act as
heaven's messenger, to be God's errand boy, he wanted to excuse
himself. The Lord humored him and gave him an interpreter, gave him

Now, if there is a stupid thing in the world, it is to talk through
an interpreter. I tried it once in Paris. I got up into a little box
of a pulpit with the interpreter--there was hardly room enough for
one. I said a sentence while he leaned away over to one side, and
then I leaned over while he repeated it in French. Can you conceive
of a more stupid thing than Moses going before Pharaoh and speaking
through Aaron!

But this slow-of-speech man became eloquent. Talk about Gladstone's
power to speak! Here is a man one hundred and twenty years old, and
he waxed eloquent, as we see in Deuteronomy xxxii:1-4:

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak;
And hear, O earth, the words of my mouth.
My doctrine shall drop as the rain,
My speech shall distil as the dew,
As the small rain upon the tender herb,
And as the showers upon the grass:
Because I will publish the name of the Lord:
Ascribe ye greatness unto our God.
He is the Rock, His work is perfect:
For all His ways are judgment:
A God of truth and without iniquity,
Just and right is He.

He turned out to be one of the most eloquent men the world has ever
seen. If God sends men and they deliver His message He will be with
their mouth. If God has given you a message, go and give it to the
people as God has given it to you. It is a stupid thing for a man to
try to be eloquent. Make

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