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

Aaron.



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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