"Make two Trumpets of Silver." Numb. 10:2.
Sinai's ordinances here end. The hallowed mount must now
be left. But before the onward-signal sounds, God speaks again. A final
token testifies, that Israel's every matter occupies His heart.
A mandate issues to form Trumpets. In number they are
two. Their metal is pure silver. As in the golden candlestick, each is
constructed from one piece. There is no joint--no link--no mixture. The
priests alone may use them. Their purpose is fourfold.
1. Their liquid note convenes assemblies to the
2. They sound, when the moving pillar calls the tribes to
march (verse 2).
3. They warn, when hostile armies threaten battle
4. On festive days they peal melodiously around the
blood-stained altar. Such are these Trumpets--such their use. Each order is
Reader, this is our grace-day. We live, that we may glean
soul-profit. The Bible is our harvest field. Here this ordinance now meets
us, and offers no small riches to our store.
An obvious thought stands on the threshold. We see God's
all-pervading care. He directs all things for His people's welfare. Their
least arrangements are arranged in heaven.
How happy; then, is the child of faith! The grand
concerns of his eternal home are firmly settled. The door is opened--the
passport is provided--fit robes are wrought, by the God-man's redeeming
work. A new heart, fit for pure joys, is created by the Spirit. But this is
not all. Heavenly plans are not restricted to these heavenly things. Each
little matter on the earthly stage is offspring of decree. The countless
links in each day's chain are framed above. The way, then, must be right,
because divinely marked. Chance guides no vessel through life's waves.
Reader, hence learn to scorn no matter, as too small for
thought. There are no trifles in a soul's career. Minute things
sometimes seems to turn the scale for heaven or hell. Make conscience of
each trivial event. It has an influence on eternity. When God appears to
order two Silver Trumpets for the camp, surely He stamps all little things
The MATERIAL must be silver. This is a metal carefully
prepared. Repeated fires cleanse it from all dross. Hence it is emblem of
rare purity. "The words of the Lord are pure words--as silver tried in a
furnace of earth, purified seven times." Ps. 12:6. Each vessel in the camp
of God must be thus clean. "Holiness becomes Your house, O Lord, forever."
Ps. 93:5. Ministers should precede with silver-brightness. The flock should
follow, as silver without alloy.
Let us now draw nearer to the camp. Two priests are seen.
Each blows a Silver Trumpet. Light falls hence on the office of God's
ministers. Their voice should sound with trumpet-clearness through the
flock. They are entrusted with God's message to a fallen world. Theirs is
the privilege to tell the story of redeeming grace. They bear grand tidings,
which are life to the dead--health to the sick--liberty to the captive--joy
to the mourner--comfort to the broken-hearted--wealth to the poor--sight to
the blind--recovery to the lost--strength to the weak. As heralds, they have
to announce, that God is reconciled--a ransom found--a remedy provided--a
Savior given--a Deliverer sent. It is their work to cry, Behold the
cross--look to the dying Lamb--flee to His sheltering arms--hide in His
wounded side--nestle beneath the covert of His wings--put on the glories of
His righteousness--trust in His finished work--plead His atoning
sacrifice--present by faith His wrath-appeasing death--receive Him, as all
wisdom, joy, and peace--cling to Him through life, in death, forever--in
answer to all Satan's wiles, and conscience-fears, shout, 'Christ is All'.
They have to warn of the world's murderous arts--of sin's tremendous
doom--of fire, which is never quenched--of anguish, which exceeds all
thought--of an eternity in darkness and despair.
Should they not, then, with clarion-shrillness, rouse the
flock? The Silver Trumpets sent a PIERCING note. So should the Gospel-herald
utter aloud the Gospel-news. Away with timid whisper--and a stammering
tongue. The servant's lips should glory in the Master's name. Let statements
be unmistakable, as the sun without one cloud–clear, as the crystal
stream--distinct, as the unmuffled trumpet's voice.
Note, the Trumpets were of ONE PIECE. So is the
Gospel-message. It knows no mixture. It is no piece-meal fabric. It is not
partly grace and partly works. It calls not men to finish what the Lord
commenced. From first to last--in origin--in progress--in
conclusion--Gospel-salvation is a free gift. All merit is in Christ. He
opens heaven. He closes hell. He washes, decks, and fits. He presents His
children pure and faultless. Their pardon and their fitness is His work.
They follow Him, because He calls. They love, because He wins their hearts.
They conquer, because He is their sword and shield. They persevere, because
His hand upholds. Their grace is offspring of His love. Their glory is the
payment of His worth. Thus Christ is All. No diverse metal soiled these
Trumpets. No intermingling error should soil pulpits.
The type, moreover, fixes attention on the Christian as a
worshiper--a pilgrim--a warrior--a son of joy. For let the OCCASIONS, on
which these Trumpets sounded, be now more closely marked.
1. The call the people to God's sanctuary. Reader,
mark this. It is a Gospel-ordinance, that worshipers should throng the holy
courts--that public prayer and praise should reverence the glorious name.
Who will not hasten to obey? Who will not join the people, who keep
holy-day? A saintly congregation is an foretaste of heaven. It is earth's
holiest scene. What sanctity pervades the spot! What blessedness inspires
the company! The Triune God is mighty in the midst. The SPIRIT intercedes
within the soul. He prompts longing desires. He makes sin's burden to be
felt. He deepens penitential grief. He fans the flame of wrestling
supplication. He brightens the torch of love. The GREAT HIGH-PRIEST draws
near. He takes each prayer, and washes it in cleansing blood. He perfumes
every note of praise. He then presents the fragrant sacrifice before the
throne. The FATHER is well-pleased. The service is accepted. Pardons are
sealed. Blessings fly down. The faithful meet to honor God. They honor and
are honored. They come in faith, and they depart in peace.
Reader, do not think, say not, that such assemblage is
superfluous. Doubtless God is not linked to means. He can bless in solitude,
and hear in the secluded closet. But it has pleased Him to order public
worship. His commands are always gain. The pious congregation thrives. Faith
hears--obeys--and finds obedience to be wealth.
2. The trumpets give command to march. Christians are
portion of a marching host. The Bible warns, that earth is not our
rest. We live a stranger-life. We occupy a moving tent. We hold a
pilgrim-staff. What is there stationary here? Our days are a fast-flowing
stream. The rapid current rushes onward. Let then no heart cast anchor on
these sands. Let not affection entwine its fibers around earthly stems. Our
mansions are on high. Our home is far away. Be prepared for the journey. Let
all be ready for departure. Death should not find a Christian unequipped for
march. It is a friend, for whom expecting eyes should watch. The ears should
listen for the chariot-wheels. When it appears, let there be no tremor--no
surprise--no work unfinished. The Gospel's Silver Trumpets ever cry, 'Arise,
Depart. Come up here'.
3. The trumpets sound for war. The life of faith is
one incessant fight. Beneath the cross, a sword is drawn, of which the
scabbard is cast far away. The attitude of bold defiance is assumed. Until
the victor's crown is won, unflinching combat must go on. The foes are
many--mighty--wily--restless. They meet us, at each step. They lurk in every
corner. They infest our public walk. They enter our closed doors. They are
without--around--within. Count, if you can, the hateful legions, who compose
hell's hosts--they all rush at the soul. Survey the world--its snares--its
foul seductions--its enticing arts--its siren calls--its smiles--its
venom-sneers--its terrifying threats. Each in its turn assails--and each,
when foiled, renews the assault. Behold the heart, and all its brood of
lusts and raging passions. How often it betrays! How often it beguiles! The
Gospel-trumpet ever cries, 'Battle is near. Stand firm. Resist'.
But when the Gospel calls, it promises sure triumph. It
gives an armor, wrought by God. This, rightly used, cannot be broken. It
points to a Captain, by whose side no battle can be lost--beneath whose
banner, no warrior was ever slain.
Believer, hear, and go forth in hope. Face all your foes.
Grasp manfully your sword. Use skillfully your shield. Lift up the head,
safe in salvation's helmet. Shout boldly your great Leader's name. The fight
will soon be over. The victor's song will soon be on your lips.
4. They have a further use. In the grand feasts the
trumpets cheer the worshipers around the bleeding victims. While the
altar streams, and happy crowds look on, the heavens resound with these
exulting melodies. The precept is obeyed, "Sing aloud unto God our
strength--make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob." Ps. 81:1.
Believer, thus, too, the Gospel teaches you to
rejoice--to rejoice with heart abounding with melodious praise, when you in
faith contemplate, and in worship plead, the meritorious death of Christ.
My soul, obey, remember Calvary, and sing--shout--pour
forth music of delight. Let all, that is within you, swell the adoring
chorus. Gaze on the cross--and let exulting hallelujahs testify, how
fervently you love--how rapturously you extol--how undoubtingly you trust,
that death, which is your life--that blood, which is your
ransom--those wounds, which are your shelter--that Jesus, who
is your full salvation--that Christ, who is your All.
Reader, the Gospel-trumpet is now within your hearing.
But it is prelude of another melody. Yet a little while, and "the Lord
Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout--with the voice of the
Archangel and the trumpet of God." 1 Thess. 4:16. That note will open every
grave, and wake the sleeping dust, and gather mankind to the great white
throne. Quickly you will hear it--for every ear shall hear. It introduces
the coronation-day of saints. It is the knell of execution to the lost. Are
you prepared? Do you stand ready--one with Christ? If you heed now the
Gospel-trumpet calling you to Him, you will hear then the last-day-trumpet
calling you to glory.
It is faith's happiest hour, when it goes forth in spirit
to intermingle in the fast-coming scene. "We shall not all sleep, but we
shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last
Trumpet--for the Trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised
incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on
incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Then shall be brought
to pass the saying, that is written, "Death is swallowed up in victory. O
death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?" 1 Cor.
My soul, hark! hark! This Trumpet soon will sound. Bless
Jesus--and fear not.