Plain Sermons by Contributors to the Tracts for the Times
And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honor, and power…
Consider what God is; how infinitely above the highest angels; the only Fountain of goodness and life and immortality, and whatsoever is blessed and glorious either in heaven or in earth. Consider again what we are — mortal, sinful, unworthy creatures. Does it not almost seem as if we might well be afraid to praise Him? But Almighty God, by His infinite condescension in Holy Scripture, encourages us not to keep silence. He declares Himself ready to accept our praise and thanksgiving as a sacrifice of a freewill offering. Here in the text we find His approbation yielded, in a very remarkable manner, to the duty and blessing of praising Him, as it has been understood and practised from the beginning by all saints. "A voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great." What voice was that? It was the voice of God, for it came out of the throne; out of the unapproachable glory, where none but God was. It was the voice of the Lamb of God, of Him who is set down in glory on His Father's right hand, having been slain, and redeemed us to God by His blood. We know it is His voice from the manner in which He speaks: "Praise our God, all ye His servants"; not your God only, but our God. "I ascend," He said, "unto My Father and your Father, and unto My God and your God." In like manner, here at the very end of the New Testament, He speaks from His everlasting throne to the whole Church, now represented as triumphing over her enemies, and makes Himself one, in the work of praising God, with all God's servants, and all who fear Him, of all sorts and degrees, "both small and great." "Praise our God, all ye His servants," says that gracious but awful voice. His servants only are privileged to praise Him; that is, as we should call them, His slaves; those who have given themselves up to Him entirely; who try to have no will but His; who give up what else would please them best when they understand it to be displeasing to Him, and take joyfully affliction, labour, self-denial, when He lays it upon them, and would prepare them thereby for His heavenly kingdom. Nor let any one Christian draw back in indolence or timidity, as if he, for one, had no part in this merciful invitation of our Saviour. Observe with what encouraging words He concludes it: "Praise our God all ye His servants, and ye that fear Him, both small and great." Fearing God is the great thing; and they who have that in their hearts, how unequal soever in other respects, may come here with all saints and unite in praising Him. In this place, if nowhere else, all ranks and degrees are equal.
(Plain Sermons by Contributors to the Tracts for the Times.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God: