Verse 5. Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. Ungodly men are not to be won to right by arguments the most logical, or appeals the most pathetic. Try all your arts, ye preachers of the word! Lay yourselves out to meet the prejudices and tastes of sinners, and ye shall yet have to cry, "Who hath believed our report?" It is not in your music, but in the sinner's ear that the cause of failure lies, and it is only the power of God that can remove it.
"You can call spirits from the vast deep,
But will they come when you do call for them?"
No, we call and call, and call in vain, till the arm of the Lord is revealed. This is at once the sinner's guilt and danger. He ought to hear but will not, and because he will not hear, he cannot escape the damnation of hell.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 4-5. See Psalms on "Psalms 58:4" for further information.
Verse 5. Will not hearken. The Lord hath some of his elect ones whom he seeth walking in bypaths and crooked ways: the Lord giveth a commission to his servants, the ministers, and saith, Go invite and call yon soul to come to me, and say, Return, O Shulamite; but the soul stirs not: the Lord sends and calls again: yet with the deaf adder, he hearkeneth not to the voice of the enchanter: well, saith the Lord, "If you will not come; I will fetch you"; if fair means will not do, foul means must; then he hisses for the fly and the bee of affliction, and calls forth armies of trouble, and gives them commission to seize upon, and to lay siege to such a man or woman, and saith, Ply them with your cannon shot, till you make them yield, give up the keys and strike the sail; he sends sickness to their bodies, a consumption to their estate, death to their friends, shame to their reputation, a fire to their house, and the like, and bids them prey and spoil, till they see and acknowledge the hand of the Lord lifted up. J. Votier's "Survey of Effectual Calling," 1652.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 5. The serpent charmer.
- He charms with moral persuasion, promise, threatening,
- He charms wisely, earnestly, affectionately,
- He charms in vain; the will is averse. Hence the
need of divine grace and of the gospel.