William Gadsby Sermons (Complete)

58 The Wilderness And The Highway

“The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad,” &c.—Isaiah 35:1-10

There is no class of persons who disbelieve God’s Word more than (rod’s children, at times, do; and, strange as it may appear and criminal as it is, they frequently labor harder to make God a liar than they do to prove his Word true. They take their feeling sense of being such loathsome, hard-hearted, unbelieving sinners as a proof that God will have nothing to do with them; whereas, if it were not for such poor, groaning, mourning souls, we should not know what to do with one part of the Bible. Here (ver. 1) God says, “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose.” Now, if there were no deserts, no wildernesses, &c., what could we make of such a passage? But,, it is added, “It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with jay and singing.” Come, poor, barren desert; poor, waste wilderness; the promise is made, and it will assuredly be fulfilled. In the end, thou shalt rejoice, and see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God. Your hands (of faith) may be so weak that you cannot lay hold of God’s promises; your knees so feeble that you cannot bend them in sweet communion with God; your hearts so fearful that you are continually doubting and fearing God will have nothing to do with you, and cannot believe there is any blessing for you. But, by and by, waters shall break out in the wilderness and streams in the desert. Then shall your blind eyes be opened and your deaf ears unstopped; then shall you be healed of your lameness and shall leap as a hart and your dumb tongue sing. And the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water. And a highway shall be there, and a way; and it shall be called The Way of Holiness. The unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those. Now what does that mean—the unclean shall not pass over it, but it shall be for those? I will tell you. It does not say the unclean shall not touch it, but, shall not pass over it. So that, the moment a poor unclean sinner is brought by faith to put a single foot on this way, that moment he becomes clean. The way itself makes him clean; and, therefore, he passes over it, pure in the sight of God. And as this way makes clean all who come upon it, there shall be none of the lions of hell there, nor the ravenous beasts of the world; but the redeemed shall walk there; and they shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.—Dee. 18, 1885.