"...dear Friends, I want you to imitate Joshua in the third things, namely, take off your shoes from your feet. Joshua, perhaps, had not felt what a solemn thing it was to fight for God, to fight as God’s executioner against condemned men. Therefore he must take his shoes off. We never can expect a blessing if we go about God’s work flippantly. I shudder when I see any sitting at the Lord’s Table who can indulge in light remarks or in wandering thoughts on so solemn an occasion. What have you to do here, not having on a wedding garment? There are some of us whose besetting sin is levity of spirit. Cheerfulness we are to cultivate, but we must beware lest levity become a cankerworm to our Graces.
Brethren, this next month must be a holy month unto us. I ask our young and our old friends, alike, to seek a quiet and sober spirit. To seek to save souls from going down to the pit is no pastime. To talk of Jesus is no trifle. We do not meet to pray in sport. We do not gather together in supplication as a mere matter of form. Angels are in our midst observing us. The King Himself is here! How would you behave if you actually saw Jesus with your eyes? If I were to vacate this pulpit and the Crucified One stood here, stretching out His pierced hands and looking down upon you with the mild radiance of His sovereign love—how would you feel?
Ask to feel just so, for He is here. Faith can perceive Him. Ask to feel just so at this present moment, and so to go out to your work this afternoon and all the remaining days of your life, as a servant of God who is standing in the Presence of his Lord upon holy ground, and cannot, therefore, afford to trifle since he has solemn work to do and means to do it in his Master’s name."