“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” —Colossians 3:4
My discourse on Sabbath mornings is very frequently the gathering up of the thoughts and experiences of the week— a handful of barley which I have gleaned among the sheaves; but I could not thrust upon you this morning the poverty-stricken productions of my own insufferable dullness of brain, weariness of heart, and sickness of spirit during this week, for this were a sure method of making you partakers of my misery. I have wandered through a wilderness, but I will not scatter handfuls of the hot sand among you. I have traversed the valley of the shadow of death, but I will not repeat the howlings of Apollyon. This day of rest is appointed for a far better purpose.
Scarcely knowing how to fulfill the appointed service of this morning, I sit me down and remember the ancient minstrel, who, when the genius of song had for a time departed from him, was nevertheless called upon to discourse sweet music. What could he do but lay his fingers among the strings of his harp, and begin some old accustomed strain. His fingers, and his lips moved at first mechanically; the first few stanzas dropped from him from mere force of habit, and fell like stones without life or power, but by and by, he struck a string which woke the echoes of his soul, a note fell on his heart like a blazing torch, and the smouldering fire within his soul suddenly flamed up; the heaven-born muse was with him, and he sang as in his better times. So may it be my happy lot this morning: placing my fingers on the strings which know so well the name of Jesus, and beginning to discourse upon a theme which so constantly has made these walls to ring, although at first insipid periods try your patient ears, yet shall they nevertheless lead to something that may kindle in you hope, and joy, and love, if not rapture and delight. O for the wings of eagles to bear our souls upward towards the throne of our God. Already my heart warms with the expectation of a blessing! Does the earth feel the rising of the sun before the first bright beams gild the east? Are there not sharp-witted birds, which know within themselves that the sunbeams are on the road, and therefore begin right joyously to wake up their fellows to tell them that the morning cometh leaping over the hills? Certain hopeful, joyful thoughts have entered within our heart, prophetic of the Comforter’s divine appearing, to make glad our souls. Does not the whole earth prophecy the coming of the happy days of spring? There are certain little bulbs that swell, and flowers that peep from under the black mould, and say, “We know what others do not know, that the summer’s coming, coming very soon;” and surely there are rising hopes within us this morning, which show their golden flowers above our heaviness, and assure us with joyful accents, that Christ is coming to cheer our heart yet again. Believer, you shall once again behold his comfortable presence; you shall no longer cry unto him out of the depths, but your soul shall lean upon his arm, and drink deep of his love. Beloved, I proceed in the hope that the gracious Lord will favour his most unworthy servant, and in his own mercy fulfill our best expectations.
—Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, February 26, 1865 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 11 Sermon No. 617, “Christ Our Life— Soon to Appear”