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“Other Psalms have been mere lakes, but this is the main ocean” by Charles Spurgeon

“I have been all the longer over this portion of my task because I have been bewildered in the expanse of the One Hundred and Nineteenth Psalm, which makes up the bulk of this volume. Its dimensions and its depth alike overcame me.

It spread itself out before me like a vast, rolling prairie, to which I could see no bound, and this alone created a feeling of dismay. Its expanse was unbroken by a bluff or headland, and hence it threatened a monotonous task, although the fear has not been realized.

This marvelous poem seemed to me a great sea of holy teaching, moving, in its many verses, wave upon wave; altogether without an island of special and remarkable statement to break it up.

I confess I hesitated to launch upon it. Other Psalms have been mere lakes, but this is the main ocean. It is a continent of sacred thought, every inch of which is fertile as the garden of the Lord: it is an amazing level of abundance, a mighty stretch of harvest-fields.

I have now crossed the great plain for myself, but not without persevering, and, I will add, pleasurable, toil. Several great authors have traversed this region and left their tracks behind them, and so far the journey has been all the easier for me; but yet to me and to my helpers it has been no mean feat of patient authorship and research.

This great Psalm is a book in itself: instead of being one among many Psalms, it is worthy to be set forth by itself as a poem of surpassing excellence.

Those who have never studied it may pronounce it commonplace, and complain of its repetitions; but to the thoughtful student it is like the great deep, full, so as never to be measured; and varied, so as never to weary the eye.

Its depth is as great as its length; it is mystery, not set forth as mystery, but concealed beneath the simplest statements.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119, Volume 5 (London: Marshall Brothers, 1882), 5: v.

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“They knew the whole Psalter by heart” by Charles Spurgeon

“The Book of Psalms has been a royal banquet to me, and in feasting upon its contents I have seemed to eat angels’ food. It is no wonder that old writers should call it,—the school of patience, the soul’s soliloquies, the little Bible, the anatomy of conscience, the rose garden, the pearl island, and the like.

It is the Paradise of devotion, the Holy Land of poetry, the heart of Scripture, the map of experience, and the tongue of saints. It is the spokesman of feelings which else had found no utterance.

Does it not say just what we wished to say? Are not its prayers and praises exactly such as our hearts delight in?

No man needs better company than the Psalms; therein he may read and commune with friends human and divine; friends who know the heart of man towards God and the heart of God towards man; friends who perfectly sympathize with us and our sorrows, friends who never betray or forsake.

Oh, to be shut up in a cave with David, with no other occupation but to hear him sing, and to sing with him! Well might a Christian monarch lay aside his crown for such enjoyment, and a believing pauper find a crown in such felicity.

It is to be feared that the Psalms are by no means so prized as in earlier ages of the Church. Time was when the Psalms were not only rehearsed in all the churches from day to day, but they were so universally sung that the common people knew them, even if they did not know the letters in which they were written.

Time was when bishops would ordain no man to the ministry unless he knew ‘David’ from end to end, and could repeat each Psalm correctly; even Councils of the Church have decreed that none should hold ecclesiastical office unless they knew the whole Psalter by heart.

Other practices of those ages had better be forgotten, but to this memory accords an honourable record. Then, as Jerome tells us, the labourer, while he held the plough, sang Hallelujah; the tired reaper refreshed himself with the Psalms, and the vinedresser, while trimming the vines with his curved hook, sang something of David.

He tells us that in his part of the world, Psalms were the Christian’s ballads; could they have had better? They were the love-songs of the people of God; could any others be so pure and heavenly?

These sacred hymns express all modes of holy feeling; they are fit both for childhood and old age; they furnish maxims for the entrance of life, and serve as watchwords at the gates of death.

The battle of life, the repose of the Sabbath, the ward of the hospital, the guest-chamber of the mansion the church, the oratory, yea, even heaven itself may be entered with Psalms.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David: Psalms 111-119, Volume 5 (London: Marshall Brothers, 1882), 5: vi–vii.

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“Every command of Christ bears today’s date” by Charles Spurgeon

“First to you that love the Lord, or profess to do so— Christian people— I have to say to you tonight,—the Holy Ghost saith ‘TODAY.’ That is to say, that it is essential to duty that we attend to it at once.

Every command of Christ bears today’s date. If a thing is right, it should be done at once; if it is wrong, stop it immediately.

Whatever you are bound to do, you are bound to do now. There may be some duties of a later date, but for the present, that which is the duty is the duty now.

There is an immediateness about the calls of Christ. What he bids you do, you must not delay to do. The Holy Ghost saith “Today.”

And I would say this with regard to everything. Do you love the Lord? Have you ever professed His name? Then the Holy Ghost saith “Today.”

Hesitate not to take up His cross at once and follow Him,— the cross of Him who was nailed to the cross for you; who by His precious blood has made you not your own, but His. Confess Him before men.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Call of ‘Today,’” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Volume 55 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1909), 55: 422. Spurgeon was preaching from Hebrews 3:7.

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“Now is the time for all of you who love souls” by Charles Spurgeon

“Whether we gather in the harvest or not, there is a reaper who is silently gathering it every hour. Just now, it is whispered that he is sharpening his sickle. That reaper is death!

You may look upon this great city as the harvest-field, and every week the bills of mortality tell us how steadily and how surely the scythe of death moves to and fro, and how a lane is made through our population, and those who were once living men are taken, like sheaves to the garner, carried to the graveyard, and laid aside.

You cannot stop their dying; but, oh, that God might help you to stop their being damned! You cannot stop the breath from going out of their bodies; but, oh, that the gospel might stop their souls from going down to destruction!

It can do it, and nothing else can take its place. Just now, the cholera has come again. There can be little doubt, I suppose, about it being here already in some considerable force, and probably it may be worse.

The Christian need not dread it, for he has nothing to lose, but everything to gain, by death. Still, for the sake of others, he may well pray that God would avert His hand, and not let His anger burn.

But, since it is here, I think it ought to be a motive for active exertion. If there ever be a time when the mind is sensitive, it is when death is abroad. I recollect, when first I came to London, how anxiously people listened to the gospel, for the cholera was raging terribly.

There was little scoffing then. All day, and sometimes all night long, I went about from house to house, and saw men and women dying, and, oh, how glad they were to see my face!

When many were afraid to enter their houses lest they should catch the deadly disease, we who had no fear about such things found ourselves most gladly listened to when we spoke of Christ and of things Divine.

And now, again, is the minister’s time; and now is the time for all of you who love souls. You may see men more alarmed than they are already; and if they should be, mind that you avail yourselves of the opportunity of doing them good.

You have the Balm of Gilead; when their wounds smart, pour it in. You know of Him who died to save; tell them of Him. Lift high the cross before their eyes.

Tell them that God became man that man might be lifted to God. Tell them of Calvary, and its groans, and cries, and sweat of blood. Tell them of Jesus hanging on the cross to save sinners. Tell them that—

“There is life for a look at the Crucified One.”

Tell them that He is able to save to the uttermost all them that come unto God by Him. Tell them that He is able to save even at the eleventh hour, and to say to the dying thief, ‘Today shall thou be with Me in Paradise.'”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Compiled from His Diary, Letters, and Records, by His Wife and His Private Secretary, 1834–1854, Volume 1 (Cincinnati; Chicago; St. Louis: Curts & Jennings, 1898), 1: 371.

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“You can never love Him as He has loved you” by Charles Spurgeon

“Our Lord Jesus was not only in the brunt of danger, and in the faintness of His agony, but He was in full prospect of a cruel death. He knew all that was to be done to Him.

When you and I have to suffer, we do not know what is before us; it is a happy circumstance that we do not.

But Jesus knew that they would buffet Him. He knew that they would blindfold Him. He knew that they would spit in His face. He knew that they would scourge Him. He knew that the crown of thorns would tear His temples.

He knew that He would be led forth like a malefactor, bearing the gibbet on His shoulder. He knew that they would nail His feet and hands to the cruel cross.

He knew that He would cry, “I thirst.” He knew that His Father must forsake Him on account of the sin of man that would be laid upon Him.

He knew all that. These huge Atlantic billows of grief cast their spray in His face already, His lips were salty with the brine of His coming grief.

But He did not think of that! His one thought was for His beloved, those whom His Father had given Him. Till He dies, He will keep His eye on His sheep, and He will grasp His Shepherd’s crook with which to drive the foe from them.

Oh, the all-absorbing, self-consuming love of Christ! Do you know that love, beloved? If so, let your hearts reciprocate it, loving Him in return with all the strength of your life, and all the wealth of your being.

Even then you can never love Him as He has loved you. O faulty saints, you who do love Him, and yet often fail Him, you who do trust Him, and yet are oftentimes dismayed, gather strength, I pray you, from this wonderful love of Jesus!

Is not the love of Christ a mass of miracles, all wonders packed together?

It is not a subject for surprise that He should love, but that He should love such worms as we are, that He should love us when we were dead in trespasses and sins, that He should love us into life, should love us despite our faults, should love us to perfection, and should love us until He brings us to share His glory.

Rejoice, then, in this wondrous care of Christ,—the dying Christ with a living care for His disciples.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Living Care of the Dying Christ,” in Majesty in Misery: Select Sermons on the Passion of Christ, Volume 1: Dark Gethsemane (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2005), 222-223. [MTPS, 40: 316-317]

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“As long as God is God, there is no cause for the believer to fear” by Charles Spurgeon

“‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.’ (Psalm 46:1)

All men have their places of refuge, though some are ‘refuges of lies.’ (Isaiah 28:17) But ‘God is our refuge and strength.’ The omnipotence of Jehovah is pledged for the defense and support of His people.

A very present help in trouble,’—one who is near at hand; always near, but nearest when He is most needed. Not much entreaty is required to bring Him to the aid of His people, for He is close at hand and close at heart, ‘a very present help in trouble.’

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.’ (Psalm 46:2-3)

Here we have, you perceive, a mention of the greatest convulsions of nature, yet the believer fears not. Doubtless, too, these verses are intended to be a picture of the great convulsions that take place in the providential dealings of God.

States and kingdoms that seem to be as solid as the earth will one day be removed. Dynasties that seem as fixed and firm as mountains may soon be swept away into the sea of oblivion.

We may have famine, and war, and pestilence, and anarchy, until the whole earth shall seem to be like the sea in a great storm; yea, hope may fail with many and the stoutest hearts may shake at the swelling thereof.

Let the worst come to the worst, God’s people are still safe. As long as God is God, there is no cause for the believer to fear.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Vine of Israel,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons, Vol. 57 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1911), 57: 155.

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“Banished from the public means of grace, we are not removed from the grace behind the means of grace” by Charles Spurgeon

“MARCH 15

Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while in the countries where they have gone.’ –Ezekiel 11:16

Banished from the public means of grace, we are not removed from the grace behind the means of grace. The Lord who places His people where they feel as exiles will Himself be with them. He will be to them all that they could have had at home in the place of their sacred assemblies. Take this promise as your own if you are called to wander!

God is to His people a place of refuge. They find sanctuary with Him from every adversary. He is their place of worship too. He is with them as He was with Jacob when he slept in the open field and woke, saying, ‘Surely God was in this place.’ (Gen. 28:16) To them He will also be a sanctuary of peace, like the Most Holy Place, which was the noiseless abode of the Eternal. They will be kept from fear of evil.

God Himself, in Christ Jesus, is the sanctuary of mercy. The ark of the covenant is the Lord Jesus, and Aaron’s rod, the pot of manna, the tables of the law are in Christ our sanctuary. In God we find the shrine of holiness and of communion. What more do we need?

Oh, Lord, fulfill this promise, and always be to us like a little sanctuary!”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Promises of God: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on the English Standard Version, Revised and Updated by Tim Chester (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), “March 15.” Originally published in The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith: Being Precious Promises Arranged for Daily Use with Brief Comments (New York: American Tract Society, 1893), 75.

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