Evening and Morning
By Charles Haddon Spurgeon
"And Sarah said, God hath made me to laugh, so
that all that hear will laugh with me."—Genesis 21:6.
It was far above the power
of nature, and even contrary to its laws, that the aged Sarah should be honoured with a son; and even so it is beyond all ordinary
rules that I, a poor, helpless, undone sinner, should find grace to bear about
in my soul the indwelling Spirit of the Lord Jesus. I, who once despaired, as
well I might, for my nature was as dry, and withered, and barren, and accursed
as a howling wilderness, even I have been made to bring forth fruit unto
holiness. Well may my mouth be filled with joyous laughter, because of the
singular, surprising grace which I have received of
the Lord, for I have found Jesus, the promised seed, and He is mine for ever.
This day will I lift up psalms of triumph unto the Lord who has remembered my
low estate, for "my heart rejoiceth in the Lord;
mine horn is exalted in the Lord; my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies,
because I rejoice in Thy salvation."
I would have all those that
hear of my great deliverance from hell, and my most blessed visitation from on
high, laugh for joy with me. I would surprise my family with my abundant peace;
I would delight my friends with my ever-increasing happiness; I would edify the
Church with my grateful confessions; and even impress the world with the
cheerfulness of my daily conversation. Bunyan tells us that Mercy laughed in
her sleep, and no wonder when she dreamed of Jesus; my joy shall not stop short
of hers while my Beloved is the theme of my daily thoughts. The Lord Jesus is a
deep sea of joy: my soul shall dive therein, shall be swallowed up in the
delights of His society. Sarah looked on her Isaac, and laughed with excess of
rapture, and all her friends laughed with her; and thou, my soul, look on thy
Jesus, and bid heaven and earth unite in thy joy unspeakable.
"He openeth, and no
man shutteth."—Revelation 3:7.
Jesus is the keeper of the
gates of paradise and before every believing soul He setteth
an open door, which no man or devil shall be able to close against it. What joy
it will be to find that faith in Him is the golden key to the everlasting
doors. My soul, dost thou carry this key in thy bosom, or art thou trusting to
some deceitful pick-lock, which will fail thee at
last? Hear this parable of the preacher, and remember it. The great King has
made a banquet, and He has proclaimed to all the world
that none shall enter but those who bring with them the fairest flower that
blooms. The spirits of men advance to the gate by thousands, and they bring
each one the flower which he esteems the queen of the
garden; but in crowds they are driven from the royal presence, and enter not
into the festive halls. Some bear in their hand the deadly nightshade of
superstition, or the flaunting poppies of Rome, or the hemlock of
self-righteousness, but these are not dear to the King, the bearers are shut
out of the pearly gates. My soul, hast thou gathered the rose of Sharon? Dost
thou wear the lily of the valley in thy bosom constantly? If so, when thou comest up to the gates of heaven thou wilt know its value,
for thou hast only to show this choicest of flowers, and the Porter will open:
not for a moment will He deny thee admission, for to that rose the Porter openeth ever. Thou shalt find thy way with the rose of
Sharon in thy hand up to the throne of God Himself, for heaven itself possesses
nothing that excels its radiant beauty, and of all the flowers that bloom in
paradise there is none that can rival the lily of the valley. My soul, get
Calvary's blood-red rose into thy hand by faith, by love wear it, by communion
preserve it, by daily watchfulness make it thine all
in all, and thou shalt be blessed beyond all bliss, happy beyond a dream.
Jesus, be mine for ever, my God, my heaven, my all.