I have often been moved to tears while hearing a sermon preached from the pulpit; but, I have rarely been moved to tears while reading a sermon transcript. This is one of those rare times.
Today, while waiting for my Tax software to download (I'm on dial-up and the dialog box read "45 minutes remaining"), I decided to pull a book off the shelf and pass the time by reading. I flipped to page 303 of volume III of "The Treasury of the Bible" by C.H. Spurgeon. The sermon title was "A Refreshing Canticle" and the text was:
"We will remember thy love more than wine." Solomon's Song 1:4
It is eleven pages long. As I started reading, it was as if the words were being lifted off the page in rapid motion and sent straight to my heart. I will be reproducing it on this blog over the course of this coming week, in little bite size pieces. I hope you will stay and graze a little each day on this magnificent proclamation of "LOVE":
The Hebrew word for "love” here is in the plural: "We will remember your LOVES.” Do not think, however, that the love of Jesus is divided, but know that it has different channels of manifestation. All the affections that Christ has, he bestows upon his Church; and these are so varied that they may well be called "loves” rather than "love.”
By this expression we must understand, of course, all the love of Jesus, from the beginning even to the end; or, rather, to that eternity which has no end. We will remember those acts of love of which we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us. It has been told us by inspired prophets, and God has revealed it to us in his Word, by his Spirit, that Jesus Christ loved us from before the foundation of the world. We believe that his love is no passion of modern date, -no mere spasm of pity. It is ancient as his glory, which he had with the Father before the world was, it is one of the things of eternity. This love divine is not a spring that welled up only a few days ago, but it is an everlasting fountain, which has never ceased to flow.
We will remember, O Jesus, that love of yours which was displayed in the council chamber of eternity, when you did, on our behalf, interpose as the Arbitrator and Mediator; when you did strike hands with your Father, and become our Surety, and take us as your betrothed!
We will remember that love which moved you to undertake a work so burdensome to accomplish an enterprise which none but yourself ever could have achieved.
We will remember the love which suggested the sacrifice of yourself; the love which, until the fullness of time, mused over that sacrifice, and longed for the hour of which, in the volume of the Book it was written of you, "Lo, I come.”
We will remember your love, O Jesus, as it was manifested to us in your holy life, from the manger of Bethlehem to the garden of Gethsemane! We will track you from the cradle to the grave, for every word and every deed of your was love.
You, wherever you did walk, did scatter loving kindnesses with both your hands. As it is said of your Father, "God is love,” so, surely, you are love, O Jesus! The fullness of the Godhead dwells in you; the essence of love, nothing else but love, is your incarnate person.
And specially, O Jesus, will we remember your love to us upon the cross!
We will view you as you come from the garden of your agony, and from the hall of your flagellation.
We will gaze upon you with your hands and your feet nailed to the accursed tree.
We will watch you when you could, if you had willed it, have saved yourself; but when you did, nevertheless, give up your strength, and bow yourself downward to the grave that you might lift us up to heaven.
We will remember your love which you did manifest through your poor, bleeding hands, and feet, and side.
We will remember this love of your until it invigorates and cheers us "more than wine,"-the love, of which we have heard, which you have exercised since your death, the love of your resurrection, the love which prompts you continually to intercede before your Father's throne, that burning lamp of love which will never let you hold your peace until your chosen ones are all safely housed, and Zion is glorified, and the spiritual Jerusalem is settled on her everlasting foundations of light and love in heaven.
We will remember all your love, from its beginning in the eternal past to the eternity that is to come; no, we will try to project our thoughts and imagination, and so to remember that, long as eternity shall continue, even forever and for evermore, so long shall your love exist in all its glory, undiminished in its luster or its force. "We will remember your love more than wine.”