February 23, 2009

Will you remember? (part three)

Sermon Preached by C.H. Spurgeon
Solomon’s Song 1:4

“We will remember thy love more than wine.”

(part three)

Thus, then, in the summary of Christ's loves, which I will now humbly endeavor to pass in review, it will be necessary for me to mention, not only the love we have heard about, but the love we have felt and enjoyed.

Do not suppose, dear brothers and sisters, that I am able to refresh your memories upon this sacred subject. It is the Holy Spirit's work to assist you in that matter; but I do trust that the resolution contained in our text will be formed in the heart of every one of you, "We will remember your loves more than wine,” and that you will have the grace to carry out that resolution.

Here then, beloved, we have A RESOLUTION POSITIVELY EXPRESSED: "We will remember your love.”

Why does the spouse speak so positively? Because she is inspired; she is not like Simon Peter when he said, "Although all shall be fall away, yet I will not.” She is speaking the truth, for she will not forget the love of her Lord. Why is that? For one very good reason, because she cannot.

If the Church could forget Christ's love to her, she would do so. She is such a forgetful wife that all her Husband's affections would be lost upon her, were it possible. But that cannot be; there is something about the love of Christ that makes it adhere to those upon whom it is bestowed; we cannot forget it.

It enters into the heart, like, wine that seasons the cask, and the scent thereof abides:

It pervades the soul;

It imbues every faculty;

It brings the secret thoughts into obedience to Christ;

It flows through every vein of hope and fear, passion and desire.

So the spouse could truthfully say to her Lord, "We will remember your love.” The virtue was not in her own constancy, but in the tenacity of his affection, wherefore she could not help remembering it.

What is there, in the love of Christ; that will compel us to remember it? The things that we recollect best are of certain kinds. Some things that we remember best have been 'sublime' things:

When we have stood, for the first time, where we could see a lofty mountain, whose snowy summit pierced the thick ebony clouds, we have said, "We shall never forget this sight.”

When Humboldt, the great traveler, had his first view of the vast prairies of North America, he declared that he could never forget the sensations of that moment. I can imagine how Dr. Livingstone, when he first came in sight of the magnificent falls which he discovered, might well say, "To my dying day, I shall hear the rushing of that tremendous stream of water.”

I can myself remember an unusually violent thunderstorm, when the lightnings flew across the heavens, flash after flash, without a moment's pause, as though a thousand suns were dashing through the sky. I also recollect the consternation of men and women when a neighboring house was smitten by the lightning, and burned with a terrific blaze, which could scarcely be seen by reason of the brightness of the lightning. My recollection of that terrible scene will never depart from me.

The sublimity of what we have seen often causes us to remember it. So is it with the love of Christ. How it towers to heaven! And mark how brightness succeeds brightness, how flash follows after flash of love unspeakable and full of glory! There is no pause, no interval of darkness or blackness, no chasm of forgetfulness. Its sublimity compels us to remember its manifestation.

Again, we are pretty sure to recollect 'unusual' things. If we were asked whether we recollected that the sun had risen, we might say, "It is not a matter of memory at all. I feel certain that it did, though I did not see it rise.” But if we are asked if we ever saw an eclipse, "Oh, yes!” we reply, "we recollect that; we remember watching it, and, how disappointed we were because it was not so dark as we expected it to be.”

Many people do not notice the stars much, but who forgets the comet? Everybody recollects that phenomenon of nature because it is unusual. When we see something strange, uncommon, out of the ordinary way, the memory at once fixes upon it, and holds it fast. So is it with the love of Christ. It is such an extraordinary thing, such a marvelous thing, that the like was never known. Ransack history, and you cannot find its parallel.

There is but one love that is like it, that is the love of the Father to his only-begotten Son. Besides this, there is nothing to which we can compare the love of Christ to his people. That "constellation of the cross” is the most marvelous that is to be seen in the spiritual sky; the eye, once spellbound by its charms, must retain its undying admiration, because it is the greatest wonder of wonders, and miracle of miracles which the universe ever saw.

Sometimes, too, things which are not important in themselves are fixed on the memory because of 'certain circumstances which happen in association with them'. The country people often say, if you ask them whether they recollect such-and-such a year, "Ah, yes! it was the year of the hard frost, wasn't it?” Another time they will say, "Why, yes! that was the year when the blight fell upon our gardens, and all our potatoes were of no use, and we were nearly starved that winter. Circumstances help to make us recollect facts. If something particular in politics should happen on our birthday, or our wedding day, or on some other notable occasion, we should say, "Oh, yes! I recollect that; it happened the day I was married, or the day so-and-so was buried.”

Now, we can never forget the love of Christ, because the circumstances were so peculiar when, for the first time, we knew anything at all about it. We were plunged in sin and ruin; we were adrift on the great sea of sin, we had no hope, we were ready to sink, and no shore was near; but Jesus came and saved us. We can never forget those circumstances; with some of us, they were truly awesome, beyond all description. Therefore, we cannot forget the time when Jesus love first dawned upon our minds.

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