2340. The Best Christmas Fare

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No. 2340-39:613. A Sermon Delivered On Christmas Lord’s Day Evening, December 25, 1881, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, December 24, 1893.

How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! {Ps 119:103}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2340, “Best Christmas Fare, The” 2341}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3197, “Sweetness of God’s Word, The” 3198}
   Exposition on Ps 119:89-104 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 3144, “True Sayings of God, The” 3145 @@ "Exposition"}
   Exposition on Ps 119:89-112 {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2340, “Best Christmas Fare, The” 2341 @@ "Exposition"}

1. This is a time of feasting; and we may as well have our feast as other people have theirs. Let us see whether there is not something for our spiritual palate, something to satisfy our spiritual appetite, so that we may eat, and be satisfied, and rejoice before the Lord. Do you not think that two of the words in our text are very strange? If you had written them, would you not have said, “How sweet are your words to my ear?” The psalmist says, “How sweet are your words to my palate!” for that is the word in the margin. He did not write, “Yes, sweeter than honey to my hearing!” but, “sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Are words, then, things that we can taste and eat? No, not if they are the words of man; it would take many of our words to fill a hungry belly. “Be warmed and filled”: it would take many tons of that kind of fodder to feed “a brother or sister destitute of daily food,” for man’s words are air and airy, light and frothy. They often deceive, they mock, they awaken hopes which are never realized; but God’s words are full of substance, they are spirit, they are life, they are to be fed on by the spiritually hungry.

2. Do not marvel that I say this to you. It was God’s word that made us; is it any wonder that his word should sustain us? If his word gives life, do you wonder that his word should also give food for that life? Do not marvel, for it is written: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” God’s words are meat, and drink, and food; and if bodies do not live on words, souls and spirits feed on the words of God, and so are satisfied, and full of delight. This is the language of an eater as well as of a hearer, of one who heard the words, and then ate the words. The expression is oriental, but we are not quite strangers to it, even in our western talk, for we say, “They seem to eat the man’s words”; that is, when the hearers are very attentive to them, when they enjoy them, when the preacher’s words seem to comfort them, and to minister sustenance to their mind and to their spirit.

3. I like this way of describing the reception of God’s word as a matter of eating, for a man cannot eat God’s word without living. He who takes it into himself must live by it. There is a reality about the faith which eats; there is something there most certain, which contains the elements of salvation, for tasting is a spiritual sense which implies nearness. You can hear at a great distance by means of the telephone; but, somehow, I do not think that anyone will invent an electrical taster. No one knows what may be done; but I imagine that I shall never be able to eat anything in New York. I think that we shall hardly ever reach such a triumph of science as that. There will always have to be a measure of nearness if we are to taste anything, and so it is with God’s word. If we hear it, it is music in the ear; but still it may seem to be at a distance from us. We may not get a grip and grasp of it; but if we taste it, that means that we really have it here within ourselves. Then it has come very near to us, and we enter into fellowship with the God who gave it.

4. This idea of tasting God’s word contains the thought of receptiveness. A man may hear a thing and, as we say, it goes in one ear and out the other, and so it often does, but what a man gets into his mouth until he tastes it, and it is sweet to his palate, well, he has received that. If it is sweet to him, he will not do as those who have something lukewarm, which is objectionable, which they spue out of their mouth; but when he finds it palatable, the sweetness will make him keep it where it is until he swallows it down into his inward parts. So I love this thought of tasting God’s word, because it implies nearness, and it implies an actual reception, and a veritable holding firmly onto what is so appreciated by the taste.

5. Tasting is also a personal matter. “Friends, Romans, countrymen,” said Mark Antony, in his oration over the body of Caesar, “lend me your ears”; and they go to be lent, and numbers of people hear for others. But tasting, surely, is a personal business; there is no possibility of my eating for you. If you choose to starve yourself by a long fast of fifty days, so you must. If I were to sit down, and industriously attempt to eat your portion of food, and my own too, it would not avail you in the least; you must eat for yourselves, and there is no knowing the value of God’s word until you eat it for yourself. You must personally believe it, personally trust it, personally receive it into your innermost spirit, or else you cannot know anything about its power to bless and to sustain. I pray, dear friends, that every one of us may, tonight, understand what the psalmist meant when he spoke of tasting God’s words, and of finding them sweeter than honey to his mouth.

6. I. First, tonight, I call your attention to AN EXCLAMATION. The text contains two notes of exclamation or admiration: “How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” I cannot throw the notes of admiration and exclamation into my speech, as I would like to do; but this verse is evidently the utterance of one who is somewhat surprised and amazed, one who has a thought which he cannot adequately express. The thought is also one that gives much delight to the writer, for he exclaims, “How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

7. Now, I believe that it is a matter of wonder to many to find the gospel so sweet when the soul first tastes it. Until I believed in Christ, I could not have imagined that a man was capable of so much delight as I then experienced. When I first looked to Christ, and was enlightened, the ease I felt when my burden rolled from off my shoulder quite astonished me. It seemed to me as if a man could never know such rest as I enjoyed then. When I beheld my sin all put away through Christ’s atoning blood, and knew myself to be “accepted in the Beloved,” I could have said, with the queen of Sheba, “Behold, the half was not told me.” I had heard my father and other Christian men say that blessed are the people who trust in the Lord, but I never thought there really was such blessedness as I found. I imagined that they would lure me with some sweet declarations of what, after all, might be very commonplace, but I did not find it to be so; and I am here to bear my witness that, when I believed God’s promise, I was so amazed and overpowered with joy that, even now, I cannot tell you the delight I felt, indeed, and still do feel, in the word of a faithful God to all who trust in Jesus Christ, his Son.

8. This, then, may be the exclamation of a soul tasting the gospel for the first time; but it may also be the exclamation of a soul cheered by still tasting the gospel:“ How sweet are your words to my taste!” “I have known the Lord,” one says, “these forty years.” Another says, “I have known Christ these thirty years; but he is as precious to me as he ever was, his word is as fresh and novel as if I had never heard it before, and his promise comes to my soul with as much of life and power as if he had only spoken it yesterday, and I had never heard it until this moment.” Are you not surprised, sometimes, you who are getting into midlife, or even verging on old age, to find how sweet God’s word still is to you? And if, perhaps, you have been away from the house of God travelling in foreign lands, or you have been laid aside by sickness, or, if, perhaps, you are a preacher, and do not often hear a sermon, is it not a very delightful thing to sit in your pew, and when you are hearing the gospel, to say, “Oh, it is sweet! It is coming home to me now?” I heard a sermon, some years ago, — I do not often get the opportunity of hearing, — and, when my tears began to flow under a simple statement of the gospel, I said to myself, “Yes, I am not a mere dealer in it, who hands it out to others, for I relish the flavour of it myself.” Why, I have had to stand here, sometimes, like the butchers at Christmas time, cutting and chopping off joints of meat for you all, and I have not had even a snack myself all the while; but when I get the opportunity of sitting down at the table, and listening, it may be, to a poor, humble preacher talking about Christ, I seem to set my knife and fork to work, and I say, “Yes, that is just the very food for me, give me some more of it. My soul can feed on such fare as that”; and I have felt glad, with an inward and unspeakable delight, to find how sweet it was to my taste; “yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Rejoice, dear friends, if you find it so.

9. I think that this language of exclamation and admiration will also come from the most advanced saint, increasing in knowledge of the gospel, the believer who has studied the word of God most earnestly, and who has had the deepest experience in it. Other books are soon exhausted, but the Bible is never fully understood. I think that most readers will tell you that, the more they read, the fewer the books become; whereas, to the young, there is a whole library yet to go through. The man who has been a diligent and careful reader all his life finds only a few books that he now cares to read. He knows the rest, he could write most of them; perhaps, could write them better than they are written. Now he keeps on striking out this one from the list, and that other, for he has gone beyond them; and the book which charmed him when he was young ceases to have any value to him when he gets beyond it in his more mature years. He has seen through its mistakes, and now he yearns for something more accurate; but it is never so with the words of God. It is never so with the Word of God, the Incarnate Word, the Christ. The more you know of him, the more you wish to know; and the more you taste of him, the sweeter he becomes until in heaven, the sweetness will be far more intense than it is now, and Christ will be more precious and more delightful to us through the eternal ages than he is at this present moment. I believe that, in glory, the saints will often lift up their hands, and say, “How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” When those words shall have been completely fulfilled, the very retrospect of the promise will charm our immortal spirits, until heaven shall become as a woods, like that of Jonathan, which dripped with honey; and every word that God spoke to us, when we were here below, shall come back to us with matchless sweetness as we remember it in the world to come.

10. II. But now, secondly, take the text not only with its two notes of admiration, but as A STATEMENT, a cool statement of matters of fact. David is one who, when his heart boils with holy fervour, and his hand wields the pen of a ready writer, still writes accurately. He never speaks more than the truth even when he is most emphatic, so that I am sure that David intends to tell us here that God’s words were sweet to him.

11. First, they were unutterably sweet:“ How sweet!” but he does not tell us how sweet they were. He says, “How sweet are your words to my taste!” as if he could not tell us what delightfulness he found in the teachings of God’s word; it was unutterable. We can tell you, dear hearers, that God’s words of promise are very, very sweet; but we can convey to you no kind of idea of how great that sweetness is. Oh, taste for yourselves, and see that the Lord is good! There is no describing the flavours of a royal banquet, there is no picturing to a man who does not have the sense of smell the fragrance of a delightful perfume; and you must personally know the sweetness of the word of God, for to us it is positively unutterable.

12. This much, however, the psalmist utters. He tells us that God’s words are surpassingly sweet, for, he says, “They are sweeter than honey.” Honey is supposed to be the sweetest of all known substances. So David means that, if there is anything that can delight the heart of man, God’s word could charm his heart better than that. David means that, if there is anything that could cheer a man, God’s word could comfort him better than any other consolation. If there is joy, if there is peace, if there is rest, if there is bliss, to be found in anything else, all that, and more than that, can be found in a higher degree in the teachings of God’s word, and in the blessings of the covenant of grace. Sweeter than sweetness itself, sweeter than the sweetest thing that God himself has made, is God’s word which he has spoken. Oh, if we only knew how to taste it!

13. The psalmist also makes this statement, that all God’s words are so unutterably sweet to him. He does not say that they are so to all men; but he says, “How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” He speaks like this of all God’s words. We know some people who love God’s promises, but they do not care much about his precepts. If God speaks a word of grace, they like that; but if it is a word of command, they do not care about that. Oh, brothers and sisters, I hope we have a taste for every word that God has spoken! A man ought not to say, “I do not like a sermon from the Old Testament so much as I do a sermon from the New Testament.” There must be no picking and choosing with God’s word. It is virtually atheism when men begin to set one word of God over against another, for the man who dares to criticize God’s revelation makes himself greater than God, and in it he has undeified the Deity, and he really has no God at all. My God is such to me that, if I know a word to be inspired by his Spirit, I value it beyond all conception. It is not for me to say, “This word of my Master is nothing compared with another word.” All these words came from the same mouth and, coming from the same mouth, they are all equally true to me; and, if not all equally rich in comfort, yet “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” From one end of it to the other, it serves some divine purpose; and who am I that I should sit in judgment over it? Please, brothers and sisters, value every word of God, and let no man lead you into the error of setting this one above the other; for, if they are God’s words, they are all precious, and you ought to consider them so.

14. David seems to say that God’s words were precious to him at all times. They were sweet to him when he wrote the text; and I cannot tell in what condition of body and mind he was at that time; but this I do know, lying on the bed of sickness, racked with pain, many of God’s saints have said, “How sweet are your words to my taste!” And I know this also, that, lifted up with gratitude for the blessings of providence, — health, wealth, friends, — yet God’s saints have found greater sweetness in his word than in all temporal things; and they have still said, “How sweet are your words to my taste!” This is a permanent characteristic of a child of God, that God’s words are sweet to him, indeed, sometimes very sweet even when he is half-afraid to partake of them! “Oh,” he says, “if only that they were mine! I want nothing sweeter than God’s word; and, even if I am a little fearful of appropriating it for myself, yet still it is very, very dear to me.” If the name of Jesus is sweeter than honey to your taste, then be glad, for this is a characteristic of a child of God that never failed yet, and never will fail while the world stands.

15. III. Now, thirdly, look at the text again, and you will see that it contains A REPETITION: “How sweet are your words to my taste!” Well, that is all right, David; we understand you. “Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Why do you want to say that? Is that not saying the same thing twice over? Yes, and intentionally so, because God’s word is sweet to his people in many ways, and many times over.

16. As I have already said to you, it is very sweet in its reception, When we first take it into our heart, and feed on it, it is very precious; but, spiritually, men are something like ruminating animals, they have the power of feeding again, and again, and again, on what they have once received. See how the cattle lie down, and chew the cud; and I suppose that when they chew the cud, then they get the sweetness out of what they have eaten. And so, spiritually, when men have once received Christ, they get increasing sweetness out of him by meditation. Having taken him into their souls, they afterwards inwardly digest the precious word, and get the secret juice and latent sweetnesses out of the promises of God’s most holy revelation and out of Jesus Christ himself. So it is that the psalmist first says, “How sweet are your words to my taste!” And then he rolls them around again in his mouth by meditation, and so he repeats himself as he says, “Yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

17. But do you not think that the repetition in the text means something else, namely, that while, first of all, Christ’s word is very sweet to our taste, there is another sweetness when we get it into our mouth, not so much for our own eating, as speaking of it to others? There is great sweetness about the declaration of God’s words. Some of you who love the Lord have never yet told anyone. You are secret Christians, you hide away behind pillar and post. Oh, but God’s word is very sweet to you, you say, as you eat your morsel of bread in the corner! So it is, but you would have another and a greater sweetness if you would come out and affirm that you love the Lord. I am sure you would. In fact, there is many a child of God who never does enjoy the full sweetness of religion, because he has not had the courage to confess Christ before men. I wish that some of you halting ones, you who are much afraid and fearing, would obey all of the gospel. You know the gospel is, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.” “With the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.” Now, obey all of the gospel; then you shall get all of its sweetness. But, maybe, there is some particular flavour in the word which you have never known as yet, because you have been disobedient children. Did you ever notice that saying of our Lord, “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest?” Yes, you know all about that, you say. Christ says to you, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” Now go a little further; what is the next verse? “Take my yoke on you, and learn from me; and you shall find rest.” Why, that is another kind of rest! I thought you had rest; did not Jesus say that he would give you rest? Yet in the next verse he says, “You shall find rest.” Yes, that is another kind of rest, a still deeper one, which you find when you willingly take Christ’s yoke on you, and become his disciples, learning from him. So I believe my text means just that. God’s word is very sweet to the taste when you receive it by faith; but it has another and a special and deeper sweetness when you bring it into your mouth, and confess Christ before men.

18. And let me add to this that there is a very special sweetness about preaching Christ, in the public proclamation of his word. It may be that some brother here has the gift of speech, but has never used it for his Master. Let me put in my witness here. God’s word has been unutterably sweet to my own heart, as I have believed it; it has been remarkably precious to me as I have confessed it as a Christian man; but still there is something more, I cannot tell you what, of exceptional delight about the preaching of this word. Oh, sometimes, when I have prepared my sermon, it has been bitter in my belly, but it has been as honey in my mouth when I have preached it to the great congregation gathered here! If I might choose my destiny, and if I had even to stay outside of heaven for the purpose, it would be heaven to me to be always permitted to be preaching Christ and the glories of his salvation; and I do not know that I should have any choice between that and heaven. If I might be privileged to be, without ceasing, lauding and praising and extolling that dear Word of God, the Christ who was born at Bethlehem, if I might proclaim to sinners everywhere that God is in him making reconciliation, indeed, that he has made reconciliation for all who believe in him, this might be heaven enough, at least for one poor heart, world without end.

19. “How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Try, brother, whether it will not sweeten your mouth if you begin to preach Christ. Perhaps you have been too quiet and too silent. Get up and speak for Jesus, and see whether the honey does not come into your mouth at once. In the olden time, they pictured the orator with bees buzzing around his lips, storing up the honey that dropped from his sweet utterances. This may be only a fable concerning the human talker; but certainly it is true of the man who preaches Christ, that his lips drop honey, and the more he speaks of his dear Lord and Master, and the less he tries with human eloquence to magnify himself, the more of sacred sweetness shall there be in every word that he utters.

20. So I think I have accounted for the repetition, have I not? It is no repetition after all; at least, it is no tautology, it is only a right and necessary repetition.

21. IV. And now I am going to wind up, in the fourth place, with AN EXAMINATION, the examination of everyone here present tonight. It is the close of the year, and one may not object to a few personal enquiries at such a time.

22. The first and chief enquiry is this, — Are God’s words sweet to me? Is Christ himself, the Master Word of God, the Logos, is he sweet to me? For, if not, what is the reason?

23. First, may it be that I have no taste? Do I have spiritual taste? It would be a sad thing to be entirely without natural taste; I do know one such person, who has no taste at all. The poet Wordsworth was for years without the power of smell. His was a very remarkable case, with a mind so dainty, so delicate, so beautiful. One time, for a very short season, the power of smell came to him among the heather, and you know how every primrose by the river’s brim had words for Wordsworth, and talked with him; and when the sweet perfume came from the dear May flowers, the poet was quite enraptured, as if he had for a little while entered into heaven. But the power of smell soon went away, and he was again unhappily bereft of it. The richest flower, the sweetest shrub, could be nothing to the man whose nose was not sensitive to its perfume. And what if that should be so with me spiritually? Perhaps, my dear hearer, you have heard all we have been saying about Christ, and you have heard many rich and rare hymns about him; but you never did feel that there was any sweetness in him. Then I ask you to enquire whether you may not be lacking in a sense which others have. If a person were to say to me, “How lovely is that Italian sky! What a deep blue it has!” and if I turned my face that way, and said, “I see nothing at all”; if, when he pointed to the sea, or to the green fields, I looked in that direction, and saw nothing, what should I infer? Why, that he possessed a power called sight, which I did not possess! Of course, I might be foolish enough to say, “There is no blue sky; there is no such thing. There are no green fields; there is no ocean; there is no sun; I am sure there is not, for I never saw them.” One day, I saw a man sitting at a table, with his napkin under his chin, enjoying his dinner; and he overheard an observation that I made about a sinner, and he said, “I never had a spiritual sensation in my life, and I do not believe that there is anything spiritual in this world.” Now, if I had been standing near a sty, and a pig had made that observation, I should not have contradicted him; and I did not contradict this man, for I thought that he spoke the truth, I quite believed that he had never experienced a spiritual sensation in his life! And when some men say, “I perceive no sweetness in Christ, and, therefore, there is none,” I wish that they would draw another inference, “Therefore I do not have that taste which would enable me to perceive his sweetness”; for that is just the truth. A man who has never been born again is dead concerning all spiritual things, and he cannot hear, or see, or taste, anything that is spiritual. He is not alive to God as yet. I ask this solemn enquiry of everyone who says, “I see no beauty in Christ,” may it not be that you have no eyes? If you say, “I hear no music in his voice; in fact, I do not hear that voice,” may it not be that your ears are sealed? And if you say, “I taste no sweetness in the word of God, or the Christ of God,” may it not be that you are still dead in trespasses and sins? If so, may God quicken you, by his infinite mercy!

24. Still, there is another answer to the question which I ask by way of examination. If the word of God is not very sweet to me, do I have an appetite? Solomon says, “The full soul loathes a honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Ah, when a soul is full of itself, and of the world, and of the pleasures of sin, I do not wonder that it sees no sweetness in Christ, for it has no appetite! Oh, but when a soul is emptied, when a soul hungers and thirsts after God, when it is conscious of its needs and miseries, as I hope some here present are, then Christ is sweet indeed! Oh hungry ones, take him into your souls, suck down his precious word! Christ has come on purpose to feed hungry spirits. If you want him, you may have him; and the more you want him, the more free he is to you, and the more freely may you partake of him. He is just such a Christ as you need. May God make you ravenous after him, so ravenous that you may never rest until you have received him as altogether your own!

25. Yet still there is another answer. If I do not taste sweetness in Christ, am I in health? When a man is ill, his soul “abhors all manner of food,” Nothing tastes good to a man whose palate is out of order through sickness. Now, does it happen, tonight, that some of you do not feel any joy in Christ? Then you are ill, brother. Put your tongue out, let us look at it. Ah, it has gotten furred up with the world, I am sure! Something ails you if Christ is not sweet. Sometimes, you have sat in these pews, some of you, and you have heard Christ preached until you hardly knew how to stay your seats. You have been ready to stand up, and clap your hands to the praise of his dear name; and now you do not feel anything at all. You can almost go to sleep, if you do not actually slumber. The preacher is quite willing to share the blame with you, for he is not all he ought to be; but he does not intend to take all the blame for it, for, as far as he knows how, he preaches the same Saviour now as ever, and tries to preach him with as much earnestness as ever. May it not be possible, brother or sister, that you are not quite right spiritually, that you are getting ill, that your heart is growing feeble? Go home, and pray the Lord to set you right. Oh, that he would cleanse you, and purify you, and make you yet to be strong and vigorous; and then this would be one of the first signs of it, that Christ would once more become inexpressibly sweet to you!

26. I must also get you to ask yourself this question, — Have I savoured the world or sin? People sometimes lose their appetite for sweetness by eating something sour. You may have had one flavour in your mouth, but when you have eaten something with a different flavour, you cannot taste the first. If a man gets fond of the leeks, and the garlic, and the onions of Egypt, — strong things those, — if he once gets the savour of them into his mouth, he is not likely to have any very sweet tooth for the precious things of God. Spiritual flavours require great spirituality to enjoy them, I do not know what other word to use. They require that the palate be kept clean; for otherwise, if the world is sweet to us, if sin has any hold on us, to that extent and degree we shall be incapable of appreciating the sweet things of God.

27. This is my last question, — Have I accustomed myself to this food? All earthly sweetness cloys; he who eats honey for a long while will care no more for honey. But it is very different with the Christ of God. The sweetness of Christ is not fully known except to those who have long known him, who by reason of constant use have had their senses fully exercised. There is no one so greedy after Christ as the man who has had most of him. Paul had been a believer at least fifteen years, and yet he said this was his ambition, “That I may know him.” Had he not known Christ before? Yes; but the more he knew him, the more he longed to know him. Come, brother, if you do not taste the sweetness of Christ tonight in the preaching of the word, surely it must be because you have not recently been feeding on him. Hurry, and come along; and let your soul be filled with him, even from this glad hour.

28. I am finished when I have reminded those here present who see no sweetness in the words of God, that there is a time coming when they will be compelled to hear the word of God in a very different way from how they hear it tonight. One of the first works of the resurrection will be the creation of the ear. I do not know by what process we shall be raised from the dead, except that the Lord Jesus said this, “The hour is coming when all who are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of damnation.” When the voice of the Son of God shall strike on that ear of yours, what a sensation it will cause! God has spoken to you now by the voice of one like yourself, and he has spoken according to the printed page; and you have chosen not to hear it; but when, in that last day, he shall speak by the angel’s trumpet, and by the voice of his Son, you will be obliged to hear; and, rising from your grave, bursting from your grave-clothes, you must obey, and you must stand, willing or unwilling, before that last dread tribunal, to answer for every deed done in the body, for every idle word that you have spoken, indeed, and for every thought that you have imagined against the Most High God! It may be a thousand years before that will happen, it may be ten thousand years, I cannot tell; but it will happen in God’s time, and that time between will be only like the twinkling of an eye, and there you will be before the face of the great Judge, and you will not be able to say with David, “How sweet are your words to my taste!” but, you will cry out, in the agony of your spirit, “Oh, the gall and wormwood!” Oh, the fire that shall burn into your very soul, when God shall say, “Because I have called, and you refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but you have ignored all my counsel, and would have none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes.” “Depart from me you cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.” May God grant that you may not be told to depart like that; but to listen to the voice of God, which bids you to trust Jesus and live! I can only speak with these poor feeble lips, and there is no power in anything that I can say; but God the Holy Spirit can speak with irresistible might to your hearts, and constrain you to taste of Christ tonight by hearing the word of God in your very soul. I pray that he may do it, for his dear name’s sake! Amen and Amen.

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Ps 119:89-112}

89. For ever, oh LORD, your word is settled in heaven.

Other things come, and go, and change, moons wax and wane, tides ebb and flow, everything earthly is changeable; but “Your word is settled — settled in heaven,” with the eternal settlements. No truth of it can fail, no promise of it can be broken. What a joy this is for our hearts tonight! There is something sure, after all: “For ever, oh Lord, your word is settled in heaven.”

90. Your faithfulness is to all generations: you have established the earth, and it remains.

That is, God has spoken to nature, and that word has established the earth, and made it to stand securely.

91. They continue today according to your ordinances: for all are your servants.

It was God’s word that made the sun, and the moon, and the stars; and it is God’s word that tells creation to still exist. And that is the almighty word on which you and I are resting, if we are truly trusting in the living God.

    His very word of grace is strong
       As that which built the skies;
    The voice that rolls the stars along
       Speaks all the promises.

92. Unless your law had been my delights, I should then have perished in my affliction.

Let us remember how God’s word has kept some of us alive when we had nothing else to live on. Hope would have quite failed, and we should have been driven to despair, if it had not been for the precious, priceless word of God.

93. I will never forget your precepts: for with them you have quickened me.

Nothing sharpens the memory like having been quickened. If we have been at death’s door, and the word of God has brought us renewed life, we shall never forget it.

94-96. I am yours, save me; for I have sought your precepts. The wicked have waited for me to destroy me: but I will consider your testimonies. I have seen an end of all perfection:

No matter who it is who boasts of being perfect, “I have seen an end of all perfection.”

96. But your commandment —

There lies the perfection —

96. Is extremely broad.

Covering the whole life, covering the thoughts, the intents, the desires of the inner and secret nature.

97, 98. Oh how I love your law! it is my meditation all the day. You through your commandments have made me wiser than my enemies for they are always with me.

If we have God’s law always with us, we shall be wiser than the most crafty of our enemies; for, after all, there is nothing that puzzles and baffles cunning men like simple honesty. Do what is right, and you will cut through the nets in which men would entangle you. They cannot trip you up if your feet are settled in God’s ways.

99, 100. I have more understanding than all my teachers: for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep your precepts.

There is more wisdom in obeying God than in all the ethics of heathen philosophers. It does not matter from where they take their precepts and maxims, there is no wisdom like yielding one’s heart to God.

101-104. I have refrained my feet from every evil way, so that I might keep your word. I have not departed from your judgments: for you has taught me. How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through your precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.

The man who cannot hate does not love; but he who loves what is right, is by no means indifferent to the wrong and to the false; he hates it, and the more intensely he loves God, and loves right, the more intensely does be hate every false way. He especially hates it in himself. Oh, to be delivered altogether from every trace of falsehood!

105. Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.

It shows me the way; it cheers me in the way; it reveals to me the difficulties of the way.

106, 107. I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep your righteous judgments. I am afflicted very much: quicken me, oh LORD, according to your word.

Are any of you afflicted tonight? I commend this prayer to your use. One would have expected that David would have prayed, “I am afflicted very much: comfort me, oh Lord.” Or, “Relieve me, oh Lord.” Instead of praying so, he cries, “Quicken me, oh Lord,” and he did well. Let us imitate him, for if we get more spiritual light and life, we shall, by that means, get more comfort, and the trouble from which we are suffering will soon cease to vex our spirit.

108-112. Accept, I beseech you, the free-will offerings of my mouth, oh LORD, and teach me your judgments. My soul is continually in my hand: yet I do not forget your law. The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I did not err from your precepts. I have taken your testimonies as an inheritance for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined my heart to perform your statutes always, even to the end.

Oh, that every one of us might be able to make this declaration of the psalmist our own! May God grant it, for Christ’s sake! Amen.

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “New Year — Goodness Sought” 1038}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Spirit of the Psalms — Psalm 119” 119 "(Song 1)"}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus — ‘Thy Name Is As Ointment Poured Forth’ ” 786}

Special Notice to all readers of Mr. Spurgeon’s Sermons. — Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster have decided to present, with the January number of The Sword and the Trowel, a fine-art portrait of the late beloved Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, similar in size to the one given with the Magazine at the beginning of this year. The likeness then issued was the last that was taken before Mr. Spurgeon’s long illness; the one now being prepared was the first popular portrait of the young preacher at New Park Street, Exeter Hall, and the Surrey Gardens Music Hall. The many thousands, who love as ardently as ever the faithful servant of the Lord Jesus whose sermons they either heard or still continue to read, will be enabled to look upon the face that was familiar to many of them during a large part of his lifetime; and thousands will gratefully point to the well-remembered features, and say, “That was the man of God who led me to the Saviour.”

The Magazine and portrait will be sent, as last year, post free for 5d. to any address; or they can be obtained through all booksellers at 3d. Since a large sale is anticipated, friends had better intimate early how many copies they are likely to require.

New Year
1038 — Goodness Sought
1 Great God, we sing that mighty hand,
   By which supported still we stand:
   The opening year thy mercy shows;
   Let mercy crown it, till it close.
2 By day, by night, at home, abroad,
   Still are we guarded by our God:
   By his incessant bounty fed,
   By his unerring counsel led.
3 With grateful hearts the past we own:
   The future, all to us unknown,
   We to thy guardian care commit,
   And peaceful leave before thy feet.
4 In scenes exalted or depress’d,
   Thou art our joy, and thou our rest;
   Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
   Adored through all our changing days.
5 When death shall interrupt these songs,
   And seal in silence mortal tongues,
   Our helper, God, in whom we trust,
   In better worlds our souls shall boast.
                     Philip Doddridge, 1755.

The Christian, Privileges, Communion with Jesus
786 — “Thy Name Is As Ointment Poured Forth”
1 Jesus, the very thought of thee
      With sweetness fill my breast;
   But sweeter far thy face to see,
      And in thy presence rest,
2 Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame,
      Nor can the memory find,
   A sweeter sound than thy blest name,
      Oh Saviour of mankind!
3 Oh, hope of every contrite heart!
      Oh, joy of all the meek!
   To those who fall, how kind thou art!
      How good to those who seek!
4 But what to those who find? Ah! this
      Nor tongue nor pen can show;
   The love of Jesus — what it is,
      None but his loved ones know.
5 Jesus, our only joy be thou,
      As thou our crown wilt be;
   Jesus, be thou our glory now,
      And through eternity.
                  Bernard of Clairvaux, 1153;
                  tr. by Edward Caswall, 1849.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

Terms of Use

Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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