Now, what is meant by the word “preach”? I take its meaning in this place to be very extensive. Some can literally preach— that is, act as heralds, proclaiming the gospel as the town crier proclaims in the street the message which he is bidden to cry aloud. The town crier is, in fact, the world’s preacher, and the preacher of the gospel is to be a crier, crying aloud and sparing not, the truth of Christ. I do not believe that Christ tells us to go and play the orator to every creature. Such a command would be impracticable to most of us, and useless to any of us. Of all the things that desecrate the Sabbath and grieve the Spirit, attempts at high-flown oratory and gorgeous eloquence in preaching I believe are about the worst. Our business is just to speak out the gospel simply and plainly to every creature. We do not actually preach the gospel to a man if we do not make him understand what we are talking about. If our language does not come down to his level, it may be the gospel, but it is not the gospel to him. The preacher should adopt language which shall be suitable to all his congregation—in preaching he should strive to instruct, to enforce, to explain, to expound, to plead and to bring home to every man’s heart and conscience, as in the sight of God, as far as his ability goes, the truth which beyond all argument or cavil has the seal and stamp of divine revelation.
“Never was man blamed in heaven for preaching Christ too much; nay, not even on earth to the sons of God was the cross ever too much spoken of. Outsiders may say, ‘This man harps only upon one string.’ Do you wonder? The carnal mind is enmity against God, and it specially shows its hatred by railing at the cross. Saintly ones find here, in the perpetual monotony of the cross, a greater variety than in all other doctrines put together. Preach you Christ, and Christ, and Christ, and Christ, and nothing else but Christ.”
O Thou Lord of our hearts, go with us! Home will not be home without Thee. Life will not be life without Thee. Heaven itself would not be heaven if Thou wert absent. Abide with us. The world grows dark, the gloaming of time draws on. Abide with us, for it is toward evening. Our years increase, and we near the night when dews fall cold and chill. A great future is all about us, the splendours of the last age are coming down; and while we wait in solemn, awe-struck expectation, our heart continually cries within herself, “Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my Beloved, and be Thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of division.”
“Hasten, Lord! the promised hour; Come in glory and in power; Still Thy foes are unsubdued; Nature sighs to be renew’d. Time has nearly reach’d its sum, All things with Thy bride say ‘Come;’ Jesus, whom all worlds adore, Come and reign for evermore!”
Spurgeon, Till He Come: Communion Meditations and Addresses
The grandest fact under heaven is this—that Christ by His precious blood does actually put away sin, and that God, for Christ’s sake, dealing with men on terms of divine mercy, forgives the guilty and justifies them, not according to anything that He sees in them, or foresees will be in them, but according to the riches of His mercy which lie in His own heart. This we have preached, do preach, and will preach as long as we live. “It is God that justifieth”—that justifieth the ungodly; He is not ashamed of doing it, nor are we of preaching it.
THE resurrection of our divine Lord from the dead is the cornerstone of Christian doctrine. Perhaps I might more accurately call it the keystone of the arch of Christianity, for if that fact could be disproved the whole fabric of the gospel would fall to the ground. If Jesus Christ be not risen then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain; ye are yet in your sins. If Christ be not risen, then they which have fallen asleep in Christ have perished, and we ourselves, in missing so glorious a hope as that of resurrection, are of all men the most miserable.
Because of the great importance of his resurrection, our Lord was pleased to give many infallible proofs of it, by appearing again and again m the midst of his followers. It would be interesting to search out how many times he appeared; I think we have mention of some sixteen manifestations. He showed himself openly before his disciples, and did eat and drink with them. They touched his hands and his side, and heard his voice, and knew that it was the same Jesus that was crucified. He was not content with giving evidence to the ears and to the eyes, but even to the sense of touch he proved the reality of his resurrection. These appearances were very varied. Sometimes he gave an interview to one alone, either to a man, as to Cephas, or to a woman, as to Magdalen. He conversed with two of his followers as they went to Emmaus, and with the company of the apostles by the sea. We find him at one moment amongst the eleven when the doors were shut for fear of the Jews, and at another time in the midst of an assembly of more than five hundred brethren, who years after were most of them living witnesses to the fact. They could not all have been deceived. It is not possible that any historical fact could have been placed upon a better basis of credibility than the resurrection of our Lord from the dead. This is put beyond all dispute and question, and of purpose is it so done, because it is essential to the whole Christian system.
Many of you have been sorely wearied with going your way to find peace. Some of you tried ceremonies, and trusted in them, and the priest came to your help; but he mocked your heart’s distress. Others of you sought by various systems of thought to come to an anchorage; but, tossed from billow to billow, you found no rest upon the seething sea of speculation. More of you tried by your good works to gain rest to your consciences. You multiplied your prayers, you poured out floods of tears, you hoped, by almsgiving and by the like, that some merit might accrue to you, and that your heart might feel acceptance with God, and so have rest. You toiled and toiled, like the men that were in the vessel with Jonah when they rowed hard to bring their ship to land, but could not, for the sea wrought and was tempestuous. There was no escape for you that way, and so you were driven to another way, even to rest in Jesus. My heart looks back to the time when I was under a sense of sin, and sought with all my soul to find peace, but could not discover it, high or low, in any place beneath the sky; yet when “I saw one hanging on a tree,” as the Substitute for sin, then my heart sat down under His shadow with great delight. My heart reasoned thus with herself, Did Jesus suffer in my stead? Then I shall not suffer. Did He bear my sin? Then I do not bear it. Did God accept His Son as my Substitute? Then He will never smite me. Was Jesus acceptable with God as my Sacrifice? Then what contents the Lord may well enough content me, and so I will go no farther, but: “sit down under His shadow,” and enjoy a delightful rest.
Spurgeon, Til He Comes: Communion Meditations and Addresses.