Reading Biographies Together - Spurgeon (VIII)
Today we come to our final reading on the life of Spurgeon. This book has been a quick read, but an enjoyable one, I think.
This week’s chapters focused on the final days of Spurgeon’s life. Much of the content consisted in tributes to the man penned after his death. This is a good way of learning about his impact on those who were closest to him and those he served the most. Perhaps the best of these tributes comes from Archibald Brown, a pastor who led the graveside service during which Spurgeon was laid to rest. Here is how he memorialized his friend. It is worth reading not just to learn about Spurgeon but to see the hope of all Christians.
Beloved President, faithful Pastor, Prince of Preachers, brother beloved, dear Spurgeon--we bid thee not “Farewell,” but only for a little while “Goodnight.” Thou shalt rise soon at the first dawn of the Resurrection day of the redeemed. Yet is the goodnight not ours to bid, but thine; it is we who linger in the darkness; thou art in God’s holy light. Our night shall soon be passed, and with it all our weeping. Then, with thine, our songs shall greet the morning of a day that knows no cloud nor close; for there is no night there.
Hard worker in the field, thy toil is ended. Straight has been the furrow thou hast ploughed. No looking back has marred thy course. Harvests have followed thy patient sowing, and heaven is already rich with thine ingathered sheaves, and shall still be enriched through the years yet lying in eternity.
Champion of God, thy battle, long and nobly fought, is over; thy sword, which clave to thy hand, has dropped at last: a palm branch takes it place. No longer does the helmet press thy brow, oft weary with its surging thoughts of battle; a victor’s wreath from the great Commander’s hand has already proved thy full reward.
Here, for a little while, shall rest thy precious dust. Then shall thy Well-beloved come; and at His voice thou shalt spring from thy couch of earth, fashioned like unto His body, into glory. Then spirit, soul, and body shall magnify the Lord’s redemption. Until then, beloved, sleep. We praise God for thee, and by the blood of the everlasting covenant, hope and expect to praise God with thee. Amen.
I love the Victorian era! They were able to express things so well and with such interesting language. And there i think Brown gives us a good final word on Charles Spurgeon. He was a champion of God who rested at last from the long battle. “We praise God for thee, and by the blood of the everlasting covenant, hope and expect to praise God with thee.”
As we come to the end of Spurgeon’s life, I’d love to hear your reflections on him. And I’d love to hear whether you’d like to read another biography together, or if you’d prefer to go back to reading classic works of the faith.
The purpose of this program is to read biographies together. So if there are things that stood out to you in this chapter, if there are questions you had, this is the time and place to have your say. Feel free to post a comment below or to link to your blog if you've chosen to write about this on your own site.