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Sermon #436 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1 A SERMON FOR SPRING NO. 436 A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 23, 1862, BY REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. “My Beloved spoke and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one and come way. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs
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  Sermon #436 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 1   Volume 8   www.spurgeongems.org   1   A SERMON FOR SPRING NO. 436 A SERMON DELIVERED ON SUNDAY MORNING, FEBRUARY 23, 1862, BY REV. C. H. SPURGEON, AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON. “My Beloved spoke and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one and come way. For, lo, the winter is past,the rain is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of  birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land. The fig tree puts forth her green figs and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:10-13. THE things which are seen are types of the things which are not seen. The works of creation are pictures to the chil-dren of God of the secret mysteries of Divine Grace. God’s Truths are the apples of gold and the visible creatures are the baskets of silver. The very seasons of the year find their parallel in the little world of man within. We have our winter—dreary howling winter—when the north wind of the Law rushes forth against us, when every hope is nipped, when allthe seeds of joy lie buried beneath the dark clods of despair, when our soul is fast fettered like a river bound with ice,without waves of joy, or flowings of thanksgiving.Thanks be unto God, the soft south wind breathes upon our soul and at once the waters of desire are set free, thespring of love comes on, flowers of hope appear in our hearts, the trees of faith put forth their young shoots, the tone of the singing of birds comes in our hearts, and we have joy and peace in believing through the Lord Jesus Christ. Thathappy springtide is followed in the Believer by a rich summer, when his Graces, like fragrant flowers, are in full bloom,loading the air with perfume. And fruits of the Spirit like citrons and pomegranates swell into their full proportion inthe genial warmth of the Sun of Righteousness.Then comes the Believer’s autumn, when his fruits grow ripe and his fields are ready for the harvest. The time hascome when his Lord shall gather together his “pleasant fruits,” and store them in Heaven. The feast of ingathering is athand—the time when the year shall begin anew, an unchanging year, like the years of the right hand of the Most High inHeaven. Now, Beloved, each particular season has its duty. The husbandman finds that there is a time to plow, a time tosow, a time to reap. There is a season for vintage and a period for the pruning of the vine. There is a month for the plant-ing of herbs and for the ingathering of seeds.To everything there is a time and a purpose, and every season has its special labor. It seems, from the text, that when-ever it is springtide in our hearts, then Christ’s voice may be heard saying, “Arise, My love, My fair one and come away.”Whenever we have been delivered from a dreary winter of temptation or affliction, or tribulation—whenever the fairspring of hope comes upon us and our joys begin to multiply, then we should hear the Master bidding us seek after some-thing higher and better. And we should go forth in His strength to love Him more and serve Him more diligently thanever before.This I take to be the Truth of God taught in the text, and it shall be the subject of this morning’s discourse. And toany with whom the time of the singing of birds is come, in whom the flowers appear—to any such I hope the Master mayspeak till their souls shall say, “ My Beloved spoke and said unto m e, rise up, My love, My fair one and come away.” Ishall use the general principle in illustration of four or five different cases. I. First, with regard to THE UNIVERSAL CHURCH OF CHRIST. In looking upon her history, with only half aneye, you can plainly perceive that she has had her ebbs and flows. Often it seemed as if her tide retired—ungodliness, her-esy, error prevailed. But she has had her flood tide when once again the glorious waves have rolled in, covering withtheir triumphant righteousness the sands of ignorance and evil. The history of Christ’s Church is a varied year of manyseasons. She has had her high and noble processions of victory. She has had her sorrowful congregations of mournersduring times of disaster and apparent defeat.    A Sermon for Spring Sermon #436www.spurgeongems.org   Volume 8   22 Commencing with the life of Christ, what a smiling spring it was for the world when the Holy Spirit was poured outin Pentecost  . Then might the saints sing with sweet accord—   “The Jewish wintry state is gone,The mists are fled, the spring comes on.The sacred turtle dove we hear,Proclaim the new, the joyful year.The immortal vine of heavenly root,Blossoms and buds and gives her fruit; Lo, we are come to taste the wine,Our souls rejoice and bless the vine.”  The winter was over and past—that long season in which the Jewish state lay dead, when the frosts of Phariseeism had bound up all spiritual life. The rain was over and gone, the black clouds of wrath had emptied themselves upon the Sav-ior’s head. Thunder and tempest and storm—all dark and terrible things—were gone forever.The flowers appeared on the earth—three thousand in one day blossomed forth, baptized in the name of the Lord Je-sus Christ. Fair promises created for beauty and delight sprang up and with their blessed fulfillment, clothed the earth ina royal garment of many colors. The time of the singing birds was come, for they praised God day and night, eating their bread with joy and singleness of heart. The voice of the turtle was heard, for the Spirit—that hallowed dove fromHeaven—descended with tongues of fire upon the Apostles and the Gospel was preached in every land.Then had earth one of her joyous Sabbaths. The fig tree put forth her green figs. In every land there were some con-verts. The dwellers in Mesopotamia, Medes, Parthians, Elamites—some of all—were converted to God, and the tendergrapes of newborn piety and zeal gave forth a sweet smell before God. Then it was that Christ spoke in words which madethe heart of His Church burn like coals of juniper—My Fellow, My Friend, My Beautiful, arise and come your way.”The bride arose, charmed by the heavenly voice of her Spouse. She girt on her beautiful garments and for some hun-dred years or more, she did come away. She came away from her narrowness of spirit and she preached to the Gentiles theunsearchable riches of Christ—she came away from her attachment to the State and she dared to confess that Christ’skingdom was not of this world. She came away from her earthly hopes and comforts, for, “they counted not their livesdear unto them that they might win Christ and be found in Him.”She came away from all ease and rest of body, for they labored more and more abundantly, making herself sacrificesfor Christ. Her Apostles landed on every shore. Her confessors were found among people of every tongue. Her martyrskindled a light in the midst of lands afflicted with the midnight of heathen darkness. No place trod by foot of man wasleft unvisited by the heralds of God, the heroic sons of the Church. “Go forth into all the world and preach the Gospel toevery creature,” was ringing in their ears like a clarion sounding the war charge. And they obeyed it like soldiers whohad been men of war from their youth.Those were brave days of old, when with a word, the saints of God could overcome a thousand foes—that word thefaithful promise of a gracious God. Alas, alas, that season passed away! The Church grew dull and sleepy. She left herLord. She turned aside. She leaned upon an arm of flesh, courting the endowments of earthly kingdoms. Then there camea long and dreary winter, the dark ages of the world, the darker ages of the Church. At last the time of love returned,when God again visited His people andraised up for them new Apostles, new martyrs, new confessors.Switzerland, France, Germany, Bohemia, the Low Countries, England, and Scotland had all their men of God whospoke with tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. The time of Luther and Calvin and Melancthon and of Knox wascome—Heaven’s sunny days—when once again the frost should give way to approaching summer. Then it was that mencould say once again, “The winter is passed, priest-craft has lost its power, the rain is over and gone. False doctrines shallno more be as tempests to the Church. The flowers appear on the earth—little Churches—plants of God’s right handplanting, are springing up everywhere.”The time of the singing of birds was come. Luther’s hymns were sung by plowmen in every field. The Psalms trans-lated were scattered among all people—carried on the wings of angels, and the Church sang aloud unto God, herstrength—and entered into His courts with the voice of thanksgiving, in such sort as she had not hoped for during herlong and weary winter’s night. In every cottage and under every roof, from the peasant’s hut, to the prince’s palace, the  Sermon #436   A Sermon for SpringVolume 8www.spurgeongems.org 33 singing of birds was come. Then peace came to the people and joy in the Lord, for the voice of the turtle was heard de-lighting hill and valley, grove and field, with the love-notes of Gospel Grace.Then fruits of righteousness were brought forth, the Church was “an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasantfruits,” camphire with spikenard, spikenard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense. Myrrhand aloes, with all the chief spices. And a sweet savor of faith and love went up to Heaven and God rejoiced therein. Thenthe Master sweetly cried—   “Rise up, My love, My fair one; come away,Soar on the wings of your victorious faith Above the realms of darkness and sin!”  But she did not hear the voice, or she heard it but partially. Satan and his wiles prevailed. The little foxes spoiled thevines and devoured the tender grapes. Corruption, like a strong man armed, held the spouse and she came not forth ather Beloved’s call. In England she would not come away—she hugged the arm of flesh. She laid hold upon the protectionof the State—she would not venture upon the bare promise of her Lord. O that she had left dignities, and endowments,and laws to worldly corporations—and had rested on her Husband’s love alone!Alas for our divisions at this time! What are they but the bitter result of the departure of our fathers from the chas-tity of simple dependence such as Jesus loves? In other lands she confined herself too much within her own limits, sentforth few missionaries, labored not for the conversion of the outcasts of Israel. She would not come away, and so the Ref-ormation never took place. It commenced, but it ceased—and the Churches, many of them—remain to this day half re-formed, in a transition state, somewhere between truth and error.As the Lutheran Church and the Established Church of England at the present day—too good to be rejected, tooevil to be wholly received. Having such a savor of godliness that they are Christ’s but having such a mixture of Poperythat their garments are not clean. Oh, would to God that the Church could then have heard her Master’s voice, “Rise upMy love, My fair one and come away.”And now, Brethren, in these days we have had another season of refreshing. God has been pleased to pour out HisSpirit upon men again. Perhaps the late revivals have almost rivaled Pentecost—certainly in the number of souls ingath-ered they may bear rigid comparison with that feast of first fruits. I suppose that in the north of Ireland, in Wales, inAmerica, and in many parts of our own country, there have been worked more conversions than took place at the descentof the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s people are alive, and in earnest, and all our agencies are quickened with new energy.The time of the singing of birds is come, though there are some harsh, croaking ravens still left. The flowers appearon the earth, though much unmelted snow still covers the pastures. Thank God, the winter is over and passed to a greatextent, though there are some pulpits and Churches as frost-bound as ever. We thank God that the rain is over and gone,though there are still some who laugh at the people of God and would destroy all true doctrine. We live in happier daysthan those which have passed. We may speak of these times as the good old times wherein time is older than ever it wasand, I think, better than it has been for many a day.And what now? Why, Jesus says, “Rise up My love, My fair one and come away.” To each denomination of HisChurch He sends this message, “Come away.” He seems to speak to Episcopacy and say, “Come away. Cut out of the lit-urgy that which is not according to My mind, leave the State, be free.” He speaks to the Calvinist and says, “Comeaway—be no more dead and cold as you have been. Let not your sons hold the Truth of God in unrighteousness.” Hespeaks to each denomination according to its need, but to the same command, “Rise up and come away. Leave deadness,and coldness, and wrong-doing, and hardness, and harshness, and bitterness of spirit. Leave idleness, and slothfulnessand lukewarmness—rise up and come away.“Come away to preach the Gospel among the heathen. Come away to reform the masses of this wicked city. Comeaway from your little heartedness, from your coldness of spirit. Come away—the land is before you—go up and possessit.” Come away, your Master waits to aid you—strike! He will strike with you. Build! He will be the great masterBuilder—plow! He Himself shall break the clods! Arise and thresh the mountains, for He shall make you a sharp thresh-ing instrument, having ties, and the mountains shall be beaten small until the wind shall scatter them like chaff, and youshall rejoice in the Lord. Rise up, people of God, in this season of revival and come away! Why do you sleep? Arise andpray, lest you enter into temptation.    A Sermon for Spring Sermon #436www.spurgeongems.org   Volume 8   44 II. Methinks the text has a very SPECIAL VOICE TO US AS A CHURCH. We must use the Scripture widely but yetpersonally. While we know its reference to the universal Church, we must not forget its special application to ourselves.We, too, have had a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. The day was with this Church in the olden times,when we were diminished and brought low through oppression, affliction, and sorrow.We could not meet more than twenty in a place and sometimes not more than five, without fine and persecution.Then the Church had its elders, who could meet the few in private houses—and cheer their hearts, bidding them abide inpatience, waiting till better times might come. Then God sent them a pastor after his own heart, Benjamin Rider, whofed them with knowledge and understanding, and gathered together the scattered sheep during the times of peace.Then there followed him a man worthy to be pastor of this Church—one who had sat in the stocks at   Aylesbury, had seen his books burned by the common hangman before his face, and who counted not even his life dearunto him that he might win Christ. That man was Benjamin Keach, the opener of the parables and expositor of meta-phors. On old Horselydown, then a great common, a large house was built where he preached the Word and his hearerswere very many.The flowers then appeared on the earth and the time of the singing of birds was come to this Church. He passed awayand slept with his fathers and was followed by Dr. Gill, the laborious commentator. And for some time during his soundand solid ministry it was a good and profitable season, and the Church was multiplied and built up. But again, even un-der his ministry the ranks were thinned and the host grew small. There was doctrine in perfection but more power fromon High was needed.After a space of fifty years or more of Dr. Gill’s ministry, God sent Dr. Rippon and once more the flowers appearedupon the earth, and the Church multiplied exceedingly, bringing forth fruit unto God. And out of her there went manypreachers who testified of the Truth of God that was in Jesus and were the parents of Churches which still flourish. Thenthe good old man, full of years and of good works, was carried to his Home—and there came others who taught theChurch and ingathered many souls—butthey were not to the full extent successors of the men who went before them, for they tarried but a little season.They did much good, but were not such builders as those were who had gone before. Then came a time of utter dead-ness. The officers mourned. There was strife and division. There became empty pews where once there had been full con-gregations. They looked about them to find one who might fill the place and bring together the scattered multitude. Butthey looked, and looked in vain, and despondency and despair fell upon some hearts with regard to this Church. But theLord had mercy on them and in a very short space, through His Providence and Grace, the winter was passed and therain was over and gone.The time of singing of birds was come again. There were multitudes to sing God’s praises. The voice of the turtle washeard in our land. All was peace and unity and affection and love. Then came the first ripe fruits. Many were added to theChurch. Then the vines gave forth a sweet smell. Converts came, till we have often said, “Who are these that fly as a cloudand as doves to their windows?” Often has this Church asked the question, “Who has begotten me these?” And now theseeight years, by God’s Grace, we have had a season, not of spasmodic revival, but of constant progress.We have had a glad period of abundant increase in which there has been as many converts as we could receive. Everyofficer of the Church has had his hands full in seeing enquirers, and we have only had time to stop, now and then, andtake breath and say, “What has God worked?” The time came when we erected this house, because no other place waslarge enough for us. And still God continues with us, till our Church meetings are not sufficient for the reception of con-verts. And we know not how large a proportion of this assembly are Believers in Christ, because time fails to hear thecases of conversion.Well, what ought we to do? I hear the Master saying, “Rise up, My love, My fair one and come away.” I hear Jesusspeaking to this Church, and saying, “Where much is given, there much shall be required.” Serve not the Lord as otherChurches, but yet more abundantly. As He has given you showers of love, so give Him your fertile fields. Let us rejoicewith thanksgiving. Let this Church feel that she ought to be more dedicated to Christ than others. That her membersshould be more holy, loving, living nearer to God. That they should be more devoted, filled with more zeal, more fer-vency, doing more for Christ, praying more for sinners, laboring more for the conversion of the world.
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