The Table of Communion

And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. – John 2:10

The table of communion is one at which God’s children must sit. And the first thing they must drink of there, is the cup of communion with Christ in His sufferings. If thou wouldst come to the table of communion with Christ, thou must first of all drink of the wine of Calvary. Christian, thy head must be crowned with thorns. Thy hands must be pierced, I mean not with nails, but, spiritually thou must be crucified with Christ. We must suffer with Him, or else we cannot reign with Him; we must labour with Him first, we must sup of the wine which His Father gave Him to drink, or else we cannot expect to come to the better part of the feast. After drinking of the wine of His sufferings, and continuing to drink of it, we must drink of the cup of His labours, we must be baptized with His baptism, we must labour after souls, and sympathise with Him in that ambition of His heart-the salvation of sinners, and after that He will give us to drink of the cup of His anticipated honours. Here on earth we shall have good wine in communion with Christ in His resurrection, in His triumphs and His victories, but the best wine is to come at last. O chambers of communion, your gates have been opened to me; but I have only been able to glance within them; but the day is coming when on your diamond hinges ye shall turn, and stand wide open for ever and ever; and I shall enter into the King’s palace and go no more out. O Christian! thou shalt soon see the King in His beauty; thy head shall soon be on His bosom; thou shalt soon sit at His feet with Mary; thou shalt soon do as the spouse did, thou shalt kiss Him with the kisses of thy lips, and feel that His love is better than wine. When you begin to see Him face to face, when you enter into the closest fellowship, with nothing to disturb or to distract you, then shall you say “The best wine is kept until now.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0225.cfm

“The bridge is broken, the bridge is broken!”

Not of works, lest any man should boast. – Ephesians 2:9

Have not you sometimes found, that when you thought you were standing on a rock, there was a quivering beneath your feet? You heard the Christian sing boldly:

“Bold shall I stand in that great day,
For who aught to my charge shall lay?
While, thro’ Thy blood, absolv’d I am
From sin’s tremendous curse and shame.”

And you have said, “Well, I cannot sing that, I have been as good a Churchman as ever lived, I never missed going to my church all these years, but I cannot say I have a solid confidence.” “Well,” says another, “I have been to my chapel, and I have been baptized, and made a profession of religion, though I was never brought to know the Lord in sincerity and in truth, and I once thought it was all well with me, but I want a something which I cannot find.” Now comes a shaking in the heart. It is not quite so delightful as one supposed, to build on one’s own righteousness. How many a man who has been self-righteous all his life, has, at the last discovered that the thing whereon he placed his hope had failed him…You thought there was a bridge of ceremonies; that baptism, confirmation, and the Lord’s Supper, made up the solid arches of a bridge of good works and duties. But when you come to die, there shall be heard the cry-“The bridge is broken, the bridge is broken!” It will be in vain for you to turn round then. Death is close behind you; he forces you onward, and you discover what it is to perish through having neglected the great salvation and attempting to save yourself through your own good works. Good as you thought yourself to be, inasmuch as you proudly rejected Christ, you must drink the winecup of the wrath of God; that cup which is full of trembling. The wicked of the earth shall wring out the dregs of that cup, and drink them; and you also must drink of it as deep as they. Oh, beware in time! Put away your high looks, and humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and ye shall be saved. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0225.cfm

Evermore the Rule with Men and with the World

“The governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse; but thou hast kept the good wine until now.”- John 2:9-10

This is the established rule all the world over: “the good wine first, and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse.” It is the rule with men; and have not hundreds of disappointed hearts bewailed it? Friendship first-the oily tongue, the words softer than butter, and afterwards the drawn sword. Ahithophel first presents the lordly dish of love and kindness to David, then afterwards that which is worse, for he forsakes his master, and becomes the counsellor of his rebel son. Judas presents first of all the dish of fair speech and of kindness; the Saviour partook thereof; he walked to the house of God in company with Him, and took sweet counsel with Him; but afterwards there came the dregs of the wine-“He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me.” Judas the thief betrayed his Master, bringing forth afterwards “that which is worse.” Ye have found it so with many whom ye thought your friends. In the heyday of prosperity, when the sun was shining, and the birds were singing, and all was fair and gay and cheerful with you, they brought forth the good wine; but there came a chilling frost, and nipped your flowers, and the leaves fell from the trees, and your streams were frosted with the ice, and then they brought forth that which is worse,-they forsook you and fled; they left you in your hour of peril, and taught you that great truth, that “Cursed is he that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm.” …First there is the flowing cup of youth, and afterwards the stagnant waters of old age, unless God shall cast into those dregs a fresh flood of His lovingkindness and tender mercy, so that once again, as it always happeneth to the Christian, the cup shall run over, and again sparkle with delight. O Christian, trust not thou in men; rely not thou upon the things of this present time, for this is evermore the rule with men and with the world-“the good wine first, and when ye have well drunken, then that which is worse.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0225.cfm

It Is of God’s Work

Then Samuel took a stone, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

“Hitherto the LORD hath helped us.” Note, beloved, that they did not stand still and refuse to use their weapons, but while God was thundering they were fighting, and while the lightnings were dashing in the foeman’s eyes they were making them feel the potency of their steel. So that while we glorify God we are not to deny or to discard human agency. We must fight because God fighteth for us. We must strike, but the power to strike and the result of striking must all come from Him. You see they did not say, “Hitherto our sword hath helped us, hitherto Samuel has encouraged us.” No, no-“hitherto the Lord has helped us.” Now you must admit that everything truly great must be of the Lord. You cannot suppose a thing so great as the conversion of sinners, the revival of a Church can ever be man’s work…Where there is little work done men often take the credit themselves, but where there is great work done, they dare not…Many wonders I have seen, but I never saw yet a man who arrogated the honor of his work to himself, whom God did not leave sooner or later…Did God make men strong that they may exalt themselves into His throne? What, doth the King of kings crown you with mercies that you may pretend to lord it over Him? What, doth He dignify you that you may usurp the prerogatives of His throne? No; you must come with all the favors and honors that God has put upon you, and creep to the foot of His throne and say, What am I, and what is my father’s house that Thou hast remembered me. “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

Looking Forward

Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

The text may be read this way: looking forward. For when a man gets up to a certain mark and writes “hitherto,” he looks back upon much that is past, but “hitherto” is not the end, there is yet a distance to be traversed. More trials, more joys; more temptations, more triumphs; more prayers, more answers; more toils, more strength; more fights, more victories; more slanders, more comforts; more lions and bears to be fought, more tearings of the lion for God’s Davids, more deep waters, more high mountains; more troops of devils, more hosts of angels yet. And then come sickness, old age, disease, death. Is it over now? No, no, no! We will raise one stone more when we get into the river, we will shout Ebenezer there: “hitherto the Lord hath helped us,” for there is more to come. An awakening in His likeness, climbing of starry spheres, harps, songs, palms, white raiment, the face of Jesus, the society of saints, the glory of God, the fullness of eternity, the infinity of bliss. Yes, as sure as God has helped so far as to-day, He will help us to the close. “I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee; I have been with thee, and I will be with thee to the end.” Courage, brethren, then; and as we pile the stones, saying, “Hitherto the Lord hath helped us,” let us just gird up the loins of our mind, and be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be revealed in us, for as it has been, so it shall be world without end. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm

Hitherto

Hitherto hath the LORD helped us. – 1 Samuel 7:12

The word “hitherto” seems like a hand pointing in that direction. Look back, look back. Twenty years-thirty-forty-fifty-sixty-seventy-eighty-“hitherto!” say that each of you. Through poverty-through wealth-through sickness-through health-at home-abroad-on the land-on the sea-in honor-in dishonor-in perplexity-in joy-in trial-in triumph-in prayer-in temptation-hitherto. Put the whole together. I like sometimes to look down a long avenue of trees. It is very delightful to gaze from end to end of the long vista, a sort of leafy temple with its branching pillars and its arches of leaves. Cannot you look down the long aisles of your years, look at the green boughs of mercy overhead, and the strong pillars of lovingkindness and faithfulness which bear your joys? Are there no birds in yonder branches singing? Surely, there must be many. And the bright sunshine and the blue sky are yonder; and if you turn round in the far distance, you may see heaven’s brightness and a throne of gold.

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.

By day, by night, at home, abroad,
Still we are guarded by our God:
By his incessant bounty fed,
By his unerring counsel led.

With grateful hearts the past we own;
The future, all to us unknown,
We to thy guardian care commit,
And peaceful leave before thy fe
et.

In scenes exalted or depress’d,
Be thou our joy, and thou our rest;
Thy goodness all our hopes shall raise,
Adored through all our changing days.

“Hitherto! hitherto!” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm/spurgeon_charles/sermons/0500.cfm