The Lord’s Day

How welcome to the saints, when pressed
With six days noise, and care, and toil,
Is the returning day of rest,
Which hides them from the world awhile?

Now, from the throng withdrawn away,
They seem to breathe a different air;
Composed and softened by the day,
All things another aspect wear.

How happy if their lot is cast,
Where statedly the gospel sounds
The word is honey to their taste,
Renews their strength, and heals their wounds!

Though pinched with poverty at home,
With sharp afflictions daily fed;
It makes amends, if they can come
To GOD’S own house for heav’nly bread!

With joy they hasten to the place,
Where they their Savior oft have met;
And while they feast upon his grace,
Their burdens and their griefs forget.

This favored lot, my friends, is curs,
May we the privilege improve;
And find these consecrated hours,
Sweet earnests of the joys above!

We thank thee for thy day, O Lord,
Here we thy promised presence seek;
Open thine hand, with blessings stored,
And give us Manna for the week.

– John Newton, The Olney Hymns

A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me. Song of Solomon 1:13

A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me.
Song of Solomon 1:13

Myrrh may well be chosen as the type of Jesus on account of its preciousness, its perfume, its pleasantness, its healing, preserving, disinfecting qualities, and its connection with sacrifice. But why is he compared to “a bundle of myrrh”? First, for plenty. He is not a drop of it, he is a casket full. He is not a sprig or flower of it, but a whole bundle. There is enough in Christ for all my necessities; let me not be slow to avail myself of him. Our well-beloved is compared to a “bundle” again, for variety: for there is in Christ not only the one thing needful, but in “him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;” everything needful is in him. Take Jesus in his different characters, and you will see a marvellous variety–Prophet, Priest, King, Husband, Friend, Shepherd. Consider him in his life, death, resurrection, ascension, second advent; view him in his virtue, gentleness, courage, self-denial, love, faithfulness, truth, righteousness–everywhere he is a bundle of preciousness. He is a “bundle of myrrh” for preservation–not loose myrrh to be dropped on the floor or trodden on, but myrrh tied up, myrrh to be stored in a casket. We must value him as our best treasure; we must prize his words and his ordinances; and we must keep our thoughts of him and knowledge of him as under lock and key, lest the devil should steal anything from us. Moreover, Jesus is a “bundle of myrrh” for speciality; the emblem suggests the idea of distinguishing, discriminating grace. From before the foundation of the world, he was set apart for his people; and he gives forth his perfume only to those who understand how to enter into communion with him, to have close dealings with him. Oh! blessed people whom the Lord hath admitted into his secrets, and for whom he sets himself apart. Oh! choice and happy who are thus made to say, “A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me.”

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. Psalm 22:14

My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Psalm 22:14

Our blessed Lord experienced a terrible sinking and melting of soul. “The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear?” Deep depression of spirit is the most grievous of all trials; all besides is as nothing. Well might the suffering Saviour cry to his God, “Be not far from me,” for above all other seasons a man needs his God when his heart is melted within him because of heaviness. Believer, come near the cross this morning, and humbly adore the King of glory as having once been brought far lower, in mental distress and inward anguish, than any one among us; and mark his fitness to become a faithful High Priest, who can be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. Especially let those of us whose sadness springs directly from the withdrawal of a present sense of our Father’s love, enter into near and intimate communion with Jesus. Let us not give way to despair, since through this dark room the Master has passed before us. Our souls may sometimes long and faint, and thirst even to anguish, to behold the light of the Lord’s countenance: at such times let us stay ourselves with the sweet fact of the sympathy of our great High Priest. Our drops of sorrow may well be forgotten in the ocean of his griefs; but how high ought our love to rise! Come in, O strong and deep love of Jesus, like the sea at the flood in spring tides, cover all my powers, drown all my sins, wash out all my cares, lift up my earth-bound soul, and float it right up to my Lord’s feet, and there let me lie, a poor broken shell, washed up by his love, having no virtue or value; and only venturing to whisper to him that if he will put his ear to me, he will hear within my heart faint echoes of the vast waves of his own love which have brought me where it is my delight to lie, even at his feet forever.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening