“Arise, cry out in the night: in the beginning of the watches pour out thine heart like water before the face of the Lord.” Lamentations 2:19
Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 90:1-12 (an exposition of which was given earlier in the service)
Dear friends, may grace be given unto you, that ye may be able to pour out your hearts this night! Remember, my hearers, it may seem a light thing for us to assemble tonight at such an hour, but listen for one moment to the ticking of that clock!…… It is the beating of the pulse of eternity. You hear the ticking of that clock!—It is the footstep of death pursuing you. Each time the clock ticks, death’s footsteps are falling on the ground close behind you. You will soon enter another year. This year will have gone in a few seconds. 1855 is almost gone; where will the next year be spent, my friends? One has been spent on earth; where will you spend the next? “In heaven!” says one, “I trust.” Another murmurs, “Perhaps I shall spend mine in hell!” Ah! Solemn is the thought, but before that clock strikes twelve, some here may be in hell; and, blessed be the name of God, some of us may be in heaven! But oh do you know how to estimate your time, my hearers? Do you know how to measure your days? Oh! I have not words to speak tonight. Do you know that every hour you are nearing the tomb? That every hour you are nearing judgment? That the archangel is flapping his wings every second of your life, and, trumpet at his mouth, is approaching you? That you do not live stationary lives, but always going on, on, on, towards the grave? Do you know where the stream of life is hastening some of you? To the rapids—to the rapids of woe and destruction! What shall the end of those be who obey not the gospel of God? You will not have so many years to live as you had last year!
For meditation: The march of time is a terrible enemy to all who persist in unbelief, but the Christian sees things differently—“now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand” (Romans 13:11-12).
Spurgeon must have the last word: “Now, my friends, in the highest and best sense, I wish you all a happy New Year.”
Sermon no. 59
31 December (1855)