We have here crowning mercies, suggesting special and crowning thanksgiving. All the year round, every hour of every day, God is richly blessing us; both when we sleep and when we wake, his mercy waits upon us. The sun may leave off shining, but our God will never cease to cheer his children with his love. Like a river his lovingkindness is always flowing, with a fulness inexhaustible as his own nature, which is its source. Like the atmosphere which always surrounds the earth, and is always ready to support the life of man, the benevolence of God surrounds all his creatures; in it, as in their element they live, and move, and have their being. Yet as the sun on summer days appears to gladden us with beams more warm and bright than at other times, and as rivers are at certain seasons swollen with the rain, and as the atmosphere itself on occasions is fraught with more fresh, more bracing, or more balmy influences than heretofore, so is it with the mercy of God: it has its golden hours, its days of overflow, when the Lord magnifies his grace and lifts high his love before the sons of men. If we begin with the blessings of the nether springs, we must not forget that for the race of man the joyous days of harvest are a special season of excessive favour. It is the glory of autumn that the ripe gifts of providence are then abundantly bestowed; it is the mellow season of realisation, whereas all before was but hope and expectation. Great is the joy of harvest. Happy are the reapers who fill their arms with the liberality of heaven. The psalmist tells us that the harvest is the crowning of the year.
For meditation: Consider the common grace of God to all people (Psalm 145:9,15–16; Matthew 5:45; Acts 14:17). Do you take the gifts and ignore the Giver? Or do you receive his gifts with thanksgiving as one who believes and knows the truth (1 Timothy 4:3)?
Sermon no. 532 27 September (Harvest Thanksgiving 1863)