Watch inward. Look at Christ. ‘Consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself.’ Watch the Saviour, and watch with the Saviour. Brethren and sisters, I should like to say this to you so emphatically that you would never forget it. Be familiar with the passion of your Lord. Get right up to the cross. Do not be satisfied with that, but get the cross on your shoulders; get yourself bound to the cross in the spirit of the apostle when he said, ‘I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live.’ I do not know that I have had sweeter work to do for a long time than when a few weeks ago I was looking over all the hymn-writers and all the poets I knew of for hymns upon the passion of the Lord. I tried to enjoy them as I selected them, and to get into the vein in which the poets were when they sung them. Believe me, there is no fount that yields such sweet water as the fount that springs from Calvary just at the foot of the cross. Here it is that there is a sight to be seen more astounding and more ravishing than ever from the top of Pisgah. Get into the side of Christ; it is a cleft of the rock in which you may hide until the tempest is overpassed. Live in Christ; live near to Christ; and then, let the conflict come, and you will overcome even as he overcame, and rising up from your sweat and from your agony you will go forth to meet even death itself with a calm expression on your brow, saying, ‘My Father, not as I will, but as thou wilt.’
For meditation: The recent research connected with hymns to which Spurgeon refers was probably in preparation for Our Own Hymnbook which he was compiling and which was published in September 1866 (this undated sermon appeared in June 1866). Do the hymns and spiritual songs you like to sing have an important and meaningful place for the Lord Jesus Christ, his death and the salvation of sinners (Revelation 5:9,12) or are they more taken up with yourself and your own experiences?