Spurgeon Thursday

CHRIST’S LOVE FOR HIS VINEYARD

NO. 2785

A SERMON

INTENDED FOR READING ON LORD’S-DAY, JUNE 29, 1902.

DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,

AT NEW PARK STREET CHAPEL, SOUTHWARK,

ON A THURSDAY EVENING, DURING THE SUMMER OF 1860.

My vineyard, which is Mine, is before Me: you, O Solomon, must have a thousand, and those that keep the fruit thereof two hundred.”

Song of Solomon 8:12.

Spurgeon Pen & InkYou are aware that these Canticles are responsive songs—that  one sentence is uttered by Solomon and the next by Solyma, his spouse. We believe that in this “Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s,” we also hear Christ speaking to His Church, His bride, and the Church responding to His words of love in tones which His love has suggested to her. The fact that it is a responsive song sometimes renders it the more difficult to understand because it is not easy, in every case, to discover whether it is Solomon or Solyma—Christ or His Church—who  is speaking. The first sentence in our text is just of that character. It may be Christ who says, “My vineyard, which is Mine, is before Me.” Or it may be His Church, who is saying, “My vineyard, which is mine, is before me.” With regard to the latter part of the verse, we have no difficulty, for we can see, upon the very face of it, that it is addressed by the spouse, the bride, to her Divine Bridegroom, to whom she says “You,  O Solomon,  must have a thousand.”

I. Let us look at the first sentence: “My vineyard, which is Mine, is before Me.” We have no difficulty in understanding that this vineyard is Christ’s Church. She is not compared to a grove of trees—even of fruit-bearing trees—because there are many trees which are valuable, not only for their fruit, but also for their timber. And should they bring forth no fruit, they would still be of some value. Not so is it with the members of Christ’s Church—they  are like the vine, for the vine, if it brings forth no fruit, is fit for nothing, it cumbers the ground. The Lord said to the Prophet Ezekiel, “What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest? Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? Or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon?  Behold,  it is cast into the fire for fuel: the fire devours both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work?” No, if it is fruitless, it is useless. It must bear fruit, or it is of no value whatever. Hence the Church is always compared to a vineyard because if she does not bring forth fruit to the Lord Jesus Christ,  she is less useful even than an ordinary mercantile and commercial community. That mercantile community, or corporate body instituted for wise purposes, may further  some useful design, but the Church is of no use whatever unless she brings forth the fruits of holiness and of gratitude  to her Lord, her Divine Vinedresser. Better that she be not called a church at all than that she should pretend to be the Church of Christ and yet bring forth no fruit to His praise.

So we have no difficulty in understanding  that the vineyard mentioned in the text is Christ’s Church because it is so significantly a symbol of the body of Believers banded together  in love to their Savior—and known by the name of “the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.”  We must, therefore, consider Continue reading