Pastor’s Note: I found a message from the great preacher and evangelist, Charles H. Spurgeon and thought it appropriate to conclude with the excerpt I started with yesterday for this Thanksgiving time.
Those of you who abide in and love the Lord can appreciate this message. It blessed me and I pray it blesses you as well.
You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance.
We may forget the harvest, living as we do, so far from rural labors, but those who have to watch the corn as it springs up, and track it through all its numberless dangers, until the blade becomes the full corn in the ear, cannot, surely, forget the wonderful goodness and mercy of God when they see the harvest safely stored. My brethren, if we require any considerations to excite us to gratitude, let us think for a moment of the effect upon our country of a total failure of the crops. Who among us could contemplate the future without dismay? All faces would gather blackness. All classes would sorrow, and even the throne itself might fitly be covered with sackcloth at the news. My brethren, should we not rejoice that this is not our case, and that our happy land rejoices in plenty? If the plant had utterly failed, and the seed had rotted under the clods, we should have been quick enough to murmur; how is it that we are so slow to praise? Shall we not bless and praise our covenant God who permits not the appointed weeks of harvest to fail? Sing together all ye to whom bread is the staff of life, and rejoice before him who loads you with benefits. We have none of us any adequate idea of the amount of happiness conferred upon a nation by a luxuriant crop. Every man in the land is the richer for it. To the poor man the difference is of the utmost importance. Millions are benefitted by God’s once opening his liberal hand. When the Hebrews went through the desert, there were but some two or three millions of them, and yet they sang sweetly of him who fed his chosen people; in our own land alone we have ten times the number, have we no hallowed music for the God of the whole earth? Reflect upon the amazing population of our enormous city—consider the immense amount of poverty—think how greatly at one stroke that poverty has been relieved! A generous contribution, would be but as the drop of a bucket to the relief afforded by a fall in the price of bread. Let us not despise the bounty of God because this great boon comes in a natural way. If every morning when we awoke we saw fresh loaves of bread put into our cupboard, or the morning’s meal set out upon the table, we should think it a miracle; but if our God blesses our own exertions and prospers our own toil to the same end, is it not equally as much a ground for praising and blessing his name? I would I had this morning the tongue of the eloquent, or even my own usual strength, to excite you to gratitude, by the spectacle of the multitudes of beings whom God has made happy by the fruit of the field. O for heaven’s own fire to kindle your hearts. O come, let us worship and bow down, let us exalt the Lord our God, and come into his presence with the voice of joy and thanksgiving.
But how shall we give crowning thanksgiving for this crowning mercy of the year? We can do it, dear friends, by the inward emotions of gratitude. Let our hearts be warmed; let our spirits remember, meditate, and think upon this goodness of the Lord. Meditation upon this mercy may tend to nourish in you the tenderest feelings of affection, and your souls will be knit to the Father of spirits, who pities his children. Again, praise him with your lips; let psalms and hymns employ your tongues to-day: and to-morrow, let us laud and magnify his name from whose bounty all this goodness flows. But I think, also, we should thank him by our gifts. The Jews of old never tasted the fruit either of the barley or of the wheat-harvest, till they had sanctified it to the Lord by the feast of ingatherings. There was, early in the season, the barley-harvest. Fifty days afterwards came the wheat-harvest, when two loaves, made of the new flour, were offered before the Lord in sacrifice, together with burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, meat-offerings, drink-offerings, and abundant sacrifices of thanksgivings, to show that the people’s thankfulness was not stinted or mean. The Old Testament ordinance was, “Ye shall not come before the Lord empty;” and let that be the ordinance of to-day. Let us come into his presence, each man bearing his offering of thanksgiving unto the Lord. It has been a crowning mercy this year, so that the other version of our text might aptly be applied as a description of 1863, “Thou crownest the year of thy goodness.”