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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Peace: of a Believer
The believer's peace is like a river for confirmance. Look at it, rising as a little brook among the mosses of the lone green hill; by-and-by it leaps as a rugged cataract; anon it flows along that fair valley where the red deer wanders, and the child loves to play. With bum of pleasant music the brook turns the village mill. Hearken to its changeful tune as it ripples over its pebbly bed, or leaps adown the wheel, or sports in eddies where the trees bend down their branches to kiss the current. Anon the streamlet has become a river, and bears upon its flood full many a craft. Then its bosom swells, bridges with noble arches span it, and, grown vaster still, it becomes an estuary, broad enough to be an arm of old Father Ocean, pouring its water-floods into the mighty main. The river abides the lapse of ages, it is no evanescent morning cloud, or transient rain-flood, but in all its stages it is permanent.
'Men may come, and men may go,
But I flow on for ever.'
Evermore, throughout all generations, the river speedeth to its destined place. Such is the peace of the Christian. He has always reason for comfort. He has not a consolation like a swollen torrent which is dried up under the hot sun of adversity, but peace is his rightful possession at all times. Do you enquire for the Thames? You shall find it flowing in its own bed in the thick black night, as well as in the clear bright day. You shall discover the noble river when it mirrors the stars or sends back the sheen of the moon, as well as when multitudes of eyes gaze upon the pompous pageantry of civic procession at midday. You may see its waves in the hour of tempest by the lightning's flash, as well as in the day of calm when the sun shineth brightly on them. Ever is the river in its plac.. And even thus, come night1, come day, come sickness, come health, come what will, the peace of God which passeth all understanding will keep the Christian's heart and mind, through Jesus Christ.
Nor must we exclude the idea of progress. You can leap the Thames at Cricklade, for the tiny brook is spanned by a narrow plank across which laughing village girls are tripping; but who thinks of laying down a plank at Southend, or at Grays? No, the river has grown: how deep! At the mouth of it, comparable to the sea: how broad! There go the ships, and even leviathan might play therein. Such is the Christian's peace. At the first, little temptations avail to mar it, and the troubles of life threaten to evaporate it. Be not dismayed, but quietly wait. When the Christian is somewhat grown, and has wandered for awhile along the tortuous course of a gracious experience, his peace will gather force like a flowing stream. Wait twenty or thirty years, till he has traversed yonder rich lowlands of fellowship with Christ in his sufferings, and conformity to his death, and you shall mark that the believer's rest will be like a river deep and broad, for he shall know the peace which was our Master's precious legacy; and he will cast all his care upon God, who careth for him. True peace will increase till it melts into the eternal rest of the beatific vision, where
'Not a wave of trouble rolls
Across the peaceful breast.'
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Peace: of a Believer'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/p/peace-of-a-believer.html. 1870.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29