A Sermon
Published on Thursday, October 7th, 1915.
Delivered by
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.


Provided by
Spurgeon Ministries
Bath Road Baptist Church

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"While the king sitteth at his table, my spikenard sendeth forth the smell thereof."
--Canticles 1:12

THIS passage may be read in several ways. Literally, when Christ tabled among men, when he did eat and drink with them, being found in fashion as a man, the loving spirit broke the alabaster box of precious ointment on his head while the king was sitting at his table. Three times did the Church thus anoint her Lord, once his head and twice his feet, as if she remembered his threefold office, and the threefold anointing which he had received of God the Father to confirm and strengthen him. So she rendered him the threefold anointing of her grateful love, breaking the alabaster box, and pouring the precious ointment upon his head and upon his feet. Beloved, let us imitate the example of those who have gone before. What! though we cannot, as the weeping penitent, wash his feet with our tears, and wipe them with the hairs of our head, like that gracious woman, we may reck nothing, of fair adornments, or fond endowments, if we can but serve his cause or honour his person. Let us be willing to "pour contempt on all our pride," and "nail our glory to his cross." Have you anything tonight that is dear to you? Resign it to him. Have you any costly thing like an alabaster box hidden away? Give it to the King; he is worthy, and when you have fellowship with him at his table, let your gifts be brought forth. Offer unto the King thanksgiving, and pay your vows unto the Most High.

But the King is gone from earth. He is seated at his table in heaven, eating bread in the kingdom of God. Surrounded now not by publicans and harlots, but by cherubim and seraphim, not by mocking crowds, but by adoring hosts, the King sits at his table, and entertains the glorious company of the faithful, the Church of the firstborn whose names are written in heaven. He fought before he could rest. On earth he struggled with his enemies, and it was not till he had triumphed over all, that he sat down at the table on high. There sit, thou King of kings, there sit until thy last enemy shall be made thy footstool. What can we do, brethren, while Christ sits at the table above? These hands cannot reach him; these eyes cannot see him; but our prayers, like sweet perfume, set burning here on earth, can rise in smoke to the place where the King sitteth at his table, and our spikenard can diffuse a perfume even in heaven itself. Do you want to reach Christ? Your prayers can do it. Would you now adore him; would you now set forth your love? With mingled prayer and praise, like the offering of the morning and the evening sacrifice, your incense can come up acceptably before the Lord.

And, brethren, the day is coming when the King shall sit at this table in royal state. Lo, he cometh! Lo, he cometh. Let the Church never forget that. The first advent is her faith; the second advent is her hope. The first advent with the cross lays the foundation; the second advent with the crown brings forth the topstone. The former was ushered in with sighs; the latter shall be hailed with shoutings of "Grace, grace unto it." And when the King, manifested and recognized in his sovereignty over all lands, shall sit at his table with his Church, then, in that blessed Millennium, the graces of Christians shall give forth their odours of sweet savour.

We have thus read the text in three ways, and there is a volume in each; but we turn over another page, for we want to read it in relation to the spiritual presence of Christ as he doth now reveal himself to his people. "When the King sitteth at his table"--that is, when we enjoy the presence of Christ--"my spikenard giveth forth the smell thereof." Then our graces are in active exercise, and yield a perfume agreeable to our own soul and acceptable before God.

In the train of reflection I shall now attempt to follow, my manner must be hurried; and should it seem feeble, brethren, I cannot help it. If you get fellowship with Christ, I care little for the merits of my sermon, or the perils of your criticism. One thing alone I crave, "Let him kiss us with the kisses of his mouth"; then shall my soul be well content, and so will yours be also. The first observation we make shall be this:--

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This file from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit is provided to ICLnet and the internet community by the Bath Road Baptist Church, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. The sermons are available in booklet form at the following address. There is no charge for this service:

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