Charles Haddon Spurgeon is one of the greatest preachers the world as ever known. Born in 1834, Spurgeon began preaching at the age of 16 and was called to the pastorate of London’s New Park Street Chapel, Southwark (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) at the age of 19. Known for his direct and plain preaching style, Spurgeon drew the attention of many admirers and critics alike as he proclaimed the gospel to crowds of up to 10,000 people on a given Sunday. By the time of his death in 1892, Spurgeon had preached roughly 3,600 sermons and published forty-nine volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations, and devotions.
In celebration of Christmas, I’ll be representing Spurgeon’s sermon, The First Christmas Carol. This sermon will be presented in three parts, of which this is the first.
Originally delivered on Sunday, December 20, 1857, at the Music Hall, Royal Surrey Garden, The First Christmas Carol is a wonderful celebration of the angel’s song in Luke 2:14, announcing the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I trust it will be a blessing to you.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will toward men.
It is superstitious to worship angels; it is but proper to love them. Although it would be a high sin, and an act of misdemeanor against the Sovereign Court of Heaven to pay the slightest adoration to the mightiest angel, yet it would be unkind and unseemly, if we did not give to holy angels a place in our heart’s warmest love. In fact, he that contemplates the character of angels, and marks their many deeds of sympathy with men, and kindness towards them, cannot resist the impulse of his nature—the impulse of love towards them.
The one incident in angelic history, to which our text refers, is enough to weld our hearts to them for ever. How free from envy the angels were! Christ did not come from heaven to save their compeers when they fell. When Satan, the mighty angel, dragged with him a third part of the stars of heaven, Christ did not stoop from his throne to die for them; but he left them to be reserved in chains and darkness until the last great day.
Yet angels did not envy men. Though they remembered that he took not up angels, yet they did not murmur when he took up the seed of Abraham; and though the blessed Master had never condescended to take the angel’s form, they did not think it beneath them to express their joy when they found him arrayed in the body of an infant. How free, too, they were from pride! They were not ashamed to come and tell the news to humble shepherds. Methinks they had as much joy in pouring out their songs that night before the shepherds, who were watching with their flocks, as they would have had if they had been commanded by their Master to sing their hymn in the halls of Caesar.
Mere men—men possessed with pride, think it a fine thing to preach before kings and princes; and think it great condescension now and then to have to minister to the humble crowd. Not so the angels. They stretched their willing wings, and gladly sped from their bright seats above, to tell the shepherds on the plain by night, the marvelous story of an Incarnate God. And mark how well they told the story, and surely you will love them! Not with the stammering tongue of him that tells a tale in which he hath no interest; nor even with the feigned interest of a man that would move the passions of others, when he feels no emotion himself; but with joy and gladness, such as angels only can know. They sang the story out, for they could not stay to tell it in heavy prose. They sang, “Glory to God on high, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” Continue Reading…