"Emmanuel" by Charles Haddon Spurgeon (written at age eighteen in 1852)


which being interpreted is, God with us”
(Matthew 1:23).

When once I mourned a load of sin;
When conscience felt a wound within;
When all my works were thrown away;
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well,
I learned Thy love, Immanuel.

When storms of sorrow toss my soul;
When waves of care around me roll;
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee;
When hopeless griefs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell–
That word, Thy name, Immanuel.

When for the truth I suffer shame;
When foes pour scandal on my name;
When cruel taunts and jeers abound;
When “Bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within Thy tower I’ll dwell–
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel.

When hell enraged lifts up her roar;
When Satan stops my path before;
When fiends rejoice and wait my end;
When legioned hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel.

When down the hill of life I go;
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow;
When in the deep’ning flood I sink;
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell
Thy lovely name, Immanuel.

When tears are banished from mine eye;
When fairer worlds than these are nigh;
When heaven shall fill my ravished sight;
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel.

This was written when he was eighteen years old!!! What happened to today’s generation? Why aren’t more youth as truly on fire as Spurgeon was? Note that by “on fire” I do not mean camp retreats, worship nights, prayer nights, and the like, I mean someone as passionate for the truth and for our Lord, Emmanuel. Spurgeon reminds me of David, when he always praised God, then took refuge under His wings, and then found his comfort in Him. This is a majestic poem by Spurgeon which truly communicates what is the most important thing and for what we came to Christ in the first place: for His glory, not our own. We did not come to Him to have our illness taken away, we did not come to Him so we’d be blessed with riches and wealth, we did not come to Him to hear superficially of Him in uplifting, self-motivational sermons…we came to Him to surrender our all. Think about this poem and take it to heart, don’t just think of it as pretty, meditate on it and on its profound lessons and implications. No matter what happens, Emmanuel must be everything to you. Spurgeon rightly says that “If Christ is not all to you He is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Saviour of men. If He be something He must be everything, and if He be not everything He is nothing to you.” 

Christianity is not folding your arms because “Christ did it all.” Christianity is a surrender of your all and a sacrifice and a commitment to war.

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