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  • Writer's pictureNigel Williams

Gospel Extracts (C H Spurgeon): Bereavement

We remember to have heard a preacher at a funeral most beautifully setting forth this parable: "A certain nobleman had a spacious garden, which he left to the care of a faithful servant, whose delight it was to train the creepers along the trellis, to water the seeds in the time of drought, to support the stalks of the tender plants, and to do every work which could render the garden a Paradise of flowers.

"One morning he rose with joy, expecting to tend his beloved flowers, and hoping to find his favourites increased in beauty. To his surprise, he found one of his choicest beauties rent from its stem, and, looking around him, he missed from every bed the pride of his garden, the most precious of his blooming flowers.

"Full of grief and anger, he hurried to his fellow-servants, and demanded who had thus robbed him of his treasures. They had not done it, and he did not charge them with it; but he found no solace for his grief till one of them remarked: 'My lord was walking in the garden this morning, and I saw him pluck the flowers and carry them away.'

"Then truly he found he had no cause for his trouble. He felt it was well that his master had been pleased to take his own, and he went away, smiling at his loss, because his lord had taken them.

"So," said the preacher, turning to the mourners, "you have lost one whom you regarded with much tender affection. The bonds of endearment have not availed for her retention upon earth. I know your wounded feelings when, instead of the lovely form which was the embodiment of all that is excellent and amiable, you behold nothing but ashes and corruption. But remember, my beloved, the Lord hath done it. He hath removed the tender mother, the affectionate wife, the inestimable friend. I say again, remember your own Lord has done it; therefore do not murmur, or yield yourselves to an excess of grief."

There was much force as well as beauty in the simple allegory: it were well if all the Lord's family had grace to practice its heavenly lesson, in all times of bereavement and affliction.

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