The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The following excerpt is from The Sword and the Trowel, 1878, Pilgrim Publications."We are liable to death at any moment, and ought always to be ready for it: I mean not only ready because we are washed in the blood of the Lamb, but because we have set our house in order and are prepared to depart."
Everything about us should be in such order that if our Lord should come while we are in the field we should not wish to go into the house, but could depart at once. I agree with the great scholar Bengel that death should not become a spiritual parade, but should be regarded as the natural close of our ordinary life; the final note of the psalm of which each day has been a stanza.
We ought so to live that to die would be no more remarkable than for a man in the middle of business to hear a knock at the street door, and quietly to step away from his engagements. There should be no hurrying for a clergyman to administer sacraments, or for a lawyer to write a hasty will, or for an estranged relative to make peace; but all should be arranged and ordered as if we kept our accounts closely balanced, expecting an immediate audit.
This would make noble living, and do more for God’s glory than the most triumphant death scene. A friend remarked to George Whitefield that should he survive him he would wish to witness his death-bed, and hear his noble testimony for Christ. The good man replied, “I do not think it at all likely that I shall bear any remarkable witness in death, for I have borne so many testimonies to my Lord and Master during my life.”
This is far better than looking forward to the chill evening or actual sunset of life as the time of bearing witness. Let us set about that holy work immediately, lest swift death arrest us on the spot and seal our lips in silence. Be faithful every day that you may be faithful to the end.
Let not your life be like a tangled mass of yarn, but keep it ever in due order on the distaff, so that whenever the fatal knife shall cut the thread it may end just where an enlightened judgment would have wished. Practice the excellent habit of Mr. Whitefield to whom I before referred, for he could not bear to go to bed and leave even a pair of gloves out of place. He felt that his Master might come at any moment, and he wished to be ready even to the minutest details.