I’ve started reading CH Spurgeon’s sermons on Song of Solomon and really loved his first meditation on why Christ’s love is better than wine. These are the first Spurgeon sermons I remember reading. His work is not expository but what comes through is a palpable love of Christ as his Saviour. I have abridged the first 5 points from the full script of the sermon:
‘Thy love is better than wine’ (Song of Solomon 1:2)
Christ’s love is better than wine for what it is not.
It is so, first, because it may be taken without question. There may be, and there always will be in the world, questions about wine. There will be some who will say, and wisely say, “Let it alone.” There will be others who will exclaim, “Drink of it abundantly;” while a third company will say, “Use it moderately.” But there will be no question amongst upright men about partaking to the full of the love of Christ. There will be none of the godly who will say, “Abstain from it;” and none who will say, “Use it moderately;” but all true Christians will echo the words of the Heavenly Bridegroom himself, “Drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved.”…
Christ’s love is also better than wine, because it is to be had without money. Many a man has beggared himself, and squandered his estate, through his love of worldly pleasure, and especially through his fondness for wine; but the love of Christ is to be had without money. What says the Scripture? “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” The love of Christ is ‘unpurchased’; and I may add that it is ‘unpurchasable’.
Again, Christ’s love is better than wine because it is to be enjoyed without cloying. The sweetest matter on earth, which is for a while pleasant to the taste, sooner or later cloys upon the palate. If you find honey, you can soon eat so much of it that you wilt no longer relish its sweetness; but the love of Jesus never yet cloyed upon the palate of a new-born soul. He who has had most of Christ’s love has cried, “More! More! More!”
Further, Christ’s love is better than wine, because it is without lees. All wine has something in it which renders it imperfect, and liable to corruption; there is something that will have to settle, something that must be skimmed off the top, something that needs refining down. So is it with all the joys of earth, there is sure to be something in them that mars their perfection. Men have sought out many inventions of mirth and pleasure, amusement and delight; but they have always found some hitch or flaw somewhere…
But he who delights himself in the love of Christ will tell you that he finds no vanity and vexation of spirit there; but everything to charm and rejoice and satisfy the heart. There is nothing in the Lord Jesus Christ that we could wish to have taken away from him; there is nothing in his love that is impure, nothing that is unsatisfactory. Our precious Lord is comparable to the most fine gold; there is no alloy in him; no, there is nothing that can be compared with him, for “He is altogether lovely,” all perfections melted into one perfection, and all beauties combined into one inconceivable beauty. Such is the Lord Jesus, and such is his love to his people without anything of imperfection needing to be removed.
The love of Christ, too, blessed be his name! is better than wine, because it will never, as wine will, turn sour. …Oh, how often, beloved, have we grieved him! We have been cold and chill towards him when we ought to have been like coals of fire. We have loved the things of this world, we have been unfaithful to our Best-beloved, we have allowed our hearts to wander to other lovers; yet never has he been soured toward us, and never will he be. Many waters cannot quench his love, neither can the floods drown it. He is the same loving Savior now as ever he was, and such he always will be, and he will bring us to the rest which remains for the people of God.
Once more, Christ’s love is better than wine, because it produces no ill effects. Many are the mighty men who have fallen down slain by wine. Solomon says, “Who has woe? who has sorrow? who has contentions? who has babbling? who has wounds without cause? who has redness of eyes? They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine.” But who was ever slain by the love of Christ? Who was ever made wretched by this love? We have been inebriated with it, for the love of Christ sometimes produces a holy exhilaration that makes men say, “Whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell.”