On February 21, 1858, Charles Spurgeon gave a sermon that he entitled “The Great Reservoir” in which he preached through Proverbs 4:23 – “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” The metaphor he uses to describe the heart throughout his talk is that of a water reservoir. When it is impure, empty, or divided it does not provide proper nourishment for life. One piece of the sermon in particular was especially meaningful to me – when Spurgeon gives the formula for keeping the heart pure. I have shared it below.
To read “The Great Reservoir” in its entirety, click here.
Ah! Christian keep thy heart pure. Thou sayest, “How can I do this?” Well, there was of old a stream of Marah, to which the thirsty pilgrims in the desert came to drink; and when they came to taste of it, it was so brackish that though their tongues were like torches, and the roofs of their mouths were parched with heat, yet they could not drink of that bitter water. Do you remember the remedy which Moses prescribed? It is the remedy which we prescribe to you this morning. He took a certain tree, and he cast it into the waters, and they became sweet and clear. Your heart is by nature like Marah’s water, bitter and impure. There is a certain tree, you know its name, that tree on which the Saviour hung, the cross. Take that tree, put it into your heart, and though it were even more impure than it is, that sweet cross, applied by the Holy Spirit, would soon transform it into its own nature, and make it pure. Christ Jesus in the heart is the sweet purification. He is made unto us sanctification. Elijah cast salt into the waters; but we must cast the blood of Jesus there. Once let us know and love Jesus, once let his cross become the object of our adoration and the theme of our delight, the heart will beam its cleansing, and the life will become pure also. Oh! that we all did learn the sacred lesson of fixing the cross in the heart! Christian man! love thy Saviour more; cry to the Holy Spirit that thou mayest have more affection for Jesus; and then, how ever gainful may be thy sin, thou wilt say with the poet,
“Now for the love I bear his name,
What was my gain I count my loss;
My former pride I call my shame,
And nail my glory to his cross.”
The cross in the heart is the purifier of the soul; it purges and it cleanses the chambers of the mind. Christian! keep thy heart pure, “for out of it are the issues of life.”