The Altar of Age
By C.H. Spurgeon from his book Morning and Evening
At evening time there shall be light.
We often look forward with anxiety to the time of old age, forgetting that at evening time it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A warmer breeze fans the sailor’s face as he nears the shore of immortality; fewer waves ruffle his sea; quiet reigns, deep, still and solemn. From the altar of age the flashes of the fire of youth are gone, but the deepening flame of sincere feeling remains. The pilgrims have reached the promised land, the happy country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with heavenly music. Some live here for years, and others arrive only a few hours before their departure, but it is an Eden on earth.
We may begin to long for the time when we can recline in its shady groves and be satisfied with hope until the time of fruition comes. The setting sun seems larger than when it is high in the sky, and a splendor of glory tinges all the clouds that surround its going down. Pain does not break the calm of the sweet twilight of age, for strength is made perfect in weakness and endures it all patiently. Ripe fruits of choice experience are gathered as the rare food of life’s evening, and the soul prepares itself for rest.
The Lord’s people will also enjoy light in the hour of death. Unbelief bemoans the evening shadows, the darkening night, the end of existence. But no, cries faith, the night is almost over and the true day is at hand. Light has come, the light of immortality, the light of the Father’s countenance. Gather your feet up in the bed; see the waiting throng of angels ready to bear you away. Farewell, loved one, you are gone. You wave your hand; now it is light! The pearly gates are open; the golden streets shine in the jasper light. We cover our eyes, but you behold the unseen; adieu, dear friend, you have light at evening time that we have not yet.