Monday, May 5, 2014

Spurgeon on Cremation

In preparation for my next book review, I'm reading a sermon from Sermons on Women of the Bible by Charles Spurgeon.  The sixth sermon under 'Women of the New Testament' is titled 'Mary of Bethany: To Lovers of Jesus--An Example.'  In this sermon Pastor Spurgeon discusses the beauty of Mary's action when she anointed the head of Jesus with very precious spikenard, (Mark 14:3).

As I came to the end of the sermon, the topic of cremation took me by surprise, (pp. 274-75):
"The seventh beauty, to my mind, is this:  you may think it a little far-fetched, but I cannot help mentioning it, for it touches my heart.  I believe that Mary had in this anointing of the Savior some little glimpse of his resurrection from the dead, and of his after existence.

For I would ask of you--Why do nations at all embalm their dead?  Why not consume them in the fire?  A mysterious something makes the ordinary Christian man shudder at the thought of cremation. That must surely be an acquired taste: unsophisticated nature does not court the furnace or covet the flame; we prefer to lie beneath the green hillock with our fathers."
The Prince of Preachers does not covet the flame, but prefers burial; this is my preference as well.

"But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead," (Matt. 8:22).