“Seest thou yonder thief hanging upon the cross? Behold the fiends at the foot thereof, with open mouths; charming themselves with the sweet thought, that another soul shall give them meat in hell. Behold the death-bird, fluttering his wings o’er the poor wretch’s head; vengeance passes by and stamps him for her own; deep on his breast is written ‘a condemned sinner;’ on his brow is the clammy sweat, expressed from him by agony and death.
Look in his heart. It is filthy with the crust of years of sin. The smoke of lust is hanging within in black festoons of darkness. His whole heart is hell condensed. Now, look at him. He is dying. One foot seems to be in hell; the other hangs tottering in life—only kept by a nail. There is a power in Jesus’ eye. That thief looks: he whispers, ‘Lord, remember me.’ Turn your eye again there. Do you see that thief? Where is the clammy sweat? It is there.
Where is that horrid anguish? It is not there. Positively, there is a smile upon his lips. The fiends of hell, where are they? There are none: but a bright seraph is present, with his wings outspread, and his hands ready to snatch that soul, now a precious jewel, and bear it aloft to the palace of the great King. Look within his heart. It is white with purity. Look at his breast. It is not written ‘condemned,’ but ‘justified.’
Look in the book of life: his name is graven there. Look on Jesus’ heart: there on one of the precious stones he bears that poor thief’s name. Yea, once more, look! Seest thou that bright one amid the glorified, clearer than the sun, and fair as the moon? That is the thief! That is the power of Jesus. And that power shall endure forever. He who saved the thief can save the last man who shall ever live.”
-–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Eternal Name,” in Spurgeon’s Sermons, Vol. 1 (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1996), 165-6.