THE WORD: Checkmate 

“The Chess Players” aka “Checkmate” by Friedrich August Moritz Retzsch  (1831) is a painting in a private collection. (Public Domain) 

 ”All go to the same place. All come from dust, and to dust all return!” Ecclesiastes 3:20

As chessmen are all thrown into the box together—so in the grave there is no distinction. Skulls wear no wreaths, and corpses carry no marks of honor.

The bishop and the knight tumble into the box with the pawns—and the king and the queen fare no better. Death is a terrible leveler. It is a pity that some men carry their heads so high above their fellows all the day—for they will have to sleep at night in the same bed of clay with those whom they despise.

Poor weeds, rich grain, gay flowers together stand. Alas! death mows down all with an impartial hand!

“You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning—though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.” Psalm 90:5-6. Here is the history of the grass—sown, grown, blown, mown, gone! The history of man is not much more!

There they come, streams of them, hurrying impatiently, rushing down to death and Hell—yes, eagerly panting, hurrying, dashing against one another to descend to that awful gulf from which there is no return!

Time, how short! Death, how brief! Eternity, how long! 


Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) is one of the most widely read preachers in history and is known by many as the Prince of Preachers. Spurgeon was pastor of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London. His works are now in the public domain.