Posts Tagged ‘Charles Spurgeon’

Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility

August 7, 2009

Spurgeon was once asked how he reconciled divine sovereignty and human responsibility. His response: “There is no need to reconcile friends”

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Preaching Clearly

August 4, 2009

Christ said, ‘Feed my sheep…feed my lambs.’ Some preachers, however, put the food so high that neither lambs nor sheep can reach it. They seem to have read the text, ‘Feed my giraffes.

C.H. Spurgeon, quoted by John Stott, I Believe in Preaching, p.147

Liberalism – Spurgeon’s View

August 1, 2009

Little, however, did I think I should live to see this kind of stuff taught in the pulpit; I had no idea that there would arise teaching which would bring down God’s moral government from the solemn aspect in which Scripture reveals it, to a namby-pamby sentimentalism, which adores a deity destitute of every masculine virtue. But we never know to-day what may occur to-morrow. We have lived to see a certain sort of men–thank God, they are not Baptists!–though I am sorry to say there are a great many Baptists who are beginning to follow in their trail–who seek to teach, nowadays, that God is a universal Father, and that our ideas of His dealing with the impenitent as a Judge, and not as a Father, are remnants of antiquated error. Sin, according to these men, is a disorder rather than an offence, an error rather than a crime. Love is the only attribute they can discern, and the full-orbed Deity they have not known. Some of these men push their way very far into the bogs and mire of falsehood, until they inform us that eternal punishment is ridiculed as a dream. In fact, books now appear which teach us that there is no such thing as the vicarious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. They use the word atonement, it is true; but, in regard to its meaning they have removed the ancient landmark. They acknowledge that the Father has shown His great love to poor sinful man by sending His Son, but not that God was inflexibly just in the exhibition of His mercy, nor that He punished Christ on the behalf of His people, nor that, indeed, God ever will punish anybody in His wrath, or that there is such a thing as justice apart from discipline. Even sin and hell are but old words employed henceforth in a new and altered sense. Those are old-fashioned notions, and we poor souls, who go on talking about election and imputed righteousness, are behind our time. Aye, and the gentlemen who bring out books on this subject applaud Mr. Maurice, and Professor Scott, and the like, but are too cowardly to follow them, and boldly propound these sentiments. These are the new men whom God has sent down from Heaven, to tell us that the apostle Paul was all wrong, that our faith is vain, that we have been quite mistaken, that there was no need for propitiating blood to wash away our sins; that the fact was, our sins needed discipline, but penal vengeance and righteous wrath are quite out of the question! When I thus speak, I am free to confess that such ideas are not boldly taught by a certain individual whose volume excites these remarks, but as he puffs the books of gross perverters of the truth, I am compelled to believe that he endorses such theology.
Well, brethren, I am happy to say that sort of stuff has not gained entrance into this pulpit. I dare say the worms will eat the wood before there will be anything of that sort sounded in this place; and may these bones be picked by vultures, and this flesh be rent in sunder by lions, and may every nerve in this body suffer pangs and tortures, ere these lips shall give utterance to any such doctrines or sentiments! We are content to remain among the vulgar souls who believe the old doctrines of grace. We are willing still to be behind in the great march of intellect, and stand by that unmoving cross, which, like the pole star, never advances, because it never stirs, but always abides in its place, the guide of the soul to Heaven, the one foundation other than which no man can lay, and without building upon which no man shall ever see the face of God and live.
The Autobiography of Charles Spurgeon vol.1 ch.32

plus ca change!

Spurgeon’s rejection of pragmatism and carnal methods

June 28, 2009

I often hear Christian men blessing God for that which I cannot but reckon as a curse. They will say, if there is war with China, “The bars of iron will be cut in sunder, and the gates of brass shall be opened to the gospel.” Whenever England goes to war, many shout, “It will open a way for the gospel.” I cannot understand how the devil is to make a way for Christ; and what is war but an incarnate fiend, the impersonation of all that is hellish in fallen humanity’ How, then, shall we rouse the devilry of man’s nature– Cry Havoc, and let slip the dogs of war–

and then declare it is to make straight in the desert a highway for our God–a highway knee-deep in gore? Do you believe it? You cannot. God does overrule evil for good, but I have never seen yet–though I look with the cautious eye of one who has no party to serve-I have never seen the rare fruit which is said to grow upon this vine of Gomorrah. Let any other nation go to war, and it is all well and good for the English to send missionaries to the poor inhabitants of the ravaged countries. In such a case, our people did not make the war, they did not create the devastation, so they may go there to preach, but for English cannon to make a way in Canton for an English missionary, is a lie too glaring for me to believe for a moment. I cannot comprehend the Christianity which talks thus of murder and robbery. If other nations thus choose to fight, and if God lets them open the door for the gospel, I will bless Him, but I must still weep for the slain, and exclaim against the murderers. I blush for my country when I see it committing such terrible crimes in China, for what is the opium traffic but an enormous crime? War arises out of it, and then men say that the gospel is furthered by it: can you see how that result is produced? Then your eye must be singularly fashioned. For my part, I am in the habit of looking straight at a thing–I endeavour to judge it by the Word of God-and in this case it requires but little deliberation in order to arrive at a verdict. It seems to me that, if I were a Chinaman, and I saw an Englishman preaching in the street in China, I should say to him, “What have you got there?” “I am sent to preach the gospel to you.” “The gospel! What is that? Is it anything like opium? Does it intoxicate, and blast, and curse, and kill?” “Oh, no!” he would say–but I do not know how he would continue his discourse; he would be staggered and confounded, he could say nothing. There is a very good story told of the Chinese that is quite to the point. A missionary lately went to them with some tracts containing the ten commandments; a Mandarin read them, and then sent back a very polite message to the effect that those tracts were very good indeed, he had never read any laws so good as those, but there was not so much need of them in China as among the English and the French; would the missionary have the goodness to distribute them where they were most wanted?’

CH Spurgeon, The Full Harvest, Banner of Truth,1973, p124-5

Gambling – Spurgeon

June 28, 2009

I hold (gambling) to be fraught with more deadly evils than anything else that could be invented, even by Satan himself. I saw an old respectable-looking man put down ten pounds. He won, and he received twenty. He put down the twenty; he won again, and he had forty. He put down the forty, and received eighty. He put down the eighty, and took up one hundred and sixty pounds. Then he put it all in his pocket, and walked away as calmly as possible. The man would lose money by that transaction, because he would go back on the morrow, and probably play till he would sell the house that covers his children’s heads, and pawn the very bed from under his wife. The worst thing that can happen to a man who gambles is to win. If you lose, it serves you right, and there is hope that you will repent of your folly; if you win, the devil will have you in his net so thoroughly that escape will be well-nigh impossible. I charge every young man here, above all things never have anything to do with games of chance. If you desire to make your damnation doubly sure, and ruin both body and soul, go to the gaming-table; but if not, avoid it, pass by it, look not at it, for it has a basilisk’s eyes, and may entice you; and it has the sting of an adder, and will certainly destroy you if you come beneath its deadly influence.

CH Spurgeon, The Full Harvest, Banner of Truth,1973, p.25

Gospel Ecumenism and Doctrinal Commitment

June 28, 2009

We believe in the five great points commonly known as Calvinistic; but we do not regard these five points as being barbed shafts which we are to thrust between the ribs of our fellow-Christians. We look upon them as being five great lamps which help to irradiate the cross; or, rather, five bright emanations springing from the glorious covenant of our Triune God, and illustrating the great doctrine of Jesus crucified.gainst all comers, especially against all lovers of Arminianism, we defend and maintain pure gospel truth. At the same time I can make this public declaration, that I am no Antinomian. I belong not to the sect of those who are afraid to invite the sinner to Christ. I warn him, I invite him, I exhort him. Hence, then, I have contumely on either hand. Inconsistency is urged by some, as if anything that God commanded could be inconsistent. I will glory in such inconsistency even to the end I bind myself precisely to no form of doctrine. I love those five points as being the angles of the gospel, but then I love the center between the angles better still. Moreover, we are Baptists, and we cannot swerve from this matter of discipline, nor can we make our church half-and-half in that matter. The witness of our church must be one and indivisible. We must have one Lord, one faith, and one baptism. And yet dear to our hearts is that great article of the Nicene Creed, the “Communion of Saints.” I believe not in the communion of Episcopalians. I do not believe in the communion of Baptists. I dare not sit with them exclusively. I think I should be almost strict communicant enough not to sit with them at all, because I should say, “This is not the communion of saints, it is the communion of Baptists.” Whosoever loves the Lord Jesus Christ in verity and truth hath a hearty welcome, and is not only permitted, but invited to communion with the Church of Christ. However, we can say with all our hearts, that difference has never lost us one good friend yet. I see around me our independent brethren, they certainly have been to Elim to-day, for there has been much water here; and I see round about me dear strict communion brethren and one of them is about to address you. He is not so strict a communionist but what he really in his own heart communes with the people of God. I can number among my choicest friends many members of the church of England, and some of every denomination under heaven. I glory in that fact. However sternly a man may hold the right of private judgment, he can yet give his right hand with as light a grip to every man that loves Jesus Christ.

CH Spurgeon, The Full Harvest, 1973, p.12-13

Myth of Neutral Education

June 28, 2009

“… Further, it is on our heart very heavily to stir up our friends to rescue some of the scholastic influence of our adversaries out of their hands. In the common schools of England church influence is out of all proportion with the number of the Episcopal body and the proportion of the Nonconforming churches. We have too much given up our children to the enemy, and if the clergy had possessed the skill to hold them, the mischief might have been terrible; as it is, our Sabbath schools have neutralized the evil to a large extent, but it ought not to be suffered to exist any longer; a great effort should be made to multiply our day schools, and to render them distinctly religious, by teaching the gospel in them, and by labouring to bring the children as children to the Lord Jesus. The silly cry of Nonsectarian is duping many into the establishment of schools in which the most important part of wisdom, namely, the fear of the Lord, is altogether ignored; we trust this folly will soon be given up, and that we shall see schools in which all that we believe and hold dear shall be taught to the children of our poorer adherents.

CH Spurgeon, The Full Harvest, ch.10, 1973, p.161

Orthodoxy and Piety

June 4, 2009

“those who do away with Christian doctrine are, whether they are aware of it or not, the worst enemies of Christian living … [because] the coals of orthodoxy are necessary to the fire of piety”.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, All Round Ministry, p8

Hell and Evangelism

November 29, 2008

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”- Charles Spurgeon

False Assurance & Conviction of Sin – Spurgeon

November 23, 2008

‘I have heard young people say, “I know I am saved, because I am so happy.” Be not sure of that. Many people think themselves very happy, and yet are not saved.’ A sense of peace he likewise regarded as no sure sign of true conversion. Commenting on the verse, ‘The Lord killeth, and maketh alive: he woundeth, and his hands make whole,’ he asks: ‘But how can He make those alive who were never killed? You that were never wounded, you who tonight have been sitting here and smiling at your own ease, what can mercy do for you? Do not congratulate yourselves on your peace.’ There is a peace of the Devil as well as the peace of God.

Throughout his ministry Spurgeon warned men of this danger but in some of his later sermons this note of alarm is increasingly urgent. In one such sermon entitled ‘Healed or Deluded? Which?’ preached in 1882, Spurgeon speaks of the large numbers who are deceived by a false healing. This may even be the case, he shows, with those who have gone through a period of spiritual anxiety: ‘Convinced that they want healing, and made in a measure anxious to find it, the danger with the awakened is lest they should rest content with an apparent cure, and miss the real work of grace. We are perilously likely to rest satisfied with a slight healing, and by this means to miss the great and complete salvation which comes from God alone. I wish to speak in deep earnestness to everyone here present upon this subject, for I have felt the power of it in my own soul. To deliver this message I have made a desperate effort, quitting my sick bed without due permit, moved by a restless pining to warn you against the counterfeits of the day.’

Forgotten Spurgeon, Iain Murray, p.107