Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs usually devote Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. This week, as a special treat, we give you Spurgeon a day early. The following excerpt is an entry from the May 1885 issue of The Sword and the Trowel.
Is it not very possible for a man to talk without knowing what he is saying?
Certain "modern thought" teachers appear before us as a luminous haze. It is "not light, but darkness visible." Like M. De Biran, our learned lumberer might say, "I wander like a somnambulist in the world of affairs." He has an idea, but he does not quite know where to find it; and so all through his talk he hunts for it, "upstairs, downstairs, and in my lady's chamber."
We once heard a sermon which for half an hour did not convey to us a single thought. We whispered to our neighbour, and found that he was equally befogged, and so we concluded that the density was not in our brain, but in the discourse; yet the preacher was no fool, and we therefore concluded that he had been taking an overdose of metaphysics.
It did not matter much, for the sermon was not upon a subject of any material importance to man or beast; but when a person is preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ it does matter a great deal.
It is treason to men's souls to conceal the plain truth of salvation beneath a cloud of words: where God's honour and man's eternal destiny are concerned, everything should be as clear as the sun at noonday. Metaphysical becloudment, when a soul is at stake, is diabolical cruelty.
The apostle Paul would agree. He wrote, "If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" (1 Corinthians 14:8).
The postmodern preference for ambiguity and uncertainty is seriously at odds with Scripture. It also runs contrary to every lesson church history teaches.
Study any era of revival or the style of any great preacher and you will discover that boldness and clarity were their hallmarksnever qualities like vagueness, ambivalence, hesitation, wavering, apprehension, a cloudy message, fickle opinions, obsessive self-criticism, or any of the other qualities postmodernism falsely equates with "humility."
Incidentally, Pilgrim Publications have recently released volume eight in their collection of material from the original editions of The Sword & the Trowel. Volume 8 covers the years 1885-1886, and the above excerpt is taken from this volume.