Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote space at the beginning of each week to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "The Need of Decision for the Truth," an address delivered to the students at his Pastors' College in 1874, some 15 years before the Down Grade Controversy.
his is not an earnestly doubting age; we live among a careless, frivolous race. If the doubters were honest there would be more infidel places of concourse than there are; but infidelity as an organized community does not prosper.
Infidelity in London, open and avowed, has come down to one old corrugated iron shed opposite St. Luke's. I believe that is the present position of it. "The Hall of Science," is it not called? Its literature was carried on for a long time in half a shop in Fleet Street, that was all it could manage to support, and I don't know whether even that half-shop is used now. It is a poor, doting, driveling thing.
In Tom Paine's time it bullied like a vigorous blasphemer, but it was outspoken, and, in its own way, downright and earnest in its outspokenness. It commanded in former days some names which one might mention with a measure of respect; Hume, to wit, and Bolingbroke, and Voltaire were great in talent, if not in character.
But where now will you find a Hobbes or a Gibbon? The doubters now are simply doubters because they do not care about truth at all. They are indifferent altogether. Modern skepticism is playing and toying with truth; and it takes to "modern thought" as an amusement, as ladies take to croquet or archery.
This is nothing less than an age of millinery and dolls and comedy. Even good people do not believe out and out as their fathers used to do. Some even among Nonconformists are shamefully lax in their convictions; they have few masterly convictions such as would lead them to the stake, or even to imprisonment. Mollusks have taken the place of men, and men are turned to jelly-fishes. Far from us be the desire to imitate them.