posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "The Case Proved," where Spurgeon answered critics who complained that he was being overly harsh, too sure of his own position, and uncharitable in the tone of his published opinions about the erosion of orthodoxy in the Baptist Union at the outset of the Downgrade Controversy.
s it come to this, that if we use our freedom to speak our mind we must needs be charged with arrogance?
Is decision the same thing as Popery? It is playing with edged tools when the advanced men introduce that word, for we would remind them that there is another phase of Popery of which a portion of them have furnished us grievous examples. To hide your beliefs, to bring out your opinions cautiously, to use expressions in other senses than those in which they are usually understood, to "show," as The Christian World so honestly puts it, "a good deal of trimming, and a balancing of opposite opinions in a way that is confusing and unsatisfactory to the hearer," is a meaner sort of Popery than even the arrogance which is so gratuitously imputed to us.
It is, however, very suggestive that the letting in of light upon men should be to them a torment equal to an Inquisition, and that open discussion should so spoil their schemes that they regard it as a torture comparable to the rack and the stake. What other harm have we done them? We would not touch a hair of their heads, or deprive them of an inch of liberty.
Let them speak, that we may know them; but let them not deny us the same freedom; neither let them denounce us for defending what they are so eager to assail.