01 December 2007

On Catering to the "Spiritual Tastes" of Carnal People

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "Resurrection with Christ," a sermon originally preached 12 April 1868 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

he blind man has not come into the world of light and color, and the unregenerate man has not come into that world of spirit, and hence neither of them is capable of judging correctly.

I sat one day, at a public dinner, opposite a gentleman of the gourmand species, who seemed a man of vast erudition as to wines and spirits, and all the viands of the table; he judged and criticized at such a rate that I thought he ought to have been employed by our provision merchants as taster in general. He had finely developed lips, and he smacked them frequently. His palate was in a truly critical condition.

He was also as proficient in the quantity as in the quality, and disposed of meats and drinks in a most wholesale manner. His retreating forehead, empurpled nose, and protruding lips, made him—while eating, at least—more like an animal than a man.

At last, hearing a little conversation around him upon religious matters, he opened his small eyes and his great mouth, and delivered himself of this sage utterance, "I have lived sixty years in this world, and I never felt or believed in anything spiritual in all my life."

The speech was a needless diversion of his energies from the roast duck. We did not want him to tell us that. I, for one, was quite clear about it before he spoke. If the cat under the table had suddenly jumped on a chair and said the same thing, I should have attached as much importance to the utterance of the one as to the declaration of the other.

And so, by one sin in one man and another in another man, they betray their spiritual death. Until a man has received the divine life, his remarks thereon, even if he be an archbishop, go for nothing. He knows nothing about it according to his own testimony; then why should he go on to try to beat down with sneers and sarcasms those who solemnly avow that they have such a life, and that this life has become real to them?

C. H. Spurgeon


Unknown said...

What I find telling is that, upon overhearing a conversation about Jesus, or about spiritual things in general, most people seem unable to keep from getting involved or putting their own two cents in. Something beyond the visible is going on there.

Thank you for posting these Spurgeon quotes. He's quickly become one of my most admired authors, precisely because he was willing to openly declare such terribly unpopular - yet undeniably true - notions. In arguing points of the Gospel and Biblical content, it's difficult for me to bear in mind that unbelievers, with the absence of the Holy Spirit or even of personal experience in such matters, aren't really in a position to argue. It seems to me on the surface to be arrogance, but examined critically, I can see the reason of that position, grounded in its Scriptural basis.

To think that I've spent so much of my life being convinced by the opinions of unbelievers that people like Spurgeon and Jonathan Edwards were aberrants...

Randy said...

Ah! the art of speaking was placed upon Spurgeon.

Stefan Ewing said...

The world sneers indeed. I used to be one of those sneerers. But God has the last laugh. "He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision" (Psalm 2:4).

terriergal said...

Stefan - praise Him for his indescribable gift! I am glad he bought you for his own (along with most of us here...)

It's pretty amazing how different things look when he opens one's eyes.

Billy said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jay T said...

Yikes, blatant comment-thread hijacking. Maybe you guys need a rule against cutting & pasting.

Saint and Sinner said...

Hilarious! Spurgeon is a hoot. Why is it that all truly great preachers have just as great a sense of humour? Was there ever a great preacher that didn't have a hint of sarcasm in their writings? Hmm... Edwards?

Stefan Ewing said...

Yeah, they're all serious guys, but Edwards is dead serious. Probably never cracked a joke in his life, God bless him!