posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "How To Meet the Evils of the Age," chapter 4 in An All-Round Ministry.
andel, on one occasion, played the organ in a country church; and, at the close of the service, he gave a voluntary of such a sort that all the people lingered to hear it. The old organist [who usually played in that church] was indignant, and said, "Now, let that organ alone, you can't play the people out; let me do it."
These progressive gentlemen certainly can play the people out. Their gifts of dispersion are amazing. Put them down in any warm-hearted Christian community, and see if they will not scatter and divide it; place them in any town you may select, and though they may be at first attractive (for some people are attracted by any novelty, however erroneous), yet, after a short time, there being no life, there will be no power to retain the people.
We remember the experiment of Daventry, under that eminently godly man, Dr. Doddridge, and we are not inclined to try the like under any circumstances. That worthy man did not dogmatize to "the dear young men" who came to his College, but adopted the plan of letting them hear the argument upon each side, that they might select for themselves. The result was as disastrous as if error had been taught, for nothing is worse than lukewarmness as to truth. Dissent became enervated with a faint-hearted liberalism, and we had a generation of Socinians, under whom Nonconformity almost expired. Both General and Particular Baptists have had enough of this evil leaven, and we are not inclined to put it again into the people's bread.
Besides, we are invited to follow the guidance of men who are not qualified to be leaders. I have waited, with a good deal of interest, to see whether modern thought would be capable of producing a man, a man of mark, of profound mind, and philosophic genius; but where is he? Where is the man who will found a school, and sway his fellows; a man for the orthodox to tremble at, a great Goliath, head and shoulders above his fellows? Truly, there are some who think they have power, and so they have amongst those young gentlemen whose moustachios are on the point of developing; but they have no influence over those who read their Bibles, have had experience, and are accustomed to "try the spirits."
The great lights are the literary men who produce articles in certain Reviews which are the oracles of the elite, or of those who think themselves so. I wonder how many of these precious Reviews are sold; but that, of course, is of small consequence, because the quality of their readers is so high! See what airs a man gives himself because he reads a Review!
Are these things so very clever? I am unable to see it. I used to hear that Evangelical writers produced platitudes; I believe they did, but surely they never wrote more watery trash than is published in the present day in opposition to the orthodox faith; but then, you see, it is given out in such a Latinized jargon that its obscurity is mistaken for profundity. If you have the time and patience to read a little of what is written by the modern-thought gentlemen, you will not be long before you are weary of their word-spinning, their tinkering of old heresies into original thought, and their general mystifying of plain things.
It only needs a man of power to smash them up like potters' vessels, but then the result would only be pieces of broken pottery. "Show us a man worth following," say we, "and when you do, we will not follow him, but fight with him; at the present, we are not likely to leave Calvin, and Paul, and Augustine, to follow you."