posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "Broad Rivers and Streams," a sermon on Isaiah 33:20-23, delivered Sunday morning, 18 January 1863 at the Met Tab in London.
very day produces some improved divinity. Every now and then, to suit the times, a new edition of the Gospel is issued. Young gentlemen at college are taught not to preach the common ordinary doctrines, such as John Calvin, St. Augustine, and the Apostle Paul preached; they must go to Germany and muddle their own heads, and then come forth to muddle other people's, they must have some philosophical divinity, some novelty, something more refined than that which would attract the mob and gather together the common people.
Thinking people must be cared for; sermons must be full of intellectual matter; the old apostles were but fishermen, and of course they could not preach more than fishermen's education would enable them to comprehend, but these gentlemen have taken their degrees, and can climb to far greater heights and descend into far profounder depths than plain Peter or illiterate John.
Well, dear friends, we are content with the old wine since it is the best; Christ's gospel is no new gospel; and moreover, we are old-fashioned enough to believe that not one doctrine is to be altered, nor half a doctrine, nor the thousandth part of a doctrine, no nor yet the form of a doctrine. We would "hold fast the form of sound words"not only the principle mark, but the words; and not only the words, but the very form in which the words were moulded.
"Words, words, words," says somebody; "what is the use of words, and forms, and creeds? Why, these are old musty crusty documents, only sectarians care about them."
Ay, then let us be sectarians; let us hold with force and strength of mind the very form of sound words which has been delivered unto us. Not one of the stakes shall be removed, nor one of the cords thereof be loosened.