posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from a sermon titled "Waters to Swim In," originally preached on a Thursday evening, 25 April 1872, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London.
hese are days of "modern thought;" as you are all aware men have become wondrously wise, and have outgrown the Scriptures. Certain unhappy children's heads are too big, and there is always a fear that it is not brain, but water on the brain; and this "modern thought" is simply a disease of wind on the brain, and likely to be a deadly one, if God does not cure the church of it.
Within the compass of the orthodox faithwithin the range of the simple gospelthere is room enough for the development of every faculty, however largely gifted a man may be. No matter, though the man be a Milton in poetry, though he be a master in metaphysics, and a prince in science, if he be but pure in his poesy, accurate in his metaphysics, and honest in his science, he will find that the range of his thought needs no more space than Scripture gives him.
It has been thought by some that these persons who run off to heretical opinions are persons of great mind; believe me, brethren, it is a cheap way of making yourself to be thought so, but the men are nobodies. That is the sum of the matter.
We are satisfied with the theology of the Puritans; and we assert this day that, when we take down a volume of Puritanical theology we find in a solitary page more thinking and more learning, more Scripture, more real teaching, than in whole folios of the effusions of modern thought. Modern men would be rich if they possessed even the crumbs that fallen from the table of the Puritans. They have given us nothing new after all. A few variegated bladders they have blown, and they have burst while the blowers were admiring them; but, as for anything worth knowing, which has improved the heart, benefited the understanding, or fitted men for service in the battle of life, there have been no contributions made by this "modern thought" worth recording; whereas, the old thought of the Puritans and the Reformers, which I believe to be none other than the thought of God thought out again in man's brain and heart, is constantly giving consolation to the afflicted, furnishing strength to the weak, and guiding men's minds to behave themselves aright in the house of God and in the world at large.
There are "waters to swim in," in the Scriptures. You need not think there is no room for your imaginations there. Give the coursers their reins: you shall find enough within that book to exhaust them at their highest speed. You need not think that your memory shall have nothing to remember; if you had learnt the book through and through, and knew all its texts, you would have much to remember above that, to remember its inner meaning, and its conversations with your soul, and the mysterious power it has had over your spirit, when it has touched the strings of your nature as a master harper touches his harp strings, and has brought forth music which you knew not to be sleeping there. There is no faculty but what will find room enough in the word, if we will but obediently bring it to the service of the Lord.