posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "A New Year’s Benediction," a sermon delivered 1 January 1860 at Exeter Hall in London.
h, how many there are that are never settled! The tree which should be transplanted every week would soon die. Nay, if it were moved, no matter how skilfully, once every year, no gardener would expect fruit from it. How many Christians there be that are transplanting themselves constantly, even as to their doctrinal sentiments?
There be some who generally believe according to the last speaker; and there be others who do not know what they do believe, but they believe almost anything that is told them. The spirit of Christian charity, so much cultivated in these days, and which we all love so much, has, I fear, assisted in bringing into the world a species of latitudinarianism; or in other words, men have come to believe that it does not matter what they do believe; that although one minister says it is so, and the other says it is not so; yet we are both right; that though we contradict each other flatly, yet we are both correct.
I know not where men have had their judgments manufactured, but to my mind it always seems impossible to believe a contradiction. I can never understand how contrary sentiments can both of them be in accordance with the Word of God, which is the standard of truth.
But yet there be some who are like the weathercock upon the church steeple, they will turn just as the wind blows. As good Mr. Whitfield said, "You might as well measure the moon for a suit of clothes as tell their doctrinal sentiments," for they are always shifting and ever changing.
Now, I pray that this may be taken away from any of you, if this be your weakness, and that you may be settled. Far from us be bigotry removed; yet would I have the Christian know what he believes to be true and then stand to it. Take your time in weighing the controversy, but when you have once decided, be not easily moved. Let God be true though every man be a liar, and stand to it, that what is according to God's Word one day cannot be contrary to it another day, that what was true in Luther's day and Calvin's day must be true now; that falsehoods may shift, for they have a Protean shape; but the truth is one, and indivisible, and evermore the same.