posted by Phil Johnson (from US Airways flight 1206, while over Columbus, OH)
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from chapter 10, "The Evils of the Present Time, and Our Object, Necessities, and Encouragements," in An All-Round Ministry.
e are getting into the condition into which Germany fell not long ago. To this day, when talking with a German who is about joining our church, I usually find that he has lived in a country town. The devout German villager still attends public worship, but in the large towns a practical atheism is supreme.
Why is this? The ministers have done it. They preached the people out of their faith in the Scriptures; they taught them to be doubters.
The most mischievous servant of Satan that I know of is the minister of the gospel, who not only doubts the truth in his own soul, but propagates doubt in the minds of others by his criticisms, innuendoes, and triflings with words.
Some ministers believe nothing except that nothing can be believed. Such a man's conscience is withered. In some modern ministers, the faculty wherewith to believe is extinct; they have played with words till they cannot be true if they try.
Against this evil I have protested with my whole soul. People say, "Why did you not speak against these things twenty-five years ago?" I answer, "These evils were scarcely apparent then." Things are not now as in our early ministry. There has been a sudden growth of the toadstools of error. I never heard of Universalism then, nor of post-mortem salvation, nor of probation in the next state. Until very lately, I have not heard of ministers holding up the blood of Jesus to scorn. I will not, however, repeat the sad facts which have of late come to my knowledge, and pierced my heart.
The times are out of joint. The world may well be careless, for the Church in many places is full of unbelief. I trust the present hurricane of evil may soon pass over; but anyone who has his wits about him will sorrowfully admit that the good ship of the Church is now tossed about with contrary winds, and needs that her Lord should come, and say to the winds and the waves, "Peace, be still." So far, I have borne before you "the burden of the Lord."