posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from "Growth in Grace," a sermon delivered on a Sunday evening in the autumn of 1858 at the New Park Street Chapel.
t is no use to try to get more zeal except in the right way, knowing more of Christ; and if we seek to grow in zeal as certain people we might mention have done, we shall have a zeal like a house on fire! It will do more mischief than it will do good. There may be some heat, and a deal of illumination; but it will die away, by-and-by, into black ashes, poisoning the churches everywhere.
I have seen a certain kind of revival in England, and I can always tell where such "revivals" have been by the scarred state of the places after them. These so-called "revivals" have been wrought by excitable meetings, held by sundry preachers, who have invented strange doctrines, but have said nothing about the grace of God. They have for a time stirred up the people to a kind of religious furor, and they have left behind them a very desert. Before them it was like a garden of the Lord, but behind them barrenness and desolation.
The church has been divided; there has been a reaction, and the people have sunk into the most lamentable condition. If we would have true zeal, it must be by the preaching of the good old doctrine, proclaiming Jesus Christ and him crucified; for anyhing else comes of the devil, and to hell it shall tend; its issue shall be destruction, and not salvation.
But if we keep to the truth of God, there will be "revival" enough. We want nothing but the good old-fashioned gospel to stir the world again. Though men have tried new schemes, God will not own them. All these heresies must be swept away, and the true gospel—distinguishing grace of God in all the sovereignty of election—must yet again be preached; and when it is preached in all its fullness, then shall the church be zealous, and then shall Zion arise, and shake herself from the dust, and put on her beautiful garments.