28 April 2013

Pray for your under-shepherd!

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from Eccentric Preachers, pages 52-54, Pilgrim Publications. 
"Do you not think it very hard that some of us can never utter a playful sentence without being criticized?"

A minister who is much before the public has need to be thick skinned, and to exercise to a very high degree the virtue of longsuffering. It may help him if he will remember the conduct of good Cotton Mather, a man remarkable for the sweetness of his temper. On one occasion, having taken a prominent interest in the political concerns of his country, he received a large number of abusive letters. All of these he tied up in a packet, and wrote upon the cover, “Libels. Father, forgive them.”

No man of God need be astonished at slander, as though some strange thing had happened unto him, for the best servants of God have been subject to that trial. Mr. Whitefield truly said, “Thousands of prayers are put up for us, and thousands of lies are spread abroad against us.”

Of himself, concerning his tour in Scotland, they said, “Wherever he went he had a gaping crowd around him, and had the address to make them part with their money. He was a pickpocket, and went off to England with a full purse, but with a ruined reputation among all except his bigoted admirers.” This was falsehood itself.

I commend to young preachers when they are tried in this fashion the wise and weighty words of   Thomas A’Kempis : —

“My son, take it not grievously if some think ill of thee, and speak that which thou wouldest not willingly hear.
“Thou oughtest to be the hardest judge of thyself and to think no man weaker than thyself.
“If thou dost walk spiritually, thou wilt not much weigh fleeting words.
“It is no small wisdom to keep silence in an evil time, and in thy heart to turn thyself to God, and not to be troubled by the judgment of men.
“Let not thy peace depend on the tongues of men; for whether they judge well of thee or ill, thou art not on that account other than thyself. Where are true peace and true glory? Are they not in God?
“And he that careth not to please men, nor feareth to displease them, shall enjoy much peace.
“From inordinate love and vain fear ariseth all disquietness of heart and distraction of the mind.”

Dr. Campbell once told me the following story:—On one occasion, when Mr. Wesley was preaching, he said, “I have been falsely charged with every crime of which a human being is capable, except that of drunkenness.” He had scarcely uttered these words before a wretched woman started up and screamed out at the top of her voice, “You old villain, and will you deny it? Did you not pledge your bands last night for a noggin of whisky, and did not the woman sell them to our parson’s wife?”

Having delivered herself of this abominable calumny the virago sat down amid a thunder-struck assembly, whereupon Mr. Wesley lifted his hands to heaven, and thanked God that his cup was now full, for they had said all manner of evil against him falsely for Christ’s name-sake. After this we feel reconciled to the idle tales which buzz about us, annoying us for a small moment, but doing no great damage.

1 comment:

donsands said...

Wonderful words for Christians to remember, as the world becomes darker and darker, and the truth begins to shine brighter and sting the eyes of those who hate the truth.

May the Lord equip us with His awesome joy, so that the hateful words of this dark world, (when they come), will not have the sting, that they are feeling in their eyes from the light of the truth.

Thanks for the post. Have a terrific week in our Savior's love, which is an eternal love.