16 February 2014

The danger of "animal enthusiasm"

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 The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 32, sermon number 1,900, "Rejoice evermore."
"Certain religious people are of a restless, excitable turn, and never feel good till they are half out of their minds." 

You would not wonder if their hair should stand bolt upright, like the quills of the fretful porcupine. They are in such a state of mind that they cry “hallelujah” at anything or nothing, for they feel ready to cry, or shout, or jump, or dance.

I do not condemn their delirium, but I am anxious to know what goes with it. Come hither, friend; let us have a talk. What do you know? What? Is it possible that I offend you the moment I seek a reason for the hope that is in you? Is it so, that you do not know anything of the doctrines of grace? You were never taught anything; the object of the institution which enlisted you is not to teach you, but only to excite you.

It pours boiling water into you, but it does not feed you with milk. That is a miserable business. We like excitement of a proper kind, and we covet earnestly a high and holy joy, but if our rejoicing does not come out of a clear understanding of the things of God, and if there is no truth at the bottom of it, what does it profit us?

Those who rejoice without knowing why can be driven to despair without knowing why; and such persons are likely to be found in a lunatic asylum ere long. The religion of Jesus Christ acts upon truthful, reasonable, logical principles: it is sanctified common sense.

A Christian man should only exhibit a joy which he can justify, and of which he can say, “There is reason for it.” I pray you, take care that you have joy which you may expect to endure for ever, because there is a good solid reason at the back of it.

The excitement of animal enthusiasm will die out like the crackling of thorns under a pot; we desire to have a flame burning on the hearth of our souls which is fed with the fuel of eternal truth, and will therefore burn on for evermore.

1 comment:

donsands said...

Actually this is strange, but I feel like shouting after reading these words from Charles about maybe being a "lunatic" if you act so.

Yet, I do know that a follower of Jesus can be so full of joy that he may look a bit bonkers. But at the same time, he will love to sit and talk about his faith, love, peace, and joy he has in the Word, which became flesh.

This was extra exception. Thank you brother for posting this! I had such a rejoicing church service today, and this nice little meal of truth is a blessing to chew on and savor.