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 Teachings of Nature, pages 129-30, Pilgrim Publications.“A garden inclosed is My sister, My spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed.”
I know what is meant by a worldly Christian; and I suppose the Christian world must be an aggregate of worldly Christians. But the church of Christ is not of the world. “Ye are not of the world,” says Christ, “even as I am not of the world.”
Great attempts have been made of late to make the church receive the world, and wherever it has succeeded it has come to this result—the world has swallowed up the church. It must be so. The greater is sure to swamp the less.
They say, “Do not let us draw any hard and fast lines. A great many good people attend our services who may not be quite decided, but still their opinions should be consulted, and their votes should be taken upon the choice of a minister, and there should be entertainments and amusements, in which they can assist.”
The theory seems to be, that it is well to have a broad gangway from the church to the world: if this be carried out, the result will be that the nominal church will use that gangway to go over to the world, but it will not be used in the other direction.
It is thought by some that it would perhaps be better to have no distinct church at all. If the world will not come up to the church, let the church go down to the world; that seems to be the theory. Let the Israelites dwell with the Canaanites, and become one happy family.
Such a blending does not appear to have been anticipated by our Lord in John xv. Read verses eighteen and nineteen: “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated Me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
Did He ever say—“Try to make an alliance with the world, and in all things be conformed to its ways”? Nothing could have been further from our Lord's mind. Oh, that we could see more of holy separation; more dissent from ungodliness, more nonconformity to the world! This is “the dissidence of dissent” that I care for, far more than I do for party names; and the political strife which is engendered by them.