11 September 2016

Divided hearts

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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 New Park Street Pulpit, volume 5, sermon number 276, "A divided heart."
"When a man’s heart is divided, he is at once everything that is bad." 

With regard to himself he is an unhappy man. Who can be happy while he has rival powers within his own breast. The soul must find a nest for itself, or else it cannot find rest. The bird that would seek to rest upon two twigs would never have peace, and the soul that endeavours to find two resting places, first, the world, and then the Saviour, will never have any joy or comfort.

A united heart is a happy heart; hence David says, “Unite my heart to fear thy name.” They that give themselves wholly to God are a blessed people, for they find that the ways of religion are “ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

Men who are neither this nor that, neither one thing nor another, are always uneasy and miserable. The fear of discovery, and the consciousness of being wrong, conspire together to agitate the soul and make it full of unease, disease and restlessness of spirit. Such a man is unhappy in himself.

He is in the next place, useless in the church. Of what good is such a man to us? We cannot put him in the pulpit to propound that gospel he does not practice. We cannot put him in the deaconship to serve the church which his life would ruin. We cannot commit to his charge the spiritual matters of the church in the eldership, because we discern that not being spiritual himself, he is not to be entrusted with them.

In no respect is he of any good to us. “Reprobate silver shall men call them.” His name may be in the church-book, but it had better be taken away. He may sit among us and give us his contribution, we should be better without it and without him than with either, though he should double his talent and treble his contributions. We know that no man who is not united in his heart vitally and entirely to Christ, can never be of the slightest service to the church of God.

But not only this; he is a man dangerous to the world. Such a man is like a leper going abroad in the midst of healthy people; he spreads the disease. The drunkard is a leper set apart by himself; he doth but little harm comparatively, for he in his drunkenness is like the leper when he is driven from society. His very drunkenness cries out, “Unclean, unclean, unclean!”

But this man is a professor of religion and, therefore tolerated. He says he is a Christian, and therefore he is admitted into all society, and yet he is inwardly full of rottenness and deception. Though outwardly whitewashed like a sepulchre, he is more dangerous to the world, I say, than the most vicious of men. Tie him up—let him not go loose; build a prison for him.

But what am I saying? If you would build a prison for hypocrites, all London would not suffice for ground for the prisons. Oh my brethren, notwithstanding the impossibility of binding them, I do say that the maddest dog in the hottest weather is not one-half so dangerous to men as a man who hath a divided heart, one who runs about with the rabid poison of his hypocrisy upon his lips, and destroys the souls of men by contamination.