15 October 2006

"I am compelled to run over them"

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Phil Johnson

The PyroManiacs devote space at the beginning of each week to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. The following excerpt is from The Plea of Faith, a sermon preached at Exeter Hall on Sunday evening, June 22, 1856 (during the second year of Spurgeon's ministry in London, and just three days after his 22nd birthday).

hat is the reason why yon man hates me, because I preach what I believe to be right? If I do speak the truth am I responsible for his hating me? Not in the least degree.

I am sometimes told by my people that I attack certain parties very hard. Well, I cannot help it; if they are not right, it is not my fault—if they come in my way, that I am compelled to run over them. Suppose two of you should be driving in the road to-morrow, and one of you should be on the right side of the road, and some accident should occur, you would say, "Sir, the other man ought to have pulled up, he must pay the damages, for he had no business there at all on his wrong side." And it will be the same with us if we preach God's truth; we must go straight on; if the greatest ill feeling in the world rise up we have nothing to do with it.

God's truth will sometimes bring about warfare; Jesus Christ, you know, said himself that he came to put warfare between man and man; to set the mother-in-law against the daughter-in-law, and the daughter-in-law against the mother-inlaw; and that a man's foes should be those of his own household. But if there be ill-feeling, if there be clamoring of sects, to whom is it due? Who is responsible for it? Why, the man who makes the new sects, not the man who abides fast and firm by the old one.

If I am safely moored by a good strong anchor of fundamental truth, and some other shall strike my vessel and sink himself, I will not pay the damages. I stand firm: if others choose to go away from the truth, to cut their cables and slip their moorings; then let them. God grant that we may not do the same. Hold the truth, my friends, and hold it as the easiest method of sweeping away heresies and false doctrines.

But now-a-days, you know, you are told, "Oh, it does not matter what you believe; doctrines are nothing;" and they have tried lately to make a very happy family of us, like the happy family near Waterloo Bridge, where all kinds of creatures are shut up together; but they are only kept in order by a lath which the man, when we turn our heads, applies between the bars of the cage.

Just so with denominations; they want to amalgamate us all. We differ in various doctrines, and therefore some of us must be wrong, if we hold doctrines which are directly hostile to each other. But we are told, "It does not signify; doubtless, you are all right."

Now, I cannot see that. If I say one thing, and another man says another, how, by all that is holy, can both speak the truth? Shall black and white be the same color? Shall falsehood and truth be the same? When they shall be, and fire shall sleep in the same cradle with the waves of the ocean, then shall we agree to amalgamate ourselves with those who deny our doctrines, or speak evil of what we believe to be the gospel.

My brethren, no man has any right to absolve your judgment from allegiance to God; there is liberty of conscience between man and man, but there is none between God and man.

No man has a right to believe what he likes; he is to believe what God tells him; and if he does not believe that though he is not responsible to man, or to any set of men, or to any government, yet mark you, he is responsible to God. I beseech you, therefore, if you would avoid heresies, and bring the church to a glorious union, read the Scriptures.

Read not so much man's comments, or man's books, but read the Scriptures, and keep your faith on this,—"God has said it."

C. H. Spurgeon


mark pierson said...

"Read not so much man's comments, or man's books, but read the Scriptures, and keep your faith on this,—"God has said it."

Great lesson! So many hereies would not exist today if people would just content themselves with the prayerful and plain reading of the scriptures.

donsands said...

"God's truth will sometimes bring about warfare"

How true. And many times I find that I become discouraged, and even timid, when the warfare heats up. I pray I would be string for the Lord, and boldly speak the truth in love.
And when I do, I pray that i would not become puffed-up.

This was another incredible sermon. Thanks for posting it.
Pastor Spurgeon truly must have been "A Master Pulpiteer", no doubt.

James Scott Bell said...

The hard part is distinguishing heresies from non-essential differences of opinion. The infighting that occurs over the latter is not a credit to the church. A "fighting spirit" is necessary sometimes, but we must always be on guard against the flesh running the attack. This occurs more often than we'd like to admit, esp. in the watchblog era.

Unknown said...

Phil, sometimes if we don't set a date things just doesn't happen, so do pencil in "run over" Free Grace on your calendar.

Daniel Portela said...

Don't you just love it how Spurgeon strongly fought against the postmodern worldview so prevalent in his time? Oh, wait a minute...

4given said...

well... this just made me cry. THe hardest things to me in this is the rejection of family. So painful as my heart longs for them to know and live the peace of Christ. I know all things turn out for His glory... and NO! black and white can never be the same color. That is what I pray I remember when I begin to tremble inappropriately and think purposely to avoid speaking the truth in love... It all boils down to failing to trust and depend on a perfectly faithful God.

chamblee54 said...

"Read not so much man's comments, or man's books, but read the Scriptures, and keep your faith on this,—"God has said it.""
The Bible was written, edited, translated, and endlessly interpreted by man. While divine inspiration is possible, the fact remains it was written in the language of man.