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“We are not to be always going about the world searching out heresies like terrier dogs sniffing for rats” by Charles Spurgeon

“We should avoid everything like the ferocity of bigotry.

There are religious people about, who, I have no doubt, were born of a woman, but appear to have been suckled by a wolf.

I have done them no dishonour: were not Romulus and Remus, the founders of the city of Rome, so fed?

Some warlike men of this order have had power to found dynasties of thought; but human kindness and brotherly love consort better with the kingdom of Christ.

We are not to be always going about the world searching out heresies, like terrier dogs sniffing for rats, and to be always so confident of one’s own infallibility, that we erect ecclesiastical stakes at which to roast all who differ from us.

And, dear brethren, we must acquire certain moral faculties and habits, as well as put aside their opposites. He will never do much for God who has not integrity of spirit.

If we be guided by policy, if there be any mode of action for us but that which is straightforward, we shall make shipwreck before long.

Resolve, dear brethren, that you can be poor, that you can be despised, that you can lose life itself, but that you cannot do a crooked thing.

For you, let the only policy be honesty.

May you also possess the grand moral characteristic of courage.

By this we do not mean impertinence, impudence, or self-conceit; but real courage to do and say calmly the right thing, and to go straight on at all hazards, though there should be none to give you a good word.

I am astonished at the number of Christians who are afraid to speak the truth to their brethren.

I thank God I can say this, there is no member of my church, no officer of the church, and no man in the world to whom I am afraid to say before his face what I would say behind his back.

Under God I owe my position in my own church to the absence of all policy, and the habit of saying what I mean.

The plan of making things pleasant all round is a perilous as well as a wicked one. If you say one thing to one man, and another to another, they will one day compare notes and find you out, and then you will be despised.

The man of two faces will sooner or later be the object of contempt, and justly so.

Now, above all things, avoid that. If you have anything that you feel you ought to say about a man, let the measure of what you say be this— ‘How much dare I say to his face?’

We must not allow ourselves a word more in censure of any man living.

If that be your rule, your courage will save you from a thousand difficulties, and win you lasting respect.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and Trowel: 1874 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 78-79.

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“Perhaps a dead cat or two” by Charles Spurgeon

“Brethren, we should cultivate a clear style.

When a man does not make me understand what he means, it is because he does not himself know what he means.

An average hearer, who is unable to follow the course of thought of the preacher, ought not to worry himself, but to blame the preacher, whose business it is to make the matter clear.

If you look down into a well, if it be empty it will appear to be very deep, but if there be water in it you will see its brightness.

I believe that many “deep” preachers are simply so because they are like dry wells with nothing whatever in them, except decaying leaves, a few stones, and perhaps a dead cat or two.

If there be living water in your preaching it may be very deep, but the light of the truth will give clearness to it.

At any rate labour to be plain, so that the truths you teach may be easily received by your hearers.

We must cultivate a cogent as well as a clear style; we must be forceful.

Some imagine that this consists in speaking loudly, but I can assure them they are in error.

Nonsense does not improve by being bellowed.

God does not require us to shout as if we were speaking to three millions when we are only addressing three hundred.

Let us be forcible by reason of the excellence of our matter, and the energy of spirit which we throw into the delivery of it.

In a word, let our speaking be natural and living.

I hope we have forsworn the tricks of professional orators, the strain for effect, the studied climax, the pre-arranged pause, the theatric strut, the mouthing of words, and I know not what besides, which you may see in certain pompous divines who still survive upon the face of the earth.

May such become extinct animals ere long, and may a living, natural, simple way of talking out the gospel be learned by us all; for I am persuaded that such a style is one which God is likely to bless.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, The Sword and Trowel: 1874 (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1874), 76.

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“Many preachers are not theologians” by Charles Spurgeon

“Study the Bible, dear brethren, through and through, with all helps that you can possibly obtain.

Remember that the appliances now within the reach of ordinary Christians are much more extensive than they were in our father’s days, and therefore you must be greater Biblical scholars if you would keep in front of your hearers.

Intermeddle with all knowledge; but, above all things, meditate day and night in the law of the Lord.

Be well instructed in theology, and do not regard the sneers of those who rail at it because they are ignorant of it. Many preachers are not theologians, and hence the mistakes which they make.

It cannot do any hurt to the most lively evangelist to be also a sound theologian, and it may often be the means of saving him from gross blunders.

Nowadays, we hear men tear a single sentence of Scripture from its connection, and cry, “Eureka! Eureka!” as if they had found a new truth; and yet they have not discovered a diamond, but only a piece of broken glass.

Had they been able to compare spiritual things with spiritual, had they understood the analogy of the faith, and had they been acquainted with the holy learning of the great Bible students of past ages, they would not have been quite so fast in vaunting their marvellous knowledge.

Let us be thoroughly well acquainted with the great doctrines of the Word of God, and let us be mighty in expounding the Scriptures.

I am sure that no preaching will last so long, or build up a church so well, as the expository.

To renounce altogether the hortatory discourse for the expository, would be running to a preposterous extreme; but I cannot too earnestly assure you that, if your ministries are to be lastingly useful, you must be expositors.

For this purpose, you must understand the Word yourselves, and be able so to comment upon it that the people may be built up by the Word.

Be masters of your Bibles, brethren; whatever other works you have not searched, be at home with the writings of the prophets and apostles.

‘Let the Word of God dwell in you richly.’ (Colossians 3:16)”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 27-28.

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“The picture of a father” by Charles Spurgeon

“Survey the picture of a father who sees his child returning from the error of his way. In the New Testament, you see the portrait Divinely drawn.

When the prodigal was a great way off, his father saw him. Oh, to have quick eyes to spy out the awakened!

The father ran to meet him. Oh, to be eager to help the hopeful!

He fell upon his neck, and kissed him. Oh, for a heart overflowing with love, to joy and rejoice over seeking ones!

As that father was, such should we be; ever loving, and ever on the outlook.

Our eyes, and ears, and feet should ever be given to penitents. Our tears and open arms should be ready for them.

The father in Christ is the man to remember the best robe, and the ring, and the sandals.

He remembers those provisions of grace because he is full of love to the returning one.

Love is a practical theologian, and takes care to deal practically with all the blessings of the covenant, and all the mysteries of revealed truth.

It does not hide away the robe and ring in a treasury of theology; but brings them forth, and puts them on.

O my brethren, as you are the sons of God, be also fathers in God!

Let this be the burning passion of your souls.

Grow to be leaders and champions. God give you the honour of maturity, the glory of strength!”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 193-194.

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“Did He set about it by organizing a monster Conference, or by publishing a great book?” by Charles Spurgeon

“Let me remind you how the Saviour lived. He never settled down in desires and resolves, but girded Himself for constant service.

He said, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.’ (John 4:34)

Soul-winning must be meat and drink to us. To do the Lord’s work must be as necessary as food to us.

His Father’s work is that in which we also are engaged, and we cannot do better than imitate our Lord. Tell me, then, how Jesus set about it.

Did He set about it by arranging to build a huge Tabernacle, or by organizing a monster Conference, or by publishing a great book, or by sounding a trumpet before Him in any other form?

Did He aim at something great, and altogether out of the common line of service?

Did He bid high for popularity, and wear Himself out by an exhausting sensationalism?

No. He called disciples to Him one by one, and instructed each one with patient care.

To take a typical instance of His method, watch Him as He paused in the heat of the day. He sat upon a well, and talked with a woman,– a woman who was none of the best.

This looked like slow work, and very common-place action. Yet we know that it was right and wise.

To that single auditor, He did not deliver a list of clever maxims, like those of Confucius, or profound philosophies, like those of Socrates.

But He talked simply, plainly, and earnestly with her about her own life, her personal needs, and the living water of grace by which those needs could be supplied.

He won her heart, and through her many more; but He did it in a way of which many would think little. He was beyond the petty ambitions of our vain-glorious hearts.

He cared not for a large congregation; He did not even ask for a pulpit.

He desired to be the spiritual Father of that one daughter; and, for that purpose, He must needs go through Samaria, and must, in His utmost weariness, tell her of the water of life.

Brethren, let us lay aside vanity. Let us grow more simple, natural, and father-like as we mature; and let us be more and more completely absorbed in our life-work.

As the Lord shall help us, let us lay our all upon the altar, and only breathe for Him.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 194-196.

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“We shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace” by Charles Spurgeon

“One thing is past all question; we shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace.

If I have much faith, so that I can take God at His word; much love, so that the zeal of His house eats me up; much hope, so that I am assured of fruit from my labour; much patience, so that I can endure hardness for Jesus’ sake; then I shall greatly honour my Lord and King.

Oh, to have much consecration, my whole nature being absorbed in His service; then, even though my talents may be slender, I shall make my life to burn and glow with the glory of the Lord!

This way of grace is open to us all. To be saintly is within each Christian’s reach, and this is the surest method of honouring God.

Though the preacher may not collect more than a hundred in a village chapel to hear him speak, he may be such a man of God that his little church will be choice seed-corn, each individual worthy to be weighed against gold.

The preacher may not get credit for his work in the statistics which reckon scores and hundreds; but in that other book, which no secretary could keep, where things are weighed rather than numbered, the worker’s register will greatly honour his Master.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 233.

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“Grace is the beginning of glory” by Thomas Manton

“Grace is the beginning of glory, and glory is but grace perfected.

Grace is glory in the bud, and moulding, and making; for when the apostle would express our whole conformity to Christ, he only expresseth it thus, ‘We are changed into his image from glory to glory,’ (2 Cor 3:18), that is, from one degree of grace to another.

It is called glory, because the progress of holiness never ceaseth till it comes to the perfection of glory and life eternal. The first degree of grace is glory begun, and the final consummation is glory perfected.

All the degrees of our conformity to Christ are so called. It is a bud of that sinless, pure, immaculate estate which shall be without spot and wrinkle; the seed of that perfect holiness which shall be bestowed upon us hereafter.

Thus the spiritual life is described in its whole flux; it begins in grace, and ends in glory.

See the golden chain: Rom. 8:30, ‘Whom he hath called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.’

There is no mention of sanctification, for that is included in glory.

Grace is but young glory, and differs from glory as an infant doth from a man; therefore by degrees the Lord will have you enter upon your everlasting inheritance.”

–Thomas Manton, The Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 13 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1870/2020), 13: 331.

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