From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: Missionary or Imposter

From The Sword and the Trowell:

Every Christian here is either a missionary or an imposter. Recollect that. You either try to spread abroad the kingdom of Christ, or else you do not love him at all. It cannot be that there is a high appreciation of Jesus, and a totally silent tongue about him. . . . [T]hat man who says, ‘I believe in Jesus,’ but does not think enough of Jesus ever to tell another about him, by mouth, or pen, or tract, is an impostor.

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit

From the sermon “The Jealous God” (#502):

The minister of Christ should disrobe himself of every rag of praise. “You preached well,” said a friend to John Bunyan one morning. “You are too late,” said honest John, “the devil told me that before I left the pulpit.” The devil often tells God’s servants a great many things which they should be sorry to hear. Why, you can hardly be useful in a Sunday school but he will say to you—“How well you have done it!” You can scarcely resist a temptation, or set a good example, but he will be whispering to you—“What an excellent person you must be!” It is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of the Christian life to learn this sentence—“Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Your name be glory.” Now God is so jealous on this point that, while He will forgive His own servants a thousand things, this is an offense for which He is sure to chasten us. Let a believer once say, “I am,” and God will soon make him say, “I am not.” Let a Christian begin to boast, “I can do all things,” without adding, “through Christ who strengthens me,” and before long he will have to groan, “I can do nothing,” and bemoan himself in the dust! Many of the sins of true Christians, I do not doubt, have been the result of their glorifying themselves. Many a man has been permitted by God to stain a noble character, and to ruin an admirable reputation, because the character and the reputation had come to be the man’s own, instead of being laid, as all our crowns must be laid, at the feet of Christ. You may build the city, but if you say with Nebuchadnezzar, “Behold this great Babylon which I have built!” you shall be smitten to the earth! The worms which ate Herod when he gave not God the glory are ready for another meal—beware of vainglory!

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: Dust on Your Bibles

From the early sermon, “The Bible” preached in 1855:

But let me say one thing before I pass on to the second point. If this be the Word of God, what will become of some of you who have not read it for the last month? “Month, sir! I have not read it for this year.” Ay, there are some of you who have not read it at all. Most people treat the Bible very politely. They have a small pocket volume, neatly bound, they put a white pocket handkerchief around it, and carry it to their places of worship. When they get home, they lay it up in a drawer till next Sunday morning. Then it comes out again for a little bit of a treat and goes to chapel. That is all the poor Bible gets in the way of an airing. That is your style of entertaining this heavenly Messenger. There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write “damnation” with your fingers. There are some of you who have not turned over your Bibles for a long, long, long while and what do you think? I tell you blunt words, but true words. What will God say at last? When you shall come before Him, He shall say, “Did you read My Bible?” “No.” “I wrote you a letter of mercy. Did you read it?” “No.” “Rebel! I have sent you a letter inviting you to Me, did you ever read it?” “Lord I never broke the seal. I kept it shut up.” “Wretch!” says God, “then you deserve hell. If I sent you a loving epistle and you would not even break the seal, what shall I do with you?” Oh! let it not be so with you. Be Bible readers. Be Bible searchers.

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: Help Thou Me

Commenting on Psalm 119:86:

What a prayer that is! Store it up for use, dear friend, carry it home with you. That is the kind of prayer to be prayed on the roadside, in a railway carriage, ay, even in an accident: “Help thou me.” “Help thou me,” is a wonderful prayer, it seems to turn on a swivel whichever way you wish; you may use it to ask for anything you need in every time of emergency: “Help thou me.”

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: Give Yourself Unto Reading

From his sermon, “Paul—his Cloak and His Books“:

Some of our . . .  brethren think that a minister who reads books and studies his sermon must be a very deplorable specimen of a preacher. A man who comes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot, and talks any quantity of nonsense, is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead men’s brains—oh! that is the preacher. How rebuked are they by the apostle! He is inspired, and yet he wants books! He has been preaching at least for thirty years, and yet he wants books! He had seen the Lord, and yet he wants books! He had had a wider experience than most men, and yet he wants books! He had been caught up into the third heaven, and had heard things which it was unlawful for a men to utter, yet he wants books! He had written the major part of the New Testament, and yet he wants books! The apostle says to Timothy and so he says to every preacher, “Give thyself unto reading.” The man who never reads will never be read; he who never quotes will never be quoted. He who will not use the thoughts of other men’s brains, proves that he has no brains of his own. Brethren, what is true of ministers is true of all our people. You need to read. Renounce as much as you will all light literature, but study as much as possible sound theological works, especially the Puritanic writers, and expositions of the Bible. We are quite persuaded that the very best way for you to be spending your leisure, is to be either reading or praying. You may get much instruction from books which afterwards you may use as a true weapon in your Lord and Master’s service. Paul cries, “Bring the books”—join in the cry.

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: If You Can

From his sermon Feeble Faith Appealing to a Strong Savor from Mark 9:24:

Perhaps, however—no, we know that it was so—the father thought that the difficulty lay with Jesus Christ Himself. He seemed to say, “I have done all I can for my child; I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him, and now I have brought him to You. If You can”—but he had hardly got those words out of his mouth before the Lord Jesus addressed him, in a peculiar Greek idiom, which cannot be fully translated into English, but which might run something like this: “The if you can”—that is exactly the Greek word—“the if you can believe, all things are possible to him that believes;” as much as to say, “The if you can does not lie with Me. Oh, no, the if you can lies with you.” He takes the man’s word, and hurls them back at him. I daresay the man may have thought, “If His disciples cannot cure my child, at all events their Master does not. He has seen how afflicted he is; if He could have done it, surely He would at once have said to my child, ‘Be healed;’ yet there He is, standing still, and talking to me, as if this were not a pressing case of urgent need. It must be lack of power on His part that keeps Him from curing my child.” But Jesus Christ will not let such a thing as that be said without showing that it is not true; and, brethren, if you harbor in your heart any idea that there is a lack of power in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, you are believing a most atrocious falsehood, and defaming the almighty Savior. The difficulty, in your case, is not either in the sin or in the Savior. He is able to forgive the greatest conceivable transgressions of all who believe in Him; and He is able to break and to renew the hardest heart, even though it should be hard as steel or like the nether millstone.

“A Habit Most Natural, Scriptural, Manly, and Beneficial”: Spurgeon on Growing a Beard

Apparently men growing beards (or at least some facial hair) is coming back in style. A lot of this might be laid at the feet of feminism. Among my Reformed brethren this has particularly become popular. I have been to a number of events and conferences where beard-growing was actually promoted in some way usually with a quote from Charles Spurgeon. The quote reads: A [beard is] most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. And being that it came from the pen of Spurgeon, it must be right. Right?!

I have always wondered where that quote came from. And after some research I discovered that it is found in Spurgeon’s book Lecture to My Students. The context, honestly, sort of ruins the quote for beard growing promoters. There, Spurgeon is encouraging his students to guard their throats. Therefore, he suggests they never wrap their throats tightly. Even in the winter months when it is so cold, Spurgeon warns against men wearing scarfs. One reason is it prevents the body from adapting to the cold. But if one does want something to help with the winter weather, grow a beard – A habit most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. Here is the full quote:

When you have done preaching take care of your throat by never wrapping it up tightly. From personal experience I venture with some diffidence to give this piece of advice. If any of you possess delightfully warm woollen comforters, with which there may be associated the most tender remembrances of mother or sister, treasure them — treasure them in the bottom of your trunk, but do not expose them to any vulgar use by wrapping them round your necks. If any brother wants to die of influenza let him wear a warm scarf round his neck, and then one of these nights he will forget it, and catch such a cold as will last him the rest of his natural life.

You seldom see a sailor wrap his neck up. No, he always keeps it bare and exposed, and has a turn-down collar, and if he has a tie at all, it is but a small one loosely tied, so that the wind can blow all round his neck. In this philosophy I am a firm believer, having never deviated from it for these fourteen years, and having before that time been frequently troubled with colds, but very seldom since.

If you feel that you want something else, why, then grow your beards! A habit most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. One of our brethren, now present, has for years found this of great service. He was compelled to leave England on account of the loss of his voice, but he has become as strong as Samson now that his locks are unshorn.

If your throats become affected consult a good physician, or if you cannot do this, give what attention you please to the following hint. Never purchase “Marsh-mallow Rock,” “Cough-no-more Lozenges,” “Pulmonic Wafers,” Horehound, Ipecacuanha, or any of the ten thousand emollient compounds. They may serve your turn for a time by removing present uneasiness, but they ruin the throat by their laxative qualities. If you wish to improve your throat take a good share of pepper — good Cayenne pepper, and other astringent substances, as much as your stomach can bear. (Lecture to My Students, lecture 8 “On the Voice”)

 

Originally published on April 27, 2013.

“A Habit Most Natural, Scriptural, Manly, and Beneficial”: Spurgeon on Growing a Beard

Apparently men growing beards (or at least some facial hair) is coming back in style. A lot of this might be laid at the feet of feminism. Among my Reformed brethren this has particularly become popular. I have been to a number of events and conferences where beard-growing was actually promoted in some way usually with a quote from Charles Spurgeon. The quote reads: A [beard is] most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. And being that it came from the pen of Spurgeon, it must be right. Right?!

I have always wondered where that quote came from. And after some research I discovered that it is found in Spurgeon’s book Lecture to My Students. The context, honestly, sort of ruins the quote for beard growing promoters. There, Spurgeon is encouraging his students to guard their throats. Therefore, he suggests they never wrap their throats tightly. Even in the winter months when it is so cold, Spurgeon warns against men wearing scarfs. One reason is it prevents the body from adapting to the cold. But if one does want something to help with the winter weather, grow a beard – A habit most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. Here is the full quote:

When you have done preaching take care of your throat by never wrapping it up tightly. From personal experience I venture with some diffidence to give this piece of advice. If any of you possess delightfully warm woollen comforters, with which there may be associated the most tender remembrances of mother or sister, treasure them — treasure them in the bottom of your trunk, but do not expose them to any vulgar use by wrapping them round your necks. If any brother wants to die of influenza let him wear a warm scarf round his neck, and then one of these nights he will forget it, and catch such a cold as will last him the rest of his natural life.

You seldom see a sailor wrap his neck up. No, he always keeps it bare and exposed, and has a turn-down collar, and if he has a tie at all, it is but a small one loosely tied, so that the wind can blow all round his neck. In this philosophy I am a firm believer, having never deviated from it for these fourteen years, and having before that time been frequently troubled with colds, but very seldom since.

If you feel that you want something else, why, then grow your beards! A habit most natural, scriptural, manly, and beneficial. One of our brethren, now present, has for years found this of great service. He was compelled to leave England on account of the loss of his voice, but he has become as strong as Samson now that his locks are unshorn.

If your throats become affected consult a good physician, or if you cannot do this, give what attention you please to the following hint. Never purchase “Marsh-mallow Rock,” “Cough-no-more Lozenges,” “Pulmonic Wafers,” Horehound, Ipecacuanha, or any of the ten thousand emollient compounds. They may serve your turn for a time by removing present uneasiness, but they ruin the throat by their laxative qualities. If you wish to improve your throat take a good share of pepper — good Cayenne pepper, and other astringent substances, as much as your stomach can bear. (Lecture to My Students, lecture 8 “On the Voice”)

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: The Sacred Book

From the sermon “Holy Longings”:

All other books might be heaped together in one pile and burned with less loss to the world than would be occasioned by the obliteration of a single page of the sacred volume [Scripture]. At their best, all other books are but as gold leaf, requiring acres to find one ounce of the precious metal. But the Bible is solid gold. It contains blocks of gold, mines, and whole caverns of priceless treasure. In the mental wealth of the wisest men there are no jewels like the truths of revelation. The thoughts of men are vanity, low, and groveling at their best. but he who has given us this book has said, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). Let it be to you and to me a settled matter that the word of the Lord shall be honored in our minds and enshrined in our hearts. Let others speak as they may. We could sooner part with all that is sublime and beautiful, or cheering and profitable, in human literature than lose a single syllable from the mouth of God.

 

From Spurgeon’s Pulpit: Christ Did Not Say "Feed My Giraffes"

From his sermon, “Feed My Sheep“:

A farmer one day, after he had listened to a simple sermon which was the very opposite of what he generally heard, exclaimed, “O Lord, we bless you that the food was put into a low crib today, so that Your sheep could reach it!” Some Brothers put the food up so high that the poor sheep cannot possibly feed upon it. I have thought, as I have listened to our eloquent friends, that they imagined that our Lord had said, “Feed my giraffes.” None but giraffes could reach the food when placed in so lofty a rack! Christ says, “Feed My sheep”—place the food among them. Put it close to them.