Today's Expositor's Quote begins with some of Charles Spurgeon's biting wit, then moves on to consider our response to modern thought. Consider the timeliness of this advice, even though it was written more than 100 years ago:
I have frequently said of myself that I would not go across the road to hear myself preach; but I will venture to say of certain brethren that I would even go across the road in the other direction not to hear them preach. Some sermons and prayers lend a colour of support to the theory of Dr. William Hammond, that the brain is not absolutely essential to life. Brethren, I trust that not even one of you will be content with mechanical services devoid both of mental and spiritual force. . . . You desire to do your Masterís work as it ought to be done, and therefore you long for excellent gifts, and still more excellent graces. You wish that people may attend to your discourse, because there is something in it worthy of their attention. You labour to discharge your ministry, not with the lifeless method of an automaton, but with the freshness and power which will render your ministry largely effectual for its sacred purposes.
I am bound to say, also, that our object certainly is not to please our clients, nor to preach to the times, nor to be in touch with modern progress, nor to gratify the cultured few. Our life-work cannot be answered by the utmost acceptance on earth; our record is on high, or it will be written in the sand. There is no need whatever that you and I should be chaplains of the modern spirit, for it is well supplied with busy advocates. . . . With such eminently cultured persons for ever hurrying on with their new doctrines, the world may be content to let our little company keep to the old-fashioned faith, which we still believe to have been once for all delivered to the saints. Those superior persons, who are so wonderfully advanced, may be annoyed that we cannot consort with them; but, nevertheless, so it is that it is not now, and never will be, any design of ours to be in harmony with the spirit of the age, or in the least to conciliate the demon of doubt which rules the present moment.
Brethren, we shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by Godís grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible. We shall not fall into the error of that absent-minded doctor who had to cook for himself an egg; and, therefore, depositing his watch in the saucepan, he stood steadfastly looking at the egg. The change to be wrought is not for the Divine chronometer, but for the poor egg of human thought. We make no mistake here; we shall not watch our congregation to take our cue from it, but we shall keep our eye on the infallible Word, and preach according to its instructions. Out Master sits on high, and not in the chairs of the scribes and doctors, who regulate the theories of the century. We cannot take our key-note from the wealthier people, nor from the leading officers, nor even from the former minister.
Charles Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry, Chapter 9, 'The Preacher's Power, and the Conditions of Obtaining It." Now published by Banner of Truth Trust.
[There are those who, to suit their own desires, gather around themselves preachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They turn their ears away from the truth, and are turned aside to myths. May we instead preach the Word in season and out of season -- and may God in His mercy adjust this age to the Bible. -- Coty]
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