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Charles Spurgeon Prince of Law Preaching

Charles Spurgeon in many places preached outward conformity before grace could be applied, as well as law preaching. View this exerpt from his sermon, The Need And Nature of Conversion. The link to the complete sermon is http://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons48.ii.html:

" Is your way the way of the drunkard? Now, no drunkard can ever inherit the kingdom of God as long as he continues a drunkard, so you cannot be saved if you remain in that condition. Are you a thief? Do you privately cheat in business? All that kind of thing must be given up. It is no use for you to say, "I will do it, and yet go to heaven." You will be damned unless that sin, as well as others, be given up. Or have you been a blasphemer? Do you talk profanely or filthily? You must wash all that foulness out of your mouth if you would be saved: "Let the wicked forsake his way." Am I addressing any who have practised vice in unmentionable forms? Oh, how many there are who do that, and yet are not ashamed! You must forsake all that, young man, or old man either; it is no use mincing matters with you....
"That is pretty strong language," says someone. Do you think so? I shall have to use still stronger expressions presently, for the next point concerning the nature of this repentance is that it deals with the man's thoughts: "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts." "But thoughts are free," says some unthinking person; "I shall never be hanged for my thoughts." No, perhaps not; but have you never heard that old saying, "A man may not be hanged for his thoughts, but he may be damned for his thoughts;" for, in thought, is often the very essence of sin. A deed might in itself be colourless; but the motive for doing it—the thought at the back of it—puts the venom, and virus, and guilt into the deed...

Do you ask, "What other thoughts shall we have to forsake?" I reply,—A whole set of thoughts in which many people indulge. To the ungodly man, it is often quite a treat to sit down, and think of what he calls the jolly days of his youth when he sowed his wild oats. He wishes that he had a handful or two of them left. Ah, sir! You will have to give up all thoughts of that sort; but you will have to think of those past days with bitter tears of sorrow over the sins that you then committed. The ungodly man often pictures to himself scenes of carnal delight; and if he cannot have a share in such scenes, he often wishes that he could...

 The garment spotted by the flesh must be flung away from us, and the very thought of evil must be banished from our minds as far as it is possible for us to do so...Oh, what a wretched state your heart must be in if it feels like that! It will have to be greatly altered if you are ever to be saved...

So, first, you must begin to think of God; and then, thinking of him, you must yield to him, give up your will to his will; and, doing that, you must pray to him, cry to him for mercy; and then you must trust him. Especially, you must accept his way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ; and when you do that, then you will be sure to love him. When you get as far as that, you will be a new creature altogether. Then, God will delight in you; then, it will be misery to you to be out of his presence, and it will be the highest joy of your life to have constant communion with him.III. Now I finish with the third part of our subject, that is, THE GOSPEL OF THIS CONVERSION.Possibly, somebody says, "You have been preaching to us the law, sir." No, I have not."


Liar Spurgeon! If this is not a false use of the law then the world is flat. It is interesting to note that Spurgeon is implying that if you are a drunkard and give up your drinking you will then put yourself in the way of grace. This putting oneself in the way of grace is a Puritan doctrine that smacks of works and free will. Another similar sermon is found in the book "Soul Winner" published by Associated Authors and Publishers of Grand Rapids, Michigan 49315. On page 40 Spurgeon makes the following amazing comments: "There are some men who are guilty of dishonest transactions in business; you will not see them saved all the while they continue to act so. If they will not give up that trickery, they cannot be saved. There are others who are drinking to excess. People who drink, you know, are often very easily affected under our preaching: they have a watery eye, their drinking has made them sore headed...but as long as a man clings to 'the cup of devils' he will not be likely to come to Christ. With others it is some secret sin, or some hidden lust that is the great difficulty."

Of course, the cup of devils spoken of in 1 Corinthians 10:21 refers to demon worship rather than to the sin of drunkenness. Spurgeon, as Protestants have historically done, substituted pettiness for the serious evil which is the worship of demons. Spurgeon's concerns, as first said, were petty indeed compared to the concern of the preachers in the book of Acts. (See Acts 2:22-39, Acts 3:12-19, Acts 5:42, Acts 7:52, Acts 8:5, Acts 9:5, Acts 10:34-43, Acts 17:23-34.) 

The power of the gospel does not bog down in a seeking of secret sins on the part of the Apostles other than unbelief itself. Nor is a repudiation of drunkenness or adultery, or false business practice a prerequisite for the power of the gospel. I am not proud about it, but as a young man of 21 I was saved and the gospel came upon me when I was not looking for it when I was living with a woman who had been divorced 3 times! If this gospel that comes to sinners, not reformed sinners, makes you uncomfortable then may God have mercy on you. If Jesus' hanging around prostitutes and tax collectors makes you uncomfortable, then again, may God have mercy on you.

After the elect are born from above, after repentance and faith had become a reality in their hearts, I have no doubt that virtue was added to their faith. Certainly, adultery, murder, hatred, false business practices, and drunkenness are wicked works, which Christians cannot pursue. But Spurgeon puts the cart before the horse, the outward reformation before the gospel itself, and the law before the gospel in power!

Finally, a passage from Spurgeons sermons concerning the sin of unbelief:

"2. But secondly; unbelief not only begets, but fosters sin. How is it that men can keep their sin under the thunders of the Sinai preacher? How is it that, when Boanerges stands in the pulpit, and, by the grace of God, cries aloud, "Cursed is every man that keepeth not all the commands of the law,"—how is it that when the sinner hears the tremendous threatenings of God's justice, still he is hardened, and walks on in his evil ways? I will tell you; it is because unbelief of that threatening prevents it from having any effect upon him. When our sappers and miners go to work around Sebastopol, they could not work in front of the walls, if they had not something to keep off the shots; so they raise earthworks, behind which they can do what they please. So with the ungodly man. The devil gives him unbelief; he thus puts up an earthwork, and finds refuge behind it. Ah! sinners, when once the Holy Ghost knocks down your unbelief—when once he brings home the truth in demonstration and in power, how the law will work upon your soul...

 "Law and terrors do but harden,
All the while they work alone:
But a sense of blood-bought pardon
Will dissolve a heart of stone.""


The link to the entire article can be found at: http://www.spurgeon.org/sermons/0003.htm


Of course Spurgeon, in the above sermon, totally misuses the concept of unbelief. Instead of understanding how the GOSPEL will work upon your soul we see Spurgeon saying that once your unbelief is cured you will then see how the LAW works upon your soul. I cannot say this in more forceful terms: This interpretation by Spurgeon is Satan himself talking. It is evil, it is wrong, and alas, if Spurgeon believed this (and I see no reason to see where he didn't go to his grave with this) then he is not resting in the arms of the Savior, but instead is reaping the fruit of his evil and gospel dishonoring doctrine for all eternity.

I repeat: Spurgeon says here that if you have faith, the law will convict you in a saving way. This  is double talk. Here he is putting faith before law conviction. Whatever works is his method of gaining converts who have no true faith. In truth faith comes by gospel conviction, and there is no law conviction, only natural conscience that all men have, which cannot cut like gospel conviction, and cannot save.

Many of you view these men of Covenant Theology as being heroes, but you are accepting a gospel that you did not receive if indeed you are truly saved. You are accepting a different spirit than you received, if indeed you were saved. (2 Cor 11:4) Therefore, you must reject this Neo Circumcision as Paul commanded the Corinthians to reject the original circumcision party.

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