There is one little anecdote of Charles Spurgeon that I have wanted to share for some time. As usual, I wonder whether I have already done so in some other context. But I figure if you are like me, you don’t long-term-remember most such things. So I hope you will enjoy it or enjoy it again – whatever the case may be!
Spurgeon fought many battles. Some he chose. Some were chosen by others. I am doing deep memory recall here as I have access to just some of our books in this little house, but he was not an unequivocal admirer of the British Empire. A rather unique perspective for a High Victorian, I imagine. Also, he was an outspoken critic of American slavery. He was bold as a lion, with unbending principles.
His self-appointed enemies were, of course, much of the press of that day, (plus ca change….) hyper-Calvinists, and, eventually, theological wanderers. The people to whom he refers in this anecdote were, I am guessing, friendly critics from within the church.
Spurgeon seems to have had a rollicking sense of fun. And, to the great dismay of some in the congregation, this occasionally made its way into the pulpit. They considered it illegitimate in that context.
His response was something to the effect, Brothers be merciful to me. If you only knew how much I suppress…..
I love that!
And it points to a wider principle, doesn’t it?
We see the outcroppings of the sin of others and can be so very critical. But, with God’s help, many believers have managed over a process of years to marginalize many of their besetting sins. They are now mostly subterranean, and God is dealing faithfully with even that.
That is not an indication of hypocrisy. It is great victory!
With complete triumph on the horizon.