Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Spurgeon Quotes



Chapter 1: The minister's Self-Watch.

“It is not great talents God blesses so much as likeness to Jesus”.

“It is a terrible thing when the healing balm loses its efficacy through the blunderer who administers it. You all know the injurious effects frequently produced upon water through flowing along leaden pipes; even so the gospel itself, in flowing through men who are spiritually unhealthy, may be debased until it grows injurious to their hearers.”

“True and genuine piety is necessary as the first indispensable requisite; whatever “call” a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry.”

“Should we as a a nation be called to defend our hearths and homes, we should not send out our boys and girls with swords and guns to meet the foe, nether may the church send out every fluent novice or inexperienced zealot to plead for the faith. The fear of the Lord must teach the young man wisdom, or he is barred from the pastorate; the grace of God must mature his spirit, or he had better tarry till power be given him from on high.”

Chapter 2: The Call to Ministry

“The apostle says, 'Now then we are ambassadors for God;' but does not the very soul of the ambassadorial office lie in the appointment which is made by the monarch represented? An ambassador unsent would be a laughing-stock.”

“The first sign of the heavenly calling is an intense, all absorbing desire for the work. In order to a true call to the ministry there must be an irresistible, overwhelming craving and raging thirst for telling to others what God has done to our own souls.”

“'Do not enter the ministry if you can help it'...for a man so filled with God would utterly weary of any pursuit but that for which his inmost soul pants.”

“This desire should be one which continues with us, a passion which bears the test of trial, a longing from which it is quite impossible for us to escape, though we may have tried to do so; a desire, in fact, which grows more intense by the lapse of years, until it becomes a yearning, a pining, a famishing, to proclaim the Word.”

“If a man be called to preach, he will be endowed with a degree of speaking ability, which he will cultivate and increase.”

“Do not run about inviting yourselves to preach here and there; be more concerned about your ability than your opportunity, and more earnest about your walk with God than about either. The sheep will know the Godsent shepherd; the porter of the fold will open to you, and the flock will know your voice.”

“That which finally evidences a proper call, is a correspondent opening in providence, by a gradual train of circumstances pointing out the means, the time, the place, of actually entering upon the work.”

“It is very difficult to restrain ourselves within the bounds of prudence here, when our zeal is warm: a sense of love of Christ upon our hearts, and a tender compassion for poor sinners, is ready to prompt us to break out too soon; but he that believeth shall not make haste.”

Chapter 3: The Preacher's Private Prayer

“All our libraries and studies are mere emptiness compared with our closets. We grow, we wax mighty, we prevail in private prayer.”

“Prayer, as a mental exercise, will bring many subjects before the mind, and so help in the selection of a topic, while as a high spiritual engagement it will cleanse your inner eye that you may see truth in the light of God.”

“Certain brethren aim at inspiration through exertion and loud shouting; but it does not come: some we have known to stop the discourse, and exclaim, 'God bless you,' and others gesticulate wildly, and drive their finger nails into their palms of their hands as if they were in convulsions of celestial ardor. Bah! The whole thing smells of the green-room and the stage. The getting up of fervor in hearers by the simulation of it in the preacher is a loathsome deceit to be scorned by honest men.”

Chapter 5: Sermons-Their Matter

“Brethren, weigh your sermons. Do not retail them by the yard, but deal them out by the pound. Set no store by the quantity of words which you utter, but strive to be esteemed for the quality of your matter.”

“We must throw all our strength of judgment, memory, imagination, and eloquence into the delivery of the gospel.”

“You should make your sermons like a loaf of bread, fit for eating, and in convenient form.”

“We must in these times say a great deal in a few words, but not too much, nor with too much amplification...One tenpenny nail driven home and clenched will be more useful than a score of tin-tacks loosely fixed, to be pulled out again in an hour.”

Chapter 6: On the Choice of Text

“Let us abhor all one-sidedness, all exaggeration of one truth and disparagement of another, and let us endeavor to paint the portrait of truth with balanced features and blended colors, lest we dishonor her by presenting distortion instead of symmetry, and a caricature for faithful copy.”

“Your pulpit preparations are your first business, and if you neglect these, you will bring no credit upon yourself or your office.”

Chapter 12: The Minister's Ordinary Conversation

“The bow, of course, must be at times unstrung, or else it will lose its elasticity; but there is no need to cut the string.”

“Salt is of no use in the box; it must be rubbed into the meat; and our personal influence must penetrate and season society...Our Master went to a wedding, and ate bread with publicans and sinners, and yet was far more pure than those sanctimonious Pharisees, whose glory was that they were separate from their fellowmen.”

“Give me the man around whom the children come, like flies around a honey-pot: they are first-class judges of a good man. When Solomon was tried by the Queen of Sheba, as to his wisdom, the rabbis tell us that she brought some artificial flowers with her, beautifully made and delicately scented, so as to be facsimiles of real flowers. She asked Solomon to discover which were artificial and which were real. The wise man bade his servants open the window, and when the bees came in they flew at once to the natural flowers, and cared nothing for the artificial. So you will find that children have their instincts, and discover very speedily who is their friend, and depend upon it the children's friend is one who will be worth knowing.”

“An individual who has no geniality about him had better be an undertaker, and bury the dead, for he will never succeed in influencing the living.”

“But if you are drawn into controversy, use very hard arguments and very soft words. Frequently you cannot convince a man by tugging at his reason, but you can persuade him by winning his affections.”

Chapter 21: Earnestness: Its Marring and Maintenance

“In many instances ministerial success is traceable almost entirely to an intense zeal, a consuming passion for souls, and an eager enthusiasm in the cause of God, and we believe that in every case, other things being equal, men prosper in the divine service in proportion as their hearts are blazing with holy love. 'The God that answereth by fire, let him be God'; and the man who has the tongue of fire, let him be God's minister.”

“Moreover, for the sake of our church members, and converted people, we must be energetic, for if we are not zealous, neither will they be. It is not in order of nature that rivers should run uphill, and it does not often happen that zeal rises from the pew to the pulpit.”

“If the prophet leaves his heart behind him when he professes to speak in the name of God, what can he expect but that the ungodly around him will persuade themselves that there is nothing in his message, and that his commission is a farce.”

“Be earnest, and you will seem to be earnest. A burning heart will soon find for itself a flaming tongue. To sham earnestness is one of the most contemptible of dodges for courting popularity; let us abhor the very thought. Go and be listless in the pulpit if you are so in your heart. Be slow in speech, drawling in tone, and monotonous in voice, if so you can best express your soul; even that would be infinitely better than to make your ministry a masquerade and yourself an actor.”

“If non-success humbles us it is well, but if it discourages us, and especially if it leads us to think bitterly of more prosperous brethren, we ought to look about us with grave concern.”

“Never say 'it is enough', nor accept the policy of 'rest and be thankful.' Do all you possibly can, and then do a little more.”

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