Posts Tagged ‘Spurgeon’

The Smallest Denomination in the World

In the first place, there is consolation in the doctrines of the Bible. I like a doctrinal religion. I do not believe in the statement of some people that they have no creed. A man says, for instance, “I am not a Calvinist and I am not an Arminian. I am not a Baptist, I am not a Presbyterian, I am not an Independent.” He says he is liberal. But this is only the license he claims for his own habit of disagreeing with everybody. He is one of that sort of people whom we generally find to be the most bigoted and least tolerant of others.

He follows himself And so belongs to the smallest denomination in the world! I do not believe that charity consists in giving up our denominational distinctions. I think there is a “more excellent way.” Even those who despise not faith, though they almost sacrifice it to their benevolence, will sometimes say, “Well, I don’t belong to any of your sects and parties.” There was a body of men once who came out from all branches of the Christian Church with the hope that everybody else of true heart would follow them. The result, however, has been that they have only made another denomination, distinct alike in doctrine and discipline.

I believe in creeds if they are based on Scripture. They may not secure unity of sentiment, but on the whole they promote it, for they serve as landmarks and show us the points at which many turn aside. Every man must have a creed if he believes anything. The greater certainty he feels that it is true, the greater his own satisfaction. In doubts, darkness and distrust, there can be no consolation. The vague fancies of the skeptic, as he muses over images and apprehensions too shapeless and airy to be incorporated into any creed may please for awhile, but it is the pleasure of a dream.

I believe that there is consolation for Israel in the substance of faith and the evidence of things not seen. Ideas are too ethereal to lay hold of. The anchor we have is sure and steadfast. I thank God that the faith I have received can be molded into a creed and can be explained with words so simple that the common people can understand it and be comforted by it. Then look at the doctrines themselves–the doctrines of the Bible. What well-springs of consolation they are! How consolatory the doctrine of election to the Israel of God! To some men it is repulsive. But show me the gracious soul that has come to put his trust under the wings of the Lord God of Israel–“Chosen in Christ,” will be a sweet stanza in his song of praise!

To think that before the hills were formed, or the channels of the sea were scooped out, God loved me! That from everlasting to everlasting His mercy is upon His people! Is not that a consolation? You who do not believe in election, go and fish in other waters–but in this great sea there are mighty fishes. If you could come here, you would find rich consolation. Or come again to the sweet doctrine of redemption. What consolation is there, Beloved, to know that you are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ! Not the mock redemption taught by some people, which pretends that the ransom is paid, but the souls that are ransomed may, notwithstanding, be lost. No, no! A positive redemption which is effectual for all those for whom it is made. – C. H. Spurgeon, “Simeon”, 1861