Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Spurgeon on Catholicism

According to Richard Mouw, here is an account of Charles Spurgeon's visit to a Catholic service in Belgium, when he visited there with his wife in 1860:

In Brussels, I heard a good sermon in a Romish church. The place was crowded with people, many of them standing, though they might have had a seat for a halfpenny or a farthing; and I stood, too; and the good priest — for I believe he is a good man, — preached the Lord Jesus with all his might. He spoke of the love of Christ, so that I, a very poor hand at the French language, could fully understand him, and my heart kept beating within me as he told of the beauties of Christ, and the preciousness of His blood, and of His power to save the chief of sinners. He did not say, ‘justification by faith,’ but he did say, ‘efficacy of the blood,’ which comes to very much the same thing. He did not tell us we were saved by grace, and not by our works; but he did say that all the works of men were less than nothing when brought into competition with the blood of Christ, and that the blood of Jesus alone could save. True, there were objectionable sentences, as naturally there must be in a discourse delivered under such circumstances; but I could have gone to the preacher, and have said to him, ‘Brother, you have spoken the truth;’ and if I had been handling the text, I must have treated it in the same way that he did, if I could have done it as well. I was pleased to find my own opinion verified, in his case, that there are, even in the apostate church, some who cleave unto the Lord, — some sparks of Heavenly fire that flicker amidst the rubbish of old superstition, some lights that are not blown out, even by the strong wind of Popery, but still cast a feeble gleam across the waters sufficient to guide the soul to the rock Christ Jesus.” (Quoted in Lewis Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers, 343-344).


Scott Hahn said...

Dear Michael,
I really enjoy your blog, as you know, especially this one about Spurgeon (he's still one of my favorite preachers). As a follow-up, may I suggest that you read Benedict's "Jesus of Nazareth," and then candidly share your thoughts and impressions? You might find "the strong wind of Popery" is what now carries "the sparks of heavenly fire" to the oikoumene, spreading faith in Jesus and the Gospel -- even for critical biblical scholars like us.
In any case, blog on!

Skjou said...

Nice find on Spurgeon, via Mouw, on his experience at Catholic Mass. And nice to see Hahn chime in as well.

CeceB said...

I just wanted to alert your readers to a prayer movement that’s been going on for the past dozen years or so led by the French ministry Objectif France. For the past three years, the campaign Pray for France (in English) has been translating their 21-day prayer guide with current prayer topics for each day. Pray for France allows English speakers to pray alongside their French brothers and sisters during the three weeks before Easter and it’s FREE for those who visit the website www.PrayforFrance.org and register… All the information is on the site…!