Charles H. Spurgeon. Struggles of Conscience. Pensacola, FL: Chapel Library, April 23rd, 2014. 29 pp.
5 out of 5
This booklet is from a sermon by Charles Spurgeon that he preached on September 23, 1860 based in part upon Job 13:23 (it is a more topical sermon in the way that Spurgeon often gets a textual preacher from one verse). This year I have been reading more of Spurgeon and I must say thus far this is one of my favorite work that has been made available through Chapel Library. Here in this work Spurgeon tackles on the problem that some have that one must have a deeper sense of feelings of their sinfulness before they would repent and turn towards Christ. Anyone who knows Spurgeon knows he loves the Puritans but here he does fault some Puritans for making the mistake of confusing post-conversion “feelings” must manifest before one come to saving faith in Christ. At times some of these preachers make their own experience to be the litmus test of true conversion. In tackling this problem and objection towards the Gospel we see a display of the “classic Spurgeon” in which his message is pastorally directed towards the heart, is Gospel driven, biblical, practical, illustrative and dripping with memorable one-liners.
The booklet is divided into four parts which early on Spurgeon states to the readers: “I shall attempt to address you in the following order this morning. First, a little by way of consolation; then, a little by way of instruction; a little more upon discrimination or caution; and in the last place, a few sentences by way of exhortation.” The first part of the booklet is Spurgeon’s words of consolation for those who desire to know their own sinfulness. Here his two points is for readers to know that if we desire to see our own sinfulness we are on the right track and really we already do have an idea that we are sinful and in a bad situation already. The second part of the book are “instructions.” Here he talks about the two ways God shows our sinfulness and Spurgeon gives good practical advice on how to see one’s own sinfulness such as being specific with one sin in helping seeing one’s own sinfulness and meditating on the death of Christ (There’s more helpful suggestions than I can list for this review). I appreciated Spurgeon sharing his own experience of feeling guilt; readers will either be able to resonate or sympathize with Spurgeon. The third section stresses the importance of distinguishing between the work of the Spirit and the work of Satan concerning knowing one’s sinfulness. I thought this part was good and much needed since some people can confuse the two. The Devil works is often a counterfeit so Christians must beware. For instance the Spirit wants believers to know their sins so as to repent but Satan on the other hand wants people to know their sinfulness so they would despair and not turn to Christ. The final section is “exhortation” and here Spurgeon passionately and logically call the readers and hearers to truly turn to Christ without any other excuse or delay. It is a beautiful call for sinners to repent and be saved. Even for those who are Christians it is worth studying to see what a biblical and passionate Gospel appeal looks like.
One aspect of this booklet that really ministered to me and was enjoyable to read was Spurgeon’s quotable excerpts. Here were a few that stood out:
- “Your soul is like a magazine of gunpowder, only needing the spark and there shall come a terrible catastrophe.”
- “Let me tell you, my hearer, that if you have your eyes opened to see your guilt, you will find it to be the most awful sight that you have ever beheld.”
- “God sends a ray of divine light into the heart, and then we see how vile and full of iniquity it is.”
- “You will find it better not to dwell on your sins in the mass but to pen them, count them over, and look at them individually, one by one.”
- “Dare to look downward to that fire which must be your eternal doom unless Jesus Christ saves you.”
- “Your sin is never so clearly seen anywhere as in the fact that it killed the Savior.”
I highly recommend this booklet; again, like I said earlier it is thus far my favorite among those works of Spurgeon that Chapel Library has published.
If you want to purchase for your Kindle, it is available quite cheap in the link below: