Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
taken from: Cured At Last!, sermon No. 2018, April 8, 1888.
“All that you do apart from Jesus, in order to win salvation, will only cause you increased suffering. You have tried to save yourself by prayers. Your prayers have turned your thoughts upon your sin and its punishment and thus you have become more wretched than before. You have attended to ceremonies and if you have used them sincerely, they have worked in you a solemn sense of the holiness of God and of your own distance from Him. And this, though very proper, has only increased your sorrow. You have been trying to feel good and to do good, that so you may be good. But the very effort has made you feel how far off you are from the goodness you so much desire.
Your self-denial has excited cravings after evil and your mortifications have given new life to your pride. Efforts after salvation made in your own strength act like the struggles of a drowning man, which sink the more surely. As the fruit of your desperate efforts, you have suffered all the more. In the end I trust this may work for your good, but up till now it has served no healing purpose—you are now at death’s door and all your praying, weeping, Church-going, Chapel-going and sacrament-taking—do not help you one bit. There has been this peculiarly poignant pang about it all, that you are not better. Cheerily did you hope but cruelly are you disappointed. Continue reading