A Home Question [Spurgeon’s Sermons]
The following excerpt is from Sermon VI of Spurgeon’s Sermons, vol. 7, titled, “A Home Question.”
This was a home stroke. When the children of Israel had bloodthirsty thoughts towards their brethren of Judah, the prophet very earnestly dissuaded them. “Why deal ye so sternly with your brethren who are in your power, simply because they have sinned. Smite them not too furiously, for are there not with you, even with you, sins against the Lord your God?”
How remarkably pertinent is such a question to different nations, to different sects, to different classes among men. We are too apt to look upon the sins of other nations and forget our own. Let us be content to sweep our own streets, to cleanse our own cities, and make our own streams pure. Let our reformation begin at home, for we cannot hope that our remonstrances against the sin of others can be powerful, unless we have cleansed ourselves.
How applicable, too, is this question to the different sects, especially among Christians. How apt we all are to be plucking the mote from the eye of others. I hold that every Christian man is bound to give his honest testimony to every truth he believes. We must not shun to declare the whole counsel of God, because we may be charged with sectarianism. Every great man has been called a Sectarian in his time, and every true man who stands up for the whole that God teaches, will necessarily insure that censure. But let every Christian remember that our business is to deal first with ourselves.
Let each denomination acknowledge its own faults, and confess its own iniquities. I am not ashamed of the denomination to which I belong, sprung, as we are, direct from the loins of Christ, having never passed through the turbid stream of Romanism, and having an origin apart from all dissent or Protestantism, because we have existed before all other sects; but I am equally clear as to our innumerable faults. Indeed, the sins and faults of our denomination may well go up against us to heaven, and withhold the dew of God’s grace, that we prosper not.
I believe it to be the same with every other class of Christians, and I would that whenever we are prone to rebuke our fellows too severely, we would pause and ask ourselves this question: “Are there not with us, even with us, sins against the Lord our God?”
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C.H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons, vol. 7 (1883; reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984), 94-95.