Press On Through The Darkness Believer -- Psalms 17:5

Ps. 17:5 'Hold up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not'

In evil times prayer is peculiarly needful, and wise men resort to it at once. Plato said to one of his disciples, "When men speak ill of thee, live so that no one will believe them;" good enough advice, but he did not tell us how to carry it out. We have a precept here incorporated in an example; if we would be preserved, we must cry to the Preserver, and enlist divine support upon our side.

"Hold up my goings" - as a careful driver holds up his horse when going down hill. We have all sorts of paces, both fast and slow, and the road is never long of one sort, but with God to hold up our goings, nothing in the pace or in the road can cast down. He who has been down once and cut his knees badly, even to the bone, had need redouble his zeal when using this prayer; and all of us, since we are so weak on our legs through Adam's fall, had need use it every hour of the day.

"In thy paths." We cannot keep from evil without keeping to good. If the bushel be not full of wheat, it may soon be once more full of chaff. In all the appointed ordinances and duties of our most holy faith, may the Lord enable us to run through his upholding grace! "That my footsteps slip not." Grace alone can hold up our goings in the paths of truth. [Eph. 2:8-9]

(Spurgeon; Treasury of David; Psalms 17)


Nosmo King said...

Are you aware Spurgeon was a Mason. He and his wife constantly flashe mosonic signage, he incorporated Masonic phrases into his sermons. Search for yourself

tom m. said...

To Nosmo K.,

Well that claim has been made by some and others have responded. Here is one reponse to that notion from a puritan board by a commenter named Phil D.:

"It's pretty clear Spurgeon was familiar with freemasonry and their terminology. After all 19th century England was a bastion of freemasonry. However, that in no way at all indicates that he was a member or somehow amenable to the sect.

Most claims that he was, that I have seen, are merely based on the fallacy of association. For example, the following connection has been forwarded as "proof" of where his loyalties really lay:

Spurgeon: “In that time before all time, when there was no day but “The Ancient of Days,” when matter and created mind were alike unborn, and even space was not, God, the great I Am, was as perfect, glorious, and blessed as he is now. There was no sun, and yet Jehovah dwelt in light ineffable; there was no earth, and yet his throne stood fast and firm; there were no heavens, and yet his glory was unbounded.”

Freemasonry text: “May all Elect Masons, like the Elect of God, put on charity, which is the bond of perfection. May our loins be girt about with the girdle of truth ; and finally, having been faithful in all our course, may we be brought to behold the light ineffable, and admitted into that sacred place where the sun shall no more give light by day"

The same kind of "proofs" have been used to link Spurgeon to the cult of Theosophy:

Spurgeon: “This is spoken of as one of the results of the coming of the Lord: he would test and try all things, destroy the false and the evil, and make those pure whom he permitted to remain. Behold, the Promised One has come!”

Theosophic writing: "Baha Ulah, his life thus spared, was exiled with his family and some of his followers to the Turkish dominions. There is Bagdad he declared to his followers, what they had already suspected, that he was the Promised One, foretold by the Bab, the great Manifestation of God come for all the religions of the world.”

It doesn't take much to immediately see that these are utterly ridiculous cases of claiming that because both used the same (common) terminology they must be linked.

Insofar as Spurgeon did employ popular freemasonic or other occultic terms, it seems to me he did so not as a means of promoting or commending them, but rather with the intent of expropriating them. In other words, he would demonstrate that the spiritual claims they would make, or desirable traits they were claiming for themselves actually have their true and authentic fulfillment in Christianity. In this he was a master at turning such groups' very concepts against them. Consider these statements invoking freemasonry itself:

[continued below]

tom m. said...

[continued from above]

"The life of a Christian is an entirely different thing from the life of other men, entirely different from his own life before his conversion. And when people try to counterfeit it, they cannot accomplish the task. A person writes you a letter and wants to make you think he is a believer, but within about half-a-dozen sentences there occurs a line which betrays the lie. The hypocrite has very nearly copied our expressions, but not quite! There is a Freemason among us, and the outside world watches us a bit, and by-and-by they pick up certain of our signs. But there is a private sign which they can never imitate, and therefore at a certain point, they break down. A godless man may pray as much as a Christian, read as much of the Bible as a Christian, and even go beyond us in externals—but there is a secret which he knows not and cannot counterfeit!" (Sermon, October 30, 1881)

"If any railing accusation is raised against any brother in Christ, reckon that his character is as dear to you as your own! Let a sacred Freemasonry be maintained among us, if I may liken a far higher and more spiritual union to anything which belongs to common life. You are members, one of another—see that you fervently love each other with a pure heart." (Christ and His Table Companions)"
[comment source: Puritan board - Spurgeon; Phil D.]

As this commenter Phil D. pointed out freemasonry was well known, very prominent in Spurgeon's day, and it does seem that what he suggests may be the answer, that Spurgeon did on occasion borrow their own terms to essentially 'reclaim' them, or "expropriate" them, as he says. Seems the issue was raised by somebody that collected a number of quotes which are posted on a few sites. A careful reading of the quotes would seem to possibly bear up what Phil D. suggests. For one, the context Spurgeon uses the words in does not match the context of the comparison occult-quotes cited. If this be so, then Spurgeon would have a valid point -- why should the language be surrendered to the occultists. Can a believer no longer use the words 'divine' or 'ineffable' or 'infinite' [see Psalms 147:5], etc., because Albert Pike stole them?

Note: The quote used on this post seems to make for an interesting example of this sort of thing: Spurgeon references Plato but then points out that Plato could provide no practical advice on how to actually do what he advocated (insinuating that Plato's 'system of philosophy' was in fact bankrupt).

Another point to consider - at least one of the sites in question is clearly very anti-'Calvinism' - which means they literally hate Spurgeon for this reason (although calling the doctrine in question 'Calvinism' is in fact an error itself. The correct term for the doctrine is 'election'. The natural man hates the 'doctrine of election'.

Anyway.. to my mind the preponderance of the evidence is insufficient to prove Spurgeon a mason (*and for the record - as for the alleged pictures - there is no way to validate those as authentic so they are of no value).

And, lastly, it cannot be denied that Spurgeon did write volumes and volumes of very good material [Matthew 7:18]