Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Spurgeon on Opposition
04/11/2005 - James WhiteWhen preaching in the Tabernacle in 1884, Spurgeon reflected on facing opposition in ministry (Oakley tip to SDC):
A company of mean-spirited, wicked men, who are no bigger than bees, mentally or spiritually, can get together, and sting a good man in a thousand places, till he is well-nigh maddened by their scorn, their ridicule, their slander, and their misrepresentation. Their very littleness gives them the power to wound with impunity. Such has been the experience of some of us, especially in days now happily past. For one, I can say, I grew inured to falsehood and spite. The stings at last caused me no more pain than if I had been made of iron; but at first they were galling enough. Do not be surprised, dear friends, if you have the same experience; and if it comes, count it no strange thing, for in this way the saints have been treated in all time. Thank God, the wounds are not fatal, nor of long continuance! Time brings ease, and use creates hardihood. No real harm has come to any of us who have run the gauntlet of abuse; not, even a bruise remains.
Similarly Calvin remarked in commenting on the book of Jeremiah,
But we see that Gods servants have been always exposed to extreme reproaches, even when they have exhibited the greatest integrity. If then, at this day, we hear of evil reports, after having labored to act uprightly, it ought not to appear to us a hard or a new thing to bear them with patience. We must, indeed, do what we can to stop the mouths of the malevolent and the wicked; nor ought we to give occasion, as Paul admonishes us, to the malignant. But when we have done our duty faithfully, if yet dogs bark at us, if we be loaded with many reproaches and crimes, let us learn patiently to endure them. This, then, ought to be done by us, since we see that Baruch was accused of extreme perfidy and cruelty.And, in light of recent events, this Calvin quote caught my attention:
Were a dog to see an injury offered to his master, equal to the insult which is offered to God in the sacraments, he would instantly bark, and expose his own life to danger, sooner than silently allow his master to be so insulted. Ought we to show less devotedness to God than a brute is wont to show to man?