Monday, September 13, 2010

Have I Any Room for Hope?

A letter from T. W. Medhurst to C. H. Spurgeon. The young Medhurst had attended a few services at the New Park Street Church to hear the new pastor, who was quite young himself. Spurgeon preached from Hosea 6:3 on a particular Lord's Day evening. Medhurst came under conviction of sin. In trouble of soul, he wrote the pastor a letter, inquiring if there was any hope for him. It was written July 2, 1854 (I will post Spurgeon's reply in the next post).

Dear Sir,

Will you be kind enough candidly to inform me whether I have any room for hope that I belong to the elect family of God, whether Jesus Christ His Son has died for me, while my affections are in the world? I try to pray, but cannot. I make resolutions only to break them. I from time to time listen to you when you speak of the glory set apart for the saints, when you describe their joys and their feelings, but I feel myself as having nothing to do with them. O sir, that Sunday morning when you spoke of the hypocrite, I felt that you described me!

I go to chapel to hear the Word preached, I return home, and make resolutions; I go to work, then out into the world, and forget all until the time for preaching comes again. I read the Bible, but do not feel interested; it seems no more to me than a book I have before read,—dry and insipid. Christ has said that, of all who come to Him, He will not send any away. How am I to come? I feel that I cannot come. I would if I could, but I cannot. At times, I think that I will give it all up, that I will not go to chapel any more; yet when the time comes, I cannot stay away, but feel compelled to go again once more. Do, dear sir, tell me, how am I to find Jesus? How am I to know that He died for me, and that I belong to His family? Dear sir, tell me, am I a hypocrite?

I remain,
Dear sir,
Yours to serve in anxiety,

C. H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Compiled from his diary, letters, and records, by his wife and his private secretary, Volume 2, 1854-1860, p. 141f, from the electronic edition by Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009.

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