Name and Place for September 9 (’14)
In order to be soul winners, says Spurgeon, we must find a balance between jovial behavior and a sense of seriousness. So I ask, dear brothers, why so serious? Is it your liver? We spread good news!
Some brethren are serious by nature. There was a gentleman in a railway carriage, some time ago, who overheard a conversation between two of the passengers. One of them said, “Well, now, I think the Church of Rome has great power, and is likely to succeed with the people, because of the evident holiness of her ministers. There is, for instance, Cardinal —–, he is just like a skeleton; through his long fasting and prayers, he has reduced himself almost to skin and bones. Whenever I speak, I feel at once the force of holiness of the man. Now, look at Spurgeon, he eats and drinks like an ordinary mortal; I would not give a pin to hear him preach.” His friend heard him very patiently, and then said quite quietly, “Did it ever strike you, that the Cardinal’s appearance was to be accounted for by the fact of his liver being out of order? I do not think it is grace that makes him as lean as he is, I believe it is his liver.” So, there are some brethren who are naturally of a melancholy disposition, they are always very serious; but in them is not a sign of grace, it is only and indication that their lives are out of order. They never laugh, they think it would be wicked to do so; but they go about the world increasing the misery of human kind, which is dreadful enough without the addition of their unnecessary portion. Some people evidently imagine that they were predestined to pour buckets of cold water upon all human mirth and joy. So, dear brethren, if any of you are very serious, you must not always attribute it to grace, for it may be all owing to the state of your liver (81-82).