Spurgeon’s analogy of the fireman and the child saved from the flames


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I just finished rereading Pilgrim’s Progress. Because of my interest in it, I purchased Spurgeon’s Around the Wicket Gate. From its tone of tender entreaty, it’s plain that Spurgeon had a particular concern for those who come a long way toward the narrow gate to life but who hesitate just outside it. He wrote this book to urge them to enter in. The following paragraphs are taken from it. I’ve rearranged their order a bit.

(I don’t like glorifying a mere man. I’m offering Spurgeon’s words because they glorify Jesus, and have helped me as I struggle to understand how the Lord saves to the uttermost – that it is His work to save.)

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The child, in danger of the fire, just clings to the fireman, and trusts to him alone. She raises no question about the strength of his limbs to carry her, or the zeal of his heart to rescue her; but she clings. The heat is terrible, the smoke is blinding, but she clings; and her deliverer quickly bears her to safety. In the same childlike confidence cling to Jesus, who can and will bear you out of danger from the flames of sin.

The nature of the Lord Jesus should inspire us with the fullest confidence. As he is God, he is almighty to save; as he is man, he is filled with all fulness to bless; as he is God and man in one Majestic Person, he meets man in his creatureship and God in his holiness…

It is most glorifying to our Lord Jesus Christ that we should hope for every good thing from him alone. This is to treat him as he deserves to be treated; for as he is God, and beside him there is none else, we are bound to look unto him and be saved.

This is to treat him as he loves to be treated for he bids all those who labour and are heavy laden to come to him, and he will give them rest. To imagine that he cannot save to the uttermost is to limit the Holy One of Israel, and put a slur upon his power; or else to slander the loving heart of the Friend of sinners, and cast a doubt upon his love. In either case, we should commit a cruel and wanton sin against the tenderest points of his honor, which are his ability and willingness to save all that come unto God by him.

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