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Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Pretenders

Charles Spurgeon's False and Blasphemous Preaching About Magic, Spells, Witchcraft, Magicians,  Sorcery, Alchemy, Talismans, Etc.

Prolific author and preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) used the subjects of magic. spells, witchcraft, sorcery, etc. to weave syncretism, doubt of God's word, and blasphemy into some of his sermons. Because magic, spells, and witchcraft are accomplished with the aid of devils/evil spirits, it is never acceptable to preach that God's power is magic, Jesus cast spells, or to connect the name of Jesus to a charm and a magician's wand.

God does not grant "artistic license" with the handling of his word, which he has magnified above his name. (Ps. 138:2) He is no respecter of persons and is not impressed with poetic eloquence and outstanding linguistic ability if it is used to subvert hearers from the right way of the Lord. Spurgeon's use of flowery language, simile, metaphor and poetic analogies camouflaged his use of occult terms, syncretism, false doctrines and blasphemybut it does not excuse them. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (See Luke 16:15)

 

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Likening magic ointment with God's anointing of our eyes with eye salve:

"You know the old Arab story of the Muslim who crossed his eyes with a magic ointment, and straightway, instead of the common house in which he lived, he saw a palace sparkling with diamonds, radiant with rubies, adorned with emeralds and gold. After such manner the Lord opens up to us a passage of Scripture, by anointing our eyes with eye-salve that we may see. What sights we have beheld in the word!" (1)

 

Name of Jesus linked to a magical phrase ("open sesame"); the name of Jesus is a "magic word":

"Once understand that Jesus has borne our sins and carried our sorrows, and we see that the felicities of eternity are prepared for us. His name is the open sesame of the gates of Paradise. Learn but to pronounce the name of Jesus from your heart as as all your confidence, and you have learned a magic word which will scatter troops of opposing foes and will open the two-leaved gates, and cut the bars of iron in sunder if they stand between your soul and heaven. Since Jesus is all this, and vastly more than any human tongue can tell, it is clear upon the very face of it that He must be sweet." (2)

 

"Foolish books of magic" silly books that were not to be taken seriously:

"Our text suggests to me to speak to you upon three matters. The first is—it is said the Word of God grew, so we will begin by noticing that in Ephesus the Word of God was planted . It could not have grown if it had not been planted. Secondly the Word of God grew— we will watch it. And then there was the Word of God prevailing over sin, for it made men burn their foolish books of magic." (3)

 

God's grace and love cast their magic spell over the spirit:

"I should have liked to have had them photographed, only it was too sacred a thing. Speak of physiognomies—the grace of God is such an eternal beautifier that the face from which you would have turned away in disgust and said, “There can be no good thing behind that countenance”—is absolutely changed by the Lord’s mighty working! I say not that a single feature may be altered—the person may be the same in feature, but, oh, what a marvelous difference there is in the expression of the whole contour of the countenance when free grace and dying love have cast their magic spell over the spirit and the Holy Spirit has made the dead to live, and the person has been born again in Christ Jesus!" (4)

 

Spurgeon falsely and blasphemously stated there was magic in Moses' rod:

"And in other places of worship in London, wherever Christ is lifted up—wherever His sacrifice is made the prominent theme—the dry bones in the valley com e together—the Spirit breathes upon them, and they live as an exceeding great army! We defy the whole world to show anything comparable to the power of Jesus’ name! There is more magic in it than ever was in Moses’ rod; it is more mighty even than his voice, though he divided the Red Sea and brought water out of the rock!" (5)

 

Healing by heavenly magic:


"I have said, and I cannot help saying it often, “My dear friend, I cannot comfort you as I should like to; I have never been exactly in your circumstances, and therefore I cannot enter into your peculiar grief; but I would remind you that one Person of the Divine Trinity has undertaken the office of Comforter, and He can do w hat nobody else can.” You must sometimes have felt the power of a single text of Scripture laid upon a wound in your heart; it will staunch the bleeding, and heal by a sort of heavenly magic." (6)

Name of Christ referred to as magic:

"Go, tell the men that preach their new Doctrine that they cannot stir a tiny village with their fine theories after they have preached them once or twice! And yet for 27 years we can hold a multitude with no magic but the name of Christ—with no mystery but the Cross, the blood, and the one word—”Believe in Christ and live.” Therefore I preach the old, old Gospel yet again, harping forever on that one Divine string which has yet more music in it than all the flutes, harps, sackbuts, psalteries and dulcimers of modern thought!" (7)

 

Magic circle of Jesus Christ's affection (Magic circles are used in witchcraft):

 "That was a stern trial, too, when at a later period than our text, “all the disciples forsook Him and fled”; when not even the loving John remained constant to his Master in the hour of betrayal; when one, the boldest of them, with oaths and cursing said, “I know not the Man.” Carrying t he text beyond its original position, we may say that over the head of all infirmities, ignorance, selfishness, desertion, and denial, Jesus Christ, who had loved His own that were in the world, loved them to the end. It was not possible for them, with all their follies, failings, and sins, to break through the magic circle of His affection; He had hedged them in once and for all; He had bound them to Himself with bonds firmer than brass, and stronger than triple steel." (8)

God will use a Christian's prayer like a magic wand:

"Dear child of God, you may do the same. Your character shall not be injured by malicious tongues. They lie against you, they refuse you a hearing, they w rest your words, they empty the buckets of their contempt upon you, but your God will hear you. Then, at the back of that, of course, comes the conclusion of every loving heart that, as God will hear the case right through, so He will certainly hear as a Helper . “My God will hear me.” Now, child of God, go away with this promise in your hand, and in your heart—“My God will hear me,” and then use it like a magic wand. Turn it whichever way you will and it will clear your path." (9)

 

The grace of God compared to a magic wand:

"And then remember that he was but a babe in grace when he did that—so what he did when he grew older, I do not know. But the first day he was born to Christ, he was a saint of that kind! What kind of a saint he grew to be, by-and-by, I can scarcely imagine! Lord, out of what material did You make such a generous soul as this? What? Out of a grasping, grinding tax gatherer, who sought to grab all he could lay his hands on, the mighty grace of God, better than a magic wand, opened his closed heart, and made it gush forth like a fountain flowing in a thousand generous streams!" (10)

 

Wondrous magic identified as the cross of Jesus crucified:

"See, all the under parts of his body are consumed—still he lives in the torture. At last he bows himself and the upper part of his body falls over. And as he falls you hear him say, “In to Your hands I commend my spirit.” What wondrous magic was on him, sirs? What made that man strong? What helped him to bear that cruelty? What made him stand unmoved in the flames? It was the thing of power! It was the cross of Jesus crucified!" (11)

 

Spurgeon Has Jesus Casting a Spell Just Like Satan

Jesus cast a spell over us:

"Jesus has made Himself known to us; He has stood behind us, and His shadow has fallen over us. He has manifested Himself to us as He does not to the world. Many a time has He cast a spell over us, and bathed us in mystic influence. We have been raised from the valley of weeping to the mountains of joy by a word from Himself laid home to the heart. You know what I mean. Jesus does not forget us. He has not allowed a great gulf to open between us and Himself. He is still the loving, living, active Jesus to us and with us." (12)

Satan cast a spell over men:

"When divine grace in the soul is only like a little spark and has not come to its brightness, yet the man discovers with alarm that he is held under the enchantment of evil. I do not know any other word which quite gives my idea except that one. Satan casts a spell over men. They come and hear the gospel and they are impressed by it—they see the reasonableness of the endeavor to escape from sin." (13)

 

The spell of the cross:

"Jesus, the King of kings, must hold His court in the castle yard of your heart, and all your powers and passions must do Him cheerful homage. Most sweet Prince, You shall wear Your royal robes in the coronation chamber of my affections! You shall reign over my quick imperious temper! He shall put His foot on the neck of my pride, and shall command my every thought and wish; where I cannot rule, Jesus can! Rebellious lusts acknowledge the spell of the cross, and indwelling sin falls like Dagon before that ark." (14)

 

Spells that bound the Savior captive:

"She fancied she saw Him again dragged through the howling populace, abused and despised with His poor back all covered with gore. She thought she beheld once more that blessed body torn with the nails; she marked again the anguish of the fever which came up on Him as He hung upon the tree. She had been the last to watch Him. She stood and watched Him with the other women, and now she cannot bear the thought of all that He has suffered, and the fear t hat He has gone, gone, gone forever! She weeps. And the Savior could not bear to see her weep. I think those teardrops were as spells that bound the Savior captive, and made Him come forth and show Himself to her." (15)

 

God cast a spell upon us and charmed us:

"The goodness of God sees us allured by sin, and it resolves to try upon us the more powerful allurements of love. Do we not remember when the Lover of our souls first cast a spell upon us and charmed us away from the fascinations of the world! He will do this again and again whenever He sees us likely to be ensnared by evil." (16)

 

Foolish people believe in the reality of witchcraft and divination: (Spurgeon did some real damage control for the devil on this one)

"Upon these words, “there is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel,” suffer a few sentences. There are still a few foolish people in the world, who believe in witchcraft and spells, but you, beloved, if you love the Lord, throw such nonsense to the winds. Do you not hear people talk about this being lucky and that unlucky? This notion is heathenish and unchristian. Never utter such nonsense. But even if there were such things as witchcraft and divination, if this house were full of devils and the air swarmed with invisible spirits of an evil sort, yet if we are the people of God, surely there is no enchantment against us. Divination cannot touch a child of God, the evil one is chained. Therefore be of good courage, if God is for us, who can be against us?" (17)

 

Witchcraft and manifestations of evil spirits are superstitions: (More damage control for the devil and disbelief of the Bible promoted):

"I have not the least particle of faith in rambling spirits. Those who are in heaven will not care to be wandering in these foggy regions! And those in hell cannot leave their dread abode. From where, then, shall they come? Are they devils? Even so; and what then? A devil is no new personage. We have fought with devils full often and are prepared to resist them, again, and make them flee! The Lord will tread Satan, who is the master of evil spirits, under our feet shortly. Why, then, should we be afraid of his underlings? Nothing supernatural should cause any Christian the slightest alarm. We are expressly forbidden to fear the fear of the heathen and that is one of their greatest horrors; their dread of witchcraft, necromancy and other supposed manifestations of evil spirits! We who believe in Jesus are to be ashamed of such superstitions, lest a lie should have dominion over us!" (18)

 

Spurgeon again teaching Christians to disbelieve God's written word about the reality of witchcraft:

"Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel. (Numbers 23:23) How this should cut up root and branch all silly, superstitious fears! Even if there were any truth in witchcraft and omens, they could not affect the people of the Lord. Those whom God blessed, devils cannot curse." (19)

 

Witchcraft is sheer superstition:

"Lest there should be anyone here under a delusion upon this matter, let me say, once and for all, that there is no salvation in any charm or ceremony invented or performed by men. The common notion is that there is some kind of charm which operates upon a person, young or old, who is brought to a font—that some virtue or other goes through the fingers of the “priest” who sprinkles the water because at his “ordination” he received something or other, from somebody or other, who received that something or other from some other body and so on, and so on, and so on right up to the apostles! All that is sheer superstition as base as the witchcraft for which old women were burned in the evil days of the past!" (20)

 

Witches are merely pretenders. People who think they could be affected by witchcraft are victims of deception:

"Have they no brains within their skulls? Have they no faculty of thought? Have they no reasoning power? What singular defect can be traced to their birth, or with what fatal folly have they renounced their common sense? Ought we to pity, to chide, or to scorn them? In indictments for witchcraft, I suppose, you punish the impostor as a knave, while you laugh at the victim as a dupe." (21)

 

Spurgeon sometimes preached just like a religious liberal—seeking to cause his hearers to think certain doctrines of the Bible are false:

"We shall not attempt to discuss the question as to whether these magicians actually did turn their rods into serpents or not; it is probable that they, by dexterous sleight of hand, substituted living serpents for dry rods, and so deceived the eyes of Pharaoh; on the other hand, it is possible that God was pleased to permit the devil to aid their enchantments, and so the old serpent produced a brood." (21)

 

Faith is a wonderful magician's wand:

"Thus Sarah is beautified with the virtues that adorn a woman, while Abraham is adorned with all the excellences which are becoming in a godly man. According as the virtue is required, so is it produced. If the circumstances require courage, God makes His servant heroic. If the circumstances require great modesty and prudence, modesty and prudence are given. Faith is a wonderful magician’s wand! It works marvels, it achieves impossibilities, it grasps the incomprehensible." (22)

 

Magician's wand given a positive connotation; Jesus' name linked to the "wonders" of a magician's wand:

"I feel spiritual heaving in my soul, spiritual longings, emotions, desires, to which I was an utter stranger once. I know there has been as great a metamorphosis passed upon me as though a swine should suddenly become a seraph. I know that the very thought of Jesus keeps me back from sin, and impels me in the path of duty. I know that His name exercises such a charm over me that no magician's wand ever wrought such wonders. My rocky heart melts, my frozen soul dissolves at the touch of His love, and I, a clod of dead earth, suddenly get wings, and fly and commune with the eternal God." (23)

 

Spurgeon again preaching doubt of God's word especially when it comes to casting doubt on what Satan has done through his servants:

"The magicians of Egypt turned water into blood, or pretended to do it, and they brought forth frogs—but when once Aaron began to make the dust into tiny life, they could not counterfeit the wonder and they said, “This is the finger of God.” Frequently by minute marvels God reveals Himself most clearly to the secret souls of His people and they hear in His still small voice more of His mind than in His thunder and mighty wind." (24)

 

A wizard's spell is not real. Only the ignorant would believe a wizard could really cast a spell:

"Now, therefore, hear me while I sorrowfully tell you what is the sentence passed up on all of you who this night are out of Christ. Sinner, tonight you are cursed! You are cursed, not by some wizard whose fancied spell can only frighten the ignorant." (25)

 

God uses enchantment and a potent spell to lead you to Christ:

"Your love to God is no self-sown plant. If you have set your love on Him, it is because He first set His love on you. What? Did your love go spontaneously towards God, without any constraint to violate your will? When He lifted upon you the light of His countenance, and when you found favor in His eyes, there were charms, attractions, drawings conformable to the nature of your mind! There were sweet constraints of divine enchantment which enamored you of the beauties of Christ—a potent spell of divine persuasion which led you to listen to the voice of Christ and believe!" (26)

 

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Charles Spurgeon: Prince of Pretenders Index of Articles

Notes

1. Teaching for the Outer and Inner Circles https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols28-30/chs1669.pdf
2. Spiritual Appetite https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols19-21/chs1227.pdf
3. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols61-63/chs3518.pdf
4. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols40-42/chs2417.pdf
5. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs545.pdf
6. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols40-42/chs2363.pdf
7. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1620.pdf
8. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols13-15/chs810.pdf
9. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols31-33/chs1819.pdf
10. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols46-48/chs2755.pdf
11. https://www.spurgeongems.org/chsbm1.pdf
12. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols34-36/chs2016.pdf
13. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1577.pdf
14. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols13-15/chs807.pdf
15. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols10-12/chs625.pdf
16. https://www.spurgeongems.org/chs_faiths-check-book.txt
17. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols55-57/chs3128.pdf
19. https://www.spurgeongems.org/chs_faiths-check-book.txt
20. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols52-54/chs3053.pdf
21. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols7-9/chs521.pdf
22. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols25-27/chs1633.pdf
23. http://www.spurgeongems.org/prayer/chs679.pdf
24. https://www.spurgeongems.org/chsbm25.pdf
25. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols4-6/chs174.pdf
26. https://www.spurgeongems.org/vols58-60/chs3433.pdf

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