This excerpt is taken from sermon number 2040, titled, “Sown Among Thorns”. Charles Spurgeon preached this sermon at the Metropolitan Tabernacle on August 19th 1888 from the text Matthew 8:7.
Note well that thorns are natural to the soil. Since the fall these are the first-born children of the ground. Any evil which hinders religion is not at all an extraordinary thing – it is what we ought to expect among fallen men. Grace is an exotic; thorns are indigenous. Sin is very much at home in the human heart; and, like an ill weed, it grows apace. If you wish to go to heaven, I might take a little time to show you the way, and I should need to stir you up to diligence; but if you must needs go to hell – well, “easy is the way to destruction” – it is only a little matter of neglect. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation?” Evil things are easy things: for they are natural to our fallen nature. Right things are rare flowers that need cultivation. If any of you are being injured by the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches, I am not astonished; it is natural that it should be so. Therefore, be on your guard against these mischiefs. I pray you say to yourself, “Come, there is something in this man’s talk. He is very slow and dull, but still there is something in what he says. I may, after all, be tolerating those thorn in my heart which will kill the good seed, for I am of like passions and infirmities with other men.” I beseech you look to yourselves, that you be not deceived at the last.
The thorns were already established in the soil. They were not only the natural inhabitants of the soil, but they were rooted and fixed in it. Our sins within us claim the *freehold of our *faculties, and they will not give it up if they can help it. They will not give way to the Holy Spirit, or to the new life, or to the influences of divine grace, without a desperate struggle. The roots of sin run through and through our nature, grasp it with wonderful force, and keep up their grasp with marvelous tenacity. O my dear hearer, whoever you may be you are a fallen creature! If you were the Pope himself, or the President of the United States, or the Queen of England, it would be true of you that you were born in sin, and shapen in iniquity, and your unregenerate heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The established church of the town of *Mansoul has the devil for its archbishop. Sin has enclasped our nature as a boa-constrictor encircles its victim; and when it has maintained its hold for twenty, forty, or sixty years, I hope you are not so foolish as to think that holy things will easily get the mastery. Our evil nature is radically, *conservative, and it will endeavor to crush out ever attempt at a revolution by which the grace of God should reign through righteousness. Wherefore watch and pray, lest temptation choke that which is good in you. Watch earnestly, for grace is a tender plant in a foreign soil, in an *uncongenial *clime; while sin is in its own element, and is strongly rooted in the soil.
Do you know why so many professing Christians are like the thorny ground? It is because processes have been omitted which would have gone far to alter the condition of things. It was the husbandman’s business to uproot the thorns, or burn them on the spot.C.H. Spurgeon, 1888
Help! I don’t understand Old English!
Don’t worry fam! I’ve got your back. All these definitions are taken from Websters Dictionary of 1828 http://webstersdictionary1828.com
FREE’HOLD, adjective That land or tenement which is held in fee-simple, fee-tail, or for term of life. It is of two kinds; in deed, and in law. The first is the real possession of such land or tenement; the last is the right a man has to such land or tenement, before his entry or seizure.
1. That power of the mind or intellect which enables it to receive, revive or modify perceptions; as the faculty of seeing, of hearing, of imagining, of remembering, etc.: or in general, the faculties may be called the powers or capacities of the mind.
Mansoul is not that name of an actual town, but Spurgeon was using a likely well-known reference to a fictional novel written by John Bunyan titled, “The Holy War”. Follow this link for an interesting article on Mansoul. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_War
CONSERVATIVE, adjective Preservative; having power to preserve in a safe or entire state, or from loss, waste or injury.
UNCONGE’NIAL, adjective Not congenial
1. Partaking of the same genus, kind or nature; kindred; cognate; as congenial souls.
2. Belonging to the nature; natural; agreeable to the nature; usually followed by to; as, this severity is not congenial to him.
3. Natural; agreeable to the nature; adapted; as a soil congenial to a plant.
CLIME, noun A climate; a tract or region of the earth; a poetical word, but sometimes used in prose.