Many of us know people who are knowledgeable of the Christian faith and have a conviction of sin but who, for whatever reason, do not believe. Charles Spurgeon wrote a little book entitled Around the Wicket Gate for just such people. It is a phenomenal little book. Here is a bit from two different spots:
Great numbers of persons have no concern about eternal things. They care more about their cats and dogs than about their souls. It is a great mercy to be made to think about ourselves, and how we stand towards God and the eternal world. This is full often a sign that salvation is coming to us. By nature we do not like the anxiety which spiritual concern causes us, and we try, like sluggards, to sleep again. This is great foolishness; for it is at our peril that we trifle when death is so near, and judgment is so sure. If the Lord has chosen us to eternal life, he will not let us return to our slumber. If we are sensible, we shall pray that our anxiety about our souls may never come to an end till we are really and truly saved. Let us say from our hearts: -
“He that suffered in my stead,
Shall my Physician be;
I will not be comforted
Till Jesus comfort me.”
In these days, a simple, childlike faith is very rare; but the usual thing is to believe nothing, and question everything. Doubts are as plentiful as blackberries, and all hands and lips are stained with them. To me it seems very strange that men should hunt up difficulties as to their own salvation. If I were doomed to die, and I had a hint of mercy, I am sure I should not set my wits to work to find out reasons why I should not be pardoned. I could leave my enemies to do that: I should be on the look-out in a very different direction. If I were drowning, I should sooner catch at a straw than push a life-belt away from me. To reason against one’s own life is a sort of constructive suicide of which only a drunken man would be guilty. To argue against your only hope is like a foolish man sitting on a bough, and chopping it away so as to let himself down. Who but an idiot would do that? Yet many appear to be special pleaders for their own ruin. They hunt the Bible through for threatening texts; and when they have done with that, they turn to reason, and philosophy, and scepticism, in order to shut the door in their own faces. Surely this is poor employment for a sensible man.
As you can see, it is Spurgeon at his best. It is a wonderful book - but it suffers from 150 years of English for the common man. There are, to my knowledge, two updates. Neither is very good at fixing the readability issues.
- Does anyone know of an updated version of this that is good?
- Does anyone know of a similar sort of work? I know of nothing like it.