This week I’ve been reading through The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, and Documented. This book is an excellent brief, yet dense, defense of the doctrines of grace (i.e. Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints – see my short defense of them here). It goes over the doctrines of grace, moves on to providing a pretty thorough list of other books on the doctrines of grace, and closes with a few extra essays on various subjects related to the doctrines of grace.
One of the essays is A Defense of Calvinism, by C.H. Spurgeon. The following is a quote from that essay in which Spurgeon recounts how he came to know that his salvation was all of God’s work, and none of his own. He writes:
‘Well can I remember the manner in which I learned the doctrines of grace in a single instant. Born, as all of us are by nature, an Arminian, I still believed the old things I had heard continually from the pulpit, and did not see the grace of God. When I was coming to Christ, I thought I was doing it all myself, and when I sought the Lord earnestly, I had no idea the Lord was seeking me. I do not think the young convert is at first aware of this. I can recall the very day and hour when first I received those truths down in my own soul — when they were, as John Bunyan says, burnt into my heart as with a hot iron, and I can recollect how I felt that I had grown on a sudden from a babe into a man — that I had made progress in scriptural knowledge, through having found, once for all, the clue to the truth of God.
One weekend when I was sitting in the house of God, I was not thinking about the preacher’s sermon, for I did not believe it. The thought struck me, How did you come to be a Christian? I sought the Lord. But how did you come to seek the Lord? The truth flashed across my mind in a moment — I should not have sought Him unless there had been some previous influence in my mind to make me seek Him. I prayed, thought I, but then I asked myself, How came I to pray? I was induced to pray by reading the Scriptures. How came I to read the Scriptures? I did read them, but what led me to do so? Then, in a moment, I saw that God was at the bottom of it all, and that He was the Author of my faith, and so the whole doctrine of grace opened up to me, and from that doctrine I have not departed to this day, and I desire to make this my constant confession, “I ascribe my change wholly to God.”‘
I love that quote :)