Charles H. Spurgeon
The Character of Christ’s People
Delivered on Sabbath Morning
November 22, 1855
Christians are tested in solitude and when around other people.
Again: you may test yourselves in this way in solitude and in company.
In solitude you may tell whether you are not of the world. I sit me down, throw the window up, look out on the stars, and think of them as the eyes of God looking down upon me! And oh! does it not seem glorious at times to consider the heavers when we can say, “Ah! beyond those stars is my house not made with hands; those stars are mile-stones on the road to glory, and I shall soon tread the glittering way, or be carried by seraphs far beyond them, and be there!” Have you felt in solitude that you are not of the world?
And so again in company. Ah! beloved, believe me, company is one of the best tests for a Christian. You are invited to an evening party. Sundry amusements are provided which are not considered exactly sinful, but which certainly cannot come under the name of pious amusements. You sit there with the rest; there is a deal of idle chat going on, you would be thought puritanical to protest against it. Have you not come away — and notwithstanding all has been very pleasant, and friends have been very agreeable — have you not been inclined to say, …
“Ah! that does not do for me; I would rather be in a prayer meeting; I would rather be in an old broken down cow-lodge, with six old women, so long as I could be with the people of God, than in fine rooms with all the dainties and delicacies that could be provided without the company of Jesus. By God’s grace I will seek to shun all these places as much as possible.”
That is a good test. You will prove in this way that you are not of the world. And you may do so in a great many other ways, which I have no time to mention. Have you felt this experimentally, so that you can say, …
“I know that I am not of the world, I see it; I experience it.”
Don’t talk of doctrine. Give me doctrine ground into experience. Doctrine is good; but experience is better. Experimental doctrine is the true doctrine which comforts and which edifies.