Insight into Spurgeon’s View of Foreign Policy, War, and Peace – According to His Various Prayers

Note in this following prayer excerpt how Spurgeon asks that his country would not “intermeddle” as one who “taketh a dog by the ear.” I would hardly claim that Spurgeon was an absolute non-interventionist, however this does indicate an insight into Spurgeon’s mind that views certain entanglements as provocative and insightful, and thus he prays against it:

And now Lord, we ask Thee to bless our country at this time, and by Thy great and infinite mercy preserve us, we beseech Thee, from war. Oh, that peace may reign yet all over the world, but let not this nation intermeddle and be as one that taketh a dog by the ear, but may there be wisdom given where we fear folly, and strength given where wisdom reigns. The Lord grant that wars may utterly cease unto the ends of the earth. Oh make a way we pray Thee, for the progress of Christianity, of civilization, of liberty, of everything that is honest and of good repute. May Thy kingdom come, and Thy will be done, in earth, as it is in heaven, for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sermon: No. 1394. (January 13, 1878.)

This following prayer excerpt reveals Spurgeon’s desire for peace and specific petition that his country would not go to war foolishly:

We ask Thee once more that Thou wouldst, by some means, cause peace to be re-established throughout the earth. Grant that this nation may not be drawn into war. We have been foolish once over it, grant that we may not be so again; but Oh, let Thy Kingdom come without the use of the sword. Oh, angel of war, wilt thou not rest! Oh, sword of the Lord, put thyself into thy scabbard and be still; for the sake of the great Prince of Peace we ask it. Amen.
Sermon: No. 1391. (December 30, 1877.)

This following prayer excerpt reveals Spurgeon’s desire for the cessation of war, its horrors, and repentance in behalf of the country, where she has been wrong:

Bless our country. The Lord in mercy avert the horrors of war from us. Grant that, by some means, peace may be continued, and war come to an end where it still rages; and oh, that the policy of truth and righteousness may once more be taken up in this land, and our nation be forgiven its great national crimes. Sermon: No. 1501. (October 26, 1879.)

Here is an excerpt showing Spurgeon’s desire for the Christian faith to permeate the nation, which would evidence itself in the people not desiring war anymore:

Bless our nation, Lord, we pray Thee; and let the spirit of Christianity permeate it, enter into the high places, and flow down even to its darkest dens. And, we beseech Thee, let us have peace; may nothing happen to break it, may it be established on a firm and judicious footing; and for many a year may no sound of trumpet, or noise of cannon, be heard throughout the whole earth. Let the people praise Thee, O God, and learn war no more! Sermon: No. 1412. (May 5, 1878.)

In this excerpt, Spurgeon again refers to the “horrors” of war and also proceeds to pray against the invasion of territories for resources. This is another telling piece of Spurgeon’s view of wars of invasion:

With our whole heart many of us at least do pray Thee to bless our country, and spare it from the horrible evils of war. O God of peace, send us peace always, by all means. Sword of the Lord rest and be quiet now; and may the gospel with its benign influences spread over all nations, till there shall be no selfish clutching, no rapacious grasping at territories, no oppression of one race by another; but may the laws of the King of Peace be universally proclaimed, and obeyed even by those who perhaps yield not their hearts to His sway; for we do know, great King, that whilst Thou hast a special kingdom in Thy people, yet the Lord hath given Thee power over all flesh; and we pray this may be recognised, and we may see it. Thy kingdom come, O Jesus; may Thy kingdom come—Thy Father’s kingdom; and let His will be done on earth as it is in heaven; for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Sermon: No. 1408. (April 7, 1878.)

This final excerpt reveals Spurgeon’s longing that war be averted through God’s granting of wisdom to the nations to refrain from such great a “calamity” and “danger”:

Bless our country, we pray Thee: and we lift up again the voice of earnest prayer that peace may not be broken. Oh, let not bloodshed break forth in the midst of the continent; but may it please Thee to send wisdom to the councillors of all nations, that by some means such a dreadful calamity may be avoided; and may He come who will end all danger of war, even the Prince of Peace Himself, in whose days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. The Lord hear us now; and forgive, and answer, and bless, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus: and unto Israel’s one God, revealed to us in the Trinity of Mystic Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be glory by Christ Jesus. Amen, and Amen.
Sermon: No. 1410. (April 21, 1878.)

© 2012, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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One comment on “Insight into Spurgeon’s View of Foreign Policy, War, and Peace – According to His Various Prayers
  1. Good stuff!

    Sadly, it feels as if a pastor said these things in public today to a “conservative” crowd, he would surely get booed off the stage and labeled a pacifist hippie liberal!

    Of course the ones who still like Spurgeon after reading this, and are shocked back to reality, would simply apply the following logic to justify the current wars, “Well, we live in different times now; 9/11 changed everything.”

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