Often times when people address the doctrines of predestination and election they go to one of two extremes. They deny it in its entirety or they think it is the only doctrine found in the Canon of Scripture. Its tempting to post the whole of Spurgeon’s sermon preached March 20, 1862. But, I feel the following words speak wisely to him who would deny the Doctrines of Grace and to him that is totally enamored with Ephesians 1:3-11 and forgetful of the rest of the Canon.
I have heard of one man who said he had read the Bible through thirty-four times on his knees, but could not see a word about election in it; I think it very likely that he could not; kneeling is a very uncomfortable posture for reading, and possibly the superstition which would make the poor man perform this penance would disqualify him for using his reason: moreover, to get through the Book thirty-four times, he probably read in such a hurry that he did not know what he was reading, and might as well have been dreaming over “Robinson Crusoe” as the Bible. He put the telescope to the blind eye. Many of us do that; we do not want to see a truth, and therefore we say we cannot see it.
On the other hand, there are others who push a truth too far. “This is good; oh! this is precious!” say they, and then they think it is good for everything; that in fact it is the only truth in the world. You know how often things are injured by over-praise; how a good medicine, which really was a great boon for a certain disease, comes to be despised utterly by the physician, because a certain quack has praised it up as being a universal cure; so puffery in doctrine leads to dishonor. Truth has thus suffered on all sides; on the one hand brethren would not see the truth, and on the other hand they magnified out of proportion that which they did see. You have seen those mirrors, those globes that are sometimes hung in gardens; you walk up to them and you see your head ten times as large as your body, or you walk away and put yourself in another position, a then your feet are monstrous and the rest of your body is small; this is an ingenious toy, but I am sorry to say that many go to work with God’s truth upon the model of this toy; they magnify one capital truth till it becomes monstrous; they minify and speak little of another truth till it becomes altogether forgotten.
– Charles Haddon Spurgeon, from the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, sermon 442 ‘God’s Will and Man’s Will’