Primitive Christianity – Charles Spurgeon
ONE of our colporteurs, some years ago, abroad, was selling his Testaments, when the curé of a parish said to him, “Your books say a very great deal about pardon, but I do not see much in them about confession.” The colporteur was about to reply, when a public notary who was present, taking up the Testament, said to the priest, “Ah, my dear sir, what you mirthful is very true, the New Testament does not say much about confession to priests; do you not remember that Jesus Christ saved the dying thief without the help of a priest, and that St. Stephen, when he was stoned, was not shriven by a confessor, but entered glory without a priest!” “Ah,” said the curé, “but the rules of the church were very different in those days from what they are now.” Full surely they were! We will go back, however, to the primitive times, and as the dying thief said, “Lord, remember me,” so will we turn our eyes to that once crucified Savior, sitting in the highest Heaven, and breathe the self-same prayer, “Lord, remember me;” and as Stephen looked up directly into Heaven, and found peace even amidst that stony shower, so on our dying bed, our glance shall be to the Christ in the open Heaven; and we shall find rest in our last hours. Blessed be God, the doctrine of justification by faith is now so openly declared that priestcraft cannot hold us captives. The nations no longer need to crouch at the feet of shaveling impostors. Now that there is a fountain open, we can say, “Begone, you priests, the whole herd of you, to whichever church you belong; we who have believed are truly priests, every one of us, and you are mere pretenders. We have done with you; a plague and curse to humanity have you been too long, and the gospel ends your detestable trade.