Yoking Snails to Elephants!

I must confess that as I grow older and think of what the Lord has done in my life, I am constrained to cry out with Spurgeon “I am become more and more convinced, that to attempt to be saved by a mixed covenant of works and faith is, in the words of [John] Berridge, “to yoke a snail with an elephant”.” That’s John Berridge (1716-1793) of Everton that Spurgeon is quoting. Berridge had some delightful eccentricities, but he knew his Saviour and knew what true gospel salvation is. So did Spurgeon. But we are living in a sad day when professing Evangelicals—who by their very name and heritage should be gospel people—are doing the very thing Berridge and Spurgeon rightly see as folly: yoking snails to elephants!

For a great biography of Berridge, see Nigel Pibworth The Gospel Pedlar: The story of John Berridge and the Eighteenth-Century Revival (Evangelical Press, 1987). Here is a “Short summary of the life of John Berridge.” And here is Spurgeon’s own estimate of Berridge: “A brief summary on Berridge from the Spurgeon archive.” Best of all, though, read Pibworth on Berridge!