Ah, how the fire of the Gospel will test a man’s heart. Many a man thinks he carries something good within him and he wraps himself up in the robes of his own righteousness until the Gospel comes—and then he finds that he is naked and poor and miserable! Many a professor imagines that he is serving God and doing well—until, in the Gospel fire, his wood, hay and stubble vanish in smoke! All through this world of ours, the Gospel will burn up with unquenchable fire everything that is evil, and leave nothing but that which is just and true. Of all things under Heaven, the most intolerant is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. “What,” you ask, “intolerant?” Yes, I say, intolerant! The Gospel enables us to proclaim liberty of conscience to all men! The Gospel wields no temporal sword. It asks for no cannon balls to open the gates of a nation for its ministry. The true Gospel prepares no dungeon and no rack. It asks not Peter’s sword to cut off Malchus’ ear—but while it gives freedom from all bondage, it demands obedience to itself!
Within its own realm its power is absolute! Its arguments cut and kill error! Its teachings lay low every proud hope and expose every false way! The Gospel is merciful to the sinner, but merciless to sin! It will not endure evil, but wars against it to overturn it and to set up a throne for Him whose right it is to reign. The Gospel of Jesus Christ will never join hands with infidelity or Popery! It will never enter into league with idolatry! It cannot be at peace with error! False religions can lie down, side by side with one another, for they are equally a lie and there is a brotherhood between them—but the true religion will never rest until all superstitions are utterly exterminated and until the banner of the King eternal, immortal, invisible, shall wave over every mosque and minaret, temple and shrine! Fire cannot be made tolerant of that which can be consumed—it will burn the stubble until the last particle is gone and the Truth of God is of the same kind.