THE DANGER OF COUNTING UN-HATCHED CHICKENS by: Charles H. Spurgeon
"It is a serious injury to a person to receive him into the number of the faithful unless there is good reason to believe that he is really [born again]. I am sure it is so, for I speak after careful observation. Some of the most glaring sinners known to me were once members of a church; and were, as I believe, led to make a profession by undue pressure, well-meant but ill-judged. Do not, therefore, consider that soul-winning is or can be secured by the multiplication of baptisms, and the swelling of the size of your church. What mean these dispatches from the battle-field? 'Last night, fourteen souls were under conviction, fifteen were justified, and eight received full sanctification'. I am weary of this public bragging, this counting of unhatched chickens, this exhibition of doubtful spoils. Lay aside such numberings of the people, such idle pretence of certifying in half a minute that which will need the testing of a lifetime. Hope for the best, but in your highest excitements be reasonable. Enquiry-rooms are all very well; but if they lead to idle boastings, they will grieve the Holy Spirit, and work abounding evil. Do not aim at sensation and 'effect'. Flowing tears and streaming eyes, sobs and outcries, crowded after-meetings and all kinds of confusions may occur, and may be borne with as [coincidence] of genuine feeling; but pray, do not plan their production. It very often happens that the converts that are born in excitement die when the excitement is over."