Cleared Away . In 1861 Spurgeon was preaching for the first time at the Metroplitian Tabernacle . Within a few days there was a Bible Conference in which several speakers spoke on the doctrine(s) of grace . The following is just the beginning of Spurgeon's address . There is nothing upon which men need to be more instructed than upon the question of what Calvinism really is . The most infamous allegations have been brought against us , and sometimes , I must fear , by men who knew them to be utterly untrue ; and , to this day , there are many of our opponents , who when they run short of matter , invent and make for themselves a man of straw , call that John Calvin , and then shoot all their arrows at it . We are not come here to defend your man of straw -- shoot at it or burn it as you will , and , if it suits your convenience , still oppose doctrines which were never taught , and rail at fictions which , save in your brain , were never in existence . We come here to state what our views really are , and we trust that any who do not agree with us will do us the justice of not misrepresenting us . If they can disprove our doctrines , let them state them fairly and then overthrow them , but why should they first caricature our opinions and then afterwards attempt to put them down ?