Charles Spurgeon on Christian faith and masculinity, from his 1898 book "A Good Start":
When I say that a man in Christ is a man, I mean that, if he is truly in Christ, he is therefore manly. There has got abroad a notion, somehow, that if you become a Christian, you must sink your manliness and turn milksop. It is supposed that you allow your liberty to be curtailed by a set of negations which you have not the courage to break through, though you would if you dared. You must not do this, and you must not do the other: you are to take out your backbone and become molluscous; you are to be sweet as honey towards everybody, and every atom of spirit is to be evaporated from you. You are to ask permission of ministers and church authorities to breathe, and to become a sort of living martyr, who lives a wretched life in the hope of dying in the odor of sanctity. I do not believe in such Christianity at all. The Christian man, it seems to me, is the noblest style of man; the freest, bravest, most heroic, and most fearless of men. If he is what he should be, he is, in the best sense of the word, a man all over, from the crown of his head to the sole of his foot.
He is such a man because he has realized his own personal responsibility to God. He knows that to his own Master he stands or falls — that he shall have to give an account in the day of judgment for his thoughts, his words, his acts — and therefore he does not pin himself to any man's sleeve, be he priest, or minister, or whatever he may be called. He thinks for himself, takes the Bible and reads for himself, and comes to God in Christ Jesus personally, and on his own account. He is not content to do business with underlings, but goes to the Head of the great firm….
Young men, to you I would honestly say that I would be ashamed to speak of a religion that would make you soft, cowardly, effeminate, spiritless, so that you would be mere simpletons in business, having no souls of your own, the prey of every designing knave. Young men, I have tried the faith of Jesus Christ, and I have found it give me "pluck" — that is an old Saxon word, but it is exactly what I mean. It puts soul into a man, firmness, resolution, courage.