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Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Born June 19, 1834(1834-06-19)
Kelvedon, Essex, England
Died January 31, 1892 (aged 57)
Menton, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Nationality British
Occupation pastor, author
Religion Christian (Reformed Baptist)
Spouse(s) Susannah Spurgeon (née Thompson)
(January 8, 1856)
Children Charles & Thomas Spurgeon (twins) (1856)
Parents John & Eliza Spurgeon

Charles Haddon (C.H.) Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 – January 31, 1892) was a British Particular Baptist preacher who remains highly influential among Christians of different denominations, among whom he is still known as the "Prince of Preachers." In his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people,[1] often up to 10 times each week at different places. His sermons have been translated into many languages. Spurgeon was the pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years.[2] He was part of several controversies with the Baptist Union of Great Britain and later had to leave that denomination.[3] In 1857, he started a charity organization called Spurgeon's which now works globally. He also founded Spurgeon's College, which was named after him posthumously.

Spurgeon was a prolific author of many types of works including sermons, an autobiography, a commentary, books on prayer, a devotional, a magazine, poetry,[4] hymnist,[5] and more. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. Arguably, no other author, Christian or otherwise, has more material in print than C.H. Spurgeon.

Contents

Early beginnings

Born in Kelvedon, Essex, Spurgeon's conversion to Christianity came on January 6, 1850, at age fifteen. On his way to a scheduled appointment, a snow storm forced him to cut short his intended journey and to turn into a Primitive Methodist chapel in Colchester where "God opened his heart to the salvation message." The text that moved him was Isaiah 45:22 - "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else."

Later that year, on April 4, 1850, he was admitted to the church at Newmarket. His baptism followed on May 3 in the river Lark, at Isleham. Later that same year he moved to Cambridge. He preached his first sermon in the winter of 1850-51 in a cottage at Teversham, Cambridge; from the beginning of his ministry his style and ability were considered to be far above average. In the same year, he was installed as pastor of the small Baptist church at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, where he published his first literary work: a Gospel tract written in 1853.

New Park Street Chapel

Spurgeon at age 23.
Part of a series of articles on
Baptists
Baptism logo.jpg

Historical Background
Protestantism · Puritanism · Anabaptism

Soteriology
General · Strict · Reformed

Doctrinal distinctives
Priesthood of all believers · Individual soul liberty · Ordinances · Separation of church and state · Sola scriptura · Congregationalism · Offices · Confessions

Pivotal figures
John Smyth · Thomas Helwys · Roger Williams · John Bunyan · Shubal Stearns · Andrew Fuller · Charles Spurgeon · D. N. Jackson

Baptist Conventions and Unions

Baptism by immersion2.png Baptist portal

In April 1854, after preaching three months on probation and just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 19, was called to the pastorate of London's famed New Park Street Chapel, Southwark (formerly pastored by the Particular Baptists Benjamin Keach, theologian John Gill, and John Rippon). This was the largest Baptist congregation in London at the time, although it had dwindled in numbers for several years. Spurgeon found friends in London among his fellow pastors, such as William Garrett Lewis of Westbourne Grove Church, an older man who along with Spurgeon went on to found the London Baptist Association. Within a few months of Spurgeon's arrival at Park Street, his ability as a preacher made him famous. The following year the first of his sermons in the "New Park Street Pulpit" was published. Spurgeon's sermons were published in printed form every week and had a high circulation. By the time of his death in 1892, he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published forty-nine volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations, and devotions.

Immediately following his fame was controversy. The first attack in the Press appeared in the Earthen Vessel in January 1855. His preaching, although not revolutionary in substance, was a plain-spoken and direct appeal to the people, using the Bible to provoke them to consider the claims of Jesus Christ. Critical attacks from the media persisted throughout his life.

The congregation quickly outgrew their building; it moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000. At twenty-two, Spurgeon was the most popular preacher of the day.[6]

On January 8, 1856, Spurgeon married Susannah, daughter of Robert Thompson of Falcon Square, London, by whom he had twin sons, Charles and Thomas born on September 20, 1856. At the end of that year, tragedy struck on October 19, 1856, as Spurgeon was preaching at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall for the first time. Someone in the crowd yelled, "Fire!" The ensuing panic and stampede left several dead. Spurgeon was emotionally devastated by the event and it had a sobering influence on his life. He struggled against depression for many years and spoke of being moved to tears for no reason known to himself.

Walter Thornbury later wrote in "Old and New London" (1897) describing a subsequent meeting at Surrey:

a congregation consisting of 10,000 souls, streaming into the hall, mounting the galleries, humming, buzzing, and swarming - a mighty hive of bees - eager to secure at first the best places, and, at last, any place at all. After waiting more than half an hour - for if you wish to have a seat you must be there at least that space of time in advance... Mr. Spurgeon ascended his tribune. To the hum, and rush, and trampling of men, succeeded a low, concentrated thrill and murmur of devotion, which seemed to run at once, like an electric current, through the breast of everyone present, and by this magnetic chain the preacher held us fast bound for about two hours. It is not my purpose to give a summary of his discourse. It is enough to say of his voice, that its power and volume are sufficient to reach every one in that vast assembly; of his language that it is neither high-flown nor homely; of his style, that it is at times familiar, at times declamatory, but always happy, and often eloquent; of his doctrine, that neither the 'Calvinist' nor the 'Baptist' appears in the forefront of the battle which is waged by Mr. Spurgeon with relentless animosity, and with Gospel weapons, against irreligion, cant, hypocrisy, pride, and those secret bosom-sins which so easily beset a man in daily life; and to sum up all in a word, it is enough to say, of the man himself, that he impresses you with a perfect conviction of his sincerity.

Still the work went on. A Pastors' College was founded in 1857 by Spurgeon and was renamed Spurgeon's College in 1923 when it moved to its present building in South Norwood Hill, London;[1]. At the Fast Day, October 7, 1857, he preached to the largest crowd ever - 23,654 people - at The Crystal Palace in London. Spurgeon noted:

In 1857, a day or two before preaching at the Crystal Palace, I went to decide where the platform should be fixed; and, in order to test the acoustic properties of the building, cried in a loud voice, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." In one of the galleries, a workman, who knew nothing of what was being done, heard the words, and they came like a message from heaven to his soul. He was smitten with conviction on account of sin, put down his tools, went home, and there, after a season of spiritual struggling, found peace and life by beholding the Lamb of God. Years after, he told this story to one who visited him on his death-bed.

Metropolitan Tabernacle

Spurgeon preaching at the Surrey Music Hall circa 1858.

On March 18, 1861, the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed purpose-built Metropolitan Tabernacle at Elephant and Castle, Southwark, seating five thousand people with standing room for another one thousand. The Metropolitan Tabernacle was the largest church edifice of its day and can be considered a precursor to the modern "megachurch."[7] Spurgeon continued to preach there several times per week until his death 31 years later. He never gave altar calls at the conclusion of his sermons, but he always extended the invitation that if anyone was moved to seek an interest in Christ by his preaching on a Sunday, they could meet with him at his vestry on Monday morning. Without fail, there was always someone at his door the next day. He wrote his sermons out fully before he preached, but what he carried up to the pulpit was a note card with an outline sketch. Stenographers would take down the sermon as it was delivered; Spurgeon would then have opportunity to make revisions to the transcripts the following day for immediate publication. His weekly sermons, which sold for a penny each, were widely circulated and still remain one of the all-time best selling series of writings published in history.

Missionary preaching in China using The Wordless Book

Besides sermons, Spurgeon also wrote several hymns and published a new collection of worship songs in 1866 called "Our Own Hymn Book". It was mostly a compilation of Isaac Watts' Psalms and Hymns that had been originally selected by John Rippon, a Baptist predecessor to Spurgeon. Singing in the congregation was exclusively a cappella under his pastorate. Thousands heard the preaching and were led in the singing without any amplification of sound that exists today. Hymns were a subject that he took seriously. While Spurgeon was still preaching at New Park Street, a hymn book called "The Rivulet" was published. Spurgeon's first controversy arose because of his critique of its theology, which was largely deistic. At the end of his review, Spurgeon warned:

We shall soon have to handle truth, not with kid gloves, but with gauntlets, – the gauntlets of holy courage and integrity. Go on, ye warriors of the cross, for the King is at the head of you.

On June 5, 1862, Spurgeon also challenged the Church of England when he preached against baptismal regeneration in a famous sermon. However, Spurgeon taught across denominational lines as well. It was during this period at the new Tabernacle that Spurgeon found a friend in James Hudson Taylor, the founder of the inter-denominational China Inland Mission. Spurgeon supported the work of the mission financially and directed many missionary candidates to apply for service with Taylor. He also aided in the work of cross-cultural evangelism by promoting "The Wordless Book", a teaching tool that he described in a message given on January 11, 1866, regarding Psalm 51:7: "Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." This "book" has been and is still used to teach uncounted thousands of illiterate people - young and old - around the globe about the Gospel message.[8]

Following the example of George Muller, Spurgeon founded the Stockwell Orphanage, which opened for boys in 1867 and for girls in 1879, and which continued in London until it was bombed in the Second World War.[2] [3] [4] This orphanage became Spurgeon's Child Care which still exists today.

On the death of missionary David Livingstone in 1873, a discolored and much-used copy of one of Spurgeon's printed sermons, "Accidents, Not Punishments," was found among his few possessions much later, along with the handwritten comment at the top of the first page: "Very good, D.L." He had carried it with him throughout his travels in Africa. It was returned to Spurgeon and treasured by him.[9]

Downgrade Controversy

Caricature of Spurgeon from Vanity fair (1870)

A controversy among the Baptists flared in 1887 with Spurgeon's first "Down-grade" article, published in The Sword & the Trowel. In the ensuing "Downgrade Controversy," the Metropolitan Tabernacle became disaffiliated from the Baptist Union, effectuating Spurgeon's congregation as the world's largest self-standing church. Contextually the Downgrade Controversy was British Baptists' equivalent of hermeneutic tensions which were starting to sunder Protestant fellowships in general. The Controversy took its name from Spurgeon's use of the term "Downgrade" to describe certain other Baptists' outlook toward the Bible (i.e., they had "downgraded" the Bible and the principle of sola scriptura). Spurgeon alleged that an incremental creeping of the Graf-Wellhausen hypothesis[citation needed], Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, and other concepts was weakening the Baptist Union and reciprocally explaining the success of his own evangelistic efforts. In the standoff, which even split his pupils trained at the College, each side accused the other of raising issues which did not need to be raised.[10][11]

Final years and death

Often Spurgeon's wife was too ill for her to leave home to hear him preach. C.H. Spurgeon too suffered ill health toward the end of his life, afflicted by a combination of rheumatism, gout, and Bright's disease. He often recuperated at Menton, near Nice, France, where he eventually died on 1892 January 31. Spurgeon's wife and sons outlived him. His remains were buried at West Norwood Cemetery in London, where the tomb is still visited by admirers.

Library

William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri purchased Spurgeon's 5,103-volume library collection for £500 ($2500) in 1906. The collection was purchased by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary [5]in Kansas City, Missouri in 2006 for $400,000 and is currently undergoing restoration. A special collection of Spurgeon's handwritten sermon notes and galley proofs from 1879–1891 resides at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.[6] Spurgeon's College in London also has a small number of notes and proofs.

Works

  • 2200 Quotations from the Writings of Charles H. Spurgeon
  • Able To The Uttermost
  • According To Promise
  • All of Grace : ISBN 1602064369
  • An All Round Ministry
  • Around the Wicket Gate
  • Barbed Arrows
  • C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography : ISBN 0851510760
  • Chequebook of the Bank of Faith : ISBN 1857922212
  • Christ’s Incarnation
  • Come Ye Children
  • Commenting and Commentaries
  • The Dawn of Revival, (Prayer Speedily Answered)
  • Down Grade Controversy, The
  • Eccentric Preachers
  • Feathers For Arrows
  • Flashes Of Thought
  • Gleanings Among The Sheaves
  • God Promises You : ISBN 0883684594
  • Good Start, A
  • Greatest Fight In The World, The
  • Home Worship And The Use of the Bible in the Home
  • Interpreter, The or Scripture for Family Worship
  • John Ploughman’s Pictures
  • John Ploughman’s Talks
  • Lectures to My Students : ISBN 0310329116
  • Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, The
  • Miracles and Parables of Our Lord
  • Morning & Evening : ISBN 1845500148
  • New Park Street Pulpit, The
  • Only A Prayer Meeting
  • Our Own Hymn Book
  • Pictures From Pilgrim’s Progress
  • Power in Prayer : ISBN 0883684411
  • The Preachers Power and the Conditions of Obtaining it
  • Saint And His Saviour, The
  • Sermons In Candles
  • Sermons On Unusual Occasions
  • Soul Winner, The : ISBN 1602067708
  • Speeches At Home And Abroad
  • Spurgeon's Commentary on Great Chapters of the Bible
  • Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
  • Spurgeon's Sermon Notes : ISBN 0825437687
  • Sword and The Trowel, The
  • Till He Come
  • The Salt Cellar
  • Treasury of David, The : ISBN 0825436834
  • We Endeavour
  • The Wordless Book
  • Word and Spirit : ISBN 0852345453
  • Words Of Advice
  • Words Of Cheer
  • Words Of Counsel

Spurgeon's works have been translated into many languages, including: Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Castilian (for the Argentine Republic), Chinese, Kongo, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, French, Gaelic, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kaffir, Karen, Lettish, Maori, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Syriac, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Welsh, with a few sermons in Moon's and Braille type for the blind. He also wrote many volumes of commentaries, sayings, and other types of literature.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Charles H. Spurgeon". Bath Road Baptist Church. http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/spurgeon/sp-bio.html. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  2. ^ "History of the Tabernacle". Metropolitan Tabernacle. http://www.metropolitantabernacle.org/?page=history. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  3. ^ Farley, William P. "Charles Haddon Spurgeon: The Greatest Victorian Preacher". Enrichment Journal. http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/200701/200701_136_Spurgeon.cfm. Retrieved January 20, 2009. 
  4. ^ Immanuel ,Christian Hymn-writers ed Elsie Houghton,Charles Haddon Spurgeon,Evangelical Press of Wales,Bridgend,Wales 1982 ISBN 0 900898 66 6
  5. ^ The Baptist Hymn Book,Psalms and Hymn Trust,London,1982
  6. ^ The Dictionary of National Biography (1st Edition ed.). Oxford University Press. 1909. http://books.google.com/books?id=DC48AAAAIAAJ&printsec=titlepage#PPA841,M1/. Retrieved 2008-09-20. 
  7. ^ Austin (2007), p.86
  8. ^ Austin (2007), 1-10
  9. ^ W. Y. Fullerton, Charles Haddon Spurgeon: A Biography, ch. 10
  10. ^ An accessible analysis, sympathetic to Spurgeon but no less useful, of the Downgrade Controversy appears at http://www.tecmalta.org/tft351.htm. Also see Dennis M. Swanson, "The Down Grade Controversy and Evangelical Boundaries," at http://www.narnia3.com/articles/ETS%202001.pdf
  11. ^ See, e.g., Jack Sin (2000), "The Judgement Seat of Christ," The Burning Bush 6(2), pp. 302-323, esp. p. 310:"The Burning Bush" (PDF). Far Eastern Bible College,Singapore. July 2000. http://www.febc.edu.sg/assets/pdfs/bbush/The%20Burning%20Bush%20Vol%206%20No%202.pdf. 
  12. ^ "Spurgeon's Writings". The Spurgeon Archive. http://www.spurgeon.org/spwrtngs.htm. Retrieved January 13, 2009. 

Further reading

External links

Religious titles
Preceded by
William Walters
Pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle
1854-1892
Succeeded by
Arthur Tappan Pierson

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Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Charles Spurgeon article)

From Wikiquote

The truest lengthening of life is to live while we live, wasting no time but using every hour for the highest ends. So be it this day.
Mind your till, and till your mind.
We must, like goldsmiths, carefully sweep our shops, and gather up the filings of the gold which God has given us in the shape of time.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 - January 31, 1892) was a British Baptist minister and writer.

Contents

Sourced

  • If religion be false, it is the basest imposition under heaven; but if the religion of Christ be true, it is the most solemn truth that ever was known! It is not a thing that a man dares to trifle with if it be true, for it is at his soul's peril to make a jest of it. If it be not true it is detestable, but if it be true it deserves all a man's faculties to consider it, and all his powers to obey it. It is not a trifle. Briefly consider why it is not. It deals with your soul. If it dealt with your body it were no trifle, for it is well to have the limbs of the body sound, but it has to do with your soul. As much as a man is better than the garments that he wears, so much is the soul better than the body. It is your immortal soul it deals with. Your soul has to live for ever, and the religion of Christ deals with its destiny. Can you laugh at such words as heaven and hell, at glory and at damnation? If you can, if you think these trifles, then is the faith of Christ to be trifled with. Consider also with whom it connects you—with God; before whom angels bow themselves and veil their faces. Is HE to be trifled with? Trifle with your monarch if you will, but not with the King of kings, the Lord of lords. Recollect that those who have ever known anything of it tell you it is no child's play. The saints will tell you it is no trifle to be converted. They will never forget the pangs of conviction, nor the joys of faith. They tell you it is no trifle to have religion, for it carries them through all their conflicts, bears them up under all distresses, cheers them under every gloom, and sustains them in all labour. They find it no mockery. The Christian life to them is something so solemn, that when they think of it they fall down before God, and say, "Hold thou me up and I shall be safe." And sinners, too, when they are in their senses, find it no trifle. When they come to die they find it no little thing to die without Christ. When conscience gets the grip of them, and shakes them, they find it no small thing to be without a hope of pardon—with guilt upon the conscience, and no means of getting rid of it. And, sirs, true ministers of God feel it to be no trifle. I do myself feel it to be such an awful thing to preach God's gospel, that if it were not "Woe unto me if I do not preach the gospel," I would resign my charge this moment. I would not for the proudest consideration under heaven know the agony of mind I felt but this one morning before I ventured upon this platform! Nothing but the hope of winning souls from death and hell, and a stern conviction that we have to deal with the grandest of all realities, would bring me here.
    • Religion—a Reality part II. Secondly, "It is not a vain thing"—that is, IT IS NO TRIFLE. (June 22nd, 1862)[1]
  • It lies not in man's right nor in man's power truly to justify the guilty. This is a miracle reserved for the Lord alone. God, the infinitely just Sovereign, knows that there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not, and therefore, in the infinite sovereignty of His divine nature and in the splendor of His ineffable love, He undertakes the task, not so much of justifying the just as of justifying the ungodly. God has devised ways and means of making the ungodly man to stand justly accepted before Him: He has set up a system by which with perfect justice He can treat the guilty as if he had been all his life free from offence, yea, can treat him as if he were wholly free from sin. He justifieth the ungodly.
    • All of Grace
  • The truest lengthening of life is to live while we live, wasting no time but using every hour for the highest ends. So be it this day.
    • Faith's Checkbook entry for June 22.
  • For my part, I love to stand foot to foot with an honest foeman. To open warfare, bold and true hearts raise no objections but the ground of quarrel. It is rather covert enmity which we have most cause to fear and best reason to loathe. That crafty kindness which inveigles me to sacrifice principle is the serpent in the grass -- deadly to the incautious wayfarer.
    • Baptismal Regeneration (1864) [2]
  • Is it not proven beyond all dispute that there is no limit to the enormities which men will commit when they are once persuaded that they are keepers of other men's consciences? To spread religion by any means, and to crush heresy by all means is the practical inference from the doctrine that one man may control another's religion. Given the duty of a state to foster some one form of faith, and by the sure inductions of our nature slowly but certainly persecution will occur. To prevent for ever the possibility of Papists roasting Protestants, Anglicans hanging Romish priests, and Puritans flogging Quakers, let every form of state-churchism be utterly abolished, and the remembrance of the long curse which it has cast upon the world be blotted out for ever.
    • The Inquisition, 1868 The Sword and the Trowel [3]
  • Mind your till, and till your mind.
    • Salt-Cellars (1885)
  • There are a few of us who could scarcely do more than we are doing of our own regular order of work, but there may yet be spare moments for little extra efforts of another sort which in the aggregate, in the run of a year, might produce a great total of real practical result. We must, like goldsmiths, carefully sweep our shops, and gather up the filings of the gold which God has given us in the shape of time. Select a large box and place in it as many cannon-balls as it will hold, it is after a fashion full, but it will hold more if smaller matters be found. Bring a quantity of marbles, very many of these may be packed in the spaces between the larger globes; the box is full now, but only full in a sense, it will contain more yet. There are interstices in abundance into which you may shake a considerable quantity of small shot, and now the chest is filled beyond all question, but yet there is room. You cannot put in another shot or marble, much less another cannon-ball, but you will find that several pounds of sand will slide down between the larger materials, and even then between the granules of sand, if you empty pondering there will be space for all the water, and for the same quantity several times repeated. When there is no space for the great there may be room for the little; where the little cannot enter the less can make its way; and where the less is shut out, the least of all may find ample room and verge enough.
    • "A Spur for a Free Horse" in The Sword and the Trowel (February, 1866)[4]
  • Our great object of glorifying God is to be mainly achieved by the winning of souls... Do not close a single sermon without addressing the ungodly.
    • Lectures to My Students

The Soul-Winner (1895)

The Soul-Winner; or, How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour
  • Soul-winning is the chief business of the Christian minister; it should be the main pursuit of every true believer.
  • The gospel is a reasonable system, and it appeals to men's understanding; it is a matter for thought and consideration, and it appeals to the conscience and reflecting powers.
  • The preacher's work is to throw sinners down in utter helplessness, that they may be compelled to look up to Him who alone can help them.
  • I believe that much of the secret of soul-winning lies in having bowels of compassion, in having spirits that can be touched with the feeling of human infirmities.
  • Soul-serving requires a heart that beats hard against the ribs. It requires a soul full of the milk of human kindness. This is the sine qua non of success.
  • It is a grand thing to see a man thoroughly possessed with on master-passion. Such a man is sure to be strong, and if the master-principle be excellent, he is sure to be excellent, too.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • Many books in my library are now behind and beneath me. They were good in their way once, and so were the clothes I wore when I was ten years old; but I have outgrown them. Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.
    • P. 37.
  • In agony unknown He bleeds away His life; in terrible throes He exhausts His soul. "Eloi! Eloi! lama sabachthani?" And then see! they pierce His side, and forthwith runneth out blood and water! This is the shedding of blood, the terrible pouring out of blood, without which, for you and the whole human race, there is no remission.
    • P. 73.
  • A child of God should be a visible Beatitude, for joy and happiness, and a living Doxology, for gratitude and adoration.
    • P. 104.
  • God works, and therefore we work; God is with- us, and therefore we are with God, and stand on His side.
    • P. 122
  • Jesus was a great worker, and His disciples must not be afraid of hard work.
    • P. 128.
  • I believe that when Paul plants and Apollos waters, God gives the increase; and I have no patience with those who throw the blame on God when it belongs to themselves.
    • P. 129.
  • When men's hearts are melted under the preaching of the word, or by sickness, or the loss of friends, believers should be very eager to stamp the truth upon the prepared mind. Such opportunities are to be seized with holy eagerness.
    • P. 129.
  • The greatest, strongest, mightiest plea for the church of God in the world is the existence of the Spirit of God in its midst, and the works of the Spirit of God are the true evidences of Christianity. They say miracles are withdrawn, but the Holy Spirit is the standing miracle of the church of God to-day.
    • P. 137.
  • I think I speak not too strongly when I say that a church in the land without the Spirit of God is rather a curse than a blessing. If you have not the Spirit of God, Christian worker, remember you stand in somebody else's way; you are a tree bearing no fruit, standing where another fruitful tree might grow.
    • P. 145.
  • Doubts about the fundamentals of the gospel exist in certain churches, I am told, to a large extent. My dear friends, where there is a warm-hearted church, you do not hear of them. I never saw a fly light on a red-hot plate.
    • P. 148.
  • The church may go through her dark ages, but Christ is with her in the midnight; she may pass through her fiery furnace, but Christ is in the midst of the flame with her.
    • P. 149.
  • Losses and crosses are heavy to bear; but when our hearts are right with God, it is wonderful how easy the yoke becomes.
    • P. 169.
  • This is faith, receiving the truth of Christ; first knowing it to be true, and then acting upon that belief.
    • P. 227.
  • The first thing in faith is knowledge. What we know we must also agree unto. What we agree unto we must rest upon alone for salvation. It will not save me to know that Christ is a Saviour; but it will save me to trust Him to be my Saviour.
    • P. 227.
  • Faith has a saving connection with Christ. Christ is on the shore, so to speak, holding the rope, and as we lay hold of it with the hand of our confidence, He pulls us to shore; but all good works having no connection with Christ are drifted along down the gulf of fell despair.
    • P. 228.
  • He that buildeth his nest upon a Divine promise shall find it abide and remain until he shall fly away to the land where promises are lost in fulfillments.
    • P. 239.
  • The vendors of flowers in the streets of London are wont to commend them to customers by crying: "All a blowing and a growing." It would be no small praise to Christians if we could say as much for them.
    • P. 294.
  • God looketh upon any thing we say, or any thing we do, and if He seeth Christ in it, He accepteth it; but if there be no Christ, He putteth it away as a foul thing.
    • P. 315.
  • Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God buildeth up His living temple.
    • P. 316.
  • I never wish to be more charitable than Christ. I find it written: "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."
    • P. 490.
  • Can you by humble faith look to Jesus and say: "My substitute, my refuge, ray shield; Thou art my rock, my trust; in Thee do I confide? "Then, beloved, to you I have nothing to say, except this: " Never be afraid when you see God's power; for now that you are forgiven and accepted, now that by faith you have fled to Christ for refuge, the power of God need no more terrify you than the shield and sword of the warrior need terrify his wife and child."
    • P. 591.
  • My trust is not that I am holy, but that, being unholy, Christ died for me. My rest is here, not in what I am or shall be or feel or know, but in what Christ is and must be,— in what Christ did and is still doing as He stands before yonder throne of glory.
    • P. 592.
  • If you tell your troubles to God, you put them into the grave; they will never rise again when you have committed them to Him. If you roll your burden anywhere else, it will roll back again like the stone of Sisyphus.
    • P. 596.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON (1834-1892), English Nonconformist divine, was born at Kelvedon, Essex, on the 19th of June 1834. He was the grandson of an Essex pastor, and son of John Spurgeon, Independent minister at Upper Street, Islington. He went to school at Colchester and Maidstone, and in 1849 he became usher at a school in Newmarket. He joined the Baptist communion in 1851, and his work at once attested his "conversion." He began distributing tracts and visiting the poor, joined the lay preachers' association, and gave his first sermon at Teversham, near Cambridge. In 1852 he became pastor of Waterbeach. He was strongly urged to enter Stepney (now Regent's Park) College to prepare more fully for the ministry, but an appointment with Dr Joseph Angus, the tutor, having accidently fallen through, Spurgeon interpreted the contretemps as a divine warning against a college career. The lack of early systematic theological training certainly had a momentous effect upon his development. Broad in every other respect, he retained to the last the narrow Calvinism of the early 19th century. His powers as a boy preacher became widely known, and at the close of 1853 he was "called" to New Park Street Chapel, Southwark. In a very few months' time the chapel was full to overflowing. Exeter Hall was used while a new chapel was being erected, but Exeter Hall could not contain Spurgeon's hearers. The enlarged chapel at once proved too small for the crowds, and a huge tabernacle was projected in Newington Causeway. The preacher had recourse to the Surrey Gardens music hall, where his congregation numbered from seven to ten thousand. At twenty-two he was the most popular preacher of his day. In 1857, on the day of national humiliation for the Indian Mutiny, he preached at the Crystal Palace to 24,000 people. The Metropolitan Tabernacle, with a platform for the preacher and accommodation for 6000 persons, was opened for service on the 25th of March 1861. The cost was over 30,000, and the debt was entirely paid off at the close of the opening services, which lasted over a month. Spurgeon preached habitually at the Tabernacle on Sundays and Thursdays. He frequently spoke for nearly an hour, and invariably from heads and subheads jotted down upon half a sheet of letter paper. His Sunday sermons were taken down in shorthand, corrected by him on Monday, and sold by his publishers, Messrs Passmore & Alabaster, literally by tons. They have been extensively translated. Clear and forcible in style and arrangement, they are models of Puritan exposition and of appeal through the emotions to the individual conscience, illuminated by frequent flashes of spontaneous and often highly unconventional humour. In his method of employing illustration he is suggestive of Thomas Adams, Thomas Fuller, Richard Baxter, Thomas Manton and John Bunyan. Like them, too, he excelled in his vigorous command of the vernacular. Among more recent preachers he had most affinity with George Whitefield, Richard Cecil and Joseph Irons. Collected as The Tabernacle Pulpit, the sermons form some fifty volumes. Spurgeon's lectures, aphorisms, talks, and "Saplings for Sermons" were similarly stenographed, corrected and circulated. He also edited a monthly magazine, The Sword and Trowel; an elaborate exposition of the Psalms, in seven volumes, called The Treasury of David (1870-1885); and a book of sayings called John Ploughman's Talks; or, Plain Advice for Plain People (1869), a kind of religious Poor Richard. In the summer of 1864 a sermon which he preached and printed on Baptismal Regeneration (a doctrine which he strenuously repudiated, maintaining that immersion was only an outward and visible sign of the inward conversion) led to a difference with the bulk of the Evangelical party, both Nonconformist and Anglican. Spurgeon maintained his ground, but in 1865 he withdrew from the Evangelical Alliance. Subsequently in 1887 his distrust of modern biblical criticism led to his withdrawing from the Baptist Union. His powers of organization were strongly exhibited in the Pastors' College, the Orphanage (at Stockwell), the Tabernacle Almshouses, the Colportage Association for selling religious books, and the gratuitous book fund which grew up under his care. He received large money testimonials (6000 on his silver-wedding day and £5000 on his fiftieth birthday), which he handed over to these institutions. He died at Mentone on the 31st of January 18 9 2, leaving a widow with twin sons (b. 1856). One of them, Rev. Thomas Spurgeon, after some years of pastorate in New Zealand, succeeded his father as minister of the Tabernacle, but resigned in 1908 and became president of the Pastors' College.

An Autobiography was compiled by his widow and his private secretary from his diary, sermons, records and letters (1897-1900).


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