Charles Haddon Spurgeon 1834-1892
There is perhaps no greater an influence on Baptist pastors than the great pastor and preacher himself, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The Lord used Mr. Spurgeon in a magnificent way and his sermons, quotes, and writings live on to this day. Those of us who have studied Spurgeon’s works and followed his ministry remembered two important dates recently. Each of those dates provide stories in and of themselves, but they serve as an opportunity to share some excellent information about the “prince of preachers.”
The first of these dates came June 7, 1891. This was the date in which Spurgeon preached his last sermon at London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle. Spurgeon preached his first sermon in December 1853 to London’s largest Baptist congregation at the New Park Street Chapel. It wasn’t long before his powerful messages caused the church to outgrow its 1,200-seat auditorium. The church moved a couple times before the 1861 dedication of the current Metropolitan Tabernacle at the intersection of Elephant & Castle. Spurgeon spoke to 6,000 attendees every Sunday for 30 years, preaching to more than 10,000,000 in his lifetime.
Spurgeon struggled with ailing kidneys for most of his life and it grew to be very in intense for most if not all of 1891. Soon after preaching his last sermon, he went to the French Riviera to rest and recover, but he died the following January. More than 60,000 people attended his funeral on February 9, 1892.
Here is just a portion of that sermon preached by Spurgeon 121 years ago. A great reminder indeed:
Those who have no master are slaves to themselves. Depend upon it, you will either serve Satan or Christ, either self or the Saviour. You will find sin, self, Satan, and the world to be hard masters; but if you wear the livery of Christ, you will find him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls. He is the most magnanimous of captains.
The second date to be remembered was Spurgeon’s 178th birthday. He was born in Kelvedon, Essex on June 19, 1832. He came to know the Lord in 1850 at the age of 16. By the age of 20, he was preaching regularly and just four years after his conversion. It didn’t take long for those under the sound of Spurgeon’s voice to realize that God had gifted this young man with a great ability to proclaim and teach the Word of God. As best we can tell, Spurgeon never let this sort of speaking inflate his ego. Instead, he maintained a disciplined focus on the Lord and God used him to accomplish a great number of things during his short life. He struggled through the work of the ministry like any man writing at one point,
The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt wearied and sore depressed, when swiftly and suddenly that text came to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way. ‘My grace is sufficient for THEE.’ And I said, ‘I should think it is, Lord’ and I burst out laughing. I never understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was till then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd … O brethren, be great believers. Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls.
This month, I am thanking the Lord for this choice servant of the Lord who accomplished so much for the Lord and whose impact is still felt today is such a great way. If you don’t know much about Charles Spurgeon, might I encourage you to learn more about him and read his writings. they will be a great asset to you and will encourage you in your continual walk with the Lord.