C.H. Spurgeon (1834 - 1892)
View images and photos of the speaker C.H. Spurgeon. Spurgeon quickly became known as one of the most influential preachers of his time. Well known for his biblical powerful expositions of scripture and oratory ability. In modern evangelical circles he is stated to be the "Prince of Preachers." He pastored the Metropolitan Tabernacle in downtown London, England.
His church was part of a particular baptist church movement and they defended and preached Christ and Him crucified and the purity of the Gospel message. Spurgeon never gave altar calls but always extended the invitation to come to Christ. He was a faithful minister in his time that glorified God and brought many to the living Christ.
Debating about foodDescription: Many nowadays who cannot quite get away from religious thought, are able to stave off the inconvenient pressure of conscience by quibbling over the great truths of revelation. Great mysteries are in the Book of God of necessity; for how can the infinite God so speak that all his thoughts can be grasped by finite man? But it is the height of folly to get discussing these deep things, and to leave plain, soul-saving truths in abeyance. It reminds one of the two philosophers who debated about food, and went away empty from the table, while the common countryman in the corner asked no question, but used his knife and fork with great diligence, and went on his way rejoicing. Thousands are now happy in the Lord through receiving the gospel like little children; while others, who can always see difficulties, or invent them, are as far off as ever from any comfortable hope of salvation. I know many very decent people who seem to have resolved never to come to Christ till they can understand how the doctrine of election is consistent with the free invitations of the gospel. I might just as well determine never to eat a morsel of bread till it has been explained to me how it is that God keeps me alive, and yet I must eat to live. The fact is, that we most of us know quite enough already, and the real want with us is not light in the head, but truth in the heart; not help over difficulties, but grace to make us hate sin and seek reconciliation.
Faith in the Person of the Lord JesusDescription: The plan of salvation is most blessed, but it can avail us nothing unless we personally believe in the Lord Jesus Christ himself. What is the comfort of a plan of a house if you do not enter the house itself? The man in our cut, who is sitting out in the rain, is not deriving much comfort from the plans which are spread out before him. What is the good of a plan of clothing if you have not a rag to cover you?
Faith Very SimpleDescription: I have heard of a Sunday-school teacher who performed an experiment which I do not think I shall ever try with children, for it might turn out to be a very expensive one. Indeed, I feel sure that the result in my case would be very different from what I now describe. This teacher had been trying to illustrate what faith was, and, as he could not get it into the minds of his boys, he took his watch, and he said, "Now, I will give you this watch, John. Will you have it?" John fell thinking what the teacher could mean, and did not seize the treasure, but made no answer. The teacher said to the next boy, "Henry, here is the watch. Will you have it?" The boy, with a very proper modesty, replied, "No, thank you, sir." The teacher tried several of the boys with the same result; till at last a youngster, who was not so wise or so thoughtful as the others, but rather more believing, said in the most natural way, "Thank you, sir," and put the watch into his pocket. Then the other boys woke up to a startling fact: their companion had received a watch which they had refused. One of the boys quickly asked of the teacher, "Is he to keep it?" "Of course he is," said the teacher, "I offered it to him, and he accepted it. I would not give a thing and take a thing: that would be very foolish. I put the watch before you, and said that I gave it to you, but none of you would have it." "Oh!" said the boy, "if I had known you meant it, I would have had it." Of course he would. He thought it was a piece of acting, and nothing more. All the other boys were in a dreadful state of mind to think that they had lost the watch. Each one cried, "Teacher, I did not know you meant it, but I thoughtÂ—"No one took the gift; but every one thought. Each one had his theory, except the simple-minded boy who believed what he was told, and got the watch. Now I wish that I could always be such a simple child as literally to believe what the Lord says, and take what he puts before me, resting quite content that he is not playing with me, and that I cannot be wrong in accepting what he sets before me in the gospel. Happy should we be if we would trust, and raise no questions of any sorts. But, alas! we will get thinking and doubting. When the Lord uplifts his dear Son before a sinner, that sinner should take him without hesitation. If you take him, you have him; and none can take him from you. Out with your hand, man, and take him at once!
Fearing to BelieveDescription: Suppose you stand in the Slough of Despond for ever; what will be the good of that? Surely it would be better to die struggling along the King's highway towards the Celestial City, than sinking deeper and deeper in the mire and filth of dark distrustful thoughts! You have nothing to lose, for you have lost everything already; therefore make a dash for it, and dare to believe in the mercy of God to you, even to you.
But one moans, "What if I come to Christ, and he refuses me?" My answer is, "Try him." Cast yourself on the Lord Jesus, and see if he refuses you. You will be the first against whom he has shut the door of hope. Friend, don't cross that bridge till you come to it! When Jesus casts you out, it will be time enough to despair; but that time will never come. "This man receiveth sinners": he has not so much as begun to cast them out.
fir-tree amongst rocksDescription: Come by faith to Jesus, for without him you perish for ever. Did you ever notice how a fir-tree will get a hold among rocks which seem to afford it no soil? It sends a rootlet into any little crack which opens; it clutches even the bare rock as with a huge bird's claw; it holds fast, and binds itself to earth with a hundred anchorages. Our little drawing is very accurate. We have often seen trees thus firmly rooted upon detached masses of bare rock. Now, dear heart, let this be a picture of yourself. Grip the Rock of Ages. With the rootlet of little-faith hold to him. Let that tiny feeler grow; and meanwhile, send out another to take a new grasp of the same Rock. Lay hold on Jesus, and keep hold on Jesus. Grow up into him. Twist the roots of your nature, the fibers of your heart, about him. He is as free to you as the rocks are to the fir-tree: be you as firmly lashed to him as the pine is to the mountain's side.
German DukeDescription: A certain German duke was accustomed to call upon his servant to read a chapter of the Bible to him every morning. When anything did not square with his judgment he would sternly cry, "Hans, strike that out." At length Hans was a long time before he began to read. He fumbled over the Book, till his master called out, "Hans, why do you not read?" Then Hans answered, "Sir, there is hardly anything left. It is all struck out!" One day his master's objections had run one way, and another day they had taken another turn, and another set of passages had been blotted, till nothing was left to instruct or comfort him. Let us not, by carping criticism, destroy our own mercies. We may yet need those promises which appear needless; and those portions of Holy Writ which have been most assailed by skeptics may yet prove essential to our very life: wherefore let us guard the priceless treasure of the Bible, and determine never to resign a single line of it. What have we to do with recondite questions while our souls are in peril? The way to escape from sin is plain enough. The wayfaring man, though a fool, shall not err therein. God has not mocked us with a salvation which we cannot understand. BELIEVE AND LIVE is a command which a babe may comprehend and obey.
hedging and ditchingDescription: Reader, I long that you may be a firm believer in the Lord alone. I want you to get wholly upon the rock, and not keep a foot on the sand. In this mortal life trust God for all things; and trust him alone. This is the way to live. I know it by experience. God's bare arm is quite enough to lean upon. I will give you a bit of the experience of an old laboring man I once knew. He feared God above many, and was very deeply taught of the Spirit. My picture will show you what kind of a man he wasÂ—great at hedging and ditching; but greater at simple trust. Here is how he described, faith:Â—"It was a bitter winter, and I had no work, and no bread in the house. The children were crying. The snow was deep, and my way was dark. My old master told me I might have a bit of wood when I wanted it; so I thought a bit of fire would warm the poor children, and I went out with my chopper to get some fuel. I was standing near a deep ditch full of snow, which had drifted into it many feet deepÂ—in fact, I did not know how deep. While aiming a blow at a bit of wood my bill-hook slipped out of my hand, and went right down into the snow, where I could not hope to find it. Standing there with no food, no fire, and the chopper gone, something seemed to say to me, 'Will Richardson, can you trust God now?' and my very soul said, 'That I can.'" This is true faithÂ—the faith which trusts the Lord when the bill-hook is gone: the faith which believes God when all outward appearances give him the lie; the faith which is happy with God alone when all friends turn their backs upon you.
Highland RoadDescription: I am told that on a certain highland road there was a disputed right of way. The owner wished to preserve his supremacy, and at the same time he did not wish to inconvenience the public: hence an arrangement which occasioned the following incident. Seeing a sweet country girl standing at the gate, a tourist went up to her, and offered her a shilling to permit him to pass. "No, no," said the child, "I must not take anything from you; but you are to say, 'Please allow me to pass,' and then you may come through and welcome." The permission was to be asked for; but it could be had for the asking. Just so, eternal life is free; and it can be had, yea, it shall be at once had, by trusting in the word of him who cannot lie. Trust Christ, and by that trust you grasp salvation and eternal life. Do not philosophize. Do not sit down, and bother your poor brain. Just believe Jesus as you would believe your father. Trust him as you trust your money with a banker, or your health with a doctor.
his first sermon at a cottage meetingDescription: THE STORY OF HOW Charles Haddon Spurgeon preached his first sermon at a cottage meeting in the little village of Teversham, and how as a result of the ability shown therein he was placed upon the plan of village preachers in the Cambridge district, has been told too often to need repetition here. It was not long before he was invited to the permanent pastorate of Waterbeach Chapel, and the fame of the young divineÂ—young in years but old in spiritual experience and in skill as a teacher and expositor of Holy WritÂ—soon spread for miles around, so that when he was The Cottage at Teversham where in 1850 C. H. Spurgeon, as a lad of sixteen, preached his first sermon.occupying the pulpit men and women drove in from outlying villages in large numbers, and the chapel, hitherto half empty, was filled to excess with an expectant and devout congregation. And that it was not mere eloquence that attracted and held the people was proved in a very short time, for the whole character of the villageÂ—hitherto noted above other local villages for its sin and indifference to religionÂ—was changed, and the results of Spurgeon's work have lived to the present day. His preaching was indeed "the power of God unto salvation," and scarcely a service passed without there being known cases of conversion.
In the pulpit at New York Street chapelDescription: "Little can be said in praise of these sermons, and nothing can be said against them more bitter than has been already spoken. Happily the author has heard abuse exhaust itself; he has seen its vocabulary used up and its utmost venom entirely spent; and yet the printed discourses have for that very reason found a readier sale and more have been led to peruse them with deep attention."
"One thing alone places this above contemptÂ—and that accomplishes the deed so triumphantly that the preacher defies the opinion of manÂ—it is the fact that, to his certain knowledge, there is scarcely a sermon here which has not been stamped by the hand of the Almighty by the conversion of a soul. Some single sermons here brought into the society of their brethren, have been under God the means of the salvation of not less than twenty souls; at least that number has come under the preacher's notice from one sermon only; and doubtless more shall be discovered at the last day. This, together with the fact that hundreds of the children of God have been made to leap for joy by their message, makes their author invulnerable either to criticism or abuse."
Ivy-treeDescription: Do you see the tree in my picture? The ivy has grown all over it, and is strangling it, sucking out its life, and killing it. Can that tree be saved? The gardener thinks it can be. He is willing to do his best. But before he begins to use his ax and his knife, he is told that he must not cut away the ivy. "Ah! then," he says, "it is impossible. It is the ivy which is killing the tree, and if you want the tree saved, you cannot save the ivy. If you trust me to preserve the tree, you must let me get the deadly climber away from it." Is not that common sense? Certainly it is. You do not trust the tree to the gardener unless you trust him to cut away that which is deadly to it. If the sinner will keep his sin, he must die in it; if he is willing to be rescued from his sin, the Lord Jesus is able to do it, and will do it if he commits his case to his care.
What, then, is your darling sin? Is it any gross wrong-doing? Then very shame should make you cease from it. Is it love of the world, or fear of men, or longing for evil gains? Surely, none of these things should reconcile you to living in enmity with God, and beneath his frown. Is it a human love, which is eating like a canker into the heart? Can any creature rival the Lord Jesus? Is it not idolatry to allow any earthly thing to compare for one instant with the Lord God? "Well," saith one, "for me to give up the particular sin by which I am held captive, would be to my serious injury in business, would ruin my prospects, and lessen my usefulness in many ways." If it be so, you have your case met by the words of the Lord Jesus, who bids you to pluck out your eye, and cut off your hand or foot, and cast it from you, rather than be cast into hell. It is better to enter into life with one eye, with the poorest prospects, than to keep all your hopes, and be out of Christ.
Jesus OnlyDescription: The child, in danger of the fire, just clings to the fireman, and trusts to him alone. She raises no question about the strength of his limbs to carry her, or the zeal of his heart to rescue her; but she clings. The heat is terrible, the smoke is blinding, but she clings; and her deliverer quickly bears her to safety. In the same childlike confidence cling to Jesus, who can and will bear you out of danger from the flames of sin.
The nature of the Lord Jesus should inspire us with the fullest confidence.
Lectures to Students images 01Description: While most Reformed preachers prefer to nourish themselves and feed others on the meat of Pauline theological expression, dogmatic formulations, and the language of systematic doctrinal concepts (none of which is to be slighted), we must never forget that the staple diet of biblical preaching also includes the carbohydrates, starches, and fats of metaphors, similes, illustrations, and other forms of imagery that truly Â“turn ears into eyes.Â” Unturned cakes (Hos. 7:8) and lukewarm water that make one want to vomit (Rev. 3:16) communicate far more than lengthy discourses on the marks and effects of spiritual compromise. The pains of childbearing (Gal. 4:19, Rom. 8:22) say what words cannot as the preacher lays before his people his own agony for their regeneration and the yearning of earth for its own deliverance from the miserable effects of the curse. From the models of the Scriptures, the greatest preacher Jesus Christ, and the best examples of preachers in church history we who preach today must, indeed, learn to Â“turn ears into eyes.Â”
Lectures to Students images 02Description: Drawing from history (both sacred and secular), biography, literature, mythology, the developing sciences, and current events, Spurgeon consistently showed himself a master at turning the ears of his massive congregation into eyes that saw the truths their pastor so passionately believed and proclaimed. To read a sermon of Spurgeon is to enter a room full of the finest furniture and decorations. But (unlike so many Reformed sermons that may have similar or even better such Â“contentÂ”), these rooms are well illuminated by windows large and small that dot the entire space allowing the full range of spiritual light to enter in. Through this all important aspect of SpurgeonÂ’s sermons one can truly see the truths of grace, feel the warmth of the Gospel, and experience the healing effects of Christ, the sun of righteousness (Mal. 4:2). This, I am convinced, is the Â“secretÂ” of the success and influence of SpurgeonÂ’s sermons in his own day, and the key to their enduring quality over a century after they were delivered. Like his Master, Spurgeon so spoke that Â“the common people heard him gladlyÂ” (Mark 6:37). We do well to learn from one who can help us in this area that is hardly known as a strength of our preaching.
Lectures to Students images 03Description: To open the treasure box of a Spurgeon sermon or lecture is to find handfuls of perfectly cut jewels of metaphor. A call to mortification of sin and the benefit of life that comes by this discipline, cf. Rom. 8:13, becomes: Â“When this Achan is stoned and the accursed thing is put away, you will be surprised to find what joy, what comfort will immediately flow into your soul.Â” The ever-present propensity to lose optimism regarding the Gospel because of personal unbelief and the sins of the age is graciously rebuffed in this manner: Â“If anybody said to me, Â‘The days are darker now than they used to beÂ’, I should remember that the sun is still the same. Perhaps my friend has not lately cleaned his windows; or he has not drawn up his blinds; and that is why he thinks there is less light. It is very possible to be much more in the dark than you need to be. The gloom may be in the eyes rather than in the heavens. May I suggest a little looking at home, that you may see why your former blessedness is gone?Â” (How much more inviting it is to do self-examination after the wise use of such a figure rather than after the application of a verbal lash!) And the unchangeableness of biblical doctrine before winds of contemporary unbelief is presented this way: Â“The fair maid of truth does not paint her cheeks and tire her head, like Jezebel, following every new philosophic fashion; she is content with her own native beauty, and in her aspect she is the same yesterday, today, and forever.Â”
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