He's known as the "Prince of Preachers". There was once a time when kings and their princely sons were the first ones into battle with their armies to defend their people. And if this is what is required of princes, then Charles Haddon Spurgeon deserves the royal accolade. For when the Church was under vicious attack in the nineteenth century from both within and without, it was Charles Spurgeon who had the courage to step into the fray at great personal cost. These attacks came in three waves during Spurgeon's career. While he fought valiantly, he most frequently fought alone and it was this sad aspect of his battles that arguable led to his premature departure.
No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him.
Second Timothy 2:4
Spurgeon was converted at the age of 15 after an irregular visit to a Methodist Church in Colchester where he sought refuge from the snow. Even at such a tender age he was acutely aware of his sinful condition. He knew that he did not have peace with God. But on this day, a lay preacher called his tiny congregation and their 15 year old visitor to "look unto Me, and be ye saved" (Isa. 45:22). It was this simple revelation that effected Charles Spurgeon's faith in Christ as his Saviour.
"I believe that I had been a very good, attentive hearer; my own impression about myself was that nobody ever listened much better than I did. For years, as a child, I tried to learn the way of salvation; and either I did not hear it set forth, which I think cannot quite have been the case, or else I was spiritually blind and deaf, and could not see it and could not hear it; but the good news that I was, as a sinner, to look away from myself to Christ, as much startled me, and came as fresh to me, as any news I ever heard in my life. Had I never read my Bible? Yes, and I read it earnestly. Had I never been taught by Christian people? Yes, I had, by mother, and father, and others. Had I not heard the gospel? Yes, I think I had; and yet, somehow, it was like a new revelation to me that I was to ''believe and live.''
Charles Spurgeon, The Early Years (Autobiography)
From that time, Spurgeon became a fully devoted follower of Christ. His call as an evangelist was immediately obvious as he handed out Gospel tracts, wrote scriptures on scraps of paper to drop on the ground along his walks, and went house to house asking if he could be of assistance. His potential became apparent to the leader of the local Preachers' Association, who gave him his first church preaching assignment when he was just 16. His text for that first sermon? Isaiah 45:22 "Look unto Me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth..."
Spurgeon's father and Grandfather were both preachers. Much of the time he spent at his Grandfather's as a young boy was invested in reading many of the Puritan books in the Rev. Spurgeon's library. Charles Spurgeon learned to read books from a very young age. From his 20s, while pastoring a church of thousands, he made it his habit to read 4 "difficult" books a week. From the age of 17 Charles was appointed the pastor of a small chapel in Waterbeach, Cambridge. But within two years he received a call to the historic pastorate of New Park Street Chapel in London.
New Park Street Chapel began in 1650 as a Reformed ("Particular") Baptist Church. When they called the 19 year old Spurgeon as their pastor in 1854, this 2000 seat church was barely drawing a hundred people to worship. But within a few months of Spurgeon arriving, it was full. Not long afterward they undertook a building expansion program to accommodate another 200 seats. Yet the crowds kept coming and queuing outside to get in so that there was an inordinate number of people standing during the service. The church hired large music halls each Sunday from 1856 to be able to seat those attending. Eventually the church decided to buy property at the Elephant and Castle in South London and contruct The Metropolitan Tabernacle. This new building was opened in 1861 and could seat 6,000. Spurgeon would pastor this church for 38 years, ended by his illness and death at the age of 57 in 1892.
In his book, THE FORGOTTEN SPURGEON, by Iain Murray, he identifies three great battles which Charles Spurgeon felt he must fight. Each of these battles had two attackers which Spurgeon took it up to. His first great battle was over... [read full article]