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Congregationalist

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Congregationalist

Spurgeon, Charles Haddon

Biography

    SPURGEON, CHARLES HADDON (1834-1892), known as “Prince of Preachers”, came of a family of

    Dutch origin which sought refuge in England during the persecution of the Duke of Alva. His grandfather, James Spurgeon (1776-1864), was independent minister at Stambourne; his father, John Spurgeon (1811-1902), was successively minister of the independent congregations of Tollesbury, Essex, of Cranbrook, Kent, of Fetter Lane, and of Upper Street, Islington. Charles Haddon, elder son of John Spurgeon, by his wife, the youngest sister of Charles Parker Jarvis of Colchester, was born at Kelvedon, Essex, England, on June 19, 1834. Spurgeon‟s early childhood was spent with his grandfather, James Spurgeon, but in 1841 he was sent to the Stockwell House School at Colchester. There he had progressed exceptionally well in writing, reading, mathematics, and started his studies in Greek and Latin along with some philosophy. Then he went to Maidstone and then to Newmarket for some years. There he spent his days visiting the poor and sick and talking to his classmates about their relationships to Jesus Christ. He gave many hours to witnessing and helping others to faith in Christ.

    In his youth, Spurgeon was very early impressed with things divine, and after several years under the weight of sin, Spurgeon was convicted and converted to Christ at the age of 15 while listening to an uneducated Primitive Methodist layman, speaking to a small group, roughly comment upon Isaiah 45:22“Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.” (NKJV) Immediately after he was saved, Spurgeon began to work for the Master. On May 3, 1850, he was baptised and formally joined the baptist community at Isleham. Being born into a Congregationalist family, it took him a brief period to see his way clear as to the sacred ordinance. But when he did, he went to a Baptist church and was baptized. Spurgeon said, “According to my reading of Holy Scripture, the believer in Christ should be buried with Him in baptism, and so enter upon his open Christian life…I became a Baptist through reading the New Testamentespecially in the Greekand was strengthened in

    my resolve by a perusal of the Church of England Catechism, which declared as necessary to baptism, repentance and the forsaking of sin.”

    At the age of only sixteen, Spurgeon preached his first sermon in a cottage at Teversham, near Cambridge. His oratorical gifts were at once recognised and he continued to preach in other churches nearby. In 1852, he became the pastor of the baptist congregation at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire.

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    Under his effective ministry the church grew and made significant strides in number. His success was pronounced, and he first received from the local people the name “boy preacher.” In 1854, just four years

    after his conversion, Spurgeon, received the call to become the pastor of the famous New Park Street Church in London. The church was a praying church, and undoubtedly God had prepared the church and the minister for each other. Immediately the crowds began to flock to hear the young minister, and though some perhaps came out of curiosity, their hearts were captured by the Christ the young man preached. The conversions were quite numerous, though Spurgeon used none of the tactics of our moderns. He plainly preached the Word, pressing the Law and the Gospel upon his hearersthe Law to

    convict and break the hardened, and the Gospel to heal the broken. With the great increase in membership and attendance came need for more space. The congregation moved to Exeter Hall, while the new building was in process of erection, but Exeter Hall could not contain Spurgeon‟s hearers. The enlarged chapel, when opened, at once proved too small, and a great tabernacle was projected. In the meantime Spurgeon preached at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall, where his congregations numbered more than 10,000all in the days before electronic amplification.

    On October 19, 1856 someone shouting “Fire!” while Spurgeon was preaching at the Surrey Gardens

    Music Hall led to a panic which caused the death of seven persons and the injury of many others. For weeks afterwards Spurgeon was in such sorrow and distress that he was quite incapable of preaching and his whole ministry appeared to be finished. However the Lord graciously sustained him, and though scarred by the memory of the tragedy for the rest of his life, he resumed preaching and indeed for several years the services at the Music Hall continued to be richly blessed by God in the salvation of many souls. In 1861 the Metropolitan Tabernacle in Newington Causeway was opened for service. The Tabernacle quickly became, under Spurgeon‟s impressive personality, an energetic centre of religious life. There

    Spurgeon ministered until his death, and, until illness disabled him, fully maintained his popularity and power as a preacher.

    Since Spurgeon had begun his outreach ministry in London, it never ceased to prosper. Many organisations grew up under his care and were affiliated to it. The pastors‟ college, in which young men prepared for the ministry under his active guidance, was founded at Camberwell in 1856; it was removed to the Metropolitan Tabernacle in 1861, and is now located in Temple Street, Southwark. Stockwell orphanage was founded in 1867 for the maintenance and education of destitute orphan boys and girls. Other works were the Old Ladies Home helping the homeless elderly women; the Colporteurs Association extending the circulation of the scriptures and religious literature; the Book Fund; the Rock Loan Tract Society; the Ordinance Poor Fund distributing food and goods to the poor members of the church; the Ladies Benevolent Society with a group of ladies dedicated themselves to the making and supplying of clothes for the poor; the Flower Mission sending flowers to people in hospitals; the Baptist Country Mission sending young men to preach and evangelize in country towns with a view to starting new churches; Mr. Hampton‟s Blind Mission providing Sunday School for blind children; Mrs. Thomas‟ Mother‟s Mission reaching out to poor women and so on. All these ministries met real needs.

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    Spurgeon always appealed to the Scriptures as authoritative, and his sermons were based on Old Testament texts as well as those from the New Testament. His simplicity and his voice were great assets to preaching. Spurgeon excelled in his use of illustrations and anecdotes. He was criticized in his own day for his use of illustration, but like Jesus, Spurgeon believed in appealing to both eye and ear. He looked on the Gospel as a “gift of God to the imagination.” In one particular lecture he said that a sermon without illustration is like a house without windows. Though outstanding as a fluent and gifted preacher, Spurgeon was also blessed with the mind of a theologian, and fathomed deep theology as easily as a Gill or an Owen. Actually, his sermons are as full of theology as anyone‟s Body of Divinity or Systematic Theology. But his theology is in plain, simple language, set forth in a straight-forward, to the point,

    common-sense manner.

    Spurgeon, a convinced Calvinist staunchly adhering till the day of his death to every point in the system of theology in which he had been educated, was resolved to sacrifice nothing in the way of doctrine, even in the interests of peace among Christian churches. In 1864 he invited a controversy with the evangelical party in the church of England. In a powerful sermon on baptismal regeneration which he preached in that year he showed that that doctrine, to which he was strenuously hostile, was accepted in the church of England prayer-book, and he reproached evangelical churchmen, who in principle were equally antagonistic to the doctrine, with adhering to an organisation which taught it. The attack occasioned much ferment. Three hundred thousand copies of Spurgeon‟s sermon were sold; and while high churchmen were elated by Spurgeon‟s admission that a doctrine, which they openly avowed, found a

    place in the prayer-book, low-churchmen were proportionately irritated. Numberless pamphlets set forth the views of the various parties. The most effective reply to Spurgeon was made by Baptist Wriothesley Noel [q.v.], then a baptist minister. In his „Evangelical Clergy Defended,‟ Noel censured Spurgeon for introducing needless divisions among men of like faith. But Spurgeon remained obdurate, and emphasized his attitude by withdrawing from the Evangelical Alliance, which was largely supported by the low-church party of the church of England.

    Spurgeon‟s strenuous and unbending faith in Calvinism loosened in course of time the bonds of sympathy between him and a large section of his own denomination. He long watched with misgivings the growth among baptists of what he regarded as indifference to orthodoxy. He thought they laid too little stress on Christ's divine nature, and that the Arminian views which were spreading among them tended to Arianism. He keenly resented what he called the „down grade‟ developments of modern biblical criticism, and the conviction grew on him that faith was decaying in all Christian churches. Consequently on October 26, 1887 he announced his withdrawal from the Baptist Union, the central association of baptist ministers, which declined to adopt the serious view that he took of the situation. Opposition to the rationlising tendency of modern biblical criticism brought him in his later days into sympathy with many churchmen. It was perhaps on that account that he withdrew from the Liberation Society, of which he had been previously a vigorous supporter.

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    During the latter part of his life Spurgeon lived in some style at Norwood. He never practiced or affected to practice asceticism, but was generous in the use of the ample means with which his congregation supplied him. His opinions on social questions were always remarkable for sanity and common-sense. A liberal in politics, Spurgeon was, after 1886, a prominent supporter of the liberal-unionist party in its opposition to home rule for Ireland. Towards the end of his life he suffered severely from gout, and was repeatedly forced to take long rests. He died at Mentone on the evening of January 31, 1892, and was buried at Norwood cemetery, London. The Memorial Hall at Stockwell and the Beulah Baptist Chapel at Bexhill (commenced in 1895) were erected in memory of him. The best portrait of Spurgeon is an oil painting in the pastor‟s vestry, the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and there is a bust by Acton-Adams at the

    Pastors‟ College.

    It is a sort of tradition of the fathers that it is wrong to laugh on Sundays. However, Spurgeon prefer people to laugh rather than nod or fall asleep in the house of God, “I would rather get the truth into them through the medium of ridicule than I would have it neglected, or leave people to perish through the lack of reception of the message.” His humour was spontaneous; the free play of his humour, and to the

    fervour of his unconventional appeals to the conscience lead to success. But he was by nature endowed with much oratorical power. He managed with the utmost skill a clear and sympathetic voice, while his gesture was easy and natural. Throughout life his matter united shrewd comment upon contemporary life with the expository treatment favoured by the old puritan divines. In later life he spoke in the pulpit with somewhat less oratorical effect, but with an intenser earnestness.

    Spurgeon was a prolific author, writing with the directness and earnestness that distinguished him as a speaker. From 1855 Spurgeon‟s sermons began to be published weekly. From 1865 he conducted a

    monthly magazine, the Sword and Trowel. Hundreds of thousands of his sermons were reprinted, and

    many of them have been translated into other languages. People today still read his messages and are blessed by the Christ-centered spiritual food Spurgeon set upon the Gospel-table. The late well-known W. Robertson Nicoll wrote: “Spurgeon‟s sermons are invariably worth buying, and a man who has a set of them possesses a very good theological library.”

    It is understandable why Spurgeon attracted so much praise. The sheer mountain of work he produced through his London years was phenomenal. During the nearly four decades of his ministry, 14,692 were baptized and joined the Tabernacle; a pastors‟ college was founded; an orphanage was started; dozens

    of mission churches were established; 2241 of Spurgeon‟s sermons were published up to the time of his

    death in 1892. After that, a weekly publication of one of his messages was produced until 1917, which finally brought the number to over 3,800 published sermons. For a period of time, Spurgeon‟s Sunday sermon was even wired across the Atlantic to America and printed in the Monday edition of secular newspapers. Through his great sermons, Spurgeon continues his ministry on earth, though he is “absent

    in body.” As The Episcopal Recorder (March 17, 1892) said, “Charles Spurgeon‟s ministry on earth had ended, but its results continue. The streams of influence he set in motion move onward in their ceaseless

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flow. While time shall last, the echo of his voice will be heard.” (For Spurgeon‟s continuing influence, see

    L. Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers).

    An autobiography compiled by his wife and the Rev. W. J. Harrald, his private secretary, from his dairy, letters,

    and records, appeared in four volumes in 1897-8.

    [Pike's Life and Work of C.H. Spurgeon; Shindler's From Pulpit to Palm Branch; Stevenson's Sketch of the Life of Spurgeon, 1887;

    Needham's Life and Labours of C.H. Spurgeon; Douglas's Prince of Preachers; Drew's Charles H. Spurgeon; Record, 5 Feb. 1892; Times, February 1892; Review of Reviews, 1892, i. 239-55; information from the Rev. Thomas Spurgeon.]

Copied from Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 1898. vol. 53.

BRIEF TIMELINE

    ; Born at Kelvedon, Essex England, June 19, 1834.

    ; Born again at Colchester, January 6, 1850.

    ; Baptized in the River Lark, at Isleham, May 3, 1850, by Baptist minister, Reverend Catlow.

    ; First sermon in Teversham, August 1850.

    ; Joined the St. Andrew‟s Street Baptist Church, October 3, 1850.

    ; Became Minister of the Waterbeach Baptist Chapel, 1851.

    ; First published work, No. 1 of Waterbeach Tracts, issued 1853.

    ; Preached First Sermon at New Park Street Chapel, London, December 18, 1853.

    ; Accepts pastorate of New Park Street Chapel, April 28, 1854, 232 members then.

    ; First Sermon in the "New Park Street Pulpit" published by Passmore and Alabaster, January 10,

    1855.

    ; First preached at Exeter Hall on the Strand, a secular setting, February, 1855.

    ; Married Miss Susannah Thompson, January 8, 1856.

    ; Metropolitan Tabernacle Building Committee appointed to build the Tabernacle, June 1856.

    ; Twin sons Thomas and Charles born, September 20, 1856.

    ; Establishes the Pastor‟s College, 1856, and Expanded in 1857.

    ; Metropolitan Tabernacle opens with a Great Prayer Meeting, March 18, 1861.

    ; Metropolitan Tabernacle Colportage Association founded, 1866.

    ; Stockwell Orphanage (Boy's side) founded, 1867.

    ; Foundation Stone laid for the Pastor's College, October 14, 1873.

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     ; Mrs. Spurgeon‟s Book Fund commenced, 1875.

    ; 571 new members added by February 1873, now 4,417 total membership.

    ; Girls‟ section of the Stockwell Orphanage founded, 1879.

    ; Jubilee Celebrations and presentation of testimonial, June 18 & 19, 1884.

    ; First “Down Grade” Paper published in August, 1887. The Sword & the Trowel,

    ; Last sermon preached at Metropolitan Tabernacle, June 7, 1891.

    ; Traveled to Mentone, France with his wife for the last time, October 26, 1891.

    ; Took to his sick bed, January 20, 1892.

    ; Died for the higher home, January 31, 1892.

    ; Interred and buried at Norwood Cemetery, February 11, 1892.

Reference Website:

    http://www.spurgeon.org/

    http://www.pilgrimpub.org/

    http://www.cantonbaptist.org/halloffame/spurgeon.htm

    http://www.wholesomewords.org/biography/biorpspurgeon.html

Books by Spurgeon, Charles Haddon

    12 Christmas Sermons

     12 Sermons for Inquirers

     12 Sermons of Comfort and Cheer

     12 Sermons on Commitment

     12 Sermons on Prayer

     12 Sermons on Praise

     12 Sermons on Thanksgiving

     12 Sermons on the "Cries from the Cross"

     12 Sermons on the Holy Spirit

     12 Sermons on the Lord's Supper

     12 Sermons on the Love of Christ

     12 Sermons on the Passion and Death of Christ

     12 Sermons on the Resurrection

     12 Sermons on the Second Coming of Christ

     Able to the Uttermost: 20 Sermons

     According to Promise

     Advice for Seekers

     Advice to Seekers

     All Round Ministry

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    All of Grace

     Around the Wicket Gate

     Art of Illustration

     Authority from God: The Prayers of Charles Spurgeon

     Backgrounds to Patterns of Negro Segregation

     Baptism (3 Sermons)

     Baptismal Regeneration (2 Sermons)

     Being God's Friend

     Best of C. H. Spurgeon

     C. H. Spurgeon's Prayers

     C. H. Spurgeon's Sermons Preached on Unusual Occasions

     Chequebook of the Bank of Fait

     Christ's Words from the Cross

     Christian Living Classics

     A Classic Bible Study Library for Today: Recommendations

     Counsel for Christian Workers

     Covenant of Grace (9 Sermons)

     Daily Help

     Eccentric Preachers

     Election (5 Sermons)

     Evangelism

     Evening By Evening

     Faith

     Faith in All Its Splendor

     Faith's Checkbook

     Farm Sermons

     Finding Peace in God

     Finding Peace in Life's Storms

     Flowers from a Puritan's Garden

     Friend, Would You Listen?: Selections from Around the Wicket Gate

     The Fullness of Joy

    Geese in their Hoods : Selected Writings on Roman Catholicism by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

     Gleanings Among the Sheaves

     Go in Peace

     God Loves You

     God Promises You

     God Will Bless You

     God's Gift to You

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    God's Grace to You

     God's Joy in Your Heart

     God's Treasury

     The Golden Alphabet (On Psalm 119)

     The Golden Key of Prayer

     A Good Start: A Book for Young Men and Women

     The Gospel of Matthew

     Grace

     Grace & Power

     Grace Abounding in a Believer's Life

     Grace Triumphant

     Greatest Fight in the World : The Final Manifesto

     Holy Spirit Power

     How to Have Real Joy

     Into His Presence: Daily Devotions for Prayer

     Jesus Christ: The History Ceremony and Prophecy As Told in the Old Testament

     Jesus Rose for You

     John Ploughman's Talks

     John Ploughman‟s Pictures

     Joy in Christ's Presence

     The Joy in Praising God

     Joy in Your Life

     The Joy of the Lord

     The Key to Holiness

     King Has Come: Commentary on the Gospel According to Matthew (Masters of the Word)

     The Kings Highway

     Lectures to My Students

     Letters of C. H. Spurgeon

     Limitless Love of Christ

     Men and Women of the New Testament

     Men and Women of the Old Testament

     Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit

     Miracles

     Miracles and Parables of Our Lord

     Morning & Evening

     Morning By Morning

     The Most Holy Place (Song of Solomon)

     My Conversion

     Near the sun : a sourcebook of daily meditations from Charles Haddon Spurgeon

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    The Negro college graduate

     New Park Street Pulpit (6v. Set)

     One Minute Devotion: Morning by Morning

     Only a Prayer Meeting: Studies on Prayer Meetings and Prayer Meeting Addresses

     Our Own Hymnbook

     Parables (C.H. Spurgeon Collection)

     The Pastor in Prayer

     Perfect Praise

     Pictures from Pilgrim's Progress

     Power for You

     The Power in Praising God

     The Power in Prayer

     Power in the Blood

     Power of Christ's Miracles

     The Power of Christ's Prayer Life

     The Power of Christ's Second Coming

     Power of Christ's Tears

     The Power of Prayer in a Believer's Life

     Power of Prayer of Prayer In Believers

     The Power of the Cross of Christ

     Power over Satan

     The Practice of Praise

     Praying Successfully

    Psalms

     Pulpit Legends Christ in the Old Testament

     Ready Sermon Outlines

     Revival (3 Sermons)

     Revival Year Sermons: Preached at the Surrey Music Hall During 1859

     The Saint and His Savior

     Satan: 5 Sermons

     Satan: A Defeated Foe

     The Second Coming of Christ

     Security (3 Sermons)

     Sermons for Special Days and Occasions

     Sermons on Sovereignty

     Soul Winner

     The Soul-Winner: How to Lead Sinners to the Saviour

     Spiritual Parenting

     Spiritual Warfare in a Believer's Life

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    Spurgeon at His Best

    Spurgeon on Prayer & Spiritual Warfare

     Spurgeon on the Holy Spirit

     Spurgeon's Commentary on the Bible

     Spurgeon's Daily Treasury from the Psalms

     Spurgeon's Devotional Bible: Daily Devotional and Commentary

     Spurgeon's Expository Encyclopedia

     Spurgeon's Proverbs and Sayings

    Spurgeon's Sermon Notes : Over 250 Sermons Including Notes, Commentary and Illustrations

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Angels

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Christmas and Easter

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Family and Home

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Great Prayers of the Bible

     Spurgeon's Sermons on New Testament Men

     Spurgeon's Sermons on New Testament Miracles

     Spurgeon's Sermons on New Testament Women

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Old Testament Men

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Old Testament Women

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Proverbs

     Spurgeon's Sermons on Soul-Winning

     Spurgeon's Sermons on the Cross of Christ

     Spurgeon's Sermons on the Parables of Christ

     Spurgeon's Sermons on the Resurrection of Christ

     Strong Faith

     Till He Come: A Collection of Communion Addresses

     Till He Come

     Treasure Store: The Best of C. H. Spurgeon

     Treasure from the Psalms

     Treasures from Charles Spurgeon: Selected Writings

     Treasury of David

     The Treasury of the Bible

     When Christ Returns

     Wind and Fire

     Words of Cheer

     Words of Wisdom for Daily Living

     Your Available Power

    《信心日錄》Faith’s checkbook

    《清晨甘露》

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