Charles Spurgeon – inspires us to proclaim the gospel
1834 – 1892
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, Essex, the first of 17 children. Converted in Colchester at 16, just a year later he became the pastor of Waterbeach Chapel in Cambridge, despite having no formal theological education. What he lacked in formal training, however, he made up for in personal study – collecting and reading over 5000 volumes of theological books over the course of his life. Aged 19, Spurgeon moved to Southwark, London, and began his ministry at New Park Street Church (later named the Metropolitan Tabernacle), where he would remain for the next 38 years, until he died, aged 57. He was married to Susannah, with twin sons – Charles and Thomas. Despite his relatively short life – which was full of mental suffering and physical pain – Spurgeon was relentless in his gospel preaching ministry.
He was a man who loved people – he founded an orphanage, cared for a church with 4000 members and personally replied to more than 500 letters a week! And that’s just scratching the surface – over the course of his life he founded 66 religious and charitable institutions .
He was a man who contended for the faith against encroaching liberalism (theological compromise) within the Baptist Union (in what became known as the Downgrade Controversy); he was willing to be vilified, even by his own peers, for the truth of God’s Word.
But most importantly, he was a man who gave his life to preaching Bible-saturated sermons. He regularly preached to over 5000 people on a Sunday through which many thousands were saved. His sermons sold around 20,000 copies a week and were translated into twenty languages, and his collection of sermons still stands “as the largest set of books by a single author in the history of Christianity”. One of his sons warmly said of his father that ‘There was no one who could preach like my father. In inexhaustible variety, witty wisdom, vigorous proclamation, loving entreaty, and lucid teaching, with a multitude of other qualities, he must, at least in my opinion, ever be regarded as ‘the prince of preachers’.’