Baptists > History > C. H. Spurgeon
 Baptist Pastor, Author, & Editor - 1834 to 1892
   Charles Haddon Spurgeon began preaching at the age of sixteen.  At twenty-five, he built Londonís famous Metropolitan Tabernacle, seating around 5,000.  It was never large enough.  Even when traveling he preached to 10,000 eager listeners a week.  To this day, he is still referred to as "The Prince of Preachers."
   Born in the English village of Kelvedon, in Essex, 1834, young Charles came from a heritage of sturdy Puritan non-conformists.
In fact, during the reign of Charles II, one of his ancestors, Job Spurgeon, was committed to the Chelmsford jail for fifteen weeks, rather than be a traitor to his convictions.
   It is interesting that his family were all Paedo-Baptists, until his grandfather, James Spurgeon, declared for believers' baptism by immersion.  James answered God's call to the ministry and  accepted the pastorate of the Independent Church at Stambourne in 1810, and ministered for more than half a century at the same church.  Young Charles would spend hours reading in his grandfather's study.  "It was in that dear old study," he says, "that I first made acquaintance with `Foxe's Martyrs,' `Bunyan's Pilgrim,' and, further on, with the great masters of Scriptural theology, with whom no moderns are worthy to be named in the same day."
   John Spurgeon, the father of Charles, was for several years pastor of the Independent Church at Cranbrook in Kent, England.   Both Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon sacrificed much to provide their children with a good education along with emphasizing the importance of all things spiritual.
   Mrs. Spurgeon's concern for the spiritual welfare of her oldest boy was deep and ernest.   One day she said to him, "Ah, Charley! I have often prayed that you might be saved, but never that you should become a Baptist."   Charles replied, "God has answered your prayers, mother, with His usual bounty, and given you more than you asked."
   He was invited one Sunday evening to accompany a friend to a village preaching station in the village of Teversham, some three miles from Cambridge.  While on their journey, the twp friends discussed who do the preaching.  After much debate, it was decided.  Thus, it was in a small cottage with a pulpit in one corner of the room that the "Prince of Preachers" preached his first message.
   In a very short time the sixteen-year-old youth was continually occupying the pulpits of the surrounding villages.  His reputation spread amazingly fast.  In a short time he was preaching in the prominant pulpits of Cambridge.  In fact, the first sermon he preached in that town was behind his father's pulpit.
   At age seventeen the Baptists of Water-beach gave him a call to be the pastor of their church.  The congregation grew rapidly under Spurgeon's preaching.  His reputation of the time was to preach three hour-long messages each week.  The crowds which gathered to hear him preach overflowed on to the church yard.  The windows had to be opened so that those outside could heare his preaching.
  On April 28, 1854, Mr Spurgeon accepted the pastorate of London's Park Street Chapel.  It was a prestigious church having been pastored by the renowned Dr. Rippon.  He was only nineteen years old.
   Within twevle months the building had to be enlarged.  Shortly thereafter, the congregation outgrew it so they began meeting in Exeter Hall.  The crowds who came to hear him preach continued to grow.  In 1856 the church began holding services in the largest available building in London--the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall.
   The first stone of the Metropolitan Tabernacle was laid in the summer of 1859 with 2,000 persons present.  Some 200 hearers witnessed his first sermon at the New Park Chapel.   Now, the church numbered 1,178 members. During that period he had received into fellowship by baptism no less than 3,569 members.
   The first service held in the new tabernacle was on Monday morning, 15th March, 186I, with more than a thousand in attendance.  The first sermon Spurgeon preached in the new facility was from Acts 5:42, "And daily in the temple and in every house they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus Christ,"  The 
attendance at the church averaged 6,000 at Sunday services over the next thirty years with record attendances over 20,000 on at least five occassions.
   Spurgeon's sermons were published in 36 yearly volumes.  They were originally published weekly to a circulation of some 25,000 readers.  His 8 volume "Treasury of David" is still used as a valuable resource tool to this day.
   Charles Haddon Spurgeon passed away in his sleeep on a late Sunday evening on January 31, 1892.  Over 60,000 attended his funeral services.  His secretary found this verse that he had composed on a sheet of paper still sitting on the center of his desk.  It was the last thing he had written.

"No cross, no crown; no loss, no gain;
They, too, must suffer who would reign.
He best can part with life without a sigh,
Whose daily living is to daily die.
Youth pleads for age, age pleads for rest,
Who pleads for heaven will plead the best."

Books by
Charles H. Spurgeons
Charles Haddon Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years 1834-1860 Volume 1
Charles Haddon Spurgeon Autobiography: The Full Harvest 1861-1892 Volume 2
Spurgeon's Sermons
5 Volumes
 Lectures to My Students Complete and Unabridged
Morning By Morning Spurgeon's Devotions 1
Morning and Evening Spurgeon's Devotions 2
 Evening by Evening Spurgeon's Devotions 3
The Soulwinner
John Ploughman's Talk- Plain Advice for Plain People
The Treasury
of David: An
Updated Edition in
Today's Language
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