Monday, April 20, 2020

Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century, and one of my heroes. 

In April 1854, after preaching three months on probation and just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 19, was called to the pastorate of London’s famed New Park Street Chapel, Southwark. Within a few months of Spurgeon’s arrival at Park Street, his ability as a preacher made him famous. The following year, the first of his sermons was published. Spurgeon’s sermons were published in printed form every week, and by the time of his death in 1892, he had preached nearly 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations and devotions. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of many different denominations, among whom he is known as the “Prince of Preachers.” It is estimated that in his lifetime, Spurgeon preached to around 10,000,000 people.

It always amazed me how Mr. Spurgeon could write a sermon several pages long based on a single Scripture verse or part of a verse. For instance, on June 15, 1856, his sermon “Omniscience” was based upon Genesis 16:13, or a part of it anyway. Using the King James Version, Spurgeon reads, “Thou God seest me.” Four words from Genesis, and he then goes on to deliver a 5,824 word or twelve-page sermon. Wow. So much to say about so few words. Spurgeon is also well known for being very quotable. “You might not always get what you want, but you always get what you expect.” “It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.” “Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” “Jesus wept. But He never complained.” Wow. So few words that say so much.

It made me wonder. Forrest Gump said, “My momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna’ get.” Well, long after I have gone to be with God, what quote of mine would I want people to remember? Pastor Adam said… How about you? Can you reveal your heart, your faith, your worldview, in a short sentence or two? If so, what would you say? What would you want people to repeat in a hundred years? Feel free to email me at pastoradam@scchartford.org. I would love to hear from you. Your words, remember. Not someone else’s. I am still working on it myself. 

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