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|Bio in Brief: C. H. Spurgeon|
|Written by Reverend Steve Williams|
Previous Bios in Brief are located in the Archives from the Front
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born on June 19th 1834, at Kelvedon, in the county of Essex England. His father and his grandfather were both Independent ministers. In 1850, January 6th, C. H. Spurgeon was born again at Colchester, England, January 6, 1850; he was baptized in the River Lark, at Isleham, May 3, 1850, and he then joined the Baptist church at Isleham, Cambridgeshire, on May 3rd 1850.
Spurgeon preached his first sermon, at a Cottage in Teversham, in 1850. In 1852 he was appointed pastor at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, and then on April 28, 1854, he was installed to the pastorate at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, in London; he took over the care of 232 members. Quickly, the congregation outgrew the building and moved to Exeter Hall, grew again and went on to Surrey Music Hall. In these locations Spurgeon often preached to audiences of more than 10,000.
1856 was a year that Charles Haddon Spurgeon could only count as blessed; he married Miss Susannah Thompson on January 8, 1856; they celebrated their wedded bliss with a 10-Day honey-moon in Paris France, that very Spring of 1856. The Metropolitan Tabernacle Building Committee was commenced in June, of that year, and on September 20, 1856 God further blessed them with twin sons (not identical) Thomas and Charles. As well, the Pastors College was established, 1856, and then it was expanded in 1857.
Spurgeon was a stalwart Calvinist; a prolific writer: 70 books (including the marvelous “The Treasury of David”, an exposition of the Psalms), hymns, a hymn book, magazines, countless sermons and speeches. He commented on the most pressings issues of his day, including Evolution and its effect on the church. He confronted what he called the “Downgrade of Theology”, what we refer to today as modernism. Simply put, shifting from “Sola Scriptura” by Scripture alone, in favor of Unitarianism, rationalistic skepticism, and other liberal beliefs, leading the churches and ministers away from Evangelicalism.
C. H. Spurgeon was the most popular preacher of his day. He was referred to as the “Prince of Preachers” and he could cross denominational lines. Crowds were measured in the thousands and at the Metropolitan Tabernacle (it seated five thousand, standing room six thousand), his was the first Mega-house of worship, with attendance reaching 10,000 per week. All of this was accomplished without the aid of instruments for Spurgeon wanted his congregants to enjoy the hymns and psalms without the accompanying music. It is estimated that Spurgeon preached to nearly 10 million people during his ministry.
Among his many accomplishments were the founding of two orphanages, one for boys and another for girls, and the building and administering of a college for the training of pastors. The building of the Metropolitan Tabernacle which stands to this day as a residual of the ministry that God placed in the life of C. H. Spurgeon.
Further, it has been suggested by Emmett O'Donnell that Spurgeon is responsible for the motto “What Would Jesus Do?” Judge for yourself, as you read the following excerpt from C. H. Spurgeon's sermon #1526 "The Fair Portrait of a Saint" Published in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 26, Year 1880, pg. 149, Job 23:11-12. “Not only may children take it as their guide, but all of us may do the same, whatever our age. “What would Jesus do?” If you desire to know what you ought to do under any circumstances, imagine Jesus to be in that position, and then think, “What would Jesus do? for what Jesus would do, that ought I to do.” In following Jesus we are following God, for in Christ Jesus the brightness of the Father’s Glory is best seen. Our example is our Lord and Master, Jesus the Son of God, and, therefore this question is but a beam from our guiding star. Ask in all cases — “What would Jesus do?” That unties the knot of all moral difficulty in the most practical way, and does it so simply that no great wit or wisdom will be needed.”
C. H. Spurgeon's wife was in such poor health that it was difficult for her to leave home to hear him preach. Rev. Spurgeon too suffered ill health nearing the end of his life. He suffered from a combination of Bright's disease, rheumatism and gout. Frequently, he recuperated near Nice, France, at Menton, and that is where he died on January 31st, 1892. He was buried in a tomb at West Norwood Cemetery in London; he was survived by his sons, Thomas and Charles and Susannah his wife.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a leader with genuine back-bone; a resilient spirit, a determined mind, a man that there is doubt, was a Church Trailblazer. If you would like to get a better understanding about the style of Spurgeon's preaching why not buy or rent C.H. Spurgeon Tonight, featuring, Dr. Craig Skinner's acclaimed one-man dramatization.