Charles H Spurgeon Biography & Facts
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (19 June 1834 – 31 January 1892) was an English Particular Baptist preacher. Spurgeon remains highly influential among Christians of various denominations, among whom he is known as the "Prince of Preachers". He was a strong figure in the Reformed Baptist tradition, defending the 1689 London Baptist Confession of Faith, and opposing the liberal and pragmatic theological tendencies in the Church of his day.
Spurgeon was pastor of the congregation of the New Park Street Chapel (later the Metropolitan Tabernacle) in London for 38 years. He was part of several controversies with the Baptist Union of Great Britain and later he left the denomination over doctrinal convictions. While at the Metropolitan Tabernacle he built an Almshouse, the Stockwell Orphanage and encouraged his congregation to engage actively with the poor of Victorian London. He also founded Spurgeon's College, which was named after him posthumously.
Spurgeon authored sermons, an autobiography, commentaries, books on prayer, devotionals, magazines, poetry, and hymns. Many sermons were transcribed as he spoke and were translated into many languages during his lifetime. He is said to have produced powerful sermons of penetrating thought and precise exposition. His oratory skills are said to have held his listeners spellbound in the Metropolitan Tabernacle and many Christians hold his writings in exceptionally high regard among devotional literature.
Born in Kelvedon, Essex, he moved to Colchester at 10 months old. Spurgeon's conversion from nominal Congregationalism came on 6 January 1850, at age 15. On his way to a scheduled appointment, a snow storm forced him to cut short his intended journey and to turn into a Primitive Methodist chapel in Artillery Street, Newtown, Colchester where God opened his heart to the salvation message. The text that moved him was Isaiah 45:22 – "Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else." Later that year on 4 April 1850, he was admitted to the church at Newmarket.
His baptism followed on 3 May in the river Lark, at Isleham. Later that same year he moved to Cambridge, where he later became a Sunday school teacher. Spurgeon preached his first sermon in the winter of 1850–51 in a cottage at Teversham while filling in for a friend. From the beginning of Spurgeon's ministry, his style and ability were considered to be far above average. In the same year, he was installed as pastor of the small Baptist church at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, where he published his first literary work, a Gospel tract written in 1853.
New Park Street Chapel
In April 1854, after preaching three months on probation and just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 19 years old, was called to the pastorate of London's famed New Park Street Chapel, Southwark (formerly pastored by the Particular Baptists Benjamin Keach, theologian John Gill and John Rippon). This was the largest Baptist congregation in London at the time, although it had dwindled in numbers for several years. Spurgeon found friends in London among his fellow pastors, such as William Garrett Lewis of Westbourne Grove Church, an older man who along with Spurgeon went on to found the London Baptist Association.
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 in the "New Park Street Pulpit" was published. Spurgeon's sermons were published in printed form every week and had a high circulation. 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.
Immediately following his fame was criticism. The first attack in the press appeared in the Earthen Vessel in January 1855. His preaching, although not revolutionary in substance, was a plain-spoken and direct appeal to the people, using the Bible to provoke them to consider the teachings of Jesus Christ. Critical attacks from the media persisted throughout his life. The congregation quickly outgrew their building, and moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000. At 22, Spurgeon was the most popular preacher of the day.On 8 January 1856, Spurgeon married Susannah, daughter of Robert Thompson of Falcon Square, London, by whom he had twin sons, Charles and Thomas born on 20 September 1857. At the end of that year, tragedy struck on 19 October 1856, as Spurgeon was preaching at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall for the first time. Someone in the crowd yelled, "Fire!" The ensuing panic and stampede left several dead. Spurgeon was emotionally devastated by the event and it had a sobering influence on his life. For many years he spoke of being moved to tears for no reason known to himself.
Walter Thornbury later wrote in "Old and New London" (1897) describing a subsequent meeting at Surrey: a congregation consisting of 10,000 souls, streaming into the hall, mounting the galleries, humming, buzzing, and swarming – a mighty hive of bees – eager to secure at first the best places, and, at last, any place at all. After waiting more than half an hour – for if you wish to have a seat you must be there at least that space of time in advance… Mr. Spurgeon ascended his tribune. To the hum, and rush, and trampling of men, succeeded a low, concentrated thrill and murmur of devotion, which seemed to run at once, like an electric current, through the breast of everyone present, and by this magnetic chain the preacher held us fast bound for about two hours. It is not my purpose to give a summary of his discourse. It is enough to say of his voice, that its power and volume are sufficient to reach every one in that vast assembly; of his language that it is neither high-flown nor homely; of his style, that it is at times familiar, at times declamatory, but always happy, and often eloquent; of his doctrine, that neither the 'Calvinist' nor the 'Baptist' appears in the forefront of the battle which is waged by Mr. Spurgeon with relentless animosity, and with Gospel weapons, against irreligion, cant, hypocrisy, pride, and those secret bosom-sins which so easily beset a man in daily life; and to sum up all in a word, it is enough to say, of the man himself, that he impresses you with a perfect conviction of his sincerity.
Spurgeon's work went on. A Pastors' College was founded in 1856 by Spurgeon and was renamed Spurgeon's College in 1923, when it moved to its present building in South Norwood Hill, London. At the Fast Day, 7 October 1857, he preached to the largest crowd ever – 23,654 people – at The Crystal Palace in London. Spurgeon noted: In 1857, a day or two before preaching at the Crystal Palace, I went to decide where the platform should be fixed; and, in order to test the acoustic proper.... Discover the Charles H Spurgeon popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Charles H Spurgeon books.