Charles Spurgeon

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) was a English Baptist preacher and author in the Calvinist tradition. He remains highly regarded by Reformed Christians and Baptists, among whom he is still known as the "Prince of Preachers."


Brief biography

Born in Kelvedon, Essex, Spurgeon was converted at the age of fifteen in January, 1850. On his way to a scheduled appointment, a snow storm forced him to cut short his intended journey and turn in to a Primitive Methodist chapel in Colchester where, in his own words: "God opened his heart to the salvation message."

He preached his first sermon in 1851 at age sixteen. In 1852 he was called to pastor of the small Baptist church at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, and in 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, was called to the pastorate of London's famed New Park Street Chapel, Southwark (formerly pastored by the strict Baptist theologian John Gill). Within a few months of his call his powers as a preacher made him famous.

The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000 — all in the days before electronic amplification. At twenty-two Spurgeon was the most popular preacher of the day.

In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed purpose-built Metropolitan Tabernacle at Elephant and Castle, seating five thousand people with standing room for another thousand. Some say that the Metropolitan Tabernacle is considered the first modern so-called "megachurch."

Spurgeon was a Baptist and a Calvinist, but is still known to non-conformists of many denominations as the "Prince of Preachers" in the tradition of the Puritans and especially highly regarded among Presbyterians and Congregationalists, although he differed with them over the issue of baptism.

Spurgeon's sermons were published in printed form every week, and enjoyed a high circulation. By the time of his death in 1892, he had preached almost thirty-six hundred sermons and published forty-nine volumes of commentaries, sayings, anecdotes, illustrations, and devotions.

In 1856, Spurgeon married Susannah, daughter of Robert Thompson of Falcon Square, London, by whom he had twin sons, Charles and Thomas. His widow and sons survived him. He suffered ill health towards the end of his life, suffering from a combination of rheumatism, gout and Bright's disease, often recuperating at Mentone, near Nice, France, where he died in 1892.


I do not come into this pulpit hoping that perhaps somebody will of his own free will return to Christ. My hope lies in another quarter. I hope that my Master will lay hold of some of them and say, "You are mine, and you shall be mine. I claim you for myself." My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.
Charles Spurgeon
If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our bodies, and if they perish, let them perish with our arms around their knees imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, at least let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let no one go there unwarned or unprayed for.
Charles Spurgeon

External links

Online books

Online articles

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