You can’t help being inspired by Charles Spurgeon. He seems to have been a lion in barely human form. The secret to Spurgeon’s boldness is obvious – despite being gifted with extraordinary speaking skills and intellectual power – his wholehearted love of Jesus Christ and clear understanding of His Word provided the power and the heading for everything he said and did.
If you read Dallimore’s biography of Spurgeon (Spurgeon: A New Biography) you will instantly give yourself to the work of more fervent and consistent prayer. Charles Spurgeon was a man of ceaseless, ferocious prayer. He also shamelessly begged for the prayers of others. The success of his preaching and ministry enterprises (scores of “Spurgeonic enterprises” were launched during the height of his ministry) he attributed to the faithful and “real” praying of his congregation. An appreciation of that mode of living would alone be enough reason to read this book.
But you will come away also with a great appreciation of the power of great preaching. Spurgeon was known as the Prince of Preachers – not because of eloquence (it was said he spoke in plain terms for plain people) but because of this ability to explain the doctrines of Scripture and so doing exalt Jesus Christ in the imaginations of the hearers. To them suddenly Jesus of Nazareth was seen clearly to be the Lord of Lords and the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. In the pulpit, Spurgeon was a man who made Christ visible. But you already knew this.
You may be struck, like I was, by a different aspect to Spurgeon’s life work. That is the work of a true shepherd of people. Spurgeon worked tirelessly – with warmth and wit – to care for the souls in his path one by one. And he threw himself into training other shepherds, understanding that he could only reach so many. The Pastor’s College he founded trained hundreds of men in preaching the Word. He founded orphanages, almshouses, and other institutions – and picked and trained men to lead them. He met with hundreds of “inquirers” each month who wished to know how to be saved – and always gave them his fullest energy. Not that his energy was boundless. He suffered health problems which kept him bedridden and sometimes depressed for weeks or months. He was attacked by theological opponents, even those who should have been friends – especially when he separated himself from the Baptist Union over its growing abandonment of core doctrines. Spurgeon knew how to make and keep friends, but he would not “under the colour of begging the friendship of the servant…rob The Master.”
You should read this book and let it do to you what it has to me – lit the desire for prayer, promote “sacred merriment” in relationships, and open the throttle of life in pursuit of the only worthy goal: Jesus Christ the Lord of Lords – may the Lamb make lions of us all!