~ Thoughts from Spurgeon by Arnold Dallimore
Charles Spurgeon had always been a writer, even though it didn’t come easily.
But once he became a preacher, he was warned to “moderate his expectations” for writing. “The number of those, either in past or present times, who have attained to eminence both with tongue and pen is small,” said his friend Dr. John Campbell.
Obviously Spurgeon paid no heed. He continued writing, and had great success. Beginning in 1855, he edited one of his sermons every Monday for printing every Thursday. He did this every week until he died in 1892.
These sermons went all around the world. In many countries, it was Spurgeon’s sermons in print that would be read as the sermon of the day.
Why the appeal? It was said his ability to simplify great truths made them “grippingly understandable to the common man,” but also deep enough to engage people of learning.
In addition to his sermons, Spurgeon also wrote a monthly magazine—The Sword and the Trowel, more than 140 books, a 7-volume work on the Psalms—The Treasury of David, and daily devotional readings Morning and Evening (I’m listening to these this year).
Amazing, yes? But to me, perhaps even more amazing: he wrote about 500 letters every week. The old-fashioned way. By hand. Dipping a pen in ink. What a great testimony to his love for others.
By 1880, change was stirring in Christian doctrine in England. Spurgeon vocally opposed the New Theology that downplayed the inspiration of Scripture, reducing it merely to a human book containing ancient myths.
When the Baptist Union failed again and again to take a stand against the New Theology, Spurgeon finally withdrew his membership in 1887. The move was costly. He lost the respect and fellowship of many of his friends, while at the same time grew in esteem by others.
He wrote this statement:
It is one thing to overleap all boundaries of denominational restriction for the truth’s sake; this we hope all godly men will do more and more. It is quite another policy which would urge us to subordinate the maintenance of truth to denominational prosperity and unity.
…Let each believer judge for himself…for under colour of begging the friendship of the servant, there are those about who aim at robbing THE MASTER.
Spurgeon didn’t try to defend the attacks on his character that resulted: “God knows all about it and He will see me righted.”
But he was deeply hurt. And his body responded with more frequent attacks of gout and other physical illnesses.
Some say the emergence of the New Theology began England’s decline in weakened faith, an outcome that Spurgeon would have hated to witness.
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NEXT (final) WEEK:
Ch 20 – Last Labors
Ch 21 – “With Christ, Which Is Far Better”