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Charles Spurgeon: Early years

 Spurgeon: A New Biography
Chapter 3: Joyful First Efforts in Serving the Lord
Chapter 4: The Boy Preacher of Waterbeach

YoungSpurgeonCharles Spurgeon’s conversion at the age of 15 changed everything for him.

I’m amazed at the covenant he wrote shortly afterwards between himself and God, affirming his determination. Oh, that more of us today could take our devotion to Christ so seriously!

Can we also agree with this commitment?

O great and unsearchable God, who knowest my heart, and triest all my ways; with a humble dependence upon the support of Thy Holy Spirit, I yield myself up to Thee; as Thine own reasonable sacrifice, I return to Thee Thine own. I would be forever, unreservedly, perpetually Thine; whilst I am on earth, I would serve Thee; and may I enjoy Thee and praise Thee for ever! Amen.

Feb. 1, 1850.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Then he set out to follow through. He quickly learned that the Christian life is not a “flowery bed of ease.” I appreciate his perspective on trials: even though Satan no longer rules us—we’ve been rescued from his clutches!—he still constantly picks at us with temptations:

This is one way in which Satan tortures those whom God has delivered out of his hands.

Spurgeon then decided he needed to be baptized by immersion. His mother was not keen on the idea. “Ah, Charles, I often prayed the Lord to make you a Christian, but I never asked that you might become a Baptist.”

Charles replied, “Ah, Mother, the Lord has answered your prayer with His usual bounty, and has given you exceeding abundantly above what you asked or thought.”

And thus he began teaching and sharing his love for Jesus to everyone around, and, before long, preaching as well. I’m taken aback by his mature perspective at such a young age: “I have endeavored to speak as a dying individual to dying individuals.”

He was gifted not only in communicating God’s love verbally, but also in showing it through actions. He talked to people in the street, visited in homes, spoke to all by name, prayed for the sick, and sat with the dying.

I appreciate how the author Dallimore characterizes him: “Though strictly subject to all that was righteous and true, he was in some senses a free spirit, without fear of man and entirely unfettered by human convictions.”

Such a life is worth examining.

I appreciate Tim Challies choosing this book for our Reading Together.” The group is on hiatus from commenting at his site this week (Tim is out of town), but will pick up next week.

* * *

Next weekSection 2: The First Years in London 1855-1864

Chapter 5: “A Great Door and Effectual Is Opened”
Chapter 6: Spurgeon’s Marriage—This One Truly Made in Heaven

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