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Fire in Spurgeon

~ Thoughts from Spurgeon: A New Biography
Charles Spurgeon   Chapter 7: Conflict
   Chapter 8: Revival in London

When someone upsets the status quo, expect conflict.

Conflict happened when Charles Spurgeon preached the Spirit’s fire back into the church in London beginning in the mid-1800s. Attacks from within and without the religious community mounted against him. But though they wounded Spurgeon, they didn’t deter him.

At 22 years old, he held an opening service in Surrey Gardens Music Hall, Oct. 19, 1856. When someone in the gallery shouted, “Fire!” the crowd panicked. A stair railing collapsed and more chaos ensured. Seven people died and twenty-eight were hospitalized.

Spurgeon was broken. But after a week, he remembered Philippians 2:9: “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name.” Remembering Who he served spurred Surgeon straight back to ministry.

Backlash from the fire tragedy heaped new criticism onto Spurgeon from many, but it also brought sympathy from others. His congregation at New Park Street got busy planning for construction of a new church building to house themselves under Spurgeon’s teachings.

For Spurgeon himself, his philosophy became: “If I must lose that [his reputation] too, then let it go; it is the dearest thing I have, but it shall go too, if, like my Master, they shall say I have a devil and am mad.”

He continued forward caring for the souls of the wide variety of people in London. The good news he had to share in Christ brought more and more people to hear him.

But many remarked that more than his preaching, they were affected by his praying.

D. L. Moody, after his first visit to England, being asked upon his return to America, “Did you hear Spurgeon preach?” replied, “Yes, but better still, I heard him pray.”

His zeal to bring glory to Christ was evidenced in his prayers as much as his preaching. As a result, the Lord used Spurgeon to bring many to Himself.

* * *

Next week:
Part 3
: The Long Period of Mature Ministry 1861-1886
Chapter 9: The Metropolitan Tabernacle
Chapter 10: Training Young Preachers
Chapter 11: The Growth of the Spurgeonic Enterprises

Comments from readers at Challies
Previous chapter summaries


Brad said...

“Did you hear Spurgeon preach?” replied, “Yes, but better still, I heard him pray.”

Wow. What an excellent quote and appropriate praise.

Becky said...

I agree, the thing that strickens me the most is his prayer life! Today I did write a post about it...


Becky said...

Forgot to you blog template! ;)


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