Essay title: Spurgeon: Heir of the Puritans Book Report
"Spurgeon, Heir of the Puritans" by Ernest W. Bacon is the biography of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, one of our greatest leaders in the church.Although he never attended theology school, he became one of the most popular preachers in London at the age of 21.Hailing crowds of thousands, for over forty years, he was one of the most influential preachers of all time.Not only was he an amazing preacher, but he also founded churches, the Pastor's College, Sunday schools, and even an orphanage.
Spurgeon lived his life from beginning to end in the name of the Lord. Born on June 1934, he came from a lower middle class family who were strong Nonconforists. When he was 18 months old, due to "unfavorable circumstances" he had to stay with his grandparents and his Aunt Ann Spurgeon. He lived with them for six impressionable years.
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His grandfather was Reverend James Spurgeon and was a strong preacher of the Gospel. His Grandmother was very sweet and loving. She died with the bible spread across her lap with finger resting upon Job 19:21 "The hand of God has touched me". His Aunt Ann took chief charge of Charles. She was 17 when he came to stay.
She taught him his letters, and also encouraged him with his sense of humor that he was so remembered for in his later years. Charles went back to his loving home at the age of seven. He was very sad to leave his grandparents, but he had two sisters and a brother back at home.
He remembers his mothers influence up him and his siblings. She was very prayerful with him and his brother and sisters. He said he could never forget how she would bow upon her knees with her arms around his neck and pray for him. At a young age he had a passion for the word of God. He loved reading and he read his father's collection of books which included the works of the Puritans.
He searched for the real knowledge of God. He was under the conviction of sin and before he was saved he said that day and night God's hand lay heavy on him. When he slept, he dreamed of his search. He prayed, wept, without the greatness of God's mercy. He went from church to church searching for God, but he felt that the men whom were in the pulpits did not actually preach the Gospel. What he wanted to know was, "How could he get his sins forgiven?'. Finally on Sunday, January 6, 1850 he rose to pray and read his bible, but found no rest for his soul. In his search he set out for a church In Colchester.
Caught in a snow storm, he turned down a side street and came upon Primitive Methodist Church . It was not a place of his choice, but it was God's choice. The Gospel was preached by an uneducated preacher who could hardly read. He spoke a few words from Isaiah 45:22. What that uneducated preacher preached was so simple that Charles believed and was saved! The cloud was gone and the darkness rolled away.
Almost sixteen, he walked 8 miles to the Baptismal Service. That evening it was recorded that during prayer "people wept with joy" as they listened to his prayer. With new fervor on his conversion he immersed himself in the Bible and good deeds. Seeing a Christian he knew about to enter a dancing booth at a fair, he questioned him, "Why are you here?" At sixteen years of age he was called to preach the Gospel. He went to Cambridge as a student teacher in 1850. He was there for three years without pay. His puritan sympathies were fostered by his stay there.
He started taking preaching appointments even though he was very immature. He tells us he made many blunders. His first church was a Baptist church, Chapel of Waterbeach. His first convert was a laborer's wife. It was his intense devotion to his Savior, his wonderful knowledge of the Word of God and his grasp of vital doctrines and his deep passion for the salvation of souls the combined to make him a mighty instrument in the hands of the Lord! He was a young and powerful preacher that was heard about from cities around. In 1853 he was a speaker at an Annual Meeting of the Cambridge Sunday School Union. His extreme youth caused two minister speakers to publicly make insulting references to him.
He responded with scripture in a very well spoken retort which made a very good impression on a man named Mr. George Gould. That led to an invitation to preach at a very important church, New Park Street Baptist Church. It's membership was 313, but had fallen away to about 200.
Due to Spurgeon's sermons they had to enlarge the church to hold 1,500 people in May of 1855. Soon that became too small, holding three thousand people in a 1500 capacity building with hundreds outside waiting to get in! Soon after, they held the sermons in Exter hall which held 4,500 but even that was too small. They then took Surrey Music Hall which held 12,000 people. The first night the building seated 12,000 people with 10,000 outside unable to.