Home > Comment > Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 23

Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 23

Mr. Spurgeon wrote two letters to his father, recounting his first experiences in London. A considerable portion of the earlier one is missing, including the first sheet, and also the end of the epistle. Evidently, the young preacher had been relating what the deacons had told him concerning the falling-off in the congregations, for the part of his letter that has been preserved begins as follows:—- —

…me that the people would be back at the first blast of the trumpet which gives a certain sound…. The people are Calvinistic, and they could not get on with anything else. They raised £100 last week for a city missionary, so that they have the sinews of war. The deacons told me that, if I were there three Sundays, there would be no room anywhere. They say that all the London popular ministers are gospel men, and are plain, simple and original. They have had most of the good preachers of our denomination out of the country; but they have never asked one of them twice, for they gave them such philosophical, or dry, learned sermons, that once was enough. I am the only one who has been asked twice, the only one who has been heard with pleasure by all. I told them they did not know what they were doing, nor whether they were in the body or out of the body; they were so starved, that a morsel of gospel was a treat to them. The portraits of Gill and Rippon—-large as life—-hang in the vestry. Lots of them said I was Ripport over again.

It is God’s doing. I do not deserve it;—-they are mistaken. I only mention facts. I have not exaggerated; nor am I very exalted by it, for to leave my own dear people makes it a painful pleasure. God wills it.

The only thing Which pleases me is, as you will guess, that I am right about College. I told the deacons that I was not a College man, and they said, “That is to us a special recommendation, for you would not have much savor or unction if you came from College.”

As to a school, or writing to my deacons in case I do not go, I shall feel happiest if left to manage alone, for I am sure that any letter to my deacons would not do any good. A church is free to manage its own affairs. We are in loving unity now, and they will improve. But churches of the Baptist denomination would think it an infringement of their rules and liberties to be touched in the least by persons of other denominations in any matter which is their own concern. I should at once say, and you would not mind my saying so, “I had nothing to do with the note; I never asked my father to write it; and the deacons must do as they please about laying it before the church.”

I feel pleasure in the thought that it will not now be necessary, and I feel that, if it had been, I should have been equally contented. Many other ministers have schools; it is a usual thing. It is not right to say, “If you mean to be a minister;” for I am one, and have been for two years as much a minister as any man in England; and probably very much more so, since in that time I have preached more than 600 times. More soon

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