Charles Spurgeon’s Letters-Letter 86
TO MR. JAMES WATTS
BOROUGH, March 23, 1855.
MY DEAR FRIEND AND BROTHER, —
Often have I looked for a note from you, but I have not reproached you, for I, too, have been negligent. Really, I never seem to have an hour to call my own. I am always at it, and the people are teasing me almost to death to get me to let them hear my voice. It is strange that such a power should be in one small body to crowd Exeter Hall to suffocation, and block up the Strand, so that pedestrians have to turn down by-ways, and all other traffic is at a standstill.
The Globe, of last evening, says that, never since the days of Whitefield was there such a religious furor, and that the glories of Wesley and Whitefield seem in danger of being thrown into the shade. Well, the Press has kicked me quite long enough, now they are beginning to lick me; but one is as good as the other so long as it helps to fill our place of worship. I believe I could secure a crowded audience at dead of night in a deep snow.
On Fast-day, all Falcon Square was full, — police active, women shrieking, — and at the sight of me the rush was fearful…. Strange to say, nine-tenths of my hearers are men; but one reason is, that women cannot endure the awful pressure, the rending of clothes, etc., etc. I have heard of parties coming to the hall, from ten to twelve miles distance, being there half-an hour before time, and then never getting so much as near the door,
Dear me, how little satisfies the crowd! What on earth are other preachers up to, when, with ten times the talent, they are snoring along with prosy sermons, and sending the world away? The reason is, they do not know what the gospel is; they are afraid of real gospel Calvinism and therefore the Lord does not own them.
And now for spiritual matters. I have had knocking about enough to kill a dozen, but the Lord has kept me. Somewhere in nubibus there lies a vast mass of nebular made of advice given to me by friends, — most of it about humility.
Now, my Master is the only One Who can humble me. My pride is so infernal that there is not a man on earth who can hold it in, and all their silly attempts are futile; but then my Master can do it, and He will. Sometimes, I get such a view of my own insignificance that I call myself all the fools in the world for even letting pride pass my door without frowning at him. I am now, as ever, able to join with Paul in saying, “Having nothing yet possessing all things.”
Souls are being converted, and flying like doves to their windows. The saints are more zealous, and more earnest in prayer.
Many of the man-made parsons are mad, and revile me; but many others are putting the steam on, for this is not the time to sleep in.
The Lord is abroad. ‘The enemy trembles. Mark how the devil roars ; — see Era, last week, a theatrical paper, where you can read about “EXETER HALL THEATRE” linked with Drury Lane, Princess’s, etc. Read the slander in Ipswich Express and the London Empire. The two latter have made an apology.
What a fool the devil is! If he had not vilified me, I should not have had so many precious souls as my hearers.
I long to come and throw one of my bombs into Cambridge; you are a sleepy set, and want an explosion to wake you. (Here omit a gentleman whose initials are J. S.W.) I am coming on Good Friday; is your house still the Bishop’s Hostel? Of course it is. Now, DO write me; I love you as much as ever, and owe you a vast debt. Why not come and see me? I know you pray for me.
With Christian love to you, and kind remembrances to all your family,
Yours ever truly,
C. H. SPURGEON.