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
FAIRFIELD, near GLASGOW, July 19, 1855.
MY DEAR FATHER, — During the past week, I have been among the noble mountains in the Highlands; and you will rejoice to hear how much better I feel. Last Sabbath, I preached twice in Glasgow to immense crowds.
There is as much stir about me here as there is in London, and I hope souls are really being saved. I am sure you will excuse my being brief, since I have so many letters to answer, and I do not want to keep indoors, but to have all the air I can.
Oh, what must God be, if such are His works! I suppose Mother is back; kiss her for me, and give my love to all. I am happy, but had rather be home again;—-you will guess the reason. I only want that one person to make the trip a very fine one;—-but patience.
Best love to you, my very dear Father,
From your affectionate son,
75, DOVER ROAD, 4th March, 1855.
DO not be grieved at the slanderous libel in this week’s Express. Of course, it is all a lie, without an atom of foundation; and while the whole of London is talking of me, and thousands are unable to get near the door, the opinion of a penny-a-liner is of little consequence.
I beseech you not to write: but if you can see Mr. Harvey, or some official, it might do good. A full reply on all points will appear next week.
I only fear for you; I do not like you to be grieved. For myself I WILL REJOICE; the devil is roused, the Church is awakening, and I am now counted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake… Good ballast, father, good ballast; but, oh! remember what I have said before, and do not check me.
Last night, I could not sleep till morning light, but now my Master has cheered me; and I “hail reproach, and welcome shame.”
Love to you all, especially to my dearest mother. I mean to come home April 16th. So amen.
Your affectionate son,
C. H. SPURGEON.
CAMBRIDGE, December —,1853.
MY DEAR FATHER,—
I concluded rather abruptly before ;—-but you are often called out from your writing, and therefore can excuse it in me. I hardly know what I left unsaid. I hope to be at home three days. I think of running down from London on Tuesday, January 3rd, and to go home by Bury on Friday, 6th. I hope it will be a sweet visit though a short one.
Should I be settled in London, I will come and see you often. I do not anticipate going there with much pleasure. I am contented where I am; but if God has more for me to do, then let me go and trust in Him. The London people are rather higher in Calvinism than I am; but I have succeeded in bringing one church to my own views, and will trust, with Divine assistance, to do the same with another. I am a Calvinist; I love what someone called “glorious Calvinism,” but “Hyper-ism” is too hot-spiced for my palate.
I found a relation in London; a daughter of Thomas Spurgeon, at Bailingdon. On the Monday, she came and brought the unmarried sister, who you will remember was at home when we called last Christmas. I shall have no objection to preach for Mr. Langford on Wednesday, January 4th, if he wishes it.
I spent the Monday in going about London, climbed to the top of St. Paul’s, and left some money with the booksellers.
My people are very sad; some wept bitterly at the sight of me, although I made no allusion to the subject in the pulpit, as it is too uncertain to speak of publicly. It is Calvinism they want in London, and any Arminian preaching will not be endured. Several in the church are far before me in theological acumen; they would not admit that it is so, but they all expressed their belief that my originality, or even eccentricity, was the very thing to draw a London audience. The chapel is one of the finest in the denomination; somewhat in the style of our Cambridge Museum. A Merry Christmas to you all; a Happy New Year; and the blessing of the God of Jacob!
C. H. SPURGEON.
Romans 5:20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Here are some descriptions of grace.
It’s Amazing! Matchless and Marvellous!
One of our old hymns says it like this,
Marvellous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
According to Romans 5:20, Grace is also abounding!
Listen to our verse again.
Romans 5:20; ‘Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:’
There are two words for ‘abound’ found in this verse. They each have a different meaning. ‘Sin abounded’, (Gk ‘pleonazo’) ’But grace did much more abound,’ (Gk, ‘huperperisseuo’)! The sentence means something like this, ‘Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded’ or ‘Where sin overflowed, Grace flooded in!!!’
We might have expected to read that where sin abounded God’s anger and judgment abounded more. But sin can construct no dam which can keep us from the heaven-sent, abounding flood of grace that is ours in Christ Jesus.
One of the wonderful things about God’s grace is that it abounds to us for the past, present and future! Often when we think about grace we limit it to the past. We think about how we were saved (past tense) by grace. Ephesians 2:4-5, for example, highlights past grace; “God who is rich in mercy,made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”
How beautifully undeserved is this grace. We don’t earn it or work for it, grace is God’s gift. He has saved us and called us—not because of anything we have done, but because of his own purpose and grace (2 Timothy 1:9). No wonder then that grace is Past, Present and Future!
Grace didn’t just begin on the cross. Notice when this grace was first given? It was given to us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:9).
That’s abounding grace!
Praise God for His past grace! But, grace is not only for the past it is also for the present. God’s grace doesn’t end when we begin our Christian walk.
There is present grace. His grace impacts our lives right this moment. If we are saved, it’s because God’s grace is continuing to save us at this very moment.
The Bible says that; “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (Romans 5:1-2).
We are standing in grace! Our feet are firmly fixed in grace! Abounding Grace has placed us as acquitted before the throne of God and risen in Christ forever beyond the reach of judgment.
God’s abounding, present grace is operating right now, it is surrounding us at this very second. In fact, the only person who doesn’t need God’s continuing grace is the person who never sins. And we all sin! So why doesn’t God just strike us down?….the answer is GRACE, abounding grace.
Look at what happened here in Ireland. The Irish nation, in its folly, became the first nation in the world to vote in, by referendum, the legality of same-sex marriage. In the wake of the vote, members of the LBGT coalition were quick to trumpet that a double rainbow appeared over Dublin immediately after the success of the Yes vote was announced. They said it was a sign of God’s approval of the subject of their campaign (see HERE).
But here’s a reality check! Rainbows have nothing to do with same-sex marriage! The rainbow is God’s covenant promise that he will not destroy the earth again through literal floods of judgment (Genesis 9:11-17). The rainbow is a symbol of GRACE, not a demonstration of divine approval of same-sex marriage.
We are praying that the nation of Ireland will receive grace and not judgment for their defiance of God. And remember this, God gave a double rainbow on the day of the catastrophic result. Could that be prophetic? Prophetic of abounding grace? Perhaps it means that God will indeed visit us in Ireland with the converting power of His gospel? For, where sin abounds, grace super-abounds. Where sin overflows, grace floods in!
Grant it Lord, grant it! Abound in your grace!
And that’s the Gospel Truth!
Extract from letter from C. H. Spurgeon to his mother, November, 1852:—
I am more and more glad that I never went to College. God sends such sunshine on my path, such smiles of grace, that I cannot regret if I have forfeited all my prospects for it. I am conscious that I held back from love to God and His cause, and I had rather be poor in His service than rich in my own. I have all that heart can wish for; yea, God giveth more than my desire. My congregation is as great and loving as ever. During all the time that I have been at Waterbeach, I have had a different house for my home every Sabbath day. Fifty-two families have thus taken me in; and I have still six other invitations not yet accepted. Talk about the people not caring for me, because they give me so little! I dare tell anybody under heaven ‘tis false! They do all they can. Our anniversary passed off grandly; six were baptized; crowds on crowds stood by the river; the chapel was afterwards crammed, both to the tea and the sermon.
Again: the most likely way for you ever to receive God’s grace is to believe God’s truths. Never kick against God’s doctrines, but receive them. And I have one thing to say to thee this morning, if in thy heart, poor sinner, thou canst say, “I believe God’s gospel to be a glorious gospel,” thou art not far from something else. If thou canst say. “I submit to all its demands, I believe God just if he destroys me, and if he saves me, it will be of his sovereign mercy only,” then, sinner, there are good hopes of thee, thou hast proceeded some way on the road to heaven. If thou canst but do one thing more, and say, “Though he slay me yet will I trust in him,” and if thou canst come to the cross of Christ, and say, “Jesus, I love thy gospel and I love thy truth; if I perish, I will perish believing all thy truth, I will perish clasping thy cross, if I die, I will die owning that thou art a just and gracious God, and still in my poor way, holding fast the form of sound words,” I tell thee, poor soul, God will never damn thee. If thou dost believe in Jesus Christ, and holdest fast his words, he will look upon thee in love, he will say, “Poor soul! though he does not know that these truths are his, yet he thinks them precious; though he dares not hope that they belong to him, yet he will fight for them; though he does not know that he is really a soldier of the cross, chosen of me ere time began, yet see how valiantly he strives for me,” and the Lord will say, “Poor soul, thou lovest the things that thou thinkest are not thine own—-I will make thee rejoice in them as thine own, by my grace; thou lovest election, though thou thinkest thou art not elect—-that is an evidence that thou art mine.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and be baptized, and thou shalt be saved.”
Charles H. Spurgeon-The Form of Sound Words-Delivered on Sabbath, May 11, 1856