When thinking how best to assess and categorize the life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), a phrase used by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:3 comes to mind. For the totality of his life as a Christian, Spurgeon had “a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.” There are scores of examples of this and, indeed, even dissertations yet to be written on the topic, but as one, consider his first and last words shared at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
Spurgeon preached his first sermon at the Tabernacle on March 25, 1861. On that occasion he used Acts 5:42 “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” to remind his listeners that “the one subject upon which men preached in the apostolic age was Jesus Christ.”
That sermon inaugurated a three decade ministry that would reach every corner of the world. From London went forth the Christ-centered preaching of this Baptist lion with such reverberation that his words are still read and shared.
Upon Spurgeon’s death in 1892, to acknowledge and rightly capture the essence of the preacher’s preaching, memorial cards were printed containing this portion of his first sermon in 1861:
From his first words spoken to the Metropolitan Tabernacle to the last words read on the occasion of his passing, Spurgeon maintained a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.
To this day, Spurgeon remains a regular subject of conversation in homes, churches, and classrooms as his life and legacy have traveled through generations like treasured heirlooms. This is true at Midwestern Seminary & College in more ways than one as both the life of Spurgeon and his heirlooms are a part of his extended legacy in Kansas City, Missouri.
One year ago, Midwestern dedicated The Spurgeon Center that houses Spurgeon’s own library—6,000 volumes first sold to Baptists in Missouri in the early 20th century and acquired by Midwestern in 2006.
Open for research and study, The Spurgeon Library is designed to allow pastors and scholars to look through Spurgeon’s library to find and illuminate Spurgeon’s Christ.
In addition to the physical collection of the books once owned by Spurgeon, curator Christian T. George is in the process of publishing, for the first time, the previously lost sermons of Spurgeon’s early days of preaching. Dr. George also has recorded several introductory videos related to the Lost Sermons project and regularly writes on Spurgeon’s life and ministry at the Spurgeon Center blog.
Photo: C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography, Vol. III (London, 1899), A3