There is dust enough on some of your
Bibles to write “damnation” with your
When I cease to preach salvation by
faith in Jesus, put me into a lunatic
asylum, for you may be sure that my
mind is gone.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (or Spurgeon) is the
preacher that has been selected for this little book.
Spurgeon lived during the 19th century in Great Britain
and was a Baptist preacher. Having been hailed as the,
“prince of preachers” (Piper, 2015:2), Spurgeon is a
house hold name for any student of preaching
(homiletics). This book is based on these five
questions: Who was he? When did he minister? Where
did he minister? What was his style of preaching? Why
was his preaching special or famous? Spurgeon was
chosen for this because he is special to me for many
reasons, one being that his parents lived for ten years
in Braintree, Essex – a town where Spurgeon once
Who was Spurgeon.
In a biography on Spurgeon’s life, Professor Robert H.
Ellison recounts that Spurgeon was born “on June 19,
1834 in Kelvedon, Essex and spent his childhood and
early years in Stambourne, Colchester” (1998). The
place and century he was born in made him a Victorian
Englishman. Spurgeon had not much formal education
but was an active reader (Ellison, 1998) who, after his
conversion began to preach. His preaching took him
into the Baptist church, making him a Baptist preacher
of the 19th century.
When and where did he minister?
The place and time of each ministry assignment
differed. Spurgeon began preaching in Taversham,
Essex, England at some point in the early 1850’s. His
second church was the Baptist chapel in Waterbeach
(Ellison, 1998). This was all done before he was twenty
years old. His success as a minister was impressive
and soon a large London church heard about the boy
preacher. Through some correspondence Spurgeon
accepted a post in London at some point in 1853 which
was his main preaching ground until his death in 1892
What was his style of preaching?
Spurgeon style of preaching could be summed up by
the word, Eccentric. Spurgeon was an Eccentric
preacher, according to Spurgeon’s book Eccentric
Preachers. In the opening lines of his book he
claimed, “I have published this little volume very, much
in self-defence” (Spurgeon, 1). What did Spurgeon
mean by, “Eccentric” (1)? In this book, he quoted this
definition of eccentric, “it signifies deviating from the
centre, or not having the same centre as another
circle.” (8). Spurgeon recognised that this word had
(even in the 19th century), “…come to mean singular,
odd, whimsical, and so forth…” (8). However, in his
mind, all this word meant was that an eccentric person
moved in a circle different to the majority.
This was how he defined himself as a preacher.
Spurgeon was preacher who thought differently to the
majority, acted differently to most. He preached in a
different manner to most preachers and this made him,
What was his preaching special or
In an assessment on his preaching, Steven Lawson
claims Spurgeon preached, “the book, the blood and
the blessed hope… he preached Christ and him
crucified.” (2013). This was what made him so famous
at the time and famous today. Lawson also claims that
there were ten marks of his preaching that made him
famous. For the sake of brevity, here are three of these
ten. 1.) “He had an unwavering commitment to God’s
word” (2013). Spurgeon used scripture to encourage
people, to rebuke people and to teach people. He
believed that we need to put more, not less, of God’s
word into our sermons. 2.) “He had a burning passion
for God’s son” (2013). Spurgeon believed that if we
leave Christ out of a sermon we have failed terribly.
Spurgeon said that, “we must have Jesus” in all our
sermons. Lawson believed that if we, “lifted the hood”
on Spurgeon’s ministry we would see that the engine
that drove it all was Christ (2013). 3.) “A complete
reliance on God’s Spirit” (2013). Apparently in the
Metropolitan Tabernacle where Spurgeon preached
there were two platforms. He started the service in the
lower platform and then before the sermon Spurgeon
would walk up some stairs to the second platform.
While we walked up these stairs he would say to
himself, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, I believe in the
Holy Spirit….” (Lawson, 2013). Spurgeon trusted in the
power of the Holy Spirit in his preaching.
In conclusion, one can clearly see that Charles Haddon
Spurgeon was a very interesting man who lived a very
interesting life. His preaching was powerful and
touched many lives during his days on earth and many
lives after. We can learn many important lessons from
his life and preaching – one being the importance of
preaching God’s word. This Eccentric preacher from
the 19th century goes down in Church history as one of
the greatest and most influential preachers to have
walked this planet.
- Spurgeon, CH. Eccentric Preachers. Britain:
Passmore & Alabaster.
- Lawson, S. (2013). The life and ministry of
Charles Spurgeon. URL:
?SID=1271395305 (visited on 15/08/2017).
- Ellison, RH. (1998). Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
A Brief Biography. URL:
io.html (visited on 15/08/2017).