As the Civil War and its economic repercussions caused immense suffering to many individuals, they turned to religion for relief. Spurgeon took full advantage of this religious enthusiasm.
Charles and Susannah married in January 1856 and soon after gave birth to twin sons named Thomas who later served as pastor at Metropolitan Tabernacle Church – then the largest congregation in Britain at that time.
Early Life and Education
Spurgeon had limited formal education as a youth but self-taught himself Puritan theology and Victorian literature, serving as usher and teaching assistant before beginning his preaching career.
Spurgeon was so well-received for his sermons that he founded multiple ministries, such as a pastors’ college and orphanage. Additionally, he published over 50 books. Spurgeon strongly opposed liberal and evolutionist theologies even within his own denomination.
Spurgeon was an unapologetic Calvinist and would not compromise any point of doctrine for peace among Christian churches. At the end of his life, however, he became alarmed at what he perceived to be an erosion of orthodoxy in the Baptist Union.
At 19, Spurgeon pastored a small church at Waterbeach in Cambridgeshire. His sermons were highly regarded for their biblical depth, eloquence and clarity; these qualities earned him praise among members. Spurgeon also campaigned hard against antinomianism by emphasizing Christian holiness while restricting membership only to those making credible professions of faith.
Spurgeon wrote several books during his life, such as hymnals, prayer books, devotionals and commentaries. Additionally he established Stockwell Orphanage and encouraged his congregation to reach out to Victorian London’s poor; doing so he provided an exemplar of Reformed and evangelical doctrine’s social implications. DiPrima notes that in spite of preaching weekly sermons as well as writing 150 books while raising an expanding family himself – including 150 sermons preached each week! – Spurgeon still managed time for various kinds of personal ministry including helping out needy.
Achievement and Honors
Spurgeon was one of the most prolific preachers and authors of his time. He published many books with commentaries, sayings, and anecdotes, in addition to preaching many sermons and answering numerous letters from readers.
He is widely regarded as the greatest Baptist pastor ever and led Britain’s largest Baptist congregation at the time of his death. A profound theologian, his sermons included both Biblical doctrine and historical themes that illuminated historical theology.
He also founded a college to train pastors. He was extremely selective about who enrolled, only accepting those with an established call to pastoral ministry. His life stands as an inspiring testimony of what can occur when love of God-centered truth ignites passion for people and mission in the church.
Spurgeon was known for going well beyond preaching during his ministry as editor of a monthly magazine and founder of both ministerial colleges and orphanages he established. He held to Calvinism while also being highly evangelistic – inviting revivalists such as D. L. Moody and Ira Sankey to preach at his church and inviting revivalists like D.L Moody and Ira Sankey for revival meetings there as well. Additionally he wrote multiple books such as Lectures to My Students and Commentary and created Sword and Trowel magazine so pastors could keep in contact.
Spurgeon never lost touch with his roots and often returned to Stambourne, his birthplace, where he grew up. A keen reader and lover of poetry, Spurgeon was known for championing justice as part of his Christian vocation – becoming friends with those oppressed along the way.
Thomas Spurgeon was relatively wealthy for Londoners of his day and used most of his earnings to support his church, Waterbeach Chapel and then New Park Street Chapel, before making contributions toward building the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London.
He created six parachurch ministries aimed at prostitutes, police officers, two orphanages, seventeen homes for widows and a free seminary to train ministers.
Spurgeon produced 49 volumes of sermons, sayings, anecdotes, and illustrations during his life and ministry, which are still studied at seminaries today. William Jewell College in Liberty Missouri’s Charles Haddon Spurgeon Collection features handwritten notes and galley proofs which can be seen displayed permanently at their Spurgeon Center.