Table of Contents

Title Page


by His Wife and His Private Secretary












“‘The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.”—Malachi 2:6.






CHAPTER 86. (Continued)
CHAPTER 89. (Continued)
CHAPTER 91. (Continued)
CHAPTER 94. (Continued)
CHAPTER 96. (Continued)
CHAPTER 101. (Continued)
CHAPTER 102. (Concluded)





The text which for years has been our consolation is that which saith, “I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” Happy enough is the man who is chosen of God; he may not ask a question as to when or where. Yet we could wish it were otherwise in our case, and that zeal and fervor were not restrained and hampered by being yoked to painful infirmities of the flesh. We could do more, and we think we may add, without self-confidence, we would do more, if we were not laid prostrate at the very moment when our work requires our presence. However, unto the Lord be the arrangement of our health or disease, our life or our death; but while we live, we will leave no stone unturned for the increase of His glorious Kingdom in the earth. Every interval of relief shall be laid out in His service. The time is short, it must therefore be spent all the more economically; the work is great, the Lord must be trusted the more simply.

During the Pastor’s illness, the pulpit at the Tabernacle has been five times occupied by Mr. Thomas Spurgeon, and once by Mr. Charles; and it has been a delight of no ordinary kind for both of the sick parents to hear on all hands the highly-favorable judgments of God’s people as to the present usefulness, and ultimate eminence, of their sorts. Godly parents should be encouraged by our experience to pray for and expect the salvation of their offspring.—C. H. S., in “Notes” in “The Sword and the Trowel” before leaving for the furlough described in this chapter.

Let me describe certain Baptists in this hotel. (I) A father and son;—the father, rather lame; the son, very attentive,, to the father; in fact, a model; father improving as to health, but nothing to boast of. These were, of course, the dear writer himself and “Son Tom.”—S. S.I (2) An old man-servant with a grey beard,—an odd customer, commonly called “Old George.” (3) Mrs. Godwin, daughter of Dr. Acworth, of Rawdon, and wife to the son of Dr. Godwin, of the same place. With her are two daughters, once pupils of Miss Dransfield, excellent ladies. (4) An old round-faced Dutchman, a Mennonite, with his daughter, another Mennonite;— haters of baby-baptism, and very glad to see Mynheer Spuurjeoon!—C. H. S., in letter written home during the furlough.

MOTHER WORSE RETURN, was the sad, brief message that hurried me home from Australia in 1878. How joyful was the discovery, on arriving at Plymouth, that the crisis of her illness was past! But, alas! alas! dear father soon fell sick; and what with helping to nurse him at home, and attempting to take his place at the Tabernacle, it really looked as if it was on his account, rather than on mother’s, that Providence had led me back. This surmise was further strengthened when, much to my surprise, it was proposed that I should accompany the convalescent to Mentone.

It might be thought that I should have jumped at such a privilege; but, if the truth is told, I must admit that I was by no means keen on going. Perhaps I was a little weary of travelling; may be, I wanted to get at some permanent employment; perchance, I was loth to leave my mother, still so sorely sick. I fancy, too, that I had pardonable fears that I could not provide for my father such companionship as he deserved and desired. I had yet to learn how easy it was to please him. As it happened, I had not been a week with him ere I could write, “What a good father he is, to be sure! I loved him much although away from him, and now my affection will increase by being with him.” So, indeed, it did. Three months at Mentone, under the varying experiences of earnest work and happy recreation, of growing health and sad relapse, of fair and stormy weather, gave me an insight into his character such as I could not have gained in any other way. Many a time, since then, have the memories of that sojourn in the sunny South, with the dear man of God, been an inspiration to me.

I am not sure that, after the lapse of twenty years, I could have ventured to recite the story of that memorable visit, had not the letters that I wrote home been fortunately preserved, Dear mother has treasured them all these years, and they have greatly refreshed my memory. I only wish I had written more than these thirty missives; and that, in them, I had spoken more in detail of the sayings and doings of my beloved parent during those glad and golden days. Perhaps, the better way is to rejoice that I wrote so much. We were supposed to take it in turn to correspond with home. Father called my part of the work my book, and gave me “full permission to write fifty thousand sheets.” How little either of us dreamed what a purpose these notes would eventually serve!

Of our journey to the land of sunshine, little need be said. The dear invalid began to improve directly we started. He seemed better at Folkestone, and better still at Paris. Even the long night-journey to Marseilles did not unduly tire him. Ere we left the gay capital, “we had knelt in prayer, asking for peace and pleasure on our way; and, at the very start, we had an answer in the shape of a pleasing interview with a converted Jew who was acting as Cook’s agent. He spoke very earnestly about the blessed Book, and his dear Savior Jesus Christ. On the journey, father amused us for some time with arithmetical puzzles, in which, of course, he had the best of it.” The night was bitterly cold,—our breath froze on the carriage windows,—yet the sick preacher took no harm. “Our prayers were answered most graciously; we had journeying mercies rich and rare.” I should have said that our party consisted of father and son, Mr. Joseph Passmore,—that kindest and most genial of travelling companions,—and “Old George,” or, as I find I used to style him, “Father Christmas.”

A brief halt at Marseilles was helpful, but the rest of the journey proved slow and wearisome. How shall I speak of the joy with which the Pastor hailed his chosen resting-place? What though the weather was so unfavorable, for a while, that he had constantly to say, “This is not Mentone,” the very sight of the hills, and the olives, and the sea, revived his spirit. He knew that, when the sun did shine on them, they would be surpassingly lovely. The closing days of January were “as fine as fine could be,” so, though the limbs were not yet strong, it was possible to get to Dr. Bennet’s garden, or to watch the fishermen draw in their seine, and even to saunter up one or other of the charming valleys. But progress was all too slow, and an alarming relapse, supervened. It was a black Thursday when I had to send word home, “Dear father’s right foot is wrong, and he is fearful that it will get worse.” On the first of March, the most that could be said was, “Where the path was pretty level, he managed well enough alone, but every now and then he had to lean upon my shoulder.” There was gladder tidings a week later, “All is full of mercy with us. Dear father still continues to improve though his knees are certainly not hurrying to fullness of strength.” However, he gradually rallied. Great was my grief that the closing week was stormy and dismal. I had so hoped that he could be in the healing sunshine “just to receive the finishing touches.” On the fourth of April, I had the joy of recording, “Father pronounces himself better than ever this morning.” That was the last bulletin. I was particularly struck with the welcome accorded by all to the great preacher. It was hardly the sort of welcome usual in such cases. There was no undue familiarity in it, but it was hearty, spontaneous, and, I might even say, affectionate. Everybody was delighted to see him. The foreigners, who called him “Meester Sparegen,” vied with Englishmen in assuring him of their joy at his return. He had a genial smile and a cheery word for all. The Hotel de la Paix was still more peaceful when he became its guest. Old acquaintances, and ministers of the gospel, had a specially hearty reception from him. Even the clergyman, who claimed to be “a friend of more than twenty ‘years’ standing, because,” said he, “I have been cribbing from you all that time” was favored with quite a large slice of attention. Most to his mind, however, were the King’s three mighty men, George Muller, John Bost, and Hudson Taylor. In the company of these kindred spirits, he literally revelled. Was I not honored to be an onlooker?

Family worship was a delightful item of each day’s doings. It was, of course, usually conducted by C. H. S. but he sometimes asked others to take part. His unstudied comments, and his marvelous prayers, were an inspiration indeed. I did not wonder that requests were received for a share in this privilege. I find, in my journal, the fol1owing interesting entry for March 3:—“We had two fresh arrivals to morning prayers. Strangers to father, they had requested, through the waiter, admission to our worship, so a stately mother and a tall daughter from Belgrave Square were made right welcome.”

It was often directly after breakfast that the work had to be seen to for it must be known that C. H Spurgeon’s holidays were by no means altogether devoted to so-called pleasure-taking. He found his truest delight in active service. Sometimes, if the truth must be told, it appeared to all of us that he rested insufficiently. There were those ceaseless letters; how they worried me, for he would answer them himself, when I wanted him to be by the sea, or under the olives! How he loved the olive trees, chiefly because they told him of his Lord and of Gethsemane!

I confess that I begrudged him the time he spent in corresponding with all save dear mother and the Tabernacle Church. This is how I wrote at the time concerning this matter —“As to his other letters, I wish folk would not bother him with nonsensical epistles. I must admit that it does not seem any great labor to him to answer them; still, the time would be far better spent in the sunshine; but what can’t be cured must be endured.” I think I understand better, by this time, why he answered almost everyone. He knew so well the power of letter-writing. He knew also how glad the recipients would be, and what life-long friends he would secure. Quite recently, a venerable saint, in his eighty-ninth year, sent me, “just to look at,” a letter he had received from dear father at Mentone. It was in answer to a message of gratitude for a sermon in The Christian Herald, and ran like this —

“My Dear Brother,

“I thank you for your word of good cheer. It is a great joy to be the means of comfort to an aged believer. You will very likely get home before I shall, but tell them I am coming as fast as the gout will let me. The Lord will not leave you now that hoary hairs have come, but will now carry you in His bosom. Peace be unto you!

“Yours heartily,


Who can tell the joy that brief, bright, brotherly note brought the octogenarian, who, after all, was not the first to “get home”?

But there was other work to be done. The weekly sermon had to be revised, and the magazine edited. Here is a striking holiday item —“He is; very busy with the magazine, and fears he cannot write to you today.” Moreover, there was generally some book on the stocks, and since he who would write books must read them,—a maxim which obtained even with so original a thinker as he was,—it is written in my diary “We have beguiled many of our hours by reading, and father has been culling flowers of thought to be arranged in fragrant nosegays by-and-by.’ The only mishap on our journey to Mentone was the temporary loss of a bag full of books; but a more serious loss than that seemed scarcely possible to the author and devourer of books. He was as a workman bereft of his tools. He was in terrible distress, and refused to be comforted till the satchel was forthcoming. “Great was the Pastor’s joy on finding his peculiar treasure.”

With very special delight I recall the fact that I, too, was set to work, and that I had the President of the Pastors’ College as my private tutor. Let me give a few quotations which will sufficiently indicate the curriculum of the Mentone branch of that Institution—“I read Chapter I. of a French history from which father questioned me afterwards. I then stuck to Hodge till dinner-time, and by tomorrow I hope to get into real working order. It is very good of dear father to interest himself so in my welfare. I shall do my very best to prevent him ever regretting it.” “Father and son worked at history and Hodge. The driest matter bursts into a blaze when C. H. S. puts some of his fire to it.” “Father is now on a sofa, at an open window, inspecting a primer of political economy, prior to my study of it. I wonder if this College course extraordinary will admit me to the Conference; I greatly hope so.” “I have just completed an examination in history, and am, as usual, top of the class. A still more interesting way of studying French history was introduced yesterday. Father borrowed Carlyle’s French Revolution, and read it to us!” There follows a hint that Mr. Passmore seemed to appreciate this method of instruction (even) more than Hodge. But, oh, it was glorious to hear C. H. Spurgeon read Carlyle!

Every day when the weather favored, and health permitted, we had an outing of some sort. It often consisted only of a drive up one of the valleys, and a stroll back; but we generally took our lunch, and “Old George” was sorely tried because there was no spot sufficiently level for his cloth, and no center-piece more elegant than an orange; but these were trifles which our sharpened appetites scorned. How the dear Pastor gloried in the freedom of these rambles! The spring flowers and the trap-door spiders, no less than the towering hills and dashing rills, filled his soul with prayer, and praise, and poetry. The prayer and praise constantly found expression, and once at least the poetry overflowed. “We lunched beneath the fir trees. Meanwhile, the birds were singing to us. No wonder, then, that the poetic fire burst forth, and C. H. S. gave vent to his delight in extempore rhyme. It should be perhaps explained that we had been reading Cowper together before the meal.”

Five times we went up the Gorbio valley, and declared that “fifty times would hardly tire us of the lovely place.” Longer, but scarcely more enjoyable expeditions were made to Bordighera,— “the place where the sun seems always; shining;”—to Nice, and Monaco, and Roquebrune, and Ventimiglia, and Dolce Acqua.

Cap Martin was a favorite spot. As soon as the weather cleared, the cheery voice rang out, “Son Tom, I propose a drive to Cap Martin.” I thereupon heartily seconded the resolution, and the friends (for others had joined us by this time,) carried it unanimously. After a breezy drive, “we clambered over the rocks, and watched the pale green coursers foam toward the shore, and dash themselves in spray about us. We were a jolly party, altogether, and who will say that dear father was not the jolliest of all?”

Sometimes, quite, an excursion party was organized, “personally conducted” by C. H.S. Thus we read, in the chronicles of our visit—“We had a splendid trip, the day before yesterday, to Ventimiglia,—a whole party of us, in two carriages. Father was guide, of course, and interested us greatly with his graphic descriptions of the amphitheatre and the cathedral. You know how much more one can learn when he is at hand to point it out.”

I am tempted to quote largely from the report of a visit to the charming residence of Mr. Thomas Hanbury. As it was fully enjoyed by him whose time of rest I am endeavoring to picture, I cannot pass it by in silence. “March 23, ’79 — The morning was wet and cold; but suddenly, the wind changed, and the sun tried to struggle through the clouds. We were wondering if we might hope for a drive in the afternoon, when Mr. Hanbury’s carriage was announced to be in waiting to convey us; to the Palazzo Orengo. Mr. H. had noticed the change before we did, and was more confident of favorable weather; so he kindly sent for us with a promise to return us when we wished. The prospect of a charming ride, and a lovely stroll in an earthly paradise, (to say nothing of a recherche lunch,) was eagerly jumped at.

“From the magnificent gateway on the high road, we walked by an easy decline toward the mansion. At every turn,—nay, at every step,—there was something to admire and marvel at. The walks are spread with tiny blue beach stones, so that, though the plants and shrubs were overflowing with crystal tokens of the recent rain, we went over the garden dryshod. Mr. H. was our guide, and descanted concerning aloes, and agaves, and eucalypti, and the rare and curious plants which he had gathered from every quarter. I saw quite a number of my Australian friends,—she-oak, wattle, gum, etc.” I well remember that dear father was specially delighted with the wonderful show of anemones. Thousands of these bright flowers, of every hue, sprang from the fresh green grass,—a fallen rainbow, surely! An aloe, too, pleased him greatly. Much to its owner’s; regret, it was beginning to flower. It was the finest in the garden, and Mr. H. knew only too well that its effort still further to beautify itself must end in death.

But Dr. Bennet’s garden was our chief resort,—“a veritable paradise on the side of a rocky steep.” How many times it was visited, I cannot tell. It was near at hand, and no special invitation was necessary. Father loved to look on the town from this view-point, and desired me to sketch the scene.F1 It was not the first time my pencil had been at his service; and great was my joy to transfer to my sketch-book the scenes which particularly interested him, such as some queer specimens of architecture in the old town, the tunnel-pierced cliff with the Italian guard-house on its brow, the ruined castle and running fountain at Roquebrune, or a specially gnarled and twisted olive tree. Never had aspiring artist a more indulgent patron.

After dinner, there was generally an adjournment to the smoking-room, where father chatted freely ‘with the other visitors at the hotel, who were by no means loth to exchange sentiments with the distinguished preacher. And he could discourse on almost any theme. How pleased he was to meet an aged Mennonite Baptist there! An Alsatian baron, who had translated some of the sermons, and had come all the way from Cannes to see him, was received, one evening, with due ceremony, in his private sitting-room.

Will anyone be surprised to hear that, on one occasion, Mr. Spurgeon witnessed a conjuring performance? “Vie were entertained at a ‘brillante seance de magie,’ given by ‘Le Professeur Prestidigitateur, B. Marchelli.’ The performance was very good for that of a strolling conjuror. Dear father seemed to enjoy it mightily, especially when the Professor produced a turtle-dove from ‘Old George’s’ pocket in first-rate style.” Almost every evening, we had some reading of a light description,—The Ingoldsby Legends being a favorite work. It was my privilege, also, to add to the paternal merriment by reading certain humorous sketches of my Australian experiences, sometimes amid a shower of newspapers and other missiles. We enjoyed our Sundays thoroughly. The Presbyterian Church was not then built, so we worshipped in a room of Mrs. Dudgeon’s villa. Dr. Hanna and others preached, and our Pastor was often an interested listener. He always had unstinted praise for a sermon which exalted Jesus, and proclaimed His dying love. “That was a very sweet sermon,” he used to say when such a discourse had been delivered. How delighted he was to hear George Muller on “Patient waiting upon God.” Especially did he rejoice in the man behind the message. The preacher came to our communion service, and closed it with prayer. I remember that, after asking great things for my beloved parents, he prayed very earnestly for “the dear son in Australia.’ I had great pleasure in informing him that I was the son in Australia; and oh! how warmly did he grasp my hand,—the dear old man! Little did we dream then that, nine years after, he would help to marry me in New Zealand.

Perhaps I may venture to add, concerning our Sundays, that it was my joyful privilege to conduct several services. On one occasion, the Pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle occupied a seat under the verandah. I told him, afterwards, how fortunate it was that did not happen to address “outsiders.” I cannot forget the loving encouragement he gave me. Not less did I prize the lenient criticisms and valuable hints as to style and delivery. I may be pardoned, too, for treasuring the memory of how, during this happy holiday, he conceived the idea of having me ever with him, and of instituting a Sunday afternoon service that I might conduct. But the Master willed it otherwise.

We had a whole day with George Muller in Dr. Bennet’s garden, and I am able to copy from nay letter of the following date this striking testimony as to the advantage of such fellowship “Dear father declares himself far better able to ‘trust and not be afraid’ through intercourse with Mr. Muller.” The stimulus to faith was greatly needed then. How well God times His aid! In the same epistle, after recording our sorrow at mother’s continued illness, these words occur — “Another source of anxiety is the lack of funds for the Colportage Association. This matter also we have believingly commended to the God of all grace, who will surely not let His servants want. Dear father has been in many straits before, and has always been delivered. In this trouble also the Lord will befriend him, — lot what is £700 to Him?”

For Pastor John Bost, director of the Asylums of La Force, C. H. Spurgeon consented to preside at a public meeting. Besides being deeply interested in his work among the epileptics, father was greatly taken with the mart himself. The Englishman and the Frenchman had something in common, for Pastor Bost was brimful of humor, and withal somewhat stout, He himself said, “Mr. Muller is a great man, John Bost is a big man.” The meeting was a grand success. “Both speakers mingled plenty of fun with their addresses; and I, for one, was laughing and crying alternately all the time. ‘The dear epileptics were most effectively pleaded for.”

This sketch of C. H. Spurgeon at Mentone would hardly be complete if it did not tell how amused he was by the Carnival procession. I call to mind how interested he was in the various devices, and how heartily he laughed at the grotesque ones. He was specially pleased with a company mounted upon donkeys, and representing candlesticks. The men’s bodies were the candles, their heads the flames, and on their spears they held extinguishers. I almost wonder that the group did not figure afterwards in Sermons in Candles.

As soon as a measure of health returned, the eager worker looked longingly towards home. His head nurse declared that he was not fit to go back, but the patient was impatient to be in harness again. Here is the official bulletin for March 17:—“He seems, to my mind, hardly strong enough to undertake the thousand duties of his gigantic work; but he will not hear of staying longer, and has already engaged a sleeping-car.’ Urgent representations from the Tabernacle, that he should remain away till thoroughly restored, came to hand; but an extra week was all that the combined efforts could secure. He was as a greyhound in the leash till he was back at his post.

And what a home-coming it was! Nightingale Lane then heard sweeter music than ever Philomel produced,—the music of loving welcome to dear ones mingled with fervent gratitude to God. And when the blessed ministry at the Tabernacle was resumed, there rose to Heaven a doxology, loud as the voice of many waters, from a church and congregation that loved their Pastor almost as well as he loved them.

What a welcome he must have had, thirteen years later, when from the same sunny land he went home to God!


It was right and seemly that, at the close of thin period of twenty-five years, some testimonial should be offered to the Pastor. The like has been worthily done in other instances; and brethren have accepted a sum of money, which they well deserved, and which they have very properly laid aside as a provision for their families. In our case, it did not appear to us at all fitting that the offering should come into our own purse; our conscience and heart revolted from the idea. We could, without sin, have accepted the gift for our own need; but it seemed not to be right. We have been so much more in the hands of God than most, — so much less an agent, and so much more an instrument, that we could not claim a grain of credit. Moreover, the dear and honored brethren and sisters in Christ, who have surrounded us these many years, have really themselves done the bulk of the work; and God forbid that we should monopolize honor which belongs to all the saints! Let the offering come, by all means; but let it return to the source from whence it came. There are many poor in the church, — far more than friends at a distance would imagine; — many of the most godly poor, “widows indeed,” and partakers of the poverty of Christ. To aid the church in its holy duty of remembering the poor, which is the nearest approach to, remembering Christ Himself seemed to ns to be the highest use of money. The testimonial will, therefore, go to support the aged sisters in the Almshouses, and thus it will actually relieve the funds of the church which are appropriated to the weekly relief of the necessitous. May the Lord Jesus accept this cup of Cold water, which is offered in His Name! We see the Lord’s servants fetching for us water from the well of Bethlehem which is by the gate; and as we behold them cheerfully and generously setting it at our feet, we thank them — thank them with tears in our eyes, — but we feel that we must not drink thereof; it must be poured out before the Lord. So let it be. O Lord, accept it! — C. H. S., in “The Sword and the Trowel,” January, 1879

AFTER the furlough described in the previous chapter, the first great historical event was the celebration of Mr. Spurgeon’s pastoral silver wedding, — the commemoration of the completion of the twenty-fifth year of his ministry in London. It was felt, by many of his friends, that so notable a period of Christian service should not be allowed to pass without due recognition, and many of them desired to avail themselves of the opportunity to present to their Pastor a testimonial of their loving esteem. As soon as the matter was mentioned to him, he resolutely refused to receive any personal presentation; but, feeling that the church’s gratitude to God for all the blessing vouchsafed during that memorable quarter of a century ought to find suitable expression, he suggested that efforts should be made to help the one portion of the work which had been a. source of some anxiety to him, and might be more so in the future.

At the annual church-meeting, in January, 1878, the question assumed definite shape, as will be seen from Mr Spurgeon’s own account of the proceedings — “It was proposed, and heartily carried by all, that the deacons should consider how best to celebrate the Pastor’s silver wedding when the twenty-fifth year should dose, it God should spare the senior Pastor to that time. Mr. Spurgeon then reminded the church that its heaviest burden was the Almshouses, which, having been scantily endowed for six aged sisters, now accommodated seventeen, and made a heavy drain on the communion fund. It appeared, from the balance-sheet, that the alms given away to the poor annually exceeded L1,000; and, from the great number of the poor members, it had been needful for the Pastor to find L120, and for other friends to give privately in order to balance the account. This was principally clue to the large item for support of almswomen; and Mr. Spurgeon said that, if friends would make an effort to raise about L5,000, this part of the church work would be put into proper shape, and he should regard it as a fit way of celebrating the anticipated event. He remarked that it was comparatively easy to carry the load now, but that he should not like to leave such a heavy burden for his successor. Should he himself be suddenly called away, the church might find it no great cause for blessing Mr. Spurgeon’s administration if it found that houses had been built for the aged widows to starve in, but that their daily bread had been forgotten. He considered that the good ship was in trim condition from stem to stern with this exception, and he would like to see the matter done, and done well. From the enthusiasm of the meeting, there is little doubt that, by many hands, the needful amount will be brought in on or before January, 1879.”

By that date, far more than the sum mentioned had been received. About half the amount was realized by a bazaar, for the Pastor had not then seen, as he did in later years, the evils necessarily associated with that method of raising money for the Lord’s cause. The presentation had to be postponed, for a time, as Mr. Spurgeon was away at Mentone, seeking rest and restoration; but, at last, May 20, 1919, was fixed for the joyous event. It was preceded by special sermons on the Sabbath, in the course of which the following historical and autobiographical references were made by the preacher —

“Under the present pastorate, we are like mariners in mid-ocean, distant twenty-five leagues, or rather years, from the place of our departure, and making all sail for the further shore. As to any service we may expect personally to render, we are certainly in the midst of the years, if not near to their end. In the course of nature, we could not expect that more than another twenty-five years of service could be compassed by us, nor are we so foolish as to reckon even upon that we have, at any rate, come to middle life in our church-relationship, now that we celebrate our silver wedding. Brethren, there is about ‘the midst of the years’ a certain special danger, and this led the prophet, as it shall lead us at this time, to pray, in the words which I have selected for my text, ‘O Lord, revive Thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known.’ Youth has its perils, but these are past; age has its infirmities, but these we have not yet reached; it is ours then to pray against the dangers which are present with us in the midst of the years. The middle passage of life with us as individuals, and with us as at church, is crowded with peculiar perils.

“There is a certain spur and stimulus of novelty about religious movements which in a few years is worn out. I well recollect when we were called ‘a nine days’ wonder, and our critics prophesied that our work would speedily collapse. Such excitement had been seen before, and had passed away; and this would be one among other bubbles of the hour. The nine days have lasted considerably long; — may nine such days follow them, in God’s infinite mercy! Now, whatever detractors might say, we know that there was then a life, an energy, a freshness about everything which was done by us as a church which we could hardly expect to continue with us for all these years. From an admirable fervor, many cool down to a dangerous chill. This is to be bemoaned where it has occurred, and it is to be feared where as yet it has not happened, for such is the natural tendency of things. Beloved brethren, I have prayed to God that, when what is called the esprit de corps is gone from us, the Esprit de Dieu may still abide with us; that, when the spirit which grows out of our association with each other declines, we may be sustained by the Spirit which unites us all to the Lord Jesus.

“This very house of prayer has been to some of you a quiet resting-place. You have been more at home here than when you have been at home. I will be bound to say that you recollect more happy times that you have had here than anywhere else, and these have put out of your memory the sad records of your hard battling in the world, even for a livelihood. I know that many of you live by your Sabbaths, You step over the intervening space from Lord’s-day to Lord’s-day, as if the Lord had made a ladder of Sabbaths for you to climb to Heaven by; and you have been fed, as well as rested, in Gods house. I know you have, for he who deals out the meat has had his own portion; and when he is fed, he knows that others have like appetites, and need like food, and know when they get it. You have clapped your hands for very joy when redeeming grace and dying love have been the theme, and infinite, sovereign, changeless mercy has been the subject of discourse.

“Well now, by every happy Sabbath you have had, my brethren; by every holy Monday evening prayer-meeting; by every occasion on which God has met with you in any of the rooms of this building, when a few of you, at early morning, or late in the evening, have gathered together for prayer; by every time in which the realization of Jesus’ love has charmed your soul up to Heaven’s gate, bless and magnify His Name, who has crowned the years with His goodness. There had been no food for us if the Lord had not given us manna from Heaven. There had been no comfortable rest for us if He had not breathed peace upon us. There had been no coming in of new converts, nor going out with rapturous joy of the perfected ones up to the seats above, if the Lord had not been with us and, therefore, to Him be all the praise.

“I do not suppose that any strangers here will understand this matter. It may even be that dray will judge that we are indulging in self-gratulation under a thin disguise; but this evil we must endure for once. You, my brothers and sisters, who have been together these many years, comprehend what is meant; and you know that it is not within the compass of an angel’s tongue to express the gratitude which many of us feel who, for these five-and-twenty years, have been banded together in closest and heartiest Christian brotherhood in the service of our Lord and Master. Strangers cannot guess how happy has been our fellowship, or how true our love. Eternity alone shall reveal the multitude of mercies with which God has visited us by means of our association in this church; it is to some of us friend, nurse, mother, home, all in one. During all these years, the Lord has been pleased, in infinite mercy, to prepare men’s hearts to listen to the Word. It was not possible, they said, that great places could be filled with crowds to hear the old-fashioned gospel. The pulpit had lost its power, — so unbelievers told us; and yet, no sooner did we begin to preach in simple strains the gospel of Christ, than the people flew as a cloud, and as doves to their windows. And what listening there was at New Park Street, where we scarcely had air enough to breathe! And when we got into the larger place, what attention was manifest! What power seemed to go with every word that was spoken; I say it, though I was the preacher; for it was not I, but the grace of God which was with me. There were, stricken down among us, some of the most unlikely ones. There were brought into the church, and added to God’s people, some of those who had wandered far away from the path of truth and righteousness; and these, by their penitent love, quickened our life, and increased our zeal. The Lord gave the people more and more a willingness to hear, and there was no pause either in the flowing stream of hearers, or in the incoming of converts. The Holy Spirit came down like showers which saturate the soil till the clods are ready for the breaking; and then it was not long before, on the right and on the left, we heard the cry, ‘What must we do to be saved?’ We were busy enough, in those days, in seeing converts; and, thank God, we have been so ever since. We had some among us who gave themselves up to watch for the souls of men, and we have a goodly number of such helpers now, perhaps more than ever we had; and, thank God, these found and still find many souls to watch over. Still the arrows fly, and still the smitten cry out for help, and ask that they may be guided to the great healing Lord. Blessed be God’s Name for this! He went with us all those early clays, and gave us sheaves; even at the first sowing, so that we began with mercy; and He has been with us; even until now, till our life has become one long harvest-home.

“I am bound to acknowledge, with deep thankfulness, that, during these twenty-five years, the Word has been given me to speak when the time has come for preaching. It may look to you a small thing that I should be able to come before you in due time; but it will not seem so to my brethren in the ministry who recollect that, for twenty-five years, my sermons have been printed as they have been delivered. It must be an easy thing to go and buy discourses at sixpence or a shilling each ready lithographed, and read them off, as hirelings do; but to speak your heart out every time, and yet to have something fresh to say for twenty-five years, is no child’s play. Who shall do it unless he cries unto God for help? I read, but the other day, a newspaper criticism upon myself, in which the writer expressed his wonder that a man should keep on year after year with so few themes, and such a narrow groove to travel in; but, my brethren, it is not so, our themes are infinite for number and fullness. Every text of Scripture is boundless in its meaning; we could preach from the Bible throughout eternity, and not exhaust it. The groove narrow? The thoughts of God narrow? The Word of the Lord narrow? They who say so do not know it, for His commandment is exceeding broad. Had we to speak of politics or philosophy, we should have run dry long ago; but when we have to preach the Savior’s everlasting love, the theme is always fresh, always new. The incarnate God, the atoning blood, the risen Lord, the coming glory, these are subjects which defy exhaustion. When I recollect how, as a boy, I stood among you, and feebly began to preach Jesus Christ, and how these twenty-five years, without dissension, ay, without the dream of dissension, in perfect love compacted as one man, you have gone on from one work of God to another, and have never halted, hesitated, or drawn back, I must and will bless and magnify Him who hath crowned these years with His goodness.

“Now I come to my closing point. It is this, — the crowning blessing is confessed to be of God. Some churches have one crown, and some another; our crown, under God, has been this, — the poor have the gospel preached unto them, souls are saved, and Christ is glorified. O my beloved church, hold fast that thou hast, that no man take this crown away from thee! As for me, by God’s help, the first and last thing that I long for is to bring men to Christ. I care nothing about fine language, or about the pretty speculations of prophecy, or a hundred dainty things; but to break the heart and bind it up, to lay hold on a sheep of Christ and bring’ it back into the fold, is the one thing I would live for. You also are of the same mind, are you not? Well, we have had this crowning blessing that, as nearly as I can estimate, since I came amongst you, more than nine thousand persons have joined this church. If they were all alive now, or all with us now, what a company they would be! I find that, during these twenty-five years, there have gone from us, to the upper realms, about eight hundred who had named the Name of Jesus. Professing their faith in Christ, living in His fear, dying in the faith, they grave us no cause to doubt their sincerity; and, therefore, we may not question their eternal safety. Many of them gave us, in life and in death, all the tokens we could ask for of their being in Christ; and, therefore, we sorrow not as those that are without hope. Why, when I think of them, — many of them my sons and daughters in the faith, — now before the throne, they fill me with solemn exultation! Do you not see them in their white robes? Eight hundred souls redeemed by blood! These are only those whom we knew of, and had enrolled on our church-books. How many more there may have been converted, who never joined our earthly fellowship, but, nevertheless, have gone home, I cannot tell. There probably have been more than those whose names we know, if we consider the wide area over which the printed sermons circulate. They are gathering home one by one, but they make a goodly company. Our name is Gad, for ‘a troop cometh.’ Happy shall we be to overtake those who have outmarched us, and entered into the Promised Land before us. Let us remember them, and by faith join our hands with the its. Flash a thought to unite the broken family, for we are not far from them, nor are they tar from us, since we are one in Christ.”

Monday evening, May 19, was mainly devoted to praising the Lord for His goodness to both Pastor and people during the whole period of their union; but, before the meeting closed, Mr. Spurgeon gave an address, as he felt that there would not be time, the following’ evening, for him to say all that he wanted. Among other things;, he said — “I have, as you must imagine, felt the deepest emotion, at the end of these twenty-five years of your affectionate cooperation; and especially an emotion, which I shall not attempt to express, of grateful affection to you all for the noble testimonial which you have raised to commemorate the event. I felt sure that you would take up the plan of providing for our aged sisters as soon as it was proposed to you by the deacons; but I did not think that you could give me such a testimonial as you have prepared. The net sum which is to be handed to me is, I am informed, £6,238, (afterwards increased to £6,476 9s.,) the spontaneous giving — the universal giving — the delighted giving of the entire church and congregration. Everyone has seemed jealous of being excluded; so all, both rich and poor, young and old, have pressed forward with their gifts. I certainly could not have imagined that you would so largely exceed the amount needed for the Almshouses; and yet, when I remember your many other loving and generous acts, I cannot be surprised at anything. It is just like you; your conduct to me is all of a piece, and may God bless you for it! I was ill all the while you were doing this great deed of love, and I could not rise from my bed; but, each day, I had tidings of some sort about you, and your words and acts of love; and I hardly knew how to bear it. It lifted me out of despondency, but it cast me down with exceeding gratitude. I scarcely like to speak upon the subject, because it has been a rule with me not to take a text which I could not hope to grasp. Little boats are safest while they keep in sight of shore. This subject is one of those upon which the more said the better, and yet it remains better than all that can be said. I condense my sermon into a sentence, and that sentence is a prayer, — May the God, whom I serve, bless you all a thousandfold for this token of your love and kindness towards me, which I know you have rendered for Christ’s sake!”

On Tuesday evening, May 20, the Tabernacle was crowded in every part for the meeting at which the testimonial was to be presented. After prayer and praise, Mr. B. W. Cart read a. long but interesting historical paper, entitled, “A Grateful Retrospect,” summarizing the church’s progress during Mr. Spurgeon’s ministry; Dr. Charles Stanford followed with a choice composition upon “The Baptist Churches, twenty-five years ago and now;” a few brief addresses were delivered; and then, as a pleasant interlude before, the presentation was made by Mr. William Olney, the Pastor said — “Before we go to the business of the evening, we will sing our Tabernacle National Anthem, that glorious hymn, —

“‘Grace, ‘tis charming sound,’ —

to the tune ‘ Cranbrook’, which a critic has called ‘execrable.’ I am such a heretic as to like ‘Cranbrook’; and if you will only sing it as we generally do, we will make some of these heathen here tonight like it. The way of singing now (continued Mr. Spurgeon, in affected tone to imitate the parties to whom he alluded) is, ‘Let us sing to the praise and glory of God, and rattle through it as fast as possible, with never a fugue or a repeat, and get it over and done, for we are sick to death of it.’ In truth, I think some of the much-admired modern tunes might be very well represented under the following story — ‘I hope you enjoyed our music this morning,’ said a gentleman of the High Church to a Presbyterian friend who was staying with him. ‘Well, I cannot say that I admire your form of service at all; I like things much better as we have them in the old kirk.’ ‘No? But you are, after all, a gentleman of musical taste; did you not very much enjoy that introit?’ ‘I really don’t know which it was.’ ‘But you must have been pleased with that anthem,’ repeated the High Churchman. ‘I don’t know, I can’t say much in its favor,’ was the reply. ‘Well, there was one very remarkable tune; didn’t you notice it)’ ‘Oh!’ was the response, ‘ I didn’t think much of it.’ ‘Well, now, I am very sorry, because that is a very ancient tune, used by the early Church very often; indeed, I believe it was sung in the catacombs. I have even heard that this wonderful piece of music came from the Jews, and was no doubt chanted in the liturgical service of the Temple for you know the worship of the ancient Temple was liturgical, and not your bare Presbyterian form at all. There appears to be scarcely any doubt that the tune we had this morning was originally sung by David himself when he played on his harp.’ ‘Dear me,’ said the Presbyterian, ‘I never heard that before, but it throws great light upon Scripture. I never could make out why Saul threw a javelin at David; but if that was the tune which he sang when he played his harp before the king, I can understand Saul’s ferocity, and justify it, too.’ ‘Cranbrook’ is not the tune that was sung by David, but it is a good deal better than anything David ever sang; the tune is more musical, and the hymn has more gospel in it than was known under the law.”

“Grace, ‘tis a charming sound,”

was then sung, to the tune “Cranbrook”, as only a Tabernacle audience of six thousand people could sing it. Then followed the presentation of the testimonial. The principal portions of Mr. Olney’s address, and of Mr. Spurgeon’s reply, were published in Vol. II., Chapter XLIV., and therefore need not be repeated here; but the record of that memorable meeting may be closed with the Pastor’s allusions to his people’s affection and his own resolve — “I can only use over again the simile I have employed before. If the crystallizing of sugar, to make sugar candy, strings are stretched across the vessel in which the syrup is boiled; upon these strings the sugar crystallizes. You are the sugar; the Divine life supplies the fire which melts your hearts; and I am the thread around which you crystallize. So be it still! But your love is to me an amazement; I am the most astonished person among you; I do not comprehend it; it seems a romance to me. What I have done, I shall do still; namely, love you with all my heart, and love my Lord as His grace enables me. I mean to go on preaching Jesus, and His gospel; and you may be sure that I shall not preach anything else, for with me it is Christ or nothing. I am sold up, and my stock-in-trade is gone if Jesus Christ is gone. He is the sum of my ministry, my All-in-all.”

A pleasing sequel to the presentation was thus noted at the time by Mr. Spurgeon “The testimonial which celebrated our twenty-five years of pastoral work was presented on Tuesday, May 20, and there and then dedicated to the Lord. On the following Thursday evening, we commenced a new period in our church history; and it is a singularly pleasing coincidence that, at the church-meeting held on that evening, no less than thirty-seven candidates came before the church, and confessed their faith in Christ, — the largest number that we have ever received at one church meeting. This was the more remarkable as it happened entirely without arrangement on the part of the Pastor or anyone else. We regard it as ‘a token for good,’ and look for greater things than these.’”

Only a brief mention of our personal silver wedding is necessary. There was some intention of holding a special meeting at the Tabernacle, to congratulate the. Pastor and his wife, on Monday, January 10, 1881, — two days after the actual date; but, unhappily, Mr. Spurgeon was laid aside at the time, so that idea had to be abandoned, although we were both very sympathetically remembered in the supplications of those who were assembled, that evening, in the much-loved house of prayer. Ultimately, the commemoration took the form of a private gathering of friends, at “Westwood,” on Wednesday, February 2. It was characteristic of my beloved’s devotion to his Lord’s service, and of the intimate union existing between himself and his church-officers, that such an event in our family history should have been celebrated in connection with a meeting of the deacons at our home. I might not have remembered that circumstance had I not been favored with the loan of one of the invitations issued by the dear Pastor, a facsimile of which is here reproduced. I am not aware that he ever signed another letter with our united initials, and the date on which this one was written gives it now a specially tender interest. I have no very vivid recollections of the evening’s proceedings; but I know that Mr. William Olney and Mr. Carr, as the spokesmen on behalf of their brother deacons, made most sympathetic references to both the parents and their twin-sons, and that, after the interchange of many cheering reminiscences, and a time of holy fellowship, the whole household joined us for family worship, which was conducted by Mr. Spurgeon with his usual fervor and impressiveness.

Among my dear husband’s papers, I find a letter, relating to this happy season, from his old Cambridge friend, Mr. J. S. Watts, of whom frequent mention was made in Vol. 1. of the Autobiography. This epistle so sweetly links the beginning of our wedded life with the twenty-fifth anniversary of our marriage, that it appears to me to deserve a place in this chapter,

“Regent Street,
“January 8, 1881.

“My Dear Friend,

“My mind reverts to the month of January, twenty-five years ago, when a certain newly-married juvenile Pastor and his wife came to me for a, few days, and solaced themselves in their mutual love for each other at my house.

“Many things have happened since that time; but their faithfulness and their affection for each other have not been impaired; and now that they are about to celebrate their silver wedding, I ask permission to remind them of those early days, and to add my hearty congratulations at this auspicious period.

“May the 8th of January, 1881, ring in a strain of joyful music over the strings of the past, assuring them that ‘golden days’ are yet to come, even before they ‘walk the golden streets.’ So prays, —

“Their old friend and well-wisher,

“J. S. WATTS.”

Another loving letter, written at that period by Dr. W. Morley Punshon, is also worthy of preservation here —

“Brixton Rise, S.W.,
“Jan., 1881.

“My Dear Sir and Brother,

‘The papers tell us that the 8th inst. will be a memorable day to you; and, amid hosts of greeting friends, my wife and I (than whom you have none truer, though our love can rarely exhibit itself but in wishful thought and prayer,) would fain express our good wishes in a line.

“We trust there is good foundation for the rumor, which has lately reached us, of great and permanent improvement in Mrs. Spurgeon’s health; and we pray that, if it be the Lord’s will, you may be continued to each other in happy fellowship until the ‘silvern’ shall have become ‘golden’ by the lapse of years.

“Like most of God’s anointed, it seems as if you are to be ‘made meet by consecrated pain.’ May the Refiner sit always by the furnace! You know that the fire will never be kindled a whit too fiercely, nor burn a moment too long.

“Them are many, whom you know not, who thank God, in these times of rebuke, for your fidelity to the old gospel, and who watch you with solicitude and prayer.

“Wishing for Mrs. Spurgeon and yourself, happiness, and the blessedness which is better, — the Lord’s unutterable peace, long and useful lives, and the ‘abundant entrance’ at last, I am, in my wife’s name and my own,

“Yours very affectionately,


“Rev. Chas. H. Spurgeon.”

Three months later, when Dr. Punshon was “called home,” Mr. Spurgeon gratefully referred to this letter, and sought to comfort the bereaved family in their season of sorrow.


There are gentlemen, in England, who can afford to drive a coach and four from town to town and carry nobody, performing their journeys for their own amusement; but I am not able or willing to do anything of that kind. Unless I can have my coach loaded with passengers to Heaven, I would sooner it was never started, and had rather that my team stopped in the stable. We must carry some souls to Heaven, for our call is from above and our time is too precious to throw away on mere pretense of doing good. We cannot play at preaching; we preach for eternity. We cannot feel satisfied merely to deliver sermons to senseless throngs, or to the most attentive crowds. Whatever smiles may greet us as we start, and whatever salutation may welcome us at our close, we are not content unless Jesus works salvation by us. Our desire is that grace should be magnified, and that sinners should be saved. They used to jeer at the Tabernacle in Moorfields, and the one in Tottenham Court Road, and call them Mr. Whitefield’s soul-traps; — a very excellent name for a place of worship; such may this Tabernacle ever be! — C. H. S., in a sermon preached August 19, 1877, a night when the Tabernacle was free to all comers, the regular congregation having vacated their seats.

I am sure that if a minister wants conversions, he must identify himself with his people. There are persons, nowadays, who make a difficulty about Moses praying for Israel, “If Thou wilt forgive their sin; and if not, Not me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book ‘which Thou hast written;” and they raise questions about Paul being willing to be separated from Christ for his brethren, his kinsmen according to the flesh. Oh, but there is no difficulty in the matter if you once get to feel such an intense love for the souls of men that you would, as it were, pawn your own salvation, and count it little if you might but bring the people to the Savior’s feet! A man who has never felt that willingness does not yet know the true throb of a pastor’s heart; he has not been ordained to be a shepherd if he would not lay down his life for the flock, if it were necessary. — C. H. S., in a sermon preached at the Tabernacle, August 23, 1883.

He who has spoken the Word with power to the heart bears to him who has heard it the relationship of a father to a son. There are many, in this place, to whom I stand in this most hallowed connection. You recognize it, I know, and I desire to express my intense and fervent love to the many of you who have been born unto God by the preaching of the Word here. I do not know of anything that has more greatly comforted me, during the last week or two in the time of sharp contention for the faith, than the reception of so many letters, from persons of whom I have never before heard, saying, “You do not know me, but you are my spiritual father; and now, at such a time of trial as this is to you, I must write and send you a word of good cheer.” It is always a cause of thankfulness to me when my testimony is blessed to the conversion of a seeking soul; but when I think of the hundreds, and the thousands, — ay, I am not exaggerating when I ,say thousands of converts, — whom I have, met with here on earth, and the many more, at present unknown to me, whom I hope to meet with either here or in Heaven, I do rejoice, yea, and I will rejoice; and I cannot help expressing my great low to all those who have been brought to the Savior by the words which I have preached and published. — C. H. S., in a sermon delivered at the Tabernacle, November 6, 1887.

IN one of the sermons preached in connection with his pastoral silver wedding, Mr. Spurgeon called attention to the fact that, during his twenty-five years’ ministry in London, more than nine thousand persons had joined the church; while, probably, an equal or still larger number had been converted through hearing or reading his sermons, although they had not become members at the Tabernacle. The previous volumes of the Autobiography have contained many references to these converts, and records of the means blessed to their salvation; but it appears necessary to devote two chapters in the present volume to the same subject in order adequately to set forth this most important part of the dear Pastor’s service, and to show how abundantly the favor of God rested upon it from its commencement to its close. It is a cause for devout thankfulness that, in a great measure, a similar blessing still accompanies his published words, both in our own tongue, and in many of the languages into which they have been translated. The first part of the following narrative is, given in Mr. Spurgeon’s own words; the latter portion consists of the instances of usefulness which various friends have described; and, to make the chapters as varied and as complete as possible, there are included in them several specimens of the beloved soul-winner’s methods of dealing with anxious enquirers and sinners seeking the Savior. The cases of blessing here recorded are selected from the whole of his London ministry; and are, therefore, all the, more representative of the continued usefulness of his Work for the Lord during the long period from 1853 to 1892.

There are some passages of Scripture which have been more abundantly blessed to the conversion of souls than others have, they may be called salvation texts. We may not be able to discover how it is, or why it is; but, certainly, it is the fact that some chosen verses have been more used of God than any others in His Word to bring men to the cross of Christ. They are not more inspired than other parts of the Bible; but I suppose they are more noticeable, from their position, or from their peculiar phraseology they are more adapted to catch the eye of the reader, and am more suitable to a widely prevailing spiritual condition. All the stars in the heavens shine very brightly, but only a few catch the eye of the mariner, and direct his course; the reason is this, that those few stars, from their peculiar grouping, are more readily distinguished, and the eye easily fixes upon them. So I suppose it is with those passages of God’s Word which especially attract attention, and direct the sinner to the cross of Christ. One of the chief of those texts is Isaiah xliii. 25: “I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” I have proved it to be a most useful one; for, out of the thousands of persons who have come to me to narrate their conversion and religious experience, I have found a very large proportion who, have traced the Divine change which has been wrought in their hearts to the hearing of this precious declaration of sovereign mercy, and the application of it with power to their souls by the Holy Spirit.

Some who come to see me, with the view of joining the church, cannot say much, and they think that I shall be very dissatisfied with them because they make a great muddle of their narrative; but the people with whom I am least satisfied are those who reel off their yarn by the yard; they have it all ready to repeat, and everything is arranged as prettily as possible. As I listen to it, I know that someone has told them what to say, and they have learned it all tot me to hear. I like far better the testimony that I have to pick out in little bits, but which I know comes fresh from the heart of the trembling convert. Sometimes, it costs the poor soul a tear or a real good cry, and I have to go round about in all manner of ways to get hold of the story at all; but that shows that it is true, and that the man never borrowed it. I like to hear the experience of a believer, when he comes straight out of the world, and out of the ways; of sin, to confess his faith in Christ. He does not know anything about the terms that Christian people use, he has not learned our phrases; and it is a great delight to hear it all fresh and new. Yet it is always the same story in all the essential parts of it. However strangely he may narrate it, it tallies with that of others in the main points. Take the experience of a Christian man who has been brought up in the sanctuary from his childhood, and extract the pith and marrow of it, Now take the experience of a man who has been a horse-racer, a drunkard, a swearer, but who has been truly converted, and extract the essence, of that. Talk to a peer of the realm who has become an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven, and take the substance of his experience. Now speak to a chimney-sweep who has been brought to the Lord, and get the gist of his experience; put them all side by side, and you will not know one from the other. There are always the same essential marks, — death, birth, life, food, — Christ in the death, the birth, the life, the food, — repentance, faith, joy, the work of the Spirit of God. But it is very sweet to hear the story told in the many different ways in which the converts tell it. The true child of grace is ever the same in heart, although the outward appearance may continually vary.

Among the many thousands of souls who have been brought to know the Lord under my instrumentality, I have often noticed that a considerable proportion of these, and of the best members of our church, too, were won to the Savior, not by legal terrors, but by gentler means. Sitting, on one occasion, to see enquirers, I should think that there were as many as twelve out of the twenty-three whose convictions of sin were not distinctly marked with the terrors of the flaw. I asked an excellent young woman, “What was the first thought that set you really seeking the Savior?” “Oh, sir!” she replied, “it was Christ’s lovely character that first made me long to be His disciple. I saw how kind, how good, how disinterested, how self-sacrificing He was, and that made me feel how different I was. I thought, ‘Oh! I am not like Jesus!’ and that sent me to my room, and I began to pray, and so I came to trust in Him.” “The first religious impression I ever had,” said another, “that set me seeking the Savior, was this; a young companion of mine tell into sin, and I knew that I was likely to do the same if I was not kept by someone stronger than myself. I therefore sought the Lord, not so much at first on account of past transgression, but because I was afraid of some great future sin. God visited me, and I then felt conviction, of sin, and was brought to Christ.” Singularly enough, too, I have met with scores of persons who have trusted in Christ, and then have mourned their sins more afterwards than they did before they believed. Their convictions have been more terrible after they have known their interest in Christ than they were at first. They have seen the enormity of the evil after they have escaped from it; they have been plucked out of the miry clay, and their feet set upon the rock; and then, afterwards, they have seen more fully the depth of that horrible pit out of which they have been snatched. It is not true that all who are saved suffer such convictions and terrors as some of us had to endure; there are very many who are drawn with the cords of a man and the hands of love. There are some who, like Lydia, have their hearts opened, not by the crowbar of conviction, but by the picklock of Divine grace. Sweetly drawn, almost silently enchanted by the loveliness of Jesus, they say, “Draw me, we will run after Thee.”

A young woman came to me, one day, after a service, to ask me whether I really meant what I said when I declared that he that believed in Jesus; Christ was saved there and then. “Yes,” I replied; and I gave her the Scriptural warrant for the statement. “Why!” she exclaimed, “my grandfather told me that, when he found religion, it took him six months, and they had nearly to put him into a lunatic asylum, he was in such a dreadful state of mind.” “Well, well,” I answered, “that sometimes happens; but that distress of his did not save him. That was simply his conscience and Satan together keeping him away from Christ. When he wats saved, it was not by his deep feelings; it was by his believing in Jesus Christ.” I then went on to set the Savior before her as our sole ground of hope in opposition to inward feelings. “I see it,” she said; and I rejoiced as I noticed the bright light that passed over her face, a flash of heavenly sunshine which I have often seen on the countenances of those who have believed in Jesus Christ, when peace fills the soul even to the brim, and lights up the countenance with a minor transfiguration. Scores of times, when I have been talking with those who have been utterly bowed down beneath sin’s burden, they have looked as though they were qualifying for an asylum through inward grief; but as soon as they have caught this thought, “Christ stood as the Substitute for me; and if I trust in Him, I have the proof that He did so, and I am clear,” their faces have been lit up as with the very glory of Heaven.

Some persons have come to me for spiritual guidance because they have been misled by others. One lady, who called upon me, said that she had not heard me preach, but she had been reading my sermons, and God had been pleased to bless them to her, not only to her conviction, but to her conversion. She went to the clergyman of the parish, full of joy at having found the Savior, and began to tell him of her gladness, and how she rejoiced that all her sins were blotted out. He stopped her, and said, “My good woman, that is all a delusion; you have no right to believe that your’ sins are pardoned, till you have led several years of piety and devotion.” She went away sad, and she came to ask me if what the clergyman said was true; and when I quoted that verse, —

“The moment a sinner believes,
And trusts in his crucified God,
His pardon at once he receives,
Redemption in full through His blood;” —

“Oh!” she said, “I see it clearly now;” and when I went on to tell her that many, who had believed in Christ, had been black sinners one moment, and white as snow the next, by casting themselves simply on Christ, they had instantly found peace, she could not but take to her heart the precious promises of Christ, and, believing in Jesus, being justified by faith, she had the peace of God that passeth all understanding, and she went away rejoicing in Jesus..

I was going to preach in the country, on one occasion; and before I went, I received a letter from a young man who wrote — “Dear Sir, — When you come to this town, do preach a sermon that will fit me; for I have heard it said that we must all think ourselves to be the wickedest people in the world, or else we cannot be sawed. I try to think so, but I cannot, because I have not been the wickedest. I want to be saved, but I do not know how to repent enough.” Of course, I told him that God does not require every man to think himself the wickedest in the world, because that would sometimes be to think a falsehood, for there are some men who are not so sinful as others are. What God requires, is, that a man should say, “I know more of myself than I do of other people; and from what I see of myself, not merely of my actions, but of my heart, I do think there can be few worse than I am. They may be more wicked openly; but, then, I have had more light, more privileges, more opportunities, more warnings, and therefore I am, in my own opinion at least, more guilty than they are.” Some friends have really made an obstacle out of the very thing for which they ought to have been most grateful. An excellent and amiable young woman, when converted to God, said to me, “You know, sir, I used almost to wish that I was one of those very bad sinners whom you so often invited to come to Jesus, because I thought then I should feel my need more; that was my difficulty, I could not feel my need of Christ.” It is a pity that any should make a hindrance of this matter; yet they do, and others make a difficulty for the opposite reason; they say, “Oh! we could trust Christ if we had been kept from sin.” The fact is, that unbelieving souls will not trust Christ whichever way they have lived; for, from some quarter or other, they will find cause for doubting; but, when the Lord the Spirit gives them faith, big sinners will trust Christ quite as readily as those who have not been great offenders openly; and those who have been preserved from open sin will trust Him as joyfully as the vilest transgressors.

We have had, in the Tabernacle, many very remarkable instances of how God does still bless the outcasts and the very chief of sinners. There was a man, known in the village where he lived by the name of Satan, because of his being so thoroughly depraved. He was a sailor, and as another seaman in that place had been the means of the conversion of all the sailors in a vessel belonging to the port, this man desired to sail with him to try and beat his religion out of him. He did his best, — or rather, his worst, — but he signally failed; and when the ship came to London, the Christian man asked the ungodly one whether he would come to the Tabernacle. He did not mind coming to hear me, for, as it happened, I was brought up near the place where he lived. This “Satan” came, on the Lord’s-day morning when the text was upon soul-murder; and, by the Holy Spirit’s gracious application of the Word to his heart, he sat, and sobbed, and cried under the sermon at such a rate that he could only say, “People are noticing me, I had better go out;” but his companion would not let him go out; and, from that day forth, he became a new creature in Christ Jesus, and he is living and walking in the truth, an earnest believer, singularly clear in his doctrinal knowledge, and doing all that he can for the spread of the. Kingdom of Christ.

On another occasion, on a Lord’s-day morning, I preached upon the words of the leper, who said to Jesus. “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.” On the following Thursday morning, I received this letter — “Dear Sir, — I feel so happy to tell you that the Lord has pardoned a poor outcast of society. I got into your place, in a crowd, hoping nobody would see me. I had been out all night, and was miserable. While you were preaching about the leper, my whole life of sin rose up before me. I saw myself worse than the leper, cast away by everybody; them is not a sin I was not guilty of. As you went on, I looked straight away to Jesus. A gracious answer came, ‘Thy sins, which are many, are forgiven.’ I never heard any more of your sermon, I felt such joy to think that Jesus died even for a poor harlot. Long ere you get this letter, I trust to be on the way to my dear home I ran away from. Do please pray for me that I may be kept by God’s almighty power. I can never thank you enough for bringing me to Jesus.” If it had not been for that sentence about going home, I might have had some doubt concerning her conversion; but when a fallen girl goes home to her father and mother, it is a sure case. This letter gave me great joy; to see souls saved, is Heaven to me.

Not only has there been a great variety in the converts during my ministry, but the means blessed to their conversion have been very varied? One brother, when he came to join the church, told us that, as an ungodly stranger, he was going into Exeter Hall just as I gave out Charles Wesley’s hymn, beginning —

“Jesus, lover of my soul.”

He said to himself, “Does Jesus really love me? Then, why should I live in enmity to Him?” There and then, he turned unto the Lord; and, not long after, he came boldly out, and confessed his faith in Christ, and sought to do all he could to lead others to the Savior.

I remember one friend coming to me, and saying, very earnestly, “I should like, sir, to take a scat in the Tabernacle.” I answered, “Well, do so, by all manner of means; I am very glad when people do so.” “But,” said he, “I may not come up to what you expect of me, for I have heard that, if I take a sitting here, you will expect me to be converted, and I cannot guarantee that.” “No,” I replied, “I do not want you to guarantee it; I do not mean the word expect in that sense at all; but I do hope that it will be so.” “Oh!” exclaimed he, “and so do I; I am going to take a sitting with that very view.” And it was so of course, it was so. When the man wished it, God accepted the wish, and heard the prayer, and. he was brought to Christ, and joined the church.

One brother, when he was giving his testimony before being baptized, said — “The first time I came to hear Mr. Spurgeon in the Tabernacle, if you had asked me about myself, I should have told you that I was as religious a man as ever lived in Newington, and as good a man, certainly, as ever formed part of any congregation; but all this was reversed, when I heard the gospel that day. I came out of the building with every feather plucked out of me. I felt myself the most wretched sinner who could be on the face of the earth, and I said, ‘I will never go to hear that man again, for he has altogether spoiled me.’ But that was the best thing which could have happened to me; I was made to look away from myself, and all that I could do, to God, and to His omnipotent grace, and to understand that I must pass under my Creator’s hand again, or I could never see His face with joy. I learned to loathe my own righteousness as filthy rags, fit only for the fire, and then I sought to be robed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.”

Another man, who came to join with us in church-fellowship, owed his conversion, indirectly, to a Jew. He was on an omnibus going by the Tabernacle, one Sunday, and a crowd was standing outside, as usual, waiting for the doors to be opened. The person sitting next to him was a well-known Jew. “Ah!” said the man, “that humbug always attracts the people.” The Jew turned round to him, and enquired, “Would not you like to see such a crowd as that round your shop? I should welcome them at my place of business. I have ridden past here these twenty-eight years, and have always seen just such a crowd as that waiting to get in. Now, if your shop had been crowded thus for twenty-eight years, and anybody said that you did not sell a good article, what would you reply? You would probably answer that those people were good judges, and that, if you had not supplied goods that were satisfactory, they would not have kept on coming. Now, I am a Jew, yet I am inclined to go in, and listen to what Mr. Spurgeon has to say, because I see these crowds of people going ‘to hear him.” The man who had at first made the offensive remark was greatly impressed by his companion’s observation, and in telling us how it afflicted him, he said, “I discovered that I had been buying the wrong article, and I thought the Jew had spoken very sensibly, so I resolved to go, and see and hear for myself.” He came, examined the article that was offered for sale, and bought it on the gospel terms, “without money and without price.”

One Sabbath evening, while preaching in the Tabernacle, I felt moved to say “Dear mother, if you have never talked with your daughter about her soul, do it this very night. ‘But,’ you reply, ‘when I get home, she will be in bed.’ If so, then wake her up, but do talk and pray with her tonight; and then let her fall asleep again; begin at once this holy service if you have neglected it until now.” One good woman, who was present, went straight home, and did exactly what I had said; she woke her daughter up, and began speaking to her about the Savior. The dear girl said, “Oh, mother! I am glad you have spoken to me about Jesus; for months, I have been wishing you would do so.” It was not long before the mother brought her daughter to see me about joining the church, and then told me how the blessing had come to her.

On various occasions, the Lord has set His seal upon a very simple request that I made to my congregation. I asked those who were present, after they reached their homes, to spend a little time quietly and alone, and then, when they had honestly considered their condition in the sight of God, to take a pencil and paper, and to write, one of two words. If they felt that they were not believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, I asked them to write, the word Condemned, but if they were trusting to Him alone for salvation, to put on the paper the word Forgiven. Several friends were brought to decision for Christ in that way; amongst them was one young man who, at first, wrote the word Condemned, but, as he looked at it, his tears began to flow, and his heart began to break; and, before long, he fled to Christ, put the paper in the fire, took another piece, wrote, on it the word Forgiven, and soon came to tell me the good news, and to ask that he might be admitted to church-fellowship. In another case, a man went home, and told his wife that he was going to write the word Condemned; she pleaded with him in vain, for he took the pencil, and was just about to make the letter C; but his little daughter, a Christian girl, caught hold of his hand, and said, “No, father, you shall not write it;” and by the united entreaties of his wife and child, the man was brought to the Savior, and afterwards became a member with them at the Tabernacle.

My experience goes to show that there have been persons converted to God by doctrines that some might have thought altogether unlikely to produce that result. I have known the doctrine of the resurrection to bring sinners to Christ; I have heard of scores brought to the Savior by a discourse upon election, — the very sort of people who, as far as I can see, would never have been reached if that truth had not happened to be an angular doctrine that .just struck their heart in the right place, and fitted into the crevices of their nature. I have often preached a terrible sermon upon the law, and afterwards found that sinners had been comforted by it. God frequently blesses the Word in the very opposite manner to that in which I thought it would be blessed, and He brings very, very many, to know their state by nature by doctrines which I should have thought would rather have comforted believers than awakened the unconverted. I am constantly driven back to the great foundation truth of Divine Sovereignty, and am made to realize that, in grace as well as in providence, —

“God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform.”

I was talking one day, with an aged minister; and I noticed that he put his hand into his waistcoat pocket, and brought out a letter that was well-nigh worn to pieces. As he unfolded it, he exclaimed, “God Almighty bless you, sir! God Almighty bless you, sir!” I said, “Thank you, my dear sir, for that blessing, but what makes you give it to me?” The good man replied, “I had a son, who I thought would be the stay of my old age; but he disgraced himself, and ran away from home, and I could not tell where he had gone, only that he said he was going to America.” When the minister had told me so much of his story, he bade me read the letter, which ran thus — “Dear Father, — I am here in America; I have found a situation, and God has prospered me. I write to ask your forgiveness for the many wrongs that I have done you, and the grief I have caused you; and to tell you that, blessed be God, I have found the Savior. I have joined the church here, and hope to spend my life in the Redeemer’s service. This great change happened thus. I did not sail for America on the day I expected to start; and, having a leisure hour, I went down to the Tabernacle to see what it was like, and there God met with me. In his sermon, Mr. Spurgeon said, ‘Perhaps there is a runaway son here. Fine Lord call him by His grace!’ And He did call me.” “Now,” said the minister, as he folded up the letter, and put it into his pocket again, “this son of mine is dead, and he has gone to Heaven; and I love you, and shall continue to do so as long as I live, because you were the means of bringing him to Christ. It is very difficult to say which of us was the more happy as we rejoiced together over the wanderer who had thus been brought to the Lord.

On another occasion, a lad, who was just going to sea, came to the Tabernacle, and was converted; and, a few hours after, was in Heaven. He wrote to tell his parents that he had found the Savior; and, just as they were reading his letter, they received news that the vessel in which he sailed had been in collision, and that he was drowned. Two enquiring ones came to me in my vestry. They had been hearing the gospel from me for only a short season, but they had been deeply impressed by it. They expressed their regret that they were about to remove far away, but they added their gratitude that they had heard me at all. I was cheered by their kind thanks, but felt anxious that a more effectual work should be wrought in them, and therefore I asked them, “Have you in very deed believed in the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you saved?” One of them replied, “I have been trying hard to believe.” I have often heard this statement, but I will never let it go by me unchallenged. “No,” I said, “that will not do. Did you ever tell your father that you tried to believe him?” After I had dwelt awhile upon the matter, they admitted that such language would have been an insult to their father. I then set the gospel very plainly before them in as simple language as I could, and I begged them to believe Jesus, who is more worthy of faith than the best of fathers. One of them replied, “I cannot realize it; I cannot realize that I am saved.” Then I went on to say, “God bears testimony to His Son, that whosoever trusts in the Lord Jesus Christ is saved. Will you make Him a liar now, or will you believe His Word?” While I thus spoke, one of them started as if astonished, and she startled us all as she cried, “Oh, sir, I see it all; I am saved! Do bless Jesus for me; He has shown me the way, and He has saved me. I see it all.” The esteemed sister who had brought these friends to me knelt down with them while, with all our hearts, we blessed and magnified the Lord for a soul brought into the light. The other young woman, however, could not see the gospel as her companion had done, though I feel sure she will do so; but it seemed strange that, both hearing the same words, one should come out into clear light, and the other should remain in the gloom.


WHEN talking with anxious enquirers, I am often amazed at the ingenuity with which they resist the entrance of the truth into their hearts. I do not think I have ever been so much astonished at the invention of locomotive engines, electric telegraphs, or any other feats of human mechanism, as I have been at the marvelous aptitude of simple people in finding out reasons why they should not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. After I have proved to them to a demonstration that it is the most reasonable and fitting thing in the world for them to trust themselves with Christ, they ask, “How is this to be done?” or, “How is that to be accomplished?” and they argue, first one way, and then another, all against their own best interests. Often, I go patiently through the whole process again and again; and even when that has been done, there comes another objection. I have tracked these people to their holes as diligently as if I had been a fox-hunter, and I have tried to unearth them from their hiding-places; but I find that they can often burrow faster than I can follow them. Oh, the “ifs” and “buts” they put; the “perhaps,” and “peradventure,” and “I don’t feel this,” and “I don’t feel that”! Oh, that wicked questioning of Christ! While talking with them, endeavoring to comfort them, and I hope not unsuccessfully, I am often led to realize more deeply than before, in my own mind, what an awful crime it is to doubt God, to doubt Him who speaks from above, to doubt Him who hung bleeding on the tree.

Sitting, one day, to see enquirers, a young Dutchman came into the room. He had crossed from Flushing, and desired to tell me his difficulties of soul. He began, “Sir, I cannot trust in Christ.” My answer was, “Why not? What has He done that you should speak so ill of Him? I have trusted everything in His hands, and I believe Him to be quite trustworthy. What do you know against His character?”

“Indeed, sir, I know nothing against Him, and I am ashamed that I have so spoken, for I believe the Lord Jesus to be worthy of all confidence. That was not what I meant. May I trust Him to save me?”

“Of course you may, for you are commanded to do so by the gospel, which says, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.’ You are warned against not believing by the words, ‘He that believeth not shall be damned.’“

“I may, then, trust Christ; but does He promise to save all who trust Him?” “Certainly. I have already quoted to you the promise of the gospel. It is also written, ‘Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved.’ It Jesus does not save you upon your trusting Him, you will be the first He ever cast out.”

“Ah, sir, I see it! Why did I not see it before? I trust, and Jesus saves me. I am well repaid for coming from Flushing.”

I prayed with him, and he went his way trembling for joy.

A lady came to me, after a service in the Tabernacle, and asked me to pray for her. She had been before to speak to me about her soul, so I said to her, on the second occasion, “I told you very plainly the way of salvation, namely, that you are to trust yourself in Christ’s hands, relying on His atoning sacrifice. Have you done that?” She answered, “No,” and then asked me whether I would pray for her. I said, “No, certainly I will not.” She looked at me with astonishment, and again asked, “Will you not pray for me?” “No,” I replied, “I have nothing for which to pray for you. I have set the way of salvation before you so simply that, if you will not walk in it, you will be lost; but if you trust Christ now, you will be saved. I have nothing further to say to you; but, in God’s Name, to set before you life or death.” Still she pleaded, “Do pray for me!” “No,” I answered, “would you have me ask God to shape His gospel so as to let you in as an exception? I do not see why He should. His plan of salvation is the only one that ever has been or ever will be of any avail; and if you will not trust to it, I am not going to ask God anything, for I do not see what else is wanted from Him. I put this question plainly to you, ‘Will you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? I certainly was somewhat surprised when the sister said, very deliberately, “If it be so, then, that salvation will come to me by believing, I do believe what the Scripture says concerning Christ; and, moreover, I feel that I can trust myself with Him, because He is God, and He has offered a sufficient sacrifice for my sins; and I do trust myself to Him just now; and I feel such a strange peace stealing over me at this very moment. I have trusted Him, and I am certain that I am saved;” and, in an instant, she said to me, “Good evening, sir; there are other people waiting to see you,” and away she went, like at common-sense woman as she was; and she has often told me, since, how glad she was that I refused to pray for her, and so brought her to the decision to trust Christ for herself, and thus to receive the assurance of her salvation.

There is a great contrast between the way in which different converts begin their new life. I have sometimes thought that, if a man does not become a high-class Christian during the first three months after his conversion, he probably never will. I have noticed some people who have commenced their Christian career in a very feeble fashion. I hope they so began that they were really saved; but, still, they started doubting and fearing, and they kept on in the same style till they went to Heaven. “Ah, sir!” said one to me once, “either all the world has altered, or else I have, for people I once delighted in I am now afraid of. The things that once made me glad now make me unhappy, and those that I thought melancholy are now the very things in which I find my highest joy.” I am always thankful when our friends get a very decided conversion, because, though I am not going to say a word against those who come to Christ very gradually, yet their experience is rather cloudy. No doubt they are just as safe as others, but they lack a good deal of comfort afterwards; and, sometimes, persons who are very readily converted, and who have no very deep sense of sin, are more apt to play with evil than others are who have had a clearer sight of its enormity. Some begin by serving the Lord stingily, not giving Him their whole hearts; or they commence coldly, and so they never get hot with zeal all their lives. I am glad when a young convert is red-hot, or even white-hot; I like to see him too full of zeal, if that is possible; because, when he cools down, he will come just to the right temperature if he is too hot at first but, if he is cool at the beginning, what will he come to by-and-by? There are no laborers for the Master who are so useful as those who begin to serve Him while they are young. Sometimes, God converts men in middle life, or even in old age, and uses them in His service; but, still, I venture to assert that Church history will show that the most useful servants of Christ were those who were caught early, and who from their youth up bore testimony to the gospel of Jesus. In the case of some old people, who have been professors of religion for years, but who have done next to nothing for Christ, I find it very difficult ever to stir them up at all. When I do get a saddle on them, they are very restive creatures, like a horse that hats never been broken in; but if I break them in while they are colts, they get used to their work, it becomes a delight to them, and. they would not be happy unless they had something to do for the Lord Jesus. I remember having a considerable share of sneers, and rebukes not a few, from some who thought themselves very wise men, because I began preaching at the age of sixteen. I was recommended to tarry at Jericho till my beard had grown, and a great many other pieces of advice were given to me; but I have never regretted that I was a “boy-preacher” of the Word; and if I could have my time over again, I would like to do just the same as I did then.

I have been delighted as I have noticed the earnest efforts of many of my church-members in seeking to bring sinners to the Tabernacle to hear the gospel.

Two of our brethren, both working-men, — one of whom has been afamous runner, and who has won prizes in many running-matches, — are accustomed, as they say, to hunt in couples for souls. Their usual method is for one to go on one side of the street, and his friend on the other, on the Lord’s-day morning, in those parts of London where Sabbath trading is carried on to the greatest extent. One morning; one of them was giving a tract to a person as the other was crossing over to join him, to communicate with him on some subject. As the second friend met the man who had received the tract, he heard him say, with an oath, “What is the use of giving me this tract? I shall be in hell in an hour!” He said to his fellow-laborer, on reaching him, “Did you hear what that man said?” “No,” he answered, “I did not notice; what was it?” “He appeared very wild, and talked of being in hell in an hour; he is either insane, or he is intending to commit suicide.” “Do you think so? Then we will be after him.” They followed him, and the second one, on coming up to the man, said to him, “What did you say when you took that tract?” “That’s no concern of yours,” he answered, “mind your own business.” “Oh!” ‘was the reply, “but it is my business, for, if I heard aright, you said that you would be in hell in an hour.” “Yes, I did say so; this world is worse than hell, and I’ll be out of it in an hour.” “No, you won’t,” said our friend, “for I mean to stick by you; and I won’t leave you for an hour, go where you may.”

The poor creature then succumbed, and the godly men took him into a coffee-shop, and gave him a good breakfast. The man felt less like committing suicide after that meal. Our friends knew that the best gospel sermon would not be likely to benefit a man who was starving; he had tasted nothing for three days, and had walked the streets all the night. Hence, our brethren wisely felt that they must first feed his hungry body; and after that, they brought him to the Tabernacle. When the service was over, their poor patient looked a little more hopeful, and the soul-doctors thought it best to repeat the dose of solid nutriment. They took him to a house where they were accustomed to dine, in a humble way, and he shared their meat. He went to one of the Bible-classes in the afternoon and, in the evening, they brought him again to the Tabernacle, and it pleased God to touch the poor man’s heart, and bring him to a knowledge of himself and his Savior. Then he became communicative, and it appeared that he had left his wife for four or five months, and had been living a life of dissipation, sin, and poverty. He gave the name and address of his wife, in the North of England; she was written to, and his fare was paid home; and, after he had gone back, a letter came from the good woman, saying that she had been a member with the Wesleyan Methodists, and had been long praying for her husband, who had been an awful reprobate, and had at last run away from home. Then she thought it was all over with him; but God had designs of love towards him, and now he had sat down at the Lord’s table with her.

She did not know what to say, her heart was so full of gratitude to God, and to the dear friends who had been the means of bringing her husband to the Savior.

At another time, a man came to join the church; and, according to our usual custom, he was asked how he had become converted, when he told us the following story. He said — “I was employed in driving a horse and van; I never thought of going to any place of worship, and I do not think anybody ever said a word to me about God or Christ until one day when I was crossing ,over London Bridge when, suddenly, a man jumped up, and climbed into the back of my cart. I took my whip to lash him off, but he said, ‘Hold hard mate, I’ve got a message for you.’ This was a very curious thing to me, and I asked, ‘What is it?’ ‘I will tell you, but I may as well sit in front.’ So he sat down beside me. Then I asked him. ‘What is your message?’ ‘It is a message from God to your soul.’ I cursed and swore at him; but that made no difference to him. He said, ‘You are the very man I was after. I knew you were a swearing man, for it was that first attracted my attention to you, and I am sure my message is for you.’ I said to him then, ‘What have you to say? Come cut it short.’ He did cut it short, and he put it pretty straight, too. He told me what would become of my soul if I died a swearer, and he talked to me about the world to come. Then he told me that there was a Savior for sinners, and that, if I trusted Him, I should be saved. Before he left me, he made me promise that I would go to, hear you, sir. So I promised, and as I always boasted that I kept my word, I came to hear you, though I was precious sorry that I had promised to do so. I never got up so early on a Sunday morning before; and when the man saw me at the gate, he took me in, and gave me his seat, and stood himself all the service, which I thought was was very kind on his part. After the sermon, he asked me, ‘Did you like it?’ I replied, ‘No, I did not; that is not the sort of thing that I care about; I don’t believe in religion.’ ‘Ah! but you will,’ the man said; and he and I parted company at the gate, and I hoped I should never meet him again.

“I did not see him for some weeks; but, one day, as I was walking down the Blackfriars Road, I saw him coming along, so I slipped round the first corner, and began to run to avoid him; but, soon, I heard somebody running after me, and he came up to me, and said, ‘Well, mate, how are you?’ ‘All right.’ ‘Are you going on any better?’ he asked. I did not give him any answer, and then he told me that he had made up his mind that I should be a Christian one day, and that he never meant to let me alone till that came to pass. I believe he would have gone into my house with me; but, as my wife, and I were fond of drink, there was only a little furniture in it, and I did not wish him to come in, and see the miserable place, so, to get rid of him, I proposed to go and hear Mr. Spurgeon on the next Sunday. I kept my promise; and, now, I am happy to say that I do not need anybody to induce me to go to the Tabernacle. I have been here six months, I have found the Savior for myself, and I have got four of our men to come down to hear the gospel with me.”

Perhaps, next to the joy of actual conversions, the rescue of those who have long been in dense spiritual darkness has given me the greatest delight. Many of God’s people are perplexed with questions concerning their interest in Christ, or they are afflicted with deep depression of spirit out of which only the Lord Himself can lift them up. I have tried, upon some of the sorely-troubled ones, all the promises of the Bible which I could remember. I have reminded them of the person of Christ, and of His consequent power; of the sufferings of Christ, and of His consequent ability to cleanse from sin; but I have many times had this answer given to me, “When God shutteth up, who can deliver?” and I have been very often made to feel that, as Pastor, I could not quench the fiery darts of the wicked one for other people, and that I could not break in pieces the sword of the enemy, for others, or even for myself. Yet I have been very happy when the Lord has enabled me to be the means of cheering any desponding or even despairing soul. One day, as I came out of the pulpit, there met me a brother-minister, and he said, “Sir, I cannot tell you all the particulars now, but I will write tomorrow; my wife is set at liberty. Afterwards, he wrote to tell me how she had been in despair, and what

sorrow she had suffered, and what a grief it had, been to him; but while I preached upon the words, “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward,” she was brought out of bondage. Oh, how I praised and blessed God, and thought that I would like to preach day and night if I might but be the channel of such blessing again and again.

Another case which I remember was that of a man of excellent character, well beloved by his family, and esteemed by his neighbors, who was for twenty years enveloped in unutterable gloom. He ceased to attend the house of God, because he said it was of no use; and although always ready to help in every good work, yet he had an abiding conviction upon him that, personally, he had no part nor lot in the matter, and never could have. The more anyone talked to him about the things of God, the worse he became; even prayer seemed but to excite him to more fearful despondency. In the providence of God, I was called to preach the Word in his neighborhood; he was induced to attend, and, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing on the sermon, he obtained a joyful liberty. After twenty years of anguish and unrest, he ended his weary roamings at the foot of the cross, to the amazement of his neighbors, the joy of his household and the glory of God. Nor did his peace of mind subside; for, until the Lord gave him a happy admission into eternal rest, he remained a vigorous believer, trusting and not being afraid.

Probably the most notable instance of the uplifting of a soul from the deepest despair was the one which was thus related by Mr. Spurgeon, at a Monday evening prayer-meeting at the Tabernacle, as an illustration of the personal preparation which a soul-winner may have to go through before the Lord use him to certain individuals —

Some years ago. I was the subject of fearful depression of spirit. Various troublous events had happened to me; I was also unwell, and my heart sank within me. Out of the depths I was forced to cry unto the Lord. Just before I went away to Mentone for rest, I suffered greatly in body, but far more in soul, for my spirit was overwhelmed. Under this pressure, I preached a sermon from the words, “My God, My God! why hast Thou forsaken Me?” I was as much qualified to preach from that text as ever I expect to be; indeed, I hope that few of my brethren could have entered so deeply into those heart-breaking words. I felt to the full of my measure the horror of a soul forsaken of God. Now, that was not a desirable experience. I tremble at the bare idea of passing again through that eclipse of soul; I pray that I may never suffer in that fashion again unless the same result should hang upon it.

That night, after the service, there came into my vestry a man who was as nearly insane as he could be to be out of an asylum. His eyes seemed ready to start from his head, and he saw that he should utterly have despaired if he had not heard that discourse, which had made him feel that there was one man alive who understood his feelings, and could describe his experience. I talked with him, and tried to encourage him, and asked him to come again on the Monday night, when I should have at little more time to speak with him. I saw the brother again, and I told him that I thought he was a hopeful patient, and I was glad that the word had been so suited to his case. Apparently, he put aside the comfort which I presented for his acceptance, and yet I had the consciousness upon me that the precious truth which he had heard was at work upon his mind, and that the storm of his soul would soon subside into a deep calm.

Now hear the sequel. Last night, of all the times in the year, when, strange to say, I was preaching from the words, “The Almighty hath vexed my soul,” after the service, in walked this self-same brother who had called on me five years before. This time, he looked as different as noonday from midnight, or as life from death. I said to him, “I am glad to see you, for I have often thought about you, and wondered whether you were brought into perfect peace.” I told you that I went to Mentone and my patient also went into the country, so that we had not met for five years. ‘To my enquiries, this brother replied, “Yes, you said I was a hopeful patient, and I am sure you will be glad to know that I have walked in the sunlight from that day till now. Everything is changed and altered with me.” Dear friends, as soon as I saw my poor despairing patient the first time, I blessed God that my fearful experience had prepared me to sympathize with him and guide him; but last night, when I saw him perfectly restored, my heart overflowed with gratitude to God for my former sorrowful feelings. I would go into the deeps a hundred times to cheer a downcast spirit it is good for me to have been afflicted that I might know how to speak a word in season to one that is weary.

Many remarkable instances of blessing upon Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons were never reported to him while he was here. The following pleasing testimony came to Mrs. Spurgeon on the first anniversary of his home-going —

“More than thirty-nine years ago,” the writer said, “when he was a youth of nineteen, and I a child of ten, I heard him preach a never-to-be-forgotten sermon, which was like an echo upon earth of the ‘new song’ in Heaven. I was in great distress of soul at the time, and had just given myself up as a hopeless backslider, when he came to our little chapel, and preached this lovely sermon the text was, ‘And they sang a new song.’ Vividly, as though it only happened yesterday, do I recall every part of that service, and the heavenly smile lighting up his clear young time, as, looking round into our pew, he seemed to single me out, and said, ‘Have you learned the key-note of that new song? I’ll tell you in a whisper what it is, ‘tis Jesus! only jesus.’ And then he went on ringing ‘those charming bells’ of ‘free grace and dying love’ till my poor heart was lifted up into joy, and peace, and full assurance, which, through all the ups and clowns of thirty-nine years of spiritual life, I have never quite lost from that day, till the hour he left this world for his native Land, it has been my joy to watch, with the profoundest sympathy and love, his wonderful and beautiful life, — to weep over his sorrows, to rejoice in his joys, and to pray for him in all the trials he endured with such Christlike gentleness and patience. None have greater reason than I to say, from the very heart, ‘Bless God for dear Mr. Spurgeon!’ The weekly sermon is, next to the Word of God, my meat and my drink; each one seems more precious than the last. I have given away as many as I could; and one entitled, ‘Christ’s Hospital, (No. 2,260,) is such an exquisite jewel, such a gem of the first water, that I should like to place it in the hands of every human being on the globe.

“I have often wished to tell your dear one all this; but now, in your dark days, I feel I must tell you, May ‘the consolations of God’ indeed abound towards you!”

Pastor’ E, A. Tydeman, one of “our own men,” thus relates how a sermon by Mr. Spurgeon was the means of preserving from suicide one who had. long been in terrible distress of mind — “Some years ago, in a village on the South Coast, I met an elderly man, who gave me the following account of the only time he ever heard our dear President. He said “It was in the year 1861, and I was in great anxiety. My business was failing, we had trouble in the family, and, worse than all, I had allowed my trials to estrange my heart from God. I had from childhood been an attendant upon the means of grace, and for many years I was a member of a Baptist church; but I had gradually become a “backslider in heart,” and now, when these outward troubles came upon me, it appeared to me that the Lord had cast me away from His presence, and taken His Holy Spirit from me, till I said, with Israel’s first king, “God is departed from me, and answereth me no more.” My wife — a godly woman, — did her best to rouse me from my despondency, but to no purpose; and I went from bad to worse, forsaking the house of God, and the companionship of His people, till I seemed to have lost all hope, and almost all desire for the knowledge of the ways of the Lord. Then I seemed to hear the evil one say, “Curse God, and die.” Yes, what better course could I take? If I must be damned, why not meet my fate at once? I went down to the shore, for I lived not far from the sea; but the thought that my body would probably be washed up where I was so well known, deterred me.

“Then came the suggestion, why not go to London, where I should be a stranger, and end my life there? So, going home, — it was a Saturday, and the week’s work was done, — I got ready for the journey, and telling my wife that I should not be home till Monday, I took train and went to town; and all that evening, I wandered from street to street in utter wretchedness, and when it was dark, I went down to the riverside; but, at every available spot, I found someone standing about, who seemed to be watching me, so I gave up the idea for that night. I found a lodging somewhere in the neighborhood of Kennington Lane, intending to carry out my purpose on the Sunday when the wharves and lanes would be more lonely.

It was long before I could sleep, and I was late in rising the next morning. After I had eaten my breakfast, I went out, and asking the way to London Bridge, turned my steps in that direction, the load at my heart heavier than ever, yet with no relenting in my determination to end my wretched life. Wandering disconsolately along, I came to a spot where a crowd was waiting, outside a large building, which I must have passed the night before without noticing it. I found, on enquiry, that the place was none other than “Spurgeon’s Tabernacle,” — as my informant styled it. Scarcely realizing what I did, I joined the people waiting on the steps, and, when the doors were opened, found myself hurried forward by the press, till I had reached the uppermost landing; Once fairly inside, it seemed as though every seat was occupied; but, after a while, I secured a place at the back of a recess in the top gallery.

“There was a hush as the minister came to the front of the platform, and said, “Let us pray,” but the prayer did not touch me, for he was evidently on the mount with God, and I was in the deeps of despair. After the prayer, a hymn was sung; but, though all around me were singing I could not; and I remained in the same state all through the reading, the singing, and the prayer which followed, for my heart was still unmoved, unless it was to a deeper depth of darkness. Then came the text, Psalm 35:3; and if I live to be a hundred years old, I shall never forget the thrill which passed through me as Mr. Spurgeon read those words, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation,” and then, coming forward to the front rail, he looked up at me, and said, “Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation,” and if ever God’s voice was heard on earth by human ear, it was heard by me that morning. The first time, for many a weary week a gleam of hope came to my soul, and I sat and drank in the message, as a thirsty pilgrim in a desert land might drink at Elim. As the sermon advanced, and various phases of soul-conflict were depicted, I trembled with emotion, till I could sit no longer; it was fortunate that I was in front of no one, for there I stood during the rest of the service, with eyes intent, and, for aught I know with mouth wide open too and when once, during the sermon, the preacher looked up at me, and spoke of one “standing far away in the gallery,” F3 I thought that I must have shouted. Long before the close of the discourse, my handkerchief was wet with tears, but they were tears of joy; and when the end came, I made straight for the door, saying to those before me, “Let me out, or I shall knock somebody down!” “Are you out of your mind? “ said one. “No, thank God!” I answered, “not out of it, but in it for the first time for many a long day;” and so I passed out into the street, and for hours, oblivious of everyone and everything around me, I wandered up and down with a heart as full of joy and praise as it could hold; and from then till now, I have never lost the assurance that God is my salvation.”

Another of “our own men,” Pastor W. E. Rice, reports the following remarkable case of conversion, which was related to him by a Congregational minister in Australia — “Some years ago, a father, living in a country town, apprenticed his son to a London silversmith. For a time, all seemed, to be going well but, one day, he received a letter to say that the lad had robbed his master. With a sad heart, he hastened to town only to find, alas! that it was but too true. The indentures were cancelled, and the boy left his situation in disgrace. As the father and son were walking through the crowded streets of the City, the lad suddenly darted away, and disappeared. The police searched for him in vain, and the poor man had to return alone to tell the sad news to his broken-hearted wife.

“Years passed, and nothing was heard of the prodigal son. One Sabbath evening, the parents stayed home from the service; and, while sitting quietly reading God’s Word, they were unusually constrained to pray for their lost boy; and they knelt down together, and asked that he might be arrested in his sinful career, and brought back to the old home. Presently, the servant came back from the service she had attended, and her master enquired as to the sermon she had heard. ‘Oh, sir!’ she said, ‘I have not heard a word of the sermon; I could do nothing but pray for Master Harry.’

“That night, some men were passing the Metropolitan Tabernacle, on their way to break into the shop of a certain silversmith in London, when one said to another, ‘Harry, just run up the steps, and see the time.’ He did so, opened the door, and stood in the aisle. Mr. Spurgeon was preaching about the dying thief; and seeming to point direct at Harry, said, in those ringing, well-remembered tones, ‘If there is a thief here tonight, Jesus Christ can save him.’ The arrow hit the mark. Harry went back to his garret to pray; and, in a week’s time, there was a knock at the door of the old home in that country town. The father opened it, stood face to time with his longlost son; and then followed the old story of the prodigal’s return, — tears, confession, forgiveness, welcome, restoration, joy.”

Mr. Cheyne Brady has thus recorded the means used by God for the conviction and conversion of a man who had previously lived a terribly dissolute life — “After some years spent in the service of sin, he set his heart on a change of residence. A house likely to suit him being pointed out, he went to the proprietor, and asked for the key. The landlord offered to accompany him, and show him the house; but he declined, saying he preferred going over it by himself. Having examined the lower part of the dwelling, he proceeded upstairs, and ascended to the attic. As he entered, he saw something scratched on the window-pane, and approached nearer in order to read it. These words, traced with a diamond, met his gaze —


“He staggered, and, for the first time in his life, he trembled before his Maker. The Spirit of God met him there alone. He stood riveted to the spot; and, in the agony of his soul, he cried out, ‘Lord, have mercy upon me! Lord, save me!’ At length, he got out of the house; but the solemn message followed him, ‘Prepare to meet thy God.’ He lost all pleasure in his fox-hunting, and became utterly miserable. He tried to drown serious thought amongst his evil companions, but those warning words haunted him wherever he went.

“Several days passed thus, when his eye caught a notice that, in a certain village, sixteen miles off, Mr. Spurgeon was to preach that evening. He said to himself, “Go and hear that man.’ He ordered his horse, and rode the sixteen miles, that he might listen to something which, perchance, would give his wounded spirit relief. The text was, ‘Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest;’ and, in the course of the sermon, Mr. Spurgeon made an earnest personal appeal, which was blessed by the Holy Spirit to the conscience-stricken sinner, who, there and then, believed in the Lord Jesus, and left the chapel a new man in Christ.”

Rev. D .A. Doudney, Hatford Rectory, Faringdon, has recalled a remarkable incident, which was related to him by Mr. Spurgeon — “He told me that, many years ago, a well-dressed man, with a very proud and conceited manner, came to see him in his vestry with a view to joining the church at the Tabernacle. The man said, ‘I purpose giving seven thousand pounds to any object connected with your congregation, or in which you are interested, but it is on the condition that you accept me as one of your members.’ Mr. Spurgeon told him that he could not receive him into the church unless he felt sure that he was a converted man, and he asked him several searching questions. To all these enquiries, the man gave very unsatisfactory replies; and, consequently Mr. Spurgeon said that, although he was extremely sorry, he could not see his way to accept him whilst he was in his present spiritual state. The man was astounded. ‘What!’ he exclaimed, ‘do you mean to tell me that you will not receive me with seven thousand pounds, — seven thousand pounds?’ ‘No,’ said Mr. Spurgeon, ‘nor if you offered me seventy times seven thousand pounds.’ The man went away in at rage.

“Mr. Spurgeon told me that, just then, money was greatly needed in connection with some of his undertakings, and seven thousand pounds would have been a most welcome gift; but he clearly felt that his visitor was not in a satisfactory spiritual condition, and that, therefore, he could not conscientiously accept him. Shortly afterwards, the man was admitted into another congregation, the minister of which was not so scrupulous; but, some years later, the same individual came again into Mr. Spurgeon’s vestry, and it was at once evident that he was greatly altered. No selfconceit was apparent in him then, but deep humility. He did not allude to a gift of seven thousand pounds, or, indeed, to any gift; but, after asking Mr. Spurgeon whether he remembered him and his rejection, he said that he had reason to thank God, with all his heart, for the treatment he then received, because it was the means of leading him to look within, to consider what his state was before God, to discover his many deficiencies and, eventually, it resulted in his being enabled to rejoice that he had been made a new creature in Christ Jesus. A few questions and answers confirmed his; statement, and then Mr. Spurgeon had the pleasure of willingly accepting him. He was for some years a useful member of the church at the Tabernacle; and, at length, he passed away in the full faith of the gospel.”


We have often been advised to, rise front Nightingale Lane to higher ground, to escape a portion of the fogs and damps which hang almost always over our smoky city. In the good providence of God, we have been led to do so, and we are now upon the Southern heights. We did not seek out the place, but it came into our hands in a very remarkable manner, and we were bound to accept it. We have left the room which has been so long our study, and the delightful garden where we were wont to walk and meditate. Not without many a regret have we transferred our nest from our dear old home to the Hill of Beulah.

What a type of our departure out of this world is a removal from an abode in which we have lived for years! Many thoughts have thronged our mind while ,are have been on the wing from the spot where we have dwell for more than `twenty years.-C. H. S., in “Spurgeon’s Illustrated Almanack” for 1881.

CONCERNING the Removal from “Helensburgh to “Westwood, Mr. Spurgeon often said-“I did not arrange it myself; the Lord just put a spade underneath me, and transplanted me to Norwood.” The change came to pass in the following way. In the year 1880 a great trouble arose through what was intended to be only a joy and a help. Mrs. Tyson, who had long been a generous donor to all the Tabernacle Institutions, made a will by which she meant to leave to the College and Orphanage the greater part of her estate, subject to the payment of certain annuities to a number of aged pensioners upon her bounty. The kind testatrix appointed, as her executors, Mr. Spurgeon and a clerical friend, explaining that she did so on purpose to ensure that there should be no question about the carrying out of her intentions; but, unhappily, the bequests included her real as well as personal property, and therefore came within the scope of the Law of Mortmain. The whole affair was complicated in so many ways that the executors were obliged to arrange with the Trustees of the College and Orphanage to institute a friendly suit in the Court of Chancery in order to have an authoritative decision upon the points about which there was uncertainty. This involved a heavy addition to the delft Pastor’s work, and necessitated many journeys to “White Lodge,” Biggin Hill, Upper Norwood, where Mrs. Tyson had lived.

After the executors had paid one of their periodical visits, Mr. Spurgeon suggested that, before, returning home, they should drive as far as the front of the Crystal Palace.. Proceeding along Beulah Hill, the notice of a house, and estate for sale caught his eye as he passed a gateway which was afterwards to become very familiar to him. He had long felt the need of removing to higher ground, and to a more secluded spot than the once rural Nightingale Lane had become, and he had been making enquiries in various directions; but, so far, he had not heard of any place which was sufficiently near the Tabernacle, and, at the same time, fairly clear of the smoke and fog of London. On reaching the Palace, the return journey was commenced; and, soon, the carriage was back in Beulah Hill, and nearing the gate where the board had been seen. Bidding the coachman stop, the Pastor asked his secretary to find out what the notice said. It appeared that cards to view the property were required; but, on asking at the house, permission was at once given for Mr. Spurgeon to see all he wished, and then, for the first time, he passed down the drive, and beheld his future home.

As soon as he caught sight of “Westwood,” he exclaimed, “Oh, that place is far too grand for me?” and, after a very brief inspection, he left without having any anticipation of becoming its owner. So completely did he give up all thought of living there, that he did not even send anyone to the sale; but, a few days afterwards, he received a note telling him that the reserve price had not been reached, and asking if he would make an offer for the estate. Then came what Mr. Spurgeon always regarded as the providential interposition of God in the matter. That very day, the builder, whom he always employed for all work needed at “Helensburgh House,” called to enquire if he wanted to sell his home; because, if so, one of his neighbors wished to buy it as a residence for his son-in-law who was returning from abroad. The Pastor then mentioned the house he had seen at Norwood, and added, “If I could get for this place anything like what is needed to purchase the other, I should be glad to make the exchange.” A consultation was held as to the price to be asked, a sum was stated, and duly reported to the neighbor, who at once said, “I should not think of offering Mr. Spurgeon any less, for I am sure he would only fix a fair value; I will give you a deposit to seal the bargain.” The builder soon returned with the message and cheque; but Mr. Spurgeon said, “I must wait to see if I can buy `Westwood,’ or I shall be out of house and home.” He drove again to Beulah Hill, found that he could, without difficulty, meet the difference in the price of the two places, and, within a few hours, the old home was sold, and the new one secured, as he always believed, by Divine arrangement.

The incoming residents at “Helensburgh House” desired to have some permanent memorial of their predecessor’s occupancy of the house, so Mr. Spurgeon wrote the following inscription, and had it engraved, and fixed underneath the large painted window at the end of the study—

“Farewell, fair room, I leave thee to a friend:
Peace dwell with him and all his kin!
May angels evermore the house defend
Their Lord hath often been within.”

In August, the removal took place, and in the next number of The Sword and the Trowel, the Editor wrote-“as the matter of change of residence may be, it has sufficed to create all sorts of stories, among which is the statement that `Mr. Spurgeon’s people have given him a house.’ My ever generous friends would give me whatever was needful; but, as I had only to sell one house and buy another, there was no necessity for their doing so. Having once accepted a noble presentation from them, and having there and then handed it over to the Almshouses, it would by no means be according to my mind to receive a second public testimonial. One friend who heard of my change of residence right generously sent help towards the expense of removal; but, beyond this, it is entirely my own concern, and a matter about which I should have said nothing if it had not been for this gossip.”

Though Mr. Spurgeon had described “Westwood” as being far too grand for him, he was very vexed when an American visitor published a grossly exaggerated account of “its park, and meadows, and lakes, and streams, and statuary, and stables,” which were supposed to rival those of the Queen at Windsor Castle! It would be difficult to find the “park,” for the whole estate comprised less than nine acres,-three of which were leasehold;-and the numerous “lakes and streams” which the imaginative D.D. fancied that he saw, were all contained in the modest piece of water across which the prettiest view of the house can be obtained.

Mr. Spurgeon hoped that one effect of his removal to “Westwood” would be that he might enjoy better health than he had at Clapham; he even cherished the notion that the change would be so beneficial that he would not need to go to Mentone in the winter. But overwork exacted the same penalties in the new home as in the old one. For a time, the hydropathic appliances at the Beulah Spa seemed to afford relief; but, by-and-by, they also failed, and the Pastor, in his own expressive way, said that he had resolved to go to Heaven as the Israelites crossed the Jordan, dryshod. The friendly connection with the hydropathic establishment was, however, still maintained, for its proprietor was permitted to have a pipe running from his house to the well in Mr. Spurgeon’s garden, so that any of the guests who desired to drink the Beulah Spa water might have a supply of it. The prospectus, issuedat the time that “Westwood” was offered for sale, contained a very elaborate description of the virtues of the water, and its medicinal value as compared with that of other springs in England and on the Continent; but Mr. Spurgeon never concerned himself much about it, though he occasionally drank it himself, and gave others the opportunity of following his example.

Apart from its private uses, perhaps “Westwood” was never more thoroughly utilized than on the occasions when tutors and students gathered there, to spend a long and delightful day with their beloved President.F4 The rosary was the usual place of meeting; and here, after partaking of refreshments, a brief devotional service was held, followed by the introduction of the new students. The name of nearly every one of them, or something about his previous calling, or the place from which he. had come, furnished material for that ready wit with which Mr. Spurgeon brightened all parts of his service; and the freshmen were always warned that the festive proceedings of the opening day were not to be regarded as representative of the rest of their College career, which must be one of real hard work, so that they might derive all possible benefit from the season of preparation for the ministry.As the brethren dispersed to their various forms of recreation, a number of them always chose the Puritan game of bowls; and in the summerhouse overlooking the lawn, the President and tutors watched them, and, at the same time, talked over any matters on which they might need to consult. Thus, on one occasion, a brother was called from his play to receive a commission to go to the Falkland Islands; another was summoned to go to the mission-field; while to others was entrustedthe honor of reviving some decaying church in an English village, or starting a new one amidst the dense population of London or some provincial town.

The top of the round tower, visible from the lawn, is the place from which a wide extent of country cart be seen; and many of the students, in days past, sought and secured permission to “view the landscape o’er.” The grand stand at Epsom is plainly discernible from the grounds; but, from the greater height, the tower on Leith Hill, and, in a peculiarly favorable state of the atmosphere, Windsor Castle also can be descried.

The steps leading down to the lawn often formed a convenient rallying point for the evening meeting, though sometimes the brethren were grouped around the upper summerhouse. Far away across Thornton Heath rolled the great volume of sound as the male choir of eighty to a hundred voices sang the sweet songs of Zion, of which the College anthem- “Hallelujah for the Cross!”-was certain to be one. The words spoken by the President, at those gatherings, are gratefully remembered, by brethren now laboring for the Lord in various parts of the world.

During the day, informal meetings were held under “The Question Oak,” which gained that name because, beneath its widely-spreading branches, Mr. Spurgeon allowed the students to put to him any enquiry that they pleased, and he answered them all without a moment’s hesitation, and often interspersed his replies with the narration of striking incidents in his own experience, such as those recorded in Vol. 3.

The lake is not likely to be forgotten by some of the Pastors’ College brethren who are now in the ministry. On the first visit of the students to “Westwood,” the President told them to go wherever they pleased, and to explore the whole place. It was not very long before some of them discovered that there was a boat on the lake, and not many minutes more before the boat and all its crew had gone down into the mud!

Happily, the coachman’s cottage was close by, so it became a place ofrefuge for the shipwrecked collegians, who received the sympathetic attentions of their brethren while their garments were being restored to a wearable condition; and they were themselves temporarily clothed from the wardrobe of Mr. Spurgeon and the coachman. As the students were not so stout as the former, nor so tall as the latter, they were not very comfortable in their borrowed raiment; but, later in the day, they appeared in their proper garb, and the President then turned the adventure to practical account by warning them to keep clear of the. muddy waters of doubt, and not to trust themselves off terra firma unless they were sure of the trustworthiness of their boat and the skill of the oarsman.

In addition to the students of the Pastors’ College, many other visitors have, from time to time, been welcomed at “Westwood.” On one occasion, a party of American friends, who had been worshipping at the Tabernacle on the Sabbath, asked Mr. Thomas Cook, of Leicester, by whom they were being “personally conducted” through London, to seek permission for them to see the preacher at his home. This was readily accorded; and one of their number, Dr. J. G. Walker, wrote, after Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, a long and interesting account of their reception. The following extract will convey a good idea of the impressions made upon the Transatlantic visitors that day, and also on many others who, at different times, saw the dear Pastor in his own house and garden—

“Turning into the open gateway, a short drive along the thickly-shaded carriage-way brings us to the house itself, now and ever to be known by the familiar name of `Westwood.’ Mr. Spurgeon is at the carriage before we alight, and gives us such a cordial greeting that we immediately feel at home ourselves. We spend a few moments, in the rosary, in further social intercourse. Then, with cheerful, though somewhat labored steps, our genial host leads us along the grass-bordered walks around the house, down a winding pathway sheltered by overhanging trees, over a little rustic bridge, and along the edge of a miniature lake; then out upon a sloping stretch of open ground, from the summit of which the `Westwood’ dwelling sends down its sunny glances, and beyond which the widening ,expanse of a picturesque English landscape suggests to heart and voice alike the familiar melody `Sweet Beulah Land.’

“At every step, we find ourselves drawn closer and closer to the man himself, as, with unaffected simplicity, and with easy, brilliant, entertaining conversation, he makes the moments pass too quickly by. Recalling these glimpses of the social and domestic life of the great preacher, leads me to indicate a few of the impressions that are most tenderly cherished. I was especially struck with his love of nature. He lived in loving acquaintance with his beautiful surroundings. He seemed to be on terms of closest intimacy with every leaf, and plant, and flower; and, without question, this may very largely account for his own marked naturalness in speech and movement, both in the pulpit and out of it. Like the leaves, and plants, and flowers, he loved to be just what God made him.

“‘Come into my picture gallery,’ said he, ‘and let me show you some pictures painted by God Himself.’ Again we found ourselves at the entrance to the rosary, where our attention was directed to certain openings which had been made in the dense foliage. Placing us in the proper positions before these open spaces, he invited us to look through them; and, as we did so, we found ourselves gazing upon natural pictures that were all the more beautiful because they enabled us, as well as the owner of the gallery, to look through nature up to nature’s God.’ In all these methods of expression, there was not the least show of affectation, or any assumption of sanctimoniousness. The entire conduct and conversation of the man, both in his private walks and public ways, breathed out the fervor and the frankness of a soul `who know, and loves God, and who lives and communes with his Savior.'”

A visitor at “Westwood,” who professed to have come from the United States, was received by Mr. Spurgeon with considerable cordiality because he announced himself as “Captain Beecher, the son of Henry Ward Beecher.” He was conducted through the grounds, and had the special attractions of the place pointed out to him; and he, on his part, managed very well to sustain the role he had assumed until, just before leaving, he said, “Oh, Mr. Spurgeon! excuse me for making such a request, but could you change a cheque for me? Unfortunately, I waited until after the bank was closed, and I want some money very particularly tonight.” The dear Pastor’s suspicions were at once aroused, and he said, with pardonable severity, “I do not think you ought to make such a request to me. If you are really Mr. Beecher’s son, you must be able, through the American consul, or some friend, to get your cheque cashed, without coming to a complete stranger;” and, foiled, in his attempt, the young man departed. A few days afterwards, a gentleman was murdered in a carriage on the Brighton railway; and when the portrait of the criminal, Lefroy, was published in the papers, Mr. Spurgeon immediately recognized the features of his recent visitor, though he never understood the reason for the man’s strange call at “Westwood.”

One place to which “Westwood” visitors were sure to be taken was the fernery and among the many treasures to which their attention was directed, the mother-fern was never forgotten, and most of them received from the dear owner, as living mementos of their visit, some of the babyferns growing on the parent-plant. At one of the Tabernacle prayer meetings, Mr. Spurgeon gave an address upon the mother-fern, in which he urged his hearers to seek to be spiritually what it was naturally, and, by the grace of God, to be the means of reproducing themselves in their converts, in whom the same blessed process might be repeated by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit.

At one time, bees were kept at “Westwood,” and Mr. Spurgeon was intensely interested in watching them whenever he had a few minutes to spare, or any visitors who could explain their various movements. The scientific lecturer at the Pastors’ College, at that period, was Professor Frank Cheshire,-a great authority on bees and bee-culture; and he was delighted to place his wide knowledge of the subject at the dear President’s disposal. One day, he brought with him a Ligurian queen, which he had procured on purpose to add to the value of the Pastor’s busy bees, and he was delighted to see how quickly her majesty made herself at home among her English subjects.

After a while, Mr. Spurgeon noticed that the little creatures appeared to have to fly so far afield, to “gather honey all the day,” that they seemed quite tired out when they reached the hives, or fell exhausted before they could get back to their homes. There was also much difficulty in keeping them alive through the winter; so he, reluctantly parted with them. Before he did so, however, he had one experience, connected with them, which he never forgot. On a calm summer’s evening, he was standing to watch them, when, without giving him any warning, hundreds of them settled on his clothes, and began crawling all over him. He rushed upstairs, stripped off all his garments, threw them quickly out of the bedroom window, and marvelous to relate, he escaped without a single sting.

One Monday morning, not long after removing to “Westwood,” the whole household was in a state of consternation because there had been a burglary during the night. On the Sabbath evening, a service had been held in the study, and a small window had been opened for ventilation. It was not noticed at the time for locking up, so it remained open, and made it a comparatively easy matter for a thief to enter. He did not get much for his pains, and his principal plunder almost led to his arrest. Mr. John B. Gough had given to Mr. Spurgeon a valuable stick as a token of his affection; this was amongst the burglar’s booty, and, after hammering out of shape the gold with which it was adorned, he offered it for sale at a pawnbroker’s in the Borough. It was possible still to read the name, C. H. Spurgeon, in the precious metal, so an assistant was despatched for the police; but, before they arrived, the man decamped, and was not seen again.

Annoying as the incident was, the Pastor always said that he was decidedly a gainer by the transaction. With the amount he received for the battered gold, he bought some books which were of more use to him than the handsome stick would ever have been. Then the Trustees of the Orphanage felt that, as he was the Treasurer of the various Institutions, and often had money, and documents of value, belonging to them, in his possession, he ought to have a safe in which to keep them, so they presented one to him. The burglar had thrown down, in the study, a number of lighted matches, and the loose paper, in various parts of the room were set on fire, so that a great conflagration might easily have resulted, if the Lord had not graciously prevented such a calamity. Thankfulness for this providential escape was followed by the recollection that, since the transfer of the property from the former owner, the premises had not been insured, so that the loss, in case of fire, would have been serious. That neglect was speedily remedied; and, by means of electric bells and other arrangements, special protection was provided for the future.

News of the burglary was published, in various papers, with considerable exaggeration; and, perhaps as the result of the publicity thus given, Mr. Spurgeon received a letter, purporting to have been written by the thief; and it bore so many marks of being a genuine epistle that it was really believed that it came from the man himself. Among other things, he said that he didn’t know it was “the horflings’ Spurgin who lived there, for he would not have robbed him, and he put the very pertinent question, “Why don’t you shut your windows and keep a dog?” From that time, dates the entry to “Westwood” of “Punch”-the pug concerning whom his master testified that he knew more than any dog ever ought to know!

One Thursday evening, when preaching at the Tabernacle, Mr. Spurgeon introduced his canine friend into the sermon, and turned to good account his pugnacious propensities-“I think that I have heard preachers who have seemed to me to bring out a doctrine on purpose to fight over it. I have a dog, that has a rug in which he sleeps; and when I go home tonight, he will bring it out, and shake it before me,-not that he particularly cares for his rug, but because he knows that I shall say, `I’ll have it,’ and then he will bark at me, and in his language say, `No, you won’t.’ There are some people who fetch out the doctrines of grace just in that way. I can see them trotting along with the doctrine of election just in order that some Arminian brother may dispute with them about it, and that then they may bark at him. Do not act so, beloved.”

In many of his letters from Mentone, Mr. Spurgeon mentioned his dog; a few extracts will show how fond he was of the intelligent creature— “I wonder whether Punchie thinks of his master. When we drove from the station here, a certain doggie barked at the horses in true Punchistic style, and reminded me of my old friend Punchie sending me his love pleased me very much… Poor doggie, pat him for me, and give him a tit-bit for my sake… I dreamed of old Punch; I hope the poor dog is better… Kind memories to all, including Punch. How is he getting on? I rejoice that his life is prolonged, and hope he will live till my return. May his afflictions be a blessing to him in the sweetening of his temper!… Tell Punchie, `Master is coming!'””Punchie,” on his part, was very much attached to his dear owner, except when Mr. Spurgeon had the gout, and then the old dog would not go near the poor sufferer. The faithful friend in the time of affliction was “Punch’s” son, “Gyp.” He was not as wise as his father; indeed, he was often called a stupid creature, and his master made a telling illustration out of his folly in barking at thunder. The paragraph may fittingly end the present chapter, for it shows how Mr. Spurgeon employed in his Lord’s service even the slightest incidents that occurred in his own home.

On that occasion, he wrote “The first time our young dog heard the thunder, it startled him. He leaped up, gazed around in anger, and then began to bark at the disturber of his peace. When the next crash came, he grew furious, and flew round the room, seeking to tear in pieces the intruder who dared thus to defy him. It was an odd scene. The yelping of a dog pitted against the artillery of heaven! Poor foolish creature, to think that his bark could silence, the thunderclap, or intimidate the tempest! What was he like? His imitators are not far to seek. Among us, at this particular juncture, there are men of an exceedingly doggish breed, who go about howling at their Maker. They endeavor to bark the Almighty out of existence, to silence the voice of His gospel, and to let Him know that their rest is not to be disturbed by His warnings. We need not particularize; the creatures are often heard, and are very fond of public note, even when it takes an unfriendly form. Let them alone. They present a pitiful spectacle. We could smile at them if we did not feel much more compelled to weep. The elements of a tragedy are wrapt up in this comedy. Today, they defy their Maker; but, tomorrow, they may be crashed beneath His righteous indignation. At any rate, the idea of fearing them must never occur to us; their loudest noise is vocalized folly; their malice is impotent, their fury is mere fume. `He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh the Lord shall have them in derision.'”


Preaching at the Tabernacle, on the text, “Jesus therefore, being wearied with His journey, sat thus on the well,” Mir. Spurgeon said— “It seems rather singular, but it is worthy of notice, that our Lord appears to have been more tired than His disciples were, for they had gone away into the city to buy meat; I suppose that He might have gone with them if He had not been more fatigued than they were,. He was quite worn out, and thoroughly spent; and so, while they went into Sychar to purchase provisions, He sat down on the well. I take it that, in all probability, the reason is this,-He had mental weariness associated with His bodily fatigue; and when the two things come together, they make a man wearied indeed. I know that there are some who fancy that, to think and to care for others, to preach and to teach, is not much of work. Well, my dear brother, I can assure you that you may keep on working much longer with your arm than you can with your brain; and I am speaking from experience when I say that careful thought, and great anxiety to do good, bring much wear and tear with them to a man’s whole constitution. And if the life is taken out of anyone in two ways at once,-by fatigue of body, and by fatigue of mind, too,- then you will see that such a man will necessarily be the first to give way.

“But my Lord, though He is very weary, has at last spied out the person for whom He is waiting and watching. Here she comes; and now His heart seems to beat more quickly, His eye is brighter than usual, He is not half so fatigued as He was. You may have seen the faint and tired hunter suddenly grow strong when, at last, he spies on the crag the chamois he has come to seek; or the fisherman standing wearily in the stream, holding his rod, and ready to go home to his long-needed meal, but, at last, the salmon begins to pull away at his line, now how strong a man he is! He will go on for an hour at that work, and he will not want to eat or drink. The whole of his being is in the fishing. So was it with my blessed Master. That woman was coming, and Christ was `all there,’ as u e say. He was ready to speak the right word,-a word in season to one who was weary,-to speak the word of admonition, or of comfort, or of invitation; and He is `all here’ at this moment. I thought, when I stood here tonight to speak to you, `I am constantly coming to the Tabernacle to talk to this great throng,’ and something seemed to say to me, `You ought to be glad to have such an opportunity.’ I thought, `Yes, and I am glad; and I will at my very best preach Christ to them as long as this tongue can move, for it is a delightful privilege to be allowed to tell men about my Master’s pardoning love.’ But, oh, if He were here in bodily presence, He would do it so much better than any of us can, for His heart is so much more full of love than our poor hearts are!”

MANY people have wondered how it was possible for Mr. Spurgeon to do all the work that he was able to perform, for so many years, with such happy results. He had efficient helpers in various departments of his service, and he was always ready to render to them their full meed of praise. Yet, with all the assistance upon which he could rely, there still remained for the chief worker a vast amount of toil which he could not delegate to anyone. He was a splendid organizer, and he could find employment suited to the capacity of many individuals with greatly varied qualifications; and while he could keep them all busily occupied, he was himself so quick in all his labor that he would probably do single-handed as much as all of them combined could accomplish.

The following description of a typical week’s work will afford at least a glimpse of the way in which the dear Pastor spent a considerable portion of his time, and it will also indicate some of the methods adopted by him in discharging the heavy responsibilities which devolved upon him. In such an active and far-reaching life as his was, no one week in the year could be quite like the rest, nor indeed did the occupations of any two days exactly resemble one another; but the particulars here given will supply all that needs to be known about a fairly representative week’s work.

The week must consist of seven days, for the Day of Rest was, in many respects, the beloved preacher’s busiest time; and, although he often tried hard to get a Sabbath for himself on the Wednesday, the ever-increasing and not always reasonable requests for services, all over the kingdom, frequently encroached upon the brief period of relaxation to which he was rightfully entitled, and which the claims of health imperatively demanded. He was, perhaps, all the more willing to take a long holiday in the winter because he had toiled so strenuously and almost continuously through all the other months of the year; though it must also be recorded that during his seasons of rest, he probably did as much as most men do when in full work. `The sermon had to be issued every week, and the magazine every month, material for the Almanacks had to be arranged, there were always some new books in course of preparation, many letters followed the absent minister wherever he might go, and the care of his own church and many others, and the many forms of holy service in which he was; interested, left all too little leisure for the weary brain and the oft-suffering body. But if his holiday was a time of toil, what must have been the pressure when, for weeks and months at a stretch, it was almost literally “all work and no play”?

In describing a typical week’s work, a beginning can most appropriately be made with an account of the preparation for the hallowed engagements of the Sabbath. Up to six o’clock, every Saturday evening, visitors were welcomed at “Westwood,” the dear master doing the honors of the garden in such a way that many, with whom he thus walked and talked, treasure the memory of their visit as a very precious thing. At the tea-table, the conversation was bright, witty, and always interesting; and after the meal was over, an adjournment was made to the study for family worship, and it was at these seasons that my beloved’s prayers were remarkable for their tender childlikeness, their spiritual pathos, and their intense devotion. He seemed to come as near to God as a little child to a loving father, and we were often moved to tears as he talked thus face to face with his Lord. At six o’clock, every visitor left, for Mr. Spurgeon would often playfully say, “Now, dear friends, I must bid you `Good-bye,’ and turn you out of this study; you know what a number of chickens I have to scratch for, and I want to give them a good meal tomorrow.” So, with a hearty “God bless you!” he shook hands with them, and shut himself in to companionship with his God. The inmates of the house went quietly about their several duties, and a holy silence seemed to brood over the place. What familiar intercourse with the Savior he so greatly loved, was then vouchsafed to him, we can never know, for, even while. I write, I hear a whisper, “The place, whereon thou standest is holy ground.” No human ear ever heard the mighty pleadings with God, for himself, and his people, which rose from his study on those solemn evenings; no mortal eyes ewer beheld him as he wrestled with the Angel of the covenant until he prevailed, and came back from his brook Jabbok with the message he was to deliver in his Master’s Name. His grandest and most fruitful sermons were those which cost him most soul-travail and spiritual anguish;-not in their preparation or arrangement, but in his; own overwhelming sense of accountability to God for the souls to whom he had to preach the gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Though he had the gift of utterance above many, preaching was to him no light or trifling task; his whole heart was absorbed in it, all his spiritual force was engaged in it, all the intellectual power, with which God had so richly endowed him, was pressed into this glorious service, and then laid humbly and thankfully at the feet of his Lord and Savior, to be used and blessed by Him according to His gracious will and purpose.

Sometimes, but not often, he would leave the study for a few moments, to seek me, and say, with a troubled tone in his clear voice, “Wiley, what shall I do? God has not given me my text yet.” I would comfort him as well as I could; and, after a little talk, he would return to his work, and wait and watch for the Word to be given. It was to me, a cause for peculiar thankfulness when I was able to suggest to him a passage from which he could preach; and, afterwards, in referring to the sermon, he seemed so pleased to say, “You gave me that text.”

Many years ago, on a Friday evening in Conference week, a number of the ministers met at “Westwood,” as was usual with them, to talk over the doings of the past days, and to enjoy a chat with the President in his own home. During the evening, it was suggested that each one should explain his method of procedure in the most important matter of sermon-making; and the idea found great favor with the little company. Many of the brethren responded, and told, more or less interestingly, their manner of preparation; but it was evident that all awaited with impatience the moment when “the dear Governor” should speak, and reveal to them the secrets of his Saturday nights’ work. Very eager were the faces turned to him as he sat, blissfully happy in his easy chair, the strain of the week over, and in full enjoyment of the free and holy fellowship which obtained on such occasions. I cannot recall his very words, but the purport of them was something like this — “Brethren, it is not easy for me to tell you precisely how I make my sermons. All through the week I am on the look-out for material that I can use on the Sabbath; but the actual work of arranging it is necessarily, left until Saturday evening, for every other moment is fully occupied in the Lord’s service. I have often said that my greatest difficulty is to fix my mind upon the particular texts which are to be the subjects of discourse, on the following day; F5 or, to speak more correctly, to know what topics the Holy Spirit would have me bring before the congregation. As soon as any passage of Scripture really grips my heart and soul, I concentrate my whole attention upon it, look at the precise meaning of the original, closely examine the context so as to see the special aspect of the text in its surroundings, and roughly jot down all the thoughts that occur to me concerning the subject, leaving to a later period the orderly marshalling of them for presentation to my hearers.

“When I have reached this point, I am often stopped by an obstacle which is only a trouble to those of us whose sermons are regularly printed. I turn to my own Bible, which contains a complete record of all my published discourses; and, looking at these I have preached upon the text, I find, perhaps, that the general run of thought is so similar to that which I have marked out, that I have to abandon the subject, and seek another. Happily, a text of Scripture is like a diamond with many facets, which sparkles and flashes; whichever way it is held, so that, although I may have already printed, several sermons upon a particular passage, there is still a fresh setting; possible for the priceless gem, and I can go forward with my work. I like next to see what others have to say about my text; and, as a rule, my experience is that, if its teaching is perfectly plain, the commentators, to a man, explain it at great length, whereas, with equal unanimity, they studiously avoid or evade the verses which Peter might have described as `things hard to be understood.’ I am very much obliged to them for leaving me so many nuts to crack; but I should have been just as grateful if they had made more use of their own theological teeth or nut-crackers. However, among the many who have written upon the Word, I generally find some who can at least help to throw a side light upon it; and when I have arrived at that part of my preparation, I am glad to call my clear wife to my assistance. She reads to me until I get a clear idea of the whole subject; and, gradually, I am guided to the best form of outline, which I copy out, on a half-sheet of notepaper, for use in the pulpit. This relates only to the morning sermon; for the evening, I am usually content if I can decide upon the text, and have a general notion of the lessons to be drawn from it, leaving to the Lord’s-day afternoon the final arrangement of divisions, sub-divisions, and illustrations.

This is as nearly as I can recollect, the dear preacher’s own explanation of his mode of preparing his discourses; and when I have called my readers’ attention to the accompanying facsimile of the rough notes and jottings made by him on one of those memorable Saturday evenings, I may resume my own portion of the narrative. “Will you come and help me tonight, Wiley?” he would say, as if I were doing him a favor, though the service was one which an angel might have coveted. I always found, when I went into the study, an easy chair drawn up to the table, by his side, and a big heap of books piled one upon the other, and opened at the place where he desired me to read. With those old volumes around him, he was like a honey-bee amid the flowers; he seemed to know how to extract and carry off the sweet spoils from the most unpromising-looking tome among them. His acquaintance with them was so familiar and complete, that he could at once place his hand on any author who had written upon the portion of Scripture which was engaging his attention; and I was, in this pleasant fashion, introduced to many of the Puritan and other divines whom, otherwise, I might not have known. These seasons were of such special delight to me that I gave a brief account of them in my book, Ten Years of My Life; and, as the description then came fresh from my heart, and warm with the joy of sacred fellowship, I prefer to transcribe it here, rather than trust to my memory for details—

“For some time, it has been the dear Pastor’s custom, as soon as the text for the Lord’s-day morning service has been given him by the Master, to call me into the study, and permit me to read the various Commentaries on the subject-matter in hand. Never was occupation more delightful, instructive, and spiritually helpful; my heart has burned within me, as the meaning of some passage of God’s Word has been opened up, and the hidden stores of wisdom and knowledge have been revealed; or when the marrow and fatness of a precious promise or doctrine have been spread like a dainty banquet before my longing eyes. Shall I ever forget those solemn evenings when the sufferings of the Lord Jesus were the theme of tearful meditation; — when, with `love and grief our hearts dividing,’ we followed Him throughout the night on which He was betrayed, weeping, like the daughters of Jerusalem, and saying, `There was never sorrow like unto His sorrow;’ — or the more rapturous time when the topic for the morrow was to be, `the exceeding riches of His grace,’ and `we were fairly bewildered by the inexhaustible treasures of love and mercy to be found in that fair `land of Havilah, where there is gold’? Gracious hours are those thus spent, and unspeakably precious to my soul; for, while the servant of the Lord is reaping the corn of the Kingdom for the longing multitude who expect to be fed by his hand, I can glean between the sheaves, and gather the `handfuls of purpose’ which are let fall so lovingly.

“There come delightful pauses in my reading, when the book is laid down, and I listen to the dear voice of my beloved as he explains what I cannot understand, or unfold meanings which I fail to see, often condensing into a few clear, choice sentences whole pages of those discursive old divines in whom he delights, and pressing from the gathered thoughts all the richest nectar of their hidden sweetness. Thus, a poor prisoner has the first sip of the `wines on the lees, well-refined,’-the first morsel from the loaves with which the thousands are to be fed and refreshed on the morrow. How shall I sufficiently thank God for this drink of the brook by the way, this `holy place’ within my home where the Lord deigns to meet with me, and draw out my heart in adoration and worship?”

Lord’s-day morning. — Mr. Spurgeon always set a good example to his people by being early at the sanctuary. He usually reached the Tabernacle at least half an hour before the time for commencing the service. During that interval, he attended to any matters that were of special urgency, selected the hymns that were to be sung, and arranged with the precentor the tunes best adapted to them; and the remaining minutes were spent in prayer with all the deacons and elders who were not already on duty elsewhere. The dear preacher himself greatly valued that season of devotion, and his sermons contain many references to the petitions presented by the brethren in his vestry before joining in the public worship of the great congregation. During the thirty years that he preached in the beautiful building he had so largely helped to erect, there was practically no difference in the size of his audience, for the Tabernacle was always crowded, though sometimes the number of friends unable to gain admission, when the outer gates were closed, was larger than on other occasions. Punctually at eleven o’clock, Mr. Spurgeon was seen descending the steps leading to the platform, followed by the long train of officebearers, and, after a brief pause for silent supplication, the service began. There is no necessity to describe in detail even one of those memorable assemblies. In the course of his long ministry, many hundreds of thousands of persons, from all parts of the globe, heard him proclaim that gospel which became to multitudes of them the power of God unto salvation; while, happily, by means of the printed sermons, the messages he delivered continue to reach an ever-widening circle of readers, not only in our own land and language, but in other climes and in the many Strange tongues into which the precious discourses have been and still are being translated.

Mr. Spurgeon himself often said that the pulpit was his throne, and that, when preaching, he envied no monarch in all the world, nor felt the slightest desire to exchange places with any man upon the face of the earth. Yet was there, even to him, an inner shrine-the very holy of holies,-which was more sacred still. Many times he has testified that, when leading the great congregation in prayer, he has been so rapt in adoration, and so completely absorbed in the supplication or thanksgiving he has been presenting, that he has quite forgotten all his surroundings, and has felt even a measure of regret, upon closing his petition, and opening his eyes, to find that he was still in the flesh, in the company of men of like passions with himself, instead of being in the immediate presence of the Most High, sharing in the higher worship of the holy angels and the spirits of just men made perfect. Mr. D. L. Moody must have been very deeply in sympathy with Mr. Spurgeon upon this matter, for he declared that, greatly as he had been blessed every time he heard the Pastor preach, he had been even more impressed as he had heard him pray. Other notable servants of Christ have borne a similar testimony.

The service being ended, — if it was the second Sabbath in the month, the Pastor joined the large company of communicants who usually filled the spacious lecture-hall; and there, around, the table of their Lord, another half-hour of hallowed Christian fellowship was enjoyed, completing and consummating the blessing received in the public assembly. To many of the most earnest workers of the Tabernacle Church, the morning was the only time when they could meet with their brethren and sisters in Christ in their own house of prayer for the afternoon and evening were devoted to Sunday-school and mission work, open-air preaching, or the many forms of Christian service in which they were engaged. The Pastor constantly referred to this happy arrangement; and urged others of the members to adopt the same method of both getting good and doing good, as it would help to develop their own gifts and graces, and it would also make the more room for the unconverted who desired to come to hear the Word at night.

Each Sabbath, except the second, the ordinance of the Lord’s supper was observed at the close of the evening service,-the first Lord’s-day evening in each month being the time for the great communion the Tabernacle, when the area and the larger part of the first gallery were reserved for communicants, and many hundreds of spectators were able to remain in other parts of the building. It was a most impressive scene,-sublime in its simplicity,-and those who have ever taken part in it can never forget it. Mr. Spurgeon had long held and taught that the apostolic precedents all appeared to indicate that the celebration of the sacred supper should take place each Lord’s-day, and, therefore, whether at home or abroad, he always attended the communion every Sabbath if it was possible, and he often bore his willing witness that the frequent participation in the holy feast increased rather than diminished its value as a constant reminder of Him who said to His disciples, “This do in remembrance of Me.”

On every Sabbath morning in the. month, except the second, there was usually a long procession of friends from the country, or from foreign lands, waiting for just a shake of the hand and a hearty greeting from the Pastor; and it was interesting to notice how quickly he recognized those whom he had seen before, even if years had elapsed since they last met. All through the summer season, some hundreds of visitors from the United States helped, at each service, to swell the contingents from other parts; and most of them afterwards sought to secure a personal interview with the great preacher to whom they had been listening. Among them were usually some of the most noted of the American ministers of various denominations, to whom a hearty invitation was given to take part in the evening service, or the prayer-meeting the next night. Mr. Spurgeon loved to quote what one of these brethren said to him-“Well, Brother Spurgeon, I was here ten years ago, and heard you preach, and I find that you have not altered your doctrine in the least. You stand today exactly where you stood then.” “Yes,” replied the Pastor, “and if you come again in another ten years, you will, by the grace of God, find me still preaching the very same gospel, unless the Lord hats, in the meantime, called me home.” Among the very special friends, from across the Atlantic, were such divines as Dr. John Hall, Dr. W. M. Taylor, Dr. Cuyler, Dr. Armitage, Dr. MacArthur, Dr. Lonmer,and Dr. H. L,. Wayland; and they were sure to be invited to call during the week, at the Pastor’s home, and some of them had the still greater delight of spending a quiet day with him in the country, when that rare privilege was possible. Others, at mutually-convenient times, visited the Orphanage, and the rest of the Institutions, under his guidance, and thus they heard from his own lips the charming story of how the Lord had led him and blessed him in connection with all the different branches of his service.

The informal reception being over at last, the Pastor was able to leave,- unless, as not seldom happened, some poor trembling soul was waiting in the hope of having a word or two of cheer and direction from him, or one of the earnest workers, always on the watch for anxious enquirers, came forward, with radiant face, bringing one or another who had sought and found the Savior either during or since the service. While Mr. Spurgeon was residing at “Helensburgh House,” he was able to return home to dinner on the Lord’s-day; but, after removing to “Westwood,” he soon found that the distance was too great, so he remained for the afternoon within easy reach of the Tabernacle, with friends who were only too glad to minister in any way to the comfort and refreshing of the one who had been so greatly blessed to them. Sometimes, there was a sick member whom the Pastor felt that he must visit after dinner; otherwise, he had an hour or so of rest and Christian conversation before retiring, at about four o,’clock, for the preparation of his evening discourse. Some, who were very little children then, can probably remember the injunction given to them on such occasions, “You must be very quiet, for Mr. Spurgeon is getting his sermon.” Ere he was summoned to tea, as a rule, the brief notes which he was going to use in the pulpit were duly arranged. The evening sermon was usually shorter than the one delivered in the morning, and somewhat more evangelistic, in order to be specially adapted to the larger number of casual worshippers who might then be present. Yet, often, that order was changed; and the morning discourse more nearly resembled an earnest evangelist address, while the sermon in the evening was a closely-reasoned exposition of the doctrines of grace, which again and again led to the conversion of more sinners than did some of the appeals directly addressed to them, and which seemed as if they must reach the hearers’ hearts.

For some years, once a quarter, the Tabernacle was thrown open, on the Lord’s-day evening, to anybody who liked to come, the members of the church and congregation being asked to stay away for that night. It is not many preachers who could make such an experiment, but it was crowned with abundant success from the first. Mr. Spurgeon said, afterwards, that his regular hearers had so loyally complied with his request that they should worship elsewhere for that one occasion, that, in addition to the seat-stewards and other workers who were present, he could not recognize half-a-dozen persons in the whole assembly of five or six thousand people. The discourses delivered to such a promiscuous audience were, naturally, evangelistic, and many were brought to the Lord through these special services.

Before the evening worship, on ordinary Sabbaths, the Pastor often saw an enquirer, or a candidate for church-fellowship, who found it difficult to get to the Tabernacle during the week; and, after preaching, except on communion nights, however weary he might be, he was never too tired to point a poor sinner to the Savior, and to act the part of the true shepherd of souls to those who were seeking entrance into the fold. By the time he reached his home, he had certainly “earned a night’s repose;” yet his day’s labor was not always finished even then; for, if he was going to preach a long way in the country, on the morrow, he was obliged to start at once revising the report of the discourse which he had delivered in the morning. That, however, was quite an exceptional arrangement; and, as a general rule, his first work, every Monday, was the revision of the Lord’s-day morning’s sermon.

This was always a labor of love, yet it was a labor; and it is not surprising that, during a very severe illness, when his friends induced him to see an eminent physician, the doctor urged and almost ordered him to abandon this heavy task so soon after the great strain of the Sabbath services. But the Pastor knew that, to delay the publication even for a week, would materially affect the circulation; and he also said that, if he was to continue his gifts to the Lord’s cause on the scale to which he had been accustomed, he must keep all his literary work up to the highest mark, and he could not bear the thought of lessening the help that he saw to be required in so many different directions. He used also playfully to say that the earth itself would cease to revolve if the sermon did not come out every Thursday morning; and, in advising the students occasionally to follow his early example, and to write out their discourses in full,-but not to read or recite them,-he told them that the revision of his sermons for the press gave him all the benefits that other preachers might derive from writing theirs.

As soon as the messenger’ brought the reporter’s manuscript, Mr. Spurgeon glanced at the number of folios,-to see whether the discourse was longer or shorter than usual, so that he might judge whether he had to lengthen or to reduce it in order that it might, when printed, fill the requisite space,-twelve octavo pages;-and at once began revising it. The fascimile, on the opposite page, will show how carefully and thoroughly this part of his work was done; it will also have, to many readers, a peculiarly pathetic interest from the fact that it formed part of the last sermon he ever corrected, and that, while writing in it about the glories of Heaven, he was describing what he was himself to witness on the very day that the discourse was to be read,-the never-to-be-forgotten January 31, 1892.

After Mr. Spurgeon had made the alterations which he deemed advisable, Mr. Keys, who sat on his left-hand in the study, was entrusted with the duty of verifying quotations, and seeing that the punctuation and other minor matters were all in order. Then, when about a third of the manuscript was ready, the messenger started off with it to the printers, returning for a second supply, and sometimes even for a third if the work of revision was at all delayed.

(As this, chapter mentions the reporting of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons, it may be of interest to insert what Mr. T. A. Reed said of him in his lecture on “Speaking and Speakers from a Shorthand Writer’s Point of View”-“When a speaker has a distinct articulation combined with a clear strong voice, the reporter who has to follow him is in Elysium;-that is, if the utterance is not too rapid, or the style of composition too difficult. The ,combination, however, is rare. It has, a very striking example in Mr. Spurgeon, who, without apparent effort, makes himself distinctly heard at the farthest end of the Metropolitan Tabernacle. To a clear, ringing, musical voice, he adds an almost perfect articulation. Canon Liddon is another illustration of the kind of elocution I have been speaking of. Preaching under the dome of St. Paul’s, his voice, clear and rich, penetrates the most distant aisles of the great cathedral, where the tones of an, ordinary speaker would die away unheard, save as taint reverberations. Canon Farrar also has an excellent voice, but it is not so melodious as either Mr. Spurgeon’s or Canon Liddon’s ….

“The average rate of public speaking is about 120 words a minute. Some speakers vary greatly in their speech, not only on different occasions, but in the course of the same speech. I have, for example, a memorandum of a sermon by Mr. Spurgeon, showing that, during the first ten minutes, he spoke at the rate of 123 words; a minute; the second ten minutes, 132; the third ten minutes, 128; the fourth ten minutes, 155; and the remaining nine minutes, 162; giving an average of about 140 words a minute. Another sermon shows an average of 125 words a minute,-namely, the first ten minutes, 119; the second ten minutes, 118; the third ten minutes, 139; and the remaining sixteen minutes, 126. Taking the average of a number of sermons, his rate may be reckoned to be nearly 140 words a minute.”


HERE was a little breathing-space for the busy toiler after the boy was sent away with the first portion of the sermon manuscript but, usually, other work at once claimed the Pastor’s attention. On his right-hand, and represented in the view here given, his private secretary, Mr. J. W. Harrald, had been busy opening the morning’s leters, and arranging those that required immediate answers. If there were any that he knew would be specially cheering, they were always placed where they would at once catch the eye of “the dear Governor.” This was always the case with large and unexpected donations for the Lord’s work under his care, — such as a Cheque for £500, which came as a substantial token of a father’s gratitude for Mr. Spurgeon’s efforts to be the means of blessing to the gentleman’s son at Mentone. Sometimes, there were anonymous letters, — complaining, or abusive, or even blasphemous, — and it was with peculiar satisfaction that they were prevented from ever wounding the beloved servant of the Lord for whom they were intended by those who wrote them. The Pastor occasionally dictated replies to a few of the letters before continuing his sermon-revising; but, more often, with his own hand, he wrote the answers in full, for he never spared himself if he could, give greater pleasure to others. In later years, as the number of donors to the various Institutions; increased so rapidly, he wets obliged to have a set of receipts lithographed in facsimile; but, even when using these, he added a few words which greatly enhanced their value in the opinion of those who received them. He found it necessary also to have a considerable variety of lithographed letters prepared, ready to send to applicants for admission to the College and Orphanage, or persons seeking situations, asking him to read manuscripts, or to write the Prefaces for new books, or to do any of the thousand and one things by which so many people sought to steal away his precious moments, and. at the same time to augment the revenue of the Post Office.

It was usually far into the afternoon before the last folio of the sermon was reached, and the messenger was able to start with it to the printing-office. Then there were more letters to be answered, possibly books to be reviewed, magazine proofs to be read, or other literary work to be advanced to the next stage; and it was with the utmost difficulty that even a few minutes could be secured for a quiet walk in the lovely garden that, all day long, seemed to be inviting the ceaseless worker to come and admire its many charms. He could hear the voice of duty calling him in another direction, and soon it was time to get ready to start for the Tabernacle.

The clock in the illustration opposite shows that, when the photograph was taken, the Pastor had arranged to be at Newington at half-past five, either meeting the elders, and considering with them the very important matters relating to the church’s spiritual state which specially came under their notice, or presiding at the first part of a church-meeting, which often lasted throughout the whole evening, and was mainly occupied with the delightful business of receiving new members. As seven o’clock approached, he left the meeting in the charge of his brother, or one of the deacons or elders, that he might be at liberty to begin the prayer-meeting at the appointed hour. Sometimes, if he had engagements which would prevent him from being at the Tabernacle on Tuesday or Wednesday, he would get his sermon-revision completed before dinner, and, directly afterwards, go up to see enquirers and candidates, — a congenial but exhausting form of service which often continued right up to the hour of prayer.

On certain special Mondays in the year, the annual meetings of some of the smaller Societies were held, and on those occasions Mr. Spurgeon was at the lecture-hall in time to give out the “grace before tea.” His presence was greatly prized by the earnest and energetic sisters who carried on the various works of charity and beneficence; and they were much encouraged by his hearty words of cheer, and by the financial help which always accompanied them. It was really surprising to, notice, year after year, how much he varied his addresses at these gatherings, for the audience mainly consisted of the same persons each time. The three principal Societies were the Poor Ministers’ Clothing Society, the Ladies’ Maternal Society, and the Ladies’ Benevolent Society, — or, as they were sometimes humorously described, the big box Society, the little box Society and the Christmas box Society, only that the bounty of the third was bestowed all the year round, as well as at Christmas time, when there was an extra manifestation of generosity. The dear Pastor found a constant theme for merriment in the Reports presented at these meetings. At one time, the ladies recorded that so many “cases” had been relieved; and when he pointed out objections to that term, they substituted “objects” with no better success; but the climax was reached when it was announced that so many “sheets, blankets, pillow-cases, and other garments” had been given away during the year! Such harmless fun brightened up the proceedings that might otherwise have become monotonous, and it was perhaps indulged in on purpose to show the good sisters how to associate as much cheerfulness as possible with work that must often have sorely depressed their spirits as they heard of the poverty among ministers of the gospel and other tried children of God.

A little before seven o’clock, the happy season of talk was brought to a Close, a brief prayer for a blessing on the work and workers followed, and then the whole company ascended to the Tabernacle for the prayer meeting. All who are familiar with. Mr. Spurgeon’s writings, know that he regarded the prayer-meeting as the thermometer of the church; and, judging by that test, the spiritual temperature of the large community under his charge stood very high. Not that he could ever induce all the members to be regularly present on the Monday night; but, for many years, the numbers attending filled a large portion of the area and first gallery, and the world-wide testimony was that the meeting was altogether unique, the only one that at all approached it being Pastor Archibald G. Brown’s Saturday night prayer-meeting at the East London Tabernacle. Nor was it remarkable simply for its size, but the whole spirit of the gathering made it a source of peculiar helpfulness to all who were in constant attendance, while occasional visitors carried away with them even to distant lands influences and impulses which they never wished to lose or to forget. Many years ago, Mr. Spurgeon gave, in The Sword and the Trowel, detailed reports of these hallowed evenings, in the hope that the record might be useful in awakening new interest in what he always regarded as the most important meeting of the week. He often said that it was not surprising if churches did not prosper, when they regarded the prayer-meeting as of so little value that one evening in the week was made to suffice for a feeble combination of service and prayer-meeting.

The gatherings at the Tabernacle on Monday nights were constantly varied. Usually, some of “our own men” laboring in the country or abroad were present, and took part, while missionaries going out to China, or North Africa, or other parts of the foreign field, or returning home on furlough, helped to add to the spiritual profit of the proceedings. The Pastor always gave one or more brief addresses, and never allowed the interest to flag; and, all too soon, half-past eight arrived, and the meeting had to be concluded, for many of the workers had other prayer-meetings or services following closely upon that one.

Mr. Spurgeon’s day’s work was not yet complete, for various visitors were waiting for an interview; and, with them, some candidates or enquirers needed and secured a few precious minutes, — the conversation and prayer at such times being something to be remembered with gratitude as long as they lived. On some Monday nights, an extra service was squeezed in; and, leaving the Tabernacle a little before eight o’clock, the Pastor preached at Christ Church, Upton Chapel, Walworth Road Chapel, or some other neighboring place of worship; or spoke at some special local gathering, such as a meeting at the Newington Vestry Hall on behalf of the Hospital Sunday Fund. When, at last, he was really en route for home, his first question was, — “Has the sermon come?” and the second, — “What is the length of it?” If the reply was, “Just right,” it was joyfully received, for the labor of adding or cutting out any made the task of revising the proof still more arduous; and, if a distant preaching engagement had to be fulfilled the next day, the revision was obliged to be completed that night, or very early in the morning. On one occasion, when the London Baptist Association Committee met at “West-wood” for breakfast and business, it transpired that their host had taken time by the forelock, and begun his day’s work at four o’clock.

Ordinarily, the correction of the proof of the sermon was completed by about eleven o’clock on Tuesday morning, leaving a couple of hours for replying to letters, and attending to the most pressing literary work. When there were only four Thursdays in the month, an extra sermon was required to make the usual number for the monthly part, and that entailed heavy labor. The discourse available for this purpose were the shorter ones delivered on the Sabbath and Thursday evenings; and, as a rule, two or three pages had to be added to them. The facsimile on the opposite page is a good example of the method adopted in lengthening the sermon which had been set up from the reporter’s transcript, unrevised, and it is specially suitable to the present volume as it contains a striking passage in the dear preacher’s autobiography.

Tuesday afternoon, with rare exceptions, was devoted to the truly pastoral and important work of seeing candidates and enquirers at the Tabernacle; and in no part of his service was Mr. Spurgeon more happy and more completely at home. On reaching his vestry, at three o’clock, he always found some of his elders already at their post; and usually they had, by that time, Conversed with the first arrivals, and given them the cards which were to introduce them to the Pastor. If he was satisfied with the person’s own testimony, he put the name of the friend upon the list of those to be proposed for church-fellowship, and indicated the elder or deacon to be appointed as visitor, to make the necessary enquiries before the applicant could be admitted to baptism and membership. In the course of three or four hours, twenty, thirty, or even forty individuals were thus seen; and anyone who has had much experience, in such service knows how exhausting it is. Sometimes, the number was smaller, or it was made up with those who came about other matters. These were seen by Mr. Harrald, or the elders; and interviews with the Pastor were arranged if they were deemed advisable. At five o’clock, a brief interval was secured for tea; and, during that half-hour, the Pastor compared notes with his helpers concerning, those with whom he had conversed, and related specially interesting incidents which some of the candidates had described to him. Then he returned to the happy task, and kept on as long as any were waiting; and, often, as the crowning of his day’s labor, he went down to the lecture-hall, to preside at the annual meeting of one or other of the Tabernacle Societies, such as the Sunday-school, the Almshouses Day schools, the Evangelists’ Association, the Country Mission, the Loan Tract Society, or the Spurgeon’s Sermons’ Tract Society. He frequently said that the number of Institutions, Societies, Missions, and Sunday-schools connected with the Tabernacle was so large that it would have been possible to arrange for an anniversary of one of them every week in the year! The secretaries or leaders of many of these works always secured his presence and help at their meetings, if possible; and he used to describe the lecture-hall as his happy hunting-ground where he found recruits for the College. Among the most successful ministers and missionaries at home and abroad at the present time, are several who tremblingly spoke before him, for the first time, at these week-night gatherings. Some of them might scarcely recognize themselves by the description the beloved President gave of them then, as he pictured the “fledglings, with their callow wings, trying to soar away to the empyrean, but falling down flop into the arena!”

Sometimes, instead of meeting with a few hundreds of friends; in the lecture-hall, the Pastor presided over many thousands in the Tabernacle. One such gathering took place on the night when the Jubilee Singers sang, and, by that one effort, the sum of L220 was added to the funds of the Fisk University; another notable meeting was held when our own black brethren, Johnson and Richardson and their wives, had their farewell before proceeding to Africa, “the land of their fathers;” — and an equally memorable occasion was the evening when Mr. John B. Gough gave one of his marvelous oratorical displays on behalf of the Pastors’ College and, in recognition of his kindness, the Pastor presented to him a complete set of his sermons. At other times, Mr. Spurgeon was not the chairman of the meeting; but he helped to contribute to the success of the proceedings by delivering an earnest address in aid of the Primitive Methodist Missionary Society, the Liberation Society, or some other great public movement for which the Tabernacle had been lent, and for which his personal advocacy was also desired.

Wednesday was the only possible time available as a mid-week Sabbath; and whenever it could be secured for rest, its benefits were immediately manifest. Each year, on his return from Mentone, Mr. Spurgeon told his secretary to keep his diary clear of all engagements on that day; but, alas! soon one, and then another, and yet others, had to be given up in response to the importunate appeals to which the self-sacrificing preacher had not the heart to say, “No,” although he knew that the inevitable result would be a breakdown in health, and the canceling for a time of all arrangements for extra services. Then, when he appeared to have recovered, the same process would be repeated, with an exactly similar sequel; but the requests for sermons, speeches, and lectures poured in upon him even during his worst illnesses, and it always pained him when he felt that he must refuse them.

But there were some red-letter days when, with a congenial companion, he would go off for a long drive into the country, as described in Vol. 3, Chapter 76. Yet, even then, before he started in the morning, or after he returned at night, he often accomplished what most other people would have considered enough for a hard day’s work. When there was only two or three hours available for a drive, a favorite route was over the Shirley Hills, and through Addington Park. The Archbishop of Canterbury kindly sent, each year, a card giving the right of free passage through his spacious grounds, and he, on several occasions, expressed his wish to have the pleasure of entertaining Mr. Spurgeon at Addington. On the acceptance of one invitation to lunch, Dr. Benson greeted his guest very heartily, and, pointing to his butler and footman, said, “There are two members of your congregation, Mr. Spurgeon. When I am in residence at Lambeth, they always go to the Tabernacle. I don’t name them, for I would do the same myself if I had the chance. When your coachman gets round to the tables, he will recognize another Tabernacle attendant; and I can truly say that they are all a credit to the instruction they receive from you.” This testimony was very pleasing to the dear Pastor, and he was further cheered by hearing of others on the estate who were readers of his sermons. The two preachers spent a very enjoyable time together; and, later on, during Mr. Spurgeon’s long illness, one of the letters which gave him great comfort was written by the Primate. In his friendly intercourse with the Tabernacle Pastor, Dr. Benson followed in the footsteps of one of his own predecessors, for, during the time that the bill for the abolition of church rates was before Parliament, Archbishop Tait frequently consulted Mr. Spurgeon upon several of the details of the measure.

Sometimes, instead of going through Addington Park, Mr. Spurgeon paid a visit to the Bishop of Rochester at Selsdon Park. A very intimate friendship existed between Bishop Thorold and the Pastor, and they enjoyed many happy hours together in the Selsdon home and garden. Usually, each year, as the time approached for the preparation of the addresses to be delivered in connection with his episcopal visitation, the Bishop invited Mr. Spurgeon to spend a long quiet day with him in prayer and conversation upon such matters as would help to put him in a right state of heart for the responsible task before him. On several occasions, he also visited his friend at “Westwood;” and the season of spiritual fellowship in the study must have been mutually profitable, for, when it was over, and the visitor was gone, Mr. Spurgeon always remarked, “Oh, we have had such a delightful time of talk and prayer together!” During the Pastor’s great illness, the Bishop called more than once to express his deep personal sympathy with the beloved sufferer, and his wife; and he wrote or sent many times to make tender, loving enquiries concerning the invalid.

One letter of Bishop Thorold’s, relating to Mr. Spurgeon’s visit to him, has a very special interest now that both of them have entered into “the glory.” When the Pastor published The Clue of the Maze, he sent a copy to his friend, who at once wrote —

“Selsdon Park,
“Aug. 31, 1885.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Your remarkable book has reached me, with its affectionate inscription, which I prize even more.

“Perhaps, some day, in the City of our King, we may look back at our stroll under the Selsdon elms, and our prayer in the little chapel, and feel them to have been an earnest of the glory at hand.

“Ever your brother in Jesus Christ,


Thursday morning was principally devoted to letter-writing and literary work in general. Mr. Spurgeon’s position naturally brought him into correspondence with vast numbers of people all over the world; and he willingly wrote those thousands of letters, which are now of almost priceless value to their possessor. Yet he often felt that he could have employed his time to far better purpose. Again and again, he sorrowfully said, “I am only a poor clerk, driving the pen hour after hour; here is another whole morning gone, and nothing done but letters, letters, letters!” When reminded of the joy and comfort he was ministering to so many troubled hearts by that very drudgery, he agreed that it was work for the Lord as truly as the preaching in which he so much more delighted. Still, we often felt that quite an unnecessary addition to his already too-heavy load was made by the thoughtless and often frivolous communication, to which he was expected personally to reply. Perhaps someone says, “Then he should not have replied to them.” Yes, probably anybody but C. H. Spurgeon would have thrown many of them, unanswered, into the wastepaper basket; but his kind heart prompted him ever to minister to the pleasure and profit of other people, whatever the cost to himself might be. Yet even he sometimes mildly protested against the unreasonableness of his correspondents, as the accompanying paragraph testifies —

“No sooner was it known that 1 was going to Scotland for rest, than I received requests for sermons, not only from a large number of Scotch towns, and from places on each of the three lines of railway, but I was entreated just to make a few hours’ stay, and preach in North Wales, as also on the Cumberland coast, which, as everybody knows, are both on the road to Scotland if you choose to make them so! How many pence I have been fined, in the form of postage for replies to these insanely kind demands, I will not calculate; but it is rather too absurd. I am told, over and over again, that I could stop two hours, and go on by the next train; and this being done at a dozen places, when should I reach Scotland? This, too, when a man is out for a holiday!

“Alas! the holiday itself had to be postponed for a while, through continued ill-health. Now, it may seem a very simple thing to write to these good people, and say, ‘No;’ but it is not so. It pains me to refuse anyone; and to decline to preach is so contrary to all my heart’s promptings, that I had rather be flogged than feel compelled to do it.”

If Mr. Spurgeon’s correspondence was not quite as burdensome as usual, or if he had literary work that had to be done, — when the weather permitted, he liked to retire to this favorite retreat, where the hours fled all too swiftly as he wrote his comment on the Psalms, or some of the other books that now remain as permanent memorials of his studious and industrious life.

After dinner, the Pastor’s definite preparation for the evening service began, though the subject had probably been, as he often said, “simmering’“ in his mind all the morning. The Saturday evening process was to a great extent repeated, but one of his secretaries had the privilege of looking up anything that might help him to get the true meaning of his text. His private study, commonly called “the den,” became, on such occasions, his place for secret retirement and prayer; and very joyously he generally came forth, carrying in his hand his brief pulpit-notes; though, at other times, the message he was to deliver only came to him just in time.

For many years, Mr. Spurgeon had, on Thursday evening, in the Tabernacle lecture-hall, from six o’clock till nearly seven, what he termed “The Pastor’s prayer-meeting.” This was an extra gathering, specially convened for the purpose of pleading for a blessing upon the Word he was about to preach; and most refreshing and helpful it always proved both to himself and the people. From the New Park Street days, he had made little or no difference between the services on the Lord’s-day and on week-nights; and, throughout the whole course of his ministry, the Thursday evening worship afforded an opportunity for the attendance of many Christian workers of all denominations, who were not able to be present on the Sabbath; and, among them, were numerous Church of England clergymen and Nonconformist ministers. At the close, several of these hearers desired a few minutes conversation with the preacher, so that it was late before he could get away; and then, though not weary of his work, he was certainly weary in it.

On Friday morning, the usual routine of answering correspondence had, to some extent, to give way to the President’s more urgent work of preparation for his talk to the students of the College. He regarded this part of his service as so important that he devoted all his powers of heart and mind to it, and it was indeed a rich store of mental and spiritual instruction that he carried up, each week, to his “school or the prophets.” Hundreds of “our own men” have testified that, greatly as they profited by the rest of their College curriculum, Mr. Spurgeon’s Friday afternoon class was far beyond everything else in its abiding influence upon their life and ministry. With such a responsive and appreciative audience, he was at his very best; and both student, and ministers have often declared that, not even in his; most brilliant pulpit utterances, hats he ever excelled, or even equaled, what it was their delight to hear from his lip, in those never-to-be-forgotten days. From three till about five o’clock, there, was a continuous stream of wit and wisdom, counsel and warning, exhortation and doctrine, all converging to the one end of helping the men before him to become good ministers of Jesus Christ. Then, when the class was dismissed, another hour, or more, was ungrudgingly devoted to interviews with any of the brethren who desired personally to consult the President; and that this privilege was highly prized was very evident from the way in which it was, exercised.

Now and then, the Friday afternoon was made even more memorable by a special sermon to the students, at the close of which the Lord’s supper was observed, the whole service being peculiarly helpful to the spiritual life of the brethren. On other occasions, students from Harley House, or Regent’s Park, or Cheshunt College paid a fraternal visit to Newington; and, in due course, the Pastors’ College men returned the visit. At such times, Presidents, tutors, and students vied with one another in making their guests feel at home, and in conveying to them all possible pleasure and profit.

Perhaps, between six and seven o’clock, Mr. Spurgeon was free to start for home; but, more likely, there was another anniversary meeting — possibly, of the Evening Classes connected with the College, — at which he had promised to preside or there was some mission-hall, at which he had engaged to preach or speak; or there was a sick or dying member of the church to whom he had sent word that he would call on his way back from the College. It was utterly impossible for him to make any systematic pastoral visitation of his great flock; — that work was undertake, n by the elders; — but he found many opportunities of visiting his members; and his sermons contain frequent references to the triumphant deathbed scenes; that he had witnessed. He could not often conduct funeral services, yet there were some cases in which he felt bound to make an exception to his usual rule, as he did also in the matter of weddings. The Sword and the Trowel F6 has recorded typical instances of how thoroughly, on such occasion, he sorrowed with those who wept, and rejoiced with those who were full of happiness. Add to all this, the constant interruptions from callers, and the many minor worries to which every public man is subject, and readers may well wonder when Mr. Spurgeon could find time for reading, and study, and all the work he constantly accomplished! If they had known how much he was continually doing, they might have marveled even more, than they did. Surely, there never was a busier life than his; not an atom more of sacred service could have been crowded into it.

Saturday morning was the time for the Pastor and his private secretary to clear off, as far as possible, any arrears of work that had been accumulating during the week. The huge pile of letters was again attacked; various financial matters were settled, and cheques despatched to chapel-building ministers or those engaged in pioneer and mission work, or needing some special assistance in their labor for the Lord. The secretary also then reported the result of interviews with students, and various officials and workers in connection with the different Institutions, and received instructions as to the replies to be given to their requests, or with regard to various matters tending to the general efficiency of the whole work. It was usual, often, on that morning, for the President to see some of the applicants for admission to the College, or to examine the papers of others, and to dictate the letters conveying his decision, or making further enquiries if there was a doubt either with regard to acceptance or rejection. Brethren just leaving for the foreign mission field, or some other distant sphere of service, were glad of the opportunity of a personal farewell, and of the tender, touching prayer, and tokens of practical sympathy, with which they were speeded on their way. Then there were magazine articles to be written or revised, Almanacks to be prepared, books to be read and reviewed, or sent to some of the brethren who helped (and still help) in that department of The Sword and the Trowel, and, by the time the gong sounded for dinner, the Pastor was often heard to say, “Well, we have got through a good morning’s work, even if there is not much to, show for it.”

The greater part of the afternoon was spent in the garden, if the weather was favorable; and one of the. few luxuries the dear master of “Westwood” enjoyed was to stroll down to the most secluded portion of the grounds, and to rest awhile in the summerhouse, to which he gave the singularly appropriate title, “Out of the world.” Here, with his wife, or some choice friend, the precious minutes quickly passed; and, by-and-by, other visitors arrived, for a cheery chat, and a peep at the numerous interesting things that were to be seen. It is needless to give the names of the many who shared in the delights of those happy afternoons; most of Mr. Spurgeon’s special ministerial and other friends and acquaintances were included amongst them. One visitor who was always welcome was the good Earl of Shaftesbury. His life also was a very busy one, so he could not often come; but, every now and then, when he was more than usually depressed and troubled by the aspect of affairs, religiously and socially, he found it a relief to have a talk with his Baptist friend, who largely shared his views concerning the state of the Church in general, but who also saw some signs of better and brighter days which the venerable nobleman had not perceived. The peer and the Pastor had such stores of good stories to tell, that the time rapidly and pleasantly passed, and they parted with the hope of meeting again on earth, and with the brighter hope of the reunion in Heaven, where there would be no parting for ever.

On several occasions, after the Earl had paid a visit to “Westwood,” Mr. Spurgeon instructed his secretary to insert in the scrapbook, then being compiled, a photograph, or engraving of his lordship, and he himself briefly recorded the fact that his venerable friend had again been to see him. The following page contains a reproduction of one of the best of these portraits, — taken by Messrs. Russell and Co. when the Earl attained his eightieth year, — with a facsimile of the inscription written on the back of it. On his part, Earl Shaftesbury preserved, in his diary and letters, many records of those enjoyable Saturday afternoons. The following entry in his diary probably refers to the very visit mentioned by Mr. Spurgeon — “July 10, 1881. — Drove to ‘Westwood’ to see my friend Spurgeon. He is well, thank God, and admirably lodged, his place is lovely. His wife’s health, too, is improved by change of residence. It is pleasant and encouraging to visit such men, and find them still full of perseverance, faith, and joy in the service of our blessed Lord.”


In reviewing the Letters of William Cowper, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — “We cannot write letters nowadays, but must be content to send mere notes and memoranda. When letters were reasonably few, and cost a shilling each, men had the time to write well, and thought it worth their while to do so. Now that the penny post is a public man’s sorest trial, the shorter we can make our epistles, the better. How we wish some of our correspondents would believe this, especially those young ladies who cross their letters. We never waste a moment in trying to read what people think to be unworthy of a fresh sheet of paper; crossed letters make us cross, and we drop them into the waste-paper basket. By the way, what right has a man to expect an answer to a letter if he does not enclose a stamp? It is a dead robbery to make some of us spend scores of pounds in a year on postage.”

THE preceding chapter contains so many references to Mr. Spurgeon’s correspondence that it may appropriately be followed by some specimens of the letters which he wrote at various periods during his long ministry. Many have already been published in the previous volumes of this work, where they seemed needful to the consecutiveness of the narrative, and others must be reserved for later portions of this volume. The present selection is intended to give some idea of the extent and variety of the subjects upon which the beloved Pastor’s correspondents wrote to him, and of the replies; which he sent to their communications. Some of the letters have already appeared in print; but most of them have been copied from the originals which have been kindly forwarded by their possessors specially with a view to their inclusion in the Autobiography, while others are reproduced from the copies of replies which Mr. Spurgeon had himself preserved In classifying the correspondence, a beginning is made with —


A gentleman in Glasgow greatly values the original of this note, which was written by Mr. Spurgeon the day following that on which he had preached at the Surrey Gardens Music Hall for the first time after the great catastrophe; it was addressed to Revelation John Anderson, of Helensburgh, who had sent a generous contribution to the Tabernacle Building Fund from himself and his friends —

“3 Bengal Place,
“New Kent Road,
“Monday, 24th Nov. (1856.)

“My Very Dear Friend,

“I have received your munificent donation, and return you very hearty thanks, and beg you to express my gratitude to all those who have contributed. Yesterday, the Lord was with me mightily; not a dog moved his tongue. But, oh, the griefs I have endured! God has borne me up, or I had been overwhelmed.

“How hell has howled, but how Heaven will triumph! How is the work in Helensburgh? I hope the shout of a King is with you.

“Dear wife and I very often talk of our dear Anderson. You are very near to our hearts.

“Our boys are well, so is ‘beloved Apphia.’ Give our kind regards to all friends, and accept our true love yourself.

“I am,
“Yours ever,


The following note, and reply, will serve as specimens of the correspondence between Mr. Ruskin and Mr. Spurgeon in the days long past —

“Denmark Hill,
“25th Nov., 1862.

“My Dear Friend,

“1 want a chat with you. Is it possible to get it, — quietly, — and how, and where, and when? I’ll come to your — or you shall come here, — or whatever you like. I am in England only for ten days, — being too much disgusted with your goings on — yours as much as everybody else’s — to be able to exist among you any longer. But I want to say ‘Good-bye’ before going to my den in the Alps.

“Ever with sincerest remembrances to Mrs. Spurgeon,

“Affectionately yours,


“Nov. 26, I862.

“My Dealt Mr. Ruskin,

“I thought you had cast me off; but I perceive that you let me alone when all is right, and only look me up when you are getting disgusted with me. May that disgust increase if it shall bring me oftener into your company!

“I shall be delighted to see you tomorrow, here, at any time from 10 to 12 if this will suit you.

“I wish I had a den in the Alps to go to; but it is of no use for me to grow surly, for I am compelled to live amongst you sinners, and however disgusted I may get with you all, I must put up with you, for neither Nature nor Providence will afford a den for me.

“Yours ever most truly and affectionately,


Nothing ever gave Mr. Spurgeon greater delight than the glad tidings that his message had been blessed to the salvation of souls, or the strengthening of saints. To a friend in Dublin, who sent him such good news, he replied on February 8, 1868: —

“It cheers me very greatly to know that my sermons are the food of any of God’s people. For such a joy, I would cheerfully have suffered much; and, lo! it comes without it. I can bear my willing testimony to the faithfulness of the Lord. My sermons are a great drain upon me mentally, but still the springs are not dried. In times of great exhaustion, fresh streams bubble up. In pecuniary matters, we are often tried; but, never come to want, and we never shall while Jehovah lives.”

Just at that time, the Pastor had the further trial of the very serious illness of Mrs. Spurgeon. In answer to a letter informing him that a special prayer meeting had been held at the Baptist Chapel, Thetford, to plead for her recovery, he wrote —

“Feb. 29, 1868.

“My Dear Mr, Welton,

“Thanks a thousand times! Prayers are enriching things; you make me wealthy. May you and your people long enjoy prosperity!

“Yours ever truly,


To an afflicted lady in Bristol, Mr. Spurgeon thus revealed an interesting circumstance in connection with the origin of his sermon entitled “Faith’s Ultimatum” —

“Nightingale Lane,

“July 23, 1875.

“My Dear Friend,

“Your kind gift has been unacknowledged because I wanted to write to you myself, and my hand has been bad with rheumatic gout so as to make me quite an invalid these last two weeks, and keeping me from my preaching most of the time. I thank you most heartily, and the more because of your very kind words.

May you have daily strength for your great affliction, and may your heart exult more and more in the Lord! Pray for my poor wife, who suffers ever.

“I think my sermon upon ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him,’ will be to your mind. It was squeezed out of me by great pain.

“Yours in much sympathy,


When arrangements were being made for the sale of the old Devonshire Square Chapel, which was so close to Petticoat Lane that “Babel-like sounds, and perfumes not at all ambrosial, mingled with the worship, and even other things appeared on the scene,” Mr. Spurgeon wrote —

“Jan. 8.

“My Dear Sir,

“I congratulate you on the prospect of an emigration from the worse than Egypt of Devonshire Square. Whatever your chapel may have been in ages past, it has become of late atmospherically and entomologically horrible; the din outside, on the Lord’s-day, in which Jews and Gentiles emulate each other in row-making, fits your house to be a den in Babylon rather than a temple upon Zion. That a church and congregation should have gathered so long, in such a spot, is a miracle of grace on God’s part, and of inertness on the part of man. May you get away from the rags and the racket, and may you and your friends enjoy prosperity abundantly!

“Yours very truly,


The following note was written to the late Henry Richard, Esq., M.P., secretary of the Peace Society, in reply to an invitation to speak at the annual meeting of that body —

“Nightingale Lane,
“April 24.

“Dear Sir,

“I really cannot do more. I am sick and sorry and jaded. Let me alone. ‘A merciful man, etc.’ I would be at peace.

“Yours truly,


In December, 1879, when Mr. Spurgeon was very ill at Mentone, he was greatly cheered by the receipt of a cablegram, from the New York Baptist Ministers’ Conference, containing the following message — “Prayers. Sympathy. 2 Corinthians 1:2,7 Potter, Secretary. The telegram was followed by a long loving letter; but, before it arrived, Mr. Spurgeon had already replied thus —

“To Rev. D. C. Potter,
“Secretary, New York Baptist Ministers’ Conference,

“Dear Sir,

“I thank the Conference very heartily and humbly. I am honored by such a kind deed, and I am not the less comforted. What greater joy can I have from my fellow-men than to be remembered by them in the hour of affliction with prayers and sympathies? God bless you, my brethren, and reward you a thousandfold for this loving remembrance of one who has no other right to it but that which arises out of oneness of heart in our one Lord, one faith, and one baptism! By such brotherly kindness, may all American and English baptized churches be welded into a more complete unity, so that fraternal love may abound! May the Lord bless and prosper you among the nation to which you belong, and may the truth more and more abundantly prevail with you and with us! I am recovering slowly from a very severe illness, and your telegram has acted both as a tonic and as a cordial to me. Again I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Yours most gratefully,


On April 5, 1881, the annual butchers’ festival was held at the Tabernacle. Mr. Spurgeon was unable to be present, but he wrote the following letter to Mr. Henry Varley, to be read at the meeting —

“April 5, 1881.

“Dear Friend,

“A month ago I was just recovering, and I took five services in the week with great delight. The immediate result was another illness. This time I am weaker, and I have the same work before me. The friends beg me not to attempt so much, and my own judgment tells me that they are right. I must therefore be away from the butchers’ festival, though with great regret. I never promised to be there. Someone did for me, and I don’t believe in those proxy promises. You are a host in yourself. Tell the true blues to be true blue, and follow the best of leaders, — namely, the Lord Jesus. May they all be pure and upright, so as to be Christians indeed. They will do well to be moderate in all things; better if they become total abstainers from strong drink; and best of all if they have new hearts and are believers in Jesus. I am sure we shall always be glad to find house-room for them so long as you and the master-butchers find the solids for filling up the empties. I wish every man would get a day’s march nearer Heaven on this occasion. May God’s blessing be with you and all your hearers this night!

“Yours heartily,


After Rev. Joseph Cook, of Boston, U.S.A., had been lecturing in the United Kingdom for about six months, questions were raised in various quarters concerning his orthodoxy. The Earl of Shaftesbury was one of those who were in doubt with regard to his theological teaching, but Mr. Spurgeon very earnestly pleaded the cause of the eminent lecturer from across the Atlantic. The following is one of two letters which he wrote to the venerable Earl upon this matter —

“Beulah Hill,
“Upper Norwood,
“May 11, 1881.

“My Dear Friend,

“I agree with you in heart, and soul, and faith; and so also does Joseph Cook. His expressions may not be clear, but his meaning is identical with our own. There is, however, little hope of my leading you to think so, now that Mr.____ has cast his lurid light upon the lecturer’s words; and therefore I will not enter into a discussion.

“Your action is wise, namely, to refrain from endorsing that which you do not approve of. But, I pray you, believe that, as I know Mr. Cook, and am as sure of his orthodoxy as I am of my own, I cannot desert him, or retract the commendations which I am sure that he deserves, but I am none the less one with you. If you would only see Mr. Cook, you would form a different estimate of him; but, anyhow, I shall not love or admire you one atom the less whatever you do.

“I am, perhaps, more lenient than you are because I never was able to be quite so guarded a speaker as you are. I think no man speaks so much as you do with so few blunders, but impetuous people get into muddles. I quite agree with Mr. Foster’s estimate of you as certain to have been Premier had you been ambitious in that direction, for you very seldom allow your speech to get cloudy, or to run over to the other side when emphasizing his; — but pray do not expect such accuracy of us all.

“Here is a man who, with tears, denies the slightest complicity with heterodoxy, and says that he lives and feeds on the old-fashioned truth so dear to us; — well, — I believe what he says, and wish that half the ‘orthodox’ were as orthodox as he is.

“The Lord ever bless and sustain you, my dear friend, and spare you to us many years to come I wish, when these meetings are over, you would come and see —

“Your Lordship’s most hearty friend,


To this letter, Lord Shaftesbury replied as follows —

“24, Grosvenor Square, W.,
“May 14, 1881.

“My Dear Friend,

“If Joseph Cook stands high in your esteem, it is, I am confident, because you decidedly, and conscientiously believe that he holds, in all truth and earnestness, the great vital doctrines of the Christian Faith, — those doctrines indispensably necessary to salvation, and which have been the life and rule of your ministerial services. In these have been your joy, and your strength. Signal as are the talents that God has bestowed upon you, they would, without preaching Christ in all His majestic simplicity, have availed you nothing to comfort and instruct the hearts of thousands.

“Such being the case, who would expect you to recede, by one hair’s breadth, unless you carded your convictions with you? Certainly not I.

“I am deeply gratified by your kind letter, and all its candid and friendly expressions. You must not admit any abatement of your regard and love for me. Mine towards you can never be lessened, while you stand up so vigorously, so devotedly, so exclusively for our blessed Lord.

“Ever yours most truly,


“P.S. — I will pay you a visit as soon as possible.”

Mr. Cook was intensely grateful to Mr. Spurgeon for his powerful advocacy, even if it did not convince the venerable Earl. It is somewhat singular that, just as this chapter is being compiled, it is reported that, in answer to a statement that Mr. (now Dr.) Joseph Cook had joined the Spiritualists, he wrote, “Spiritualism is Potiphar’s wife; my name is Joseph.” His reply seems to indicate that efforts had been made to entangle him, but that he had resisted them as successfully as his ancient namesake repelled his tempter.

Mr. Spurgeon was always on very friendly terms with his neighbor, Revelation Burman Cassin, M.A,, rector of St. George-the-Martyr, Southwark. On the twenty-fitch anniversary of Mr. Cassin’s ordination, a testimonial was presented to him; and the Pastor, although away from home, wrote concerning it —

“December 17, 1883.

“Dear Mr. Olney,

“I had no idea that the presentation to the Revelation Burman Cassin was coming off so soon. Had I been at home, I was to have attended the meeting, for he is a brother for whom my heart always has a warm place. I wish him every blessing, and, above all things, abundant grace to win multitudes of souls for Christ out of his immense parish. His true piety, his loving manners, and his catholic spirit, make me esteem him most highly. Had I been able to attend, I should have added £5 to the testimonial, as a very inadequate but very honest token of my affection for him. As I am so far away, please be my substitute, and give the amount on my behalf. You can trust me till I return.

“Yours ever heartily,


The following letter greatly interested Mr. Spurgeon —

“Christ Church Vicarage,
“August 16, 1884.

“Mr. Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I have, for many years, been an admiring reader of your sermons, and have often felt that I would write and tell you how useful I have found them personally and ministerially. I am specially urged to write today for the following reason. My mother, a clergyman’s widow, died on May 19, this year, at Boston, Lincolnshire, aged 87. She used to take your sermons weekly, read them carefully, have them bound handsomely at the end of the year, and present the bound volume to me, year by year, on my birthday, August 16.

“The Vol. for 1883 — her last gifts — was ready bound, and have today written my name in it, as she cannot. Praying that the Lord may give you health and strength, continued usefulness, and increasing holiness, and asking your pardon, if intrusive,

“Yours very sincerely,


“Vicar of Christ Church, Rotherhithe.”

To this letter, Mr. Spurgeon replied thus —

“August 19, 1884.

“Dear Friend,

“It is a great pleasure to be enabled to give seed to the sower. The Lord accept my thanks for many such sweet messages as yours to cheer me! The Lord also be with you in all your ministry, and give you an abundant harvest!

“I congratulate you upon having a mother in Heaven. Mine still lingers in much suffering; yours is promoted to felicity. We will follow on. I have paused to pray for you. Please do the like for me, for I need it every day.

“Yours most heartily,


Several letters of condolence are given in the latter part of the next chapter, so one of congratulation may be inserted here. The following cheery note was sent to Revelation E. W. Matthews, secretary of the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society, in May, 1885, in reply to a communication from him announcing the arrival of a little daughter, and sending contributions for the Orphanage from all his children —

“Dear Friend,

“Matthews are so good that there can hardly be too many of them if they all turn out to be evangelists. God bless the parents more and more, and cause the children to be real blessings to them in later years! That you should bid your children send me a crown each, suggests that I hold a fourfold monarchy in your esteem but, alas! I need a. Priest and a King more than ever. I rejoice that our Lord Jesus is growing more precious to me in that capacity. May these four Matthews all be crowned with lovingkindness and tender mercies!

“Yours very heartily,


For marty years, on his summer visits to Scotland, Mr. Spurgeon was the guest of Mr. James Duncan, at “Benmore,” the beautiful mansion depicted in Vol. 3. The following letter was written to Mr. Duncan’s sister, in reply to one from her, mentioning various places and persons known to the Pastor, and saying that, as she had heard that he was overworking himself, she advised him to study what the sixth commandment required, “all lawful endeavors to preserve our own life” —

“August 26, 1885.

“Dear Mrs. Moubray,

“I heartily thank you for the proverbs, some of which I have used. I think I am well acquainted with the book you have culled from; indeed, I would go far to see a proverb-book which I do not know. “Happy woman to be sailing over the fair seas, and gazing upon those glorious hills, I find abundance to do all day, and every day; but, as the Lord blesses the work, I am not able to weary of it.

“I saw Mr. Duncan on Sunday, much to my joy. He is, indeed, a kind and tender friend, and his sister is like unto him. God bless both!

“I trust Mr. McKercher will get better, and be restored to you. Truly good men are scarcer than they used to be. The world has gone after the idols of modern thought, and those of us who do not thus wander are esteemed to be ‘old fogies.’

“A woman rose in the Tabernacle, last Sunday, just as I entered, and began to talk about the sixth commandment! Of course, I pricked up my ears, and wondered whether it was a lady from Strone House! She did not get far before the attendants carried her off. I have not asked her name, but it looks very suspicious. Were you up in London last Sunday?’

“I am studying that commandment, and I begin to think that I must work much harder, for fear somebody should be killed, spiritually, by my failure to preach in season and out of season.

“My very kindest regards; and heartiest thanks to you.
“Yours ever gratefully,


Correspondents often asked Mr. Spurgeon to tell them the meaning of difficult passages of Scripture. In reply to the enquiry of a generous helper, in Scotland, concerning Hebrews 6:4-6, the Pastor wrote —

“March 15, 1887.

“Dear Friend,

“I have always taught that, if the Divine life could entirely die out, there would be no second quickening. We can be born again, but not again and again. If the salt could lose its savor, it would be a hopeless case. From which I argue that, as no believer in Christ is in a hopeless case, no man has utterly lost the life of God after once receiving it.

“The wilful return to sin would be fatal.

“In each passage quoted, the evil supposed is also denied. (See Hebrews 6:9, and 10:39.)

“One great means of securing final perseverance is the knowledge that we cannot go in and out of Christ at pleasure; if we could utterly quit Him, there could be no possibility of renewal. (Hebrews 6:4.) Therefore we are bound to hold on even to the end.

“My wonder is how, in the teeth of these texts, Arminians believe that men can lose the Divine life and receive it again. No words can be clearer than those which describe this as ‘impossible.’

“I have sent a catalogue with sermons marked which may help you. Write me whenever you like, only excuse me if I am brief.

“Yours heartily,


For several years, Mr. Spurgeon preached the anniversary sermon at Christ Church, Westminster Bridge Road, more than once going there for the purpose after conducting his own Monday evening prayer-meeting. In 1888, he was too unwell to go, so he wrote the following letter to Mr. Newman Hall, who read it at the public meeting —

“July 4, 1888.

“My Dear Friend,

“I have only just heard that today is your anniversary. I congratulate you, and I pray that you may have a right good day. If I had been ‘well enough, I would have accepted your invitation, you may be quite sure. I thank you and your friends for many kindnesses received by way of help in my hour of sickness. The Lord bless you who preached, and the people who spared you! In these days, we are two of the old school our experience has taught us that, both for conversion and edification, the doctrine of Christ crucified is all — sufficient. A childlike faith in the atoning sacrifice is the foundation for the purest and noblest of characters. As the hammer comes down on the anvil ever with the same ring, so will we preach Christ, Christ, CHRIST, and nothing else but Christ.

“Our friends leave us for the suburbs, but I trust the Lord will raise up around us another generation of faithful men. God bless those attached brethren who stick to us, and bear the brunt of the battle with us! I feel a deep gratitude to all such, both at the Tabernacle and at Christ Church. To you I desire continued health and joyous communion with God.

“Yours very heartily,


Dr. H. L. Wayland, of Philadelphia, was frequently in correspondence with Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon. On more than one occasion, he sent contributions for the Lord’s work under their care. In reply to one of these communications, the Pastor wrote —

“June, 1889.

“My Dear Friend,

Your letter to Mrs. Spurgeon has greatly cheered her… She is to write to the kind donor of the draft, and I am to thank you. Wisdom ordains division of labor. My dear wife does not improve in health. I don’t think she could improve in any other way.

“I hold on, and stand fast. Despite what your correspondents may tell you, I know of a surety that there is an awful twist in the thoughts of the many, and error bears the bell. Yet I am not doubtful of the ultimate result.

“I see that the Lord loves you and yours greatly, for He tries you. These are His love-tokens. I have many, and I prize them. Your love is sweet to me.

“Yours most heartily,


In August, 1889, Mr. S. G. Richardson, the Sheffield Master Cutler-elect, sent to Mr. Spurgeon, through a mutual friend, a very cordial invitation to attend his banquet. This elicited the following answer —

“August 23, 1889.

“My Dear Friend,

“You are. most kind, and so is the Master Cutler, but I am so taken up with work that I must not leave home. I rejoice in the kindness and courtesy of Mr. Richardson, and I beg you to thank him heartily. Really, I am not a man for a feast, even if I could come. Our Lord Mayor pressed me to meet the Archbishops and Bishops at a banquet, but I could not bring my soul to it, — I mean, the banquet. I had no objection to the Bishops. Last week, I had tea at the Archbishop’s, and luncheon with the Bishop of Rochester; but the banquet was out of my line. I am best at work, — my own work. Still, God bless you, and the Master Cutler, and all the good folk!

“Yours heartily,


The invitation to tea at the Archbishop’s was written by Mrs. Benson, and was as follows —

“Addington Park,
“August 10, ‘89.

“My Dear Sir,

“We have just come back to Addington, where we shall be for a few days before going abroad; and I am writing to claim your kind promise to come and see us here. Might we hope that you will come to afternoon tea on. Thursday next at 5 o’clock? It will be a great pleasure to see you. I fear Mrs. Spurgeon is not strong enough for so long a drive; otherwise, it would have given us great pleasure if she would accompany you.

“Believe me,
“My dear sir,
“Yours very truly,


“The Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”

The day mentioned not being convenient to Mr. Spurgeon, because of the Tabernacle service, another afternoon was fixed, and that happened to be in the same week in which he had promised to take luncheon with the Bishop of Rochester, who wrote, a few days afterwards —

“Selsdon Park,
“August 23, 1889.

“My Dear Friend,

“I thank you exceedingly for your valued gift. The Salt-cellars shall have an opportunity of sparkling in my sermons, and I shall begin to read The Cheque Rook of the Bank of Faith today.

“You may like to see a very friendly though not a gushing criticism on your sermons in The Guardian of last Wednesday, — the leading High Church journal.

“We all have a most charming impression of your visit. Next time you come, I shall try to pick your brains about preaching.

“Most truly yours,


The following bitter — the last one written by Mr. Spurgeon to his old friend, Mr. J. S. Watts, of Cambridge, has a specially pathetic interest now —

“May 29, 1890.

“Dear Friend,

“How are you? I am myself below par in health; but exceeding full of the Lord’s goodness. I have seen sixty-nine candidates for church-fellowship this month. Long hours it has cost me to converse with the many, and select these; but it is glorious harvest work. Everything prospers more and more. But I get faint at times in body. I must rest more. On June 19, I shall be fifty-six, and my years have been such as produce great wear and tear. Yet I shall soon pick up again.

“I shall send you my College Reports for the last two years, that you may see how, in temporal supplies, we know no lack. My liberation from questionable associations has brought around me a host of the Lord’s own who have a like love to His inspired Word and immutable truth. Divinely has He sustained me, and He will. Peace be unto you!

“Yours ever lovingly,


One of the many loving notes preserved by a former member of the Tabernacle Church is interesting because of the Biblical names borne by himself and several of his relatives who are mentioned in it —

“Aug. 30, 1890.

“Dear Mr. Keevil,

“What a patriarchal family you are! Here is Joshua sending me a letter from Noah, containing news about Enoch, and Job and his girls! It makes me feel proud to be in such ancient company. God bless you all!

“I will send Noah a receipt. Like his namesake, he seems to have had enough fair. Well, we shall get home. You are a good soul. May the Lord give you the double portion, as he did Job!

“Yours heartily ever,


While Mr. Spurgeon was ill at Mentone, in December, 1890, he received a letter from his old and faithful friend, Dr. D. A. Doudney, Editor of The Gospel Magazine, who said — “I had such a spirit of holy wrestling at the footstool of mercy, on your behalf., in the wakefulness of the past night, that I could but cherish the hope that the Lord was giving you relief.” In reply, Mr. Spurgeon wrote —

“December 5, ‘90.

“Venerated Friend,

“It made my heart leap for joy when I read in your note that you had liberty in prayer for me. I am recovering. I can hold the pen, as you see. My hand was puffed up, and, in consequence, like all puffed up things, useless; but it is coming to its true form, and I am rallying from the weakness which follows great pain.

“Of a surety, it is well. I praise God with all my heart for the furnace, the hammer, and the file. May He bless to you the infirmities of years, and carry you ever in His bosom!

“Your loving, grateful friend,




THE following letter, relating to an estate of the value of L5,000, may be inserted as a specimen of many which Mr. Spurgeon had to write, on other occasions, with reference to financial matters about which he ought never to have been troubled. In several instances, when money was bequeathed to him which he thought should have gone to the relatives of the testator or testatrix, he paid it over to them without the least hesitation, and it often grieved him that he could not do the same with’ legacies, left to his Institutions, which ought to have been given to needy relations. In the case here referred to, he had simply to refuse what he regarded as an unjust and unreasonable demand —

“June 13, 1868.

“Dear Sir,

“Although Mr.___’s will certainly makes me his residuary legatee absolutely, he gave the solicitor to understand that he left the money to me because he was sure I should not appropriate it to myself, but would use it for religious and charitable purposes. This request he also wrote me, and it was sent by his solicitor. The Law of Mortmain prevented him from leaving his money as he desired, therefore he put it in my hands, very much to my discomfort. I shall, not, on any account, accept a farthing for myself from this estate, but carry out the testator’s known wish.

“I do not consider this to be any barrier to my making awards to claimants who may have moral claims of a sound character against the estate, for it is not to my mind to give to religion or charity till justice has been done. Hence I have, to the best of my judgment, with the kind advice of the executors, met each claim, not only of a legal, but of a moral kind, and there is now no balance remaining to be disposed of; or so small as to be not worth mentioning. There will be no more funds available during the existence of two lives; and, consequently, the claims of Mr.___ and others must wait, even if they can be attended to at any time.

“The executors do not believe in the claims of Mr.___ ; but they, as gentlemen, would advise, me with impartiality, and if you convince them, you convince me; only I cannot be expected to disburse money which I have not received, from an estate with which personally I have no profitable connection, left by an utter stranger.

“I see no grounds for your severe language towards me; and as for your threat to publish the matter abroad, so far as I am concerned, I neither court nor fear publicity in any of my actions; and, in this case, if the simple truth be published, it will little concern me what the public think of ray proceeding. I am the gainer of much trouble and annoyance by’ this unhappy legacy, and nothing more.

“Yours truly,


“P.S. — Please send future letters on this business to the executors.”

One of many letters, which had to be written at a later period with reference to great fortunes said to have been left to Mr. Spurgeon, may also be given —

“March 26, 1884.

“Dear Sir,

“In speaking or a supposed large fortune left to me, you very wisely say, ‘If it is so!’ Several times, such rumors have gone abroad; — much smoke; from a very small fire. In the present case, there may be something; ‘but how little none can tell.’ This rumor brings to me begging letters and requests of the most amazing kind; and, in a measure, stops supplies for my many enterprises, and so causes me much trouble. Please, therefore, say in your paper that the large fortune is a myth. With many thanks for your kind remarks,

“I am,
“Yours in much weakness,



In the year 1873, Mr. Spurgeon, in addressing his church and congregation, made the following reference to a proposal which he had received —

“I had a letter from a gentleman well known in America, giving me the offer of 25,000 dollars for twenty-five lectures. On these terms, the twenty-five nights would give me £5,000, and in a hundred nights I should have £20,000. Besides this, I should be allowed to lecture for as many more nights as I chose, so that I might, in the course of a year, be worth £40, 000, and no doubt the persons who undertook the arrangement would earn ten times that amount. What do you suppose was my answer to this offer? I wrote, ‘If you were to multiply it a hundred times, and again a hundred times, I should feel it as easy to decline as I do now, when I say that I cannot cross the ocean to lecture upon any subject whatever. I am a minister of the gospel, and never lectured for money, and do not intend to do so now.’”

Although the refusal was so emphatic, other offers continued to come. In 1876, a paragraph appeared in some American papers stating that “The Revelation Mr. Spurgeon writes that he will visit the United States in the autumn.” This elicited the following letter —

“Boston, Mass., U.S.A.,
“June 23, 1876.
“Rev. C H. Spurgeon,

“Dear Sir,

“Is the above paragraph true? We have tried so long, and so hard, for so many years, to secure you, that we thought it impossible, and long since gave up all hope. We are agents (exclusive agents) for all the leading lecturers in the country, and do nine-tenths of the lecture business of America, and we are responsible for what we offer. We will give you a thousand dollars in gold for every lecture you will deliver in America, and pay all your expenses to and from your home, and place you under the most popular auspices in this country. Will you come?

“Yours truly,


To this communication, Mr. Spurgeon replied —

“July 6, 1876.


“I cannot imagine how such a paragraph should appear in your papers, except by deliberate invention of a hard-up Editor, for I never had anys idea of leaving home for America for some time to come. As I said to you before, if I could come, I am not a lecturer, nor would I receive money for preaching.

“Yours truly,


In 1878, two other invitations came, the first of which Mr. Spurgeon answered thus — “I have not the slightest idea of visiting America. If ever I should do so, I could not preach or lecture for money. Excellent as your services doubtless are to those who need them, they could not possibly be needed by me. I should regard it as an utter prostitution of any gifts I possess if I were, as a servant of God, to use them to make money for myself in the way in which lecturers very properly do.”

The reply to the second request was — I am not open to any engagement either to lecture or to preach in America. I could not consider your offer for a single moment. I have on several occasions given a positive refusal, and can only repeat it in the plainest terms. I am not to be hired for any money.”

Another effort was made in 1879, when Major Pond was in England with Dr. Talmage, and the former wrote to Mr. Spurgeon, asking for an interview, and saying, among other things — “I want to see the man to whom I would pay the compliment to offer fifty thousand dollars for speaking fifty nights in my country, and to my countrymen.” To this note, Mr. Spurgeon replied —

“Nightingale Lane,
“June 6, 1879.

“Dear Sir,

“I am not at all afraid of anything you could say by way of tempting me to preach or lecture for money, for the whole of the United States in bullion would not lead me to deliver one such lecture. It would only waste your time and mine for you to see me, though I feel sure that you are one of the pleasantest men upon the earth. Your good-natured, pertinacity so admirable that I trust you will not waste it upon an impossible object; but be content to have my acknowledgment that, if success could have been achieved, you would have achieved it.

“Yours truly,


In 1883, a syndicate in the United States, Without even asking for Mr. Spurgeon’s opinion or consent, arranged for the transmission, by telegraph, of his Lord’s-day morning sermons, and their publication on the following day, in a number of papers in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and St. Louis, having an aggregate circulation of a million copies. The experiment was doomed to be a failure, for the instructions to the English agents were, “Cable Spurgeons Sunday morning sermons, omitting the little words.” The attempt to insert those words in the report received on the other side of the Atlantic produced such a strange result that Mr. Spurgeon wrote on the first copy he received — “Sermon a hash, but pretty well considering the hurry and double transmission to New York, and then to Cincinnati.” In reply to a complaint that the arrangement involved a great increase in Sabbath labor, the Pastor wrote —

“June 8, 1883.

“Dear Sir,

“It is true that my Sunday morning sermons are taken by the United States Press Association, and are cabled so as to appear in the papers on Monday morning. So far as this occasions Sunday work, I regret it; but I have no more to do with it than you have. I have never been in any way consulted in the matter, and so I have not entered into any enquiry as to the labor involved.

“Yours truly,


Only a few weeks elapsed before the Pastor was able to write in The Sword and the Trowel — “The sermons were not long telegraphed to America, so that our friends who feared that the Sabbath would be desecrated may feel their minds relieved. We are not sorry; for the sermons which we saw in the American papers may have been ours, but they were so battered and disfigured that we would not have owned them. In the process of transmission, the eggs were broken, and the very life of them was crushed. We much prefer to revise and publish for ourselves; and as these, forms of publication are permanent, their usefulness becomes in the long run greater than would come of a wide scattering of faulty reports.”

Four’ years later, another attempt was made to arrange for the early publication, on an extensive scale, of summaries of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons; but this also failed. He was unable even to entertain the proposal made to him in the following letter, for he never knew “ten days in advance” what the subject of his discourse would be; otherwise, in this case, there might not have been the same objection as on the former occasion as the effort need not have involved any increase of Sunday labor —

“New York Syndicate Bureau,
“No. 1, William Street,
“New York,
“Sept. 20, 1887.
“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon,

“Dear Sir,

“We have arrangements about perfected by which we are to publish, every Monday morning, in all the large cities of this country, a synopsis of the sermons of six of the leading clergymen here. The idea is, to get advance notes of the sermons (about ten days in advance), and send them out to our syndicate of newspapers. It is necessary to get the matter so far in advance as we have to reach San Francisco. Those we intend publishing are, Rev. Phillips Brooks, of Boston; Dr. John Hall, New York; Dr. Talmage, Brooklyn; Cardinal Gibbons, Baltimore; Rev. John. P. Newman, Washington; and the Most Revelation Archbishop Ryan, Philadelphia.

“While negotiations have been going on, we have received numerous requests from our subscribing Editors for a weekly synopsis of your sermon, and thinking that there might be an inducement in having your congregation increased into the millions, with the corresponding increase in the beneficial influence of your sermons, we have thought it wise to approach you on the subject.

“Could you not cable, at our expense, about ten days in advance, the ideas of your sermon each week? The exact phraseology is not necessary, as the ideas are all that are wanted. Cable, say 250 to 300 words. For this courtesy, we would be pleased to forward, each week, our cheque at the rate of — a year. If you think favorably of the matter, kindly cable the one word ‘Yes’ to our registered address, ‘Exactness, blew York,’ and we will write you in regard to any detail that may be necessary. Hoping that you will render a favorable decision,

“We are,
“Yours very truly,

“CHAS. R. BROWN, Editor.”

Any friends from the United States, who had ever worshipped at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and who saw, in The New York Herald, January 9, 1888, the report of the service in that building the day before, must have been somewhat surprised at what they read. In the course of a long cablegram purporting to have been received from the Heralds London bureau, the correspondent said — “There were fully five thousand in the audience to greet the Tabernacle orator on his return from Mentone. He looked remarkably better than when I interviewed him two months ago for the Herald on his departure. After a grand voluntary from the organ, during which the congregation silently studied the countenance of the great Baptist preacher, he and the audience standing, they sang Psalm 103, best known in music as ‘Benedice anima mea.’ Then an assistant read the second chapter of the first Epistle of John, first giving the revisers’ headnotes summarizing the contents of the chapter. After the choir, which is of high repute, had sung a hymn in which there was a charming contralto solo, Mr. Spurgeon preached from the text

‘If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.’ — John 15:7.”

The words printed in italics indicate some of the inaccuracies in these few sentences. As there was no “organ” or “choir” at the Tabernacle, so there was neither “voluntary” nor “contralto solo.” Mr. Spurgeon himself read and expounded John 15:1-8, and also 1 John 2, so his “assistant” had no opportunity of “giving the revisers’ head-notes.” The text was stated correctly, so the references to it, and to one of the chapters which were read, must have been telegraphed, with the number of the Psalm sung; but the descriptive matter in the “cablegram” must have been inserted by someone who knew nothing about the mode of worship adopted, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, however familiar he might be with the practices prevailing on the other side of the Atlantic.


Mr. Spurgeon was a true comforter of the suffering and sorrowing; his frequent personal afflictions, added to his own sympathetic disposition, made him “a succorer of many.” This cheering and helpful note was written to a lady who had told him of her many trials —

“March 9, ‘81.

“Dear Friend,

“You seem to me to be in the night school, — by no means pleasant lessons, few holidays, and no cakes and sugar-sticks; — but a wise preacher, and a guarantee of becoming a well-trained disciple in due time. This is much better than to be pampered with joyous excitements, and to be thereby really weakened in faith. How could you honor Christ, by trusting Him as He is revealed in Scripture, if you were always having new revelations over and above His Word? Too much sight renders faith impossible. A certain measure of darkness is needful for the full exercise of faith. Be of good comfort; for He who has redeemed you will not lose that which has cost Him so much. I hope you will yet recover strength. Why, you are only a young girl yet at thirty-seven! But I know how the spirits sink, and one feels as old as Methuselah. The Lord be ever your Comforter!

“Yours, with much to do,


One of Mr. Spurgeon’s dearest and most intimate friends was Mr. William Higgs, the builder of the Tabernacle, and a deacon of the church worshipping there. The following extracts from letters to Mrs. Higgs, when her dear husband was “called home,” will show how fully the Pastor sympathized with her and the whole of the bereaved family —

“January 3, 1883.

“Dear Friend,

“How I wish that I could come and join you in your grief, even if I could not give you comfort! But I am too lame to move. Ah, me! what a blow! We were all afraid of it, but did not think it would come just now. Doubtless it is best as it is but it is a sharp gash in the heart. He was a dear soul to us all, but specially to you. I beg the Lord to bear you up under this the heaviest of all trials. All is well with him. ‘There is our comfort. His pains and wearinesses are over, and he rests. I will come as; soon as I can travel, but this swollen right foot holds me like a fetter of iron.

“Loving sympathy to every one of you. God bless you!
“Yours ever heartily,


“January 6, 1883

“Dear Mrs. Higgs,

“L___ and G___ have now told me all about our dear one’s death.

The Lord has dealt well with him. I wonder how he lived so long to cheer us all and I feel relieved that he lived no longer, for it would have been great anguish to him. He has gone at the right time. The Lord will be your comfort and help. I meant to go to you this morning, but I found my foot would not let me go up and down steps. It is a double pain to be kept from you and your sorrowing family. We shall all meet again. Let us bless God. Can we?

“Your loving friend,


When Pastor T. W. Medhurst lost a daughter, Mr. Spurgeon wrote to him —

“May 24, 1884.

“Dear Friend,

“May you be sustained under your heavy trial! Now that you and your dear companion are most fully realizing the void which is made in your household,, may you find living consolations flowing into your hearts! ‘It is well,’ and faith knows it is so; and worships the Lord from under the cloud. How time has flown! It seems but the other day that you were married; and now you are an old father, bereaved of a daughter. Dear Caleb Higgs, too, is gone home long ago.

“We shall meet above before long. Till then, in our Lord’s business we will find solace, and in Himself delight.
“Yours ever heartily’,


The following letter was written to an Oxfordshire clergyman, with whom Mr. Spurgeon had long been in close personal friendship;he was always deeply interested in the open-air services under the oaks on Mr. Abraham’s farm (see Vol. 3), and induced all whom he could influence to be present —

“June I2, 1884.

“Dear Friend,

“I casually heard from Mr. Abraham that you were ill, but I had no idea that it was a serious matter; but Mr. Rochfort has kindly given me further news. I feel very sad about it, but I am sure you do not. The loss will be ours, and Heaven and you will gain.

“Dear loving brother, you have nothing now to do but to go home; and what a home! You will be quite at home where all is love, for you have lived in that blessed element, and are filled with it. I shall soon come hobbling after you, and shall find you out. We are bound to gravitate to each other whether here or in glory. We love the same Lord, and the same blessed truth..

“May the everlasting arms be underneath you! I breathe for you a loving, tender prayer, — ‘Lord, comfort Thy dear servant, and when he departs, may it be across a dried-up river into the land of living fountains!’

“I am fifty next Thursday, and you are near your Jubilee. In this we are alike; but Jesus is the highest joy. Into the Father’s hands I commit you, ‘until the’ day break, and the shadows flee away.’

“Your loving brother,


The good man did not linger long, and in the August number of The Sword and the Trowel Mr. Spurgeon inserted the following note — “Our dear brother, Revelation Thomas Curme, vicar of Sandford, Oxon, has passed to his reward. He was a sweet Christian, of calm and serene spirit, full of love and humility, yet firm as a rock in the doctrine of grace. When the denouncer of Baptismal Regeneration was shunned by many of the clergy, one of his brethren asked Mr. Curme, ‘How can you spend so much time in company with Spurgeon?’ His gentle answer was, ‘ It is more wonderful that he should associate with me than that I should meet with him.’ His love to us was wonderful, and constituted one of the joys of our life. He was beloved of all ‘who knew him, and we were one with him in the’ faith which is in Christ Jesus. He passed away full of years, ripe for his rest.”

When the mother of one of “our own men” was “called home” just after her son’s recognition service at Luton, Mr. Spurgeon wrote to him from Mentone —

“Dear Mr. Feltham,

“It is a great sorrow to lose such a mother, but also a great joy to know it is well with her. She could not have passed away under happier circumstances. She must have been glad to see her son so happily settled, and then gladder still to be with her Lord for ever. No lingering sickness, no fierce pain; but gentle dismission, and instant admission into the glory. I envy her as much as I dare. The Lord be with you and your beloved, and comfort you to, the full!

“Your sympathizing friend,


The “grandmother” so tenderly mentioned in the following letter was, of course, the Mrs. Bartlett who so long conducted the large Bible-class at the Tabernacle —

“December 14, ‘87.

“Dear Mr. Bartlett,

“I sorrow with you over the departure of your little Lillie; but you will feel that there is honey with the gall. She was a dear child, ready to take her place with the shining ones. Grandmother will receive her as a messenger from you.

“May peace and consolation flow into the heart of yourself and wife! I send you a little cheque to ease the expense. I cannot ease your pain; but there is ‘another Comforter’ who can and will do so. Receive my hearty sympathy. We are all going the same way. The little one has outrun us; we shall catch her up soon.

“Yours very heartily,


When the wife of Dr. S. O. Habershon was “called home,” Mr. Spurgeon wrote to Miss Ada R. Habershon —

“April 30, 1889.

“Dear Friend,

“I I heard with deep regret of your dear father’s loss, — which is your mother’s gain. I do not wonder that the beloved man is not well. it is a crushing stroke, and he has a, tender heart. The Lord Himself sustain him! The Holy Ghost Himself has undertaken the office of Comforter because there is such need of comfort in the tried family, and because it is such work as only’ God can do effectually. I commend you to the’ other Comforter.’ I could not expect to see you at the College supper, but it is very kind of you to write me. You cheer me much by the reminder of the use of The Cheque Book to the dying one. God be praised!

“I may send you my Christian love in this hour of sorrow, for I feel great sympathy with you and your father, and a hallowed oneness of heart with you in the faith of our Lord, and in service for His Name. May a sweet hush fall on your hearts!

“Yours very truly,


Miss Habershon thus explains the allusion to Mr. Spurgeon’s volume, The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith — “My dear mother read it daily; and, during her last illness, it was read to her as long as she could bear it. The last portion my dear father read to her was on April 8, — she fell asleep on the 13th, — and the words were singularly appropriate — ‘if there is no more work for you to do for your Master, it cannot distress you that He is about to take you home.’”

A few months later, Dr. Habershon also received the summons, “Come up higher.” During this last illness, his daughter wrote to inform Mr. Spurgeon, and he replied as follows —

“August 3, 1889.

“Dear Friend,

“You are now tried indeed, but all-sufficient grace will bear you through. I desire my tenderest love to your suffering father. If he is now going home, I congratulate him upon the vision which will soon burst upon him. If he tarries with us a little longer, it will be profitable for you. We have not the pain of choice. It is a great mercy that we are not placed in the perplexing dilemma of choosing either for ourselves or others, whether we live or die. I pray for you both. May you maintain the peace which now rules you, and find it even brightening into joy in the Lord’s will! Jesus said to the women at the sepulcher, ‘All hail.’ All is well.

“Yours most heartily,


Mr. Spurgeon’s presence and address at the funeral greatly comforted the mourners; and in thanking him, Miss Habershon consulted him with regard to the future, and. received the following reply —

“September 6, 1889.

“Dear Friend,

“It would seem to be wise advice which would lead your brother to take your father’s house. In the profession, a measure of prestige is valuable, and this hangs even about the abode of a distinguished man when the name is the same. You and your sister will be rightly led, for you look up; and there is a finger which never misleads.

“It was a great solace to be able to do anything to comfort your heart. Your thanks are far more than I deserve; but I did honestly endeavor to bear a testimony which I pray our Lord to impress on some for whom we felt anxious.

“In these crises of life, the power to sit still is greater than that of activity — which frets into restlessness. I commend you to the Good Shepherd. HE will direct your path.

“Yours very heartily,


This chapter may be appropriately closed with a brief mention of the manner in which Mr. Spurgeon voluntarily increased his correspondence to a very considerable extent, and thereby became the means of untold blessing to many of those to whom he wrote. At one of the meetings during the College Conference of 1890, a very touching prayer was presented by Dr. Usher, who pleaded with great earnestness for the salvation of the children of the brethren. The beloved President was much moved by the petition, and the hearty response which it evoked; and he at once offered to write to all the ministers’ sons and daughters whose fathers intimated their wish for him to do so by sending to him their children’s names and ages. Two letters were written and lithographed, — one for the older boys and girls, the other for the little ones, — the name and date being, in every instance, filled in by Mr. Spurgeon himself. In this way, many hundreds of young folk, at home and abroad, received a direct communication from the dear Pastor, and he had the joy of reading a large number of replies testifying to the fact that the Holy Spirit had richly blessed the effort to the salvation of the youthful recipients.

Thoughtful and kind as the whole arrangement was, there remained a finishing touch which no one could give so lovingly as our Mr. Great-heart. The lithographed letter to the elder children contained references to “father and mother” which made it scarcely suitable for the “mitherless bairns” whose fathers desired them to have a share in the favor of a letter from Mr. Spurgeon. The facsimile, on pages 118 and 119, will show how lovingly he read it through, and made the necessary alterations to adapt it to the dear girl who received it; and he did this on June 19, his own birthday, when he was overwhelmed with contributions for the Orphanage, which all had to be acknowledged before he went up to the Festival at Stockwell, at which he was expected to make several speeches. Surely, even he could hardly have given a more convincing proof of his delight in imparting pleasure to others whatever might be the cost to himself.


WHILE the many hundreds of letters and notes written by Mr. Spurgeon were being examined with a view to the selection of those inserted in the preceding chapters, it was found that, in several of them, he had given expression to his opinions upon subjects — of permanent public interest. It was decided, therefore, that a number of his epistles concerning religious, political, and social matters should be collected in a separate chapter, in order that those who desire to know what he said upon these topics may be able to refer to them. The letters are, as far as possible, arranged in chronological order, with sub-titles to increase the facility of reference to them.


Among the many falsehoods which, at different times, were told concerning Mr. Spurgeon, one which he naturally repelled with the utmost indignation was the statement that he once declared that “there are in hell infants a span long.” In reply to a correspondent who asked if he had ever said this, he wrote —

“Newington, S.E.,
“June 12, 1869.

“Dear Sir,

“I have never, at any time in my life said, believed, or imagined that any infant, under any circumstances, would be cast into hell. I have always believed in the salvation of all infants, and I intensely detest the opinion, which your opponent dared to attribute to me. I do not believe that, on this earth, there is a single professing Christian holding the damnation of infants; or, if there be, he must be insane, or utterly ignorant of Christianity. I am obliged by this opportunity of denying the calumny, although the author of it will probably find no difficulty in inventing some other fiction to be affirmed as unblushingly as the present one. He who doubts God’s Word is naturally much at home in slandering the Lord’s servants.

“Yours truly,


The question of the salvation of infants is also referred to in the following note, which was written to a minister, whose infant child had died, and to whose wife a Christadelphian had expressed the idea that children dying at that age have no existence after death —

“June 8, 1872.

“Dear Friend,

“I am just leaving home, and can only write and say, — May the Comforter fulfill His Divine office in your hearts! The child is with Jesus. David did not think his babe annihilated when he said, ‘I shall go to him.’ Away with these foolish dreaams! The Lord be with you!

“Yours in sympathy,



When Mr. Mackey, the Protestant lecturer, was put in prison, Mr. C. N. Newdegate, M.P., called upon Mr. Spurgeon, to discuss the various aspects of the question, and the anti-Romish agitation in general. After he reached his home, he wrote to the Pastor as follows —

“3, Arlington Street,
“Sept. 24, 1871.

“My Dear Sir,

“I shall consider our conversation as confidential, as I am sure you will, since I mentioned individuals and their conversations, which I have no right to publish. You will, I am sure, understand this.

“Yours very sincerely,


To, this note, Mr. Spurgeon replied thus —

“Sept. 26.

“My Dear Sir,

“Rely upon me. As far as I am concerned, I do not object to your repeating any remarks of mine but I quite see the propriety of your request, and will readily comply with it. The imprisonment of Mr. Mackey appears to be a breach of all equity. If law permits it, law itself is bad. To check the power of the Papacy, and put down its errors, is a work worthy of the efforts of the best of men. May you have success in your labors! So long, however, as the Episcopal denomination remains Popish and patronized, your efforts will be stultified.

“Some years ago (such things are rare with us), I lost a member of my church, who is now a Romanist. How was he seduced? Not by Dr. Manning or St. George’s Cathedral, but by Mr. Mackonochie and St. Alban’s. I have more to fear from your Church than from the Pope’s hirelings, for it uses its Evangelical clergy as the first lure to godly people, then its semi-Ritualists, then its full-blown Papists, and so on, till men are conducted down to the pit of Popery.

“Besides, your Church claims a pre-eminence I cannot concede to it, curses me roundly in its canons, denies my call to the ministry, shuts the worthlest of my brethren out of its pulpits, and to crown all, compels me to pay tithe, and support an establishment which I abhor. Yet I love the true Protestants in your Church most heartily, though smarting daily under grievous wrongs, in the infliction of which they are participes criminis.

“Christian charity finds it hard to live where it is demanded on the one side, but cannot be returned on the other. While the existence of Protestant Dissenters is ignored by the Church, as such, and is treated as a crime in her canons, it is only a miracle of grace which enables a Nonconformist to have fellowship with any member of the dominant sect. I pray God to remove this monstrous barrier in the way of union, and to unite all our hearts in His fear.

“I am glad to have seen you, and am,
“Yours very heartily,



At various times, Mr. Spurgeon was obliged to write to the Newington clergy concerning the bell-ringing during services at the Tabernacle. The following was one of these communications —

“Nightingale Lane,
“July 4.

“Dear Sir,

“I beg to call your attention to the great disturbance caused by the ringing of a bell, at St. Gabriel’s Church, while the congregation at the Tabernacle is engaged in prayer. I reminded your predecessor that no right of bell-ringing belongs to any but a parish church, and informed him that I really must appeal to the law to stop the needless nuisance. He very kindly reduced the evil to the minimum, and I no longer objected. I am sure it is far from me to wish to interfere with the peculiar habits of my neighbors; but when many hundreds of persons, met to worship God, are disturbed by the clanging of a loud bell, it compels me to complain. The hours when we are at worship are at 11 and 6.30 on Sunday, and from 7 to 8.30 p.m. on Monday and Thursday.

“Wishing to be upon good terms with all in the parish, I trust that you will not allow the bell-ringer to disturb us further, but will substitute a few strokes for the many which are now given.

“I am,
“Yours truly,


Canon Palmer, to whom the above letter was addressed, was one of the speakers at the memorial service for Christian workers held in connection with Mr. Spurgeon’s funeral, and, after reading the note, he said —

“I have no copy of my answer, but I think I can remember its effect tolerably well. It was that I did not know what the law might order, but I was quite sure what the gospel required. It required that my neighbors should not be unnecessarily troubled, and I would give orders, at once, that the bell-ringing should be confined to a few strokes, and I had no doubt that the bell-ringer would be very much obliged to Mr. Spurgeon for mitigating his labors in that extremely hot weather. He wrote me again, immediately —

“Dear Sir,

“I am exceedingly obliged by your prompt and Christian reply. I felt it needful to make my protest against the bell-ringing somewhat strong, that I might not appear to be asking a favor merely, but claiming a right not to be disturbed. Otherwise, the lapse of years gives right to a custom against which no protest is entered. This, and no unfriendliness to you, prompted what you considered to be a threat. I can only hope that future correspondence may be, on my part, on a more pleasant subject, and, on your part, may be in the same generous tone.

“Yours very heartily,



During the whole of Mr. Spurgeon’s ministry, comparatively few of the members of his church embraced erroneous opinions; but when they did, they usually resigned their membership, and united with those who held similar views to those which they had adopted. There was at least one individual who did not conform to this rule; and, concerning him, the Pastor wrote as follows to Revelation Samuel Minton —

“July 20.


“I am sorry that Mr. — stultifies his own convictions, and distresses others, by remaining with a church whose testimony is diametrically opposed to his opinions. It seems to me that a Christian man is bound to unite with a church where he may consistently hold! and promulgate his views; but he has no excuse if he remains with a people to whom his views are obnoxious, and where his agitation of his opinions tends to create strife and division. We, as a church at the Tabernacle, cultivate fellowship with all the churches of our Lord, although differing in many respects from some of them; but, within our own membership, we have a basis of agreement in doctrine and practice, and where a member differs from it, it is his duty to remove to some other community where his views are held, or else he must expect us to withdraw from him. I have taken no further action in the case of Mr.___ than to request him to find a more congenial fellowship; but if he does not do so, our discipline must take its usual course. No honest man can be a member of the church meeting at the Tabernacle, and hold annihilationist views, for now and in all time past we have borne testimony to the generally-received doctrine.

“Yours truly,



During the General Election of 1880, a gentleman having written to express his deep regret that Mr. Spurgeon “should have descended from his high and lofty position as a servant of God, and preacher of the everlasting gospel into the defiled arena of party politics,” the Pastor replied to him —

“Nightingale Lane,
“Balham, Surrey,
“March 22, 1880.

“Dear Sir,

“Your letter amuses me, ‘because you are so evidently a rank Tory, and so hearty in ‘your political convictions that, in spite of your religious scruples, you must needs interfere in politics, and write to me. If there is anything defiling in it, you are certainly over head and ears.

“However, dear sir, I thank you for your kindness in wishing to put me right, and I can assure you that I vote as devoutly as I pray, and feel it to be a part of my love to God and to my neighbor to try to turn out the Government whom your letter would lead me to let alone.

“You are as wrong as wrong can be in your notion; but, as it keeps you from voting, I shall not try to convert you, for I am morally certain you would vote for the Tory candidate.

“In things Divine, we are probably at one; and you shall abstain from voting as unto the Lord, and I will vote as unto the Lord, and we ‘will both give Him thanks.

“Yours truly,


Yet, staunch Liberal and ardent admirer of Mr. Gladstone as he was, Mr. Spurgeon was by no means a blind follower of any earthly leader. He protested very’ emphatically against the appointment of the Marquis of Ripon as Viceroy of India, and he wrote thus, concerning that and other political questions, in reply to a letter from his old Cambridge friend, Mr. J. S. Watts —

“Nightingale Lane,
“June 19, ‘80.

“My Dear Friend,

“Like yourself, I go in for religious equality, but I like things done legally, and not in Mr. Gladstone’s occasionally despotic way, — by Royal Warrant, or by his own will. Alter the Act of Settlement if the nation chooses, but do not contravene it. Moreover, I should not allow a Mormonite to be Judge in the Divorce Court, nor a Quaker to be Commissioner of Oaths, nor an atheist to be Chaplain to the House of Commons; and, for the same reason, I would not have a Roman Catholic, sworn to allegiance to the Pope, to be Viceroy of India. Mr. Gladstone said this himself when writing about the Vatican; but the way in which he eats his words, and puts on a new form so soon as he is in power, does not increase my esteem for him.

“I belong to the party which knows no party. To cheapen beer, to confirm the opium curse, to keep in office the shedders of blood, and to put Papists to the front, are things I never expected from Mr. Gladstone; but ‘cursed be the man that trusteth in man.’ Yet I am a Gladstonite despite all this.

“To turn to a better subject, — the Girls’ Orphanage is outdoing all that went before. Love-letters pour in today. Am I not happy? I believe I have £7,000 out of £11,000. It comes leaping over mountains and hills. The Lord is a glorious Helper. Oh, for more faith in Him!

“Yours ever most heartily,


In order to keep together the letters relating to Mr. Gladstone, another of later date is inserted here —


It is well known that Mr. Spurgeon did not agree with Mr. Gladstone’s Home Rule proposals, and that many of his own most ardent admirers differed from him upon that matter. Among others, Pastor T. W. Medhurst supported the Liberal leader, and, in consequence, some of the Portsmouth papers represented him as having spoken unkindly of his beloved President. He therefore wrote to Mr. Spurgeon. who sent the following reply —

“Dear Friend,

‘I did not think your language, as reported, to be disrespectful, nor even dreamed that you would be unkind. Speak as strongly as ever you like, and I shall not be aggrieved. You are as free as I am; and I am free, and mean to be. If others think the bill wise and good, I hope they will do their best to carry it. I believe it to be a fatal stab at our common country, and I am bound to oppose it. I am as good a Liberal as any man living, and my loving admiration of Mr. Gladstone is the same as ever, hearty and deep, but this bill I conceive to be a very serious error. I claim to be under no man’s dictation, and to dictate to no man. Do not fear to speak through any shrinking on my account. Both sides ought to be heard. I shall love you none the less, but all the more, for being plain-spoken,

“Yours very heartily,



The following letter is of special interest now that the proposal referred to in it has been embodied in an Act of Parliament —

“April 9, 1881.

“Dear Friend,

“I regard marriage as a civil contract, which ought to be made before a magistrate or a registrar. I should be glad to be rid of marrying and burying altogether as religious matters, save only where there is a sincere desire for the Divine blessing or consolation. In these cases, let the minister hold a service at the house or the meeting-house; but do not make him a State official to register marriages, and to be held responsible for all the intricacies of marriage law.

“I hope Mr. Briggs’ proposal will never pass, or anything like it. If it did, I could only refuse to marry anybody, for I will not become a registrar. I altogether agree with the reported action of the Liberation Society, and wish for the time when all marriages shall ‘be at the registrar’s office, and then the godly can have such religious service afterwards as; they wish.

“Yours ever heartily,



At a meeting, held at West Norwood, under the auspices of the London Anti-vivisection Society, the. following letter from Mr. Spurgeon was read —


“July 25, 1881.

“Dear Sir,

“I am unable to attend your garden meeting. I wish evermore the utmost success, to all protests against the inhuman practice of vivisection. It does not bear to be thought of. How it must excite the righteous indignation of the all-merciful Creator! It is singularly sad that there should need to be an agitation on such a question; for one would think that the least-enlightened conscience would perceive the evil of such cruelty, and that the most-hardened heart would retain sufficient humanity to revolt against it.

“Yours truly,



Mr. Spurgeon was unable to be present at the meeting held at the Mansion House, on February 1, 1882, to protest against the persecution of the Jews in Russia, but the following letter from him was read by the Lord Mayor —

“I am sorry that I am quite precluded by prior engagements from being at the Mansion House to speak against the outrages committed upon the Jews. I am, however, relieved by the belief that the heart of England is one in a strong feeling of indignation at the inhuman conduct of certain savages in Russia. Every man and woman among us feels eloquently on behalf of our fellow-men who are subjected to plunder and death, and still more for our sisters, to whom even worse treatment has been meted out. Thence you have the less need of speeches and orations. As a Christian, I feel that the name of our Redeemer is dishonored by such conduct on the part of His professed followers. As a Nonconformist and a Liberal, believing in the equal rights of all men to live in freedom and safety, I must protest against a state of things in which the Jew is made art outlaw. Lastly, as a man, I would mourn in my inmost soul that any beings in human form should be capable of such crimes as those which have made Russia red with Israelitish blood. But what need even of these, few sentences? The oppressed are sure of advocates wherever Englishmen assemble.”


On March 15, 1882, Mr. Spurgeon wrote the letter on the following page, to be read at the meeting to which it refers —

“Dear Friends,

“I am exceedingly sorry to be absent from this first meeting to form the Tabernacle Total Abstinence Society. The worst of it is, that my head is so out of order that I cannot even dictate a proper letter. I can only say, ‘Try and do all the better because I am away.’ If the leader is shot down, and his legs are broken, the soldiers must give an extra hurrah, and rush on the enemy. I sincerely believe that, next to the preaching of the gospel, the most necessary thing to be done in England is to induce our people to become total abstainers. I hope this Society will do something when it is started. I don’t want you to wear a lot of peacocks’ feathers and patty medals, nor to be always trying to convert the moderate drinkers, but to go in for winning the real drunkards, and bringing the poor enslaved creatures to the feet of Jesus, who can give them liberty. I wish I could say ever so many good things, but I cannot, and so will remain,

“Yours teetotally,


When the second anniversary of the Society was celebrated, Mr. Spurgeon was again ill, for he wrote this letter to be read at the meeting —


“March 19, 1884.

“Dear Friends,

“I have just been saying that I should like to be as strong as a lion; but it has been suggested to me that, then, I might not be so strong as I am now. I am sorry that I happen to be weak when the battle is against strong drink. May the speakers tonight make up for my enforced absence by speaking twice as well as possible! The theme should fire them. I hope they will be full of spirit against evil spirits, stout against stout, and hale against ale. Let the desolate homes, the swollen rates, the crowded goals, the untimely graves, and the terrible destruction of souls, all wrought by drunkenness, inspire you with fervor for the cause of temperance. Thank God for what has been accomplished; your year’s labor has not been in vain in the Lord; but let this nerve you for larger endeavors. The drink must be dried up, — fountain, stream, and pool; this river of death must cease to flow through our land. God’s grace will help us. His pity for sinners will move Him to aid every loving effort for the salvation of the fallen.

“I pray for a sevenfold blessing upon the year to come. If I cannot speak to men, I can speak with God for them, and I will do so. May our Lord Jesus Christ inspire us with a deeper love to perishing sinners! With my hearty love,

“I am, Brother Blues,

“Yours truly,



In a letter to Mr. J. T. Markley, of Eastbourne, dated April, 1882, with reference to his suggestions in the public prints in favor of the substitution of artificial for live birds at shooting contests, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — “My judgment is heartily with you as to the brutality of pigeon-shooting matches. I cannot make out how people, who are in other matter, kind and gentle, can frequent these butcheries. I am still very unwell, and hardly like to think of the woes of this creation. I cannot just now do or say anything worth doing or saying, so I must leave the cause of the dumb in the hands of such good pleaders as yourself.”


Mr. Spurgeon promised to be present, if possible, at the Liberation Society’s meeting at the Tabernacle, on May 3, 1882; but, in consequence of ill-health, he was not able to be there, so he sent the following letter to Mr. J. Carvell Williams, who read it at the meeting —

“May 3, 1882.

“Dear Sir,

“I had always intended to speak tonight if strength were given to me, and I am greatly disappointed that I am obliged to be absent. I feel that this question of liberating the bride of Christ from her dishonorable association with the State grows upon me in importance the more; I love the Lord Jesus. I see the political evil of the situation, but the religious criminality is that which most oppresses me.

“Here is a Church of Christ which surrenders itself to the State. Its Bishops are appointed by the rules of a worldly kingdom; and as for itself, it cannot wear a ribbon, or leave it off, without Caesar’s permission. It is a mercy that some few of her sons find this fetter too galling. The mystery is that they should continue to wear it when the door to Christian liberty is open. I long to see the piety of Episcopalians so elevated that they will hate the present infamous alliance, with all its hard bondage. Failing this, may the eyes of statesmen be opened that they may cease to intermeddle in a sphere in which they have no vocation! For members of our legislature, as for us all, it is a task difficult enough to enter the strait gate each one for himself; and it is a superfluity of naughtiness for these gentlemen to attempt to legislate for the Kingdom of Christ, who asks for no help, from them. More strength to the arm of those true friend; of the Church of England who would establish her by Disestablishment, and enrich her by Disendowment!

“Yours truly,



In the Richmond (U.S.A.), Christian Advocate, May 17, 1883, there appeared what the Editor called “a clever, chatty letter” by Mr. Richard Ferguson, who represented Mr. Spurgeon as saying that “he would rather be a cannibal than a close-communion Baptist.” This statement was reported to Mr. Spurgeon, and he thereupon wrote —

“June 20, 1883.

“Dear Sir,

“I am not in the habit of speaking disrespectfully of strict communion Baptists, for I have a full conviction of their conscientiousness. As to saying that I would sooner be a cannibal than a close-communion Baptist, I never thought so, and certainly never said so. I have not the slightest wish to be one or the other; but I rejoice in being a loving brother to the latter.

“Yours heartily,


At various times, Mr. Spurgeon was asked about the genuineness of expressions with reference to close-communion which were attributed to him; another of his replies may suffice, to show the general tenor of his letters upon this question. An American Presbyterian paper stated, “on the authority of a sainted gentleman,” that Mr. Spurgeon had said, “I hate a close-communion Baptist as I hate the devil.” When this paragraph was brought under Mr. Spurgeon’s notice, he wrote —

“March 26, 1884.

“Dear Sir,

“I do not know who ‘the sainted gentleman’ may be, but he did not speak the truth if he reported me as saying that I hated a close communion Baptist as 1 hate the devil. I never even thought of such a thing, and assuredly it is not and never was true of me. The ‘saint’ have dreamed it, or have mistaken the person.

“The most unaccountable statements are made by men of known integrity, and they can only be accounted for by misunderstanding or forgetfulness. I know my own mind and views, and I can say, without reserve, that the expression could not have been used by me. As compared with the bulk of English Baptists, I am a strict-communionist myself, as my church-fellowship is strictly of the baptized.

“Yours heartily,


“Rev. A. S. Patton.”


In reply to an invitation to speak at the Reform Demonstration, in Hyde Park, on July 21, 1884, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — “I heartily approve of the measure for giving the franchise to our country brethren, and I much regret that the Lords should stand in the way of it. It must come as surely as time revolves, and no hurt can come of it unless it be from the friction occasioned by the opposition to it. I am not able to attend meetings to urge on political reforms; but whenever topics which touch upon the rights of men, righteousness, peace, and so on, come in my way, I endeavor to speak as emphatically as I can on the right side. It is part of my religion to desire justice and freedom for all.”


Mr. Spurgeon’s opinions on this subject were expressed in the following note to at gentleman who was devoting his attention to the work of answering the arguments brought forward in support of the idea —

“September 27, 1884.

“Dear Sir,

“I wish you every success in your warfare against this silly craze. I was at one’ time rather amused with the delusion, as a freak of human folly; but it evidently has its moral and spiritual bearings, and must therefore be met and exposed. I have not time for this contest, and therefore I am the more pleased to see others in the field.

“Yours truly,



A newspaper correspondence having arisen concerning the proceedings in connection with open-air baptism at Sheepwash, in Devonshire, Pastor W. T. Soper, one of “our own men,” wrote to Mr. Spurgeon concerning the matter, and his letter elicited the following reply —

“May 13, 1885.

“Dear Mr. Soper,

“I was not present at Sheepwash; and, consequently, can form no opinion as to the behavior of the villagers after the baptism was over; but I remember that the same things were said, more ‘than thirty years ago, of our public baptisms in Cambridgeshire, and I daresay there is as much truth in the representations now made as; in those of the older time.

“Those who did not wish to see so much of baptism imagined evils which existed mainly in their fears.

“Baptism in the open river is so Scriptural, and, withal, such a public testimony, that I hope our friends will never abandon it. The reproach is to be bravely borne; for, if you hide away in the meeting-house, it will follow you there. We are most numerous where the ordinance is most known Next to the Word of God, a baptizing service is the best argument for baptism.

“Whenever numbers of people come together, whether for trade, politics, or religion, there will always be loose persons to dishonor the occasion; but we are not therefore to abstain from such gatherings. Such an inference would be absurd.

“God bless and prosper you!

“Yours heartily,



In reply to an enquiry with regard to the evolution theory, Mr. Spurgeon wrote —

“February 8, 1887.

“Dear Sir,

“Thanks for your most excellent and courteous letter. I have read a good deal on the subject, and have never yet seen a fact, or the tail of a fact, which indicated the rise of one species of animal into another. The theory has been laid down, and facts fished up to support it. I believe it to be a monstrous error in philosophy, which will be a theme for ridicule before another twenty years.

“In theology, its influence would be deadly; and this is all I care about. On the scientific matter, you do well to use your own judgment.

“The Lord bless you, and lead you into His truth more and more!
“Yours heartily,


At one of the memorable gatherings under “The Question Oak,” a student asked Mr. Spurgeon, “Are we justified in receiving Mr. Darwin’s or any other theory of evolution?” The President’s answer was — ” My reply to that enquiry can best take the form of another question? — Does Revelation teach us evolution? It never has struck me, and it does not strike now, that the theory of evolution can, by any process, of argument, be reconciled with the inspired record of the Creation. You remember how it is distinctly stated, again and again, that the Lord made each creature ‘after his kind.’ So we read, ‘And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind and God saw that it was good.’ And again, ‘And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind and God saw that it was good.’ Besides, brethren, I would remind you that, after all these years in which so many people have been hunting up and down the world for ‘the missing link’ between animals and men, among all the monkeys that the wise men have examined, they have never discovered one who has rubbed his tail off, and ascended in the scale of creation so far as to take his place as the equal of our brothers and sisters of the great family of mankind. Mr. Darwin has never been able to find the germs of an Archbishop of Canterbury in the body of a tomcat or a billy goat, and I venture to prophesy that he will never accomplish such a feat as that. There are abundant evidences that one creature inclines towards another in certain respects, for all are bound together in a wondrous way which indicates that they are all the product of God’s creative will; but what the advocates of evolution appear to forget is, that there is nowhere to be discovered an actual chain of growth from one creature to another, — there are breaks here and there, and so many missing links that the chain cannot be made complete. There are, naturally enough, many resemblances between them, because they have all been wrought by the one great master-mind of God, yet each one has its own peculiarities. The Books of Scripture are many, yet the Book, the Bible, is one; the waves of the sea are many, yet the sea is one; and the creatures that the Lord has made are many, yet the Creation is one. Look at the union between the animal and the bird in the bat or in the flying squirrel; think of the resemblance between a bird and a fish in the flying fish; yet, nobody, surely, would venture to tell you that a fish ever grew into a bird, or that a bat ever became a butterfly or an eagle. No; they do not get out of their own spheres. All the evolutionists in the world cannot ‘improve’ a mouse so that it will develop into a cat, or evolve a golden eagle out of a barn-door fowl. Even where one species very closely resembles another, there is a speciality about each which distinguishes it from all others.

“I do not know, and I do not say, that a person cannot believe in Revelation and in evolution, too, for a man may believe that which is infinitely wise and also that which is only asinine. In this evil age, there is apparently nothing that a man cannot believe he can believe, ex animo, the whole Prayer-book of the Church of England! It is pretty much the same with other matters; and, after all, the greatest discoveries made by man must be quite babyish to the infinite, mind of God. He has told us all that we need to know in order that we may become like Himself, but He never meant us to know all that He knows.”


When the proposed Treaty of Arbitration between Great Britain and the United States was under consideration in the year 1887, Mr. Spurgeon wrote, in reply to a request for his opinion with regard to it — “Concerning the substitution of arbitration for war, there can surely be no question among Christian men. I rejoice that the two great Protestant nations should seek to lead the way in making permanent arrangements for the future settlement of differences in a reasonable manner. May they succeed so admirably as to induce others to follow their excellent example! It is surely time that we reasoned like men instead of killing like tigers.”


A question having been raised, in The Christian Commonwealth, as to the wine used at the communion services at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Mr. Spurgeon wrote to the Editor as follows —

“June 20, 1887.

“Dear Sir,

“We use Frank Wright’s unfermented wine at the Tabernacle, and have never used any other unfermented wine. I am given to understand that some of the so-called unferrnented wine has in it a considerable amount of alcohol; but Mr. Wright’s is the pure juice of the grape. One person advertised his wine as used at the Tabernacle though we had never used it even on one occasion. So far as we are concerned, we use no wine but that produced by Messrs. Frank Wright, Mundy, and Co.

“Yours truly,



In June, 1887, Mr. Spurgeon gave an address in connection with the Tabernacle Total Abstinence Society, in the course of which he said — “I could tell some dreadful stories of respectable Christian men, whom I know, who come home from business with heavy hearts because they do not know whether or not their wives will be drunk. They have prayed with them, they have wept with them, they have forgiven them many times, and vet the grocer’s shop has been too much for them. Do not talk about the public-house. That thing is straight and above-board, — that much I will say for it, — but the grocer’s shop is the place that ruins an immense number of women. They can get the drink there, and put it down under the name of something else; and I believe there never was a worse move for the temperance of this nation than that which made it easy to buy drink at grocers’ shops. I have not known a grocer who has not been deteriorated by the sale of it. I do not say they have become bad men, but they have not become better men.”

The solicitor to the Off-licenses Association wrote to Mr. Spurgeon, challenging some of his statements, and referring to the Report of the Committee of the House of Lords upon the matter; the following reply was sent to him —

“June 30, 1887.

“Dear Sir,

“I thank you for your letter. I am always ready to hear the other side, and especially when the pleading is so temperate in spirit. I do not intend to enter into controversy, but my opinion has not been arrived at without observation. I believe myself to be much better able to form an opinion than those who are engaged in the trade. Facts well known to us as ministers cannot be divulged. The ease with which drink can be obtained at respectable shops, I believe to be a peculiarly evil form of temptation; but to publish the facts which prove it would be as painful as it would be easy.

“A Committee of the House of Lords can prove nothing; the witnesses are silenced by a delicacy which their position demands.

“Yours truly,



An actress in America, replying to some ministerial criticisms upon the influence of the stage upon religion and morals, made the following statement to an interviewer — “Among the best friends I have ewer had, have been such eminent divines as Henry Ward Beecher, Dr. Chapin, Dr. Talrnage, Dr. Swing, Mr. Spurgeon, and others; and I am sure that none of these thought that my profession, rightly followed, carries with it any danger to good morals or religion.”

The minister who had been in controversy with the lady wrote to Mr. Spurgeon, enquiring as to the truth of this statement, and he replied thus —

“January 24, 1888.

“Dear Sir,

“So far as I can charge my memory, I have never before heard of Miss — am decidedly of the opinion that the stage is the enemy of ‘good morals and religion.’ It has not improved this lady’s truthfulness if she mentioned me as enrolled among her friends. She may be a very excellent person, but I know nothing of her.

“Yours truly,


Mr. Spurgeon’s opinions concerning professing Christians going to the theater are well known. Perhaps his most notable utterance upon that subject was evoked by the attendance of a large number of clergymen and minister’s at a special performance in the Shaftesbury Theatre. Shortly afterwards, in a sermon at the Tabernacle, he said — “The Christian Church of the present day has played the harlot beyond any church in any other day. There are no amusements too vile for her. Her’ pastors have filled a theater of late; and, by their applause, have set their mark of approval upon the labors of play-actors. To this point have we come at last, a degradation which was never reached even in Rome’s darkest hour; — and if you do not love Christ enough to be indignant about it, the Lord have mercy upon you!”


In May, 1890, a correspondent wrote to ask Mr. Spurgeon some questions concerning Brethren and Brethrenism, and at the same time mentioned the following incident in connection with one of the Pastor’s sermons —

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“This may interest you. My father-in-law, twenty-five years ago, lived in London, and on one occasion went to hear you preach. Your text was Nathan’s words to David, ‘Thou art the man!’ He had been exercised as to doing some little preaching; and as you proceeded with your sermon, he thought, ‘Well, there is nothing for me here.’ You went on, however, to picture the Plague of London, and asked, ‘What would you think of a man who, during the time of the Plague, had a specfic for it, but kept it in his pocket?’ Then, after a pause, and with outstretched finger, you called out, ‘Thou art the man!’ This went right home to my father-in-law’s heart, and he thought, ‘That’s for me! I’ve heard enough!’ From that time he began to preach, and has continued to do so ever since, the result being blessing to many souls, and much glory to the Name of Jesus. His thought was that he had the specific for the plague of sin in his pocket, but that he was failing to administer it’, one of his favorite illustrations of the simplicity of the gospel message is the story of your own conversion, under the local preacher’s sermon upon the text. ‘Look unto Me. and be ye saved,’ which story I once came across in my reading, and showed to him.”

In reply to the foregoing letter, Mr. Spurgeon wrote —

“May 9, 1890.

“Dear Sir,

“I cannot say that I have changed my opinion as to Brethrenism, but with many Brethren I have always been on most brotherly terms. I don’t think I am bound to answer your questions about individuals. I believe that I was loved by C. S., and that Mr. Kelly regards me in the kindest manner; and I return the like to the memory of the first, and to the other wire survives. I am, perhaps, better able to sympathize with their separateness now than aforetime; but their ideas of the ministry I do not accept.

“The sermon you mention was not printed. I rejoice that your father-in-law was; set working through hearing it; and I pray that we may each one in his appointed way, hold and spread the truth of the gospel of our Lord who cometh quickly.

“Yours very truly,



Mr. Spurgeon wrote the following letter to the honorary secretary of the Church of England Burial, Funeral, and Mourning Reform Association —

“September 11, 1890.

“Dear Sir,

“I hardly think it can be necessary to say that the expending of money on mere show at funerals is absurd, unthrifty, and even cruel. I hope the common sense of the people will soon destroy customs which oppress the widow and fatherless by demanding of them an expenditure which they cannot afford. To bedeck a corpse with vain trappings, is a grim unsuitability. Something has been done in the right direction, but I fear your Society has yet to battle with prejudices which are hard to overcome; and when these are conquered, there, will speedily spring up another host of extravagances. I wish you good success in a reform so evidently demanded.

“Yours truly,



ALTHOUGH Mr. Spurgeon often found certain portions of his character, and it was; frequently the medium by which he was greatly cheered and encouraged. For many years, not a week passed, and scarcely a day, without tidings reaching him that his sermons or other printed works had been blessed to the salvation of sinners and the edification and strengthening of believers; and he was also constantly reminded, from all quarters of the globe, that prayer for yet larger blessing was continually being presented on his behalf. This assurance was most gratefully received by him, and on many occasions he was quite bowed down under the weight of loving sympathy thus sent to him from far and near. A selection of these letters was given in Vol. 3., in the chapter entitled “Blessing on the Printed Sermons;” so communications of that special character are not inserted in the following pages.

Among the thousands of letters which have had to be read in order to decide which should be used, there are very many that, for various reasons, cannot be included in this work. Some are private documents, never intended to be published; and, of these, a considerable number came from the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of England, and most of them were written concerning individuals who had formerly been Baptists, and who were seeking admission into the Establishment, or they related to ex-clergymen who were wishing to enter the Baptist ministry. While some of each class appeared to be acting conscientiously in the steps they were taking, the history of others proved that they were mere adventurers, equally worthless to either Church or Dissent.

Some of Mr. Spurgeon’s correspondents completely changed the tone of their letters in consequence of his earnest contention for the faith; but, instead of giving specimens of the two kinds of epistles, they are omitted altogether. Controversial matters have been, to a large extent, excluded; otherwise, a chapter or two might have been devoted to the correspondence which, at various times, caused considerable excitement, if nothing more. The details of Mr. Spurgeon’s career were so constantly proclaimed, with more or less accuracy, to the whole world, that there is the less need, in this work, to refer to certain topics which are already matters of public knowledge.

The letters to and from Mr. Spurgeon would have been sufficient to fill several volumes the size of the present one, and readers will hardly need the assurance that it has been no light task to select those which would be fairly representative of the Pastor’s busy life. Among the numerous interesting communications which he preserved, but which are not included in this work, are very hearty invitations to visit Victoria, and Canada, and South Africa, — at least partly for rest; and earnest requests to him to take part in various Conferences of Baptists or other bodies of believers in Sweden, Norway, Holland, Switzerland, and India; all of which had to be declined with regret. Space could not be spared for two lengthy letters from Dr. R. W. Dale, of Birmingham, and Dr. Leonard Bacon, of New Haven, Connecticut, making preliminary enquiries as to the possibility of Mr. Spurgeon delivering the Lyman Beecher lectures at Yale College; nor was there room for the long explanatory epistle in which Dr. J. H. Vincent, of Plainfield, New Jersey, very earnestly entreated the Pastor to accept the office of “Dean of the Department of Biblical Theology to the Chautauqua School.” In these cases also, only a negative reply could be returned.

Applications for articles in American and other religious and secular papers and magazines; were constantly being received; they often contained the offer of an honorarium, or a draft for the amount which the Editors judged to be adequate; but, almost invariably, they had to be refused, because Mr. Spurgeon’s literary labors demanded every spare moment which he could devote to them. Most of the requests for interviews met with a similar fate, though exceptions were occasionally made, and the publication of the conversations which then took place usually involved further heavy additions to the Pastor’s correspondence.

For the purpose of making some sort of classification, “Letters from Ministerial Brethren” are inserted first. These will show how widespread and intense was the esteem in which Mr. Spurgeon was held by ministers of the gospel, both in the Church of England and among the various Nonconformist denominations. They will also help to cast side lights; upon the Pastor’s character and work, and so further reveal their far-reaching influence and usefulness. “Letters from American and Canadian Friends” seemed to be sufficiently numerous and important to be placed in a section by themselves. “Miscellaneous Letters” could scarcely be classified, so they are simply arranged in chronological order. The illustrations, on pages 185 and 189, are specimens of the many instances in which Mr. Spurgeon’s portrait appeared with those of the principal representative men of the day.


cannot be better commenced than by the insertion of a loving epistle, written by Dr. Alexander Fletcher, before Mr. Spurgeon’s marriage. He added this postscript, and sent it on to the lady mentioned in it, who has carefully treasured it until the present time — “Sweet love, will this please you? Yes, it will. Every blessing on you! — C. H. S.”

“November 16, 1855.

“Dear Young Brother,

“What a delightful, exciting, encouraging meeting we had last Thursday week in your hallowed sanctuary! The smile of God abundantly rested upon us. It was a little Heaven below. Truly, it was good to be there!

“I am looking forward, with great interest, to the evening when we hope you will preach in Finsbury Chapel. When we traveled together from Writtle, I mentioned the evening of the first day of the New Year, namely, Tuesday, January 1st. If nothing comes in the way, I anticipate an august assembly, God’s gracious presence, and much good. Due notice will be given, and we hope to witness a gathering and showers of blessing never to be forgotten. Favor me with a few lines. I return home tomorrow.

“I need not say how much I was pleased with a certain lady, to whom you kindly introduced me. I hope, like yourself, she will acknowledge me as her father She is everything I could wish. May your fellowship on earth be of long duration, and be the sweet prelude of your eternal fellowship beyond the skies! Amen!

“Always yours affectionately,
“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”


In those early days, Mr. Spurgeon did not preserve so many of the letters he received as he did in later years, so there is a long interval between the one printed above and the following. It appears that the Pastor, and his friend, Revelation Samuel Martin, of Westminster Chapel, had both been blessed to a certain individual concerning whom a correspondent wrote to Mr. Spurgeon. He passed on the good news to Mr. Martin, who wrote in reply —

“19, Belgrave Road,
“Belgravia, S.W.,
“December 17, 1870.

“My Dear Friend,

“Your welcome letter, and the letter of your friend, are in my hand. I thank you for your own loving epistle, and I thank you also for permitting me to read the other letter, and for thus making me a sharer of your joy. What is our hope, and joy, and crown of rejoicing, if not found in such facts as that which ‘W. J. S.’ narrates? Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost!

“Whenever you feel moved to cast your net in our waters, know and remember that our ship, or shore, or whatever may be needful to carry out the figure perfectly, is at your service. A prayerful and praiseful welcome will always be given you.

“I have requested one of my deacons to leave at your door a volume which I beg you to accept.

“As you read this, ask our Heavenly Father to give me back my power of voice, if it be His will, that I may continue to preach His Son, Christ Jesus, with whom I feel more closely united by means of every affliction which I suffer.

“What a large letter I have inflicted upon you! Forgive the infliction. The Lord keep you!

“Always yours,

“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”


Mr. Spurgeon was very grieved whenever illness prevented him from fulfilling his engagements to preach at the Tabernacle or elsewhere. On one such occasion, he received from Mr. Chown the following loving brotherly letter —

“24, Marlborough Hill,
“St. John’s Wood, N.W.,
“May 10, 1876.

“My Very Dear Friend,

“I received your secretary’s letter, last night, announcing your inability to be with us on the 23rd inst. It will be a great disappointment to our friends, but we will turn our anticipations into sympathy and prayer. May He, whose love and wisdom have permitted the stroke, give the blessing proportioned to the blow! As the chastening hand is laid upon you, may the supporting arm be underneath and round about you! Many have never felt the Lord so near and precious as in the furnace; may this be your happy lot, and the flames be powerless except to keep off the enemy, and burn off all bonds! There are times when our very tears become wellsprings of peace and comfort; may it be thus, beloved friend, with yours! We are all with you in spirit. May God bless you!

“Forgive this line or two before leaving for Montacute, where two services await me today. Again, and evermore, the Lord bless you!

“Yours very heartily,
“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”

“J. P. CHOWN.”

When the Princess Alice steamer sank in the Thames, on September 3, 1878, and hundreds of lives were lost, Mr. Spurgeon preached two sermons upon the calamity. The following letter refers to the one entitled “Divine Interpositions” —

“Camden House, Dulwich, S.E.,
“September 26, 1878.

“Reverend and Dear Sir,

“This is not the first time that we have exchanged friendly greetings. I am now moved to write to you to ask if your sermon on the Thames collision, as reported in The Daily News of the 9th inst., is published in extenso; if so, where can I get it? I am quoting, of course with approval, a passage from it in my next Sunday’s sermon, and would like to have your exact words, if possible.

“One sentence, however, of your discourse leads me to offer for your kind acceptance my last new volume on The Mystery of Pain, Death, and Sin. You are reported to have said — ‘I do not attempt to justify the ways of God to men, but I believe they are all for the best.’ Well, I, too, devoutly believe they are all for the best, but I have attempted to justify them.

“If you read my book, you must not mind a page here and there, sadly jarring on your own feelings; but bravely read straight on, and it is possible you may find much to cheer and strengthen your belief in God’s great and unfaltering goodness.

“I sympathized with you very much in your late illness, and am very glad you are at work again, and hope many years of noble activity are still before you.

“Believe me,
“Most sincerely yours;,


In Vol. 2, Chapter 1, mention was made of one of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons which Dr. Livingstone had carried with him through a great part of the African Continent. The following letter, from Dr. W. Garden Blaikie, tells how the discourse ultimately came into the Pastor’s possession —

“9, Palmerston Road,
“April 22, 1879.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“ I hope the publishers of The Catholic Presbyterian send it to you, as I requested them to do. I am Editor, and wish to be even more Catholic than Presbyterian. I have a proposal to make, and hope you will excuse me. Without introduction, it is this. The first vol. of the Life of Dr. Duff will be out next month. I am going to ask you to write for the said Catholic Presbyterian a notice thereof; particulars not needed, — but just your view of such a man as Duff, and of foreign mission work. I would get you an early copy, you would run over it at a sitting, you would write your first thoughts as they came, you would, in our Journal, secure thousands of readers not without influence, you would exemplify and promote union, and I think, with God’s blessing, you would give a real impulse to foreign missions. In the first number of the Journal, I had a noble paper, by David Livingstone, on Missionary Sacrifices. I wish now to follow it up with a word from you. Do not deny this, if you can grant my request. I am trying, with all my might, to combine and impel Christian effort in the wisest ways of working for our Lord.

“Apropos of Livingstone, I may tell you that I am doing something about a ‘Life’ intended to bring out the more spiritual, missionary, and domestic qualities of the man, I had in my hands, the other day, one of your sermons, — very yellow, — it lay embedded in one of his journals, had probably been all over Africa, and had, in Livingstone’s neat hand, the simple words written, ‘Very good. — D. L.’ Would you like it?

“If you do not take to the idea of Duff (although it is the best I can think of), tell me, please, if any other presents itself. Your views of our Church organization generally would be very valuable. With great respect,

“Yours very truly,


At Mr. Spurgeon’s pastoral silver wedding, the celebration of which was delayed through his long and serious illness, he was very strongly urged to abstain, as far as possible, at least for a year, from all services away from the Tabernacle. One of the ministerial brethren, who took an active part in the proceedings on that memorable occasion, was Dr. Charles Stanford, and it happened that the Pastor was under promise to preach for him at Denmark Place Chapel, Camberwell, a few days later. Mr. Spurgeon thought it was extremely kind on his friend’s part voluntarily to release him from the engagement; and the way in which he did so added to the value of the action, which was probably unique in Mr. Spurgeon’s history; for people were always so anxious to obtain his help, whatever the cost to him might be, that we are not aware that anyone else ever wrote to him another such letter as this —

“8, North Terrace,
“May 22, 1879.

“My Dear Friend,

“Delighted and most grateful as I should have been to have your service in average circumstances, my judgment has always been against allowing you to come On the 28th. I only stated the case, and accepted your generous offer because my folk were so anxious that I should do so.

“Although the bills are out, I have ordered slips, with ‘Postponed,’ printed in red letters, to be pasted over them. It is entire by my act and deed, not yours; and if any remarks are made, they will be made about me. It is not likely that I should be a party to risk doing you harm! Now this will be a conspicuous fact, which can easily be quoted, and which will, I hope, make you able to decline all applications from outside the Tabernacle for the next twelve months.

“May God bless and prosper you richly, still more and more, in all manner of ways!

“Affectionately yours,


In a later letter, Dr. Stanford wrote — “Purely out of love to you, and at a great loss and self-denial to myself, have I resigned the privilege of your sermon for us tomorrow night. I hardly recollect anything that has cost me so much, or that I have been so very, very sorry to give up. When I saw how far from perfect recovery you are, and how miraculous your home work is, I felt shocked with a fear that I had selfishly taken advantage of your generosity in allowing you to preach for me, especially at the beginning of your new campaign, so setting an example, and more especially as, in the circumstances, it looked as if I had some idea of a quid pro quo! I have, however, taken care to make public the fact that it is all my own doing, and that you were ready to come to us.

“An engagement in a little place takes up as much time as in a greater building, and if you had preached for us, no doubt you would have been pestered by many similar applications, which, if you had even partially accepted, might have worn away your working power, all of which is wanted for your own enormous apparatus of service.”

Mr. Spurgeon, on his part, did all he could to compensate for the disappointment by sending a contribution for the fund in aid of which he was to have preached, and also by presenting some of his books to Dr. Stanford, who wrote, in acknowledgment —

“My Dear Friend,

“You stun me. I can only say, in a short sum tota, — thank you! Our school people are also much surprised and obliged by the ten pounds… Your sermons always quicken me, because they are so full of God’s truth, put in your own way, and are so all-alive. Nothing ought to have the very soul and essence of a man in it so much as a volume of his sermons; that is another reason why I am glad to have some of yours. I have had many sheaves of them, but they are all about in the world now, and many have been preached from church pulpits by old friends. I have looked into The Treasury, just to see its plan, and form some idea of its materials, and I am sure it is a mine. As to the sermons, I pray that they may help me to a knowledge of the secret I so long to find out. I want to win souls, and if it please God, to win them now. I think your list of subjects would alone help me. You remind me in your titles of old Thomas Adams. I have nearly 4,000 books; but, till yours came, I think not twenty-five volumes of modern sermons were in my library.

“Affectionately yours,


The following letter from Dr. W. Morley Punshon is interesting as showing how such an eloquent preacher and lecturer shrank from occupying the pulpit at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, although deeply attached to the Pastor. He did, however, preach there during the time when the Wesleyans were making a special effort to clear off the debts from their chapels, and the building was lent to them.

“Brixton Rise, S.W.,
“October 3, 1879.

“My Dear Sir,

“My only reason for declining the great honor conveyed to me by Mr. Higgs is really my physical inefficiency. I eschew all large places, even in my own denomination, of set purpose. I cannot bear the excitement; and the three months’ anticipation of a service in the Tabernacle would make me thoroughly ill.

“I would do much, both to further your holiday, which I trust may tend to lengthen a life so precious to all of us who love the Lord, — and to manifest the Catholicity, nay, the oneness of our spirit in Christ; but pray excuse me in this.

“With much esteem,
“Believe me,
“Yours very sincerely,


The following letter, from Dr. Culross, needs no explanation —

“22, Lynedoch Street,
“18 June, 1880.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Either you have received, or you will immediately receive, a letter from D. Anderson, Esq., of Kingillie, near Nairn, and another from Mr. Lee, Free Church minister there, aiming to secure a conditional promise from you to preach in Nairn, next year, in connection with their new place of worship. I have great pleasure in seconding their application. They would endeavor to make your visit as agreeable as possible; and, if you could spare the time, a week or ten days spent there might invigorate you greatly in health. Knowing Mr. Anderson, I am confident he would lay himself out for this purpose. Your sermons are circulated in great numbers throughout the surrounding district, and a visit from you would be welcomed by thousands. I do not think you have ever preached within many miles of the place.

“If it were not that I think a visit to Nairn might refresh and strengthen you, I would not write as I do; but it would be a very different thing from coming to Glasgow. We remember your visit here with gratitude. A young man, who unexpectedly was idle on the afternoon you preached, and who ‘accidentally’ was offered a ticket by a Mend who was prevented from attending, went out of curiosity to hear you, and was led to the Savior. I have since baptized him, and received him into church-fellowship. Doubtless there are many similar cases of which we do not know. I trust you are again restored after your recent attack.

“With much esteem,
“Faithfully yours,


Dr. Henry Allon wrote this hearty and cheering letter to Mr. Spurgeon in reply to an invitation to speak at the Orphanage Festival —

“10, St. Mary’s Road,
“Canonbury, N.,
“May 31, 1881.

“My Dear John Ploughman,

“You do not say at what hour your meeting is, — whether at the first watch, or the second watch, or at cockcrowing, — not the last, I hope. I have promised the Lord Mayor and my wife, — who is only a woman, though a good one, — to dine at the Mansion House at half-past six, on June 22. Now, if your meeting is in the afternoon, — as I think it sometimes is, — I shall deem it a privilege to be at it, and with you.

“I can scarcely admit to myself that your kind and valuable service to us, at the opening of our new building, enhances the feeling of obligation to serve you, or do anything you may think proper to ask. Your great service to the Master, — your simple and unimpaired fidelity to Him, to His truth; and to your brethren, — lay us all under obligations to help you in every way that is possible.

“One could not say this to a young man; but the years have gone by when it can do any injury to say it, or anything but good, to you. For my part, I am very covetous of the real love and esteem of my brethren. I think it makes me tender and humble more than anything, save the ‘Well Done’ of the Master. Sometimes we see men injured by a great success, such as your ministry has been; but God has mercifully kept you from this, and I think all your brethren feel that every year has wrought an added sanctity and grace, so that their love abounds yet more and more to you. There is no service, in my power, that you can ask, that I shall not feel it a great gratification to give. I want to take your Sunday service some day when you are unable to preach.

“Cordially yours,


Dr. Allon’s wish to take a service at the Tabernacle was duly realized, and when he had been once, he had to go again, and Mr. Spurgeon on more than one occasion preached for him at Islington.

Another of the speakers, invited by Mr. Spurgeon to the Orphanage Festival of 1881, wrote to him thus heartily accepting the invitation —

“11, Clarendon Villas,
“Barry Road,
“Peckham Rye, S.E.,
“June 6, 1881.

“My Dear Sir,

“I am greatly astonished that you should be aware of my existence; and as to the idea of your catching any flame from me, — I am irresistibly reminded of the words. ‘I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?’ Would to God that I could catch something of that flame which has kindled so many hearts!

“I have an engagement on the 22nd inst., but I must manage to make some arrangement by which I can have the happiness of accepting your kind invitation to Stockwell.

“As; you are good enough to send me some advertisements of your invaluable publications, the principle of Reciprocity (now’ so strangely popular) requires that I should send you the only advertisements I have in hand just now. Of course, I do not expect that one, so overwhelmed as you are with gigantic labors, can pay us a visit. F7

“With most earnest prayers that God may grant you health and vigor, and may make you, for many years to come, a yet more abundant blessing to the Universal Church,

“I am, dear sir,
“Yours most sincerely,


Mr. Spurgeon was very gratified by the receipt of the following letter from one of the fathers of the Free Church of Scotland —

“St. Bernard’s Crescent,
“June 20, 1881.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I am a ‘retired’ minister. In June, 1821 (60 years ago), I began my ministerial work. In August, 1876, I ceased to be in charge of a congregation. I then became colleague and minister emeritus of the Free North Church, Stirling. I am the oldest minister, in point of ordination, in the Free Church of Scotland. I am the oldest surviving ex-Moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church.

“As to my relation to yourself, I have read, I think, everything you have published, down to your latest sermon and the latest number of The Sword and the Trowel. I love your writings for their true Puritan ring, for their soundness, their liveliness, and thoroughly Evangelical character. I do what I can to commend you and your great work, believing that, in doing so, I am serving our Lord. I am not a Baptist (I have written a little on the other side in my day), but I am a lover of all who love the Lord. On this ground, I claim you as a brother; and I will ever pray that the Master may more and more honor you by making you an instrument of good.

“With Christian affection, and sincere goodwill, I remain,
“Very faithfully yours,

“ALEX BEITH, aged 83.”

For several years, when arrangements for the autumnal session ,of the Baptist Union were being made, Mr. Spurgeon was asked, both by the local friends, and by the secretary of the Union, to preach in connection with the week’s proceedings. He fully appreciate, d the honor thus conferred upon him; he also felt the responsibility of addressing the assembled representatives of the denomination, and the hundreds or thousands of other persons who constituted his congregation on those occasions; and the messages he then delivered in various parts of the kingdom were among the most powerful utterances that ever fell from his lips. Yet, long before he was compelled to withdraw from the Union for reasons; stated in a later chapter, he strongly urged the responsible officials to ask someone else to take the position which had so often been occupied by him. It was in reply to one of his letters, to this effect, that the loving epistle, printed on the following page, was penned by Revelation W. Sampson, who was then secretary of the Union.

“Baptist Union,
“19, Castle Street,
“Holborn, E.C.,
“May 24, 1881.

“My Dear Friend,

“To say all that I should like to say, and, indeed, what merely ought to be said, would sound, so much like flattery, — which you would be as sorry to read as I should be to write,. — that I scarcely know how to reply to yours of the 20th inst. The fact is, your position is unique. We all acknowledge and rejoice in it, and are thankful to our Father in Heaven that He has raised up such an one as you are amongst us. That is simply a fact to be recognized.

“How you have stood the work, and borne what everyone must feel to be far more difficult than the work, the temptation that a position like yours involves, has always been to me a wonder. God’s grace has indeed been magnified in you. To Him be all the praise.

“You say, ‘Do you, yourself, think it right that one man should so perpetually have the honor of preaching to the Union?’ My only reply is, — Were you other than you are, you would not have been so asked; being what you are, we all feel grateful to God when He helps you to speak to us. Depend upon it, as long as God gives you strength, the people will feel these great gatherings incomplete without you. But the tax on your strength I feel to be so great that, after what you have said, I dare not say another word. I wish I could have held out some ray of hope to the friends at Portsmouth. Any inconvenience that I might be put to in the event of your being unable to attend, when the time came, is not to be thought of. When we feared, last autumn, that you might not be able to be with us, I wrote to Stowell Brown, asking him if he would come prepared to speak, — and willing to speak or be silent, as you were able or not. By return of post, came back the kindest letter consenting most gladly. Any of your brethren would do the same for you, such is the position you have secured in their esteem and love.

“May the Lord’s richest blessing be with you and yours!
“Believe me,
“Yours most sincerely,


1881 was the year in which the Baptist Union autumnal session was held at Portsmouth and Southampton, and the local committees in both places so energetically supported Mr. Sampson’s plea that, ultimately, Mr. Spurgeon promised to preach in each of the towns. On October 26 and 27, he was graciously helped to fulfill the engagements, and none who were present are likely to forget the discourses he then delivered. At Southampton, Mr. Spurgeon was the guest of Canon Wilberforce, and he and many other Church of England dignitaries were present at the service, and they also privately enjoyed much true Christian communion with the Pastor’, though part of the time they devoted to a very vigorous controversy upon Baptismal Regeneration, in which Lord Radstock proved himself to be a most doughty champion on the Evangelical side. Early in 1882, Canon Wilberforce asked for tickets of admission to the Tabernacle, and, shortly afterwards, wrote to Mr. Spurgeon as follows —

“The Deanery,
“February 24, 1882.

“My Dear Friend,

“Don’t get canonical; I would not have you anything but what you are!

“We were prevented, at the last moment, from enjoying the privilege of the Tabernacle service; but sent some friends, who very greatly appreciated it.

“Will you come and see us one day again? Would it be possible for you to run down on Monday, March 6, and read the Bible to us at our quiet home Bible-reading? How delighted we should be, and we would take such care of you for the night; or, if absolutely necessary, you could return to London the same evening, though this would be most disappointing to us. Do come; it will be no exertion to you, as there will not be above twenty persons, and you can help us, and speak to us of Him who has so blessedly used you. My wife sends her most kind regards, and begs you to come.

“Ever most sincerely yours,


When arrangements were being made for the Baptist Union autumnal session to be held in Liverpool, in 1882, Revelation Hugh Stowell Brown wrote —

“29, Falkner Square,
“June 12, ‘82.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“In the name of our churches here, I write to entreat the favor of your being with us to preach at the autumnal meetings of the Baptist Union to be held in Liverpool in the first week of October. Hoping you are well, I am, with best wishes, and with the very earnest desire that you will comply with our request,

“Yours faithfully,


Mr. Spurgeon once more stated the various reasons why he should not always be the preacher on these special occasions, and, in reply, Mr. Brown wrote —

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“We are all as desirous as ever that you should preach at the autumnal meeting. I fully appreciate your hesitancy to take so prominent a place, and to do so arduous a work, year after year; but no one else can do it, and upon your advent very much depends. I hope that, should you come, we can make a handsome collection for your Orphanage. I say this, not as a bribe, — for your resources; for the needs of your Orphanage are in far better hands than ours, and the Lord will not suffer them to fail; but I say it as expressive of the love in which we hold you, and of our wish to do what we think would be gratifying to you.

“I must now leave the decision to your own judgment, earnestly hoping that you will come, yet very unwilling to impose upon you a work which, for various reasons, must be a heavy addition to your many other burdens.

“Yours faithfully,


Again, and for the last time, Mr. Spurgeon yielded to the entreaties of his brethren; the service was another truly memorable one, and the net proceeds for the Orphanage amounted to £131 5s. 6d.

Revelation Robert Taylor, the Presbyterian minister of Upper Norwood, was one of Mr. Spurgeon’s very special personal friends. He lived so close to “Westwood” that he did not often write to the Pastor, but one of his letters to Mrs. Spurgeon has been preserved; it was written shortly after he had taken part in the Annual Festival at the Stockwell Orphanage, June 21, 1882: —

“Beulah Hill,
“Thursday morning.

“Dear Mrs.. Spurgeon,

“I take the liberty of sending, with this, The Outlook, of this week, which has a little article which I wrote on the Orphanage Fete. I don’t send it because it deserves your attention, or is worthy of the subject; but just as the heart tribute of a neighbor who greatly admires and loves your distinguished husband, and who highly prizes the privilege which you and he, in your great kindness, allow him of sometimes visiting ‘Westwood.’

“With affectionate greeting to Mr. Spurgeon, I remain,
“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon,
“Very faithfully yours,


In the autumn of 1882, when arranging the supplies for the Tabernacle pulpit during his absence at Mentone, Mr. Spurgeon sought to secure the services of Rev. Charles Garrett, of Liverpool. Though this proved to be impossible, the Pastor was; greatly cheered by the receipt of the following reply from his eminent Wesleyan friend —

“October 10, 1882.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Many thanks for your welcome letter, and its kind enclosure. I shall treasure both while I live. The fact is, I have long been about the most devoted admirer that you have. I have thanked God for giving you to the Church, over and over again; and I always say that the whole Church ought to pray that God may preserve and help you. Hence you may imagine how I prize your kind gift.

“As to occupying the pulpit for you, I would do anything in my power to relieve you from either work or anxiety; but this year I am very heavily taxed. Everybody wants me, and all seem to think that, as I am President, they have a claim to me. I am here at our Foreign Missionary meetings, and then I go for a series of meetings in Scotland.

“Have you ever preached on the Witness of the Spirit? If not, I wish you would. It is a subject on which many are greatly perplexed. Send it to me when it is published. God bless and keep you!

“Yours truly,


The following letter is a specimen of the correspondence between Mr. Spurgeon and Canon Harford, when the latter was one of the Canons Residentiary at Westminster Abbey; he had met the Pastor some time before, and had promised him a medallion executed by himself —

“Dean’s Yard,
“March 6, 1883.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“But for an inhuman amount of work which has kept me chained to this Abbey Rock of Westminster, I should be prevented by shame from writing this letter, for the little medallion of the Good Shepherd has been waiting more than a year in the hope of being sent to you! My young page-boy, who will take it to ‘Westwood’ this morning, knows how earnestly I have been hoping to find a free day, in which I could carry it to you myself, and how, day after day, I have been hampered with things immediately around me. An hour ago, all was arranged for our joint pilgrimage today, but the receipt of the enclosed note from an excellent Christian woman (who, for some months past, has been anxious about the health of her old mother to whom she has for years devoted — I ought to say, sacrificed herself,) tells me that, whilst inclination would carry me off to your beautiful Beulah, duty directs me to go at once to Bond Street.

“You must, assuredly, have written some little book, or pamphlet, confirming the hope; and comforting the heart of a believer at such a moment; and if you would kindly give me the name of it, or the numbers or texts of any of your beautiful sermons wherein you have dwelt upon the life of the world to come, I shall feel greatly obliged, and will get them from Paternoster Row this afternoon. Your sojourn on the Mediterranean shore, has, I trust, inspired you with new poetry as well as a fresh stock of health.

“Praying that you may long be preserved to benefit and delight the world, I remain, always,

“Revered and loved Pastor,
“Your sincere admirer and fellow-laborer,


Mr. Spurgeon sent two sermons which he hoped might prove suitable; one of them was the discourse delivered shortly after his return from Mentone, and entitled, “Supposing Him to be the Gardener.” It is one of the choicest of his sermons, and has been greatly blessed to mourners and others who have read it. Canon Harford’s second letter shows how highly he prized it —

“Dean’s Yard,
“March 7, 1883.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“But little did I guess, on entering my house last night at 10.30, that such a rare and precious feast was prepared for me. Both of those sermons are valuable treasures, but the inspired dream at Mentone is one that exceeds in usefulness as well as in superb cleverness all the memorable sermons I have read from English or from American sources during the last twenty-five years. I have ordered fifty copies today, purposing to send the first to the poor mourner whom your message, is certain to comfort, and another to your genuine admirer, Louisa, Lady Ashburton. Some shall go to France, where I hope a translation will be made into the language of the country; and some will go to certain weak brethren whom I have been lately called to ‘work at’ and endeavor to draw away from Agnosticism and so-called Spiritualism.

“I rejoice to think that you like the general tone of the Good Shepherd medallion. There is a proper angle of light for it, which, as you have discovered, ought to come rather from above than from below, and as you so temptingly mention Saturday, and 3 p.m., as your general free day and free hour, I will arrange (D.V.) to run down. to ‘Westwood,’ on Saturday next, by a train which will arrive soon after 3, in order to enjoy a half-hour refreshing converse with the master-poet and philosopher whose genius has been such a joy and benefit to England.

“I must not forget to tell you how one of the most excellent women I ever knew — and whose loss I shall ever mourn, — always read your sermons from the year 1856, When I was ordained at Croydon, until the year 1868, when she was taken away. Meanwhile, before setting out for a round of work chiefly connected with some thirty letters received this morning from India, I send off this scribble as a token of affectionate homage from —

“Yours ever most joyfully and loyally,


About a Fortnight later, Canon Wilberforce wrote to Mr. Spurgeon —

“The Deanery,
“March 20, 1883.

“My Dear Friend,

“You MUST — imagine my saying must to an Archbishop like you! but you must come, if only for ten minutes, to the anti-opium meeting in Exeter Hall on May 2. I know you have a horrid ‘Liberation’ meeting at the Tabernacle that night. Come and say a word about liberation from the dominion of a drug; or expect me at the Tabernacle with an amendment tied up in blue ribbon!

“Seriously, in order that this meeting shall be a success, your presence is essential, and mine comparatively immaterial. With most kind remembrances,

“I am, affectionately yours,


The following letter shows that a Nonconformist friend wrote to Mr. Spurgeon, in quite a different strain, concerning the same Liberation meeting —

“8, Russell Road,
“Kensington,. W.,
“April 25, 1883.

“My Dear Friend,

“I heard today, with deep regret, from Newman Hall, that you are again in great suffering. I was intending to write and ask if you meant to dine at Mr. Allcroft’s, on Wednesday next, after the Bible Society meeting, at which you and I both have to speak. I was going to say that, although I wanted to attend the Liberation Society meeting in the evening, yet, if you had decided to dine with the Primate of all England, I would go, too, just to guard your Nonconformity from the perversive suasions of an Archbishop and a Bishop. Imagine their success, bringing you over to Mother Church, — surpliced choirs, processions, and incense in the Tabernacle, and yourself invested with cope and chasuble! To avert such a catastrophe, I thought that I had better go with you!

“But I am afraid, from what I hear, that you will not be strong enough even to speak at Exeter Hall, to say nothing of the dinner afterwards, so I shall go to the Liberation Society meeting.

“But, dear friend, I am half afraid that this nonsense is like vinegar upon nitre to you if you are suffering so much. You have one cause for great thankfulness, viz., that you, in your gout, do more good than we ordinary creatures can do in our very best health. May you find the old promise to Israel fulfilled in your experience, ‘I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfortably unto her.’ “Ever your faithful friend,


In another letter to Mr. Spurgeon, Mr. Colmer Symes wrote — “I am personally greatly indebted to you, and I specially want to thank you for all the comfort and help which you have given to my late beloved mother during the last fifteen years of her suffering, helpless life at Torquay. Although she never saw or heard you, she always used to call you her minister. May God still continue to you the grace of a simple, consecrated purpose, and the gifts of such a manifold ministry!”

The following letter from Dr. J. Guinness Rogers shows what he felt concerning the enormous strain involved in Mr. Spurgeon’s preaching at the Tabernacle for so many years —

“1, Princes Gardens,
“Clapham Common, S.W.,
“July 14, 1883.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I have been longing to get across to see you today, but am baffled in my endeavors, and so write a line to say how pleased I am to see that you have so far recovered from the attack of last Sunday.

“It was a pleasure to be able to help you, and so I faced any dissatisfaction with my absence from my own pulpit, which Mr. Charlesworth occupied very efficiently. However, all Christian people have such sympathy with you that I have no doubt I shall be forgiven even by those most disposed to complain if they do not see their own pastor. Your great congregation is an inspiration, but it is also an overwhelming responsibility. I do not wonder that continuous labor in the Tabernacle tells on you, and in ways you may not suspect. I do not envy the man who can preach (here without having his whole nature strained to the utmost; and that means nervous exhaustion, of all others the most difficult to contend against.

“May the Lord spare you many years to do a work to which not one in ten thousand would be equal!

“Yours very faithfully,


In the “Westwood” chapter, mention is; made of the Saturday afternoon visitors to the Pastor at his home. One friend who was always welcome was Mr. John M. Cook, a near neighbor of Mr. Spurgeon’s, who constantly urged the Pastor to allow him the pleasure of “personally conducting” him and Mrs. Spurgeon (or his secretary) up the Nile, free of expense, just as his father, Mr. Thomas Cook, had desired the privilege of being Mr. Spurgeon’s guide through the Holy Land. It never seemed possible to arrange for either trip, so both father and son had to be content with an occasional call at “Westwood,” sometimes accompanied by special friends whose acquaintance the Pastor might wish to make. The following letter explains the circumstances under which a meeting was arranged between Mr. Spurgeon and Dr. Welldon, the present Bishop of Calcutta —

“Ludgate Circus,
“October 30, 1883.

“My Dear Sir,

“Last night, I was dining at Dulwich, with Mr. Wellden, the newly appointed head-master of Dulwich College. I met, at his table, my old friend, ex-Judge Saunders, from India, who, in conversation, told me that he had the pleasure of introducing to you at the Tabernacle an Indian Nawab, who was traveling under our arrangements, and that the Nawab stayed through one of your services. Mr. Welldon spoke out very strongly in praise of your work, stated that he had been at the Tabernacle several times to hear you, and longed very much for an introduction to you. I took upon myself to say that there was nothing easier, and that I was quite, sure you would be glad to see him. Judge Saunders then suggested that I should arrange to have the pleasure of introducing Mr. Welldon to you. I explained that Saturday was your general day for receiving friends, and that next Saturday would be the only one on which I shall be at home until near Christmas. I shall be obliged by a line from you saying whether it will be quite convenient for you to see these gentlemen any time after 3 o’clock next Saturday afternoon. With kind regards,

“Yours sincerely,


The appointment was confirmed, and duly kept, and so began a peculiarly intimate friendship. Mr. Welldon, in the course of the interview, told Mr. Spurgeon how greatly his grandmother prized the sermons, so the Pastor wrote a note to her, and sent it to her grandson, who then gave the following additional particulars concerning her —

“Dulwich College, S.E.,
“November 5, 1883.

“My Dear Sir,

“I am deeply grateful for your kind thought of my grandmother. Nothing, I think, could cheer her so much in her last days as this word from you. It will perhaps be a little interesting to you to know that, some years ago, when I was about to live in Germany, she put into my hands several volumes of your sermons, and made me promise to read one every Sunday morning until I came home, as she thought, poor dear! that Senior Classics were sure to be skeptical, and ever since then I have been a student of your writings, so that I suppose there are few members of the English Church who know them better, or owe more to them than I do.

“I shall be at home on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday in the present week, and shall be delighted if you can come then, or at any other time, and see the College.

“Believe me,
“Ever faithfully yours,


Mr. Spurgeon early foretold the elevation of his friend to the episcopate, and playfully expressed the hope that, when Mr. Welldon became a Bishop, he would not forsake his Baptist brother. But when the expected promotion came, he had himself been “promoted to glory.”

Singularly enough, the very day that Mr. John M. Cook’s letter reached Mr. Spurgeon, he received this note from another neighbor, Dr. William Wright, Editorial Superintendent of the ‘British and Foreign Bible Society —

“The Avenue,
“Beulah Hill,
“Upper Norwood,
“October 30, 1883.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Sir William Muir and his daughters expressed a strong wish, last night, to see you. They are residing for a few weeks on Beulah Hill. I am exceedingly unwilling to bore you, but I promised, if an opportunity offered, to introduce them to you. Sir William’s wish to see you is no vain curiosity, and I think you receive visitors or, Saturdays. As you know everything, you know the excellent work Sir William did in India in putting down infanticide, and especially as a Christian student of Islamic literature.

“If you could see us next Saturday, or the following, I should take it as a great favor. With kindest regards to Mrs. Spurgeon,

“Yours very truly,


Possibly, because arrangements had been made for the other visitors to call that week Dr. Wright’s party was asked to come on the following Saturday, and he therefore wrote, on November 9: — “I hope to call tomorrow, about three o’clock, with Sir William Muir, Lady Muir, and perhaps their daughters and my wife. I hope you will not consider our visit a visitation.”

Having once found his way to “Westwood,” Dr. Wright often came; and, as the result, he was able to write the remarkable testimony to Mr. Spurgeon’s literary ability which is given in a later chapter. He was “called home” while the present volume was being compiled; and only a few days before he received the Master’s message, “Come up higher,” he was noticed to be standing at the gate of “Westwood,” and gazing with peculiar wistfulness down the drive which he had so many times traversed on those memorable Saturday afternoons that he had spent with his friend in the garden, or among the books which they both so greatly loved.

This chatty note from a very venerable clergyman is interesting because of his reminiscences of the young Pastor at New Park Street Chapel, and some of his clerical critics —

“62 Torrington Square, W.C.,

“February 22, 1884.

“My Dear Brother,

“Blessed as you are in common with all believers, with Divine teaching, and with good temper (which all saints are not), I hope you will pardon me, who preached the gospel before you were born, if I ask you, in one of your valuable sermons, to say something about Shakespeare, — perhaps the greatest genius in his way, who ever lived, — but certainly, a deadly enemy to gospel truth. His plays are getting more and more popular’. It is sad to see that even good men are praising him in the pulpit. You have talent and taste enough to appreciate his wonderful power, and have some gifts in common with him; but, of course, you know that reading his plays,, and, much more, attending public performances of them, can but pollute the minds of such as do so.

“In a pastorate of half a century, I have thought it wise to consider suggestions made to me (even anonymously), though I do not always agree with them.

“I often hear you, always with pleasure, I hope, too, with profit. I have for years given away your sound and Scriptural sermons every week; and I tell you, what I have told scores and scores of folk, that you are doing more good than any man in England except Lord Shaftesbury.

“I said to two clerical brethren (both since Bishops), in 1855 (I think), ‘I am going to hear young Spurgeon tonight.’ One of them said, ‘What! that mountebank?’ I heard you in Finsbury Chapel. Before you had got half through your prayer, I said to myself, ‘This lad is no mountebank.’ I heard your sermon, not agreeing with all of it, but I said, next day, when I saw my brethren at a large clerical meeting, “Spurgeon is no mountebank; I wish I could preach half as well, and I wish as much for most of my brethren.’ They were both very popular men; one is sleeping in Jesus, the other is one of our few Evangelical Bishops, and a dear friend,

“I never pass a week without hearing of the good your sermons are doing. A dear old friend, of mine told me, the other day, that his pious aunt (aged 90) said she ‘lived upon those blessed sermons.’ One of my working people said to me, yesterday, ‘I like that Spurgeon, I can understand him.’ This is one of your best features; you are always intelligible; — let me add, always good-tempered; and, best of all, always Scriptural.

“Yours affectionately,


This note came to Mr. Spurgeon, in March, 1884, from Mrs. Weltbrecht — “My son-in-law, Professor Christlieb, of Bonn, is coming to England to hear and see Mr. Moody. He is trying to form an evangelistic center at Bonn, to prepare evangelists to go through Germany, to proclaim Christ and His salvation.

“Professor Chriistlieb enquires of me if he can also see his brother Spurgeon, and I have ventured to tell him that I will write and ask you, and have added that I hoped, if your state of health permitted, you would spare him art hour of your time. Christlieb (‘Christ’s love,’) is full of fire, zeal, and Christian love. He has often been fed by you, dear sir, and has fed others, through your sermons, though he is no common preacher himself. I am sure you will give him a shake of the hand, if possible. His time is very short. He brings his eldest son with him; he, like your sons, but younger, is a preacher of the gospel.”

When the appointment was made, Dr. Christlieb wrote — “It is so kind of you to give me a few minutes next Wednesday at 11 o’clock. Having to write a history of preaching in all ages and Churches, I want to put some questions to you on books written on eminent Baptist preachers.”

Dr. Angus sent to Mr. Spurgeon the accompanying view of the library of Regent’s Park College, with the following note —

“C. R. P.,
“December 3, 1884.

“My Dear Friend,

“I hope you are not ashamed of your company; as I am sure they are not of you. Marshman, Carey, Ward, Fuller, and Booth are over you; Kinghorn is opposite, — a blessed fellowship.

“Ask Mrs. Spurgeon if she can find you’ with all sympathy and regard,

“Yours very truly,

For a time, Mr. Spurgeon, and Mr. Lewis, of Westbourne Grove Chapel, were joint-editors of The Baptist Magazine, and they were always very intimate and devoted personal friends. This appears to have been the last letter received by the Pastor from Mr. Lewis —

“Victoria Street,
“St. Albans,
“November 3, 1884.

“My Very Dear Friend,

“I cannot sufficiently thank you for the loving words you sent me on Saturday; and, best of all, for the assurance of your prayers. I am in a sorry plight, so far as the poor frame is concerned; but blessed with much peace.

“I need hardly tell you that I have no complacency in anything I have done. The faculty of introspection is wonderfully quickened in such circumstances as mine; but ‘grace reigns.’ I only deplore that every pulse of mine has not beaten in accord with the Savior’s will, and every breath exhaled for His glory. May He continue to honor and bless and comfort you!

“With pleasant memories of past associations, — au revoir! Pray for me still!

“Yours lovingly,

“W. G. LEWIS.”

When Mr. Spurgeon was arranging for the supplies at the Tabernacle, during his holiday in the early part of 1885, he wrote to ask Rev. Mark Guy Pearse to be one of the preachers. In reply, he received the following loving letter —

“Grosvenor Villa,
“Southfield Road,
“December 26, 1884.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I shall count it an honor and a great pleasure to serve you. On February 15, I have promised to preach the Sunday-school sermons for our people here, and cannot put them off; but I can give you February 1. This is the only day I can conveniently find in February; but I can offer you either March 8, 15, or 22.

“I should much like to comply with your request without any of these ungracious buts and ifs. You have made me your debtor long since. There is no man living to whom I am more indebted. God bless you, dear Mr. Spurgeon, and yours, yet more and more!

“Believe me,
“Always heartily yours,


After the Pastor’s home-going, Mr. Pearse related this touching incident concerning Mr. Spurgeon and himself, and. thus explained the indebtedness mentioned in his letter —

“Some years ago, I sat with him on the platform at the Tabernacle; and, in an interval during the meeting, I whispered to him, ‘When I was a young fellow in London, I used to sit right over there, and hear you preach, and you will never know how much good you did me.’ I cannot forget the bright light that came into his face as he turned to me, and said, ‘You did?’ ‘Yes,’ I replied, ‘and I am so glad to have this chance of telling you of it. You used to wind me up like an eight-day clock; I was bound to go right for a week after hearing you.’ He put out his hand, and took mine in it, and the tears brimmed to his eyes as he said, ‘God bless you! I never knew that.’”

Mr. Spurgeon’s letter in chapter 92, concerning Disestablishment, will give some idea of the nature of his reply to the following communication from Principal Rainy —

“May 18, 1885.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“We are going to have a public Conference on Disestablishment on the evening of Thursday next. It is the opening day of our Assembly; but this Conference is not exclusively Free Church. It is called by a District Association which looks at the question fully as much on the religious as on the political side.

“Could you send a letter, however brief, to be read at the meeting? It would help us much, — especially with those good people who are afraid of moving anything that exists.

“I was glad to get hold of a good report of your recent speech on the subject. If we should feel drawn to make attract of it, would you license the theft?

“One does not want to spend too much time on these movements, yet they are apt to usurp a great deal. But we have other work in hand as well. There has been a good deal of promising religious impression over the country, and especially in our University. Even this however, seems; to share a little in the strange tendency of our day to cut loose from definite Theology.

“‘Yours ever truly,


Even such a simple matter as an application for tickets for a Tabernacle service gave Revelation Henry Simon, of Westminster Chapel, the opportunity of writing the brotherly epistle printed on the next page.

“Mervan House,
“Brixton, S.W.,
“May 28, 1885.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I have at missionary friend, from Peking, who is very anxious to sit at the royal repast which will be spread at the Tabernacle next Sunday night. Being rather overgrown, as heights go, he does not care for the abundant entrance at the front doors, but would, for once, like to enter with the elect saints to whom a less abundant entrance is granted. He looked in such a way that I said I would try to get him a ticket, but where to apply I do not know except it be at headquarters.

“I should have been glad of this, or any other excuse, for calling on you, having a very pleasant and vivid recollection of a walk and talk with you in your garden some years ago; but I have conscience enough left to be satisfied to look at you in the far distance, and to thank God that you are strong enough again to speak to the great congregation. With Christian love;

“I am, dear Mr. Spurgeon,
“Yours in the best of bonds,


While staying at Mr. Duncan’s at “Benmore,” in the summer of 1885, Mr. Spurgeon received the following intimation concerning a notable sermon which he had delivered not long before; he gladly gave the desired permission —

“19, Ardbeg Road,
“30th July, 1885.

“My Dear Rev. Sir,

“For many years, I have perused your weekly sermons with great benefit to body and soul. I new trouble you to say that I purpose delivering your admirable discourse on ‘Coming Judgment of the Secrets of Men,’ with your permission, in the oldest Episcopal Church in Scotland. If you veto this, I will hold fire. I mean to give it verbatim; the only lack will be the voice of the living author.

“Were it in my power, you should have the first vacant mitre in honor and appreciation of your singular gifts. Pardon this obtrusion on the rest which you so much need for your unwearied tax of strength, and believe me to be,

“Yours most truly in Christ,

“J. F. S. GORDON, D.D.,

“St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Glasgow.”

In 1885, Mr. Spurgeon preached, in Great Queen Street Chapel, the annual sermon for the Wesleyan Missionary Society. It was one of the most remarkable discourses that he ever delivered, and it has been rendered specially memorable because of the large number of missionaries who have gone out to the foreign field in response to the powerful pleas he then urged upon all professing Christians. The text was Matthew 28:18-20, and the title — “Our Omnipotent Leader.” This letter, from a Wesleyan minister in Paris, expresses what many felt concerning it —

“11, Avenue Flachat,
“June 17, 1886.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I purpose taking you for the subject of my monthly lecture at the ‘Salle des Conferences,’ Boulevard des Capucines. I feel that I cannot take this liberty with your name, person, and ministry, without at least informing you of what I purpose doing. You will understand at once that my object is to speak of Christ to a Parisian audience that will be attracted by the subject of the lecture.

“Wesley says, in his ‘Notes to a Helper,’ that a Methodist preacher must have all his wits about him. Methodist preachers have not the monopoly of shrewdness; but I venture to think that, if I am equal to the occasion, I shall have followed out Mr. Wesley’s injunction.

“I thanked you, from a very full heart, in the vestry of Great Queen Street Chapel, for your sermon on behalf of our Missionary Society; I thanked you for it in Exeter Hall, and it would have done your heart good to have heard the response of our people to what I said; and now I seize this opportunity of thanking you again. I shall never have done thanking you for words of cheer that have helped me in the fight. I feel more than thankful; I am grateful. Precious spices become incense when set on fire; so thanks, kindled by love, become gratitude.

“May I ask you to present my most respectful salutations to dear Mrs. Spurgeon?

“Thankfully and sincerely yours,


Such letters as the following’ always gave Mr. Spurgeon real pleasure —

“Chaplain’s House,
“Tower of London,
“20th January, 1888.

“Dear Sir,

“May I ask you to, be so kind as to let me have two seats in the Metropolitan Tabernacle on Sunday evening next, for myself and sister? It is a good many years since I was there, — at one time regularly, with my mother, whom you well. knew. Although now a clergyman of the Church of England, and therefore quite out of sympathy with your views of that body, I must express, what I have allways felt, the deepest respect for your transparent sincerity, and a hearty admiration of your splendid God-given powers of clear convicting and also comforting gospel preaching. I am what would be termed a High Churchman; but, believe me. I am not alone in, above all, loving and uttering God’s simple gospel, only believing in ceremony and externals as relative goods, means to an end.

“I have often, as a boy, shaken you by the hand, and should feel honored by a chance of meeting you again. May God preserve you many years, though you rhetorically tear my Church to ribbons!

“Ever yours faithfully,


On March 6, 1888, Mr. Spurgeon preached at Wimbledon; and, the following morning, he received this loving letter from Rev. E. W. Moore, M.A., the vicar of Emmanuel Church —

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“At the risk of being troublesome, I must write just a few lines to thank you for the faithful testimony to a faithful Christ you gave us this afternoon. I hastened back to the vestry (after seeing a friend — Mrs. Seton-Karr, sister to your friend the late Mrs. Dudgeon, of Mentone, out of the crowd,) to have the pleasure of a shake of the hand, but you had gone. I should have liked to tell you, though you need no telling from me, how great and general is the sympathy felt for you here as everywhere by all who cleave to Christ the Head, for your brave and fearless stand for our Lord and Master. Thank you for preaching today a risen, glorious, triumphant, unchangeable Savior. He is the same as ever. He still baptizes with the Holy Ghost and with fire; and if He be for us, who can be against us?

“Thank you for all the help you have often given me by the printed page. If it can be said of any man that he does not know what a great work he is doing, it may be said in a special sense of yourself. You will never know here how many souls you have gathered, and how many preachers you have strengthened. God bless and preserve you to us all for many years!

“Affectionately yours,

“E. W. MOORE.”

The following note, from a clergyman of quite another school, was received in August, 1888: —

“Queen’s House,
“Cheyne Walk,

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I and two of my children hope for the privilege of hearing you next Sunday night, if there, is any chance of getting seats. It is very seldom, in London, I am out of my own pulpit; and when I am, I do not like to miss the opportunity of hearing the greatest living preacher.

“Yours faithfully,


This letter was written by one of the Evangelical clergymen who resented Mr. Spurgeon’s “Baptismal Regeneration” sermon, but who afterwards became one of the Pastor’s heartiest admirers; the receipt of the letter gave great joy to Mr. Spurgeon —

“Christ Church Vicarage,
“27th February, 1890.

“My Dear Brother,

“I don’t know how it is, but I feel prompted to ask your acceptance of the enclosed New Year address, which, I rather think, will find an echo in your own heart.

“I remember once, when I was in Southwark, feeling constrained to differ from you as to the interpretation of our Baptismal Services. Since that time, the progress of error in the Church visible has been so alarming and continuous, that all who really love the. Truth seem to be under’ a very special obligation to manifest substantial and brotherly unity; and I cannot deny myself the pleasure of saying how much I thank God for the firmness and consistency with which you have maintained and propagated the precious doctrines of the grace of God in a Rationalistic and Ritualistic age.

“Believe me,
“Yours very faithfully,


When Mr. Spurgeon learned that the Jews of the present day substitute a dry shank-bone for the Paschal lamb, he was; so struck with the spiritual significance of the fact, that he delivered a discourse upon the subject, and entitled it, “The Shank-bone Sermon; or, True Believers and. their Helpers.” On the following page is one of the many letters he received concerning it.

“164, Richmond Road,
“Dalston, N.E.,

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I enclose a cutting from today’s Star, which corroborates in a remarkable manner the ‘shank-bone’ illustration you so happily used at Victoria Park the other day. It is indeed a pity that Jews and half-Christians are content with a bone when they are offered the Lamb.

“You are making a noble stand for the truth, and there are thousands of ministers and others who heartily and daily say, ‘God bless Mr. Spurgeon!’

“Personally, I may say that I owe you more than I can ever tell. If you only knew half, you would never sit ‘under the juniper tree,’ for your life and words are an inspiration to the faithful in every land.

“Wishing you continued Divine favors, I remain,
“Yours very heartily,


These appreciative letters from ministerial brethren may be fitly closed with the following fraternal epistle from Prebendary Stephenson —

“Lympsham Manor,
“July 8, 1890.

“My Dear Brother Spurgeon,

“I quite agree with you that occasional pain and sickness are good for us preachers of Christ’s gospel I thought sympathetically of you, yesterday, when I ached all over, after four services on the Lord’s-day before.

“My heart has been drawn towards you in admiring love for many years, and never more so than when I heard you on the Bible Society platform last May, when you gave abundant evidence that the bough, pruned by the hand of ‘the Husbandman,’ had not been ‘purged in vain.’

“We may not belong to the same regiment of the great army, but our Captain is the same! Go on, my beloved brother, as you have done for so many years past, to proclaim the magnificent glory of grace, and thus to gather trophies for the cross. ‘Tabernacles’ shift and vanish, but ‘Temples not made with hands’ are ‘eternal in the Heavens’!

“God bless you, mine honored friend! This is Cardiphonia, from —

“Your loving brother and servant in Christ,


“Treasurer of Wells Cathedral.’


IN accordance with the intimation in the introduction to the previous chapter, the second sub-division of communications from Mr. Spurgeon’s correspondents is to consist of —


Of these, the first in order of time are those written by Mr. D. L. Moody, and they may fitly begin the series because of the mutual esteem and love which he and Mr. Spurgeon cherished for each other. In reply to a letter from the Pastor, inviting him to preach at the Tabernacle, Mr. Moody wrote —

“12, Lynedoch Place,
“March 17, ‘74.

“Dear Spurgeon,

“Many thanks for your kind note. I am in hopes that you will be led by the Spirit to preach to young men on Sunday next. Enclosed I send you a circular that a minister here is sending out in the hope that it will stir up some interest in Britain.

“In regard to my corning to your Tabernacle, I consider it a great honor to be invited; and, in fact, I should consider it an honor to black your boots; but to preach to your people would be out of the question. If they will not turn to God under your preaching, ‘neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.’

‘Yours, with much love,

“D. L. MOODY.”

The following year, Mr. Spurgeon helped Mr. Moody in his London mission; this grateful epistle shows how highly his services were appreciated —

“17, Highbury Crescent,
“May 8, ‘75.

“Dear Spurgeon,

“Ten thousand thanks for your help last night. You gave us a great lift. I wish you would give us every night you can for the next sixty days. There are so few men who can draw on a weeknight, and I want to keep up the meetings in the East End and West at the same time; it is hard on me to have to speak twice the same evening, and yet I shall have to do it next week, for I cannot get anyone for the West End. Do all you can for the work, and we shall see blessed results.

“Yours in haste,

“D. L. MOODY.”

Another letter, written some years later, shows that, while Mr. Moody still held Mr. Spurgeon in just as high esteem as before, he consented to preach at the Tabernacle one Sabbath during the Pastor’s absence at Mentone —

“October 11, ‘81.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Yours of the 9th is to hand, and in reply let me say that I am thankful for your very kind note. It quite touched my heart. I have for years thought more of you than of any other man preaching the gospel on this earth; and, to tell you the truth, I shrink from standing in your place. I do not know of a church in all the land that I shrink from as I do from yours; — not but what your people are in sympathy with the gospel that I try to preach, but you can do it so much better than I can.

“I thank you for inviting me, and (D.V.) I will be with your good people November 20. Will you want Mr. Sankey, or will your own precentor have charge? Either will suit me.

“Remember me to your good wife, and accept of my thanks for your letter of cheer.

“Yours truly,

“D. L. MOODY.”

One of the many letters which Mr. Spurgeon received from Mr. Moody’s singing companion will show in what loving esteem he held the Pastor —

“Gwydyr House,
“Brixton Rise, S.W.,
“November 8, ‘86.

“Dearly Beloved,’

“Many thanks for the precious Word you gave us yesterday.F8 It was indeed most refreshing to my soul.

“Is it not a beautiful thought that our Lord’s disciples always called Him, or spoke of Him, as the Son of God, while He was down here on earth, and that He always spoke of Himself as the Son of man; but that, when He went up to Heaven, John saw Him there, and then spoke of Him, or called Him, the Son of Man; John, no doubt, wanted to hold on to Him, even as a brother.

“I will try to see you again at the Tabernacle before I sail on the 18th; I love you very much. God bless you and yours!


Another very dear friend from the United States was Mr. John B. Gough, who lectured at the Tabernacle several times during his stay in England in 1879. By his own request, his last lecture on that tour was given in aid of the Pastors’ College. In writing to Mr. Spurgeon concerning the subject of his discourse, and the arrangements in connection with it, Mr. Gough also made this special reference to the visit he had recently paid to the Pastor at Nightingale Lane —

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“My hands are very tender, through rheumatism, so that I write with difficulty, but I very much wish to send a line or two to you. I am very glad that my last lecture in London is to be under your direction…

“I have purposed writing to your to express our delight at meeting you and Mrs. Spurgeon at your own home, but have been prevented hitherto. We shall not forget that visit; it did us both good like a medicine. It is very refreshing to meet a man who knows what he believes, and speaks it, and lives it. And we have often spoken of you, and dear Mrs. Spurgeon, from whom we learned lessons of patience, trust, and faith, that we hope we shall never unlearn; but if I should tell you how fully you captured our hearts, and how sincerely we love you both, it might appear unseemly. Yet it would be the expression of thousands of hearts that beat with gratitude and affection for you and yours. I would like to speak to you of your sermon on ‘Forgiveness,’ but your time is precious. May God bless; you more and more abundantly! Give our kindest regards to Mrs. Spurgeon and your sons.

“Trusting to meet you, and to hear you, on my next Sabbath in London, September 28th,

“I am,
“Most truly yours,


Dr. H. L. Wayland, of Philadelphia, was; another of the Pastor’s very intimate friends. During his visit to England, in 1881, they spent much time together; and, on his return home, he wrote a long letter, a portion of which is printed on the next page.

“1420, Chestnut Street,
“July 19, 1881.

“My Dear Mr. and Mrs. Spurgeon,
“(or will you not allow me to say,)

“My Very Dear Friends,

“You hardly need to be reminded of the vivid manner in which you, and the Tabernacle, and your charming home, live in my memory. I have taken the liberty to send to you some numbers of our paper in ‘which I have endeavored, for the pleasure of our readers as well as for my own relief, to express some of the impressions made on me while on the other side; but it is slow work, it takes two or three weeks to record what I saw in a few days;.

“My visit to England has made everything in English history, both past and recent, unspeakably more real to me. When now I read of the Parliament and Mr. Gladstone, or of the Tabernacle and its Pastor, or when I read one of the Tabernacle sermons, all is living’ before me. I wonder what is that peculiar quality of some voices that makes them apparently audible to us long after we have heard them with the outer ear.

“I do not forget how busy you both are; but I venture on the remark that a line, however brief, would confer sincere pleasure on your American cousin and brother. I trust that it will please the clear Lord to spare you both until we meet again; and. that you may continue to live in your two noble sons; and not less that the Pastor and President may live long in successive generations of pupils; and that the angel of the Book Fund may be permitted for many years to diffuse light and happiness, not only in her own home, but in many homes where there is little light save that which she sheds. I can only hope that you, my dear friends, remember your visitor with a tithe of the interest and pleasure with which he recalls both of you.

“Most truly and affectionately your friend and brother,


Dr. T. L. Cuyler, of Brooklyn, always tried to spend an afternoon at ‘Westwood’ whenever he was; in London. One of his many loving letters will prove how he prized the privilege —

“337, Strand,
“July 25, 1881.

“My Dear Brother,

“I cannot refrain from telling you that, among all the enjoyments of my five months’ tour, nothing has given me such solid satisfaction as my visit to your beautiful home on Saturday last. The sweet savor of that visit will abide with me for many days.

“It was a renewed joy to me to grasp again the hand of the minister of Christ who has, been permitted, by tongue and pen, to proclaim the Word of life to more souls than any man since the days of the apostles.

“Please to present my cordial regards to, your beloved ‘Help’ (who ‘answereth to you again,’ — but only in lows).

“I write this at the National Temperance League office, whither all my letters are sent.

“With grateful affection,

“Yours to the core,


The writer of the following grateful letter was a very special Canadian friend, who was baptized at the Tabernacle —

“14th October 1881.

“Beloved Mr. Spurgeon,

“A feeling of incredulity took possession of me when I opened and read your note. I thought it simply impossible that it could be from your very own pen. What a man you are! I thought George. Muller wonderful When I came in contact with him; but, really, the riches of God’s grace, and the boundless capacity of these poor human souls and hearts when filled with His grace, are, if possible, still more magnified in you than in him. It was a little thing to do, — writing me that note, — but it has indeed interested and made glad a number of people who daily bear you up before the Lord, and whose hearts go out to you in love exceedingly.

“On Saturday, at gentleman from Edinburgh, who had been travelling in our ‘great lone land,’ as it is called, Manitoba, and who had to spend the Sabbath with us in Montreal, came to see the Y.M.C.A. ‘Where can I get some reading matter for tomorrow?’ he asked of me; and I enquired of him, ‘What kind would you like?’ ‘If there is any place where Spurgeon’s sermons are sold, I prefer them to anything else,’ was his reply; so he was informed where he could get them, and then I added, ‘ I have had a letter from Mr. Spurgeon himself this week.’ ‘You mean from his secretary.’ ‘No, I mean from himself.’ ‘Do let me see it ;’ so he read it, and then he said, as he returned the letter, ‘That man is a marvel. I have got a wrinkle from that little note; do you notice that he says, “I pray for you at this moment”? That is something worth remembering, — “at this moment of writing, while you are before my mind, I pause and pray for you.” That is capital; I won’t forget it.’ I could give you other incidents to prove that your tiny note was like a beam of sunlight shot athwart tried and weary hearts, because of the love they bear you for the Master’s sake.

“Oh, Mr. Spurgeon, that little word of yours, ‘I am feeling rather low,’ struck a chord which still vibrates in my spirit. It was to me like reading the 42nd Psalm. I imagine that there is nothing connected with your ministry to the saint that comes home more tenderly to tried and stricken souls than just what you there express, ‘I am feeling low.’ The great preacher, the author of The Treasury of David, the — but I need not go on, — this man sometimes, ay, often, ‘feels low,’ just as they do. ‘In all their affliction He was afflicted;’ this is what draws hearts to Jesus; and the principle, I take it, is just the same when the friends and intimates of Jesus ‘feel low.’ The fellow-feeling, thus begotten, makes many wondrous kind.

“I recently published some ‘incidents’ connected with visitation at the hospital. A gentleman came in, and asked me how much it cost me to do so. “$10,’ I said. ‘Well, here is a $10 bill; print some more, I like “facts,” theories don’t go down with me.’ So I have printed another leaflet, which I enclose herewith.

“Now unto Him who can do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, be glory; and may we share in the glory even though it brings us low! I salute you and Mrs. Spurgeon in the Lord (Romans 16:12), and remain, through the blood which cleanseth,

“Your friend in Jesus,


The leaflet enclosed by Mr. Louson contained, among other interesting matter, “A Touching Story,” in which there was the following reference to Mr. Spurgeon and his sermons —

“Some months ago, a young Scotchman was admitted to the hospital. He was suffering from an internal disease which baffled the skill of the doctors; it was akin to consumption, but without its distressing symptoms, yet under it the physical frame wasted away. It was difficult for the patient to realize that he was slowly but surely dying; indeed, he utterly refused to believe it, even when doctors and nurses had given up all hope. It was a delight and privilege to visit and converse with him, for he was Christ’s, and Christ was his; and, though reticent and reserved to an almost painful degree, yet salvation through faith in the Crucified was the theme he most of all loved to talk about; and, next to that, the scenery, mountains, rocks, sunset, and storms of the beloved Isle of Skye, where he was born and brought up. The one and only matter of reading, next to the Bible, was Charles H. Spurgeon’s sermons; of these he never tired. Biographies of eminent Scotchmen, like Norman Macleod, or William Arnot, were taken to him but, as he put them aside, he would say, ‘Spurgeon is always the same, but always satisfying, for he makes you forget himself as he holds up Him who is “fairer than the children of men”’ (Psalm 45:2).”

The following letter is interesting from the information it conveys concerning the first publication of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermon volumes and other works in the United States —

“8, Murray Street,
“New York,
“December 19, 1882.

“My Dear Bro. Spurgeon,

“The present seems a fitting time for me to drop you a line, after a long and successful career as the publisher of your books in America, and I may add, as the introducer of your sermons in book form to American readers.

“At first, it required very special attention on our part to bring them successfully before American readers but, after a while, the tide turned in favor of your books. We made them well known in every State in our Union. We had several valuable friends; the late President Wayland, of Brown University, gave us important aid by letters that we published; so did the late Dr. Alexander, who had been to London, and seen you, and heard you preach often with great satisfaction. He called at our office, and made himself known in person. I had long known him, by reputation, as a very able and distinguished divine of the Presbyterian Church. He had noticed that some of our large daily newspapers were attacking you very fiercely, so he came in to urge us to persevere with the sermons. He said, ‘Do not be discouraged by the unfavorable criticisms of the press. I have seen and heard Mr. Spurgeon; he is a real diamond that will shine brighter and brighter as the years go by. You can use my name in any way that will help you in the battle.’ We thought it was very kind of him to say and do what he did, for he was a good man, with very great influence, and he proved a real help to us.

“On the other hand, we had some discouraging words. Revelation Dr. Kendrick, the Greek Professor in the Rochester University, with which I was connected as one of the Board of Trustees, wrote me — ‘Well, Sheldon, I am surprised that you should lower the standard of your publishing house by issuing the sermons of that green London preacher.’ I can well afford to quote his early remarks, for he lived to write and frequently to tell me, in a very flattering way, how much wiser I was in discerning the signs of promise than he had been; and he has often spoken of you in the most complimentary manner.

“I only allude to these incidents of the past as pleasant events attending a great and prosperous enterprise.”

(The writer of the letter explained that “the Spurgeon books” had been passed over’ to Messrs. Carter Brothers, that he had sent to the Pastor a complete set of the American. edition of his publications, and he concluded his letter as follows — )

“And now, my respected brother, in taking leave of you as your publisher, permit me to congratulate you upon the really great success that has attended the enterprise. Very few English authors have had such prosperity; I do not think that any preacher and author of religious books has even begun to come up to you. I hear, with great pleasure, of the blessing resting upon your home work, so large and so grande in all its proportions. We feel all of a publisher’s pride in our popular and good author, and shall follow you with our loving thought to the end of your good work.

“Yours most truly,


The writer of the following, note was the well-known and-slavery lecturer, Frederick Douglass —

“The Cross,
“St. Neots,

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,
“July 6, 1887.

“While crossing the Atlantic, last September, and looking out upon its proud dashing billows and their varied forms, and thinking of the diversity in the human family, I remarked that ‘we are many as the waves, but we are one as the sea.’ I had never heard this; simile before, and thought it wats original with me; but, while reading your sermon, published on the 30th June, I noticed that you said, speaking of the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm,’ Its expressions are many as the waves, but its testimony is one as the sea.’ I am led to ask, — Is this a coincidence; or have I, unconsciously, borrowed from you, or have you borrowed this formula from me?

“Through the kindness of a friend, I had the privilege of listening to you a few Sundays ago. It was the realization of an ardent desire born of reading some of your sermons in America, and of what was said to me of you by my friend, Dr. H. L. Wayland, a gentleman to whom I have been much indebted for friendly sympathy and advice while battling with slavery and prejudice in America.

“Very truly yours,


In May, 1888, at the funeral of his mother, Mr. Spurgeon took a chill, which resulted in his being, laid aside for three weeks. On Lord’s-day morning, June 17, when many of the delegates to the Exeter Hall Conference on Foreign Missions were present at the Tabernacle, the Pastor was; again able to preach, although he was obliged, through great weakness, to sit during a considerable portion of the sermon. Dr. A. J. Gordon, of Boston, took part in the service; and he had also consented to preach if Mr. Spurgeon continued too ill to do so. This arrangement explains the allusion, in the following letter, to the “great deliverance” experienced by Dr. Gordon himself —

“Charing Cross Hotel,
“June 19, 1888.

“My Dear Brother,

“I sincerely trust that you were in no wise injured by your effort on Lord’s-day morning. It seems to me that the Lord’s help given to you then was the most powerful commentary on your text, ‘Let Him deliver him now.’ Be assured that I also experienced a great deliverance, for there were hundreds of visitors, — our whole Missionary Conference, indeed, — who had come to hear you, and I can conceive of no embarrassment greater than that of having to preach to such a disappointed congregation as it must have been in your absence.

“I pray that God will graciously restore you to full health, and cause your bow to abide in strength even when you are ‘sorely grieved and shot at by the archers.’ I greatly desire with Mrs. Gordon, to call on you for a few moments at our home. I should be thankful to know when we can see you. If you are too ill to desire callers, please do not for at moment think of my request, and I shall entirely understand the reason.

“Sincerely yours,

The following letter appears to be the earliest from Dr. A. T. Pierson which Mr. Spurgeon preserved —

“2320, Spruce Street,
“November 25, 1888.

“My Best-beloved,

“If there is any man on the earth I love better than you, I wish you could point him out. And, as a little thank-offering to God for a personal acquaintance, I send you by my publishers — all bills paid, inclusive of expressage, — fifty copies of Evangelistic Work for your Pastors’ College, with my loving greetings. I am very sorry that your gout is more troublesome. How I wish and pray that the Lord may keep you yet a score of years busy with Sword and Trowel, piercing to the backbone the foes of our Lord and His Crown and Covenant, and building up the walls of Jerusalem! Be thou very strong and courageous, my brother; there shall no man be able to stand before thee. There is a fearful apostasy from the truth, — second probation, — partial inspiration, — Ritualism, — the ‘Nehushtan and Ephodism’ of old times are back among us. How little Evangelical preaching! Conversion a lost art; — worldliness so pervading the church that the membership is now divisible into worldly holy and wholly worldly, — and ministers; into attitudinarians, latitudinarians, and platitudinarians.

“Give my love to dear Mrs. S. With many prayers for you all. I hope to see you again, in the flesh; but, whether or not, I expect to spend eternity with you in His presence.

“As always yours,



Among the communications from non-ministerial friends, specially treasured by Mr. Spurgeon, was the following letter from Miss Florence Nightingale —

“35, South Street,
“Park Lane, W.,
“June 30, 1876.

“Dear Sir,

“Nurse Masters, of our training school at St. Thomas’s Hospital, and who is one of a reinforcement of nurses whom we are sending out to join our nursing staff at the Montreal Hospital, was recently admitted by you to baptism and communion. She spoke of it to me with deep earnestness.

“It occurred to me that you might, among the young women of your flock, know some, sound in body and mind, who would like to be trained for a hospital nursing life, which has now sufficient reward, both in the good to be done and in the maintenance to be earned, to be attractive to suitable candidates. The harvest is ready, but the laborers still are few.

“I write under the severe pressure of business, and ever-increasing illness, which has kept me a prisoner to my room for years, so you will excuse a brief letter. I have heard that you are yourself frequently afflicted. May I express my deep regret at your suffering, and my earnest hope that your life may long be spared?

“May God be with us all!


Earl Shaftesbury’s correspondence with Mr. Spurgeon was so constant, and so voluminous, that a whole chapter might have been filled with it if space could have been spared. This brief note will indicate the usual character of the Earl’s letters, and it will also show the esteem in which he held the Pastor, not only at the time it was written, but right to the end of his life —

“St. Gile’s House,
“October 20, 1876.

“My Dear Friend,

“The books have arrived in safety; and to the inscription which you, yourself, have written, — I value it highly, — I shall add my own, — a prayer that my descendants will cherish the volumes as the gift of a man whom their ancestor honored and loved as a private friend, but far more as a powerful, bold, true, single-hearted servant of our most blessed Lord and Savior.

“God be with you and yours for ever and ever!


From the same address, on November 30, 1883, the Earl sent to Mr. Spurgeon a copy of The Psalms, with Scripture Illustrations, accompanied by’ the following letter —

“My Dear Friend,

“God be with you to Mentone, at Mentone, and back again, and may He give you all the health you seek for His service!

“Well may you be ‘weary, and worn, and sad.’ The open, avowed, boasted, modern infidelity is terrible, but the almost universality of the Laodicean spirit is still worse. You will come back and find that socialism, contemptuous unbelief, and an utter disregard of anything but that which tends to make this world the ‘be-all’ and the ‘end-all’ of our existence, have attained vastly increased proportions during your absence.

“There is nothing for it but to preach ‘Jesus Christ and Him crucified,’ with perpetual exhortation to His people to pray for His speedy return. Such a preaching of Christ has been your main strength. May God keep, you in that frame of mind!

“Put, I request you, the little book I now send you, in your pocket.

“Yours very truly,


“P.S. — I shall distribute largely your volume, Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden.”

Admiral Sir W. King Hall was one of Mr. Spurgeons most ardent admirers.

Many of his letters were preserved, and all of them bore testimony to the blessing he had received through reading the Pastor’s writings. One of the earliest in the series was the following, written on Mr. Spurgeon’s forty-fourth birthday —

“Admiralty House,
“June 19, ‘78.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“May God spare you to work in His vineyard with health and energy many more years! Each day I find, from your Morning and Evening Readings, encouragement, comfort, hope, and proofs of our Savior’s love. I ask your acceptance of my photograph and beg yours in return. Be assured that, though my profession is one of arms, for the defense of our glorious land of liberty, my principles are as peaceful as those held by any member of the Society of Friends.

“With kindest regards, and best wishes for your family,
“I remain,
“Your sincere friend,


“If you want a breath of sea air at any time, come and stay with me. A day or two’s notice will suffice.”

Another sailor friend, John Macgregor, Esq., who was captain and crew of the canoe Rob Roy, and also honorary secretary of the Open Air Mission, wrote as follows in one of his many letters to the Pastor —

“7, Vanbrugh Park East,
“August 24, ‘78.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I promised to tell you that a word of yours would be golden on Oct. 28, when our open-air preachers assemble. You will see that some of us propose to meet-on Monday. That, however, is for garden and green fields; the other meeting must be under a roof.

“As find myself, I am in the furnace of domestic affliction; but the Refiner is looking on.

“The stucco pilasters on the edifice of one’s life are cracked and shaken off but the rock dray rested on is found sure, even in an earthquake.

“Who would like to choose his trial? Even David, when forced to do so, chose to fall into the hands of the Lord, and are we not there already?

“I needed much affliction, as I had none at all of it; and that is not healthy. But God makes me wonder why the blow is sent to my dear wife, unless it is that I feel it the more, and she suffers the less, than if it had been personally mine.

“Yours ever,


At the Stockwell Orphanage Festival, in June, 1879, Sir Charles Reed presided. In reply to Mr. Spurgeon’s letter inviting him to occupy that position, he wrote — I am very full of work; but, in common with all London, I feel so grateful for your personal piety, and your personal efforts, that I cannot say ‘Nay.’ How honored I fee1 to be stitched up in a brown cover with such a ‘man of mark’ as C. H. S.!” The allusion was to the current issue of Men of Mark, in which Mr. Spurgeon and Sir Charles were included.

Later in the year, when the Pastor was ill at Mentone, he received this sorrowful letter from his friend —

“Hotel Fleuri,
“December 18, 1879.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I have been trying to make my way over to see you; but my doctor has laid such restrictions upon me, that my only available, time (10 to 4) does not permit of so great a journey. I want, however, to have an assurance, that you are better; for in a French paper, I saw a poor account of your health.

“A winter away from home is a new experience to me, and an idle winter is by no means easy to endure. However, I am trying to obey the voice which says, ‘Be still;’ and if the Lord wills, I hope for another decade of work in the field in which He has permitted me, thus far, to labor.

“I suppose you do not preach at all at Mentone; that is, from the pulpit. You do, I know, by your pen; and if, at this Christmas time, you feel prompted to comfort a stricken heart, let me be the object of your philanthropy. On the 19th of June, I was with you; on the 8th of July, we lost our dear son, and we have never yet recovered his body. This stroke broke down our health, and drove us from home.

“Yours truly,


Sir Charles Reed’s hope that he might be spared to labor for another ten years was not realized, for he was called to higher service in less than sixteen months from that time. The brief note from him, printed on the next page, bears in one corner this inscription — “Delivered to me after the decease of the writer, April 8, 1881, — C. H. Spurgeon.”

“House of Commons

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

Could you receive a father and son, on Bible Society business, if they called on you on Tuesday next at about noon? My son, who is the secretary of the Society, thinks that, as a vice-president, I could aid him in an application he is commissioned to make.

“Yours truly,


The following letters came from the widow of General Havelock; the son referred to in them was himself a personal friend of Mr. Spurgeon’s, and was the chairman, at the first public meeting held in the Tabernacle —

“14, Kensington Park Gardens, W.,
“October 7, 1881.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“You may not have heard how very ill my beloved son, Sir Henry, has been. He is suffering from congestion of the brain, brought on by over-work, exposure, and fatigue. We are most thankful to say that the doctors report that the worst seems past, though it will probably be a long time before he can be well again. “His sister and I will feel very thankful if you will remember him in your public and private prayers. His life has ever been devoted to doing acts of kindness for others; and you know how precious he is to us all we should like him to be prayed for, every Sunday, for sometime to come. We know that his father’s God is very near him now in this deep trouble.

“With kind regards to Mrs. Spurgeon, I am,
“Very sincerely yours,


Sir Henry’s recovery was much more rapid than his mother had anticipated; and on October 22, Lady Havelock was able to write —

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I shall feel glad if you will tell your dear people that God has been pleased to hear our prayers, and has once more restored my dear son, Sir Henry, I will not say quite to his usual strength, but so far towards it as to give us great hopes that, with care and rest for some weeks he may be better than ever before. Will you give thanks for us, as a family, at your public service tomorrow, and pray that a larger blessing than ever may rest upon us, and bring us all nearer to Him to whom we owe so much?

“With our kind regards to Mrs. Spurgeon, I am,
“Sincerely yours,


Many letters passed between Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Spurgeon, — “the two prime ministers,” as they were often called. Again and again, the Premier invited his Nonconformist friend to meet a congenial company at breakfast or dinner in Downing Street; but there was always some obstacle in the way, and pressure of work or illness prevented Mr. Spurgeon from accepting a very cordial invitation to stay at Hawarden Castle. Whenever the newspapers contained an intimation that the Pastor was laid aside, a special messenger from the First Lord of the Treasury was sent with a letter of sympathy or kind enquiries for the sufferer.

Mr. Gladstone had long wished to attend a service at the Tabernacle, and the following letters show how the wish at last assumed a definite shape, and was carried into effect —

“10, Downing Street,
“24 August, 1881.

“My Dear Sir,

“I thank you very much for your kind note and your good words. My years make it a great object of desire to be relieved from my present work; but I must be patient yet a little while, and must hope that I may not be utterly spoiled by the undeserved kindness heaped on me from so many quarters, and by commendations entirely beyond my deserts.

“I hope the autumn will afford me an opportunity of profiting by your kind offer to meet my wishes respecting the service at the Tabernacle.

“I remain,
“My dear sir,
“Faithfully yours,
“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”




“Hawarden Castle,
“January 3, ‘82.

“My Dear Sir,

“Some time ago, you were good enough to promise me a safe seat at one of your services and if it consist with your convenience to do me this favor on Sunday evening next, when I expect to be in London, I shall hope to present myself at the exact time and place which you may kindly name. Should you desire to postpone your compliance with my request, I shall hope for another opportunity of preferring it three or four Sundays hence. I remain,

“My dear sir,
“Faithfully yours,
“Rev. C. H. Spurgeon.”


On the evening of January 8, the Premier and his eldest sort attended the Tabernacle, and Mr. Spurgeon preached from Mark 5:30,31. The Editors and correspondents of various newspapers; referred at length to the incident, and some of the comments were anything but kind or even courteous. A few days later, Mr. Spurgeon, in sending the volume of views of “Westwood” to Mr. Gladstone, expressed his regret at the tone of some of the articles; and, in reply, he received photographs of Hawarden Castle and the Premier in his study, with this letter —

“Hawarden Castle,
“January 16, ‘82.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I was not at all surprised at what happened, and had not the smallest disposition or cause to suspect you. My life is passed in a glass bee-hive with this particularity, that I fear many see in it what is not there, by which I am unjustly a gainer.

“I thank you very much for the interesting book of photographs which you have been so good as to send, with an inscription I am very far from deserving. I wish I had a better return to make than the enclosed; but these are the best I can lay my hands on.

“When you were so good as to see me before and after your service, I felt ashamed of speaking to you lest I should increase your fatigue, but before very long I hope to find a better opportunity. In the meantime, I remain,

“With sincere respect,
“Faithfully yours,


Mr. Spurgeon was, as the writer of this letter anticipated, much gratified at the information it contained —

“13, St. George’s Terrace,
“Gloucester Road, S.W.,
“March 23, 1882.

“Dear Sir,

“I think, it will be gratifying to you to know that, at St. Stephen’s Church, G1oucester Road (which is generally supposed to be what is termed ‘very high’), each Thursday afternoon during Lent there have been devotional readings, consisting of extracts from the works of various living divines.

“The reading, this afternoon, was from a sermon preached by you, fourteen or fifteen years; ago, from the text, ‘What if thy father answer thee roughly?’ The greater part of the discourse was read from the pulpit by the junior curate.

“It was very pleasing to me to observe such an exercise of liberty, in the Church of England, as to place your views before the congregation for their acceptance and meditation, and I feel that you will be pleased by my making you acquainted with the fact. Trusting your health is now much improved,

“I remains,
“Yours obediently,


Out of a very large number of letters to Mr. Spurgeon from Lord Radstock, the following has been selected because of the special object with which it was written —

“St. Petersburg,

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“The Baptists in South Russia, who are, I believe, nearly all close communionists, are to have a great Conference in May as to whether they should not open their doors to the Lord’s children in general. It is deeply important that they should decide aright. There are marty thousands of Christians in South Russia among the Molokans and Stundists, and it is most desirable, on all accounts, that they should be as united as possible. Will you write a letter to them, addressed to Pastor Liebig, Odessa, encouraging them to take the true ground of union in the Lord’s Name, at any rate as regards receiving Christians at the Lord’s table?

“Here, we are going on quietly, in spite of difficulties. You would be rejoiced at the faith and love shown by some in the highest class here. Continue in prayer for this land, with thanksgiving. The fields are white unto the harvest, but the laborers are so few and shackled; — yet ‘He must reign.’

“Ever yours in the Lord,


Mr. Spurgeon was often asked to address special classes of hearers. The following letter relates to the invitation given to him to speak to the London medical students —

“45, Inverness Terrace,
“Hyde Park, W.,
“September 24, ‘83.

“My Dear Sir,

“Although I am not known to you, you may probably remember my name in connection with Leamington, where my father, Mr. Thorne, at the Bank, once had the pleasure of receiving you as his guest.

“My object in now writing is to express the great gratification which I feel, as President of the Medical Prayer Union for 1883-4, that you have expressed your willingness to say a few words to the students at the annual meeting on Friday, 26th of October. I do sincerely pray that your health may enable you to come; and, in the meantime, I may assure you that the occasion will be worthy of your presence, for it is one when many a young man may decide whether he will commence his career as a disciple of Christ or not. An appeal from you will, under God’s guidance, materially influence some in their decision.

“Again hoping that we may see you on the occasion in question,
“I am,
“Sincerely yours,


The meeting was held, in due course, at the Lower Exeter Hall, and proved to be a most profitable one. A somewhat similar gathering was the one held at the Egyptian Hall of the Mansion House, under the presidency of the Lord Mayor, on September 28, 1885, when Mr. Spurgeon addressed the members of the London Banks’ Prayer Union, taking for his subject the words, “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” The address was worthy of the notable audience assembled to listen to it, and it was afterwards published under the title, “First Things First.”

Mr. T. A. Denny did not often write to Mr. Spurgeon, but saw him at the Tabernacle or at “Westwood” as frequently as he could. This characteristic note will show the esteem in which he held the Pastor —

“7, Connaught Place, W.,
“February 14, 1884.

“My Dear Friend,

“How exceedingly kind of you to send me that beautiful book, The Metropolitan Tabernacle and its Institutions,’ but greatly more I value the inscription, of which I feel myself all unworthy, but not the less proud.

“How I should like, by-and-by, to walk up and down the streets of the New Jerusalem arm-in-arm between you and dear Moody!

“With affectionate regards,
“I am,
“Yours ever sincerely,

“T. A. DENNY.”

Mr. Thomas Blake, M.P., was another intimate friend of Mr. Spurgeon’s, who attended the Tabernacle services whenever it was possible. On Lord’s-day morning, June 12, 1887, he was present, and listened to the Pastor’s sermon from Deuteronomy 30:11-14, which was afterwards published under the title, “Plain Gospel for Plain People.” The same night, he wrote the following letter —

“Reforn Club,
“Pall Mall, S.W.,
June 12, ’87 9.30 p.m.

“My Dear Brother,

“Let me thank you for your golden pot of manna this morning, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb. I feast upon it weekly, all the year round; but it is, if possible, more delicious when it enters the mind and heart by way of ‘Ear-gate’ than by way of ‘Eye — gate.’

“I asked a number of members of Parliament, present yesterday at Portsmouth, to come to the Tabernacle this morning. One I brought, He was much impressed, and I pray that our God may make your sermon to be the message of life to him and to many others ….

“In a few weeks, I intend to resign my seat in Parliament, — one. procured without paid agency of any kind, and which I might hold as long as life and health permitted. It deprives me of higher service, and work I love more. This is my only reason for giving it up. With the night and day work in the House of Commons, all my ‘Lord’s-days’ are required for rest. This must not longer be.

“With much love, believe me,
“Always truly yours,


The members of Parliament, mentioned in Mr. Blake’s letter, had gone to Portsmouth to witness the naval demonstration in connection with the Queen’s Jubilee. About that period, The Whitehall Review published the “Jubilee Reverie” reproduced on the opposite page. Mr. Spurgeon’s portrait — not a very good one, — is at the top, on the right hand, facing Archbishop Benson’s.

The latter part of this letter from Mr. (now, Sir) George Williams refers to Mr.. Spurgeon’s engagement to speak, in Exeter Hall, at the forty-fifth annual meeting of the Central Y.M.C.A., on Friday evening, May 24, 1889: —

“71, St. Paul’s Church Yard,
“May 23rd, 1889.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Thank you very much for so kindly sending for my acceptance the Outlines of the Lord’s Work in connection with the Pastors’ College. It is not necessary for me to repeat my assurances of prayerful sympathy and interest, for you know you have these; — but if my hopes for your usefulness, and the spiritual success of your manifold labors, are fulfilled, your joy will indeed be full.

“We are anticipating, with supreme pleasure, seeing you tomorrow evening, and are praying that the Master Himself may give you some special word, that may be productive of abundant spiritual fruitfulness.

“Believe me,
“Yours ever truly,


That prayer was abundantly answered, and the Lord’s help to His servant was so graciously manifested that the address proved to be one of Mr. Spurgeon’s most memorable utterances.

This note, from another of the Pastor’s special friends, gives just an indication of its power and usefulness —

“May 25th, 1889.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Thanks be unto God on your behalf! You were wondrously helped last night. The Lord stood by you, and strengthened you. Your words were wise and right words; and they will live, and be wafted to the ends of the earth.

“The kind and loving sympathy, with which you were received, was very cheering and helpful. God bless you tomorrow, and all days!

“Yours very truly,


Probably Mr. Spurgeon never addressed any great public gathering under such painful conditions as when he spoke, in the Albert Hall, on June 11, 1890, at the annual meeting of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes. He was very ill at the time; in fact, he ought to have been in bed rather than on the platform and the sight of the cripples and other waifs and strays so affected his sympathetic heart that he was utterly broken down, and felt more inclined to weep than to speak; yet he did plead powerfully for the poor children, and perhaps his words had all the greater weight because many in the audience could tell at least something of the suffering he was himself enduring. On his return home, he was completely exhausted. Dr. Barnardo’s letter shows how grateful he was for the Pastor’s aid under such trying circumstances, and it also indicates his natural anxiety as to the consequences of the service thus rendered to him —

“Stepney Causeway,
“London, E.,
“12th June, 1890.

“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon,

“I write to you, rather than to your dear husband, for I cannot but fear that his presence and the exertion made at our meeting, last night, may have resulted unfavorably to him; and I would not add another single straw to the burden of pain and weariness; which, it may be, he is suffering from today.

“Nevertheless, I dare not leave this letter unwritten, and so consider it wisest and best to write to you, to tell you how deeply, how unutterably grateful I am to dear Mr. Spurgeon for his presence, for his weighty, loving, gracious, wise words, and for the tender sympathy he showed to and for my bairns, never can forget the debt he has placed me under. All I can now say is this, that I do, from the depths of my heart, thank him. While he spoke, I could but afresh thank God and take courage. No words, uttered last night, fell on my own spirit so like water upon the thirsty ground as did those of dear Mr. Spurgeon. I was cheered, helped, encouraged, lifted up, soothed, and comforted. I could but say, from my heart of hearts, a hundred times, ‘God bless him!’ and now I say it to your ears, which I am sure will not be unwilling to hear that prayer, even from one so unworthy as I am, for him you love so well. The sight of the dear servant of the Lord there, last night, in all his obvious, manifest weakness, was in itself a sermon, even if no words had been uttered by him.

“But I must not go on; this much only I will say. First, he must never again talk of being in my debt. Dear Mr. Spurgeon has paid that debt, if it ever existed, over and over again. Second, I must be careful never again, under any circumstances, to ask at his hands so great a service as he rendered us last night, — unless in the years bright and happy, which I hope are still in store for him, God, in His goodness, may give him back so large a share of health and strength that he may be rather pleased to come to us than otherwise. If such an hour arrives, then indeed I may break the pledge I now give; but, otherwise, I will not dare again to overtax, as we did last night, the loving, tender heart and weary, weakened body of your dear husband.

“And lastly, let me add this, that anything I can do now, or at any time, anything that lies in my poor power, that my children, my assistants, or any of us can do for Mr. Spurgeon, or his work, or for anyone dear to him, I will count it a privilege and an honor to do; and I can but hope that the time, may soon come when Mr. Spurgeon will feel the necessity for putting this sincerely offered pledge to the test.

“I do earnestly hope you are yourself sustained in fair health, and in great peace and comfort of mind. As we could not hope to see you at our meeting, last night, I may venture, to enclose you, as a souvenir of the occasion, two of the programmes then in use. They may help, perhaps, to bring before you a little of what those who were there saw; and I know it is possible they may excite in you some prayerful thought for the thousands of young folk under my care.

“Believe me to be,
“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon,
“Gratefully and faithfully yours,


One of the letters written to cheer Mr. Spurgeon in that season of suffering carne from Bishop Richardson, of the Reformed Episcopal Church, and was as follows —

“27, Belgrave Road,
“St. John’s Wood,
“14 June, 1890.
“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

‘“ I see that, at Dr. Barnardo’s meeting, you said you were ‘as ill as possible.’ God bless you! You have probably done more good than any man of your generation, and it has pleased the Master to keep you humble. You will be well, some day. We love the same dear Master, and will say ‘Welcome’ to one another where no one feels ‘as ill as he can be’

“Your faithful friend,


Only a few days after that great meeting at the Albert Hall, Mr. Spurgeon was at the Mildmay Conference Hall, and there delivered another of his most memorable addresses. The subject of it was, “Christ our Leader in Darkness;” and it has been exceedingly helpful to the children of God who, for various reasons, have been caused to walk in the dark. He was still so far from well that them was great uncertainty as to whether he would be able to be present; and in reply to a note from him, to that effect, Colonel Morton wrote —

“Conference Hall,
“Midmay Park,
“London N.,
“17 June, 1890.

“Dear and Honored Mr. Spurgeon,

“I may safely say that all Mildmay deeply regrets, with me, your present indisposition; and we, in the office here, commenced this day’s work by praying for you, and by asking God to glorify Himself at the coming Conference, either by your presence or your absence; — in either case, giving you a rich blessing’.

“Should we not be permitted to have you with us, Dr. Andrew Bonar would be the first speaker, and your place would be taken by Mr. Frank White. He has consented to be your ‘reserve’ in case of need, and I have today forwarded your letter to him for perusal. So please do not feel under the slightest restraint, or be careful or anxious at the possibility of disappointing us at the Conference. If we cannot get plums, we must be thankful and grateful for good sound bread!

“Allow me, very late in the day, to thank you for the numberless times you have refreshed, and strengthened, and comforted us soldiers, who, often in India and other Countries, on the line of march, hundreds, of miles from any place of worship, or means of grace (in the ordinary sense of the word), have met under trees, some little distance from camp, and have, after prayer and hymns, introduced you as our preacher. We had a large Bible-class in my regiment, in those days, and many a blessing has been entreated upon you by those dear fellows.

“Your sermon, ‘In the Garden with Him,’ was my companion, quite lately, when going up Monte Pelegrino, near Palermo, en route from Malta to England. In what stray corners of the wide world, where soldiers and sailors are, do you not come, and bring messages of God’s love and truth?

“I have long wished to thank you, as hundreds of others would wish to do; and here is my opportunity. May God increasingly bless you!

“Very sincerely yours,

“R. MORTON, Colonel.”

Mr. Spurgeon received many letters in German; they were all passed on to a lady who was a member of the Tabernacle Church, and who translated a great number of the Pastor’s sermons and other works into that language. One of them contained some information which greatly interested him. The translator wrote — “This letter is from a German Baptist colporteur in Wurtemberg. He says that he has sold many of your books, which have been a blessing to him and to many other readers of them. The Empress of Germany has bought from him your Dew Drops and Gold Beams (Morning by Morning and Evening by Evening in the German translation), and John Ploughman’s Talk. I wonder how she likes John Ploughman. I believe, very well, because of the contrast it affords from the language of her courtiers.”

Not only did Mr. Spurgeon have a large number of communications written in other foreign languages, but, at various time, he received numerous letters which he regarded as literary curiosities. Many, which were supposed to be in English, were veritable hieroglyphs, most difficult to decipher, though the meaning of them was generally made out somehow or other, and answers despatched to those from whom they came.

The three following epistles were carefully preserved by Mr. Spurgeon, in the envelope in which one of them came, which was addressed thus. (intended for Nightingale Lane, Clapham) —

Rev C Sh Spurgeon
claping road

They are here reproduced, verbatim et literatim, with the exception of the names and addresses of the writers, or anything which might give at clue to their identification —


“Wiw You Obige me by Forewarding 6 pennyworth of your poterites as I am a yong Man a lite Complection Brown hare neither tall nor peturcular short Will you please to send me some of the Likensse of the yong woman as I have got to Marry and When I have got to see and Marry her Foreward as quick as Posable I have got Dark Blue eyes age. is about 29 to thirty on the first day of december Bornd about one oclock in the Morning,.

“Rite as soon as you Can.”

“Mas Spurgeon

“My age is 20 yers old.

“Dea sir as a young Man trusting in a risinang Severe converter by his Quiking power and being Baptized by The Reb , Chapel. and as i have ben working for the Lord and Master Jesus Christ for tow yers and is for yers since i was converted and as i Am a homless child and a orpent as it is; 11 yers since my Father and Mother died and 3 broters and a sister therefor i was left frindless and homeless therefore i had to botle on my selfe but it has put me throu dep exprence but God has blist me abundantly fore it makes me wep when i think of his godness to me therefore i would welsh to be a servent for the Lord if it is the mana of him and if i am wone of his eleked chilain to serve him at horn or abrod

“Plese Sir retern a nancer as i would like to get mor lering your plesur i wil aad no more

“but ramain your
“abudent Servant “______”

The words italicized in the following letter were underlined by Mr. Spurgeon in the original —

“Mr. Spurgeon,

“Dear Sir,

“I take the liberty in writeing to you knowing you are one in proclaiming God work in Jesus I have sent you a book I have rote out my silf It is fully my own thoughts. Took from the bible I am happy to say I had a Born again about three years ago. It was very deep in deed. I have allways been one to believe in God But about 3 or 4 years ago I had thoughts that there must be some thing in that being born again. So I prayed very heartly to God for a born again But it did not come by the first prayer or the next and I allmost thought it was no use praying But I prayed on and it came at last and I saw afterwards It was the best time it could of come as my thoughts at that time was more free to receive it at that time I new not any thing in the true light of the work of Jesus

“God has blessed me very much in giving me enlightment on his great work as Jesus It has been my very life sinch that Born again in procliming the work of Jesus I could bring forword hundreds to show how I love to show God’s love and mercy to man. And I am happy to say I have seen the true born again Though a few words I have spoken I have a very good character as a hard working man my wage is two and twenty shillings a week. But I should very much like to have, my full time In procliming the work of Jesus as Scripture reader. Or some thing like. My age 33. I am married and have three children.

“Dear Sir I thought as you was so will known, you would be the best one to write to. I have sent you the character I had for the situation I am still in Dear Sir I should be very please if you would have the words in the book printed But if you would kindly send the Book back and the character

“Yours truly


I do not think any human being upon earth ever felt so much repose of soul and body as I do. Many years of toil are all rewarded by this blessed rest, which only seems too good to be true. I have no task work, and do more voluntarily, as a recreation, than I have often done of obligation. No idle tongues disturb me, or cares molest me. The burden is taken from the shoulder, and the bit from between the jaws. If anything can make me young and strong again, this will. It is rest of a sort which I never knew before in all its forms; for, at other times, pain, or dulness, or too much company, has made it less enjoyable. I rest on the wing, as the swallow is said to do. — C. H. S., in letter from Mentone, written in 1882.

Up in Dr. Bennet’s garden, when Harrald read me the following lines, I adopted them as my own; —

“O days of heaven and nights of equal praise,
Serene and peaceful as those heavenly days,
When souls drawn upward in communion sweet
Enjoy the stillness of some close retreat,
Discourse as if released, and safe at home,
Of dangers past, and wonders yet to come,
And spread the sacred treasure of the breast
Upon the lap of covenanted rest.”

IT would have been easy to fill a volume with the account of Mr. Spurgeon’s experience,in the sunny South, but the many other interesting portions of his wondrously full life make it needful to condense into two chapters the record of about twenty annual visits to the Riviera. He was fairly familiar with most of the favorite resorts on that part of the Mediterranean shore, and he occasionally made a short stay at one or other of them; but Mentone was the place he loved beyond all the rest. Sometimes, after going elsewhere for a change of scene, a few days sufficed for the enjoyment of the beauties and charms of the new region, and then he would say, “I think we will hasten on to Mentone.” On settling down in his old quarters, he generally exclaimed, with a sigh of relief, “Ah! now I feel at home.”

Mr. Spurgeon’s first visit to the Riviera was made before the railway had been completed along the coast; and he used often to describe to his travelling companions, in later days, the delights of driving from Marseilles to Genoa, and so being able to see, under the most favorable conditions, some of the loveliest views on the face of the earth. On that journey, one incident occurred which was quite unique in the, Pastor’s experience. While staying for a few days at Nice, he received a letter from the captain of the Alabama, an American man-of-war lying in the harbour of Villefranche, inviting him to pay a visit to that vessel. On accepting the invitation, a very pleasant time was spent on board, and then the captain asked Mr. Spurgeon to come another day, and preach to his officers and men, and to those of a second man-of-war which was stationed not far off. Though the preacher was out for a holiday, he gladly availed himself of the opportunity of conducting the service desired; and after it was over, he chatted for some time with a number of his sailor hearers. Amongst them, he found one who, when a boy, had been in Newington Sunday-school, and whose uncle was a member at the Tabernacle, and another who, as a lad, ran away from his home at Dulwich. Several different nationalities were represented and a good many Roman Catholics were there; but all seemed exceedingly pleased to listen to the gospel message, and Mr. Spurgeon said that he did not know that he had ever enjoyed preaching more than he did on that occasion, and that he should, ever afterwards, reckon himself an honorary chaplain of the United States Navy.

Tidings of the service at Villefranche probably reached other American vessels, for, several years later, when the U. S. S. Trenton, the flagship of the European squadron, was at Gravesend, the chaplain wrote to Mr. Spurgeon — “Could it be possible for you, amid your abundant labors, to come down some day, and address our officers and men, it would be esteemed a great favor, and I know it would be the means of doing incalculable good. All through the cruise, it has been my desire that the ship might go to some port in your vicinity, hoping thereby that you might oblige us with a visit.” The Pastor was unable to accede to the request so kindly conveyed, but he fully appreciated the honor, and perhaps all the more because he was never invited to preach on board a British man-of-war. One of the travelling companions on the first visit to the Riviera was the Pastor’s friend, deacon, and publisher, Mr. Joseph Passmore; and he was usually a member of the little company who gathered at Mentone year by year; though, latterly, his partner, Mr. James Alabaster, had the joy of taking his turn at holiday-making with the author whose works he had so long published.

In 1879, Mr. Harrald went for the first time; and, from that year, until the never-to-be-forgotten last visit of 1891-2, he was only absent twice, when his services seemed more urgently required at home. The accompanying reproduction of a photograph taken at Mentone, in 1880, contains the portraits of Mr. Spurgeon. Mr. Passmore, Mr. Harrald, “Old George,” and “Father Abraham,” whom the Pastor always called his Oxfordshire deacon. Beside Mr. Passmore, the Tabernacle deacons who stayed at Mentone with Mr. Spurgeon were Mr. W. Higgs, sent Mr. T. Greenwood, Mr. C.F. Allison, Mr. W. Higgs, and Mr. F. Thompson.

Mr. Spurgeon often quoted one of “Father Abraham’s” sayings, “I don’t believe any other three men in Mentone have done as much work as we three have done to-ay.” The speaker’s share of the work consisted in sitting quite still, and. reading the newspaper or one of the many interesting books which always formed part of the Pastor’s travelling equipment.

It has been already intimated that the season of rest was by no means a time of idleness; some friends even hinted that there was too much labor, and too little relaxation. The quotations at the beginning of the present chapter give the chief worker’s own view of the matter in i882; and a few more extracts from his letters of the same period will furnish details of the manner in which some of his days of holiday were pleasantly and profitably spent —

“I went up to Dr. Bennet’s garden at 11 o’clock, and remained there alone with Harrald till 3.30. He read to me, and then I dictated to him, changing to a talk, a walk, a pun, some fun, and the. n reading and speechifying again, the electric shorthand bottling all up for future use. I did enjoy it, though the mistral blew savagely. We were in a corner of the kiosque, out of all the wind, and yet in the open air, with mountains, and sea, and garden all around. No one disturbed us; it was the beau ideal of an artistic author’s studio.”

“Harrald read to me, yesterday, The Life of Cromwell, — grand, soul inspiring. How the man trusted in the Lord! How sweet is the life of faith, and how splendid are its triumphs! I would live equally above joys and sorrows, and find my all in the Lord Himself.”

“It came on to blow, so Harrald. and I resorted to Dr. Bennet’s garden from to to 3, having a grand read all alone till about 2 o’clock, and then admitting the other friends to be silent disciples among us. I gathered sheaves of texts for sermons, and a few subjects for articles, and had a very happy clay. The wind blew in hurricanes, but we sat with a wall at our backs, and the sun shining upon our faces. Trees were bending; in the gale, and the swift ships were flying across the main; but we had a hiding-place from the wind, and sat therein with comfort.”

Mr. Spurgeon never saw cyclamen growing anywhere without recalling an amusing incident which happened in Dr. Bennet’s garden at the time when visitors were freely welcomed there in the morning. The Pastor and his secretary had fond a sheltered spot where they were completely hidden from view, and during one of the pauses in the reading or dictating, they were greatly interested in hearing a young lady, quite near them, exclaim, in unmistakable Transatlantic tones, “O mother, do come here! There are some lovely sickly men (cyclamen), just here. I du love sickly men!” Perhaps the speaker would not have been quite so enthusiastic if she had been aware of the proximity of the English listeners who mischievously gave to her words a meaning she never intended them to convey.

When Dr. Bennet restored the Saracenic tower here represented, he placed it at the disposal of Mr. Spurgeon, who at once availed himself of such a delightful retreat. Perched up so high above the sea, the view all around was indescribably lovely, while, by turning the key in the lock, absolute immunity from intruders was secured; and, as the result, some of the brightest of the articles in The Sword and the Trowel were here written or dictated, and some of the choicest sermons in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit were here composed, at least in outline. Only a short distance away from this tower, and perched on the very edge of the cliff overhanging the sea, stands the Italian guard-house which Mr. Spurgeon had to pass every time he went to see his friend, Mr. Thomas Hanbury, at the Palazzo Orengo, La Mortola. The Pastor often told the story of an incident that happened within this building. In the days when the phylloxera was committing such deadly havoc among the vines of France and Italy, the two countries tried to prevent its further spread by forbidding the transport of fruit, flowers, shrubs, etc., from one land to the other, it was a foolish and useless regulation, for the phylloxera was already in possession of both sides of the frontier; and it led to many amusing scenes. One day, Mr. Spurgeon was going, with a party of friends, for a picnic; and, amongst the articles under his charge, were,, a couple of oranges. He understood sufficient Italian to comprehend that the fruit could not be allowed to pass; but his ready wit suggested the best way out of the difficulty, so he walked into the soldiers’ room, peeled the oranges, carefully putting all the peel into the fire, and ate them, to the great amusement of the defenders of the crown rights ,of the King of Italy! As the story has been published in various papers and books, Mr. Spurgeon is represented as having “stepped back, five or six paces, into France,” in order to defy the Italian guards; whereas, at the time, he was probably one or two hundred yards beyond the boundaries of the Republic.

Dr. Bennet’s garden was not the only open-air study that Mr. Spurgeon had at Mentone. In the accompanying illustration, it is easy to pick out the line of cypresses running through the dense masses of olive trees at the back of the Chalet des Rosiers, the Swiss villa where. Queen Victoria stayed when at Mentone. That cypress walk led up to one of the numerous quiet nooks where the Pastor and his secretary spent many a delightful day. They started from the hotel soon after the little company of friends, who had gathered for morning prayer, had dispersed, and if the weather was favorable for a long stay out of doors, they carried the materials for a light lunch with them, a waterproof rug to spread on the ground to ward off rheumatism, — and some books, of course, generally including a volume of Brooks, or Manton, or some other Puritan divine, with a biography or something that would make a variety in ‘the reading. The reader had to pause, every now and then, to jot down texts that struck the attentive listener as being suggestive, or to preserve, by means of phonography, any happy and helpful thoughts that might be of service in after days. Sometimes, the dictation would only’ be sufficient for a paragraph or two, and then the reading would be resumed; on other occasions, a whole article for the magazine would be ready for transcription before the return journey to the hotel. A large part of The Clue of the Maze, and several of the Illustrations and Meditations, or, Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden, were thus written at another re. tired spot nOt far from the cypress walk. A good idea of the kind of place that was usually selected for this purpose can be conveyed by the view that one of the Pastor’s friends took for him, and most appropriately entitled “A Pretty Peep.”

Occasionally, the time devoted to reading in the open air was spent in one of the many lovely valleys by which Mentone is surrounded. Mr. Spurgeon never forgot one experience which he had in the portion of the Gorbio valley represented in the illustration on the opposite page, and concerning which he wrote —

“In this valley I have spent many a happy day, just climbing to, any terrace I preferred, and sitting down to read. I once left Manton on Psalm 119. by the roadside, and before the next morning it was returned to me. Here, too, on Christmas-day, 1879, I learned what it is to ‘Walk in the Light.’ I had been ill with gout; and, on recovering, arranged to drive up this valley as far as the road would serve, and then send away the carriage, walk further on, have our lunch, and, in the afternoon, walk gently back to the spot where we left the conveyance, the man having orders to be there again by three. Alas! I had forgotten that, as far as the upper portion of the valley is concerned, the sun was gone soon after twelve!

I found myself in the shade before lunch was over, and shade meant sharp frost; for, wherever the sun had not shone, the earth was frozen hard as a rock. To be caught in this cold, would mean a long illness for me; so, leaning on the shoulder of my faithful secretary, I set forth to hobble down the valley. The sun shone on me, and I could just move fast enough to keep his bright disc above the top of the hill. He seemed to be rolling downward along the gradually descending ridge, like a great wheel of fire; and I, painfully and laboriously stumbling along, still remained in his light. Of course, it was not the time for our jehu to be at the appointed spot; so, with many a groan, I had to stagger on until a stray conveyance, came in our direction. Out of the sunshine, all is winter in the sunlight alone is summer. Oh, that spiritually I could always wall< in the light of God’s countenance as that day I managed to keep in the sun’s rays!

“‘ Like Enoch, let me walk with God,
And thus walk out my day;
Attended still with heave ely light,
Upon the King’s highway.’”

The Gorbio valley was one of the special haunts of the trap-door spiders until visitors so ruthlessly destroyedtheir wonderful underground home,,. Concerning these and other curious creatures, the. Pastor wrote to Mrs. Spurgeon — ” How I wish you could be here to see the spiders’ trap-doors! There are thousands of them here, and the harvesting ants also, though the wise men declared that Solomon was mistaken when he said, ‘They prepare their meat in the summer.’ I shall send. you a book about them all.” When the volume arrived, it proved to be Harvesting’ Ants and Trap-door Spiders, by J. Traherne Moggridge, F.L.S., and it contained such a choice inscription that it is here reproduced in facsimile—

One of the charms of Mentone to Mr. Spurgeon was the fact that he could constantly see there illustrations of Biblical scenes and manners and customs. He frequently said he had no desire to visit Palestine in its present forlorn condition, for he had before his eyes, in the Riviera, an almost exact representation of the Holy Land as it was in the days of our Lord. He was greatly interested in an article, written by Dr. Hugh Macmillan, upon this subject, in which that devoted student of nature traced many minute resemblances between the climate, the conformation of the country, the fauna and flora, and the habits of the people in the South of France of today, and those of the East in the time when Jesus of Nazareth trod “those holy fields.” In several of his; Sabbath afternoon communion addresses, the Pastor’ alluded to the many things that continually reminded him of “Immanuel’s land,” while the olive trees were a never-failing source, of interest and illustration. One of the works, with which, he had made very considerable progress, was intended to be, if possible, an explanation of all the Scriptural references to the olive,

Mr. Spurgeon often remarked that there were many Biblical allusions which could not be understood apart from their Oriental associations; and, as an instance, he said that some people had failed altogether to catch the meaning of Isaiah 57:20, “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.” Those who have affirmed that the sea never can rest have not seen the Mediterranean in its most placid mood, when for days or even weeks at a time there is scarcely a ripple upon its surface. During that calm period, all sorts of refuse accumulate along the shore; and then, when the time of tempest comes, anyone who walks by the side of the agitated waters can see that they do “cast up mire and dirt.” Usually, during the Pastor’s stay at Mentone, there was at least one great storm, either far out at sea, or near at hand. In 1882, in one of his letters home, he wrote the following graphic description of the scene he had just witnessed “This afternoon, I have been out to watch the sea. There was a storm last night, and the sea cannot forgive the rude winds, so it is avenging its wrongs upon the shore. The sun shone at 3 o’clock, and there was no wind here; but away over the waters hung an awful cloud, and to our left a rainbow adorned another frowning mass of blackness. Though much mud was under foot, all the world turned out to watch the hungry billows rush upon the beach. In one place, they rolled against the esplanade, and then rose, like the waterworks at Versailles, high into the air, over the walk, and across the road, making people run and dodge, and leaving thousands of pebbles on the pavement. In another place, the sea removed all the foreshore, undermined the walls, carried them away, and then assailed the broad path, which it destroyed in mouthfuls, much as a rustic eats bread-and-butter! Here and’ there, it took away ‘the curb; I saw some twelve feet of it go, and then it attacked the road. It was amusing to see the people move as a specially big wave dashed up. The lamp-posts were going when I came in, and an erection of solid stone, used as the site of a pump, was on the move. Numbers of people were around this as I came in at sundown; it was undermined, and a chasm was opening between it and the road. Men were getting up the gas pipes, or digging into the road to cut the gas off. I should not wonder if the road is partly gone by the morning. Though splashed with mud, I could not resist the delight of seeing the huge waves, and the. sea birds flashing among them like soft lightnings.’ The deep sigh, the stern howl, the solemn hush, the booming roar, and the hollow mutter of the ocean were terrible and grand to me. Then the rosy haze of the far-ascending spray, and the imperial purple and azure of the more-distant part of the waters, together with the snow-white manes of certain breakers on a line of rock, made up a spectacle never to be forgotten. Far away, in the East, I saw just a few yards of rainbow standing on the sea. It seemed like a Pharos glimmering there, or a ship in gala array, dressed out with the flags of all nations. O my God, how glorious art Thou! I love Thee the better for’ being so great, so terrible, so good, so true. ‘ This God is our’ God, for ever and ever.’“

Another phenomenon was thus described in. a letter of the same period — ”About six in the evening, we were all called out into the road to see a superb Aurora Borealis, — a sight that is very rarely seen here. Natives say that it is twelve years since the last appearance, and that it means a cold winter which will drive people to Mentone. Our mountains are to the North, and yet, above their tops, we saw the red glare of this wonderful visitant. ‘ Castellar is’ on fire,’ said an old lady, as if the conflagration of a million such hamlets could cause the faintest approximation to the Aurora, which looked like the first sight of a world on fire, or the blaze of the day of doom.”

Mr. Spurgeon had been at Mentone so many years that he had watched its growth from little more than a village to a town of considerable size. He had so thoroughly explored it that he knew every nook and cranny, and there was not a walk or drive in the neighborhood with which he was not perfectly familiar. His articles, in The Sword and the Trowel, on the journey from “Westwood” to Mentone, and the drives around his winter resort, have been most useful to later travelers, and far more interesting than ordinary guide-books. Many of the villas and hotels were associated with visits to invalids or other friends, and some were the scenes of notable incidents which could not easily be forgotten.

At the Hotel d’Italie, the Pastor called to see John Bright, who was just then in anything bat a bright frame of mind. He was in a very uncomfortable room, and was full of complaints of the variations in temperature in the sunshine and in the shade. His visitor tried to give him a description of Mentone as he had known it for many ),ears, but the great tribune of the people seemed only anxious to get away to more congenia1 quarters. The Earl of Shaftesbury was another of the notable Mentone visitors whom the Pastor tried to cheer when he was depressed about the state of religious and social affairs in England and on the Continent.

One morning, among the little company gathered for family prayer, Mr. T. A. Denny unexpectedly put in an appearance. I n explanation of his sudden arrival, he said, “I felt down in the dumps, so I thought I would just run over to my friend Spurgeon for a few clays, for it always does me good to see and hear him.” His presence was equally’ ‘welcome to the Pastor, and they drove together to some of the most charming’ places in the district.

The genial Sir Wilfrid Lawson scarcely needed anyone to raise his spirits, for he was in one of his; merriest moods when he met Mr. Spurgeon at the hotel door, and the half hour they spent together was indeed a lively time. The Right Hon. G. J. Shaw-Lefevre was another politician whom the Pastor met at Mentone. The subject of Home Rule was just then coming to the front, and the Liberal statesman heard that day what Mr. Spurgeon thought of Mr. Gladstone’s plans; the time came when the opinions then expressed privately were published broadcast throughout the United Kingdom, and materially contributed to the great leader’s defeat.

In the earlier years of visiting Mentone, the Pastor stayed at the H6tel des Anglais; and he used often to say that he never passed that spot without looking at a certain room, and thanking God for the merciful deliverance which he there experienced. One day, he was; lying in that room, very ill; but he had insisted upon the friends who were with him going out for a little exercise. Scarcely had they left, whets a madman, who had eluded the vigilance of his keepers, rushed in, and said, “ I want you to save my soul.” With great presence of mind, the dear sufferer bade the poor fellow kneel down by the side of the bed, and prayed for him as best he could under the circumstances. Mr. Spurgeon then told him to go away, and return in half an hour. Providentially, he obeyed; and, as soon as he was gone, the doctor and .servants were summoned, but they were not able to overtake the madman before he had stabbed someone in the street; and, only a very few days later, he met with a terribly tragic end.

In the garden of the same hotel, the Pastor once had an unusual and amusing experience.. A poor organ-grinder was working away at his instrument; but, evidently, was evoking more sound than sympathy. Mr. Spurgeon, moved with pity at his want of success, took his place, and ground out the tunes while the man busily occupied himself in picking up the coins thrown by the numerous company that soon gathered at the windows and on the balconies to see and hear Mr. Spurgeon play the organ! When he left off, other guests also had a turn at the machine; and, although they were not so successful as the first amateur player had been, when the organ-man departed, he carried away a heavier purse and a happier heart than he usually took home.

It was while staying at the Hotel des Anglais that the Pastor’ adopted a very original method of vindicating one of the two Christian ordinances which were always very clear to him. At a social gathering, at which Mr. Spurgeon and a large number of friends were present, Mr. Edward Jenkins, M.P., the author of Ginx’s Baby, persistently’ ridiculed believers’ baptism. It was a matter of surprise to many that he did not at once get the answer that he might have been sure he would receive sooner or later. The party broke up, however, without anything having been said by the Pastor upon he question, but it was arranged that, the next day, all of them should visit Ventimiglia. On reaching the cathedral, Mr. Spurgeon led the way to the baptistery in the crypt; and when all the company had gathered round the old man who was explaining the objects of interest, the Pastor said to his and-immersionist friend, “Mr. Jenkins, you understand Italian better than we do, will you kindly interpret for us what the guide is saying?” Thus fairly trapped, the assailant of the previous evening began, “This is an ancient baptistery. He says that, in the early Christian Church, baptism was always administered by immersion.” The crypt at once rang with laughter, in which the interpreter joined as heartily as anyone, admitting that he had been as neatly “sold” as a man well could be. He was not the only one who learnt that the combatant who crossed swords with our Mr. Great-heart might not find the conflict to his permanent advantage.

Mr. Spurgeon was never able to accept the invitation of Mr. Hanbury, who wished him to stay at the Palazzo Orengo; but, on two occasions, he was the guest, for a week or two, of Mrs. Dudgeon at the Villa 1es Grottes. He had frequently spent a clay there, or gone to a drawing-room meeting in aid of one or other of the many religious; and benevolent works in which that good lady was interested, or, in the evening, had met, at her house, a number of friends, belonging to so many different denominations, that it seemed like a gathering under the auspices of the Evangelical Alliance. On one of these occasions, there were so many Church of England canons in the company, that Mr. Spurgeon humorously said that they’ might form a park of artillery. After a season of general conversation, the whole company usually settled down to listen to the story of the Stockwell Orphanage, or remarkable instances of answers to prayer, or a few words; of loving gospel talk, closing with earnest supplication for a blessing to rest upon all present.

When the weather permitted, Mrs. Dudgeon liked to arrange for a picnic, at which other friends could have the opportunity of meeting her honored guest; she related to him, ‘with great glee, the remark of a Mentonese woman concerning one of those outings — ” I can’t make out you English people at all; you have nice hotels and houses where you can have your meals in comfort, and yet you go and eat your dinner in a ditch!” The “ditch” was, of course, a dry one; and, usually, an olive garden was the scene of the alfresco repast.

A favorite resort for these picnic parties was Beaulieu, rightly named “beautiful place.” The route to it led directly through Monte Carlo, and the Pastor was always glad when that part of the road was passed; he said that the whole region seemed to smell of brimstone! On one of his early visits to the Riviera, he had gone in to see the gamblers in the Casino; but, in all later years, he avoided even the gardens surrounding the building where so many had been ruined both for time and eternity, and he did not like any of those who were staying with him to go merely to look at the players. He used to tell them what was said once to a friend of his, who was walking in the gardens, and who, when he met the manager, began to apologize for his presence there as he never went to the tables.

“My dear sit’,” replied Monsieur …………. , “you are heartily welcome to come at any time, even though you do no’ play; you are one of our best friends, for you and others like you help to make our place respectable.” As the one to whom these words were addressed had an utter horror of supporting gambling in any way, he took care. never again to be seen anywhere near the gardens.

Almost every year, while Mr. Spurgeon was at Mentone, he heard of many cases of suicide as the result of the gambling at Monte Carlo, and in various ways he discovered that the ruin wrought by the Casino was far greater than was known to the public in England. On various occasions, he published some of this information, in the hope of aiding the movement for the abolition of the evil. One of those papers, entitled “The Serpent in Paradise,” was reprinted, and had a large circulation but,, alas! the gaming still continues, and the annual roll of victims appears to be as long and. as terrible as ever.

One delightful excursion was arranged to Laguet, or Laghetto, the charming valley which has been, at times, the resort of almost numberless pilgrims, who have gone there to obtain the supposed mediation of the large wax doll which probably is still preserved in the chapel attached to the monastery. A drive out to that lovely spot, with a mid — day rest for the. horses, and an open-air meal for the travelers, was always regarded by Mr. Spurgeon as one of the greatest enjoyments of his sojourn in the sunny South. But it was only possible in the finest weather, and when the days were long enough to permit the return journey to be completed before sunset; otherwise, a chill and a painful illness would most likely follow, as there was so great a fall in the temperature the instant the sun disappeared for the night.


ON one of the visits to Mrs. Dudgeon at the Villa les Grottes, the Pastor and his secretary were photographed in her garden by her nephew, Mr. H. W. Seton-Karr. The above reproduction gives a slight idea of the view to be seen from one of the upper terraces; the high hills in the distance are beyond the Italian frontier.

For several years, Mr. Spurgeon stayed at the Hotel Beau Rivage. As he generally had several companions, or friends who wished to be near him, his party usually occupied a considerable portion of the small building, and the general arrangements were as homelike as possible, even to the ringing of a bell when it was time for family prayer. Not only were there guests in the house who desired to be present, but many came from other hotels and villas in the neighborhood, and felt well rewarded by the brief exposition of the Scriptures and the prayer which followed it. Those of the company who were members of any Christian church asked permission to attend the Lord’s-day afternoon communion service, and it frequently happened that the large sitting-room was quite full, and the folding doors had to be thrown back, so that some communicants might be in the room adjoining. On the Sabbath morning, the Pastor usually worshipped with the Presbyterian friends at the Villa les Grottes; occasionally giving an address before the observance of the Lord’s supper, and sometimes taking the whole service. Although away for rest, an opportunity was generally made for him to preach, at least once during the season, at the French Protestant Church, when a very substantial sum was collected for the poor of Mentone. He also took part in the united prayer-meetings in the first week of the year, and sometimes spoke upon the topic selected for the occasion.

It is; scarcely possible to tell how many people were blessed under the semi-private ministry which Mr. Spurgeon was able to exercise during his holiday. He used, at times, to feel that the burden became almost too great to be borne, for it seemed as if all who were suffering from depression of spirit, whether living in Mentone, Nice, Cannes, Bordighera, or San Remo, found him out, and sought the relief which his sympathetic heart was ever ready to bestow. In one case, a poor soul, greatly in need of comfort, was marvelously helped by a brief conversation with him. Wine Pastor himself thus related the story, when preaching in the Tabernacle, in June, 1883: —

“Some years ago, I was away in the South of France; I had been very ill there, and was sitting in my room alone, for my friends had all gone down to the mid-day meal. All at once it struck me that I had something to do-out of doors; I did not know what it was, but I walked out, and sat down on a seat. There came and sat next to me on the seat a poor, pale, emaciated woman in the last stage of consumption; and looking at me, she. said, ‘ O Mr. Spurgeon, I have read your sermons for years, and I have learned to trust the Savior! I know I cannot live long, but I am very sad as I think of it, for I am so afraid to die.’ Then I knew why I had gone out there, and I began to try to cheer her. I found that it was very hard work. After a little conversation, I said to her, ‘ Then you would like to go to Heaven, but not to die?’ ‘ Yes, just so,’ she answered. ‘ Well, how’ do you wish to go there? Would you like to ascend in a chariot of fire?’ That method had not occurred to her, but she answered, ‘Yes, oh, yes!’ ‘Well,’ I said, ‘suppose there should be, just round this, corner, horses all on fire, and a blazing Chariot waiting there to take you up to Heaven; do you feel ready to step into such a chariot?’ She looked up at me, and she said, ‘ No, I should be afraid to do that.’ ‘ Ah!’ I said, ‘and so should I; I should tremble a great deal more at getting into a chariot of fire than I should at dying. I am not fond of being behind fiery horses, I would rather be excused from taking such a ride as that.’ Then I said to her, ‘ Let me tell you what will probably happen to you; you will most likely go to bed some night, and you will wake up in Heaven.’ That is just what did occur not long after; her husband wrote to tell me that, after our conversation, she had never had any more trouble about dying; she felt that it was; the easiest way into Heaven, after all, and far better than going there in a whirlwind with horses of fire and chariots of fire, and she gave herself up tot her Heavenly Father to, take her home in His own way; and so she passed away, as I expected, in her sleep.”

The testimony of one American minister is probably typical of that of many others who came under Mr. Spurgeon’s influence at Mentone. In on, of his letters to The Chicago Standard, Revelation W. H. Geistweit wrote — ” It has been said that, to know a man, you must live with him. For two months, every morning, I found myself in Mr. Spurgeon’s sitting-room, facing the sea, with the friends who had gathered there for the reading of the Word and prayer. To me, it is far sweeter to recall those little meetings than to think of him merely as the great preacher of the Tabernacle. Multitudes heard him there while but few had the peculiar privilege accorded to me. His solicitude for others constantly shone out. An incident in illustration of this fact will1 never be forgotten by me. He had been very ill for’ a week, during which time, although I went daily to his hotel, he did not leave his bed, and could not be seen. His suffering was excruciating. A little later, I was walking in the street, one morning, when he spied me from his carriage. He hailed me, and when I approached him, he held out his left hand, and said cheerily, ‘Oh, you are worth five shillings a pound more than when I saw you last!’ And letting his voice fall to a tone of deep earnestness, he added, ‘Spend it all for the Lord”

A gentleman, who was staying in the hotel at Mentone, where the Pastor spent the winter of 1883, wrote — ” As an instance of the rapidity of Mr. Spurgeon’s preparation, the following incident may be given. There came to him, from London, a large parcel of Christmas and New Year’s cards. These were shown to some of the residents at the hotel, and a lady of our party was requested to choose one from them. The card she selected was a Scriptural one; it was headed,’ The New Year’s Guest,’ and in harmony with the idea of hospitality, two texts were linked together ‘ I was a stranger, and ye took Me in ;’ and ‘ As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become, the sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.’ The card was taken away by the lady; but, on the following Lord’s-day, after lunch, Mr. Spurgeon requested that it might be lent to him for a short time. The same afternoon, a service was held in his private room, and he then gave a most beautiful and impressive address upon the texts on the card. The sermonette was printed in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Shortly after that date, and has always seemed to me a wonderful illustration of Mr. Spurgeon’s great power. Later in the day, he showed me the notes he had made in the half-hour which elapsed between the time the card came into his possession and the service at which the address was delivered; and these, written on a half-sheet of notepaper, consisted of the two main divisions, each one with several sub-divisions, exactly as they appear in the. printed address.”

(Just as this chapter was being compiled, one of “our own men,” Pastor W. J. Tomkins, thus reported a far more remarkable instance of the rapidity of Mr. Spurgeon’s preparation — ” One Thursday evening, during the time I was a student in the College, the dear President had been preaching in the West of England, — at Bristol, I think, — and by some cause was delayed on his way back to London. At the commencement of the service, Mr. James Spurgeon announced that he had received a telegram from his brother, mentioning the delay, and stating that he would arrive in time to preach. During the reading of the lesson, which was the 1st chapter .of the Second Epistle to, Timothy, the great preacher entered, to the intense delight of the large congregation present. Mr. James Spurgeon was giving an exposition of the chapter when his brother, who had quietly taken a seat behind him, intimated his presence by gently pulling his coat-tail. The reading was soon finished, prayer was offered, and a hymn sung, and the text was announced ‘Wherefore put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.’ After an interesting and instructive introduction, the Pastor proceeded to deliver a most orderly and helpful discourse, which seemed to bear the marks of careful preparation, and it was with astonishment we heard him say, in the College the next day, that the whole sermon of the previous evening flashed across his mind while sitting upon the platform during the reading of the chapter by his brother.”)

Occasionally, Mr. Spurgeon sent home the outline which he had used at the Sabbath afternoon communion, with some account of the service. The facsimile on the opposite page relates to the address upon the words, “Thou hast visited me in the night,” which was published in The Sword and the Trowel for December, 1886, under the title, “Mysterious Visits.” It contained quite a number of autobiographical allusions, such as the fol1owing — ” I hope that you and I have had many visits from our Lord. Some of us have. had them, especially in the night, when we have been compelled to count the sleepless hours. ‘ Heaven’s gate opens when this world’s is shut.’ The night is still; everybody is away; work is done; care is forgotten; and then the Lord Himself draws near. Possibly there may be pain to be endured, the head may be aching, and the heart may be throbbing; but if Jesus comes to visit us, our bed of languishing becomes a throne of glory. Though it is true that’ He giveth His beloved sleep,’ yet, at such times, He gives them something better than sleep, namely, His own presence, and the fullness of joy which comes with it. By night, upon our bed, we have seen the unseen. I have tried sometimes not to sleep under an excess of joy, when the company of Christ has been sweetly mine..”

The closing paragraph is a good illustration of the way in which Mr. Spurgeon made use of the scenes around him to impress his message upon his hearers —

“Go forth, beloved, and talk with Jesus on the beach, for He oft resorted to the sea-shore. Commune with Him amid the olive groves so dear to Him in many a night of wrestling prayer. If ever there was a country in which men should see traces of Jesus, next to the Holy Land, this Riviera is the favored spot. It is a land of ‘vines, and figs, and olives, and palms; I have called it ‘Thy land, O Immanuel.’ While in this Mentone, I often fancy that I am looking out upon the Lake of Gennesaret, or walking at the foot of the Mount of Olives, or peering into the mysterious gloom of the Garden of Gethsemane. The narrow streets of the old town are such as Jesus traversed, these villages are such as He inhabited. Have your hearts right with Him, and He will visit you often, until every day you shall walk with God, as Enoch did, and so turn week-days into Sabbaths, meals into sacraments, homes into temples, and earth into I-leaven. So be it with us! Amen.”

The atmosphere at Mentone was so favorable for photographers’ work that many portraits of the. Pastor were taken during his sojourns in the sunny South. One of the very best is here reproduced.

At the same time and place, the portrait of his private secretary, was; also taken.

Some good people were evidently under the impression that Mr. Spurgeon’s stay in the Riviera afforded him the opportunity of doing literary work for which he had not the leisure while at home. On October 3, 1887, he gave an address, at the Tabernacle, to the members and friends of the Open Air Mission, upon “Winning Souls for Christ.” Shortly afterwards, he received a letter from the secretary, Mr. Gawin Kirkham, thanking him for the address, and adding -” Naturally, we are asked, on every hand, ‘Will it be published?’ We say, ‘Yes, please God. in due time.’ So, when you have time to revise it in the sunny South, we shall rejoice to receive it.”

The address was duly revised, and published, and its influence for good continues even to this day. The Pastor’s experience on that occasion was not at all unusual; for, very often, after he had preached or spoken on behalf of one or other of the Societies for which his help was constantly being asked, the sermon or address was sent to him, with a request for its revision. In such a busy life as his, ‘it was not easy to crowd in both the public testimony and the private toil which so frequently followed; yet, when it was possible, he gladly rendered the desired service in both its forms.

The sunshine and clear air at Mentone helped to increase the natural buoyancy of Mr. Spurgeon’s spirits, and so provided a large supply of pure fun for all who were there with him. Walking by the sea-shore, at a time when the Mediterranean was raging furiously, he asked, “What are the wild waves saying?” and then gave his own witty answer to the question, “Let us (s)pray!”

On the sad occasion when he fell down a marble staircase, he did not at first realize how seriously he had been hurt; and having turned a double somersault, in the course of which some money fell from his pocket into his Wellington boots, and having also lost a tooth, or teeth, in his descent, he ‘humorously described the whole transaction as “painless dentistry, with money to boot!”

One of the most amusing incidents at Mentone was associated with the lions represented in the illustration on page 221. When Dr. William Hanna was driving past these gates, Mr. Spurgeon most seriously assured him that, neither our own Zoologica1 Gardens, nor the Jardin d’Acclimatation at Paris, possessed a specimen of the species of lion to which these belonged, and the worthy doctor accepted the information with the utmost gravity; and it was not until he awoke, in the middle of the night, that he saw the meaning of his genial companion’s playful remark. The next day, when they met, the conversation naturally turned upon the necessity of a surgical operation in order to get an Englishman’s joke into a Scotchman’s head.

One evening, before table d’hote, it was noticed that Mr. Spurgeon was very busily writing something in which he appeared to be deeply interested. After dinner, he went upstairs before the rest of the company; and when they arrived, he said he wanted to read to them a poem he had written, which was as follows —

“Joseph Harrald.”

“Poor old Spurgeon we must urge on,
Not so Joseph Harrald;
Before: the sun he’s up, like fun,
Ere the lark has carolled.

‘When worthy Stead has fired his lead,
Not so Joseph Harrald;
Sparkling wit is in his head,
His puns are double-barreled.

“Each other wight is wearied quite,
Not so Joseph Harrald;
On he works from morn to night;
Beats poor Douglas Jerrold.

“We appear in seedy gear.
Not so Joseph Harrald;
In his glory he’ll appear,
As Templars are appareled.

“Wine’s; good drink, as others think,
Not so Joseph Harrald;
Truest blue, he’ll never shrink:
Let his brow be laureled.

“When late he reads, sleep he needs,
Even Joseph Harrald;
Gapes with mouth, with which he feeds,
With which he never quarreled.

“Too familiar we, forget that he,
Is the Reverend Joseph Harrald;
From Geneva he; his theology
Is Calvinized and Farelled.”

“Worthy Stead” was not Mr. W. T. Stead, but one of “our own men” who was then at Mentone. The Times of one day arrived the following evening; and it was not simply weariness, but dislike of the politics of the leading journal, especially in its attacks on Mr. Gladstone, that made the “late” reader feel the need of sleep. And, finally, “Joseph Harrald” had just as hearty a hatred of the title “Reverend” as ever was felt by his beloved Pastor and President, who, in this amusing fashion, exercised no little ingenuity in seeking to give pleasure to his private secretary and those dear to him.

On another occasion, Mr. Spurgeon wrote at Mentone what he called “A War-Song.” He included it in the programme of the following College Conference; and few who were then present are likely to forget the impression produced when, first, the hundreds of ministers and students, and, afterwards, the thousands gathered at the great public meeting in the Tabernacle, sang this soul-stirring hymn —

“Forth to the battle rides our King,
He climbs His conquering car;
He fits His arrows to the string,
And hurls His bolts afar.

“Convictions pierce the stoutest hearts,
They smart, they bleed, they die;
Slain by Immanuel’s well-aimed darts,
In helpless heaps they lie.

“Behold, He bares his two-edged sword,
And deals almighty blows;
His all-revealing, killing Word
‘Twixt joints and marrow goes.

“Who can resist Him in the fight?
He cuts through coats of mall;
Before the terror of His might
The hearts of rebels fain.

“Anon arrayed in robes of grace,
He rides the trampled plain,
With pity beaming in His face,
And mercy in His train

“Mighty to save He now appears,
‘Mighty to raise the dead,
Mighty to stanch the bleeding wound,
And lift the fallen head.

“Victor alike in love and rams,
Myriads around Him bend;
Each captive owns His matchless charms,
Each foe becomes His friend.

“They crown Him on the battle-field,
They press to kiss His feet;
Their hands, their hearts, their all they yield:
His conquest is complete.

“None love Him more than those He slew;
His love their hate has slain;
Henceforth their souls are all on fire
To spread His gentle reign.”


MANY of Mr. Spurgeon’s letters, published in previous chapters, answer to his own description of the brief “notes” which had to be hurriedly penned amid the heavy pressure of almost incessant toil. Yet he wrote other letters and, amongst the choicest of them, were those addressed to the officers and members of the church at the Tabernacle. Many of these have never been published, although carefully preserved; but it is impossible to convey a true idea of the Pastor’s correspondence without including at least a few specimens of his later epistles to the beloved brethren and sisters committed to his charge. In writing to them, he often seemed to pour out his very soul in his pleading with them to be consistent, prayerful, Christian men and women, earnestly laboring for the good of the people amongst whom their lot was cast.

The following selection comprises the letters written during one sojourn in the sunny South, although, in order to make the set complete, it is necessary to insert the last communication from the Pastor’s sick-room before he was able to start for his needed and deserved holiday —

“Dearly-beloved Friends,

“I am right glad that those who filled my place, last Sabbath, were so graciously enabled to feed your souls. It matters little who distributes the bread so long as it comes fresh from Jesu’s hand. I join you in earnest prayer that the brethren, who have so kindly come to my relief today, may have equally adequate assistance from our Lord and His Spirit. I thank them, but I also envy them; and would gladly pay a king’s ransom, if I had it, for the privilege of preaching this Sabbath. My envy condenses into a prayer that all my Lord’s ambassadors may have good speed this day, that so His Kingdom of peace may mightily grow in the land.

“After enduring much intense pain, I am now recovering, and, like a little child, am learning to stand, and to totter from chair to chair. The trial is hot, but it does not last long; and there is herein much cause for gratitude. My last two attacks have been of this character. It may be the will of God that I should have many more of these singular seizures and, if so, I hope you will have patience with me. I have done all as to die to abstinence from stimulants, and so on, which could be done and, as the complaint still continues, the cause must be elsewhere. We call the evil ‘gout’ for want of a better’ word, but it differs widely from the disorder which usually goes under that name.

“On the last two occasions when I broke down, I had an unusual pressure of work upon me. My service, among you is so arduous that I can just keep on, at a medium pace, if I have nothing extra to do; but any additional labor overthrows me. If I were an iron man, you should have my whole strength till the last particle had been ‘worn away; but as 1 am only flesh and blood, you must take from me what I can give, and look for no more. May that service which I can render be. accepted of the Lord!

“I now commend you, dear friends, to the Lord’s keeping. Nothing will cheer me so much as to hear that God is among you; and I shall judge of this by importunate prayer-meetings, the good works of the church systematically and liberally sustained, and converts coming forward to confess their faith in Christ. This last token of blessing I look for and long for every week. ‘ Who is on the Lord’s side?’ Wounded on the battle-field, I raise myself on my arm, and cry to those around me, and urge them to espouse my Master’s cause, for if we were wounded or dead for His sake, all would be gain. By the splendor of redeeming love, I charge each believer to confess his Lord, and live wholly to Him.

“Yours for Christ’s sake,


Not very long after this letter was written, the Pastor was able to start for the South of France. On the way to Mentone, he made a short stay at Cannes, and from there wrote, on January 31 —

“To my Beloved Church and Congregation,

“Dear. Friends,

“The journey here is long for one who is in weak health, and I have had but a few days of rest, but already I feel myself improving. The Master’s service among you has been very delightful to me; but it has grown to such proportions that I have felt the burden of it weighing very heavily upon my heart, and I have suffered more depression of spirit, and weariness of mind, than I could well express. Rest I could not find at home, where every hour has its cares; but here, I cease altogether from these things, and the mind becomes like an unstrung bow, and so regains its elasticity.

“I wish I could work on among you continually, and never even pause; but many infirmities show that this; cannot be. Pray, therefore, that this. needful break in my work may strengthen me for a long spring and summer campaign.

“Nothing can so cheer me as to know that all of you are living for Jesus, and living like Him. Our church has produced great workers in the past, and I hope the sacred enthusiasm which they manifested will never burn low among us. Jesus is worth being served with our best; yea, with our all, and that in an intense and all-consuming manner. May our young men and women love the Lord much, and win others to Him by their zeal for God; and may our elder brethren, and the matrons among us, prove ever the pillars of the church in their holy conversation and devout godliness!

“Maintain the prayer-meetings at blood-heat. See well to the Sunday-schools, and all the Bible-classes, and other labors for Christ. Let nothing flag of prayer, service, or offering. We have a great trust; may the Lord make us faithful to it! My’ love is with you all, and my prayers for your welfare.

“Oh, that you who are still unsaved may be led to Jesus through those who supply my lack of service! Peace be with the Co-pastor, deacons, and elders, and with you all!

“From your loving but unworthy Pastor,


In his humility, he called himself unworthy, but no one else would have used such an epithet concerning him. Never, surely, was there a more worthy as well as loving under-shepherd of the flock.

The next epistle shows that he had reached his destination —

“Wednesday evening.

“To my Dear Friends at the Tabernacle,

“It is only a few days since I wrote to you, and therefore I have nothing fresh to report, except that, each clay, I feel the need and the value of the rest which I am beginning to enjoy. I have only arrived here this afternoon; but the warm sunshine and the clear atmosphere make me feel as if I had reached another world, and tend greatly to revive my weary mind.

“It would be well it I could write without mentioning myself, and for your edification only. Forgive the need which there is of alluding to my health; it would best please me if I could work right on, and never have the wretched item of self to mention. My mind runs much upon the work at home, — the services, the College, the Orphanage, the Colportage, the Sabbath-school, the coming special meetings, and so on. I picture all things in my mind’s eye, and wonder how all are going on; then I pray, and leave the whole with ‘ that great Shepherd of the sheep.’

“My brother and all the officers will watch for the good of the church; and the more spiritual and full-grown among you will also care for the state of the work; and so the’ Lord will use your instrumentality for His glory. We are set for a sign and token of the power of the old-fashioned gospel, and we are bound to prove to all around, not only that the truth can gather, but that it can hold. It will not only forcibly draw men together, but it will bind them together; and that, too, not through some favored preacher, but by its own intrinsic force. This assertion needs proof, and you will prove it.

“May God, the Eternal Spirit, abide over you all, beloved, and cause you to be strong by the anointing of the Holy One! May the poor be comforted, the sick supported, the warriors be strengthened, and the laborers be sustained! My hearty love is ever with you.

“There my best friends, my kindred, dwell,
There God my Savior reigns.’
“Yours in Christ Jesus,



The following week, this letter was written —

“February 7.

“My Beloved Friends,

“After enjoying a few restful nights and quiet days, I feel myself coming round again, and my heart is full of praise and thanksgiving to our gracious God. Your prayers have been incessant, and have prevailed; and I am very grateful to you all. As long as I am able, it will be my joy to be of service, to you; and my only grief has been that sickness has weakened my powers, and rendered me less able to discharge my happy duties among you. The post I occupy needs a man at his best, and I have of late been very much the reverse. However, we know who it is that giveth power to the faint, and so we trust that feeble, efforts have not been ineffectual. “

I shall be doubly indebted to the goodness of our Lord if the remainder of my rest shall confirm the beneficial work which has commenced.. The further repose will, I hope, make me stronger for the future.

“I have not yet heard tidings of the special services, but I hope that every member is at work to make them a success. Pray about them, speak about them, attend them, assist in them, bring others to them. Our two evangelists are the right instruments, but the hand of the Lord is needed to work by them. Call upon Him whose hand it is, and He will work according to His own good pleasure. The times are such that churches holding the old truths must be active and energetic, that the power of the gospel may be manifest to all. We need to uplift a banner because of the truth. So numerous a church as ours may accomplish great things, by the power of the Holy Ghost, if only we are once in downright earnest. Playing at religion is wretched; it must be everything to us, or it will be nothing.

“Peace be with you all, and abounding love!

“Your hearty friend,


There is a gap in the correspondence here; for, even on the sunny shore of the Mediterranean, the Pastor’s constitutional enemy found him out, and inflicted fresh suffering upon him. After an interval of three weeks, he was able to write as follows —

“February 28.

“Beloved Friends,

“I rejoice that the time of my return to you is now a matter of a few days, and that I have every prospect, if the Lord will, of returning with health established and mind rested. Perhaps never before have I been brought so low in spirit, and assured, never more graciously restored. May the Lord sanctify both the trial and the recovery, so that I may be a fitter instrument in His hand to promote His glory and your highest good!

“The last fortnight of additional rest was wisely ordained by a higher hand than that of the good deacons, who suggested it to me; for, without it, I should not have had space to pass through an attack of pain which has .just swept over me, and left me improved by its violence. The last few days will, I feel, be the best of the whole, when I shall not have to be thoughtful of recovery, but altogether restful.

“Good news from the Tabernacle continues to be as cold waters to a thirsty soul. You have had great times of refreshing; may their influence abide with you! We must not go to sleep on my return, nor at any other time; but steadily labor on, and ‘watch for souls. Spurts are very helpful; but to keep up the pace at a high regular figure, is the most important thing. Even an invalid can make a great exertion when some remarkable occasion excites him to do so; but constant, unwearied effort belongs only to those who have stamina and inward force. May our whole church prove itself to be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might, by unceasingly carrying on its work of faith and labor of love! “In these days, we are regarded as Puritanical and old-fashioned; and this description, I trust, we shall never be ashamed of, but wear it as an ornament. The old orthodox faith is to us no outworn creed of past ages, but a thing of power, a joy for ever. In the Name of the Lord, who by that faith is honored, we press forward to proclaim again and again the doctrines of the grace of God, the efficacy of the blood of the Divine Substitute, and the power of the Eternal Spirit; and we feel assured that, whoever may oppose, the omnipotent gospel will prevail.

“The multitudes, are hungering for that old-fashioned bread whereon their fathers fed, and too many preachers now give them newly-carved stones, and bid them admire the skill of the,. modern sculptors. We mean to keep to the distribution of bread, and the stone-cutters will meet with no competition from us in their favorite amusement. But, brethren, only a living church — holy, prayerful, active, — can make the old truth victorious. Linked with a mass of mere profession, it will perform no exploits. To you and to me there is a growing call for greater spirituality, and more Divine power, for the work before us increases in difficulty.

“The Lord be with you all, and with your Pastor, deacons, and elders! So prays —

“Yours lovingly,


The officers and members of the church took many opportunities of assuring the Pastor of their unwavering attachment and unabated affection. His seasons of sickness afforded occasions for the expression of special sympathy and love. The following letter, written by Mr. B. Wildon Cart, and adopted at a full meeting of the church at the close of the service on a Lord’s-day evening, is a sample of the communications that helped to cheer Mr. Spurgeon when laid aside from active labor for the Lord —

“Very dear and highly-esteemed Pastor,

“Meeting around the communion table of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are all of us, this night, sad and sorrowful because of your illness; and one impulse fills every heart, we are unanimous in the desire to offer you some expression of our heartfelt sympathy.

“We had hoped that, after a few days’ rest, you would have been relieved of the bodily pain, the physical weakness, and the mental depression with which it has pleased our Heavenly Father to visit you. The Lord has done it. We accept the affliction, as you do, from the hand of God. But we cannot help comparing you to a warrior wounded in action, or to a physician prostrated with exertions to prescribe for patients that importune him on every side. For the work of Christ, you have been nigh unto death, not regarding your life, to supply a lack of service, toward us.

“We cannot forget that this visitation came upon you immediately after a season of heavy labor, remarkable energy, and (as we cannot doubt) of heavenly joy in the service of Christ, of this church, and of other churches. It seems to us meet, therefore, that we should attribute the cause of it to a natural infirmity of the flesh, and not in any wise to the severity of the Lord’s chastening.

“Beloved Pastor, we remember, with tender gratitude, how generously you have always associated us with you in all the success and prosperity that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, have attended your ministry. We never could doubt your sincerity, in offering the praise to God, when we witnessed your humility in imparting so much of the credit (entirely due to yourself to the unworthy brethren and sisters who watch and pray with you, while we account it a high privilege to follow our Lord and Master, as you lead our forces.

“With the affection we bear you, we can truly say that we should account it a happiness to bear your sufferings amongst us; some of us would gladly take them all, if we could thereby relieve you of the heavy cross that bows you down. As we sit before the Lord, we think of you, as the people said to David, ‘Thou art worth ten thousand of us.’ Kindly accept, then, our united expression of love in Christ Jesus, tendered to you in a solemn hour. It may be superfluous to you, but it is refreshing to us to get an opportunity of communicating with you in your sick chamber.

“May the Lord look tenderly upon you in your affliction! May He graciously remember your work and labor o1: love, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister! May He be very attentive to our prayers and intercessions on your behalf, that you may be restored to us, not in weakness and decrepitude, but in the fullness of vigor, with your youth renewed like the eagle’s, — .and that right early!”

(Signed, on behalf of the church, by fifteen deacons and elders.)

It is significant that only two of the church-officers whose signatures were appended to the letter — one deacon and one elder — still survive. The following extracts from a letter, written by Mr. Carr to his absent Pastor at Mentone, will still further indicate the loving relationship which existed between Mr. Spurgeon and those who labored with him in the gospel —

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“I cannot doubt that you receive, through one and another, full accounts of all matters that relate to the Tabernacle, and the Institutions connected with it, in which many brethren feel the high honor of being associated with you. We are continually hearing of letters you have sent in reply to those that have been written to, you.

“I often think that, if you could hear in what manner you are spoken of, and in what love and tender regard you are held by your church — officers, you would blush a little. And, then, if you heard the members of the church ask after your health, and say how sorry they were theft you purposed coming home so soon, and how sincerely they wished you would stay till these biting winds had ceased to blow, you would ‘be jealous of yourself with a jealousy that might be very justifiable. If you were to hear what the outside public are constantly saying of you. you might be astonished, but you would be gratified, for, very obviously, there are thousands, who love not the Lord Jesus Christ, who look upon you as one of the best men that ever lived, and one who is doing great good to his fellows.

“Your long affliction, and your tedious banishment, have already borne some peaceable fruits. The stable character of your work has been proved. Had the church been built on the basis of your popularity as a preacher, the congregations would not have been so well kept up in your’ absence; but, so far from that being the case, the prayer-meetings and the weekly communion services are well attended, even when the severe weather, had you been here, would have bee. n sufficient to account for some deficiencies. This has been no ordinary winter. ‘four brother was saying, the other day, that, although we have not yet completed the first quarter of the year, the deaths have already exceeded the average for the half year. That may not be so gloomy as it sounds. The depression in the temperature has possibly hastened the exit of some whose constitutions would not have held out for the,, year, and so the average, of which he speaks, may tell no more than its usual tale when the next annual meeting comes round. It, then, the number of your twinges and groans has been reduced by the retreat to a more sheltered locality, let us be thankful, and hope for you a full community on your return.

“What a nice deacons’ meeting we had on Friday! There was; a fill muster of brethren; not one was absent, but the one to whom we all look as Pastor, President, father, and friend. And yet, to the imagination of each one, he was present. No matter was broached without a distinct intimation, on the part of every one,, to consult his wishes. This was the rallying-point of harmonious thought and feeling that became almost pathetic as the meeting proceeded. The secretary will have his work cut out if he tries to make the minutes reflect the business of the evening. I will not attempt it. From resolutions we abstained; and the recommendations were left to our chairman, the Co-pastor, to formulate, and forward for your approval.”

On May 10, 1881, Mr. William Olney wrote to his suffering Pastor a letter of loving sympathy, in which he gave a cheering account of the progress of various portions of the work at the. Tabernacle, and then added — ”You will, I am sure, excuse me for writing rather a long letter to you to-day, as it is my sixtieth birthday. I want to tell you how thankful I am that my lot has been cast, in the good providence of God, under your ministry, and how grateful I am to you for the many years of blessing and instruction I have spent sitting at your feet. I have had great pleasure, for many years, in daily commending you to God, and in doing what I can to assist you in your earnest efforts for God’s glory and the good of souls; but I fear I have done but little. Oh, that it were more! Words cannot express the debt of love I owe to you; and you must kindly excuse my infirmity in not being able to show it ‘better’ in deeds than I have done.”

To the end of his life, Mr. William Olrey’s loving esteem for his Pastor remained unchanged; and when he was “called home,” he was sorely missed.

The year which was to witness the joyful celebration of Mr. Spurgeon’s Jubilee opened for him under trying circumstances. He was away at Mentone, very ill; yet the following letter seems to have caught some of the brightness; of the sunny land where it ‘was penned —

“January 10, 1884.

“Dear Friends,

“I am altogether stranded. I am not able to leave my bed, or to find much rest upon it. The pains of rheumatism, lumbago, and sciatic, mingled together, are. exceedingly sharp. If I happen to turn a little to the right hand or to the left, I am soon aware that I am dwelling in a body capable of the most acute suffering.

“However, I am as happy and cheerful as a man can be. I feel it such a great relief that I am not yet robbing the Lord of my work, for my holiday has not quite run out. A man has a right to have the. rheumatism if he lilies when his time is his own. The worst of it is, that I am afraid I shall have to intrude into my Master’s domains, and draw again upon ,,,our patience. Unless I get better very soon, I cannot get home in due time’ and I am very much afraid that, if I did return at the date arranged, I should be of no use to you, for I should be sure to be laid aside.

“The deacons have written me a letter, in which they unanimously recommend me to take two more Sundays, so that I may get well, and not return to you an invalid. I wrote to them saying that I thought I must take a week; but as I do not get a bit better, but am rather worse, I am afraid I shall have to make it a fortnight, as they proposed. Most men find that they go right when they obey their wives; and as my’ wife and my deacons are agreed on this matter, I am afraid I should go doubly wrong if I ran contrary to them. I hope you will all believe that, if the soldier could stand, he would march; and if your servant were able, he would work; but when a man is broke, n in two by the hammer of pain, he must ‘wait till he gets spliced again.

“May the best of blessings continue to rest upon you! May those who supply my place be very graciously helped by the Spirit of God!

“Yours, with all my heart;


The Pastor often referred, as he did in this letter, to his “right” to be ill during his holiday; but the next communication from his church-officers shows that their regrets on account of his sufferings, at such times, were intensified by the knowledge that, instead of joyously resting and being refreshed, he was enduring painful afflictions..

In January, 1885, instead of being in the sunny South, as he had hoped to be, Mr. Spurgeon was still at home, too ill to travel. At a special church meeting, held at the Tabernacle, on January 12, it was unanimously and heartily resolved that the’. following letter should be forwarded to “Westwood” —

“Dear Pastor,

“We have heard, with profound grief, that you have been unable to go out on your proposed visit to Mentone in consequence of severe and painful illness during the past week. Our sincere sympathy’ is rather increased than lessened by the reflection that this season of affliction has not been borrowed from your time of service for the church, but from the period of recreation to which you have a perfect right as well as a hearty welcome.

“While devoutly recognizing the hand of the Lord in this and in all other dispensations of His providence, we feel that it cannot be irreverent to seek some clear interpretation of the will of our Heavenly Father. Can we be mistaken in supposing that the. lesson to us and to yourself is transparent? Your arduous labors, and your incessant anxieties, so far exceed the average strength of your constitution that there is an imperative demand for you to take longer and more frequent occasions of retirement, and to take them, not when you have used up ‘ the last ounce of your strength,’ but when you are in unimpaired vigor.

“Under present circumstances, we earnestly entreat you to consecrate at least three months to entire relaxation from the duties of your sacred office; and if it seem good to you, let the appointment of supplies for ),our pulpit be left to the Co-pastor and the deacons, subject always to their accepting any suggestion of yours, and ‘their communicating to you every arrangement of theirs, as is their habitual wont.

“And accept, herewith, our assurance, as a church, that we will all unite in a strong’ determination to support the good work of the Tabernacle by constant attendance, both on Sundays and week evenings, and by offering our full contributions to the support of the various institutions of the church.

“With sincere affection, and unceasing prayers for your recovery,

“We are, dear Pastor,
“Yours ever lovingly,”

(Signed by the church-officers.)

On his recovery, the Pastor left for Mentone, and he was therefore absent at the time of the annual church-meeting; but he wrote the following letter to be read to the members —

“February 9, 1885.
“To the Church in the Tabernacle,

“Beloved in the Lord,

“I salute you all right heartily. I regret that an annual church meeting should be held without me; but I know that all things will be done rightly, for the Spirit of God is among you.

“I write only to send my love, and to assure you that I am greatly profiting by the rest which has been given me. I am weak indeed, but I feel much more myself again. I have learned, by experience, that I must go away in November each year, or else I shall be at home ill. If the Lord will help me through the other months of the year, I might rest in November and December with a clear economy of time. I want to do the most possible; and, on looking over the past, this appears to be the wisest way.

“The other matter is, — the elders propose special services, and my whole heart say’s ‘Yes.’ If the church takes it up, the result will be, with the Divine blessing, a great ingathering. Members canvassing from door to door, and leaving a sermon, might do much good. I will subscribe £5 towards a fund for sermons, suitably selected, to be given away. The chief point is, to get the people in, not by bribing them with tea, etc., but by fair persuasion. Oh, for a great blessing!

“I feel grieved to be out of the running, but I cannot help it. I can pray, and I do. Rally round your leaders. Pray with double earnestness. Be instant in season and out of season. Attempt great things;, and expect great things. “May the Lord bless, guide, comfort, strengthen and uphold the Co-pastor, deacons, elders, and every one of you, for Jesus’ sake!

“Yours in hearty affection,


“I hope you will re-elect the treasurer and all the elders; they cannot be improved upon.”

On the proposition of Mr. William Olney, the following congratulatory resolution was sent to the Pastor —

“Resolved that, in review of the past year, we congratulate our dear Pastor on the good hand of the Lord which has been with him, and with us. Three circumstances, each of double significance, haw distinguished this year from other years in our history. “The first is, that, while an unusually bright summer diminished the attendance of our church-members, an extraordinary influx of rural visitors to the ‘ Healtheries Exhibition’ secured the crowding of the Metropolitan Tabernacle to its utmost capacity.

“The second is, that, although Mr. Spurgeon’s severe indisposition, in the autumn, deprived us of his services on many successive Lord’s-days, his son Thomas, home from New Zealand, most acceptably supplied the pulpit in his absence.

“The third is, that, notwithstanding a long death-roll, our band of deacons remains unbroken; and only one of our beloved elders, a brother ripe in years as well as in grace, has been taken from among us.

“To these reasons for heartfelt gratitude, we must add a fourth, which we record with unmingled satisfaction. It is that another volume of our dear Pastor’s sermons has been placed on our bookshelves, fully equal in freshness; and force, in unction and usefulness, to any of the twenty-nine volumes that preceded it.”

The following chapter will prove that the church-officers and members showed their sympathy with Mr. Spurgeon not only by loving letters and cordial resolutions, but also by practical and substantial tokens of their affection and esteem.


The river of our peace at certain seasons overflows its banks; and, at times, the believer’s joy is exceeding great. Even princes, who fare sumptuously every day, have their special banquets; and this Jubilee of my life is a true Jubilee of joy, not only to myself, but to every member of my family. — C. H. S., in sermon preached at the Tabernacle in celebration of the completion of his fiftieth year.

JUNE 19, 1884, was one of the red-letter days in Mr. Spurgeon’s history, for he then completed the fiftieth year of his life. At the annual church meeting, held in the Tabernacle, on February 13, the following resolution was unanimously and enthusiastically passed — “That the church gratefully recognizes the goodness of Almighty God in sparing to it, and to the Christian Church at large.’, the invaluable life of our beloved Pastor, C. H. Spurgeon; and that, in order worthily to celebrate his Jubilee, a suitable memorial be raised, and presented to him; and that it be an instruction to the deacons to take this matter vigorously in hand, and to carry it forward as they may deem best.”

The deacons, having received that instruction from their fellow-members, lost no time in considering the best method of carrying it into effect; indeed, they were the first to suggest that such a notable period in the Pastor’s life must not be allowed to pass without due recognition; and, with their usual generosity, they headed “the list of love” which was immediately commenced. They had, at first, just the sanre difficulty as when they were arranging for the pastoral silver wedding testimonial, for Mr. Spurgeon again insisted that, whatever amount was raised should be devoted to the Lord’s work, and not be tot his own personal benefit. No doubt this restriction somewhat reduced the total sum ultimately reached, for many generous helpers said that, as the Pastor gave away the whole of the £6,500 presented to him in 1879, and as they were constantly contributing to the various Institutions under his charge, they wished, on this occasion, to give him substantial tokens of their ever-growing love and esteem for himself. It will be seen, from his address acknowledging the testimonial, that he consented, under the urgent entreaties of the donors, to take some portion of the amount for himself; but, even then, he simply took it that he might give it away again; and the only way in which a few very special friends could make sure of his reception of their gifts was to send something direct to him for ornament or use in his home.

On May 6, a few friends met the deacons, to hear how the matter was progressing,, to make further contributions to the fund, and to consult as to the final arrangements with regard to its; presentation. Up to that night, about £1,000 had been received or promised, — just the amount which it was estimated would be required to pay for the Jubilee House, at the back of the Tabernacle, which was then being erected as a permanent memorial of the Pastor’s fiftieth year. On the side of that building is a marble slab, which is here reproduced.

JUNE 19TH, 1884.





TO the Lord be glory for all the work
which he has wrought among his people.


(Copy of marble slab and inscription on Jubilee House.)

Concerning this inscription, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — ”The somewhat lengthy quotation from the Psalm is an accurate photograph of the Pastor’s personal experience, and of the triumphs of the Lord in the adjoining Tabernacle. Power has been seen in weakness, healing by sickness, and joy through sorrow.” Mr. Spurgeon preached upon the various verses here engraved, and he intended to make a book of these sermons;, and of personal memories of the Lord’s goodness; but the work of revising the discourses was, through illness and the pressure of other service, so long delayed, that the publication of the proposed volume had to be abandoned. The manuscripts were, however, carefully preserved for future use in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. A very pathetic interest now attaches to the sermon issued for reading on January 3, 1892, for it was the first that Mr. Spurgeon had been able to prepare for the press after his long illness, and the last but one that he ever revised. The other three sermons, preached from the texts on the Jubilee House, were published, in clue course, in October, 1897, and the four together form a choice memorial of a notable period in ‘the great preacher’s life.

As the date of the celebration of the Jubilee approached, many references to it appeared in the religious and secular newspapers, the most noteworthy being the articles in the Pall Mall Gazelle of June 18 and 19, 1884. They were the result of Mr. Spurgeon’s compliance with the request contained in the following letter from the Editor, Mr. W. T. Stead —

“Dear Sir,

“You are, I am aware, one of the busiest men in London. But I venture to ask you to spare me a morsel of your leisure to have a talk over things in view of your approaching Jubilee, — your long and successful labors in London, and the general result at which you have arrived after going through it all. That, of course, for the paper and the public. Besides this, I should be very glad to have an opportunity personally of placing myself in immediate communication, with one who has been such a power for good in London and throughout the world. I also am very busy, but any day after 12 I am at your service it you can spare me time for an interview. I have the honor to be,

“Your obedient servant,

“W. T. STEAD.”

The report of the interview contained allusions to many subjects either of passing or permanent interest. The whole conversation was more or less, of an autobiographical character, the opening paragraphs dealing with the subject of religious endowments. Mr. Stead wrote —

“Mr. Spurgeon is one of the most genial of hosts, and in the course of a couple of hours spent in strolling about his well-wooded grounds, or in gossiping in his library, his visitor was able to gather his views concerning a great number of the questions of the day. He found Mr. Spurgeon, as is not to be wondered at, a strong believer in the one-man power. ‘Wherever anything is to be done,’ said he, ‘either in the Church or the world, you may depend upon it, it is done by one man. The whole history of the Church, from the earliest ages, teaches the same lesson. A Moses, a Gideon, an Isaiah, and a Paul are from time to time raised up to do an appointed work; and when they pass away, their’ work appears to cease. Nor is it given to everyone, as it was to Moses, to see the Joshua who is destined to carry on his work to completion. God can raise up a successor to each man, but the man himself is not to worry about that matter, or he may do harm. Hence I am against all endowments for religion; it is better to spend the money for immediate needs. I am not even in favor of endowing my own College. Someone made me an offer, the other day, to found a scholarship in connection with it, but I declined it. Why should I gather money, which would remain after I am gone, to uphold teaching of which I might entirely disapprove? No! let each generation provide for its own wants. Let my successor, if I have one in the College, do as I have done, and secure the funds which he needs for his own teaching. I wish there were no religious endowments of any shape or kind among Dissenters or Churchmen, for I never yet knew a chapel, possessing an endowment, which did not find that, instead of its being a blessing, it was a curse. One great object of every religious teacher should be to prevent the creation of external appliances to make his teaching appear to live when it is dead. If there were no endowments, an error would soon burst up, whereas an artificial vitality is imparted to it by bolstering it up with endowments.’

“‘Then you have faith for yourself Mr. Spurgeon, but none for your successor?’ queried the visitor.

“‘A mart does very well,’ was the reply, ‘ who has faith for himself; but how can he undertake to have faith for another? I am no believer in sponsorship. Who knows where my successor may be? He may be in America, or in Australia, or I know not where. As for the Tabernacle, the man who occupies my place, when I pass away, will have to depend upon his own resources, upon the support of his people, and the grace of God, as I have done; and if he cannot do that, let him come to the ground, for he will not be the fitting man for the post.’“

One other paragraph may be quoted, partly because of the reference made to it by Dr. Peter Bayne —

“‘In theology,’ said Mr Spurgeon, ‘I stand where I did when I began preaching, and I stand almost alone. If I ever did such a thing, I could preach my earliest sermons now without change so far as the essential doctrines are concerned. I stand almost exactly where Calvin stood in his maturer years ; — not where, he stood in his Institutes, which he wrote when quite a young man, but in his; later works; that position is taken by few. Even those who occupy Baptist pulpits do not preach exactly the same truths that I preach. They see things differently; and, of course, they preach in their own way. Although few will deny the wonderful power of the truth as it has been preached at the Tabernacle, it is not according to their method; yet it is the Calvinistic way of looking at things which causes my sermons to have such acceptance in Scotland, in Holland, and even in the Transvaal, where a recent traveler expressed his astonishment at finding translations of them lying beside the family Bible in a great many of the farmsteads of the country. I am aware that my preaching repels many’, that I cannot help. If, for instance, a man does not believe in the inspiration of the Bible, he may come and hear me once; and if he comes no more, that is his responsibility, and not mine. My doctrine has no attraction for that man; but I cannot change my doctrine to suit him.’“

Shortly after the publication of the second article in the Pall Mall Gazelle, the following letter reached the Pastor —

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“It is within the range of possibility that, in your collection of old lumber, you have some scrap of mine which had its place among those ‘paper bullets of the brain’ whose impact did you, it seems, no harm. My present notions about you are contained in the enclosed article, which you may have seen in Thursday’s Christian World. The writing of it gave me unfeigned pleasure.

“I have, for many months, been working strenuously at the original sources for a Life of Luther; and being thus led to visit one of the grand fountains of Evangelical inspiration, I have felt my own early Evangelicalism plunged, as it were, in a bath of life. But I do not think that I have ever wavered in my conviction that, for man and for nations of men, the hope of salvation is renewal in the life of Christ. Yours has been a glorious privilege, — to preach Christ, with Divine recognition so decisive, for nearly forty years.

“What you said about Calvin to the Pall Mall interviewer interests me much. Since making a careful examination of his theology and life, I have transcendently honored that man. But I measure him chiefly by the Institutes; and am very curious to know how you would define his later and ‘maturer’ position. Do not put pen to paper on the subject; but if you have published your view in sermon or book, I should be much obliged by being told how I can obtain it. Perhaps one of your secretaries would send me the necessary word.

“I know you are too magnanimous to retain the least little particle of grudge against me, and you and Mrs. Spurgeon have no more sincere admirer or affectionate well-wisher than I.

“Faithfully yours,


The actual celebration of the Jubilee commenced on Wednesday, June 18, 1884, when the Pastor sat in his vestry, from twelve to five o’clock, to receive the congratulations of friends, and contributions to be passed on to the treasurers of the testimonial fund. Then, several hundreds of the church-members were entertained at tea in the rooms under the Tabernacle, and afterwards the great sanctuary was crowded with an enthusiastic audience. Such vast numbers of people were anxious to be present, that two evenings had to be set apart for the meetings; and, even then, hundreds of applicants for tickets had to be refused, for so many applied that, if the building had been twice as large, there would have been no difficulty in filling it on both nights.

Little did the cheering thousands know of the intense anxiety that was felt by a few of the Tabernacle officials, and other friends who Shared with them a terrible secret. Just at that time, in various quarters of London, there had been threats of desperate deeds by Fenians, or those in sympathy with them; and an intimation, which the police authorities dared not disregard, had been given that the Tabernacle was to be blown up on the nigh of Mr. Spurgeon’s Jubilee. It seemed scarcely possible that such a diabolical scheme of wholesale destruction of human life could have been devised; but every precaution was taken to prevent it becoming an awful reality. There probably had never been so many detectives and policemen in the building before; and when the proceedings on the second night were over, and the delighted audience had dispersed, there were private but grateful thanksgivings that all had gone off without even a note of alarm; yet, for a considerable period afterwards, it was deemed advisable to have a special watch kept in case arty attempt of the kind indicated might be made. With thoughtful and tender solicitude, all knowledge of the threatened explosion was kept from the Pastor; and it was only when he was in the carriage, on his way home, that Mrs. Spurgeon told him the alarming news which had occupied her thoughts; during the evening, and together they gave thanks that the evil had been averted.

The Wednesday evening meeting was specially intended for the members of the church, and congregation, and representatives of the many missions, schools, and agencies connected with the Tabernacle. The number of these various forms of work for the Lord may’ be judged from the fact that the list of them occupied more than half a page in The’ Sword and The Trowel, while., nearly as large a space was required for the names of the various religious societies, at home and abroad, from which addresses of congratulation had been received.

The Pastor presided, and it was to him a source of intense thankfulness that Mrs. Spurgeon was able to be present on both the evenings, to share with him the joys of the Jubilee, after so many years’ enforced absence from the Tabernacle through severe illness. The keynote of the whole of the gatherings was struck, at the commencement of the meeting, by the Pastor’s opening sentences — ” I do not think anybody imagines that I ought to speak at any great length to-night, but I should like to say very much in very little. I feel overwhelmed ‘with gratitude to you, dear friends, and because of you, to God. Alter the kind words which many of you have spoken to me, I have much to do not to cry; indeed, I have had a little distillation of the eyes quietly, and I feel very much like weeping now, at the remembrance, of all the good and gracious things that have been said to me this day. But let me say this for my speech’ the blessing which I have had here, for many years, must be entirely attributed to the grace of God, and to the working of God’s Holy Spirit among us. Let that stand as a matter, not only taken for granted, but as, a fact distinctly recognized among us. I hope, brethren, that none of you will say that I have kept back the glorious work of the Holy Spirit. I have tried to remind you of it, whenever I have read a chapter, by praying’ that God the Holy Spirit would open that chapter to our minds. I hope I have never preached without an entire dependence on the Holy Ghost. Our reliance upon prayer has been very conspicuous; at least, I think so. We have not begun, we have not continued, we have not ended anything’ without prayer. We have been plunged into it up to the hilt. We have not prayed as we should; but, still, we have so prayed as to prevail; and we wish it to be on record that we owe our success, as a, church, to the work of the Holy Spirit, principally through its leading us to pray. Neither, as a church, have we been without a full conviction that, if we are honest in our asking, we must be earnest in acting. It is no use asking God to give us a blessing if we do not mean it; and if we mean it, we shall use all the means appointed for’ the gaining of that boon; and that we have done. One of my first duties, tonight, will be to remind this audience that it very largely consists of representatives from the various Institutions. A partial list will be read to you; but, incomplete as it is, it is a long one; and though one or two of the Institutions represented may be small ones, yet many of them are so large that they might have constituted public societies having annual meetings at Exeter Hall; and these things have sprung out of this church through that same Holy Spirit who set us praying and set us working’.

“Next to that, it behooves me to say that I owe the prosperity I have had in preaching the gospel to the gospel which I have preached. I wish everybody thought as much, but there are some who will have it that there is something very particular and special about the preacher. Well, I believe that there may be something peculiar about the man, something odd, perhaps. He cannot help that, but he begs to say there is nothing about him that can possibly account for the great and long-continued success attending his labors. Our American friends are generally very ‘cute judges, and I have a good many times read their opinion of me, and they say over and. over again, ‘Well, he is no orator. We have scores of better preachers in America than Mr. Spurgeon, but it is evident that he preaches the gospel as certain of our celebrated men do not preach it.’ I so preach the gospel that people coming to hear it are impressed by it, and rejoice to rally to the standard. I have tried, and I think successfully, to saturate our dear friends with the doctrines of grace. I defy the devil himself ever to get that truth out of you if God the Holy Spirit once puts it into you. That grand doctrine of substitution, which is at the root of every other, — you have heard it over and over and over and over again, and you have taken a sure grip of it. Never let it go. And I say to all preachers who fail in this matter, that I wish they would preach more of Christ, and try to preach more plainly. Death to fine preaching’ There is no good in it. All the glory of words and the wisdom of men will certainly come to naught; but the simple testimony of the goodwill of God to men, and of His sovereign choice of His own people, will stand the test, not only of the few years during which I have preached it, but of all the ages of this world till Christ shall come. I thank you, dear friends, for all your love and your kindness to me, but I do attribute even that, in great measure, to the fact that you have been fed with the pure gospel of the grace of God. I do not believe that the dry, dead doctrine of some men could ever have evoked such sympathy in people’s hearts as my gospel has aroused in yours. I cannot see any reason in myself why you should love me. I confess that I would not go across the street to hear myself preach; but I dare not say more upon that matter, because my wife is here. It is the only point upon which we decidedly differ; I differ in toto from her estimate of me, and from your estimate of me, too; but yet I do not wish you to alter it.”

Mr. B. W. Carr read the congratulatory address which was published at the time in The 5word and the Trowel, but for which space cannot be spared here; the Pastor’s father, brother, and son Charles briefly spoke; Pastor Archibald G. Brown and Mr. H. H. Driver represented the past and present students of the College; Mr. S. R.. Pearce was the speaker on behalf of the Sunday-school; Mr. W. J. Orsman and Mr. W. Olney were the representatives of the missions which had grown out of the church’s work; and Pastor W. L. Lang, F.R.G.S., presented an address from the Baptist ministers of France; but, remembering the worldwide influence, of the American evangelist, Mr. D. L. Moody, probably the most important utterance, that night, was the testimony he gave to the blessing he had derived from the Pastor’s printed and spoken messages —

“Mr. Spurgeon has said, tonight, that .he has felt like weeping. I have tried to keep back the tears, but I have not succeeded very well. I remember, seventeen years ago, coming into this building a perfect stranger. Twenty-five years ago, after I was converted, I began to read of a young man preaching in London with great power, and a desire seized me to hear him, never expecting that, some day, I should myself be a preacher. Everything I could get hold of in print that he ever said, I read. I knew very little about religious things when I was converted. I did not have what he has had, — a praying father. My father died before I was four years old. I was thinking of that, tonight, as I saw Mr. Spurgeon’s venerable, father here by his side. He has the advantage of me in that respect, and he perhaps got an earlier start than he would have got if he had not had that braving, father’. His mother I have not met-but most good men have praying mothers, — God bless them! In 1867, I made my way across the sea; and if ever there was a sea-sick man for fourteen days, I was that one. The first place to which I came was this building. I was told that I could not get in without a ticket, but I made. up my mind to get in somehow, and I succeeded. I well remember seating myself in this gallery. I recollect the very seat, and I should like to take it back to America with me. As your dear Pastor walked down to the platform, my eyes just feasted upon him, and my heart’s desire for years was at last accomplished It happened to be the year he preached in the Agricultural Hall. I followed him up there, and he sent me back to America a better man. Then I began to try and preach myself, though at the time I little thought I should ewer be able to do so. While I was here, I followed Mr. Spurgeon everywhere; and when, at home, people asked if I had gone to this and that cathedral, I had to say ‘No,’ and confess I was ignorant of them; but I could tell them something about the meetings addressed by Mr. Spurgeon. In 1872, I thought I would come over again to learn a little more, and I found my way back to this gallery. I have been here a great many times since, and I never come into the building without getting a blessing to my soul. I think I have had as great a one here to-night as at any other time I have been in this Tabernacle. When I look down on these orphan boys, when I think of the 600 servants of God who haw gone out from the College to preach the gospel, of the 1,500 or 2,0o0 sermons from this pulpit that are in print, and of the multitude of books that have come from the Pastor’s pen, (Scripture says, ‘Of making many books there is no end,’ and in his case it is indeed true,) I would fain enlarge upon all these good works, but the clock shows me that, if I do, 1 shall not get to my other meeting in. time. But let me .just say this, if God can use Mr. Spurgeon, why should He not use the rest of us, land why should we not all just lay ourselves at the Master’s feet, and say to. Him, ‘ Send me, use me’? It is not Mr. Spurgeon who does the work, after ;all; it is God. He is as weak as any other man apart from his Lord. Moses was nothing, but Moses’ God was almighty. Samson was nothing when he lost his strength; but when it came back’ to him, then he was a mighty man; and so, dear friends, bear in mind that, if we can just link our weakness to God’s strength, we ,an go forth, and be a blessing in the world. Now, there are others to speak, and I have also to hasten away to another meeting, but I want ‘to say to you, Mr. Spurgeon, ‘God bless you! I know that you love me, but I assure you that I love you a thousand times more than you can ever love me, because you have been such a ‘blessing to me, while I have been a very little blessing to you. I have read your sermons for twenty-five years. You are never going to die. John Wesley lives more to-day than when he was in the flesh; Whitefield lives more than when he was on this earth; John Knox lives more today’ than at any other period of his life; and Martin Luther, who has been gone over three hundred years, still lives.’ Bear in mind, friends, that our dear brother is to live for ever. We may never meet together again in the flesh; but, by the blessing of God,. I will meet you up yonder.’

On Thursday evening, June 19, the Tabernacle was packed to its utmost capacity, while crowds in vain sought admission. The Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G., presided, and delivered a notable testimony to the Pastor’s faithfulness from the first days of his ministry until that hour; addresses were also given by the Revs. Canon Wilberforce, J.P. Chown, O. P. Gifford (Boston, U.S.A.), Newman Hall, LL.B., W. Williams ,’,Upton Chapel), and Joseph Parker, D.D., and Sir William McArthur, M.P.; the Jubilee address was, again read by Mr. Carr, and the treasurers of the testimonial fund presented to Mr. Spurgeon a cheque for L4,500, “free from any condition, and to remain absolutely at his disposal.” In reply, the Pastor said —

“The affectionate words to which I have listened have sunk into my heart. I can take a very great deal of encouragement without being lifted up even to the ordinary level, and all I have received will operate upon me more afterwards than just now. But I am sure that the kindly pressure of the hand, and the way in which friends, one after another, have told me that I led them to the Savior, or that I comforted them in the time of trouble, have been a very great joy to me. To God be all the praise; to me it is an overwhelming honor to be His servant. Had there been no money whatever accompanying this celebration, I should have been as well pleased as I am now; for I never proposed a gift, and I never’ thought of it. I did suggest that there should be some money gathered on account of the building of the house at the back, which is for the use of this church; I thought that a very right and proper object.

“You will remember that, some years ago, you were so good as to give me nearly L6,500 as a testimonial; and 1 went away, that night, with a very light heart, because I had handed the whole amount over to you for the Almshouses and some other works. That is exactly ‘what I proposed to do to-night ; — just the same thing over again, only that I am not permitted to do it. A very large number of the donors said that they ‘would not give anything if ray Jubilee day was made a pretext for assisting the societies. They put it as strongly as that; they had contributed the time before with the view of giving something to me, and they would not give a second time unless it was for my personal benefit. At the start, in addition to paying’ for the Jubilee House, I proposed four objects to be helped, and I asked the donors to allot their money to one or other of those four as they pleased. In pursuance of that request, there has been an allotment made. Judge how very little that idea seemed to take with our friends! Having it before them, and having it pressed upon. them by myself; they have allotted £81 9s. 5d. to the Almshouses. £31 to the Colportage, £74 to the Orphanage, and £43 to my son’s Tabernacle at Auckland; and there is a pound or two — perhaps three — allotted to societies, that is all; and all the rest is evidently left, by the will of the friends, totally free. Well, it must be so, and I accept the. money for myself so far as that is the expressed desire; only I do not know how I can better have it than by being allowed to give it away. What I have is best enjoyed by myself personally when I san use it in some way or other for the advantage .of the work of God. I cannot be debarred from this gratification. I will go the length of saying that I will take some portion of this for myself. But, first of all, there will be £1,000 needed to pay for the house, and furniture, and all sorts of things. Then I want to give something to St. Thomas’s Hospital, which helps many of our poor friends. Some years ago, my dear brother, Mr. Higgs, at my request, paid the usual amount, and became one of the governors of the hospital. He is gone, and I want to be a governor in succession to him, — not that I have any interest to serve there except that of the sick poor. Than I want to give to the church £200, to make up what is given to the Almhouses to £200, and also to give to the deacons £100, which they may keep to lend to persons who can use a loan well. We have no money to lend, and I am the party who has to lend to everybody. I do not go in tot large loans; but I speculate in sewing machines, and mangles, and some other things of that sort. I should have a considerable number if I ever had them back again, but that does not generally happen; so I want other persons to look after the things that are lent, and get the money back again, and I think that would toe very useful. I want, also, to give to the Baptist Fund for the relief of poor ministers, £50, on the behalf of my son Charles, to make him a member of it. I should like to give L1oo to the fund for augmenting the salaries of our poor brethren. I should like to make up the amount for Colportage work to £200. I should like to give £250 to the Tabernacle at Auckland. I should like to give at least £100 ‘to my wife’s Book Fund for poor ministers.

“I have a little list here; but if I were to read any more, friends might object that I was doing contrary to their wish. I must try and avoid all opposition to the donors, and yet help my work and other work. I am called upon so much to help the building of chapels and such like things, that I am kept perpetually very poor; not that I want anything. I have all things. I do not need this money; but, still, there has been a time when we expended all that we had, and we had nothing laid by whatsoever. But if anybody supposes that I have a very large sum of money laid by, I shall be very glad to let him make a bid for it. I think it is highly probable that I should be a great gainer by the offer, even if it were a reasonable one. I had a huge fortune left me, as you know, some time ago, — in the moon. It was in the papers everywhere; that is where it was. When the papers hand it over, I shall be glad. It has; ever been the case with me that, whenever I have had help given me, there have been calls at once more than equal to it. On the last occasion when I received a testimonial from you, I was greatly amused at the shoal of applicants who wrote to me for the money. Though the papers stated that I gave it all back again, these people applied for it all the same. One person wrote wanting help for her husband, that he might pay his; debts on his farm, amounting to some £500, because it was clear to her mind that I had such a lot of money that I did not want any more, or else I should not have given back the testimonial. I could not see how, after I had handed over the money, I could still give it to somebody else. I beg to give notice that it will be useless to write to me for this money, because I shall be able to appropriate it without the assistance of friends. There are so many Institutions here, and so much work to be done, that, whatever comes to me, the first thing; I begin to think of is, not ‘What shall I do with it?’ but ‘ In which direction do I need it most?’ Our friend spoke the honest truth when he said, ‘Money is just what the Pastor does want.’ I am the pipe through which the money runs. It runs in at one end, and it runs out at the other with extreme rapidity; and you may see daily what good it does. If you ever wish to see, go to the College; go to the Almshouses; .go to the Orphanage; go and see what God has done through your liberality.

“I have coveted no man’s silver or gold!. I have desired nothing at your hands, but that you love the Lord Jesus Christ, and serve Him with all your might. But I have coveted, and I do still covet to have a generous people about me, because I am sure that it is to God’s glory and to your own advantage to be liberal to His cause. Poor men should give that they may’ not be always poor. Rich men should give that they may not become poor. These are selfish motives; but, still, they are worthy to be mentioned. ‘ There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.’ As a general rule, he that keeps his substance will not find it multiply under his hands; but he that gives shall find that it is given back to him, ‘good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” Besides, I do not think much of giving when I have plenty to give with; I like it better when I can I pinch myself. If you pinch yourself, there is a sweetness about giving to the Lord. What you do not want, you can dispense with, and exhibit small lows; but when you come to what you do want, and give that to the Lord, then there comes to your own heart the comfortable assurance that you are really doing it unto the Lord, because of the needs of His cause.

“Now I thank everybody who has given a hundred pounds, and everybody who has given a penny. God bless you, and return it to you in every way! One of our brethren told you, the other night, what once happened to me. I had been preaching in a country place, and a good woman gave me five shillings. I said to her, ‘Well, my dear friend, I do not want your money.’ She said, ‘ But you must take it; I give it to you because I got good from you.’ I said, ‘Shall I give it to the College?’ She answered, ‘I don’t care about the College; I care about you.’ ‘Then I ‘will give it to the Orphanage.’ ‘No,’ she said, ‘you take it yourself.’ I said, ‘ You need it more than I do.’ She replied, ‘ Now, do you think that your Lord and Master would have talked like that to the woman who came and broke the alabaster box over Him? I do not think He would.’ She added, ‘I know you do not mean to be unkind; I worked extra to earn it, and I give it to you.’ I told her that she owed me nothing, and that woman owed the Lord everything, and asked, ‘ What am I to do with it?’ She said, ‘Buy anything you like with it; I do not care what. Only, mind, you must have it for yourself.” I mention the incident because it is much in that spirit that the friends have given this noble testimonial.

“The Lord bless you! The Lord bless you! The Lord bless you, yet more and more, you and your children!”

Mr. Spurgeon wrote many letters gratefully acknowledging the resolutions of congratulation which he received in connection with his Jubilee. One of the replies to friends at home, and another to those abroad, may be given as specimens of the thankful epistles then written; the first was addressed to the Western Baptist Association —

“Dear Friends,

I feel greatly comforted and humbled by receiving your most loving resolution. It is sweet to live in the affection of so many brethren, but it involves a. great responsibility. I join with you in praising God for His special goodness to me; and implore for you and all your churches renewed blessings of a like character. The gospel of the grace of God is dear to us, and we do not doubt that the Lord will bless its publication in every place. Every year binds us more fast to the eternal verities, and to Him in whom they center. Let us be of good courage, and play the man for our Lord and His Word. “With all my heart I thank you, and return the affection which suggested your considerate action.

“Your brother in our Lord Jesus,


The Philadelphia Conference of Baptist ministers sent a loving resolution of congratulation. The following reply was written to the secretary —

“Dear Sir,

“I beg you to thank all the brethren on my behalf. I am deeply affected by your brotherly love. One touch of grace has, in a truer sense than a touch of nature, made us all akin. I rejoice every day in the prosperity of the Church of God in the United States. Your nation is but in its youth, and you are educating it for a high career; ours is; old, and slow to learn, and we are with much difficulty lighting its candle, lending it spectacles, and opening the Bible before it. We cannot expect to teach Mr. Bull quite so readily as you teach Master Jonathan. We will, however, do our best and you will pray for us, and God will bless us.

“I feel as if I was even now squeezing the. hand of each minister, and receiving a return grip. Take it as done.. Thank you! God bless you!

“Yours heartily,


A Spurgeon Jubilee Album was issued by Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster in connection with the Pastor’s completion of his fiftieth year; he sent a copy of it to Lord Shaftesbury, who replied as follows —

“My Dear Friend,

“Your Jubilee Album reached me some time ago. I am deeply obliged to you for it, and still more for the touching and affectionate words you have inscribed on the fly-leaf.

“My daughter is writing for me, because I am still lying at full length in my bed, where I have been since Saturday last. I am now, thank God, a great deal better, but the attack has been very serious. I have been longing to come and see you, but both in the number and the importance of engagements I have had more than usual pressure this year; and now, you see, I have lost a whole week by this last attack.

“Still, I shall hope to see you again before I die. May our Lord ever be with you, and bless you! You know how truly I love and respect you.

“Yours very affectionately,



Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master’s commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord’s absolute command. The servant of God must endeavor to maintain all the truth which his Master has revealed to him, because, as a Christian soldier, this is part of his duty. But while he does so, he accords to others the liberty which he himself enjoys. — C. H. S., in address at the Tabernacle, 1861.

A Christian minister must expect to lose, his repute among men; he must be willing to suffer every reproach for Christ’s sake; but, then, he may re. st assured that he will never lose his real honor if it be risked for the truth’s sake, and placed in the Redeemer’s hand. The day shall declare the excellence of the upright, for it will reveal all that was hidden, and bring to the light that which was concealed. There will be a resurrection of characters as well as of persons. Every reputation that has been obscured by clouds of reproach, for Christ’s sake, shall be rendered glorious when the righteous shall “shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.’ — C. H.S.

Just now, the Lord Jesus is betrayed by not a few of His professed ministers, He is being crucified afresh in the perpetual attacks of skepticism against His blessed gospel; and it may be that things will wax worse and worse. This is not the first occasion when it has been so, fork at various times in the history of the Church of God, His enemies have exulted, and cried out that the gospel of past ages was exploded, and might be reckoned as dead and buried. For one, I mean to sit over against the very sepulcher of truth. I am a disciple of the old-fashioned doctrine as much when it is covered with obloquy and rebuke as when it shall again display its power, as it surely shall. Skeptics may seem to take the truth, and bind it, and scourge it, and crucify it, and say that it is dead; and they may endeavor to bury it in scorn, but the Lord has many a Joseph and a Nicodemus who will see that all due honor is done even to the body of truth, and will wrap the despised creed in sweet spices, and hide it away in their hearts. They may, perhaps, be half afraid that it is really dead, as the wise men assert; yet it is precious to their souls, and they will come forth right gladly to espouse its cause, and to confess that they are its disciples. We will sit down in sorrow, but not in despair; and watch until the stone is rolled away, and Christ in His truth shall live again, and be openly triumphant. We shall see a Divine interposition, and shall cease to fear; while they who stand armed to prevent the resurrection of the grand old doctrine shall quake and become as dead men, because the gospel’s everlasting life has; been vindicated, and they are made to quail before the brightness of its glory. — C. H. S., in sermon at the Tabernacle, 1878.

I protest that, if all the sages of the world were to utter one thundering sarcasm, if they concentrated all their scorn into one universal sneer of contempt, I do not think it would now affect me the turn of a hair, so sure am I that my Lord will justify my confidence. — C. H. S., in sermon at the Tabernacle, 1878.

A man. may sometimes seem self-assertive when, really, he has so completely lost himself in God that he does not care what people think about him, — whether they regard him as an egotist or not. Some men appear to be modest because they are proud, while others seem to be proud because they have sunk themselves, and on13, speak so boldly because they have their Master’s authority at the back of their words. — C. H. S., in exposition of 1 Kings 17:1

As the Roman sentinel in Pompeii stood to his post even when the city was destroyed, so do I stand to the truth of the atonement though the Church is being buried beneath the boiling mud-showers of modern heresy. — C. H. S, in sermon at the Tabernacle, 1887.

I might not have had such an intense loathing of the new theology if I had not seen so much of its evil effects. I could tell you of a preacher of unbelief, whom I have seen, in my own vestry, utterly broken down, driven almost to despair, and having no rest for the sole of his foot until he came back to simple trust in the atoning sacrifice. If he were speaking to you, he would say, “Cling to your faith, brethren; if you once throw away your shield, you will lay yourself open to imminent dangers and countless wounds; for nothing can protect you but the shield of faith.” — C. H. $., in address at’ College Conference; 1891.

I am well content to go shares with those who have gone before me to the skies. Some of them, as; they burned to death for Christ’s sake, cried aloud, “Christ is all.” I am quite willing to take my part with the apostles whom the wise men of to-clay count to be fools; and with those still greater fools, as many consider the Reformers who brought back into the light the great doctrine of justification by faith. I am satisfied to tread the path my sires have trod; I have an illustrious pedigree in the skies, and I will not snap that chain which links me with those who have entered the glory4and. This faith saved them in the time of poverty, and persecution, and martyrdom, and death and it will save me. At any rate, I would sooner risk my soul on all the difficulties of the old theology, so long tried and proved, than on all the beauties of the novel doctrine taught by so many nowadays. I believe we are all of one mind upon this matter, and some ,of us may live to see great alterations concerning the present popular teaching. We may learn a lesson from what happened in the last century; the style of much of the preaching was such as tended to the emptying of chapels, and the multiplication of spiders. Nonconformity gradually drifted away towards Unitarianism, and true religion would have become almost extinct in England if the Lord had not raised up those two believing men, Whitefield and Wesley, and others likeminded, who were a great power for good. in the land. And I believe the Lord has raised us up, together with many others who hold the same faith, that we may fight this battle, and win the victory, to the glory of His holy Name.

Whenever I have found myself represented as a fool because I cling so tenaciously to the old faith, I have thought to myself, “‘What man, by proclaiming any new doctrine, has been able to draw such congregations as have filled the Tabernacle for the last quarter of a century simply to listen to the preaching of Jesus Christ and Him crucified?” We do not set up to be anything great in ourselves; but we do claim to be servants of the great God, believers in the great Savior, proclaimers of His great salvation, and, God helping us, we shall keep on doing this till we die, and then, unto principalities and powers in the Heavenly places, we will make known the manifold wisdom of God. — C. H. S., in address to students of the Pastors’ College, I885.

MR. SPURGEON’S Standard Life could not be complete without a reference to, that most sorrowful but important episode, — The “Down-grade” Controversy; — yet how shall I dare to touch the strings of that rifted lute? The lightest and most skillful fingers could scarcely draw harmony from it now, and I would fain not be expected to awaken any of its discords. Oh, for the guiding Hand to be laid on heart and brain and pen, that gently and tenderly, albeit truthfully, the outlines of the sad story may be given!

There are many dear and able friends who could write the full history of the Controversy; but, after much thought and prayer, I have been led to allow the shadow of the past to rest ‘upon it in a measure, and to conceal, under a generous silence, most of the documentary and other evidence which could be produced to prove the perfect uprightness, veracity, and fidelity of my dear husband throughout the whole of the solemn protest which culminated in the “vote of censure” by the Council of the. Baptist Union! Therefore, in accordance with the autobiographical character of this record, the Controversy is sketched from Mr. Spurgeon’s own point of view; — he tells the story in his own way, so that only as much as he chose to make known of the deepest grief of his noble life is chronicled in these pages.

For the information of readers of the Autobiography, who are unacquainted with my beloved’s articles upon “The Down-grade,” I thought it might be well to include in this chapter a condensation, or summary of them; but, on reading them with that object in view, I find it impossible to strike out a single word of his protest. It is equally impossible to transfer it all to this work, so the only course open to me is to omit it altogether, and to leave the testimony still to speak for itself from the pages of The Sword and the Trowel. From August, 1887, to February, 1892, scarcely any number of the magazine appeared without some reference to the Controversy and its various issues. The most pathetic “Note” of all was written within a few days of my dear husband’s home-going, for in it he revealed the fact, already known to all who were nearest and dearest to him, that his fight for the faith had cost him his life. Yet he never regretted the step he had taken; for, throughout the whole affair, he felt such a Divine compulsion as Luther realized when he said, “I can do no other.”

So far as the Baptist Union was concerned, little was accomplished by Mr. Spurgeon’s witness-bearing and withdrawal. The compromise at the City Temple, in April, 1888, confirmed the position of the modern-thought men in the Union, and made “the vote of censure” the act of the whole assembly with the exception of the noble seven who voted against it. But, in other respects, I have had abundant proofs that the protest was; not in vain. Many, who were far gone on “the Down-grade,” were stopped in their perilous descent, and, by God’s grace, were brought back to the Up-line; others, who were unconsciously slipping, were made to stand firmly upon the Rock; while, at least for a time, in all the churches, Evangelical doctrines were preached with a clearness and emphasis which had long been lacking.

The ultimate results of the whole matter must be left in the hands of Him who never makes a mistake, and who will, in His own right way, vindicate His obedient and faithful servant from the “censure” so unjustly passed upon him.

Not long after Mr. Spurgeon’s withdrawal from the Baptist Union, he went to the South of France for much-needed rest; and the letters he there wrote, during that time of suffering and reproach, contained many allusions to the painful subject. Naturally, those written to me referred to the more personal and private aspects of the Controversy, as the following extracts will show —

“I was greatly surprised at the note from ____ (one of ‘our own men’), but when we are in a battle, we must expect calamities. It is a serious matter to know how to act; but one thing is plain enough, I must go on clearing myself of union with those who belong’ to the broad school. I felt so well, this afternoon, when sitting under the palms, and as happy as a birdie beneath the blue sky. Then came. the letter, just to sober me, and drive me from the sunshine to my Lord, who is the Sun itself. I can bear anything for Jesus while His everlasting arms are underneath me. The hills around Hyeres are called ‘the mountains of paradise,’ but the serpent comes even here. Ah, well! the Serpent-Killer is with us, and He will subdue all things unto Himself. I am sorry that the evil flood should carry away one of my men; but the wonder is, that more have not gone. It shows how much more evil was, abroad than I dreamed off I have done my duty, even if all men forsake me. Those who write in The Freeman and The Christian World show how everything I do can be misconstrued. Nevertheless, I know what I have done, and why I did it; and the Lord will bear me through. In. Him I rest, and I am in no haste to answer opponents, nor even to think about them in a depressing way. What a providence that I am here, out of call! Luther was best at the Wartburg, was he not? I did not plan this nor plan anything.

“What a farce about my seeing these brethren, privately, according to Matthew 18:15! Why, I saw the Secretary and the President again and again; and then I printed my plaint, and only left the Union when nothing could be done. Now, something will be done. Not until I took the decided step could I effect anything. Luther was very wrong to nail up his theses on the church door; he should have seen the Pope, and prayed with him! Do not let these things distress you, for my sake.. The Lord will give both of us the heroic spirit and we shall neither fear men, nor become ungenerous toward them.”

“Canon Sidebotham called yesterday ‘to assure me of the sympathy of all Christian Churchmen,. and his belief that my stand for truth will help all believers. He told me that he meets with amazing skepticism among young men whom he has been called to visit in sickness, and he believes there is an epidemic of it everywhere. He says the antidote was needed, and came just at the right time. So may God grant!

“How I do delight in the Lord! I am now consciously nearer to Him than ever before, and I revel in a sense of blessedness. I am delivered from all fear of failing in this battle; and the Lord, whom I sought to honor, bows me low at His feet in gratitude for H. is tender mercies. We are safe in. His hands. This is where I love to feel that I am, and that you are, and the dear boys, and the Church, and the College, and ‘ the Down-grade,’ and all!” “I trust I may be made stronger for the stern task which awaits me; but I try not even to think of that, but just to abandon myself to a bath of rest. This, I trust, is ‘the wisest course; and yet I keep on longing to be doing some good, or bearing some fruit unto the Lord. Little occasions for this do occur, and I am eager to use them aright.

“Yesterday was eventful. First came a telegram, saying that there had been a hot discussion, and that my brother had left the Council meeting in indignation because my veracity had been impugned. Just as I was going to rest came another telegram — ‘Council has appointed Culross, McLaren, Clifford, and myself to confer with you at Mentone, without delay, to deliberate with you how the unity of our denomination in truth, and love, and good works may be maintained. When can we see you? Letter sent. Booth.’ Think of four doctors of divinity coming all this way to see me! I was in great perplexity, and knew not what to reply. I don’t quite see what it all means. I lay awake till one o’clock, and then got a pencil, and wrote out a telegram — ’Cannot reply without further information. Respectfully request deputation to await my return. Tone of discussion suggests caution. W/ill write.’ Afterwards, I wrote a letter. Briefly, I urge them not to come so far ; — it would be four to one, and I should be at the disadvantage of having been the cause of effect expense. If the. y really mean brotherly conference, I will see them when I return, right gladly; that is to say, if I find there is any use in it. Now I shall need wisdom. I do not fear four doctors, but I think it a very wise move on their part. If it means that they will surrender, it is ‘well; but if it is meant to fix on me the odium of being implacable, it is another matter. In any case, the Lord will prepare me for all that is to happen. It is of His mercy that I am here, or I should not be able to fear it all; but being quiet, and rested, and not worried by personal assaults, I can look round the question calmly.

“The four doctors are not coming. Very likely my brother will call to tell you about the’ affray. He was justly wroth, and describes the Council meeting as ‘horrible.’ For Dr. Booth to say I never complained, is amazing. God knows all about it, and He will see me righted. I haw just received a letter from England in the words of Jeremiah 15:19,20.” That passage was so peculiarly appropriate to the circumstance of the case, that many friends afterwards sent it to my beloved, who was greatly comforted by the reassuring message which was thus repeatedly conveyed to him.

During that visit to Mentone, an incident occurred, to which Mr. Spurgeon often gratefully referred as a remarkable token of the Lord’s approval, of his protest against false doctrine, and worldliness. Before. I give extracts from his letters concerning it, a brief explanation is necessary. For many years before this eventful period of my dear husband’s life, he had been most generously aided in all his beneficent plans and purposes by a friend to whom God had given abundance of this world’s wealth. These supplies came with loving freeness, and invariable regularity; and more than a mere hint was given that they might be depended on while the donor had it in his power to be thus royally open-handed. However, Mr. Spurgeon’s attitude in the “Down-grade’ Controversy alienated the heart of this friend, and caused him to withdraw altogether the splendid help which had, for so long a period, exempted my beloved from much financial anxiety.

The letter, announcing this failure of friendship and sympathy, arrived during Mr. Spurgeon’s absence at Mentone, and it therefore became my duty to open and read it. Then followed one of those, hallowed enlargements of heart which leave their mark forever on the life of the person experiencing them. At once, I took the letter, and spread it before the Lord, pleading, as Hezekiah did, that He would “hear and see.” the words written therein; and He gave me so strong a confidence in. His overruling and delivering power that, as I knelt in His presence, and told Him how completely I trusted Him on my husband’s behalf, the words of petition ceased from my lips, and I absolutely laughed aloud, so little did I fear what man could do, and so blessedly reliant did He make me. on His own love and omnipotence!

In this exultant frame of mind, I wrote to Mentone, making light of the trouble, and endeavoring to parry the blow which I knew must sorely wound the sensitive heart of my beloved. I told him, too, how the Lord had “made me to laugh” as I was laying the matter before Him, and had filled me with righteous scorn and indignation at the means used to dishearten him in his sublime stand for the truths of the old gospel. So, as far as I was able, being absent from him, I comforted and upheld my much-tried spouse. In less time than I had thought possible, I received this telegram — “I laugh with you.’ The Lord will not fail us, nor forsake us;” — and, by the next post, there came a letter recording the Clear writer’s unswerving faith in the God, whose he was, and whom he served, and to whom he left all the issues of that painful trial. The following’ extract will indicate the spirit in which he wrote —

“November 18, 1887.

“You are as an angel of God unto me. When I began to read your letter, I trembled, for I could not tell what was coming; but when I finished it, I could laugh with you. Bravest of women, strong in faith, you have ministered unto me indeed and of a truth. God bless thee out of the seventh heavens!

“I do not know that I have ever before really suffered any loss for Christ’s sake; I feel decorated and elevated by this honor. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. But our friend uses a queer sort of argument! I am to be set right ; — therefore, stop the supplies to God’s work! The fire must be put out ;-whip the child! I do not see the connection between the end desired and the means used. Your loving sympathy has fully’ repaid me already. I rejoice in the Lord who has dealt bountifully with me hitherto. All that I possess belongs to Him.

“‘There, take an inventory of all I have,
To the last penny; ‘tis the King’s.’“

While this correspondence was passing to and fro, the Lord was working on behalf of His; dear servant in a wonderful way. Writing to one of his deacons, Mr. Spurgeon said — ” I have had a very remarkable deliverance out of a pecuniary difficulty inflicted upon me in consequence of the ‘Down-grade’ Controversy. It is as nearly a miracle as anything I ever heard of. The living God guards me on every side, and covers my head. To Him be praise!”

A lady from the Antipodes, who was staying in London, afterwards related that, during the time under’ consideration, she felt an overpowering impression that she must go to Mr. Spurgeon, in the South of France, and carry him some financial help to meet a special emergency. She said that, on other occasions, when similar intimations had come to her, she had obeyed her Lord’s commands, and in each instance had found that she had been infallibly guided by Him, so she at once made arrangements for the thousand miles’ journey. The amount she was to give was not at first revealed-to her, nor did she know exactly where she was to go, as it had been announced that Mr. Spurgeon would be moving from place to place. However, the Lord, who had entrusted her with the commission, directed her to Mentone; and, on her arrival there, she was further guided to the Hotel Beau Rivage. What happened there, my beloved thus records —

“An awe is upon me as I write to you, for I feel the Lord to be so near. On Tuesday evening, there carne to this hotel three ladies who asked if Mr. Spurgeon were here, and left cards. The next morning, they were at our family worship; and, to-day, Mrs. R____ gave me the enclosed letter, and cheque for £100! I told her of my trouble afterwards, I had not mentioned it before, and I read to her a few sentences of your dear letter. “There,’ she said, ‘that is the. Lord’s reason for moving me to give it to you; let it go to make up the lack for the next six months.’ I worshipped the Lord with a thrilling joy. She added, ‘I do not doubt but that the Lord will see you right through the difficulty.’ I believe so, too, and that all the help will come from someone who does not know of my special need., so that it will be the more conspicuously ‘ of the. Lord.’ The money will be surer from Him than from Mr.____ although he promised it for life. It may be very childish of me, but I could not help sending you the very cheque and letter, that you may see with your eyes what the Lord sent me. How this lady came to know my hotel, I cannot imagine, but Mr. Harrald says that He who sent her knew where I was.

“Our College men have met, with grand result; the only dissentient being one who is, practically, out of the ministry. Yesterday, I went to see an afflicted gentleman,F9 whose deceased wife was Miss Havergal’s sister. His doctor met me, just now, and told me that I had done his patient great good. I was, however, the greater gainer’, for he read me three letters from his son, a clergyman in Islington, in which he told his father to be sure to meet me, and wrote very many kind things, which I am not egotistical enough to repeat; but he said that all who loved the Lord, whom he knew, were bearing me up on their hearts. Truly, I am delivered from all fear of failing in this battle, which is the Lord’s, not mine. I feel as if I must not write about anything else upon these two sheets. ‘ Holiness unto the Lord,’ is written on them; and the domestic matters must go on another sheet of paper. Oh, how I praise the Lord for you! You are dear to me, as a woman and a wife, beyond all expression; but now, more fully than ever, we wear the yoke of Christ tooether, and mutually bear the. double burden of service and suffering for Him.”

Less than a week after the above letter was received, my husband wrote as follows …… Prepare for further rejoicing. We had been out driving all day, and when I carne in, I found your dear letter, and saw you sitting ‘;in Expectation Corner,’ with. the door often. Please receive the fresh token which the Lord has sent in the form of a second L1oo! Letter and cheque enclosed. What hath God wrought! I never gave Mrs. R — a shadow of a hint. I never thought she would do more. Why should she? But, as you say, the living God does deliver His children.’ How I praise Him! Or, rather, how I do wish I could praise Him, but I feel as if my gratitude was cold and superficial when contrasted with His great goodness! Blessed be His Name for ever!

“What a dear soul you are! How I love you! Our inward and spiritual union has come out in this trial and deliverance. We will record all this to the glory of the Lord our God. The weather here is rather of Heaven than of earth; warm, clear, bright, and yet life giving and refreshing. The toothache touches me every now and then; but, moderated by interludes of ease, I hardly ought to mention it, my mercies are so great. What are pains when God is so near? This one theme is so predominant in my soul, that I cannot write about anything else. The Lord liveth, and blessed be my Rock!

“Send cheque to Bank. Sing the Doxology. Keep all my love, and rest under the blessing of the Lord our God.”

After the letters to myself, probably those written to the friends at the Tabernacle expressed most fully what was in the dear Pastor’s heart. Shortly after he reached the South of France, he wrote thus to them —

“I wish to thank you all most heartily for your constancy of love during four-and-thirty years of fellowship. We have been many in number, but only one in heart, all through these years. Specially is this true in the present hour of controversy, for my heartiest sympathizers are in my own church. Several enthusiastic ones proposed a general meeting of church-members, to express their fervent agreement with their Pastor; but the ever-faithful deacons and elders had taken time by the Forelock, and presented to me a letter signed by them all as representing their brethren and sisters. Such unity comes from the grace of God, proves that His blessing is now with us, and prophesies future happiness. What can I do ‘but thank you all, love you in return, labor for you as long as strength remains, and pray for you till I die? The infinite blessing of the Eternal God be with you for ever!”

In reply to the letter from the church-officers, and to a further communication sent by them, the Pastor wrote —

“November 27, 1887
“To the Co-Pastor and the Deacons,

“My Own Dear Brethren,

“I am touched by your loving letter. It is just like you; but it is so tenderly, so considerately done, that it has a peculiar sweetness about it. May the Lord deal with each one of you as you have dealt towards me, even in tender love and true faithfulness!

“The. more you know of this Controversy, the more will your judgments, as well as your hearts, go with me. It is not possible for me to communicate to anyone all that has passed under my knowledge; but I have had abundant reason for every step I have taken, as the day of day,; will reveal. All over the various churches there is the. same evil, in all denominations in measure; and from believers, in all quarters, comes the same thankful expression of delight that the schemes of errorists have been defeated by pouring light upon them.

“I cannot, at this present, tell you what spite has been used against me, or you would wonder indeed; but the love of God first, and your love next, are my comfort and stay. We may, perhaps, be made to feel some of the brunt of the battle in our various funds; but the Lord liveth. My eminent predecessor, Dr. Gill, was told, by a certain member of his congregation who ought to have known better, that, if he published his book, The Cause of God and 7’ruth, he would lose some of his best friends, and that his income would fall off. The doctor said, ‘ I can afford to be poor, but I cannot afford to injure my conscience ;’ and he has left his mantle as well as his chair in our vestry.

“I should like to see you all walk in here, and to hear your having voices in prayer, for I feel knit to you all more and more.

“Yours for ever,


Among the letters written by Mr. Spurgeon, at that period, is one that is of special and permanent importance, first, because it was the reply to a kind communication from Dr. Culross, the President of the Baptist Union; and, next, because it sets forth so clearly the reason for Mr. Spurgeon’s protest and action —

“November 26, 1887.

“My Dear Dr. Culross,

“I think it most kind of you to write me. Your brethren have usually fired at me through the newspapers their loving appeals and advices. Of this I do not complain; but, assuredly, yours is a way which commands an answer. Letters to the papers are literature, and may or may not be worth one’s notice; yours is a letter sent to me, and I will at least heartily thank you for it.

“Do I need to say that, with you, and such brethren as Dr. McLaren, Mr. Aldis, and Dr. Angus, I have no sort of disagreement, except that you stay in the Union and I am out of it? We shall, according to our light, labor for the same cause. We are all Christians and Baptists, and can find many ways of cooperation.

“The ‘Metropolitan men’ London request the Union to devise some way by which I, with others, can return to it. This is very right from their point of view, but I wish you to understand, as President of the Union, that the request is not mine. I do not ask you to do what I am sure you cannot do. If I had thought that you could have done anything which would enable me to return if I retired, I should have asked you to do it before retiring.

“So long as an Association without a creed has no aliens in it, nobody can wish for a creed formally, for the spirit is there; but at a time when ‘strange children’ have entered, what is to be done? Whatever may theoretically be in your power, you practically have no power whatever. You will go on as you are; and, unless God’s grace calls back the wanderers, their numbers will increase, and their courage will cause them to speak out more plainly, to the sorrow of the faithful ones who shielded them in patient hope of better things.

“I have followed out our Lord’s mind as to private remonstrance by seeing Presidents and Secretary on former occasions, and I have written my remonstrances again and again without avail. I had no course but to withdraw. Surely, no sane person thinks that I should have made a tour to deal with the individual errorists. I have no jurisdiction over them, and should have been regarded as offensively intrusive if I had gone to them’ and justly so. My question is with the Union, and with that alone. I have dealt with it all along.

“Your very clear declaration, that the Union could not have a creed, or, as I read it, could not declare its doctrinal views otherwise than by practicing baptism and the Lord’s supper, closes the door finally against me. Neither do I knock at that door, nor wish for another door to be made. The good men who formed the Union, I fancy, had no idea that it would become what it now is, or they would have fashioned it otherwise. It has by its centralization and absorption of various Societies, become far other than at the first. This is a good thing, but it involves a strain on the frail fabric which it is ill adapted to bear. So I think; but time will be the best proof of that.

“I wish I could have worked with you in this particular way; but, as I cannot, we are not therefore deprived of a thousand other ways of fellowship. You feel union of heart with men who publicly preach Universal Restitution’ I do not. I mean, you feel enough fellowship to remain in the Union with them’ I do not. It is the same with other errors. Still, I am in fellowship with you, — Union or no Union. if I think you wrong in your course, — as I surely do, — I will tell you so in the same spirit as that in which you have written to me.

“From the Council of the Union I cannot look for anything which I should care to consider as the voice of the Union. It is too largely committed to a latitudinarian policy beforehand, and I have no question to refer to it.

“I am happily free from all responsibility for its actions, and all allegiance to its sovereignty.

“Very heartily yours,


I have received, from many friends, copies of my dear husband’s letters written during this trying period; but I do not think any good purpose can be served by the publication of more than I have here given. Those who sympathized with him in his protest need nothing to. convince them of the need and the wisdom of his action; while those who were ,opposed to him would probably remain in the same mind, whatever might be said, so there the matter must rest as far as I am concerned.


God gave Elijah forty days’ meat at one meal do you, dear friends, ever get such meals as that? I do when I read certain books; — not modem — thought books. Give me no such fare as that, — a grain of meal to a. gallon of water; but let me have one of the good solid Puritan volumes that are so little prized nowadays,, and my soul can teed upon such blessed food as that, and be satisfied with it. — C. H. S., sermon preached at the Tabernacle, June 24, 1883.

If you can read a tainted book that denies the inspiration of the Scriptures, and attacks the truth of God, and if you derive any profit from it, you must be a very different being from myself. I have to read such books, I must read them sometimes to know what is said by the enemies of the gospel, that I may defend the faith, and help the weaklings of the flock; but it is a sorry business. When those who are qualified, to do so are reading these heretical works, if they are doing it really in the fear of God for the good of their fellow-men, they remind me of Sir James Simpson and the two other doctors when they discovered the medical and surgical value of chloroform. They sat at the table, and scarcely knew what was going to happen; but they took a dose each, risking their lives by so doing; and when they came back to consciousness, they had certainly made a great discovery. — C. H. S., in sermon preached at the Tabernacle, October 29, 1885.

The world gets more civilized; — so am told, though, when I read the newspapers, I am not quite sure that it is so. The world gets more intelligent ; — so I am told, though, when I read the magazines, — I mean the high-class quarterlies, — I am not certain that it is so, for, in that direction, the ignorance appears to me to become greater every day, I mean, the ignorance among the learned and scientific men, who seem to me, in their discoveries, continually to wander further and further, not only from that which is revealed and infallible, but also from that which is rational and truthful. — C. H. S., in Sermon preached at the Tabernacle, May 28, 1882.

What a storehouse the Bible is, since a man may continue to preach from it for years, and still find that there is more to preach from than when he began to discourse upon it! What pyramids of books have been written upon the Bible, and yet we who are students find no portion over-expounded, but large parts which are scarcely touched! If you. take Darling’s Cyclopaedia, and look at a text which one divine has preached upon, you will see that dozens have done the same; but there are hundreds of texts which remain like virgin summits, whereon the foot of preacher has never stood. I might almost say that the major part of the Word of God is in that condition; it is still an Eldorado unexplored, a land whose dust is gold. — C. H. S., in speech at a Bible Society meeting, 1882.

NO life of Mr. Spurgeon would be complete unless it contained all available information concerning the books he read, or wrote, or owned. All who have been intimately acquainted with him, from his childhood, or in later years, have testified to the omnivorous character of his reading. In the earlier part of the present work (Vol 1., Chapter 3.), he has himself recorded the delight with which, while he was but a little lad, he revelled in the study of such works as Foxe’s Book of Martyrs, Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, and the huge folios of Puritanic theology which he had discovered in the windowless room in the upper portion of the old Stambourne Manse. The boy and the books were inseparable companions; and when he returned From Stambourne to Colchester, and afterwards went to his uncle’s school at Maidstone, the same experience was repeated. Even as a youth, he intermeddled with all knowledge, and so began to accumulate those treasures, of literary love which have led many to describe his wisdom as ency-clopaedic. His essay, entitled Popery Unmasked, written when he was only fifteen years of age,. affords abundant proof of the wide extent of his reading at that early period of his history; and he often mentioned, with much merriment, the curious arrangement that had to be made in connection with the school-boy debates in which he took part. He knew so much more than the rest of the pupils upon almost all the subjects which they wished to discuss, that he was too formidable a.n antagonist for any of them to overthrow; and, consequently, the only way in which he could fairly compete with his young companions was to allow him to speak on both sides of the question under consideration! It must have both amused and amazed his fellow scholars to hear him refute his own arguments, which, when he had first uttered them, they had thought to be unanswerable!

When he advanced from the position of scholar to that of teacher, he gladly availed himself of the increased opportunities of reading and learning everything that might be turned to good account in his future career; and when he had become a follower of Christ, and an earnest worker for his Lord, he spent all that he could honestly afford it, the purchase of the classical and theological books which were likely to be of the greatest service to him. His letters at that period, as given in the first volume of this work, contained frequent mention of those volumes; and his tutor and friend. Mr. Leeding, confirmed his own testimony as to the diligence with which he Was mastering their contents. One of his favorite subjects of study, at that time, was natural history; and some of his pupils have acknowledged, even since his home-going, how intensely interesting and instructive were the lessons and lectures he gave them upon that topic; and all the while he was, perhaps unconsciously, laying up useful and telling illustrations which were to be of service to himself and his hearers throughout his long ministry.

Mr. Spurgeon did not often refer to his own literary acquirements, as he preferred to let the work he had accomplished speak for him; and he could afford to ignore, the unfounded assumptions of his critics with regard to his supposed ignorance. Very occasionally, possibly when there had been some unusually virulent attack upon him which he thought should not pass unnoticed, he would briefly mention the matter to some of the choice friends by whom he was surrounded, and prove the utter groundlessness of his assailants’ statements. At the close of one of the annual College Conferences, there occurred an incident of this kind, which is, to this day, remembered with delight by many who were present. One of the brethren, who was there has recorded his reminiscences of the occasion; he writes — ” It was after the dinner on the Friday, ‘when we had been cheering the beloved president with such cheers as we shall never give to any man again; I think they must have touched his loving heart, for he left his place at the table, stepped forward among the flowers that decorated the platform, and talked to us in a homely, confidential way. I cannot recall his exact words, but I know that he told us how welcome we were to all the privileges of the Conference, and I remember that he had at special message of sympathy for those of us who came from the smaller churches. Then he went on to speak of himself. He related how, even as a school-boy, he had made such progress with his mathematical studies that he had been able to calculate the tables which he believed were still used in a certain Life Insurance office in London. I distinctly recollect that he also said he could easily have taken a degree at Cambridge if the University had been open to Nonconformists, and he referred to the knowledge of Greek and Latin which he possessed at that time, adding, in his own inimitable way, that, since then, he had also learned at least some Hebrew, and a few other things! He urged the brethren to be diligent students, to read all books that would help them to understand the Scriptures; but, above all, to study the Word itself, in the original languages if possible, and to saturate themselves with what he termed Bibline, the very essence of The Book. I always knew’ that dear Mr. Spurgeon was a great scholar as well as a great preacher, but it was delightful to have the fact confirmed from his own lips; yet he concluded by saying, ‘Still, brethren, like the apostle Paul, I am become a fool in glorying.’ But our renewed cheers must have assured him of our delight in listening to what he had told us, and he said that he had been driven to speak by what others had been saying, and for the honor of the College of which he was President. The address was evidently quite unpremeditated; it seemed to be the overflowing of his heart to those who, he knew, we. re not only in perfect sympathy with him, but regarded him with the deepest reverence, esteem, and love.”

Although Mr. Spurgeon so seldom referred to his own attainments and qualifications for his great life-work, yet frequently, in depicting some of the Lord’s most useful and successful servants, he drew likenesses of them which might admirably serve for full-length portraits of himself. For instance, preaching upon John the Baptist’s words, “He must increase, but I must decrease,” the Pastor said — ” Oh, how grandly he witnessed for Christ by sinking himself until he was lost in his Lord and Master!! And, my brother, it must be the same with you; if you would be a true witness for Christ, you must say that which glorifies Him, even though it dishonors yourself. Perhaps there is a very learned man sitting over yonder, and the temptation to the preacher to say something that shall make him feel that the minister to whom he is listening is not so ignorant as some people suppose; but if there is an unlearned, simple sinner anywhere in the place, the preacher’s business is just to chop his words down to that poor man’s condition, and let the learned hearer receive the same message if he will. Luther said, ‘ When I am preaching, I see Dr. Jonas sitting there, and OEcolampadius, and Melancthon, .and I say to myself, “Those learned doctors; know enough already; so I need not trouble about them. I shall fire at the poor people in the aisles.”’ That is the way Luther preached, and God richly blessed his ministry because he did it. Though he was a truly learned man, he was willing to be reckoned as knowing nothing at all if by that means,’ he could the better serve his; Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

On another occasion, in a sermon at the Tabernacle, his reference to John Bunyan was equally applicable to his own writings and words — ” Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord ; — not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it till we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetical expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your spirit is flavored with the words of the Lord. I would quote John Bunyan as an instance of what I mean. Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied our Authorized. Version, which will never be bettered, as I judge, till Christ shall come; he had read it till his whole being was saturated with Scripture; and, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress — that sweetest of all prose poems, — without continually making us feel and say, ‘Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere; and you will find that his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his; soul is full of the Word of God.”

In the compilation of the illustrative extracts for The Treasury of David, it was from lack of time rather than from personal inability that Mr. Spurgeon was glad to avail himself of the assistance of a few friends, whose help he gratefully acknowledged in the Prefaces to the various volumes as they were issued. One of these references will serve as a specimen of the whole, and at the same time it will indicate to careful readers the heavy labor which had been undertaken, and the conscientiousness with which it was being performed. In the Introduction to Vol. 3., Mr. Spurgeon wrote — ” ‘Art is long, and life is short,’ hence I found myself unequal to the unaided accomplishment of my task, and I have had to call in the aid of my excellent friend, Mr. Gracey, the accomplished classical tutor of the Pastors’ College, to assist me in the work of winnowing the enormous heaps of Latin comments. Huge folios, full of dreary word-spinning, yield here and there some little material for thought; and this, I trust, will be valuable enough to my readers to repay my coadjutor and myself for our pains. For the selection of extracts, I alone am responsible” for the accuracy of the translations, we are jointly accountable. The reader will note that, not without much expense of money, as well as toil, he has here furnished to his hand the pith of Venema, Le Blanc, Lorinus, Gerhohus, Musculus, Martin Geier, Mollerus, and Simon de Muis; with occasional notes from Vitringa, Jansenius, Savonarola, Vatablus, Turrecremata, Marloratus, Palanterius, Theodoret, and others, as they were judged worthy of insertion. I can truly say that I have never flinched from a difficulty, or spared exertion, in order to make the work as complete as; it lay in my power to render it, either by my own endeavors or the help of others.”

Perhaps, among all Mr. Spurgeon’s published works, the one that gives the best idea of his familiarity with the whole range of expository literature, is his unpretentious half-crown volume, issued under the unattractive title, Commenting and Commentaries. The book has long since been accepted as a most reliable standard of appeal, and its commendations and valuations are frequently quoted in catalogues of theological works. The purpose of the volume, and the labor necessary for its completion, are thus described by its author —

“Divines who have studied the Scriptures have left us great stores of holy thought which we do well to use. Their expositions can never be a substitute for our own meditations; but, as water poured down a dry pump often starts it working to bring up water of its own, so suggestive reading set the mind in motion on its, own account. Here, however, is the difficulty. Students do not find it easy to choose which works to buy, and their slender stores are often wasted on books of a comparatively worthless kind. If I can save a poor man from spending his money for that which is not bread, or, by directing a brother to a good book, may enable him to dig deeper into the mines of truth, I shall be well repaid. For this purpose I have toiled, and read much, and passed under review some three or four thousand volumes. From these I have compiled my catalogue, rejecting many, yet making a very varied selection. Though I have carefully used such judgment as I possess, I have doubtless made many errors; I shall certainly find very few who will agree with all my criticisms, and s6me persons may be angry at my remarks. I have, however, done my best, and, with as much impartiality as I can command, I have nothing extenuated nor set down aught in malice. He who finds fault will do well to execute the work in better style; only let him remember that he will have my heifer to plough with, and therefore ought in all reason to excel me. I have used a degree of pleasantry in my remarks on the Commentaries, for a catalogue is a dry affair’, and, as much for my own sake as for that of my readers, I have indulged the mirthful vein here and there. For this, I hope I shall escape censure, even if I do not win commendation. Few can conceive the amount of toil which this compilation has involved, both to myself and my industrious amanuensis, Mr. J. L. Keys. In almost every case, the books have been actually examined by myself, and my opinion, ‘whatever it may be worth, is an original one. A complete list of all comments has not been attempted. Numbers of volumes have been left out because they were not easily obtainable, or were judged to be worthless, although some of both these classes have been admitted as specimens, or as warnings;. Latin authors are not inserted, because few can procure them, and fewer still cart read them with ease. We are not, however, ignorant of their value. The writers on the Prophetical Books have completely mastered us; and, after almost completing a full list, we could not in our conscience believe that a tithe of them would yield to the student anything but bewilderment, and therefore we reduced the number to small dimensions. We reverence the teaching of the prophets, and the Apocalypse; but for many of the professed expounders of those inspired Books, we entertain another feeling.”

Some. of the readers of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons and other works, noticing how seldom he inserted classical quotations, or referred to the language, in which the Scriptures-; were written, may have imagined that he was not acquainted with those treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The real reason for the omission can be gathered from his warning words to his students in his lecture on “Commenting”— “Avoid all pedantry. A pedant, who is continually quoting Ambrose and Jerome, Piscator and OEcolampadius, in order to show what a copious reader he has been, is usually a dealer in small wares, and quotes only what others have. quoted before him; but he who can give you the result and outcome of very extensive reading, without sounding a trumpet before him, is the really learned man. As a general rule, it may be observed that ‘those gentlemen who know the least Greek are the most sure to air their rags of learning in the pulpit; they miss no chance of saying, ‘ The Greek is so-and-so.’ It makes a man an inch and a-half taller, by a foolometer, if he constantly lets fall bits of Greek and Hebrew, and even tells the people the tense of the verb and the case of the noun, as I have known some do. Those who have no learning usually make a point of displaying the pegs on which learning ought to hang. Brethren, the whole process of interpretation is to be carried on in your stud)’; you ;are not to show your congregation the process, but to give them the result; like a good cook, who would never think of bringing up dishes, and pans, and rolling-pin, and spice-box into the dining-room, but without ostentation sends up the feast.”

In the volume of lectures to students, on The Art of Illustration,, the President incidentally indicated his wide acquaintance with all kinds of literature from which anecdotes, illustrations, emblems, metaphors, and similes might be culled. The following extract shows how Mr. Spurgeon turned an illustration used by Henry Ward Beecher to quite a different purpose from the one intended by the eminent American preacher —

“When a critical adversary attack,; our metaphors, he generally makes short work of them. To friendly minds, images are arguments; but to opponents, they are opportunities for attack; the enemy climbs up by the window. Comparisons are swords, with two edges, which cut both ways; and, frequently, what seems a sharp and telling illustration may be wittily turned against you, so as to cause a laugh at you expense; therefore, do not rely upon your metaphors and parables. Even a second-rate man may defend himself from a superior mind if he can dexterous}j; turn his assailant’,; gun upon himself. Here is an instance which concerns myself, and I give it for that reason, since these lectures have all along been autobiographical. It is a cutting from one of our religious papers — ‘Mr. Beecher has been neatly tripped up in The Sword and the Trowel In his Lectures on Preaching, he asserts that Mr. Spurgeon has succeeded “in spite of his Calvinism ;” adding the remark that “the camel does not travel any better, nor is it any more useful, because of the hump on its back.” The illustration is not a felicitous one, for Mr. Spurgeon thus retorts …… Naturalists assure us that the camel’s hump is of great importance in the eyes of the Arabs, who judge of the condition of their beasts by the size, shape, and firmness of their humps. The camel feeds upon his hump when he traverses the wilderness, so that in proportion as the animal travels over the sandy wastes;, and suffers from privation and fatigue, the mass diminishes; and he is not fit for a long journey till. the hump has regained its usual proportions. Calvinism, then, is the spiritual meat which enables a man to labor on in the ways; of Christian service; and, though ridiculed as a hump by those who are only lookers-on, those who traverse the weary paths of a wilderness experience know too well its value to be willing to part with it, even if a Beecher’s splendid talents could be given in exchange.’ —

The twenty-eight volumes of The Sword and the Trowel, from 1865 to 1892, contain notices of many thousands of books that the beloved Editor either read through, or examined sufficiently to be able to write reviews of them. He also read many that he did not review, for he was well aware that a, unfavorable notice in his; magazine would help to advertise erroneous teaching, and he thought the wiser course was to ignore such works altogether. His usual method of dealing with a thoroughly bad book, — either morally or doctrinally, — was to tear it into little pieces too small to do harm to anyone, or to commit it bodily to the flames. This was the sentence executed upon many volumes that cast doubt upon the Divinity of our Lord, the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice, or the inspiration of the Scriptures, though some works of that kind were allowed to remain as evidences of the character of the writings of some of the religious leaders of the day. In one notable instance, a volume by a very prominent Baptist minister — with whom Mr. Spurgeon was personally friendly, but from whom he was widely separated theologically, — was adversely criticized with considerable severity. Before publishing the notice the Editor sent a proof of it to the author of (he book, and ‘then, at his urgent request, omitted it from the magazine. On the other hand, publishers and writers have frequently testified that a commendation in The Sword and the Trowel has been the means of selling a whole edition, or of materially helping to ensure the success of their works, while all who are well acquainted with the magazine are fully aware of the unique character of the Editor’s “Notices of Books.”

Even on his holiday trips to Mentone, Mr. Spurgeon was always; well supplied with material for reading, for not only did he take large quantities of books with him, but many others were sent out to him during the time of his enforced absence from home. He generally took care, in making his selection for this purpose, to include some. biographies, and one or two of his favorite Puritans, such as Manton or Brooks.

On one occasion, there seemed to be some little likelihood of his literary luggage being confiscated by the French officials. It may be that they were specially suspicious, at that time, because the ex-Empress Eugenie had crossed the Channel by ‘the same steamer, and they could not tell how much Imperialistic literature, was being smuggled into the Republic. Although they could find nothing of a contraband nature, they carefully examine, d several volumes of the dear Pastor’s own works which were intended as presents for friends, and others which had been sent to him for review; but, finding nothing to which they could object, they at last appended the mystic mark which gave free admission to all that the huge portmanteau contained.

Mr. Spurgeon was a very quick reader, but the rapidity of his; glance at the did not interfere with the completeness of his acquaintance with its contents-page,

He could read from cover to cover of a large octavo or folio volume in the course of a very short space of time, and he would thus become perfectly familiar with all that it contained. Dr. William Wright, the late Editorial Superintendent of the British and Foreign Bible Society, gave a remarkable instance of this combination of speed and accuracy, as well as a notable testimony to Mr. Spurgeon’s literary ability, in the reminiscences which he wrote for The British Weekly in February, 1892. In the course of a lengthy article, Dr. Wright said — ” Mr. Spurgeon visited Belfast in 1858. I was then preparing to enter College, with a hankering after the Indian Civil Service. Mr. Spurgeon preached in Dr. Cooke’s church. He singled me out, — as I thought, — and spoke to me as if no one else was present. There was no thrumming of theology, and no pious posing; but a clear, direct, hot, living, personal appeal that dare not be resisted — Fifteen years later, I went to the Tabernacle, on my way home from Damascus. The same straightforward Englishman was; preaching the same straightforward gospel in all its fullness, and without any apology for its severity. After the service, I walked into the vestry’ without being announced. He had not seen me for ten years, but he recognized me in the crowd without a moment’s hesitation. He ran over a list of the books on Syria and Palestine, stating the merits of each, and ended by saying, ‘ I suppose Thomson’s The Land and the Book is still the best on the manners and customs;.’ He had the whole literature of the Holy Land at his finger-ends.

“When I came to be Mr. Spurgeon’s near neighbor, I found that his knowledge of all literature was wonderful. His power of reading was perhaps never equaled. He would sit down to five or six large books, and master them at one sitting. He sat with his left hand fiat on the page at the left side of the book, and pushing his right hand up the page on the right side until the page projected a little, he turned it over with his; finger, and proceeded to the next page. He took in the contents almost at a glance, reading by sentences as others read by words, and his memory never failed him as to what he read. He made a point of reading half-a-dozen of the hardest books every week, as he wished to rub his mind up against the strongest minds’ and there was no skipping. I several times had an opportunity of testing the thoroughness of his reading, and I never found him at fault.

“Drummond’s Natural Law in the Spiritual World reached him and me about the same time. I called on Mr. Spurgeon when he was fresh from a perusal of the book. It was then unknown to fame, and he had read it with five or six other books. At tea, we were speaking of the freshness of the illustrations, and the peculiarity o£ the doctrines taught; when a third party challenged Mr. Spurgeon’s recollection of certain points. Mr. Spurgeon thereupon quoted a whole page to show that Drummond spoke of the natural and spiritual laws being identical, and another important page to show how the book erred by defect. On my return home, I looked over the. passages quoted, and I believe he scarcely missed a word in the repetition. His power of swift and effective reading was one of the greatest of his many talents —

“I was at first surprised to find Mr. Spurgeon consulting both the Hebrew and Greek texts. ‘They say,’ said he, ‘that I am ignorant and unlearned. Well, let them say it; and in everything, by my ignorance, and by my knowledge, let God be glorified.’

“His exegesis was seldom wrong. He spared no pains to be sure of the exact meaning of his text. On one occasion, he was going to preach on the subject of the olive tree; and he sent his secretary to the keeper of the Natural History Department of the British Museum, with a series of questions regarding the peculiarities of the tree. Mr. Carruthers, the keeper, was so much interested in the enquiry ‘that he wrote out several pages for Mr. Spurgeon; but when the sermon came to be preached, the information had been passed through the crucible of Mr. Spurgeon’s mind, and came forth in a few Bunyanesque sentences — Sometimes, when I left him on Saturday evening, he did not know either of his texts for Sunday. But he had a well-stored mind; and when he saw his lines of thought, a few catchwords on a half-sheet of notepaper sufficed. Before we parted, he used to offer up a short prayer which was an inspiration to both of us.

“Mr. Spurgeon had a marvelous combination of gifts which contributed to his greatness. A voice that you heard with pleasure, and could not help hearing. A mind that absorbed all knowledge — whether from books or nature — that came within its range. An eye that tool, in a wide angle, and saw everything within view. A memory that he treated with confidence, and that never disappointed him. A great heart, on fire with the love of God and the love of souls. And then he showed a practical common sense in doing things, both sacred and secular, and a singleness of aim, joined with transparent honesty, that ensured the confidence of all who knew him. You could not help loving him if you came within his spell.”

On two occasions, Dr. J. Stanford Holme wrote, specially for Transatlantic readers, articles upon Mr. Spurgeon’s printed sermons and other works, in which he endeavored to trace some of the sources of the preacher’s literary and spiritual power. The first critique was published in the American edition of The Christian Herald, in January, 1879. In that paper, Dr. Stanford Holme wrote —

“It is a fact worthy of especial notice that the sermons of Mr. Spurgeon have had a circulation in this country entirely without precedent. Of the American edition of his sermons, there have been sold not less than 500,000 volumes. And when, to this vast number, we add the almost innumerable republications of single sermons in the transient periodicals of the day, it is safe to say that no other preacher has had so extensive at hearing in America as Charles H. Spurgeon.

“Many of the causes of the wonderful popularity of this distinguished preacher are not difficult to discover. In freshness and vigor of thought, in simplicity and purity of language, in grasp of gospel truth, and in tact and force in its presentation, he is perhaps without a peer in the pulpit.

“When, in early life, Mr. Spurgeon commenced his ministrations in the New Park Street Chapel, in London, he quickly filled the old house to overflowing. Soon, he attracted the attention of all England. But he was regarded by many as at brilliant meteor that would soon fade away. Yet Mr. Spurgeon is, today, a vastly more efficient and even a more brilliant preacher than he was twenty years ago. He continues to grow in brilliancy as well as in efficiency year by year. No one can yet point to the slightest indication of exhaustion in either his faculties or his resources.

“This, doubtless, is attributable, in a measure, to his industry and well directed application, as well as to natural ability and great personal piety. But Mr. Spurgeon’s peculiar views of the Word of God, and his manner of preparation for the pulpit, also tend in no small degree to secure the inexhaustible variety which so strikingly characterizes his sermons. It is not his manner to spin his web out of himself. The resources from which he draws are not measured by the. strength and the store of his own faculties, but rather by the infinite fullness of the Divine Word.

He never preaches from a topic. He always has a text. His text is not a mere motto, but in it he finds his sermon. He uses his text with as much apparent reverence and appreciation as if those few words were the only words that God had ever spoken. The text is the germ which furnishes the life, the spirit, and the substance of the discourse. Every sermon has the peculiar flavor, and fragrance, and color of the Divine seed-truth of which it is the growth. Thus, as the Bible is a storehouse of seed-truths, inexhaustible and of infinite variety, so Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons are never alike. Every seed yields its fruit after its kind. If he brings you up again and again to the same old truths, it is always on a different side, or in a new light, or with new surroundings.

“A very strong confirmation of this view has been afforded to the author in the preparation of an edition of Mr. Spurgeon’s works. In making up the index of subjects, it was necessary to go carefully through the entire fourteen volumes, page by page, and to note the different topics discussed, and then to arrange them in alphabetical order. When. this work was finished, such was the wonderful variety of subject, of thought, and of illustration, that, in many thousands of references, no

two subject, or thoughts, or illustrations, were found exactly to correspond. The preacher is discussing essentially the same familiar truths over and over again. He is presenting the same great Savior to lost sinners, with what might seem slavish fidelity to the spirit and even to the letter of the written Word. And yet his setting forth of truth, his shades of thought, and his modes of illustration, always arrange themselves in new forms and colors with well-nigh the endless variety of the combinations and tints of the clouds at the setting of the sun.

“It is not surprising, therefore, that sermons so varied, fresh, and Evangelical, should have so large a circulation in this country, nor that a newspaper, one of the special attractions of which is the weekly sermon of Mr. Spurgeon, should have the reception which is already accorded to The Christian Herald.”

Dr. Stanford Holme’s second article was published in The New York Homiletic Monthly, February, 1882. An extract from it will show in what esteem Mr. Spurgeon’s magnum opus was held by the writer —

“It is with no little satisfaction that I have seen the announcement of an American edition of Mr. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David. It is not only a most valuable Commentary on the Psalms for general use, but I regard it as the most important homiletic work of the age.

“Mr. Spurgeor, is a good Hebrew scholar. He is a man of deep practical piety. He has a fine poetic taste, a wonderful insight into the depths of the human heart, and a quaintness of expression, and a vigor and vivacity of style, that have the effect of genuine wit in giving point and life to his expressions.

“These, it will be acknowledged, form a rare combination o£ qualifications for an expositor of the Book of Psalms. But, to these, Mr. Spurgeon adds two other especial qualifications for the work, still more rare and valuable. His appreciation of and reverence for the inspired Word are among the most characteristic and remarkable features of the man. The Word of God is to him a thing of life and power, ‘and sharper than any two-edged sword.’ He sees God in the very words of the Bible. Like the bush on Horeb, a chapter, or a single verse, at times, glows with celestial splendor, and, to use his own words, ‘ Hundreds of times have I as surely felt the presence of God, in the page of Scripture, as ever Elijah did when he heard the Lord speaking in a still small voice.’ He seems never to be satisfied, in his study of the Scriptures, till every single verse is thus verified by the Spirit, and becomes to him a living word.

“Another special qualification of Mr. Spurgeon for this work, not less important and extraordinary, is a desire that knows no bounds — a passion — to help others preach that gospel of ‘which he himself would seem to be the greatest living herald. When Sir Joshua Reynolds, who was regarded as the greatest painter of his time, scraped off the paint from some of ‘he works of Titian and Da Vinci, in order that he might find out the secret of their wonderful skill in the mixing and blending of colors, he refused to make known his discoveries to his pupils. As far as he could, he threw down the ladder by which he had himself attained to greatness. Mr. Spurgeon is a man of another spirit. Himself one of the greatest of living preachers, and excelled by few of former ages, he does all he can to reveal the secrets of his power to the world, and, if possible, to make others greater than himself; and that which, in our estimation, makes The Treasury of David of such value to a minister is, that its spirit and. peculiar construction introduce us, as witnesses, into Mr. Spurgeon’s workshop, and enable us to see more clearly his method and manner of preparation for the pulpit than we can in his printed discourses, or even in his lectures to his students. Here we may examine sermons in all stages of development, — here we may learn how sermons grow. Indeed, a careful study of The Treasury of David reveals the whole secret of the strength of this Samson of the pulpit. The work might with propriety be called The Treasury of David, and the Arcanum of Spurgeon.

Many other tributes to Mr. Spurgeon’s literary ability and achievements have been borne, both during his lifetime and since his home-going. One of the most representative and comprehensive of these testimonies was given by Dr. James Stalker a.t the unveiling of the C. H. Spurgeon Memorial, at the Stockwell Orphanage, on June 20, 1894. After speaking of the loving esteem in which, in common with the great bulk of his fellow-countrymen, he held Mr. Spurgeon, Dr. Stalker said —

“Perhaps you will allow me to say a word or two about his power as a writer, — his power to express himself in writing. In this democratic age, when sympathy with the masses is on everyone’s lips, it often see. ms to me wonderful that the power of communicating with the multitude is so rare. We have scores of ministers who are ambitious of writing for the world of the cultivated; but a book frankly and successfully addressing the average man, in language which he can understand, is one. of the rarest products of the press. It really requires very exceptional power. It requires knowledge of human nature, and knowledge of life. It requires common sense; it requires wit and humor; and it requires command of simple and powerful Saxon.

“Whatever the requirements may be, Mr. Spurgeon had them in an unexampled degree, To find his match in this respect, you have, I think, in England,, to go back to John Bunyan. Luther is the unapproachable master in this department, and I am not surprised to see so many pictures of Luther, on the walls to-day, collected by Mr. Spurgeon, because there’, is the closest resemblance between the two men. It is wonderful, in Luther’s life, to find how he cultivate, d this power. When he was at the height of his fame, we find him writing to Nuremberg, that he might have sent to him all the chap-books, songs, and children’s stories that could be found, that he might exercise himself in simplicity of expression. F10 He said himself that he watched the peasant in the field, the mother in the home, and the boys on the street, that he might learn to speak and to write. He translated AEsop’s Fables, and made a large collection of popular proverbs with his own hands. This reminds us of Mr. Spurgeon, who did the same thing on a still larger scale in his excellent books called The Salt-cellars. And I am not surprised that Mr. Thomas Spurgeon referred to John Ploughman’s Talk, because, in my opinion, that is a collection of wit and wisdom that is certain of immortality among the popular classics of England. But it was into the sermons that, year after year, he poured without stint; all the resources of his genius, and these fitted the mind and the heart of the multitude of the Anglo-Saxon race as no writings of our day have even approached doing.

“But I should like to be allowed to say that while he thus addressed himself so frankly to. the common men, he had far more learning than was generally understood. I do not know whether he often refused the degree which you, Dr. Spurgeon, so much adorn. I suppose he did; but I am sure of this, — that he earned the degree of a doctor of divinity over an,5. over again. For many years, it has been my wont, week after week, every season, to read over his Commentary on the Psalms along with the best and most learned Commentaries in existence on this subject. That is the best test, and the severest test, to which a minister can put the writings of any author, and Mr. Spurgeon stands the test well. Not only do you everywhere feel the presence of a vigorous and vigilant mind, and a heart in thorough sympathy with the spirit of the Psalms, but I wish to say that I have often been perfectly astonished to observe how, without any parade of learning, he shows himself to be thoroughly acquainted with the results of the most advanced, scholarship; and the truth is, that there is scarcely a point in the Psalms of real importance, — scarcely a point upon which scholarship can give us anything of real importance, — as to which there are not sufficient hints to the intelligent reader in Mr. Spurgeon’s work.”

To give anything like an approximate idea of the extent of Mr. Spurgeon’s reading during’ his thirty-eight years ministry in London, it would be necessary to make a list of nearly all the principal theological and biographical works published during that period, and to add to it a large portion of the other standard literature of the present and previous centuries, and almost the whole of the volumes issued by the great divine of the Puritan period. The number and value of Mr. Spurgeon’s own copies of the writings of those masters of theology are probably unique for a private library, and he was always on the look-out for any that he did not possess, so that he might make his collection as complete as possible. Booksellers’ catalogues, in which they were mentioned, were always examined quickly; and an order for the missing volumes that might be on sale was at once sent, or, more probably, a messenger was despatched to make sure of getting them. This promptness on the Pastor’s part enabled him often to secure treasures which other collectors would have been glad to obtain. In some instances, they endeavored to persuade him to relinquish his bargain in their favor; one gentleman induced Dr. McLaren to write this letter, on his behalf, to Mr. Spurgeon —

“7, 5, ‘85.

“My Dear Friend,

“A friend of mine is very wishful to get a book, which you unwittingly took out of his mouth from some catalogue. I enclose copy of title. The reason for his special desire to get it is that he is descended from the Fleet-woods to whom it is dedicated, and that, somehow or other, it proves some point of family history in which he and his people are much interested. If you would allow him to purchase it of you at its value, whatever that may be, he would be very much obliged, and would undertake that, if ever he heard of another copy, you should have it with many thanks. Seeing his anxiety to have the book, I offered to ask you if you would part with it.

“I hope you are. able for your work, and are walking in the light. It is sorely shadowed for me, and it is hard to sing or even to say in a darkened cage.

“I am,
“My dear friend,
“Yours faithfully,


The following is the title of the volume, which was dedicated to Sir William Fleetwood, ,Sir George Fleetwood, and “Lord Fleetwood, Lieutenant General of the whole army in England and Scotland” when Oliver Cromwell was Lord Protector ….

Old Jacob’s Altar newly repaired ; or, the Saint’s Triangle of Dangers, Deliverances, and Duties, personal, and Nationa1, practically improved in many Particulars, seasonable and experimental, Being the Answer of his own Heart to God, for eminent Preservations; humbly recommended, by way of Teaching, unto all; and, as a special Remembrancer to /he Ransomed of the Lord, to awaken in them a sense of rich mercy; that they may sing the song of Moses .for temporal, and the song of the Lamb, for spiritual Deliverances ; and, to provoke them to Love, and good works; BY NATANEEL WHITING, Mr of Arts, and Minister of the Gospel, at Aldwinckle. London Printed by R. T. for Nathaneel Ekins, and are to be sold at his Shop, at the Signe of the Gunne, in, S. Paul’s Church-yard, 1659.

Mr. Spurgeon explained to Dr. McLaren his reasons for wishing to retain the volume, and received, in reply, a post card bearing this message confirming his own decision “I would not part with it either, if I were in your place. — A. MCLAREN.”

The next year, Mr. Spurgeon and Dr. Angus saw, in a catalogue, the particulars concerning a second-hand volume which each of them desired to possess. An exact copy of the entry will show the kind of book for which the Pastor was always on the look-out —

“1040 — Turner (J.) Choice Experiences of the kind dealings of God before, in, and after Conversions, laid clown in Six General Heads;, together with some brief Observations upon the same, etc., 1653. — Allen (W., General in Ireland) Captive taken front the Strong; or a true relation of the,. gratious release of Deborah Huish front the Power of the Tempter, etc., 1658.-The Just Man’s Defence, or the Royal Conquest; being the declaration of the judgment ofJAMES ARMINIUS of Leyden, concerning the principall points of Religion before the STATES OF HOLLAND and WESTFRIEZLAND, translated by TOBIAS CONYERS, of Peter House, Cambridge, 1657. — Faith and Practice of Thirty Congregations, gathered according to the Primitive Pattern, etc, 1651 — etc., in a thick vol, sm. 8vo, old binding, 16s.”

Mr. Spurgeon secured the volume; and Dr. Angus, on finding this out, wrote to him as follows —

“College, Regent’s Park,
“March 22, 1886.

“My Dear Friend,

“You and I are often of a mind and very pleasant it is. But now and then it works inconvenience. You ordered, on Saturday, a book in Bull and Auvache’s list, which I ordered on Saturday, too; but I was behind you — Turner’s Choice Experiences, etc. Do you want them all?’ I especially want (1) Faith and Practice of Thirty Congregations, and (2) Turner, for the sake of what I expect is there, — Spilsberie’s recommendations.

“If you do not want both these, I will take one or both; and will leave you ‘The Captive’ and ‘The Judgment of Arminius, which last ought to have some value, though not quite sound, I suspect. I will take what you can spare, and give you what you ask for them. If you wish to keep them all, I will not grumble, as it is all ‘ in the family.’ With all best wishes,

“Yours very truly,


In this instance, it appears that Mr. Spurgeon gave up his purchase, as Dr. Angus was so anxious to obtain some of the treatises bound up in the one volume, and it seemed a pity to separate them.

Mr. Spurgeon not only possessed a large number of volumes by Puritan writers, but he was fully conversant with their comments and, from the earliest days of the Pastors’ College, he sought to interest his students in them. He also helped them to purchase considerable quantities of the new editions issued by Mr. Nichol, Messrs. Nisbet and Co., and other publishers. In later years, the President prepared a series of lectures on several of the principal Puritan divines, and delivered them at the College, accompanying the sketches of their lives with extracts from their works, thus enabling the brethren to become acquainted with his opinions of their comparative merits, and of the characteristics of their style. The lectures have not yet been published; but just a hint as to the labor involved in compiling them, and some idea of the way in which the writers were compared and contrasted, may be gathered from the Preface to one of Mr. Spurgeon’s smaller volumes, Illustrations and Meditations or, Flowers From a Puritan’s Garden,’ Distilled and Dispensed by C. H. Spurgeon; in which he wrote

“While commenting upon the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm, I was brought into most intimate communion with Thomas Manton, who hits discoursed upon that marvelous portion of Scripture with great fulness and power. I have come to know him so well that I could pick him out from among a thousand divines if he were again to put on his portly form, and display among modern men that countenance wherein was ‘a great mixture of majesty and meekness.’ His works occupy twenty-two volumes in the modern reprint ; — a mighty mountain of sound theology. They mostly consist of sermons; but what sermons! They are not so sparkling as those of Henry Smith, nor so profound as those of Owen, nor so rhetorical ,is those of Howe, nor so pithy as those of Watson, nor so fascinating as those of Brooks; and yet they are second to none of these. For solid, sensible instruction, forcibly delivered, they cannot be surpassed. Manton is not brilliant, but he is always clear he is not oratorical but he is powerful; he is not striking, but he is deep. There is not a poor discourse in the whole collection they are evenly good, constantly excellent. Ministers who do not know Manton need not wonder if they are themselves unknown.

“Inasmuch as Manton used but few figures and illustrations, it came into my head to note them all, for 1 felt sure that they would be very natural and forcible. I thought it worth while to go though volume after volume, and mark the metaphors’ and then I resolved to complete the task by culling the best figures out of the whole of Manton,’s works. Thus my communing with the great Puritan ends in my clearing his house, of all his pictures, and hanging them up in new frames of my own. As I leave his right to them unquestioned and unconcealed, I do not rob him; the rather, I increase his influence by giving him another opportunity of speaking for his Lord and Master. One kind of work leads on to another, and labor is lightened by being diversified, had it not been for The Treasury of David, I might not have been found spending so much time among the metaphors of Manton.”

To successive generations of students, Mr. Spurgeon read Dr. James Hamilton’s four’ volumes of Christian Classes. It was a treat to the brethren to hear such a work read by one who could so thoroughly appreciate it, but they probably enjoyed even more the comments and criticisms upon the various writers and their works with which the readings were interspersed. It was rarely indeed that the President found any mention of an author with whose writings he was not thoroughly familiar. He also constantly gave the students helpful hints, garnered from his own experience, with regard to, the books likely to be most useful to them, both during their College course and afterwards when settled in the ministry or in the foreign mission field. The informal gatherings under “The Question Oak” at “Westwood” afforded many opportunities for the brethren to ascertain Mr. Spurgeon’s opinions upon literary matters in general, and especially to learn from him all that they could concerning the books which most affected them as theological students. One of the questions put to the president was, “Should novel-reading be indulged in by ministers?” His reply was — ”That depends upon what you mean by a novel. The Pilgrim’s Progress and many of the best books we have are novels, in the sense that they are not actual records of fact, though they are absolutely true to Christian experience. Then, again, there are such works as Sir Walter Scott’s; many of them are founded on fact, and are well worth reading as a picture of the people and places he so ably describes, as well as for the style of his writing. Their value lies largely in their historical truth. Some of Charles Dickens’ works are worth reading, although he has given gross caricatures of the religious life of his times. As for the general run of novels now being issued in such shoals, you will probably be wise to leave them alone; few of them would be likely to do you any good, and many of them are morally tainted, or worse.”

At one of the meetings under’ the oak, Mr. Spurgeon told the students that he had read Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress at least a hundred times, and that, as a kind of mental relaxation, he had constantly returned to the study of various branches of natural history, and, for a change, he had turned his attention to astronomy, botany, and other sciences. In his published lecture on “Astronomy as a Source of Illustration,” he showed the brethren how all the sciences could be utilized as illustrations of Christian life and work. He also said that he always liked to have a few good biographies handy, so that he could turn to the record of what the Lord had enabled His servants to do in the past. His own collection of the “Lives” of notable individuals was a very extensive one, and in conversation with him it was soon evident that he was fully aware of the main facts in the careers of almost all of them. Indeed, it was impossible to mention anyone who had been eminently useful, or notorious, in the world, and to find that Mr. Spurgeon was ignorant of the man or woman referred to; in most instances, he had made himself more completely acquainted with their histories by giving lectures upon them to his congregation or students, or by writing summaries of their biographies for the benefit of the readers of his magazine.

Pastor W. Williams has preserved, in his Personal Reminiscences of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the following jottings concerning his beloved President’s allusions to literary matters, which will serve as specimens of the remarks that Mr. Spurgeon frequently made when conversing with his friends — ”’ What books are you reading now?’ he asked me, one day. ‘Carlyle’s French Revolution,’ I answered. ‘Very good; it is a fine work, full of nervous, bracing thought and stirring facts; but I think it cannot be appreciated at its true worth unless simpler histories of France have been read before, beginning it. I would not advise anyone to take Carlyle as a first study. Scott’s Life of Napoleon is a good history. That first Napoleon was a really great man. He had a mind, and no mistake; his successors have been insignificant in comparison.’ ‘You like Boswell’s Johnson, sir, of course.’ ‘Oh, yes! that is the biography; it stands unrivalled, and probably ever will; and I think Lockhart’s Life of Scott and Mrs. Oliphant’s Life of Edward frying come next.

You’ve not read Pickwick, Williams?’ ‘No, I have not yet.’ ‘Oh, dear! I was going to say I ‘wish I had not, for I should like once more to enjoy it as I did at the first reading. You have a. treat in store. The humor of it is about perfect.’

“The Story of the Nations series greatly interested him. He read Egypt through at least three times, and eagerly took up the others as they came out. It was exceedingly entertaining and instructive to hear him talk about the people and countries with which the volumes deal …. We had several talks, on different occasions, about Shakespeare. He had read all his plays, and some of them many times — Saturdays at ‘ Westwood’ gave me an education in the matter of many choice books, and I seldom came away without one or two. But it was a greater treat still to hear Mr. Spurgeon himself read some charming poem or instructive chapter. I remember, when Miss Havergal’s poems, Under the Surface, were issued, how he reveled in them. The one entitled ‘ From Glory unto Glory’ he read one evening ‘over the tea-cups.’ His eyes sparkled with delight, and filled with tears of joy, as he reached the third and fourth stanzas of that magnificent song.”

On several occasions, Mr. Spurgeon found himself in the company of a number of High Church clergymen, and they were always (greatly surprised to find that the Baptist minister was far more familiar with the works on their side of the controversy than they themselves were. They also discovered that, while he spoke heartily in commendation of all that appeared to him to be Scriptural in the writings of Dr. Pusey, Dr. Neale, Dr. Littledale, Isaac Williams, and other divines of their school of thought, he was able; to give good reasons for not accepting their sacramentarian and sacerdotal theories. The same characteristic is very manifest in his remarks upon the Ritualistic works referred to in his Commenting and Commentaries. Space can only be spared for one fairly representative instance, — Dr. John Mason Neale’s Sermons on the Canticles, Preached in a Religious House, — upon which Mr. Spurgeon thus comments —

“By that highest of High Churchmen, Dr. Neale. These sermons smell of Popery, yet the savor of our Lord’s good ointment cannot be hid. Our Protestantism is not of so questionable a character that we are afraid to do justice to Papists and Anglicans, and therefore, we do not hesitate to say that many a devout thought has come to us while reading these ‘ Sermons by a Priest of the Church of England.’“

Other people beside theologians often noticed the extensive and varied knowledge that Mr. Spurgeon possessed. On one of his visits; to Mentone, he was in company with art eminent medical man, and, after a while, the conversation drifted round to anatomy, physiology, various diseases to which flesh is heir, and the different modes; of treatment adopted for their removal. The doctor was quite astonished at the completeness of his; companion’s acquaintance with every part of the subject, and he afterwards said — “Mr. Spurgeon is one of the most remarkable men I ever met. He seems to know as much about the human body as any medical man might have done; he would have made a splendid physician.’

Among the Pastor’s hearers at the Tabernacle, or in various seaport towns, many sailors have often been found, listening with intense eagerness; and the men of the sea have often testified that they have never known him make a mistake in his nautical allusions; and, only recently, Revelation James Neil, M.A., who spent twenty years in Palestine, has borne similar witness to the accuracy of Mr. Spurgeon’s descriptions of Bibblical manners and customs, thereby confirming the verdict by Dr. Wright, mentioned in a previous part of the present chapter.

Many of “John P1oughman’s” readers have wondered that he could tell them so much about how “to plough and sow, and reap and mow.” Part of that familiarity with farming affairs;, no doubt, dated back to his early visits to Stambourne, and his walks among the furrows by the side of the godly ploughman, Will Richardson; and part must be attributed to his constant preaching in different parts of the kingdom, and to the opportunities thus afforded of obtaining further information concerning agricultural pursuits; but extensive reading also added to the effectiveness of his references to such matters. Pastor Charles Spurgeon related, in the previous volume of this work, the testimony of a farmer who said that the Pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle knew far more about sheep than he did, though he had been keeping them all his life! The explanation of that fact can probably be found in the President’s observation to his students that, at one time, he had made a special study of sheep and their habits. The library at ‘Westwood” still contains the volume to which Mr. Spurgeon then referred, — an antiquated folio, entitled. A System of Sheep-grazing and Management, as Practiced in Romney Marsh, by DANIEL PRICE (Richard Phillips, Blackfriars). Singularly enough, at a later period, the Pastor’s attention was, through someone’s mistake, again attracted to the same subject. He had written for a number of books on quite a different theme; but, in some unaccountable way, there came, in the place of one of them, a large, octavo volume, entitled Sheep their Breeds, Management, and Diseases, by WILLIAM YOUATT (Simpkin, Marshall, and Co.). Mr. Spurgeon was amused at the blunder, but he kept the book, which still retains traces of having been carefully examined and used by him.

At another time, he had collected all the old herbals he could buy, and he had found much of interest and instruction in them. Topography was also one of the side subjects to which he devoted a portion of his scanty leisure; and, in the course of his; researches upon this subject, he was brought into association with lovers of antiquarian and topographical lore in various parts of the country; and by their kind assistance he was able to make further welcome additions to his already well-stored library. If he was going to preach in a district that was new to him, he usually tried to find out everything of interest in its history, surroundings, manufactures, or products’ and these would, in due course, guide him in his local allusions and illustrations, and materially help to impress his message upon his hearers’ minds and hearts. Everything was made subservient to the one great object he had heft)re him, the glory of God in the salvation of sinners and the extension of the Redeemer’s Kingdom.


AT the time of Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, he possessed at least 12,000 volumes. The number would have been far larger if he had not given so generously to the libraries of the Pastors’ College and of many of the ministers trained within its walls, and if he had not also, from his abundant stores, so freely enriched other friends His; books almost filled the shelves of two large rooms, — the study and the library; one smaller room, — “the den”; and the vestibule adjoining the study. There are even more volumes at “Westwood” today than there were in 1892; for, while all that belonged to the beloved owner remain just as he left them, many newly-published works have been added to his collection. He knew the proper place and at least the principal contents of nearly every book in his possession; he could have fetched almost any one of them in the dark, and if any had been taken away by a dishonest visitor, he would speedily have missed them. Probably, a great many of his precious treasures did become permanently lost to him through being lent, for all who borrowed from him were not as particular in returning other people’s property as he himself was. Addressing his students, on one occasion, he said —

“I lately met with a statement, by a clergyman, which has very much raised my opinion of human nature; for he declares that he has a personal acquaintance with three gentlemen who have actually returned borrowed umbrellas! I am sorry to say that he moves in a more favored circle than I do, for I have personal acquaintance with several young men who have borrowed books, and never returned them. The orher day, a certain minister, who had lent me five volumes, which! have used for two years or more, wrote to me a note to request the return of three of them. To his surprise, he had them back by the next Parcels’ Delivery, and with them two others, which he had forgotten. I had carefully kept a list of books borrowed, and, therefore, could make a complete return to the owner. I am sure he did not expect their prompt arrival, for he wrote me a letter of mingled astonishment and gratitude; and when I visit his study again, I feel sure I shall be welcome to another loan. You know the rhyme which has been written in many a man’s book, —

“‘If thou art borrowed by a friend,
Right welcome shall he be
To read, to study, not to lend,
But to return to me.
Not that imparted knowledge doth
Diminish learning’s store;
But books, I find, when once they’re lent,
Return to me no more.’

“Sir Walter Scott used to say that his friends might be indifferent accountants, but he was sure they were good ‘book-keepers.’”

It Mr. Spurgeon could return to his study, he would have no difficulty in finding his books, for they are still arranged according to the method he long ago adopted. Beginning at the right-hand side of the cupboard in the center of the illustration on the previous page, the volumes commence with Commentaries on Genesis, and continue in consecutive order, through the whole of the long side of the room, to the end of Revelation. Then follow Cyclopaedias of anecdotes, illustrations, and emblems, with dictionaries and other works of reference indispensable to a literary’ man. These books fill up half the end of the study. Then, on the other side of the doorway leading into “the den,” and partly hidden by the revolving bookcase, is a choicely-bound set of the,. Pastor’s sermons. These formed part of the background of one of the latest and best of his photographs that was ever taken, and which is here reproduced.

On the, shelves above and below Mr. Spurgeon’s volumes of sermons, is a large assortment of theological works, sufficiently numerous to overflow to the revolving bookcase, which also contains biographies and miscellaneous literature for general reading. — At the opposite end of the room, on the left-hand side of the cupboard shown in the illustration on page 287, are more theological works, somewhat less modern than those mentioned on the previous page.

Several thousands of the books that belonged to Mr. Spurgeon occupied the spacious shelves in the library here represented. In Vol. 2, one view of this room was given; by comparing it with the above illustration, the whole can be seen. The volumes here preserved, like those in the study, are also arranged in sections. Beginning at the side nearest the windows, one whole bay’ is filled with works on natural history and the sciences; the next is devoted to records; of missions, travel,;, and adventures; then follow biographies, which require almost the whole of the space in the two wide sets of shelves, the remainder being allotted to books on Bible lands. The shelves visible on the left-hand side of the picture in Vol. II. are filled with poetry and the hymnals used in the compilation of Our Own Hymn Book, with later additions, and some sermonic and other literature not usually needed in the study. Beyond the doorway, bound volumes of periodicals, both for juveniles and adults, and more general literature, with a large store of books of proverbs and anecdotes, need several sets of shelves; next follow historical and denominational works, the topographical books described on page 286, a great number of old folios, mostly the writings of Latin authors; and last, but certainly not least, more than a whole bay is required for the American and other reprints of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons and other works, and the translations of them into various foreign languages. He was never able. to procure anything like a complete set of his writings as reproduced!in other tongues, and the number of translations has been greatly increased since his home-going; but those now at “Westwood” include Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Castilian (for the Argentine Republic), Chinese, Congo, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esthonian, French, Gaelic, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kaffir, Karen, Lettish, Maori, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Servian, Spanish, Swedish, Syriac, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu Welsh, with sermons in Moon’s and Braille type for the blind, making, with the dear preacher’s mother-tongue, nearly forty languages in which he continues, from the printed page, to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. The text most commonly used concerning him is, “He’. being dead yet speaketh.” Dr. Newman Hall, referring recently to Mr. Spurgeon, gave it new rendering to that passage -”Then, as he yet speaketh, he is not dead.” Verily, it is so.

The foregoing account of the arrangement of Mr. Spurgeon’s books is necessarily incomplete, and many hundreds of his highly-valued volumes may thus have escaped classification; but it gives a general idea of the books he owned, and loved, and used, and with which he was so well acquainted that he was prepared to discuss their contents with any visitor who called to see him.

On removing to “Westwood,” and fitting up with oak bookshelves two sides of the room used by the former occupants of the house as a drawing room, Mr. Spurgeon found that the space at his disposal proved too large even for the thousands of books which had overtaxed the accommodation at “Helensburgh House.” The Pastor therefore purchased many works which he had long desired to possess, and added them to his previous store; and, as he had still to say, “Yet there is room,” he hit upon an ingenious expedient for temporarily filling the empty shelves at the top of the library and study. He had a number of dummy volumes made by his bookbinder, and had some of them lettered to correspond with the sets of books already in his possession, such as Carlyle’s Works, Macaulay’s Works, Alison’s History of Europe, Hume’s History of England, The Homilist, etc. In other cases, the titles were reversed; as, for instance, Job on Caryl, made to stand not far from Caryl on Job. The lettering of some of the large sets of dummies was amusing. Anyone who handled the volumes entitled Wretched Scandals, by the Talkers’ Sisters, would find that there was nothing in them! Similar sets bore the titles, Mischief by Boys, Windows Ventilated by Stone, Gunpowder Magazine by Plumstead, and Padlock on the Understanding. But it was upon the names of the single volumes that the Pastor exercised the greatest ingenuity. He often referred to the meaning of Mrs. Spurgeon’s Christian name, Susannah, a lily, and associated it with Shushar, so it was not surprising that one of the titles he used was Lilies of Shushan, while the name of Mrs. Spurgeon’s companion suggested Thorn on Roses. The Pastor’s two secretaries were represented by the volumes entitled Mysteries Opened by J. L. Heys, and The Character of William the Conqueror, by Harrald. The tutors and students of the Pastor’s College were represented by the fallowing and other titles — Joseph, Samuel, and Abraham, corrected by G. Rogers; Sublime and Beautiful, by D, Gracey, Goodly Pearls, by Marchant; Eastward Ho! by A. G. Brown,’ Cuff on the Head; Knell on Death ; Carter on the Road; Cricket on the Green, by Balls; Over the Stream, by Bridge ; Hook and I; Tydeman on Cleanliness; Hammer and Tongs, by Smith; Aches and Pains, by Feltham (felt ‘em); Country Retreats, by Greenwood, Grindery), in all its Branches, by Miller; Do it again, by Dunnett (done it); Standing, Swift, Finch, and another Bird,’ and Flight on the Wings of a Dove.

The internationa1 or political allusions included Bull on Bragging, and Jonathan on Exaggeration (placed side by side.); Bulls, by Patrick; The Art of Wasting Time, by an Irish Member ; The Elevation of Parliament, by Guido Faux ; and Benjamin Disraeli on Honesty. The temperance titles were, Rags and Ruin, by a Brewer, Brains Addled by John Barleycorn; and Madness, by L. L. Whiskey; while among the..amusing descriptions might have been found Purchase of Land, by L. S. D.; Hints ,on Honey Pots, by A. B.; The Composition of Milk, by a Dealer, Weaver’s Meditations among the Looms, Gilpin on Riding Horses,. Absalom on the Mule ; Balaam on the Donkey; Tick on Sheep; Skid on the Wheel; Cat on Hot Bricks; Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday ; Pilgrim’s Progress hindered by a Bunyan (bunion) ; Lectures to my Servants, by a Shrew,’ and Slicking up for One’s Sell, by a Pole.

Before very long, the number of books increased at such a rapid rate that, instead of dummies being required to fill vacant shelves, real and substantial volumes were standing or lying about, in various directions, because there was no proper place available for them. It was then decided that Mr. Spurgeon must have the use of the bookshelves in the vestibule between the hall and the study, which up to that time had been employed as the depot and packing-room for the works distributed in connection with Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund. The accompanying illustration, which shows only about a quarter of the space available for books, gives a good idea of the appearance of the vestibule on “packing-day.” At the time the photograph was taken, there were between twenty and thirty Book Fund grants arranged ready to be made up into separate parcels, and despatched to ministers in all parts of the United Kingdom. The nearness of this set of shelves, to the study made it a very valuable annex and a room in another part of the house was adapted and fitted up for the use of the Manager of the Book Fund and her helpers.

Still later, a greater alteration was made, by which additional accommodation was provided for the ever-multiplying books. During Mr. Spurgeon’s absence at Mentone, one winter, a new room was built, connecting the study with the small conservatory, where he liked to sit for a few minutes, in the chair here represented, admiring the choice flowers, watching the fishes and grasses in the miniature aquarium, and reading or meditating upon the theme of some anticipated address or sermon. One result of the altered arrangements was that, in wet weather, the Pastor could have a continuous walk, under shelter, from the fernery at one side of the ‘house to the greenhouses at the other end. By steadily tramping’ the whole distance, backwards and forwards, several times, a very fair amount of exercise could be obtained when it was not possible to be out of doors. It had also ‘long been felt that Mr. Spurgeon needed another and more private study, into which he could retire for devotion and pulpit preparation, or for interviews with special visitors. This room was always called “the den,” though it was a very different kind of place from Bunyan’s apartment in the Bedford prison to which the immortal dreamer gave that name. In this favored spot, the works of the Puritan divines were lovingly arranged by the one who always repudiated the title many times accorded to him, — Ultimus Puritanorum, the last of the Puritans, — for he believed that he had helped to train hundreds of men who would continue the Puritanical succession after he was gone from their midst, and he also knew that there were, in other denominations and other lands, multitudes of believers in the truths which the Puritans taught, and for which many of them suffered even unto death.

The empty chair, in the corner of “the den,” is the one in which Mr. Spurgeon used to sit at the head of the study table. After he was “called home,” it was put away so that no one else should occupy it. In addition to the Puritans, “the den” contains a large quantity of homiletical, exegetical, and proverbial literature, with a number of miscellaneous volumes for general reading. The new room was a great boon to the busy Pastor, and many a powerful sermon for the congregation at the Tabernacle, or weighty address for the students of the Pastors’ College, or bright article for The Sword and the Trowel, first saw the light in the quiet seclusion of “the den.”

Mr. Spurgeon never cared to buy a book simply because it was rare, unless it was one of the Puritans that he needed for his collection. He valued literary works for their usefulness, not simply for their market price; yet he possessed a great many volumes, bearing their authors’ autograph inscriptions, which he highly prized; and, among them, some of Mr. Ruskin’s were always accorded a prominent position as reminders of the early and cordial friendship which existed between hint and the Pastor. Sir A. H. Layard, Dr. Livingstone, M. Paul B. Du Chaillu, Mr. C. W. M. van de Velde, Dr. W. M. Thomson, Dr. William Wright, Dr. Lansdell, Mr. John MacGregor {“Rob Roy”), and many other travelers are represented at “Westwood” by their works duly inscribed, or by letters from them fastened in their books. It was one of Mr. Spurgeon’s few “hobbies” to have the photographs and autographs of all authors, as; far as he could, with portions of the manuscripts of their works, or other specimens of their handwriting, inserted in one or more of their volumes, thus materially increasing their value, at least in his estimation. Perhaps it was this fancy which made him so freely give his own signature to other collectors of autographs, even if they did not always enclose stamps with their applications; and the same reason may also have prompted him to write in the many hundreds of books that he gave to his friends, who now prize them all the more because of the tender and loving inscriptions with which he enhanced the intrinsic worth of his gifts.

One of his letters shows that, in his anxiety to secure the signature of a friend whose writings he valued, he unintentionally wrote a second time to the same individual —

“Nightingale Lane,
“May 11.

“Dear Sir,

“I have to apologize, for having troubled you twice about so small a matter as your autograph; but the fact is, I did not recognize Dr. David Brown, of Duncan’s Memoir as the David Brown of the Commentary. Pray excuse me.

“I am getting to fear and tremble about the Browns. You must know that the President and Vice-President of our Baptist Union are both Browns, and that the chairman of our London Association is also a Brown. Browns to the right of us,

Browns to the left of us, etc. God bless them all!

“Yours heartily,


The following genial note, from Sir Emilius Bayley, was written in reply to a request for his photograph and autograph to be inserted in his book, Deep unto Deep —

“14, Hyde Park Street, W.,
“May 29, 1878.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“Thanks for your very kind reply to my letter, and also for the photograph you were so good as to send me.

“I should have sent an earlier acknowledgment, but I had to get the enclosed portrait taken, and some little delay ensued. I very readily fall in with a ‘whim’ which is so flattering to your friends.

“May our gracious Father bless your labors very abundantly!

“Believe me,

“Yours very faithfully,


In reply to a letter from Mr. Spurgeon to Dr. Andrew A. Bonar, asking for his portrait and autograph to insert in hi Commentary on the Book of Leviticus, the beloved author sent his photograph, and the following characteristic note —

“Dear Brother,

“I cannot refuse what you are so kind as to ask. But if you had only waited a little while, it would have been really worth having, — for we shall be LIKE HIM (1 John 3. 2)., Meantime, the enclosed may hint to you that sometimes you should pray for me.

“Yours, with all brotherly love,


The same writer’s volume, Christ and His Church in the Rook of Psalms, contains the inscription — ”This book was given to me by my dear friend, Mr. Bonar, and the corrections are made by his own hand. — C. H. SPURGEON.” Dr. Horatius Bonar’s volume, Earth’s Morning,’ or, Thoughts on Genesis, is thus commended — ”A deeply thoughtful and thought-creating book.”

In The Book of Psalms, a New Translation, with Introductions and Notes, Explanatory and Critical, by J. J. Stewart Perowne, B.D., Mr. Spurgeon wrote — ”For a modern book, this has become very rare. It is most accurate and valuable.” The volume also contains a letter from the author (now the Bishop of Worcester), written while he was Dean of Peterborough, in which he said — “I thank you heartily for your kind words about my book on the Psalms. I am the more sensible of your approbation, because you have yourself conferred so inestimable a boon upon the Church by the publication of your Treasury of David. There is no book like it as an aid to devout meditation on one of the most precious portions of God’s Word. I hope someday you will visit Peterborough. It would be a pleasure to me to show you our beautiful cathedral.”

The volume of Expositon Thoughts on the Gospels, by the present Bishop of Liverpool (Dr. J. c. Ryle), contains his portrait, and a letter which he wrote to Mr. Spurgeon, in 1875, when he was vicar of Stradbroke, in which he said — “You want no praise of man, and you know its worthlessness. But I must tell you how much I like your Lectures to my Students. I have rarely seen so many nails hit right on the head. I should like to give a copy to every young clergyman in the Church of England! I hope you are pretty well. I have had much illness in the last four years, and feel nearer home than I ever felt before.”

Yet he has been spared to continue his faithful testimony for nearly another quarter of a century; and only towards the close of 1899 has he felt compelled to intimate his approaching resignation of his bishopric, while his younger friend, to whom he wrote so heartily, has been “at home,,” for nearly eight years!

Mr. Spurgeon desired to possess a specimen of the manuscript of Dr. Charles Hodge, Professor in the Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.; and, in reply to a note to that effect, addressed to his son, Dr. A. A. Hodge, the latter wrote the kind letter printed next.

“New Jersey,
“July 1st, 1879.
“Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon,

“Dear Sir,

“I thank you very much for your kind note, relating to the Outlines, received yesterday. Your many friends, on this side of the ocean, have been anxious about your health, as we have received irregular, and imperfect, and perhaps irresponsible reports of it from time to time. I sincerely trust that it is re-established fundamentally and permanently. ‘Yet I am sure that God has warned you, as the trusted steward of His gifts, not to work so hard and continuously. “I send you, herewith, two of my father’s papers, prepared for the Conferences held by the Professors and students, every Sabbath afternoon, in our Oratory. ‘Nelson, of Edinburgh, has just published a volume containing 249 of them. These I send you are originals in my father handwriting.

“May the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit, bless you with all blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord!

“Give my best respects to Mrs. Spurgeon.
“Yours sincerely,

“A. A. HODGE.”

Mr. Spurgeon’s copy of Dr. A. A. Hodge’s Outlines of Theology contains his autograph, and this entry in Mr. Spurgeon’s handwriting “Autograph written in my study, August 8, 1877. — C. H. S.”

Dr. Fergus Ferguson, of Glasgow, in thanking Mr. Spurgeon for the notice of his Life of Christ, wrote, in 1882: — “You must be well-nigh overwhelmed with literary work alone, — not to speak of the pastoral — I cannot close this letter, which I hope you will not think intrusive, without venturing to express my high admiration of your Christian worth and character, as well as my lofty estimate of the position which, in providence, you have been called to fill. The influence you wield, both by pulpit and press, in a perhaps unexampled degree in the annals of the Christian ministry, is to me the very zenith and beau ideal of what human influence should be. May you yet be long spared to wield such influence! God has chastened you not a little by personal and domestic affliction, — thus putting you into the highest class of His spiritual seminary, like the scholars whom Continental teachers call privatissimi, — those to whom they give advanced lessons in their own dwellings.”

In addition to the letters manuscripts, photographs, and autographs of the authors, which Mr. Spurgeon preserved in his copies of their works, whenever he could obtain them, he also wrote his own name in many of the volumes, with an expression of his opinion of their contents. There are, perhaps, among his books, some hundreds of these inscriptions; many of them are autobiographical, and for that reason deserve a place in the present work. It is worthy of note that, while this chapter has been in course of preparation, the compilers have met with an interesting article by Mr. Andrew Lang, entitled “Scrawls on Books,” which shows that he approved of the custom which the Pastor so extensively observed. Among other things, he wrote — ”The practice of scribbling on fly-leaves and margins has many enemies. I confess that I am not among these purists. I like to see these footprints on the sands of literature, left by dead generations, and to learn from them something about previous owners of books, if it be but their names …. We should all write our names, at least; no more of us may ever reach posterity…. As a rule, tidy and self-respecting people do not even write their names on their fly-leaves;, still less do they scribble marginalia. Collectors love a clean book, but a book scrawled on may have other merits. Thackeray’s countless caricatures add a delight to his old school-books; the comments of Scott are always to the purpose; but how few books once owned by great authors come into the general market! Where is Dr. Johnson’s library, which must bear traces of his buttered toast? Sir Mark Sykes used to record the date and place of purchase, with the price, — an excellent habit. These things are more personal than book-plates, which may be and are detached by collectors, and pasted into volumes. The selling value of a book may be lowered even by a written owner’s name; but many a book, otherwise worthless, is redeemed by an interesting note. Even the uninteresting notes gradually acquire an antiquarian value, if contemporary with the author. They represent the mind of a dead age. and perhaps the common scribbler is not unaware of this; otherwise, he is indeed without excuse. For the great owners of the past, certainly, we regret that they were so sparing in marginalia.”

The first volume of the Autobiogaphy, (page 254)proves that Mr. Spurgeon commenced, quite early in his, ministry, the practice which Mr. Lang commends, for the inscriptions in Dr. Gill’s Commentary, there quoted, date back to 1852. In Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, is written — ”This volume is one of my earliest friends; — needs no letter of commendation. — C. H. SPURGEON, 1852.”

The following remarkable commendation is inserted on the fly-leaf of the first volume of A Compleat History and Mystery of the Old and New Testament, logically discussed and theologically improved, by Christopher Ness — “Reader, — Here is something worth all thy time, though thou read it all day long. Give eyes and heart a feast here. Here is goodly word painting and rich heart-breathing. — C. H. SPURGEON.”

The third volume is marked “much valued;” and the fourth has this inscription — ” I reckon these four volumes to be worth their weight in gold, They may contain some eccentric conceits, but these are as the dust upon a palace. I doubt not that Matthew Henry borrowed very extensively from Ness, and certainly showed his wisdom in so doing. If these volumes shall become the property of another, I charge him either to read them carefully and prayerfully, or else to give or lend them to some godly person who can appreciate them. Such a treasure should be out at interest. — C. H. SPURGEON, Nov., ‘58.”

In 1857. Mr. Spurgeon wrote in Matthew Pool’s Annotations — ” Pool is a most excellent expositor.” Dr. John Mayer’s Commentarie upon the New Testament bears the inscription “Mayer is one of my greatest favorites. — C. H. SPURGEON, 1859.” The same author’s volume on the Historical Books is described as “excellent, full of research, and rare learning.”

Two volumes of Dr. Adam Clarke’s Commentary contain lengthy but not commendatory notes. In Vol., Mr. Spurgeon wrote, just below the portrait of the commentator — ”who discovered that an ape, and not a serpent, deceived Adam.” At the top of the title-page is this warning — ” Take heed, reader! This is dangerous ground for those who are not grounded and settled.” Vol. VI. has this inscription — “Adam Clarke is as immortal as his monkey, and other errors; see notes on Genesis., He is always to be read with caution, for his sentiments are, in my judgment, most unscriptural. — C. H. SPURGEON.” On the title-page, after the words, “A Commentary and Critical Notes,” there is added — “Adapted to blind the eye, and prevent ‘the truth in Jesus from shining’ upon the soul,” by Adam Clarke, — ” Arminian twister of the Word.”

By way or contrast, it may be mentioned that Dr. Gill’s Exposition of Solomon’s Song contains Mr. Spurgeon’s autograph, and the following note — “This price, less work of my learned predecessor has always been helpful to me.” In different volumes of John Trapp’s Annotations upon the Old and New Testaments, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — Prized for its quaintness; …. A great favorite; …. Trapp is ever my favorite, 1873.” A large folio edition of Ralph Erskine’s Works has two inscriptions …. “The Revelation Joseph Irons, the gift of his father ;” and underneath, “Valued all the more by me as having been the property of Joseph Irons. — C. H. SPURGEON.” Bloomfield’s GREEK Testament, with English Notes, is inscribed — ” I value Bloomfield exceedingly I can always make more out of him than out of Alford. — C. H. SpurgeoN, September 1872.”

Taking, almost at random, the works of various authors who wrote on separate Books of the Bible, the following inscriptions will serve as specimens of the comments, favorable, and otherwise, inserted in them –

In Dr. James Morison’s Practical Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — “Volume greatly valued for its scholarship. Difficult to find much Morisonianism here.” The Genius of the Gospel, by Dr. David Thomas, contains this note — ” A suggestive volume, but rather bombastic.” On the title-page of the same writer’s work, The Book of Psalms Exegetically and Practically Considered, opposite the author’s name, — David Thomas, — Mr. Spurgeon added — ” Not David, nor Thomas. David scrabbling, Thomas doubting.” The same writer’s Homiletic Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles contains his photograph, autograph, and the. following remarks …. Many of the homiletic outlines strike me as ‘much ado about nothing;’ still, if a man should read this work, and get no help from it, it would be his own fault — C. H. SPURGEON, 1874.”

Three books on the Epistle to the Romans naturally have references to the writers’ doctrinal views. Of Dr. F. A. Philippi, Mr. Spurgeon wrote “Frequently goes out of his way to have a fling at what he thinks to be Calvinism.” Revelation William Tyson’s Expositor7 Lectures are said to be “Excellent for an Arminian. I find him sweetly Evangelical in many places.” Dr. David Ritchie’s Lectures, Explanatory and Practical, are described as “Unsound in many respects. Of the Moderate School, I should judge.”

James Fergusson’s Brief Exposition of the Epistles of Paul contains the autograph and date, C. H. SPURGEON, 1878; and this note — ”A volume of great worth. Few books have been more frequently consulted by me. — C. H.S.” John Barlow on 2 Timothy 1 and 2 is thus commended — “Though apparently unattractive, this book will richly repay a careful reader. — C. H. SPURGEON.” Nicholas Byfield, on 1 Peter 1, 2, and 3, is wittily criticized — ” Byfield is discursive, and takes in every by-field which he had better have passed by. Yet, in his Preface.,. he calls this an abridgment! I am glad it was not my lot to hear him. — C. H. SPURGEON.” Nathanael Hardy on The First Epistle of John, is said to be “a rare divine, this Hardy; an Episcopalian Puritan.”

In Frederick Denison Maurice’s Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, Mr. Spurgeon wrote . — ” Herein we find a great deal of wild doctrine, but yet there is thought of no mean order We can wash out the gold.” The work of a writer of quite another stamp — Notes on the Book of Genesis, by C. H. M., — is thus described — “Good in its line, but too cramped. There is also error concealed here and there.” Lange’s Genesis is said to be “one of the best of the series ;” but his Isaiah is characterized as “very poor.” Dr. Pusey on The Minor Prophets bears the unique distinction of being highly commended in a single word — ” Invaluable. — C. H. SPURGEON, 1878.” Sermons on Judges, by Richard Rogers, contains this note — “C H. Spurgeon much prizes this book. — 1882.”

Among other brief but notable note’s are the following —

Durham’s Christ Crucified — ” Much prized.”

Practical Reflections on Every Verse of the Holy Gospels, by a clergyman- ”Good, simple, marred.”

Poetical Works of George Herbet — ‘Much valued by C. H. Spurgeon.”

Darling’s Cyclopaedia Bibliographica .’ — “An invaluable tool.”

Joseph Taylor’s volume, Naturales Curiosae Curiosities in Natural History, contains the warning,” Believe not too readily. — C. H. SPURGEON.”

In Whitefield’s Sermons is the autograph, with the inscription following — ”C. H. Spurgeon, who admires Whitefield as chief of preachers.”

The Sabbath in Puritan New England, by Alice Morse Earle, probably contains the last inscription written by the Pastor, and a very expressive one it is “An amusing’ but saddening book. The seamy side of New England religion exposed. The authoress is the wife of that Ham of whom we read in Genesis. — C. H. SPURGEON, Dec., 1891.” He knew that there was a “seamy side” even to his beloved Puritanism; but he felt that it ought not to be thus exposed to the public gaze but to be kindly and charitably concealed.


NOT only did Mr. Spurgeon, to the end of his life, continue to read vast numbers of the works written by ancient and modern authors, but he also kept on writing books for other people to read; and when he was “called home” he had so many in course of preparation that his posthumous works already form quite a numerous company, and there are many more yet to be published. Whoever is spared to see a complete set of his volumes will probably find that they will then number not less than a hundred and fifty.

During the period covered by the present portion of the Standard Life, The Treasury of David was completed, and the regular issue of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, The Sword and the Trowel, and Spurgeon’s Illustrated (Book) Almanack, and John Ploughman’s (Sheet) Almanack was continued, as indeed they have been since the Pastor’s home-going. Marty people appear to have thought that it was hardly possible for Mr. Spurgeon, with the almost incessant demands upon his time and strength, to devote much personal attention to certain portions of his literary labors, so they attributed to his helpers a good deal of the toil that devolved upon him. One person was credited with the compilation of the BooK Almanack, although its Editor never entrusted it to anyone but himself until the year of his long illness; and on one occasion, at least, he felt it needful to remind his readers; that his connection with The Sword and the Trowel was not by any means a merely nominal one, but was very real and practical. In his “Notes” for April, 1885, anticipating his return from Mentone, he wrote —

“A kindly reviewer speaks of our March number as vivacious and good, ‘notwithstanding the absence of the Editor.’ The fact is, that the Editor is never absent from the magazine; but personally reads every line of each number. Friends now and then write, blaming some supposed subordinate, if their tastes are not pleased; but the Editor hides behind nobody, friends must please blame him, for he is personally responsible. Our writers are able men, and are quite able to fight their own battles, should battles occur; but the Editor never wishes it to be imagined that he merely puts his name on the cover of the magazine, and leaves it to be produced by other people. No; it is our continual endeavor to make this serial as good as we can make it, and we would do better if we could. Notwithstanding illness, or absence from home, we have never been obliged to delegate our duties to anyone else; on the contrary, we have given all the more time to this work when we have been debarred from other labors.”

Many of the books published by Mr. Spurgeon during the last fourteen years of his busy life were briefly mentioned in Vol. 3, because of their connection with others then described, or they have been already referred to in previous chapters of the present volume. One ‘of the Pastor’s ardent admirers made an artistic arrangement of the titles of many of the works which had been issued up to the time of his Jubilee, with his portrait in the center, and allusions to the three spheres of his; pastoral service, and the chief educational and philanthropic Institutions with which his name is inseparably associated. The design is, reproduced on the opposite page, where it can be seen that the initials, C. H. S., are ingeniously introduced into the closing line of the tribute to Mr. Spurgeon’s loving and sympathetic service and world-wide influence.

Taking the later books in chronological order, the first to be noted is The Clue of the Maze, a Voice Lifted up on behalf of Honest Faith. The Preface describes its autobiographical character— “How I have personally threaded ‘the labyrinth of life, thus far, may be of helpful interest to some other soul which just now is in a maze.” The sub-title is thus explained — ”A great poet let fall the expression, ‘honest doubt.’ How greedily it was clutched at Modern unbelief is so short of the quality that it seized the label, and, in season and out of season, it has advertised itself as HONEST doubt. It was in dire need of a character. Feeble as our voice may be, we lift it on behalf of HONEST FAITH.” The book was first issued in a bijou edition, suitable for carrying in the waistcoat pocket, but it has since been reprinted in large type, to correspond with other shilling books by Mr. Spurgeon. He was greatly gratified as he heard, from time to time, that his purpose in writing it had been happily fulfilled; and he was specially cheered by the testimony of a notable literary man who had been, through reading it, lifted up from blank atheism to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The little book has been translated into several foreign languages. About the same time as The Clue of the Maze was published, the Pastor was busily occupied with the first of his four volumes, entitled My Sermon Notes. They were issued in response to an oft-repeated request for outlines of discourses which might be helpful to “lay” or local preachers who have but little time for their pulpit preparation, or who find a difficulty in selecting suitable subjects for sermons and addresses. In order that the notes might be of still greater service to such brethren, they were made rather more ample and detailed than when Mr. Spurgeon himself preached from them; and, for the same reason, appropriate extracts and illustrations were added to them. That the work met an urgent need, was speedily apparent; and it was not long before at “Note” to the following effect appeared in The Sword And The Trowel —

“Our first half-crown volume of outline sermons has met with a very cordial reception, the first edition of 5,000 being very nearly cleared out, though only so lately presented to the public. Taking this as a token for good, we shall soon issue the second portion, which contains our notes of sermons from Ecclesiastes to Malachi. Brethren whose time is much occupied with business cares, who nevertheless delight to preach the Word of God, will find these Sermon-Notes to be a great assistance, With that view we. have prepared them, and to that end we trust that God will bless them. They are not sufficiently in extenso to suit the idler, and yet we trust there’, is enough of them to aid the embarrassed worker. The preparation of this volume has enabled us to while away the evenings and the occasional wet and cloudy days of our rustication at Mentone. As its fragmentary nature allowed us to take it up and lay it down at will, it was just the sort of occupation to afford us happy recreation. To have nothing to do, is bondage; but such congenial employment as this has aided us in being perfectly at ease.”

In due time, the whole set was completed, and it has had a very large sale. Since the Pastor’s home-going, another volume of a somewhat similar character has been published, — C. H. Spurgeon’s Facsimile Pulpit-Notes, will,’ the Sermons Preached from them in the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The book originated in rather a singular way. A paragraph appeared in various newspapers, announcing that some of the notes used by Mr. Spurgeon, while preaching at the Tabernacle, were about to be reproduced in facsimile, and the writer intimated that the work would be certain to have a favorable reception. As a matte, r of fact, up to that time, no such arrangement had been made; but the idea seemed so good, and the publicity given to it was so helpful, that a dozen suitable outlines were selected, and, with the discourses delivered from them, were made into a volume which at once became an interesting memento of the “promoted” preacher, and a striking illustration of his method of sermon construction.

The book, which has the double distinction of having been translated into more foreign languages and of having been blessed 1:o the salvation of more souls than any other of Mr. Spurgeon’s works, is the shilling volume entitled All of Grace. An Earnest Word with those who are Seeking Salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Its opening sentences are — “The object of this book is the salvation of the reader. He who spoke and wrote it will be greatly disappointed if it does not lead many to the Lord Jesus. It is sent forth in childlike dependence upon the power of God the Holy Ghost, to use it in the conversion of millions, if so He pleases.” Almost the last paragraph contains these words, which now have a peculiar pathos attaching to them ….. “If those who are converted, become winners of others, who knows what may spring’ out of my’ little book? Already I begin praising God for the conversions which He will work by it, and by those whom it leads to Jesus. Probably the larger part of the results will hal)pen when my right hand, which is now leaving its impress on the. page, will be paralyzed in death. READER, MEET ME IN HEAVEN!”

One of the many instances of the usefulness of the little volume, of which the Pastor knew before he was “called home,” was reported to him in the following letter from a doctor who was a member of the Tabernacle Church —

“My Dear Sir,

“I have a message to give you, and will do it as briefly as I can.

“For many years, I have had the friendship of a well-known medical man in ____ For some two or three years, he has suffered from diabetes; but he has lived just the same, entirely without Christ. Last Christmas, I sent him a copy of All of Grace. A short time ago, when I was at the seaside, I received a letter from a friend in which he said, ‘ I believe Dr.___ is saved,’… the teaching has been all Mr. Spurgeon’s. This I was delighted to hear.

“Yesterday, I stood by his side. I found him very ill, suffering from inflammation of the lungs, consequent on the diabetes.. He took my hands, and, as well as he could between his tears, and the shortness of breath, told me that he was saved, that he was a child of God, that his sins were all forgiven, that he was washed in the blood of his Savior, and clothed in the robe of His perfect righteousness; and recovering his breath, he said, very’ solemnly, ‘Will you tell Mr. Spurgeon that this has all come, in God’s mercy to me a poor sinner, by that book, — pointing to All of Grace, which was; lying open on his bed, — ’ will you let him know what a blessing that book has been to me?’

“Dear sir, I have delivered the message. I know you will be pleased to receive it, and will you remember my dear friend in prayer?

“Believe me to be,
“Yours deeply-indebted,


The book having been so manifestly owned of God, Mr. Spurgeon prepared a companion volume, — According to Promise ,’ or, the Lord’s Method of Dealing’ with His Chosen People ,’ and, some time later, he issued Around the Wicket Gate ,’ or, a Friendly Talk with Seekers concerning Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, both of which have h a(t a wide circulation, and have been greatly blessed.

The volume which, more than any other of Mr. Spurgeon’s writings, illustrates his power of rapid composition, is The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith. It consists of 366 Scripture promises, arranged for daily use, with brief experimental comments; suitable for reading at family worship or as a help to private devotion. During the Pastor’s stay at Mentone., in the winter of 1887-8, there was one Monday when the rain poured down incessantly in such tropical fashion that he was compelled to remain indoors all day. His companions were not aware that he was contemplating the commencement of another new book, but they noticed how rapidly he was covering sheet alter sheet of foreign notepaper. After a while, he explained that he had begun a volume of daily meditations; and, before he went to bed, that night, he had finished the portions for the month of January, and handed them to Mr. Passmore to send off to London for the printers. They were so carefully written that they needed but little correction; and anyone who has the book, and. examines the first thirty-one pages in it, will be able to estimate both the quantity and the quality of one,. wet day’s work while the Pastor was supposed to be on his holiday in the,. sunny South.

The Cheque Book is, to a large extent, a record of Mr. Spurgeon’s own experiences of the Lord’s faithfulness during the “Down-grade” Controversy. Some of the most striking promises, on which he has commented, were sent to him by friends, who wished to uphold and encourage him in that season of sore sorrow and travail, and the book abounds in autobiographical allusions. In the Preface, the Pastor wrote — ”To the cheering Scriptures, I have added testimonies of my own, the fruit of trial and experience. I believe all the promises of God, but many of them I have personally tried and proved …. I commenced these daily portions when I was wading in the surf of controversy. Since then, I have been cast into ‘waters to swim in,’ which, but for God’s upholding hand, would have proved waters to drown in …. I do not mention this to exact sympathy, but simply to let the reader see that I am no dry-land sailor. I have traversed those oceans which are not Pacific full many a time I know the roll of the billows, and the rush of the winds. Never were the promises of Jehovah so precious to me as at this hour. Some of them I never understood till now; I had not reached the date at which they’ matured, for I was not myself mature enough to perceive their meaning. How much more wonderful is the Bible. to role now than it was a few months ago! In obeying the Lord, and bearing His reproach outside the camp, I have not received new promises but the result to me is much the same’, as if I had done so, for the old ones have opened up to me with richer stores.”

Remembering the origin of the book, it is noteworthy that, during the compilation of the present volume, a testimony’ to its helpfulness in times of trial has come from Christians; in South Africa, who have been reading the Dutch translation of it, and so have been comforted during their’ recent terrible experiences. Mr. Spurgeon had many proofs of the usefulness of the volume; one that interested and amused him was thus related by Pastor W. Williams, of Upton Chapel —

“Opposite my study-window are several gardens, affording during summertime a pleasant outlook; but, in the first of them, there was tied up, until recently, a large retriever dog. His incessant barking made study and thought quite out of the question. I let his owner know this in a quiet way; but still the dog was there. I wondered, if I Should pray about the matter it seemed rather comical to pray about the barking of a dog; besides, I could not bring to. mind a promise about such a thing which I could mention in prayer, until one day I opened Mr. Spurgeon’s Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith, where the text is, ‘ But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue,’ the comment on which begins, ‘What! has God power over the tongues of dogs? Can He keep curs from barking? Yes, it is even so.’ I was startled, for no dog ever laid hold with greater tenacity than this text did on me. There and then I knelt down, and asked that the dog might be removed. ‘The clog has gone, and the owner, too; but mark,, the arrangements to go were made by the owner just about the time that the prayer was offered! How true it is that —

“‘More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of!’”

Following The Cheque Book, Mr. Spurgeon published two volumes of quite a different character, — The Salt-cellars, being a Collection of Proverbs, together with Homely Notes thereon. For nearly twenty years, he had issued John Ploughman’s Almanack, and the labor involved in collecting or composing so many thousands of proverbs, maxims, and mottoes, seemed to justify their preservation in a more permanent form than the annual broadsheet ensured. Accordingly, they were arranged alphabetically, in two sections, “Proverbs and Quaint Sayings,” and “Sayings of a more Spiritual Sort;” and, in nearly every instance, “Homely Notes” were added, concerning which one reviewer wrote — “The proverbs are excellent, but Mr. Spurgeon’s comments are perfect.”

Each of the volumes, as it was published, received a most hearty welcome both from the press and the public, and their contents have ever since been frequently quoted in the pulpit and on the platform. Mr. Spurgeon sent the two books to Mr. George Augustus Sala, with a request that he would review them in The Daily Telegraph if he judged them worthy of such a notice. In reply, Mr. Sala wrote a long and cordial letter, in the course of which he said — “You,’ two volumes were such pleasant reading that I thought the best way to meet your views would be to make The Salt-cellars the text for a leading article, which I now have much pleasure in sending you. Naturally, I was struck (and amused) by the maxim, ‘Newspapers are the Bibles of worldlings.’ That is exactly so,’ and it is eminently fitting that it should be so; because, to a journalist who is aware of the usefulness and respects the dignity of his calling, the press is a pulpit whence,, on week-days, he preaches lay sermons, leaving Sunday to you and your brethren.”

Mr. Sala then proceeded to give quite a lengthy dissertation on the maxim which had so greatly interested him, but it need not be quoted here from his letter, as he referred to it again in his article, the opening and closing sentences of which were as follows —

“A really busy man has usually the largest amount of leisure at his disposal. and Mr. C. H. Spurgeon, amidst the multifarious labors and responsibilities which devolve on him as Pastor of an immense congregation, has found time to dig and delve very deeply indeed in that richest of colloquial mines, — the treasury of English proverbs. Under the title of The Salt-cellars, Mr. Spurgeon has just issued two comely and handy volumes, which will derive much value, not only from the fact that the work is one presenting evidence of indefatigable industry of research and considerable acumen in selection, but also from the circumstance that the compiler ‘has graced, his chosen proverbs with a running commentary of what he modestly calls ‘homely notes.” In reality, they are often humorous as well as homely, and are always replete with that spirit of cheerful piety, quite devoid of cant or bigotry, which renders Mr. Spurgeon’s utterances always acceptable even to those who differ from him most widely in dogma…..

“Mr. Spurgeon has chosen to select, as a proverb, that which appears to us to be more of the nature of a pulpit platitude, ‘Newspapers are the Bibles of worldlings;’ and to this we have the homely note, ‘ How diligently they read them! Here they find their law and profits, their judges and chronicles, their epistles and revelations.’ The newspapers, however, must take their chance of being abused, even by those who most diligently read them. Journalists are a long-suffering race, and it curiously happens that, among old Howell’s proverbs, collected more than two centuries since, we find this one, ‘A diurnal-maker is the sub-amner to a historian.’ ‘We have no quarrel, therefore, with Mr. Spurgeon on this account. What he says; about newspapers has long since,, been said at the Antipodes, where the vast weekly budgets of the. Sydney and Melbourne journals are habitually called ‘ The Bushman’s Bible,’ constituting, as they do, the almost exclusive reading of the shepherds and stockriders far away in the bush. Altogether, The Saltcellars may be welcomed as an equally entertaining and edifying compilation; and the scheme, as well as the actual accomplishment of the work, is alike creditable to the heart and the head of an estimable minister of religion who has long since won the rank of an English worthy.”

If there had been sufficient space available, an interesting chapter might have been compiled concerning “Mr. Spurgeon as a Poet and Hymn writer.” As that is not possible, the specimens of his poetry included in the present and the previous volumes of this work will convey some idea of his gifts in that direction; and one more must find a place here, partly because of its autobiographical character, but also because it was the last that he ewer wrote. He put at the top of it, as the motto-text, “I will make the dry land springs of water;” and as the title, “The Drop which Grew into a Torrent. A Personal Experience.”

“All my soul was dry and dead
Till I learned that Jesus bled; —
Bled and suffer’d in my place,
Bearing sin in matchless grace.

“Then a drop of Heavenly love
Fell upon me from above,
And by secret, mystic art
Reached the center of my heart.

“Glad the story I recount,
How that drop became a fount,
Bubbled up a living well,
Made my heart begin to swell.

“All within my soul was praise
Praise increasing all my days;
Praise which could not silent be:
Floods were struggling to be free.

“More and more the waters grew,
Open wide the flood-gates flew,
Leaping t0rth in streams of song
Flowed my happy life along.

“Lo! a river clear and sweet
Laved my glad, obedient feet!
Soon it rose up to my knees,
And I praised and prayed with ease.

“Now my soul in praises swims,
Bathes in songs, and psalms, and hymns;
Plunges down into the deeps,
All her powers in worship steeps.

“Hallelujah! 0 my Lord,
Torrents from my soul are poured!
I am carried clean away,
Praising, praising all the day.

“In an ocean of delight,
Praising God with all my might,
Self is drowned. So let it be:
Only Christ remains to me.”

The hymn was written in the early part of the year 189o, and was inserted in the programme used at the next College Conference. Those who were present, on that occasion, are not likely to forget the thrilling effect produced when the five hundred ministers and students joined in singing it to the tune “Nottingham.” At the commencement, all sat and sang; but as they came to the later verses, they spontaneously rose, the time was quickened, and Mr. Manton Smith’s cornet helped to swell the volume of praise expressed by the writer.

The next literary work was one of the smallest of Mr. Spurgeon’s many volumes, yet its history and associations place it among the most notable of his publications. At the College Conference, in 1891, the Presidential Address struck all who heard it as being a peculiarly timely and weighty utterance; and some who listened to it, and to the sermon which followed it, three days later, afterwards said that they had a kind of premonitory conviction ‘that their beloved President would never again meet the members and associates of the Pastors’ College Evangelical Association in conference on earth; and so it proved to be.

On the Monday evening .of that memorable week, at the public meeting in Upton Chapel, Mr. Spurgeon took, as the subject of his address, Ephesians 6:16: “Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” This proved to be the prelude and preparation for the martial topic on which he intended to speak the next morning, and which he summarized under three heads, (1) our armory, the Word of God; (2) our army, the Church of God; and (3) our strength, the Holy Spirit. It was a fitting climax to the long series of Inaugural

Addresses, which were always reckoned, by those who were privileged to hear the. m, as; the most solemn and forceful of all Mr. Spurgeon’s utterances. It was rapturously received by the crowded and enthusiastic assembly; and, at its close, such urgent requests were presented for its publication in pamphlet form, that consent was at once given, on condition that the brethren would help to make it known when it was issued.

During the week following the Conference, the reporter’s transcript was revised, considerable additions being made to the manuscript, and it was promptly published under the title’., The Greatest Fight in the World. It immediately attained a very wide circulation; it was reprinted in the United States, translated into French and German, and passed through several large editions. Then, after Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, a generous gentleman, who had been with him on the platform during its delivery, felt that one of the best ways; of honoring his memory was to perpetuate hi,; testimony, and therefore arranged that a copy of it, bearing the additional title “C. H. Spurgeon’s Final Manifesto,” should be sent, through Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund, to every clergyman and minister of every denomination in England. In this way, 34,500 more copies were circulated, with abundant evidence that the Lord had owned and blessed the effort. While. the present volume has been in course, of compilation, The Greatest Fight has been issued by the publishers., in cloth covers, to make it uniform with the Pastor’,; other shilling volumes, so its witness to the.. truth will still ;be continued, though several years have elapsed since its soul-stirring message was first uttered.

Another small volume, which has ‘very tender associations connected with it, is Memories of Stambourne. It was commenced before Mr. Spurgeon’s long illness in 1891, and it was completed during the time of partial restoration which was graciously granted to him later in that year. The little book has a special interest for readers of this work, for it was really the first portion of C. H. Spurgeon’s Autobiography telling the story of his childhood as he wished it to go forth to the public, and for that reason it was largely use. d in the compilation of Vol. I. of his Standard Life.. For several years, the Pastor visited Stambourne and its neighborhood, partly because of his; early recollections of his grandfather’s country, and partly that he might gather up all available material concerning some of the memorable, scenes of his; boyhood. On the last occasion, he took with him Mr. T. H. Nash, who kindly photographed a number of views for reproduction in the volume then being written. It was during that week that the “overpowering headache” came on, of which Mr. Spurgeon afterwards wrote, adding, “I had to hurry home, to go up to that chamber wherein, for three months, I suffered beyond measure, and was often between the jaws of death.” In answer to the almost universal prayer of believers in all lands, he was raised up for a time, and had the satisfaction of seeing his little book of reminiscences not only finished and published, but also widely welcomed and greatly enjoyed.

But there was another volume, in progress at the same time, which was destined to have a still more pathetic interest attaching to it. That was The Gospel of the Kingdom; a Popular Exposition of the Gospel according to Matthew, concerning which Mrs. Spurgeon ‘wrote, after her beloved’s promotion to glory — ” It stands alone in its sacred and sorrowful significance. It is the tired worker’s final labor of love. for his Lord. It is the last sweet song from lips that were ever sounding forth the praises of his King.. It is the dying shout of victory from the standard-bearer, who bore his Captain’s colors unflinchingly through the thickest of the fight …. Much of the later portion of the work was written on the very borderland of Heaven, amid the nearing glories of the unseen world, and almost within sight of the Golden Gates.’

Mr. Spurgeon’s intention in preparing the volume, was to produce a devotional Commentary, specially calling attention to the Kingship of the Lord Jesus Christ, which is the prominent feature of the Gospel according to Matthew. He proceeded with the work very leisurely, and a great part of it was written during his winter sojourns on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. The accompanying facsimile of the first page of his manuscript will show the method he adopted, and he followed the same plan as long as he was enabled to continue the congenial task.

Towards the latter part of 1891, when Mr. Spurgeon was sufficiently restoredto be able to travel to Mentone, he eagerly resumed his delightful service of expounding the first Gospel, and he wrote some portion of it, day by (lay, until he was finally laid aside. To the last, his handwriting was as clear, and distinct, and firm as ever, and there,, was no sign of the rapidly approaching collapse which was to send such a thrill of sorrow through the whole of Christendom. Mentally and spiritually, the work was equal to the best efforts of his brightest )’ears; but he was not permitted to finish it, for he was called up to see the King of whom he had been writing, and to share in the glories of the Kingdom of which he had so long been preaching to others.

After due consideration, it was resolved that, instead of leaving his last literary work to stand like a broken column, it should be completed as nearly as possible in the way he would himself have ended it had he been spared long enough. tie had so often expounded the closing chapters of Matthew’s Gospel that there was abundant material for the latter portion of his Commentary to be compiled entirely from his own spoken and written words. This delicate duty was entrusted to his private secretary. When n the volume was issued, it met with a most hearty reception, and it has continued in great favor-ever since. The Editor of The British Weekly indirectly paid a high compliment to the complier of the later chapters when he said that there should have been some indication as to where Mr. Spurgeon’s manuscript ended. Evidently, the worker in mosaics had so skilfully joined together the precious treasures committed to his charge that even this keen critic could not discover any break in the connection.

Another literary work, upon which Mr. Spurgeon was busily occupied when the home-call came to him at Mentone, was Messages to the Multitude, the eighth volume in “The Preachers of the Age” series, issued by Messrs. Sampson Low, Marston, and Co. It was intended to set forth the style of the Pastor’s preaching at various periods of his long ministry; and, to that end, the sermons selected ranged from one delivered in the Surrey Gardens Music Hall, in 1859, to another, which was almost the last preached in the Tabernacle, in. 1891. The revision of the latter part of this book also fell to Mr. Harrald’s share. Although tell out of the twelve discourses contained ill it had been previously published, the work has had a large sale; and, quite’ recently, a popular edition of it has been produced, thereby still further increasing its sphere, of usefulness.

Many other volumes had been either commenced or planned by Mr. Spurgeon; and several of them have already been completed. The first of these was The Art of Illustration, forming the third series of Lectures to my Students, and containing exceedingly valuable information concerning the use of illustrations in preaching, and the books in which anecdotes, illustrations, fables, emblems, and parables are to be found.

Next followed one of the choicest volumes in the whole of Mr. Spurgeon’s works, — ” Till He Come.” Communion Meditations and Addresses. It consists very largely of the quiet, homely talks of the Pastor to the little,, companies of Christians who gathered with him around the table of the Lord in his sitting-room at Mentone; but it also includes some of his more public utterances when thousands of believers met for communion in the Tabernacle. The value of the ordinance, and the spiritual benefit to be derived from its frequent observance, are clearly set forth; and it see. ms impossible for any lover of the Lor to read the book without being brought into still closer fellowship with the Savior, and a deeper appreciation of the great atoning sacrifice symbolized by the broken bread and the filled cup. The volume has proved invaluable as an aid to private devotion, and as a guide to those who are called to preside at the celebration of the sacred feast of love.

Another book, which Christian workers have found to be of great service to them, is The Soul-winner; or, How to Lead Sinners to the Savior. Containing several lectures to the students of the Pastors’ College, addresses to Sunday-school teachers and open-air preachers, and sermons upon what Mr. Spurgeon termed “that most royal employment, — soul-winning,” it must greatly help those who desire to become wise in winning souls, while it explains some of the secrets of the author’s own power as one of the greatest soul-winners who ever lived.

These posthumous works specially deserve mention in the present volume, for all of them are largely autobiographica1, and, here and there, extracts from them have been given in previous pages where they appeared needful for’ the complete-hess of the narrative. All of them have been extensively sold, and highly prized, perhaps all the more because the’. voice that uttered so much of their contents is no longer audible here below.

Beside the new works published since Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, there have been already issued no less than eight different sets of his sermons — The’ Parables of our Lord,’ The Miracles (two volumes); “The Most Holy Place,” — (fifty-two discourses, on the Song of Solomon); — The Messiah, our Lords Names, Titles, and Attributes,’ Christ in the Old’ Testament,’ The Everlasting Gospel; and The Gospel for the People. Ten smaller volumes contain shorter passages from his writings, suitable for various classes of readers — Teachings of Nature in the Kingdom of Grace, Words of Wisdom, Words of Warning, and Words of Cheer for Daily Life, Words of Counsel for Christian Workers, Words of Advice for Seekers,

“The Endeavor,” “Come, ye Children,” Gospel Extracts from C. H. Spurgeon, and Glorious Themes for Saints and Sinners. The last-named book is printed in very large type so as to adapt it to old people and little children. Although it has been only recently issued, it has already found much favor, and is likely to be exceedingly useful in making known the essentials of the faith in the simplest and plainest language.

It is impossible to estimate the total number of volumes of Mr. Spurgeon’s works that have been issued in this country, in the United States, and in many other lands in which they have been translated into foreign languages. Many millions of copies must. already have been sold; and, although it is now eight years since he was “called home,” there is, apparently, no diminution in the demand for them. Indeed, the many new works from his lips and pen published since his promotion to higher service, the still larger number of reprints or extracts from hi,; writings, and the ever-increasing circulation of his sermons, make it almost certain that his publications are distributed even more widely now than they were during his lifetime on earth, while testimony to their usefulness is constantly being received from all quarters of the globe. It may, therefore, be concluded that, great as was his influence in the pulpit, his power through the press is not a witness; and there seems to be no valid reason why his testimony to the truth should not be continued, by means of the printed page, until the Lord Himself returns.


College, Orphanage, Colportage Association, and Society of Evangelists, might any one of them be regarded as; works of Christian inventiveness, but it would be by far the smaller half of the truth to look at them from that point of view. These enterprises have succeeded each other, by a natural rule and order of Providence, as inevitably as the links of a chain follow one another. We have heard kind friends speak of “genius for organization” and “great practical common sense” as abiding in the leader of these various works for the lord; but, indeed, it would be far nearer the truth to say that he followed with implicit, and almost blind, confidence what he took to be the intimations of the Divine will, and hitherto these intimations have proved to be what he thought them. At the close of twenty-five years, we see a vast machinery in vigorous operation, in bette’ working condition than ever it was; and, a; to means and funds, perfectly equipped, although it has no other resources than the promise, “My God shall supply all your need, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Gratitude bows her head, and sings her own song to her Well-beloved, to whom it belongs. — C. H. S., in Preface to “The Sword and the Trowel” volume for 1878.

THE last fourteen years of Mr. Spurgeon’s earthly life proved to be a very profitable period both for the Tabernacle Church and the various Institutions connected with it. Towards the close of his address, at the meeting held in the Tabernacle, on May 20, 1879, in connection with the celebration of his pastoral silver wedding, he said —

“Let us go forward, brethren, let us go forward. We have made a very fair beginning’, in God’s strength, and to Him be the honor of it; but I regard to-night not as the goal, but as the starting-place. We have truly laid underground foundations of a structure which now we trust will rise into open day. Here is one point for a new departure. Listen and consider it. A day or two ago, the lady, who founded the Boys’ Orphanage sent me £50 for the Girls’ Orphanage. I wrote to her somewhat to this effect — ‘I am very grateful for the proposal; but I am not very well, and the times are not very hopeful, so I had rather not begin any new work just yet.’ I proposed to keep the £50 in case we did build an Orphanage for girls; and if not, to hand it over to the boys. ‘ No,’ said our friend, ‘ you a. re right in your judgment, but take the £50 as the first brick, for I am fully assured that many more bricks will shortly be added.’ Now I propose that £50 of the testimonial should be placed with my dear friend’s £50 that we may found the Girls’ Orphanage together. I do not mean to press this new enterprise just now; but only to moot it, and see whereunto this thing will grow. Other eggs will conic to the nest-egg, and the nest will become full, and then we shall have another family of little chicks. I feel as though I was laying’ the first stone of the Girls’ Orphanage, and you were all saying, ‘Go ahead.’ This is a good note for our present page of history, — ‘second twenty-five years of pastorate commenced by the inauguration of project for Girls’ Orphanage.’ ‘What next?’ says somebody. I cannot tell you what I may suggest to you next; but, you see, I am driven to this Girls’ Orphanage. I have this £50 forced upon me, and I cannot get rid of it; would you have me refuse to use this money for poor fatherless girls? No, your hearts would not so counsel me. Thus, of my own free will, compelled by constraining grace, I accept a further charge, and look to see prayer and faith open a new chapter of marvels.”

One friend, who heard the Pastor’s speech, at once gave him £50 for the new project, and other contributions speedily followed. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — ” At the very’ time at which we began to move in this matter, it pleased God, in His providence, to put within our reach the house and grounds known as ‘ The Hawthorns,’ at which we had looked wistfully for a long while. A few years ago, this house was to be sold, and the Trustees of the Boys’ Orphanage attempted to purchase it at the auction; but the price was run up to several hundreds of pounds beyond its value. On June 6, this house was; again offered for sale, and we bought it for the exact sum which we had proposed to give on the former occasion. There is only one paddock between its garden and the Orphanage grounds; and, by the goodness of God, and the kindness of its owner, we hope that this meadow also may one day become ours; we should then be able to make the Orphanage into a complete, square by erecting similar buildings to those which are there already. This must be a work of time, but it is something to have a place whereon to put our fulcrum, and apply our lever. We believe that the Lord has led us forth by a right way, that we might go to a city of habitation. We have purchased the house and grounds for the Girls’ Orphanage, but we have only about L360 in hand with which to pay FOR it; and we are specially desirous that, when the time shall come for the absolute payment of the entire sum, we may be able to count out the whole £4,000. That time will be here in a few days, but time is not an object with the Possessor of Heaven and earth. We have never been in debt yet, nor have we had a mortgage upon any of our buildings, nor have we even borrowed money for a time, but we have always been able to pay as we have gone on. Our prayer is that we may never have to come down to a lower platform, and commence borrowing.

If this land had not been put up to auction there and then, we should have waited until we had received the purchase-price from our great Master’s stewards; but, as the site was so extremely desirable, and as the purchase had to be made at once or not at all, we thought it wise to secure it. We cannot think that we erred in this decision. None of our beloved counselors and fellow-helpers think so, but one and all advised the step. The money for the payment must come from somewhere, and the questions now to be answered are, — Where is the money? Who has charge of it at present? Who feels called upon to send it? The silver and the gold are the Lord’s, and He has but to incline His servants to apportion some of their Master’s money to this particular work, and the thing will be done. If they can do better with their substance, by all means let them do so; but if they count us faithful, we are prepared to accept this further trust, and do our best with it. “It has often happened that we have been unable to assist widows in necessitous circumstances, with large families, because there did not happen to be a boy of the special age required by the rules of our Boys’ Orphanage.. There were several girls, lout then we could not take them; and, however urgent the case, we have been unable to relieve very deserving mothers, simply because their children weft not boys. This is one reason why we need a Girls’ Orphanage. “Here is a grand opportunity for Christian people with means to take their places among the thunders of this new Institution; and if they judge that such a work will be good and useful, we hope they will, without fail, and without delay, come to our assistance in this fresh branch (of service. We cannot afford to lose a single penny from the funds for the boys, bet this work for the girls must be something extra and above. You helped Willy and Tommy; will you not help Mary and Maggie?”

The scheme quickly secured the sympathy of the Christian public; the money for the purchase of “The Hawthorns” was ready by the date on which it was required, and the first family of girls was soon installed there. It was found that the trust-deed of the Orphanage provided for the reception of fatherless children, without specifying either sex, so no alteration was needed in it; and arrangements for the completion of the Institution were made in due time. The Pastor and his publishers and the Trustees nobly led the way with generous gifts, many thousands of donors followed their example, and thus, block by block, the Orphanage gradually attained the appearance depicted in the bird’s — eye view.

It is not possible to tell all the blessing that the Orphanage has already been to hundreds of bereaved families; and ‘its beneficent influence is still continued. Up to the time of Mr. Spurgeon’s home-goings, nearly sixteen hundred boys and girls had been sheltered within its walls. They have often expressed their gratitude for all that has been done for them in the Institution; and many of them have, at various times, given practical proofs of their interest in the happy home into which they were received in the hour of their helpless orphanhood. One instance of this is described in the following letter, the receipt of which gave great joy to the President –

“Stockwell Orphanage,
“Clapham Road “London, S.W.,
“February 14th, 1888.

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“In closing the list, today, for March Sword and Trowel, you will I am sure, be pleased to know that it contains donations from ‘some of the old boys’ (about forty), to the amount of £17. 17. 0. Everyone, in forwarding his subscription, wishes it were ten times or a hundred times as much; and it is accompanied with every expression of gratitude for the benefits received at the Stockwell Orphanage, and of warmest love to yourself, — the earthly father to this large orphan family; and they all pray that our Heavenly Father may spare you, for many, many years, to lead and direct this blessed work of caring for the widow and the fatherless.

“I am,
“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,
“Ever yours sincerely,

“F. G. LADDS.”

A letter from one of the girls, after she had left the Orphanage, will show that there was equal gratitude on that side of the Institution —

“Dear Mr. Spurgeon,

“You must excuse the liberty I am taking in writing to you; but you will not mind when you know the reason. I must, first of all, tell you that I am one of your old orphan girls; but the Lord having found me, and made me His child, before I left the Orphanage, I knew it would cheer your heart if I wrote and told you. I thought, when my father died, 1 could never have another to equal him; but when I came to your Orphanage, I discovered my mistake, for I found a better and truer Father, ‘who will never leave me nor forsake me, and to whom I can take my every trouble, however small it may be. It seems almost too good to be true that Jesus was really crucified to save me. When I think of all the years I grieved and pained Him, it only makes me want to try and please Him ever so much more tot the future.

“I must tell you that I was in the Orphanage seven and a-half years, and was very happy indeed, and wish myself back again. Now I think I must close, thanking you for your kindness in giving us such a beautiful home to live in. It will always be something to look back on with pleasure for the rest of our lives, and for which we can never thank you enough. I myself hope shortly to come forward, and, by baptism, publicly let the world know that I have accepted Jesus as my Savior; or, rather, I should say, that He has accepted me as His child.

“1 remain,
“One of your old orphan girls,

On a memorable afternoon, in the autum of 1890, Mr. Spurgeon paid a visit to the Orphanage under circumstances which are not likely to be forgotten by any who were then present. Almost immediately afterwards, he wrote the following account of the “happy scene in a storm,” which may fitly conclude the references to the Orphanage in his Standard Life, for it shows how, right to the last, he sought the spiritual welfare of the children, which had been the principal aim both of Mrs. Hillyard and himself in founding the Institution —

“I went to the Stockwell Orphanage, on Tuesday, September 23, to walk round with an artist, and select bits for his pencil, to be inserted in a Christmas book for the Institution. We had not gone many yards before it began to rain. Umbrellas were forthcoming, and we tried to continue our perambulation of the whole square of the boys’ and girls’ houses but the rain persisted in descending, and speedily increased into a downpour. Nothing short of being amphibious would have enabled us to face the torrent. There was no other course but to turn into the play-hall, where the boys gave tremendous cheers at our advent, — cheers almost as deafening as the thunder which responded to them. Go out we could not, for the shower was swollen into a deluge, so I resolved to turn the season to account. A chair was forthcoming, and there I sat, the center of a dense ‘throng of juvenile humanity, which could scarcely be kept off from a nearness which showed the warmth of their reception of their friend. Our artist, who, standing in the throng, made a hurried sketch, could not be afforded space enough to put in the hundreds of boys.

“It was certainly a melting moment as to heat, and fresh air was not abundant; but anything was; better than the storm outside. Flash after flash made everybody feel sober, and prompted me to talk with the boys about that freedom from fear which comes through faith in the Lord Jesus. The story was told of a very young believer, who was in his uncle’s house, one night, during a tremendous tempest. The older folk were all afraid; but he had really trusted himself with the Lord Jesus, and he did not dare to fear. The baby was upstairs, and nobody was brave enough to fetch it down because of a big window on the stairs. This lad went up to the bedroom, brought the baby to its mother, and then read a Psalm, and prayed with his relatives, who were trembling with fear. There was real danger, for a stack was set on fire a short distance away; but the youth was as calm as on a summer’s day of sunshine, not because he was naturally brave, but because he truly trusted in the Lord.

“While I was thus speaking’, the darkness increased, and the storm overhead seemed brooding over us with black wings. It was growing dark before its hour.

Most appropriately, one of the boys suggested a verse, which all sang sweetly and reverently, —

“Abide with me!
fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens;
Lord, with me abide!
When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me!’

“This ended, there followed a word about the ground of the believer’s trust he was forgiven, and therefore dreaded no condemnation; he was in his Heavenly Father’s hand, and therefore feared no evil. If we were at enmity against God, and had all our sins resting upon our guilty heads, we might be afraid to die; yes, and even afraid to live; but, when reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, we said farewell to tear. With God against us, we are in a state of war; but with God for us, we dwell in perfect peace, Here came flashes of lightning and peals of thunder which might ‘well make us start; but no one was afraid. It is true we all felt awed, but we were restful, and somehow there was a quiet but general cry for ‘perfect peace.’ On enquiring what this meant, I was answered by all the boys singing right joy fully, —

“Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious in its bright increase,
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day;
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.
Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

“‘Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.
‘Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blest,
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.’

“This sung, we covered our faces reverently, and the boys were very silent, while I lifted up my voice in prayer. Then we opened our eyes again, and it was very dark, as if night had come before its time. While the flames of fire leaped in through the windows and skylights, the noise of the rain upon the roof and the tremendous thunder scarcely permitted me to say much upon Jesus as being our peace, through His bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. Yet, as well as I could, I set forth the cross of Christ as the place of peace-making, peace-speaking, and peace-finding, both for boys and men; and then we all sang, to the accompaniment of the storm-music, —

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.’

“Never did the power of that Name to drive away tear appear more sweetly. To me, the words came with a soothing, cheering force, which filled me with intense delight; so we very joyfully and peacefully sang the third verse, —

“‘ Dear Name! the rock on which I build,
My shield and hiding-place;
My never-failing treasury, fill’d
With boundless stores of grace.’

‘Just as we came to ‘my shield and hiding-place,’ there was a peculiarly blue flash, with a sort of rifle-crack, as if something very close to us had been struck. The boys looked at one another, but went on, in subdued tones, singing of the ‘boundless stores of grace.’ Teachers and others were mixed with the little army of boys, but we were all welded together in common emotion. I then reminded them that, to such a Protector, we must give our heart’s love. It was a duty to love one so good as the Lord Jesus, but even more a delight to do so, since He gave Himself For us, and, by bearing our punishment, delivered us from all harm. As if by instinct, someone led off —

“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine,
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ‘tis now.’

“Here was a good opening to press home the question, — ’ Is this true of each one of you? The great desire of all who conduct the Orphanage is to lead you to take Jesus {or your gracious Redeemer, that so you may love Him. Oh, that you loved Him now/ It may be that, if you leave us unsaved, the Lord will yet bring you in; but it would be far better that you should go, out from us ready for the battle’, of life, and covered with a holy armor, so that you might not be wounded by the arrows of sin.’ Then I picked out Mr. May, who is employed at the Orphanage, and bade him tell the boys about himself. May was a boy’ with us at the Orphanage, — a restless spirit, so he went to sea; and, after many hardships and adventures, he was converted to God at Malta, and then came back to us, and we found him a post at his own school. As the lads knew the most of his story, May did not say very much; and what he did say was rather overborne by the rain on the roof, which sounded like ten thousand drums. The thunder added its trumpet voice, and only allowed us pauses of silence. I went on With the talk till there came a burst of thunder loud and long. I stopped, and bade the children listen to the voice of the Lord. We all hearkened to it with awe and wonder. Then I reminded diem of Psalm xxix ‘The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon. The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.’ I told them how often I had sung to myself Dr. Watts’s verses, —

“‘The God that rules on high,
And thunders when He please,
That rides upon the stormy sky,
And manages the seas:

“‘This awful God is ours,
Our Father and our love;
He shall send down His heavenly powers
To carry us above.

“‘There shall we see His face,
And never, never sin;
There from the rivers of His grace,
Drink endless pleasures in.

“As they did not know the old-fashioned tune ‘ Falcon Street,’ to which I had been wont to sing the words, we kept quiet till, suddenly, there came another roll of drums in the march of the God of armies; and then, as an act of worship, we adoringly sang together, with full force, the words of the Doxology — .

“‘Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.’

“This was a grand climax. The heavens themselves seemed to think so, for there were no more thunder-claps of such tremendous force. I need not write more. The storm abated. I hurried off to see enquirers at the Tabernacle, but not till one and another had said to me, ‘The boys will never forget this. It will abide with them throughout eternity.’ So be it, for Christ’s sake! Amen.”

Like the Orphanage, the Pastors’ College made great advances during the fl0urteen years from 1878 to 1892. Up to the time of the President’s home-going, nearly nine hundred brethren had been educated in the Institution, of whom a large number had gone to the foreign mission field or to other distant, spheres of service. The statistical account for the year 1891-2 showed that, in the churches under the charge of the ministers who furnished the figures for that Annual Report, — and it was never possible to get returns from anything like all of them, — nearly 100,000 persons had been baptized since the year 1865, when the statistics were first collected; and, after making all deductions, there had been a clear increase of 80,000 members. Truly, if Mr. Spurgeon had done nothing beyond founding and carrying on the Pastors’ College, it would have been a noble life-work; yet that was only one of his many forms of labor for the Lord.

The four tutors, whose portraits appear on the opposite page, were in charge of the College classes during the greater part of Mr. Spurgeon’s presidency. “Father Rogers,” who was spared to see his first student succeeded by more than eight hundred others, continued to hold the office of Principal until 1881, and he afterwards rendered occasional help at the College until 1884, when he finally retired. Then, after spending seven restful years in his peaceful home at South Norwood, at the ripe age of ninety-two, he entered the glory-land only about four’ months before the Pastor and President with whom he had been so long and so happily associated in the important work of training men for the Christian ministry. Professor Gracey, was appointed Principal in 1881, and he faithfully discharged the duties of that responsible position until he also was “called home” just a year after Mr. Spurgeon. Professor Fergusson remained at his post until the end of 1891, when increasing infirmities necessitated his retirement; and he is now (in 1899,) the sole survivor of the early tutorial staff of the College. Professor Marchant, who had himself been a Pastors’ College student, became one of the tutors in 1881; he continued in that post until 1898, and only a few months more elapsed before he also received the home-call, just a week or two after the sudden summons reached Pastor J. A. Spurgeon, the former Vice-President, and afterwards the President of the Institution.

One of the most important events in the later history of the College was the formation, in 1888, of the Pastors’ College Evangelical Association. This was one of the direct results of the “Down-grade” Controversy. When Mr. Spurgeon found how many of his own former students had accepted various forms of modern-thought teaching, he felt compelled to withdraw from further fellowship with them in the annual Conferences, at which they were practically his guests for the week. The only method of attaining that end, so far as he could see, was to reorganize the Association, and to define more clearly the doctrinal basis, which had been in existence from its commencement, although there had been no need to call attention to it while all had been heartily united in the “one faith” as well as the “one Lord” and the “one baptism.” It was a great grief to the President that some brethren, who were firmly attached to Evangelical doctrine, remained outside the new fraternal band; but the gap in the ranks, which was caused by their absence, was quickly filled by a.n equal number of ministers, who, though not trained in the Pastors’ College, were in heart and soul one with Mr. Spurgeon, especially’ in his great protest against error and worldliness in the Church. A special clause was inserted in the constitution of the reorganized fraternity by which they were admitted, as associates, to share the privileges enjoyed by’ the members. Two of these brethren — Pastors Hugh D. Brown and R. Shindler — are in the group reproduced on the opposite page from a photograph, taken at the Orphanage, on the Tuesday afternoon of the Conference week in 1888. The artist desired to secure a portrait of the beloved leader who had, that morning, been unanimously and enthusiastically elected “Perpetual President of the Pastors’ College Evangelical Association,” although he always insisted upon the observance of what all regarded, in his case, as the pure formality of an annual election, for he foresaw that a time might come when that right would have to be exercised in real earnest, — and all too soon it happened .as he had prophesied. He was in one of his happiest moods, that afternoon, and he called to him seven brethren who were near him at the time, and then told the photographer to take them all. This he did, with the most satisfactory result, as the illustration clearly shows.

The chapter on “Jubilee Joys” contains a reference to Mr. Spurgeon’s objections to an endowment for his College; but he was, in a very singular way, and quite unintentionally, the means of providing a large portion of the funds for its maintenance for several years after he had been “called home.” The story greatly’ amuse, d him when he heard it related; it was to this effect. The conductor of an omnibus, while waiting on the City side of London Bridge, endeavored to attract passengers by shouting out, “Over the water to Charlie!” A gentleman enquired what he meant by this unusual cry, and he explained that the ‘bus was going over the Thames, and past the Tabernacle, where C. H. Spurgeon was announced to preach. It happened that the stranger had never heard the Pastor; indeed, as the tale ils told, it appears that he was not in the habit of attending any place of worship; but he went on that occasion, and for the rest of his life he was a diligent reader of the printed sermons, and when he made his will, he bequeathed a very large sum to Mr. Spurgeon for the Pastors’ College and for building chapels for the ministry of brethren trained in that Institution. The Law of Mortmain prevented the carrying out of the latter part of his bequest, and a long Chancery suit reduced the.. residue which he intended for the College; but several thousands of pounds were received from his estate by the Trustees, who were thus enabled to continue the President’s important work of preparing preachers of the Word for home and foreign service.

An important outgrowth from “Mr. Spurgeon’s First Institution” was the Pastors’ College Society of Evangelists. The students, from the very beginning, had been noted both for the Evangelical doctrines which they held in common with their beloved President, and for the evangelistic fervor with which they proclaimed those truths. Many of them possessed the qualifications for the offices of pastor and evangelist to a very remarkable degree, and contemporary records abundantly prove how greatly the Church of Christ in general, and the Baptist denomination in particular, have been strengthened and increased through the labors of “our own men” in London, throughout the British Islands, on the Continent of Europe, in the United States, in most if not all of our numerous Colonies, and in the great mission field at large.

Still, Mr. Spurgeon long felt the need of a number of brethren, specially called and fitted to “do the work of an evangelist ;” and it was a great joy to him as, one after another, suitable men came forward, and offered themselves for the service on which his heart had been set. Mr. W. Higgins, now pastor at Wymondham, Norfolk, was the pioneer of this new movement; to which a great impetus was given by the appointment of Messrs. A. J. Clarke and J. Manton Smith. Then, when the temporary failure of Mr. Clarke’s health made it advisable for him to accept an invitation to Australia, Mr. W. Y. Fullerton took his place, and so commenced that happy partnership in labor for the Lord which has made the names of “C.. H. Spurgeon’s evagelists, Fullerton and Smith,” familiar as household words in tens of thousands oF homes in various parts of the United Kingdom. Other College. brethren, who have been more or less closely connected with the Society of Evangelists, are Messrs. J. Burnham, E. A. Carter, A. A. Harmer, J. s. Harrison, j. T. Mateer, and F. Russell. The “little band of brothers’ entirely set apart for evangelistic work has been decreased by’ Messrs. Fullerton, Harmer, and Russell’s acceptance of pastorates; but some compensation for their loss has resulted from Mr. Carter’s generous aid and self-sacrificing devotion to the Pioneer Mission, by which the number of earnest evangelists, seeking to serve the Savior, has been largely augmented. It should also be mentioned that, long before the College Society of Evangelists was organized, there had existed two large and useful companies of so-called “lay” brethren, — the Tabernacle Evangelists’ Association and Country Mission, — under the leadership of devoted elders of the Tabernacle Church. Many of the students first began to speak for the Lord in connection with one or other of these useful agencies; and, during their College career, they continued, by this means, helping in the evangelization of the metropolis, and its suburbs, and the towns and villages in the adjacent counties. The total result of these many forms of Christian service, only eternity can reveal; but it is already known that, through their instrumentality, multitudes of sinners have been led to repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and many new churches have, been formed, which are now self-supporting, and, in their turn, are centres of evangelistic effort in “the regions beyond.” To God be all the glory.

One other useful branch of the College work, in which Mr. Spurgeon greatly rejoiced, was the Pastors’ College Missionary Association. Without any kind of antagonism to existing organizations, when sufficient sums were placed at his disposal, he guaranteed the necessary amount for the support of Mr. Patrick and Dr. Churcher in North Africa; and, through the same agency, contributed toward the maintenance of Messrs. Blamire and Wigstone in Spain. He hoped that the way might have been opened for sending out large numbers of missionaries to various lands that are still destitute of gospel light; but, as the means for carrying out this purpose did not reach him, he was glad that so many of his students were enabled to go, under the auspices of the Baptist Missionary Society, the American Baptist Missionary Union, or the China Inland Mission, to the different portions of the foreign field to which they believed themselves to be called of God. They also have done and are doing a work which “the day shall declare.”

Not much need be added to the account of the Colportage Association given in the previous volume. In the last year of Mr. Spurgeon’s life, 96 colporteurs we. re employed, — a larger number than in any previous part of the history of the work; and their sales amounted to £11,255 0S. 6d., — a higher total than they had ever before reached. During 1891, they had sold nearly 20,000 Bibles and Testaments, and more than a quarter of a million of Scripture texts and cards. The total of their sales, from the commencement of the Association to the close of 1891, was £153,784 3s. 6d.; and, during that quarter of a century, they had recorded 11,822,637 visits to families. It is impossible to tabulate the blessing that these earnest Christian workers have taken into the homes of the people, or that they have been the means of conveying by the services, Sunday-schools, missions, and temperance meetings which they are continually conducting; for, happily, this work is still being’ carried on, though with a smaller number of agents, and with even greater anxieties as to finances than Mr. Spurgeon experienced. It was always a marvel to him that the Lord’s stewards did not more quickly realize the value of the colporteurs’ labors, and more generously aid this Protestant, Evangelical, Home Mission service

During the period that these various institutions were growing and flourishing, the Tabernacle Church, the foster-mother of them all, was prospering beyond all precedent. At the time of Mr. Spurgeon’s home-call, the number of members on the church-roll was 5,31I; and, during his long pastorate, no less than 14,691 persons were received into fellowship. At the end of 1891, there were 22 mission stations, and 27 Sunday and Ragged Schools, with 612 teachers, 8,034 scholars, and accommodation for 3,840 worshippers in the various halls used for public services. Comparing this great host with the little company of anxious but praying people to whom “the boy-preacher” delivered his first discourse, in New Park Street Chapel, on that historic morning, in December, I853, one can only say, as he said, times without number, when speaking of the blessing which the Lord had graciously vouchsafed to his ministry, —




THE love-letters of twenty blessed years have been reluctantly lifted from their hiding-place, and re-read with unspeakable love and sorrow. They are full of brightness, and the fragrance of a deep and filled with every detail concerning my beloved and doing his doings which could be precious to the heart of a loving wife. But, alas! each year, some part of the holiday time at Mentone was overshadowed by what appeared to be an inevitable illness, when the dear preacher was laid aside, and days and nights of wearisome pain were appointed to him. He had always worked up to the latest moment, and to the utmost point of endurance, so it was not surprising that, when the tension was relaxed, nature revenged herself upon the weary body by setting every nerve on fire, and loading every vein with gout-poison, to act as fuel to the consuming flame. “I feel as if i were emerging from a volcano,’ he wrote, at the beginning of a convalescent period; and even at such a time his sense of humor asserted itself, for his pen had sketched the outlines of a conical hill, out of the crater of which his head and shoulders were slowly rising, while the still-imprisoned lower limbs set forth the sad truth that all was not yet well with them.

These Chronicles would scarcely be complete without some further particulars concerning his life on the Riviera, — how he enjoyed his pleasures, how he bore his pains, how he worked when God gave him relief from sickness, and how, always and ever his loving heart was “at home” with’ me. He kept up a daily correspondence with unflagging regularity’ and when unable to use his pen, through severe suffering or weakness, the letter came as usual, either dictated by him, or altogether written by his devoted secretary.

I have selected, as the material for this chapter, the last letters which were written to me from Mentone, and which cover a period of nearly’ three months, for he left London on November 11, 1890, and returned February 5, 1891. The next time he visited the place he loved so well, God gratified his longing, — cherished for years, — o have me with him; but, alas! “I went out full, and the Lord brought me home again empty;” for, after enjoying three months of exceeding’ sweetness, I unexpectedly found that I had gone to Mentone to see my beloved die!

Passing over the days of travel, which had no special interest, the arrival at Mentone is thus recorded on a post card — “What heavenly sunshine! This is like another world. I cannot; quite believe myself to be on the same planet. God grant that this may set me. all right! Only three other visitors in the hotel, — three American ladies, — room for you. So far, we have had royal weather, all but the Tuesday. Now the sea shines like a mirror before us. The palms in front of the windows are as still as in the Jubilee above. The air is warm, soft, balmy. We are idle, — writing, reading, dawdling. Mentone is the same as ever, but it has abolished its own time, and goes by Paris.”

This bright opening of the holiday was quickly overclouded, for the next day came the sad news that o, out had fastened upon the poor patient’s right hand and arm, and caused him weary pain. Yet he wrote — “The day is like one in Eden before our first parents fell. ‘When my head’s better, I shall enjoy it. I have eau de Cologne dripped on to my hot brain-box; and, as I have nothing to do but to look out on the perfect scene before me, my case is not a bad one.” But, alas! the “case” proved to be very serious, and a painful time followed. These sudden attacks of the virulent enemy were greatly distressing and discouraging; one day, Mr. Spurgeon would be in apparent health and good spirits; and the next, his hand, or foot, or knee, would be swollen and inflamed, gout would have developed, and all the attendant evils of fever, unrest, sleeplessness, and acute suffering, would manifest themselves with more or less severity.

In the present instance, the battle raged for eight days with much fury, and then God gave victory to the anxious combatants, and partial deliverance to the poor prisoner. My daily letters, written by Mr. Harrald, during this period, were very tender records of the sick-room experiences, — every detail told, and every possible consolation offered ; — but it was a weary season of suspense for the loving heart a thousand miles distant, and the trial of absence was multiplied tenfold by the distress of anxiety.

In the first letter Mr. H. wrote, he said — “The one continual cry from Mr. Spurgeon is,’ I wish I were at home! I must get home!’ Just to pacify him, I have promised to enquire about the through trains to London; but, of course, it would be impossible for him to travel in his present condition. Everyone is very kind, sympathetic, attentive, and ready to do anything that can be done to relieve or cheer the dear sufferer. I have just asked what message he wishes to send to you. He says, ‘ Give her my love, and say I am very bad, and I wish I were at home for her to nurse me; but, as I am not, I shall be helped through somehow.’“

Curiously enough, The Times of the following day had a paragraph to the effect that “Mr. Spurgeon will stay at Mentone till February;” and when Mr. Harrald read this aloud, the dear patient remarked, “I have not said so, but I am afraid I shall have to do it;” and the prophecy was fulfilled.

After eight days and nights of alternate progress and drawback, there came to me a half-sheet of paper, covered with extraordinary hieroglyphic characters, at first sight almost unreadable. But more deciphered them, and this is what they said — “Beloved, to lose right hand, is to be dumb. I am better, except at night. Could not love his darling more. Wished myself at home when pains came; but when worst, this soft, clear air helps me. It is as Heaven’s gate. All is well. Thus have I stammered a line or two. No quite dumb, bless the Lord! What a good Lord He is! I shall yet praise Him. Sleeplessness cannot so embitter the night as to make me rea; when He is near.” This pathetic little note is signed, “Your own beloved Benjamite,” for it was the work of his left hand.

I think the effort was too much for him, for two more letters were written by Mr. H.; but a tender little joke, recorded in one of them, showed me that my beloved was on the road to recovery, “Our dear Tirshatha,” says Mr. H., “has been greatly pleased with your letter received to-day; your exhilaration appears to have favorably affected him. He says that he hopes the time will speedily arrive when he will be able to offer you his hand!”

After this, the daily correspondence from his own pen is resumed, and in the first letter he strikes his, usual key-note of praise to God — ” Bless the Lord I feel lighter and better; but oh, how weak! Happily, having nothing to do, it does not matter. I have nearly lost a whole month of life since I first broke down, but the Lord will restore this breach.”

The next day, — date of letter, Dec. 1, 1890, — he writes to his “poor lamb in the snow” to tell her that “this poor sheep cannot get its forefoot right yet, but it is far better than it was,” — followed by the quaint petition, “May the Good Shepherd dig you out of the ,;now, and many may the mangolds and the swedes be which He shall lay in the fold for His hall frozen sheep!”

Our Arctic experiences in England were balanced by wintry weather on the Riviera. “We have had two gloriously terrific storms,” he says; “the sea wrought, and was tempestuous; it flew before the wind like glass dust, or powdered snow. The tempest howled, yelled, screamed, and shrieked. The heavens seemed on fire, and the skies reverberated like the boom of gigantic kettledrums. Hail rattled down, and then rain poured. It was a time of clamors and confusions. I went to bed at ten and left the storm to itself; and I woke at seven, much refreshed. I ought to be well, but I am not. and don’t know why.”

December 3, 1890. — ”We had two drives yesterday, and saw some of the mischief wrought by the storm. The woodman, Wind, took down his keenest axe, and went straight on. his way, hewing Out a clean path through the olives and the pines. Here he rent off an arm, there he cut off a head, and yonder he tore a trunk asunder, like some fierce Assyrian in the days ere pity was born. The poor cottagers were gathering the olives from’ the road, trying to clear off the broken boughs before they bore down other trees, and putting up fences which the storm had leveled with the ground. They looked so sad as they saw that we commiserated them. Today, so fair, so calm, so bright, so warm, is as a leaf from the evergreen trees of Heaven. Oh, that you were here!”

For the next four days, I received post cards only. There was a loving arrangement between us that these missives should be used when we were busy, or had not much to tell; but my beloved could always say a great many things on these little messengers. He knew how to condense and crystallize his thoughts, so that a few brief choice sentences conveyed volumes of tender meaning. I have commenced this chapter with facsimiles of two of his poetical post cards of earlier date; here are two specimens belonging to the period of which I am writing —

“Sunday, December 7, ‘90.

“Mia Carissima,

“Your praise of my letters prompts me to write more; but your royal commands restrict me to a card; and they are wise. Much love. Parcel has arrived, — all that I want. If specially good books come, you might get Mr. Keys to take two or three to Cook‘s office, for Haskoll to bring to me. He travels every week to and fro.

“It was wet yesterday; but I went out a very little walk. Mean to walk every day, but find my feet painful, as if I could count all my bones, yet I am each day better. Today is dull, and by no means tropical; but, oh, so quiet! I am praying that the ‘Report’ flow as streams in the desert. In our port, some vessels have all sails spread, but it is; only to dry them; better have ever so little a bit of canvas filled with the breath of heaven. I feel as if I were drying; may ‘you have the breeze!”



“Monday, 8/12/90. “Out of that obedience which has so long been habitual to me, I did not write this morning; but, finding that there is an evening post, my rebellious nature seized the occasion to indulge itself. TODAY I DRESSED MYSELF! A childish glee is on me as I record the fact. To have the use of ones hands again, is a big mercy. We have had a heavenly day, and spent the morning in a long drive, Afternoon, I went for a walk. I was entreated to attend laying of first stone in Scotch Church, but I would not yield. H. went, and it was cold and draughty, — enough to lay me up again. Wisdom did me a good turn when she. bade me walk in the sun. Mr. A. has sent home some flowers; he despatched some rosebuds to you from me.. They will be perfumed a parfait amour. You write so sweetly. Yours is a hand which sets to music all it writes to me. God bless you! But you don’t say how you are. If you do not, I will write every day. We have fifteen in the hotel now. I have not commenced morning prayer with them yet, but think of doing so soon. Remember me to T. and. old George.”

Such post cards were as good as letters, and I could have been well content had my husband sent me only these; but he was lavish in his love, and insisted that the letters should outnumber the smaller missives. I had long protested, and sincerely, too, against what I feared was a tax upon his precious holiday time; but, to the end, (for these are his very last letters to me,) he persevered in his tender, self-imposed task and, now, the memory of his goodness is inexpressibly precious.

In the succeeding communication, there is a reference to the burning question of the hour, — Home Rule, — which may interest readers who indulge a /)enchant for politics …..

“We have had two of the loveliest of days; and, after a morning drive, I have had an afternoon’s walk, each day walking just a little more. It is not much now, but it was and is much to me. The Dr. says that, in the heart-cure, they have a zigzag up a mountain, and the patient tries a turn each day; and when he can walk to the top and down, he goes home. My little perambulations; are somewhat after this fashion. This place is delicious. It is just 8 a.m., and I have both windows open, and I am writing to the low soft cadence of a rippling sea. Oh, that you were here!

“That Irish stew! The last dose was well peppered, and served up hot! Perhaps now that they are separated they will get together, they’ seem to have been greatly divided while they were united! Poor G.O.M.! How he must feel the insults of those for whom he has forfeited everything! Yet he seems to hold on to their scheme though he knows that it is not only dangerous, but unattainable. I am glad I am neither of Gladstone nor of Parnell. He that wades not up to the ankles, will not go in up to the loins.”

Midwinter in England brought also to Mentone some cold, wet days, and these acted on the Pastor’s sensitive frame as the atmosphere operates on a barometer. Dull and dreary days depressed him; but when they came, they’ were welcomed, for he would then turn to his literary work with redoubled energy, and get through an amazing quantity of it in an incredibly short space of time; but he revelled in the sunshine, and enjoyed basking in its warm beams; and his pity for those who had to endure the severities of fog, frost, and snow, was very real and sincere.

“Poor darling,” he wrote, “to be so cold. The Lord will soon hear prayer, and send the soft South wind upon you, and then I also shall get well, and go out for walks, and praise His Name. I wish I could think of something to cast a gleam of sunlight over ‘Westwood.’ If rny love were light, you would live. in the sun. I shall send some roses to-morrow, and they will prophesy of better days.” Alas! the “better days” moved very tardily towards him on this occasion; and, though of course we. did not know it at the time, the deadly mischief, which afterwards proved fatal, had already begun to work in his poor body. “I cannot say that I am as I should like to be,” he writes; “two cold, windy afternoons have kept me in, and so I have missed my walk; and my hand, inside, is white and chalky, and outside, on its back, it is still somewhat swollen, and you see I cannot write so well. Today, I have been for a drive, but it was rather’ cold. I sleep well, take physic often, and try to be right, and am really much better, but the mischief hang,; about me.” Undoubtedly it did, and this was “the beginning of the end,” though our eyes were holden, so that we could not see it.

The loving ministries of his Mentone life began again, however. He “went to see a sick Baroness, and prayed with her, and helped her to feel at rest through submission to our Lord’s will;’ and the morning meetings for worship were recommenced, the conduct of which gave him much joy and encouragement, with results only fully known in Heaven.

Next morning, the aneroid marks a higher figure, but only for a few hours — “This has been so far a lovely, sunny, warm day’, and we have been out for a long drive, and enjoyed it much. Seen the mountains of Italy covered with their white millers’ hats; and fields of roses, red, white, and yellow! We had a drink of very cold water from the fountain which gushes, apparently, from the he. art of an olive. Now the day is darkening down with clouds, and probably a cold blast will come. Yes, the angels are letting loose the winds from their fists, and the palm trees are waving their fronds in token of victory over the sun which has retreated behind the clouds. These palms in front of the windows constantly remind me of the words in the Revelation, ‘with palms in their hands,’ for we are on a level with their grand fronds. ‘should think they measure ten or twelve feet from where they start. They are magnificent emblems of victory. We shall wave better than these when we are with the Lord, and celebrate His triumph!”

Day after day, these barometric fluctuations agitated the dear patient, and seemed to retard his recovery’ but they were only the outward indications of the deep-seated internal trouble. It is wonderful how blind we were.; so used, I expect, to the alternations of my beloved’s; condition, and so happily accustomed to see his “rare power’ of recuperation,” as the Dr. called it, manifesting itself at the end of all illness, that we had learned to anticipate complete recovery from all his sicknsses. God be praised for’ the. merciful veil which hides the future from our eyes!


“December 18, ‘90. “Yesterday morning was wet and cold, and we rejoiced in the fire of olive logs. After lunch, the clouds were gone, the winds fell asleep, the sun in beneficent splendor gave us two hours of summer, during which your Prince Charlie went forth in his chariot, and was so pleased with the light, color, warmth, and tone of everything, that he felt no spot or time could ever be more enjoyable unless his dear consort could be with him. I want someone to show these things to, — and there is only one ‘someone’ who would fulfill my ideal.

“After morning prayer, we went down town to get the parcel from Cook’s man. All right. Books well selected. Hearty thanks. The tracts from Drummond’s we can give away. We sent sermons and other periodicals to a Shields collier which has been in this port with coals. After getting our parcel, we returned, for the clouds came up in black armies, and the wind rushed forth. It may alter again, and then ‘out we go;’ but nothing seems to be settled, and I suppose the weather here cannot be quiet, while it is so terrible with you. If the Lord will, I trust the worst of the winter will soon be gone. I have plenty to do, so that a day indoors is not dull, but I wish I could get my walk. This, too, may come. I have one finger purple and swollen, but I feel so greatly better that I could clap my hands if’ {t were not for hurting theft poor weak member.”

Till Christmas-day, the letters tell of cold and rain, tornadoes of wind. and other evils, with occasional glimpses of the lovely spring weather so much desired. My husband ,greatly sympathized with us in our endurance of the very severe winter of 1890; it was quite touching to note how constantly he referred to it, and seemed almost to suffer with us in our long period of frost, fog, bitter cold, and darkness. “I keep on praying for change of weather for you, and the poor and sick,” he writes; “I wish I could send you a brazier of the coals of my heart, which have a most vehement flame.”

Oh, how ‘true this was! God had made him a real philanthropist, and the woes of others we. re felt, and commiserated, and brought before the Lord, with as much earnestness and sincerity as though they had been his own. His heart was so big, it had room for others’ griefs; and it was so full of love and pity that he had always some to spare for those who needed it. A carriage drive, to Ventimiglia gave him great pleasure just at this time. From a certain part of the road, the Col di Tenda and a considerable portion of the Maritime Alps are visible, in their winter dress of snow; and visitors from Mentone are fond of driving there to see a picture quite unique in its grouping, — a foreground of roses, and palms, and tropical vegetation luxuriating in the sunshine, — on the one side, the blue waters of the Mediterranean rivalling the brightness of the sky; on the other, the valley of the Roya, with picturesque hamlets on both banks of the river, and, for a distant background, those solemn white Alps proclaiming, in a language which cannot be misunderstood, the greatness and majesty of their Maker.

Christmas-day was grey and cold, and was spent in work, “digging away at books and letters..” Friends had lavished upon him a wealth of lovely flowers, — roses, carnations, hyacinths, tuberoses, cyclamen, — in vases; and a pot of that sweetest of sweet blossoms, lily of the valley; but he could scarcely enjoy them. All night, his bones had “cried and. groaned” with rheumatism; and he must, I think, for the first time, have had some premonition of danger, for he says, “There is some deep-seated gout in me.”

But even this passes, and the five following days each bring a bright, cheerful little post card to reassure and comfort me. One, written on Monday, December’ 29, 1890, tells of “a delightful meeting, last night, in the room above ours. Piano, with hymns ad lib., and I preached from Deuteronomy 32:10, glad to review the goodness of Him who found, led, taught, and kept me;” and the last of the five — on December 31, 1890, — testifies thus graciously to the goodness and faithfulness of God — “The old year is nearly out, — a good old year, a year of lovingkindnesses and of tender mercies. I cannot dismiss it with a complaint, but with thankfulness. Oh, for more holiness for myself in the new year, and more health for my beloved spouse! I think I shal1 get home for February 1, or first Sunday in February, for I now feel as if life had come back to me with enjoyment, and a measure of sprightly thought, for which I would praise the Lord practically by employing it in His service. We had twenty-three to morning prayer today, — nearly as many as the room cart hold. How they do come! Wet and cold do not hinder, and they are so grateful.”

“New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 1891.

“A happy new year to you, my sweetest and best! I would write it in the biggest of capitals if that would show how happy I wish the year to be. I had a praiseful evening yesterday, blessing God for the old year; and now, this morning, we have had a good meeting. We sang’ No. 1,042 in Our Own Hymn Book, having made copies for our twenty-four friends. Then I read and expounded Psalm ciii., and prayed. There were flowers, and cards, and contributions; and, this afternoon, we are going to give our landlord and his wife a present, for the house is not full, and the keeping of the hotel is; not profitable. So there will be joy among many as we meet for tea. God is indeed gracious to me, for I feel well, and I turn my face homeward in desire. I have been for a drive in the delicious summer sunshine. Oh, that you had been at my side! I have just read your sweet, sweet letter. You best-beloved of my heart, how I wish I could change your weather! I can only pray; but prayer moves the hand which moves winds and clouds. The Lord Himself comfort you, and ‘bear you up under all troubles, and make up to you, by His own presence, the absence of health, warmth, and husband!”

When my beloved felt fairly well, his Sundays at Mentone were a great joy and rest to him. He made the day full of sweet, devout service, and still sweeter communion with the Lord! In the morning, after having family prayer, he would, perhaps, go to the Presbyterian place of worship in Mrs. Dudgeon’s garden; and afterwards write to me — “Capital sermon from Mr. Somerville on Revelation 2:12,17, splendidly witnessing against the ‘ Down-grade.’“ In the afternoon, there would be breaking of bread, and one of those choice little addresses, on the love and grace of the Lord Jesus, which melted all hearts, and rekindled the latent fires of devotion in some inconstant breast; and the evening would be spent in singing God’s praises, and listening to a brief sermon by Mr. Harrald, or someone else who might have a message to deliver. “Quite a full day,” he remarks, after one of these occasions, “but it seemed very short, and as sweet as short. Oh, that you were here!”

The holy, happy influence of these Sabbaths overflowed into the days of the week, which to my beloved were as much “Lord’s-days” as those set apart by law and gospel. The company at morning worship grew larger every week, the adjoining room had to be thrown open, and one very cold day he wrote — ” I wondered to see my visitors assemble to the great number of forty.-one, and they do not want to go away from what some of them call ‘ this dear room.’ Truly, the Lord is here, and His Word is sweet both to them and to me, as we read it morning by morning. What a text is Isaiah 62:7, in the Revised Version ‘Ye that are the Lord’s remembrancers, take ye no rest, and give Him no rest..’ Oh, for such importunate prayers for His Church now that evil times have come!”

A tender, loving’ birthday letter, which set all the joy-bells in my heart ringing, comes next in order, and I quote a few extracts from it — “I trust this will reach you on your own dear birthday. Ten thousand benedictions be upon you!… What an immeasurable blessing you have been to me, and are still! Your patience in suffering, and diligence in service, are works of the Holy Spirit in you, for which I adore His Name. Your love to me is not only a product of nature, but it has been so sanctified by grace that it has become a spiritual blessing to me. May you still be upheld; and if you may not be kept from suffering, may you be. preserved from sinking!… Mylove to you grows, and yet I do not know how at any time it could have been greater. I am thinking which I shall do, — drive out, and send you flowers, or walk, and get Mr. A. to send them. I know which way your vote would go, and I shall act accordingly, if our friend will undertake the commission. If flowers do not come, please know that it was in my heart to send them.”

A few days after, a reference is made to my reply in these words — ” I had your letter, last night, which was written on your birthday. I am so glad ‘the flowers reached you, and made you glad. ‘There is a happy tone about ‘the old woman’s’ letter which does the old man good. God bless you, darling, and delight your heart with trucks and sacks of good things for others!” This latter sentence refers to the generous action of one of our near neighbors, on Beulah Hill, who, knowing that I was interesting myself for the poor in Thornton Heath, had placed a truckload of coals at my disposal for them. The long and dreary winter had severely tried them, and we opened a soup-kitchen at “Westwood,” which ministered daily to their necessities. My beloved felt sorely troubled for the distress which came so close to our doors, and did not fail to take his share in the pitying help rendered to those who could not help themselves during’ the time of that awful frost. “I am so glad you feed the poor,” he wrote; “.spend L10 for me, please; don’t stint anything. As I look at the pictures in The Graphic, my spirits sink, but my prayer rises.” And a few days later he returns to the same subject

“I pray clay and night for a thaw to come, and end this great distress by allowing the people to work. Do spend my L10, which I will send by next post.”

The gray, cold days, which prevailed at Mentone during the early part of the year 1891, gave the dear preacher an opportunity for working hard, of which he willingly availed himself. He heartily enjoyed the pleasurable leisure of driving, which seemed to soothe his brain, and refresh both body and spirit; but he was never idle; and, after returning from his excursions, he would apply himself immediately to the work in hand, and his busy pen would fly over the sheets, of paper with untiring energy. The secret of the amazing wealth of literary labor, which he left as a legacy to the world, lay in the tact that he was constantly gathering up the seed-pearls of small opportunities while never neglecting the greater occasions of enrichment.. Receiving and imparting, gaining that he ,night give, laboring not for himself but for others, the redeemed minutes soon multiplied into hours, and the hours grew into days, and so his lille, like a field well-dressed and tended, bore hundredfold crops to the praise and delight of the Great Husbandman..

Sabbath, Jan. 18, 1891, he wrote — ” I have not gone to service this morning, as I had sermons to revise, and one to get for this afternoon. I have chosen Psalm 32:9, and want to show the joy of having a good understanding with the Lord, so as to nee. d no bit, but to be left free to go on in His way with liberty. Two things are to be dreaded, — Irreverent familiarity.’ ‘lest they come near unto thee ;’ (A.v.) …. Disobedient departure.’ ‘else they will not come near unto thee. (R.v.) Are not the two renderings curious? To me, they set forth the same thing in different lights. Note, in p,.v., ‘whose trapping’s must be bit and bridle,’ as if even these were made ornamental, and our inflictions and afflictions became our decorative equipment, — yet even then not desirable. Oh, to be guided by the Lord’s eye!”

Further on, I am told that he had “a good service from the text mentioned,” and then that he had been able to revise six sermons ready for printing when double numbers were wanted, or “to be used if I should be ill.” Was this another premonition? If it were, the shadow soon passed, for the next letter describes a visit to Beaulieu, — ” a lovely drive, in the warm sunshine, to a place which I should like to stop at for a time another year, if it please God.” This little outing must have benefited the dear patient, for, the next morning, he writes — ” I am working with windows wide open; and when I have done, I hope to take my long walk round the red rocks. I forgot to tell you that, on Thursday, Mr. Cheyne Brady came over from Cannes, and we walked out a mile or more, and talked, and prayed, and then came back. He returned alone because he had to hurry to catch a train, but I walked both ways with great pleasure; indeed, it was the best time I have spent since I came here. The sun, the air, the sea, all ministered to me; and I ministered to the Lord in grateful praise.”

Mr. Spurgeon had consented to open the new Scotch Church on Thursday, January 29, 1891; but, on the Wednesday, while out walking, a sudden seizure of gout in both hands and one foot threatened to lay him aside once more. It is most touching to read how he fought the disease both with physic and by dieting. “The enemy is going,” he writes; “driven out by medicine, starved out by oatmeal and nothing else for lunches and dinners.” He took the service at the Scotch Church, though so utterly unfit for it, and “got through the sermon with trembling knees, and the bell gone out of my voice.” So extremely sensitive as my beloved was to any degree of pain, it was simply marvelous how he overcame this wen/mess of body, and served while suffering, when work for the Master called forth his spiritual energies. Many a time, at the Tabernacle, has he painfully limped into his pulpit, leaning heavily on his stick, and, unable to stand, has preached, kneeling with one knee on a Chair; but even then, the astonished congregation has seen him, warning to his work, and inspired by his all-consuming zeal, push the chair aside, and, grasping the rail of the platform with both hands, stand there for the rest of the service, apparently forgetful of his bodily distress, because absorbed by’ his passionate desire to persuade poor sinners to come to Christ.

But this is a digression. We must return to Mentone for the few days yet remaining.

One of the dear preacher’s last ministrations, on this occasion, was to hold a funeral service over the body of the Baroness von H., whom he had so often visited and comforted in her last sickness. He writes — ”There was a .great blaze of candles on both sides of the coffin, and palm branches and white flowers upon it. She is now to be carried to Russia, and I should think the journey will occupy a fortnight. Why can’t they let a booty be? I would prefer to be buried wherever I might die; yet, as she wished to lie in the same tomb with her husband, there is an argument on that side also.”

Now the record draws quickly to a dose. It had been a time of strangely mingled experiences of rest and rack, of cold and heat, of storm and sunshine, of pain and pleasure ; — but, over all, the peace of God brooded like a dove, and the home-corning was safe and happy” not even a shadow of the dark dispensation, which fell upon us in June, then rested on our spirits. The very last communication from Mentone was a post card? which, from the extracts I give, will be seen to have been written in quite good spirits, and suitably closes this chapter —

“Monday, February 2, ‘91.

“Mine Own,

“I telegraphed you to-day, and I hope your anxiety has ceased. There! at this moment, a mosquito popped on my nose, and Harrald has killed him! So may all your fears end i I am very much better; indeed, well. Archibald Brown has been with me for an hour; and the sight of him, and a little prayer with him, have set me up. I rested well yesterday. We are all in a muddle packing; H., in his shirt-sleeves, almost wants to pack me up! I am writing notes of ‘Good-bye’ to friends. I hope. soon to follow where this card is; going; how delighted I am with the prospect! If you don’t hear again, do not wonder; if anything should be’. wrong, I will wire at once. I am already with you in spirit. My heart has; never left you. Blessed be God that we are spared to each other!”


“I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” — This has long been the motto fixed before our eye upon the wall of our bed-chamber, and in many way,; it has also been written on our heart. It is no mean thing to be chosen of God. God’s choice makes chosen men choice men …. We are chosen, not in the palace, but in the furnace. In the furnace, beauty!is marred, fashion is destroyed, strength is melted glory is consumed; yet here eternal love reveals its secrets, and declares its choice. So has it been in our case …. Therefore, if to-day the furnace be heated seven times hotter, we will not dread it, for the glorious Son of God will walk with us amid the glowing coals. — C. H. S., in “The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith.”

THE first Sabbath after his return from the sunny South, — February 8, 1891, — the Pastor preached at the Tabernacle from Isaiah 62:6, 7, using both the Authorized and Revised Versions, as he had done when speaking upon that passage at Mentone. On that occasion, he said to his secretary, “You need not transcribe your report, for I expect to have this subject again when I get home.” He had been specially struck with the Revisers rendering of the text, Ye that are the Lord’s remembrancers, take ye m)rest, and give Him no rest, till He establish, and till tie male{,. Jerusalem a praise in the earth.” The sermon was intended to be the key-note of the year’s service for God; it was a powerful call to prayer and testimony, yet probably even the preacher himself did not then fully realize how appropriate was his message in preparing the people for that long season of almost ceaseless intercession while he was enduring the heaviest affliction of his life, and from which the was never really to recover.

Although there were ominous indications that his health was by no means all that could be desired, he did not spare himself, but labored with the utmost earnestness and zeal to extend his Master’s Kingdom. A brief “Note in The Sword and the Trowel of that period gives just a glimpse of the great spiritual prosperity which was being enjoyed only a little while heft)re the startling breakdown which proved to be “the beginning’ of the end “ “The month of March has been a memorable one for the church in the Tabernacle. Pastor C. H. S. continued to see persons who wished to join the church, and out of these he had eighty-four to propose for fel1owship. How much of joyous labor all these involved, is best known to the Pastor and the sympathizing reapers who shared his delightful toil. To God alone be glory.”

The last College Conference, at which Mr. Spurgeon was present, was held from Monday, April 20, to Friday, April 24. In the May number of The Sword and the Trowel, the Editor inserted the following “Note” concerning the Sabbath night after the meetings …. “To the President, the week of Conference was one of exhausting delight. Every day, everything went well …. Of course, there was a reaction for the one who was the center of all this; and, for the first lime in a ministry of forty years, we entered the pulpit on the Sunday evening, and were obliged to hurry out of it; for a low, nervous condition shut us up. Happily, Mr. Stott could take up the story there and then; and he did so.” It was very remarkable that, in his letter, written to Mr. Stott, four months previously, concerning his appointment as assistant-minister for the year 1891, Mr. Spurgeon said — ” It would be. a great relief to me if I knew that someone was on the spot to take the pulpit should I suddenly fail.” That expression almost implies a premonition of what took place on that Sabbath night, April 26, 1891.

This unprecedented experience was an indication of a very serious state of affairs; yet, the following Lord’s-day morning, May 3, the Pastor was in his pulpit again; and he delivered the discourse which he had prepared for the previous week, prefacing it with a reference to the “overpowering nervousness” which had then oppressed him, and pointing out the lessons which that strange occurrence was probably intended to teach to himself and his hearers. He preached again at night; on the following afternoon, he was at the Tabernacle, seeing enquirers and. candidates for church fellowship; and in the evening, he presided at the prayer-meeting. In the course of the proceedings, he asked for earnest supplication on behalf of the special services in which he was to be occupied during the week. These comprised the annual sermon to Sunday-school teachers, at Bloomsbury Chapel, on the Tuesday evening; a sermon at the Tabernacle, on the Thursday night, in aid of the British and Foreign Sailors’ Society, preceded by a prayer-meeting in the lecture-hall; and two meetings at Hendon, on the Friday, in connection with the “Fraternal” of which Mr. Spurgeon was a member. In the June number of The Sword and the Trowel, the Editor gave a brief account of all these gatherings, and some others that followed Shortly afterwards; and his “Notes” indicate that the long illness had commenced, although he was not then aware of its serious nature or its probable duration. The concluding paragraphs were as follows —

“Friends will note that all the above meetings were held in one week, which also included two Sabbath services and the great communion at the Tabernacle, beside all the regular home-work, correspondence, etc. In addition, the Lord’s-day morning sermon had to be revised, and published the following Thursday; and the sermons to Sunday-school teachers and sailors were received for revision, and duly attended to. Is it any wonder that the worker gets weary, and has to beg friends not to impose further burdens on one who is already terribly overladen?

“On Friday evening, May 15, Mr. Spurgeon spoke at the Presbyterian missionary meeting at Exeter Hall. It was a time of peculiar bodily weakness;, and of special spiritual strength. God bless our Friends who so kindly received the message and the messenger!

“On Sunday evening, May 17, Mr. Spurgeon could not preach; and on the Monday, the doctor found him laid aside with congestion of the lungs and other matters, which forbid his quitting his chamber for some little time to come. ‘ My times are in Thy hand.’ We would always be preaching howbeit, the Lord thinketh not so.”

The text quoted by the Pastor was the subject of his Sabbath morning sermon on May 17, which many have supposed t,, be his last discourse in the Tabernacle. It was not, however, for there was one more message which he was to be permitted to speak to the great congregation before that “long silence” which was only temporarily broken at Mentone on the following New Year’s Eve. On Lord’s-day morning, June 7, 1891, Mr. Spurgeon stood for the last time on that platform which, for thirty years, had been his pulpit throne, and from which he had proclaimed the gospel to at least twenty millions of hearers, while, by means of the printed page, he had been brought into communication with a far greater number of readers in all quarters of the globe. His text, on that ever-memorable morning, was 1 Samuel 30:21-25; and the sermon was published, as No. 2,208 in the regular weekly issue, under the title, “The Statute of David for the Sharing of the Spoil.” The whole discourse, was a noble conclusion to the Pastor’s ministry in the beautiful sanctuary which was ever to him what Zion was to the Jews; but the final sentences were so noteworthy that they are inserted here, in full, to correspond with “C. H. Spurgeon’s First Word, at the Tabernacle,” given in Vol. 3.


If you wear the livery of Christ, you will find Him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls. He is the most magnanimous of captains. There never was His like among the choicest of princes He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold He always takes the bleak side of the hill,The heaviest end of the cross lies ever on His shoulders, If He bids us carry a burden. He carries it also if there is anything that is gracious, generous, kind, and tender, yea lavish and superabundant in love, you always find it in Him His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on if at once God helps you to enlist under nea ner of JESUS CHRIST!

On the following morning, Mr. Spurgeon went into the country, to be the guest of Mr. Gutteen, of Haverhill, in order that he might again visit Starebourne and its neighborhood, that his photographer friend might take the views which he wished to have reproduced for his little volume, Memories of Stambourne. The gout-mischief that was lurking in his system, with the deadly effects of the mysterious malady so strangely misnamed influenza, combined to produce such alarming symptoms that he had to hurry home on the Friday; and then, for three months, he. was completely laid aside.

One of the additional trials of the early part of his illness was; the fact that he was unable to preach or speak in connection with the opening of the Surrey Gardens Memorial tall, which had been erected partly with the view of providing Sunday suitable accommodation for the workers connected with the Carter school, but also as a permanent memorial of the Pastor’s ministry in the Surrey Gardens Music Hall. On October 20, 1890, Mr. Spurgeon and Mr. S. R Pearce had laid the foundation stones of the new building Mr. W. Higgs had erected it in his usual excellent and generous fashion; and in the meantime, the whole of the amount required to pay for it had been raised. The opening services were postponed from June 2, to June 23, in the hope that the Pastor might be sufficiently restored to take part in the in; but by that time, his illness had assumed so serious a form that the hope had to be abandoned, and the premises had to be set apart for the Lord’s service under the shadow of an impending calamity which threatened to add still greater solemnity to the memorial character of the work.

About that time, Dr. Kidd was called in to consult with Dr. Miller, of Upper Norwood, who had been in attendance upon Mr. Spurgeon since May 18, and Dr. Russell. Reynolds was also consulted. For a while, all that medical skill, patient watching, and careful nursing could do, appeared to be of no avail; and, with the use of all means that seemed wise and right, prayer was being offered, unceasingly, by believers all over the world. The Tabernacle Church, beginning with a whole day of intercession for the suffering Pastor, continued to meet, morning, noon, and night, to plead for his recovery. In hundreds and perhaps thousands of Nonconformist places of worship, sympathetic petitions were presented on his behalf; — the Chief Rabbi being a conspicuous representative of those who held very different views from Mr. Spurgeon’s, but who remembered him at the throne of grace in his season of suffering. Many of the clergy of the Established Church, with their congregations, were equally earnest in praying for him, the ecclesiastical dignitaries officiating at St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey joining with the Archbishops and many of the Bishops in interceding on his behalf.

The secular and religious press of our own and other lands devoted much space to accounts of his illness, and particulars of his work, — not always accurate, though, on the whole, exceedingly kind and appreciative. Telegrams, letters, and resolutions of sympathy poured, into “Westwood” in a continuous stream, while those, who called or sent to enquire for the beloved sufferer were of all ranks, from the Prince of Wales and a great proportion of the nobility of the country to the poorest of the poor. A volume might be filled with the letters from notable individuals who wrote, during that trying time, (and the period of bereavement that followed it, either to the Pastor or to Mrs. Spurgeon; but space can only be spared here to just a small selection of the most representative communications. The one that probably had the most tender associations connected with it was written by Mr. Gladstone, who had recently lost his eldest son. He was staying with his friend, Mr. Colman, from whose house he sent the following touching epistle —

“July 16, 1891.

“My Dear Madam,

“In my own home, darkened at the present time, I have read with sad interest the daily account of Mr. Spurgeon’s illness; and I cannot help conveying to you the earnest assurance of my sympathy with you and with him, and of my cordial admiration, not only of his splendid powers, but still more of his devoted and unfailing character. May I humbly commend you and him, in all contingencies, to the infinite stores of the Divine love and mercy, and subscribe myself, —

“My dear madam,
“Faithfully yours,


“Mrs. Spurgeon.”


In reply, Mrs. Spurgeon wrote as follows —

“July 18, 1891.

“Dear Mr. Gladstone,

“Your words of sympathy have a special significance and tenderness coming from one who has just passed through the deep waters which seem now to threaten me. I thank you warmly for your expression of regard for my beloved husband, and with all my heart I pray that the consolations of God may abound towards you even as they do to me. Although we cannot yet consider the dear patient out of danger, the doctors have today issued a somewhat more hopeful bulletin. I feel it an honor to be allowed to say that I shall ever be —

“Your grateful friend,


Mr. Gladstone’s letter arrived at “Westwood” just when Mr. Spurgeon was enjoying one of the brief intervals between the long periods of delirium which were so painful a feature of his illness. He was delighted to hear the great statesman’s epistle read, and said that he should like to add a few words to his dear wife’s grateful acknowledgment of it. Accordingly, with his own hand, he wrote this postscript, — the first words that he had penned for weeks —

“P. S. — Yours is a word of love such as those only write who have been into the King’s country, and have seen much of His face. My’ heart’s love to you. — C. H. Spurgeon.”

The following letter from Earl Fortescue is a good specimen of the expressions of sympathy from many of the truly noble men and women of the land —

“48, Grosvenor Gardens, S. W.,
“July 18, ‘91.

“Dear Madam,

“I had hoped to have called, some days ago, to testify my deep regret, on both public and private grounds, at Mr. Spurgeon’s serious illness, and to express my sincere sympathy with you in your long and terrible anxiety. But I found I unfortunately could not manage, to do so.

“I therefore intrude upon you with this line instead, which requires no answer. I will just add that I am, from saddest experience, only too well able both to appreciate your anxiety, and to feel for you under the severe trial with which the Almighty, in His infinite love and inscrutable wisdom, has seen fit to visit you and your honored husband. May God, as He alone can, support and cheer you both, whether He, in answer to the prayers of thousands, shall vouchsafe to prolong that precious life, or whether He shall decide to call up His faithful servant to rest and glory!

“Yours truly,
“Mrs. Spurgeon.


Quite a number of letters came from Bishops of the Church of England; two of the choicest of them were written by the Bishops of Worcester Dr. Perowne) and Exeter (Dr. Bickersteth). They were as follows —

“Hartlebury Castle,
“23 July, 1891.

“Dear Mrs. Spurgeon,

“May I ask you to convey, for me to Mr. Spurgeon, if he is able to bear it, the expression of my heartfelt sympathy in his illness, and my earnest prayers that, of God’s great mercy, he may be restored to health? I am very thankful to see, by today’s bulletin, that there is; some slight improvement. God grant that it may continue!

“Permit me to offer to you also the assurance of my respectful sympathy in the long and anxious watch that you have had by your husband’s sick-bed. I do not know him personally; but he has written me some very kind letters, and all the world knows him by his work, and every Christian heart must feel for him, and for you, and his family, and pray for his recovery.

“Believe me,
“Yours very faithfully,


“The Palace,
“28 July, 1891.

“My Dear Madam,

“May I venture to assure you that we have mingled our prayers with those of countless others on behalf of your beloved husband in this time of need in a wife and I have prayed for him together, and also with our children and servants. God will be with you; and, as the trial of your faith hats been so long, the consolation of His love will supply all your wants, and breathe the peace of God into your heart and home.

“I have ventured to enclose two hymns one of which your husband has so kindly spoken of, and possibly he may like to have them with in reach.

“Believe me,
“Yours in true sympathy,
“Mrs. Spurgeon.”

“E. H. EXON.”

The hymn referred to was Bishop Bickersteth’s well-known one, “Peace! perfect peace!” on which Mr. Spurgeon had spoken when visiting a sick friend at Mentone. His address was published in The Sword and the Trowel for July, 1891, just at the most critical period of his own illness; and many readers were comforted by his comment on the lines —

“Peace! perfect peace! death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquish’d death and all its powers.”

Archbishop and Mrs. Benson called or sent many times to enquire for the suffering Pastor. The following letter belongs to the period of partial convalescence when Mr. Spurgeon had been able to drive as far as Addington; but it seems to fit in more appropriately after the Bishops’ epistles —

“Addington Park,
“1 October 1891.

“My Dear Mr. Spurgeon.

“I was surprised and delighted to see your handwriting, and to see it so firm and clear. I only lamented that, as you were actually here, it had not been my good fortune to see you. We do earnestly hope that when (and may it soon be!) you are able to leave your carriage, and come in, you will do so; or, in the middle of your ride, let us bring you our. a glass of wine or a cup of tea.

“We know how much you must have suffered, and we have watched your retardations and advances with hearts full of regard and hope. It has been given to you, not only to labor for Christ, and to bring many souls within the knowledge and feeling of the Atonement; but — it seems to follow with so many of those who have come nearest to Him in that great way, to be drawn into closest sympathy with His sufferings, — to catch the reality of those mysterious words, kai< ajntanaplhrw~ ta< uJsterh>mata tw~n qli>yewv tou~ Cristou~ ejn th~| sarki> mou. No doubt there are also some verses in the Psalms which you can now, more than ever, make your own.

“I do greatly rejoice it, according to your own kind thought, it has been possible that expressions of sympathy have been unlocked to you. But you may be quite sure that the sympathy was most genuine in all who have shown it. They had shown it to their Master, long before, in prayer that He would lay His hand on you in healing, and give you yet time for garnering fo Him.

“We join in sincerest wishes and sympathies for Mrs. Spurgeon also. Pray let us see you on some other drive.

“Yours most sincerely in the one Lord,


“P.S. I think it must have been your sick handwriting on a wrapper of The Greatest Fight before I went away. If so thank you more and more.”

The progress towards a measure of recovery may be briefly traced. On August 9, the following letter, the first written by the Pastor’s own hand after his long illness, was read to the congregation at the Tabernacle, and was received both as art answer to prayer, and an encouragement to continued intercession

“Dear Brethren,

“The Lord’s Name be praised for first giving and then hearing the loving prayers of His people! Through these prayers my life is prolonged. I feel greatly humbled, and very grateful, at being the object of so great a love and so wonderful an outburst of prayer.

“I have not strength to say more. Let the Name of the Lord be glorified.

“Yours most heartily,



Even after the first signs of improvement were manifest, a long and wearisome time followed, hopeful advances alternating with disappointing relapses. At last, the dear patient was able to be carried downstairs, and to be wheeled round his garden, where the fresh air seemed to work wonders for him. On entering his study, for the first time, and catching sight of the final proofs of John Ploughman’s Almanack and Spurgeon’s Illustrated Almanack, and then asking for copies of the recently-issued sermons and magazine, he exclaimed, “‘Why! you have carried on everything just as if I had been here.” Those who were responsible for the work felt that, if possible, nothing must be allowed to suffer during his absence; and it was a great joy to them to find how highly their services were appreciated by the Pastor. It was also a providential arrangement by which the issue of the various works was, at first, temporarily undertaken during the dear author’s, illness, for then, when it became necessary to publish them, after his home-going, his helpers had only to continue the plans which had already been for some months in operation.

As the autumn advanced, and the patient’s weakness did not disappear, it became certain that he must go to Mentone for the winter if he could journey so far. The renewed offer of Dr. Pierson, to cross the Atlantic if he could be of any service to the Pastor, appeared to everyone as the providential arrangement; and, ultimately, it was settled that he should commence his service at the Tabernacle on Lord’s-day, October 25. In order to test the invalid’s power to travel, an experimental ‘visit was paid to Eastbourne from October 3 to 16. This proved most satisfactory, and it also further indicated the absolute necessity of a prolonged rest in the sunny South. Accordingly, on Monday, October 26, Pastor and Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, Pastor and Mrs. J. A. Spurgeon, and Mr. Harrald started on their thousand miles’ journey. They were accompanied as far as Calais by two of the Tabernacle deacons, Messrs. Allison and Higgs. It was stated in various newspapers at the time that Baron Rothschild had placed his saloon carriage at Mr. Spurgeon’s disposal. This was not the case, for Messrs. Alabaster, Passmore, and Sons and Mr.. John M. Cook most generously defrayed the cost of the saloon carriage from Calais to Mentone, and so enabled the whole party to travel in ease and comfort, and to arrive at their destination on Thursday, October 29. After the return to England of Pastor and Mrs. S. A. Spurgeon, Miss E. H. Thorne, who had then been for a quarter of a century Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon’s devoted companion and friend, arrived. Her services had been invaluable throughout the whole of that long period, and especially during the trying experiences of the past summer; and her presence at Mentone was a great comfort and help, particularly in the last anxious days and nights of Mr. Spurgeon’s illness. Blessed with good health, and a bright, cheery spirit, she was able most lovingly and loyally to minister to the clear sufferer right to the end of his earthly life, and then remained to share the sorrow of the bereaved one until together they returned to “Westwood” to carry on the many forms of Christian service still associated with that hallowed home.


“And there was given unto them a short time before they went forward.”

“Upon this sunny shore.
A little space for rest. The care and sorrow,
Sad memory’s haunting pain that would not cease,
Are left behind. It is not yet to-morrow.
Today there falls the dear surprise of peace;
The sky and sea, their broad wings round us sweeping,
Close out the world, and hold us in their keeping.
A little space for rest. Ah! though soon o’er,
How precious is it on the sunny shore!

“Upon this sunny shore
A little space for love, while those, our dearest,
Yet linger with us ere they take their flight
To that far world which now doth seem the nearest,
So deep and pure this sky’s down-bending light.
Slow, one by one, the golden hours are given,
A respite ere the earthly ties are riven.
When left alone, how, ‘mid our tears, we store
Each breath of their last days upon this shore!

“Upon this sunny shore
A little space to wait: the life-bowl broken,
The silver cord unloosed, the mortal name
Are bore upon this earth by God’s voice spoken,
While at the sound all earthly praise or blame,
Our joys and griefs, alike with gentle sweetness
Fade in the dawn of the next world’s completeness.
The hour is Thine, dear Lord; we ask no more,
But wait Thy summons on the sunny shore.” — Author unknown.

IT was a tender token of the Lord’s lovingkindness that husband and wife were, for once, permitted to travel together to Mentone, and to spend there three months of perfect happiness before the sorrowful separation which had been so long dreaded, but which came at last almost without warning. Mr. Spurgeon’s oft-expressed longing, — ” Oh, that my dear wifey could see all the beauties and glories of this land of sunshine and flowers!” — was at length realized; and he had the joy of pointing out to, her the many scenes with which he had been familiar for years, but which became doubly precious to him under such delightful circumstances. The rooms in the Hotel Beau Rivage, which he and his friends had occupied year by year, soon began to give evidence of a lady’s presence in them. A very special adornment was commenced for the large sitting-room which had become a peculiarly hallowed spot to all the members of the Pastor’s Mentone circle because of the morning gatherings there for the reading of the Word and prayer, and the still more sacred Sabbath afternoon meetings, around the table of the Lord.

At the ceiling top of the sitting room, several texts of Scripture can be read. They form part of the series of passages which Mrs. Spurgeon worked upon perforated cards as; a grateful memorial of God’s goodness in taking them both safely to the sunny South after all their painful expeiences in England during the preceding summer and autumn. In the above view of the sitting — room, the partly-drawn curtains reveal the extra space where many worshippers and communicants assembled when the first room was filled with the earlier comers. Mr. Spurgeon’s weakness prevented him from resuming those much-prized services, during his last sojourn “on the sunny shore,” except on ‘the memorable occasions hereafter mentioned; but he lost no time in beginning such literary work as he felt able to accomplish. He spent many hours in the “cosy corner” here represented, and was not willing to admit that he was doing too much for an invalid. He wrote many post cards and letters while sitting at that table, but his chief employment was the continuation of his Exposition of the Gospel according to Matthew, to which reference has been made in Chapter CII. Some articles for The Sword and the Trowel, with “Notes” and reviews of books, also came from his busy pen; but he expressly said that he only occupied the editorial chair while he wrote the Preface to the magazine volume for 1891. The important work of sermon-revision was also left almost entirely in the hands of those upon whom it had devolved during his; long illness, the only exceptions being the two notable discourses, “Gratitude for Deliverance from the Grave,” and “A Stanza of Deliverance,” intended for reading on the first and last Lord’s-days in January, 1891.

The December number of The Sword and the Trowel opened with an article by Mr. Spurgeon under the suggestive title, “???” In his usual graphic fashion, he described his own physical condition, and made use of it in suggesting enquiries concerning his readers’ spiritual state. In that paper, he referred to the two things which were’, characteristic of a great part of his time of partial convalescence, — the deceptive appearance of a return to health, and the fact that the deadly disease was still firmly entrenched within his system, and ready at any moment to end his earthly existence.

One great help to him was the bright sunshine in which he was able to spend so much of his time. He almost lived in the open air, usually going for a drive in the morning’, and in the afternoon having a ride in a Bath chair, along the Promenade St. Louis. This was the scene of the walking exercise in which he engaged so perseveringly in the winter of 1890-1, and of which he wrote in the letters mentioned in Chapter 104.

A favorite route for a short drive was, around the Boulevard Victoria, and along the breakwater, as Mr. Spurgeon always; admired the view of the old town across the harbor.

One of the longest and latest drives that the Pastor and Mrs. Spurgeon took too-ether was mentioned on a post card, written to Mr. Passmore, and which is reproduced in facsimile on the opposite page, with a view of the fountain to which Mr. Spurgeon alluded.

The “telegram of sympathy to Sandringham” related, of course, to the death of the Duke of Clarence. The scene upon which the travelers gazed as they started on their return journey to Mentone is depicted in the following illustration.

The events of those memorable months were described in detail in The Sword and the Trowel and the memorial volume, From the Pulpit to the Palm Branch, but the principal incidents can only be briefly outlined here. On the New Year’s Eve and the following morning, Mr. Spurgeon gave, to a privileged circle of friends, the two charming addresses, which he afterwards revised for publication in the magazine, under the title, “Breaking the Long Silence.”

He also conducted two short services in his sitting-room, on January 10 and 17, when he was persuaded not to attempt to give a new address, and rather reluctantly consented to read portions of his early sermon on Psalm 73:28, and his Exposition of Matthew 15:21-28. On the second Sabbath evening, — January 17, 1892, — before offering the closing prayer at the final service in which he took part on earth, he gave out the last hymn he was ever to announce to a company of worshippers here below. If he could have foreseen what was to happen only a fortnight later, he could hardly have chosen a more appropriate farewell than the poem founded on some words of the sainted Samuel Rutherford, —

“The sands of time are sinking,
The dawn of Heaven breaks,
The summer morn I’ve sighed for, —
The fair, sweet morn awakes.
Dark, dark hath been the midnight,
But dayspring is at hand,
And ‘glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s hind ‘“

On the two following days, the wind was very rough, so Mr. Spurgeon went only for short drives; but on Wednesday morning, he was able to go as far as the little village of Monti. In the afternoon, signs of gout appeared in his right hand; later in the day, other serious symptoms were manifest, and he had to retire to the bed from which he never again rose. Dr. FitzHenry, a faithful friend as well as the Pastor’s skillful medical adviser, had been in attendance upon him from the time of his arrival at Mentone; he did all that was possible to relieve his pain, and prolong his precious life. Miss Thorne undertook the onerous duties of night nurse in addition to almost continuous help to Mrs. Spurgeon during the day; Mr. Allison, Mr. Harrald, and Pastor G. Samuel rendered all the aid in their power; but it was soon evident that a great crisis was approaching, though there were intervals of improvement which gave ground for slight hope. Towards the end of the week, the Pastor said to his secretary, “My work is done,” and spoke’ of some matters in a way that indicated his own conviction that he was not going to recover.

Tuesday, January 26, was; the day on which thank-offerings were brought to the Tabernacle, in grateful acknowledgment of the Pastor’s partial restoration. By that time, he had become so much worse that he was for a long while only partly conscious; but he had not forgotten the special character of the day, and he sent a telegram which, under the circumstances, was peculiarly significant — ”Self and wife, L100, hearty thank-offering towards Tabernacle General Expenses; Love to all Friends.”’ That was his last generous act, and his last message; for, shortly afterwards, he became, totally unconscious, and remained so until five minutes past eleven on the Sabbath night, — January 31, 1892, — when, like his namesake, Mr. Valiant-for-truth, “he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.” The five who “accompanied him to the riverside” were Mrs. Spurgeon, Miss Thorne, Mr. Harrald, Mr. Allison, and Mr. Samuel. When all was over, Mr. H. offered prayer, and Mrs. Spurgeon thanked the Lord for the precious treasure so long lent to her, and sought, at the throne of grace, strength and guidance for all the future. The answer to part of her supplication came at once, for she was able to send to “Son Tom” at the Antipodes the brief but comforting message, “Father in Heaven. Mother resigned.”

In the meantime, the news was being flashed all over the world, and in every quarter of the globe many felt a sense of personal loss as they read or heard it. The telegraph wires at Mentone were speedily blocked with the multitudes of messages to Mrs. Spurgeon, — the Prince and Princess of Wales being among the first to “desire to express their deep sympathy with her in her great sorrow.”

The local regulations necessitated the removal of the precious body, from the hotel to the cemetery, within twenty-four hours, and then the bedroom was left as it appears in the accompanying illustration.- Mentone being the home of the flowers, many beautiful wreaths were sent by friends; but Mrs. Spurgeon intimated her preference for palm branches as the most suitable emblems of her dear husband’s victorious entrance into “the presence of the King.” At the head and foot of the olive casket, were plates bearing the following inscription —

In ever-loving memory of


Born at Kelvedon, June 19, 1834;
Fell asleep in Jesus at Mentone, January 31, 1892.

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.”

In the early years of his visits to Wotton, in Surrey, the Pastor had always said that he should like to be buried in the churchyard of that village. Later, he expressed the wish to lie in the center of the Stockwell Orphanage grounds, for he thought that many would come to look at his grave, and then help the orphans in whom he took so deep an interest; but when the Electric Railway caused such a disturbance to the Institution, he abandoned that idea. At one time, he said he would like to be buried at Menton; but, after he had attended the funeral of a friend there, he gave up that notion. Last of all, it was mentioned that he had pointed to a site in Norwood cemetery, — in a far less conspicuous position than the one ultimately chosen, — and asked that it might be reserved for him; so that, in death, as in life, he might be surrounded by his church-officers and members, many hundreds of whom are buried there. The Tabernacle deacons sent an urgent request to Mrs. Spurgeon, asking that this might be the arrangement, and generously offering to defray all expenses, and the matter was so settled. Before proceeding to the railway station, a touching memorial service was held in the Scotch Church, at the opening of which Mr. Spurgeon had preached at year before. At the station, a photograph of the cortege was taken, and it is reproduced here. The memorial and funeral services at the Tabernacle, from February 7 to 11, were probably attended by not less than a hundred thousand people. A full account of the proceedings appears in the volume, From the Pulpit to the Palm Branch, but many volumes would be required to describe the different gatherings held simultaneously, or on the following Sabbath, all over the world. Mrs. Spurgeon’s request that friends, who wished to send wreaths, would instead give the amount they would have cost to the Institutions founded by her dear husband, was very generally complied with, though there were a few choice floral offerings of love. Most of the palm branches, which surrounded the olive casket, were cut from the very trees in the garden of the Hotel Beau Rivage, of which the Pastor wrote in the letter.

The Bible on the top of the casket was the one Mr. Spurgeon had so long used in the Tabernacle. It was opened at Isaiah 45:22

“Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth;”

— the text which, on January 6, 1850, had been blessed to his conversion. The volume remained in that position all the way from Newington to Norwood, — as the sword of the warrior accompanies him to the grave. Never had the South of London witnessed such a procession as, that day, slowly moved from the Tabernacle to the cemetery; attend never had such crowds assembled along that route. More than eighteen years before, the Pastor had given a description of the scene; but probably even he had no conception of the throng that would gather to do honor to his memory. At the close of his sermon, on Lord’s-day evening. December 27, 1874, he said — “In a little while, there will be a concourse of persons in the streets. Methinks I hear someone enquiring, ‘What are all these people waiting for?’ ‘Do you not know? He is to be buried today.’ ‘And who is that?’ ‘It is Spurgeon.’ ‘What! the man that preached at the Tabernacle?’ ‘Yes;’ he is to be buried today.’ That will happen very soon; and when you, see my coffin carried to the silent grave, I should like every one of you, whether converted or not, to be constrained to say, ‘He did earnestly urge us, in plain and simple language, not to put off the consideration of eternal things. He did entreat us to look to Christ. Now he is gone, our blood is not at his door if we perish.’ God grant that you may not have to bear the bitter reproach of your own conscience! But, as I feel ‘the time is short,’ I will stir you up so long as I am in this Tabernacle?’

Though the scene along the route was striking, that presented at the cemetery was, in some respects, even more so. The long line of ministers, and students, and other friends, all in mourning garb, reaching from the entrance to the grave itself, was a sight that could never be forgotten by those who saw it. At length, the vast throng clustered in a dense mass around and upon the slope outside the cemetery chapel, where the last service was to be conducted. The principal part in the closing ceremony fell to the share of Pastor Archibald G. Brown, and nothing could have been more beautiful, or more suitable, than his solemn and touching words. They came straight from his heart they entered thousands of other hearts. With great pathos and many pauses, he said —

“Beloved President, Faithful Pastor, Prince of Preachers, Brother Beloved, Dear Spurgeon, — We bid thee not ‘farewell,’ but only for a little while ‘good-night.’ Thou shalt rise soon, at the first dawn of the resurrection day of the redeemed. Yet is not the “good-night’ ours to bid, but thine. It is we who linger in the darkness; thou art in God’s own light. Our night, too, shall soon be past, and with it all our weeping. Then, with thine, our songs shall greet the morning of a ‘day that knows, no cloud nor close, for there is no night there.

“Hard Worker in the field, thy toil is ended! Straight has been the furrow thou hast ploughed. No looking back has marred thy course, Harvests have followed thy patient sowing, and Heaven is already rich with tlnine ingathered sheaves, and shall be still enriched through years yet lying in eternity.

“Champion of God, thy battle long and nobly fought is over! The sword, which claw to thine hand, has dropped at has the palm branch takes its place. No longer does the helmet press thy brow, oft weary with its surging thoughts of battle; the victor’s wreath from the Great Commander’s hand has already proved thy full reward.

“Here, for a little while, shall rest thy precious dust. Then shall thy Well-beloved come, and at His voice thou shalt spring from thy couch of earth, fashioned like unto His glorious body. Then spirit, soul, and body shall magnify thy Lord’s redemption. Until then, beloved, sleep! We praise God for thee; and, by the blood of the everlasting covenant, we hope and expect to praise God with thee Amen.”

The memorial number of The Sword and the Trowel contained the following paragraphs, which will fitly close the account of that memorable season — “While we gathered around the grave, a little patch of blue sky appeared, just over our heads, as if to remind us of the glory-land above; and while Mr. Brown was speaking, a dove flew from the direction of the Tabernacle towards the tomb, and, wheeling in its flight over the crowd, almost seemed to pause. In ancient days, it would have been an augury to us, it spoke only peace. As the service proceeded, a little robin poured forth its liquid note all the while from a neighboring tombstone; the redbreast made appropriate music, fabled as it was to have had its crimson coat ever since it picked a thorn from the Savior’s bleeding brow. Well, we do not believe that; but we believe what we sang at the grave, the truth that Mr. Spurgeon lived to preach, and died to defend, —

“Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Til all the ransomed Church of God
Be saved to sin no more,’

“Many remarked that the whole of the memorial services, unique as they were, were characterized by a simplicity and heartiness completely in harmony with the entire life of the beloved Pastor; and it was most significant that, when the olive casket was lowered into the vault, not even the glorified preacher’s name was visible; — it was just as he would have wished it there was nothing to be seen but the text at the foot of the coffin, and the open Bible. Of course, the Bible was not buried; it is not dead, it ‘liveth and abideth for ever;’ and who knows whether it may not prove, more than ever, the means of quickening the dead, now that he who loved it dearer than his life, can no longer proclaim its blessed truths with the living voice? God grant it!”

On the day that the Pastor said to his secretary, at Mentone, “My work is done,” he added, with very peculiar emphasis, “Remember, a plain slab, with C. H. S. on it; nothing more.” The allusion evidently was to a gravestone, and it was another indication of his humility. Those who were, at that time, responsible for the arrangements were unwilling to carry out his wish, so they gave instructions for the erection of the monument represented on the next page. The inscription on the lower part is copied from John Ploughman’s Talk, with the substitution of Mr. Spurgeon’s full name instead of “John Ploughman.” On the right-hand side of the upper portion is the verse he always wrote in friends’ albums, when they asked for his autograph and a quotation, —

“E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
find shall be till I die;” —

with the following verse, describing his present joyous employment, —

“Then in a nobler, sweeter song,
I’ll sing thy power to save,
When this poor lisping, stammering tongue
Lies silent in the grave.”

Thus, even from the tomb, be continues to preach the gospel he loved to proclaim while here, — the gospel of salvation by grace, though faith in the precious blood of Jesus, — the gospel that tells of “redeeming love ‘ and Jesu’s “power to save.” Oh, that those who refused his message from the pulpit might accept it from the grave and from the glory!