Born in 1834 in the small village of Essex, Charles spent his first years living with his grandfather, who was a Congregationalist minister. There, in his grandfather’s attic, he grew to love the works of the Puritans, especially Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. But as a young man, he struggled to understand what it mean to trust in Christ. He wrestled with his own assurance for many years until the morning of January 6, 1850, when a blizzard drove him into a Primitive Methodist chapel, where an untrained deacon took the pulpit and called his hearers to look to Christ. There, in that simple message, Spurgeon came to understand the simplicity of saving faith.
From there, he would go on to be baptized and would begin to preach and teach in Sunday Schools and around the villages of Cambridge. In 1851, he would accept the pastorate at Waterbeach Chapel, which would grow under his ministry. In 1853, Spurgeon was invited to fill the pulpit at the historic, but struggling, New Park Street Chapel in London. This young country preacher in the biggest city in the world caused a sensation, not only in his person, but in his preaching. By the spring of 1854, the congregation at New Park Street was ready to call 19-year old Spurgeon as their pastor.
For the next 38 years, he would go on to have a colossal ministry, publishing more literary material to the world than any other Christian author, preaching up to thirteen times a week, and selling over 56 million sermons throughout his ministry (which would be translated into nearly 40 languages). But while his ministry abroad would grow, Spurgeon was always rooted in the pastorate of his local church. The New Park Street Chapel would relocate to a new building in 1861, called the Metropolitan Tabernacle, and there he would preach to and pastor a membership of over 5,000 people. At the end of his life, he would take a stand for biblical orthodoxy in his own denomination, and would have his heart broken to see his closest allies make room for the modern theology of his day. Yet, to this day, his life and works continue to hold forth a model of faithfulness and call people to the love of Christ. - GC
Where to Begin
Lectures to My Students by C. H. Spurgeon
Christ’s Glorious Achievements by C. H. Spurgeon
Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold Dallimore