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LETTERS OF C. H. SPURGEON
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TO HIS SON THOMAS MENTONE,
MY DEAR SON TOM, —
I hope the engraving business is becoming an easy matter with you. God bless you, my boy, and prosper you for this life: but yet more for the life to come. Work as steadily in both spheres of service; to neglect either would be like tying up one of your hands or one of your feet. God is glorified in the shop and in the pulpit. May you see good results in both directions! I pray for you in relation to the two. I hope Bolingbroke does not get empty through the cold and wet. I must help you there. Kiss your dear mother, and try and tell her how dear she is to us all three. Our angel and delight, is she not?
MY DEAR SON TOM, —
I am very sorry that you are feeling so weak, and as your dear Mother thinks a voyage would do you good I cannot but yield to the wish. I am rather afraid that it will be too severe a remedy, but I shall not demur to its being tried. If it ends in your going in for the college course and coming into the ministry I shall not regret it; indeed, I shall rejoice if you went round the world seven times if it ended so.
You will preach, I am sure, but without good training you cannot take the position which I want you to occupy. Theology is not to be learned in its amplitude and accuracy by one destined to be a public instructor without going thoroughly into it, and mastering its terms and details. Perhaps a voyage may give tone to your system and prepare you for two years of steady application. Only may the Lord make you a great soul-winner, and I shall be more than content.
We meet some awful donkeys when travelling, but a lady at San Remo is beyond all others. She said that she regretted that our Lord Jesus was a Jew. When asked if she would have preferred his being an Englishman she replied, “No, but you see it is such a pity that he was a Jew’ it would have been far better if he had been a Christian like ourselves!!”
August 30, 1877.
MINE OWN DEAR SON, —
We have all been delighted to hear of the arrival of the Lady J. at Melbourne, for we hope that it means that our Tom is all right. By this time you will have had enough sea, and when this reaches you I hope you will have found that “the barbarous people have showed you no little kindness.”
I have had a very loving and pressing invitation to come out, but how can I leave home? I shall have to write and decline for I am anchored here too fast, but I feel grateful for the loving invitation and wish that I could accept it.
You will be a man ere this reaches you: may the Lord give you full spiritual manhood. We shall try to keep your birthday and Charlie’s and I must invest something great in the way of presents for your majority. This must be placed round the neck of the farted calf when you return.
Char is to come into the College in September. He will have a little start of his brother: but he managed that at an early period, and I suppose you must put up with it. The Bolingbroke Chapel is paid for and will be a blessing, I hope. The people want their co-pastor back, and so do I.
You will, I trust, find the Lord open up ways and means for you to see the country and do good and get good. am all right: full of work and in pretty good force for doing it. The Lord bless thee, my son, and keep thee, and be ever thy guide. Live to Him, and you will be better than great. Thy father’s blessing rests upon thee.
November 23, 1877.
MY DEAR SON TOM, —
though we all share the pleasure.
God has been very gracious to you in opening so many hearts and ears to you. May His grace abide with you that these golden opportunities may all be used to the best possible result. I am overwhelmed with your reception, accepting it as a token of the acceptance which my works have among the people. When I have you and Char at my side to preach the same great truths we shall by God’s grace make England know more of the Gospel’s power.
Char is working well at College and will, I trust, come forth thoroughly furnished. When you come home I hope that your practice in Australia will lessen your need of college training so that one year may suffice. Still every man regrets when in the field that he did not prepare better before he entered it. We shall see.
I hope you will stay while your welcome is warm, and while you are getting and doing good, and then come home a free man in all respects, free! mean from all entanglements, and buckle down to the work of the ministry here.
June 5, 1878.
DEAR SON, —
Your letters give us all great delight, and the readers of The Sword and Trowel enthusiastically praise the delicious dishes which your dear mother prepares from your capital material. Keep on excelling where your father fails.’
If only you were here a look at my Australian son would make a day’s delight. Everybody seems interested in your goings on. How rejoiced, I am quite unable to tell you. I would give all glory to God, but I may also praise you for the excellent manner in which you have conducted yourself on all occasions, out of the pulpit as well as in it. Go on, dear son, as you have done, and my heart will have to bless the Lord daily at every remembrance of you.
Culross, who is leaving Highbury, but the time which must intervene will, I think, render that of no avail. We will leave such engagements till your course can be more clearly foreseen.
We want zealous, cultured, sound ministers, and when one of these can be met with several churches will be after him. May our Lord clothe you with so much power that you may be very valiant in Israel!
November 28, 1881.
MINE OWN DEAR SON, —
I think the case is clear enough that you ought to settle, for a time at least, in Auckland, but still you see, we know but little of the facts and so I preferred to leave you to your own judgment. I know what that judgment will be. I believe the work before you will arouse all your energies —
Do not come home. I should dearly love to see you, but how could we part with you again? Stay away till there is a call to come home. When the Lord wills it, it will be safer and will be better for us all. To come home in would be a journey for which there is no demand, at a time when you are needed elsewhere.
I have thought of you many times here, and especially while worshipping in the room at Les Grotres. How honored I am to have sons who preach the Gospel so fully. I would sooner this than be the progenitor of the twelve patriarchs.
Dear Son, may the Lord make you His workman wisely instructed in moulding upon the wheel a future empire, as yet plastic clay. Who knows what the Southern Colonies may become? Impress your Master’s image upon the molten wax, and seal New Zealand as the Lord’s for ever.
May your desires be fulfilled, and your expectations be exceeded.
December 15, 1891.
MY DEAR SON, —
I write this day joyfully because I feel better than for many a month. I am weak, but I have the hope that I have turned the cold comer and am turning to the warmer side of the hill. I am indeed a debtor to my Lord and to the prayers of His people, that I now live in the hope of a perfect restoration and in the expectation of future service. AND YOUR MOTHER IS HERE. I know it is true for I see her, otherwise I could not believe it. And she is-well —
she is splendid. I pray the Lord to guide you in your tried path. I think you must settle somewhere in. the Antipodes, because you could not bear the fogs of Old England. My hope is that some city will be grateful yet for your laborious and valuable services. You have yet a glorious work to do. The coming of a family about you points to a pastorate. God will open. a door into “a large place.” God’s own true benediction rest upon thee.