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LETTERS OF C. H. SPURGEON
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TO YOUNG PEOPLE
Letter addressed to Master William Cooper, one of C. H. Spurgeon’s former pupils at Newmarket:—
CAMBRIDGE, , 1851.
MY DEAR WILLIAM,—
You see, by this address, that I am no longer at Mr. Swindell’s, but am very comfortable here in a smaller school of about fifteen boys. I suppose you are at home, but find farming is not all play, nor perhaps altogether so profitable or pleasant as study; it is well said, “We do not know the value of our mercies till we lose them.”
Knowing, (in some humble measure, at least), the value of religion let me also bring it before your attention. If you give yourself time to think, you will soon remember that you must die; and if you meditate one more moment, you will recollect that you have a soul, and that soul will never die, but will live for ever; and if you die in your present state, it must live in endless torment. You are an accountable being; God, who made you, demands perfect obedience.
But you must own that you have sinned; say not “I am not a great sinner,” for one sin only would be sufficient to sink your soul for ever in the pit of perdition. The sentence of death stands against you, and mercy alone stays its execution. Seeing now that you are in such danger, how do you think to escape? Surely you will not be content to die as you are, for you win one day find it no light matter to endure the hot displeasure of an angry God. Do you imagine that, if you live better for the future, God will forgive your past offenses? That is a mistake; see if you can find it in the Bible.
Perhaps you intend to think about religion after you have enjoyed sin a little longer; or (but surely you are not so foolish) possibly you think that you are too young to die. But who knows whether that future time will be afforded, and who said that you can turn to Christ just when you please?
Your heart is deceitful above all things, and your natural depravity so great that you will not turn to God. Trust not, then, to resolutions made in your own strength, they are but wind; nor to yourself, who are but a broken reed; nor to your own heart, or you are a fool. There is no way of salvation but Christ; you cannot save yourself, having no power even to think one good thought; neither can your parents’ love and prayers save you; none but Jesus can, He is the Savior of the helpless, and I tell you that He died for all such as feel their vileness, and come to Him for cleansing.
You do not deserve salvation; well, there is not a jot of merit on the sinner’s part mentioned in the covenant. You have nothing; you are nothing; but Christ is all, and He must be everything to you, or you will never be saved. None reach Heaven, but by free-grace, and through freegrace alone. Even a faint desire after any good thing came from God, from Whom you must get more, for He giveth liberally, and no poor sinner, begging at His door, was ever yet sent empty away.
Look at the blessedness of real religion, no one is truly happy but a child of God. The believer is safe, for God has promised to preserve him; and if once you have the pearl of great price, it cannot be taken from you. The way to Heaven is faith, “looking unto Jesus;” this faith is the gift of God, and none but those who have it know its value. Oh, may you possess it! —
is the earnest prayer old Yours faithfully, CHARLES H. SPURGEON.
To [Young People at the Tabernacle]. PARIS, Jan. 16, 1874.
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS, —
I have your welfare continually upon my heart, and therefore thought I would pen a few sentences to you. I was much encouraged by the prayerful attention and deep feeling which I saw last Monday in many of you. It filled me with great hope concerning you. I see that you desire to have your sins forgiven, and to escape from the wrath of God, and I am therefore rejoiced; but I pray God that the signs of grace may not end with these mere beginnings and desires. Buds are beautiful, but we cannot be satisfied with them; they are only good because blossoms often become fruit. Mere blooms on the trees, and no fruit, would be a mockery of expectation. May it not be so with you!
Put your whole trust in Jesus at once. All that you want of merit, He will give you; all that you need of help in the Heavenly life, He will bestow. Only believe Him. You who are saved, be sure to wrestle with God for the salvation of other young people, and try to make our new meeting a great means for good. You who are unawakened, we pray continually for you, for you are sleeping over hell’s mouth; I can see your danger, though you do not. It is therefore time for you to awake out of sleep. I send my earnest love to you all, praying that we may meet on earth in much happiness, and then at last in Heaven for ever.
Your anxious friend, C. H. SPURGEON.
Jan. 23, 1874.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS, —
I am delighted to hear that you came together in such large numbers last Monday in my absence, for I hope it shows a real and deep anxiety among the seekers to find the Savior, and among the saved ones to plead for others. You do not need the voice of any one man to secure your attention; the Word of the Lord Jesus, by whomsoever spoken, is life and power. It is to Him that you must turn all your thoughts. Sin has separated between you and your God, and Christ alone can bring you back to your Heavenly Father. Be sure that you remember what it cost Him to prepare the way of reconciliation; nothing but His blood could have done it, and He gave it freely, bowing His head to death upon the tree. It must have been no light matter which cost the Redeemer such a sacrifice; I beseech you, do not make light of it. Hate the sin which caused Him so much agony, and yield to the love which sustained Him under it.
I hear that in London you have had fogs and rain, here it is all flowers and summer, and the difference reminds me of the change which faith makes in the soul. While we are unbelievers, we dread the wrath of God, and walk in gloom; but when we believe, we have peace with God, and enjoy His favor, and the spring of an eternal summer has commenced. May the Spirit of God, like the soft south wind, breathe upon you, and make your hearts bloom with desires, blossom with hopes, and bring forth fruits of repentance! From Jesus He proceeds, and to Jesus He leads the soul. Look to Him. Oh, look to Him; to Him alone; to Him simply; to Him at once!
Your anxious friend, C. H. SPURGEON.
Feb. 5, 1874.
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS, —
I am greatly cheered to hear that you gather in such numbers, and shall be yet more glad when I hear or see that hearts are won for Jesus and that with your mouths you make confession of Him. I look with so much hope upon you, that it would be a bitter disappointment if I did not hear that some of you are saved in the Lord.
I have just limped up a high hill into the cemetery here, and there I saw a text which struck me.
“But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him.” Noah was her rest, as Jesus must be yours. Just notice that it is added, “he put forth his hand, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” She was too weak to get in, but Noah’s kind hand” pulled her in unto him.” Dear young friends, I pray the Lord Jesus to grasp those of you who are weary and weak, and pull you in. His promises are pulls, His invitations, and those of the kind friends who address you, are so many pulls. Yield yourselves unto them, and be pulled in unto Him. No rest is there, East, West, North, or South, for your soul’s foot, save in the ark of sovereign grace; but there is rest there. As the clove turned her eye, and then her wing, to the ark, so turn your desires and prayers to Jesus; and as she dropped into Noah’s hand, so fall into the hand which was pierced that sinners might live. I pray for each one of you, and have entreated the great High Priest to bear each one of your names before His Father’s face upon His own breastplate. May the Lord save, sanctify, and preserve every one of us till the great day of His appearing!
DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,—
I am full of delight at hearing of what the Lord is doing among you in saving souls; but will any of you be missed by the gracious visitation? Will the sacred rain leave some of you dry as the mountains of Gilboa? Is Jesus passing by, and will you not cry to Him? Is His grace felt by your brother, your sister, and your mother, and not by you? Unhappy soul, which shall manage to elude the blessed influences which are now abroad among us!
Surely, such an one must be dexterous in resisting the Holy Spirit, and desperately resolved to perish! What reason can be urged for such a course? What excuse for such suicide? Let those who are saved, pray much for others who remain hardened.
I am rejoiced that those of you who have found Jesus are not ashamed to own Him. Why should you be? Only make sure that you are really converted; do not be content with shams. Seek the real thing. Lay hold, not on temporary hope, but on eternal life. True faith always has repentance for its twin-brother, love for its child, and holiness for its crown. If you have looked to Jesus for life, be sure that you next look to Him for the pattern of life, so that you may walk as He also walked. As young Christians, you will be greatly tempted; pray, then, to be securely kept, that you may never dis-honor your Lord. We shall soon meet, if the Lord will; and till then, my love be with you all. Amen.
Yours heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Ministers’ Children]. MENTONE, 1890.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIEND,—
“ I will write a letter to their children, and try to make them think about Jesus.” What a joy it would be if you, dear…. were, while yet a child to be saved by the Lord Jesus. He can wash away sin, and by His Holy Spirit, He can change the heart, and He can do it quite as easily in the young, as in the grown-up people. If we seek salvation by Jesus Christ, God will give it. In the Bible we are told to believe, and that isTRUST. We trust Jesus to save us, and He does save us. I want you to trust Him now. I hope you will have a long and useful life, and trust in Christ will be the sure way to help you year by year to live happily. But you may die while yet young, and then through faith in Jesus you will enter Heaven to be glorified in the Lord for ever. “They that seek Me early shall find Me.” That is the text for you. I hope you will seek at once, and find Jesus at once. I may never see you here, but I hope I shall meet you and your dear parents in the land of the blessed.
Yours with my best wishes, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Ministers’ Children]. WESTWOOD, June 19, 1890.
I was a little while ago at a meeting for prayer, where a large number of ministers were gathered together. The subject of prayer was “our children.” It soon brought the tears to my eyes to hear those good fathers pleading with God for their sons and daughters. As they went on entreating the Lord to save their families, my heart seemed ready to burst with strong desire that it might be even so. Then I thought, I will write to those sons and daughters, and remind them of their parents’ prayers.
Do you not pray for yourself? If you do not do so, why not? If other people value your soul, can it be right for you to neglect it? All the entreaties and wrestlings of your father will not save you if you never seek the Lord yourself. You know this.
You do not intend to cause grief to dear mother and father, but you do. So long as you are not saved, they can never rest. However obedient, and sweet, and kind you may be, they will never feel happy about you until you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and so find everlasting salvation.
Think of this. Remember how much you have already sinned and none can wash you but Jesus. When you grow up, you may become very sinful, and none can change your nature, and make you holy but the Lord Jesus, through His Spirit.
You need what father and mother seek for you, and you need it now. Why not seek it at once? I heard a father pray, “Lord, save our children, and save them young.” It is never too soon to be safe; never too soon to be happy; never too soon to be holy. Jesus loves to receive the very young ones.
You cannot save yourself, but the great Lord Jesus can save you. Ask Him to do it. “He that asketh receiveth.” Then trust in Jesus to save you. He can do it, for He died and rose again that “whosoever believeth in Him might not perish, but have everlasting life.” Come and tell Jesus you have sinned; seek forgiveness; trust in Him for it, and be sure that you are saved.
Yours very lovingly, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Children at Stockwell Orphanage].
Saturday evening, January 24, 1874.
I have been much impressed by hearing that death has been to the Orphanage. Are you all prepared, if he should shoot another arrow into one of the houses, and lay another low? I wonder who will be the next!
Dear boys, would you go to Heaven if you were now at once to die? Wait a bit, and let each one answer for himself. You know, you must be born again, you must repent of sin, you must believe in Jesus. How is it with you? If you are not saved, you are in great danger, in fearful peril! Be warned, I pray you! I cannot bear to think of one boy going from the Orphanage to hell; that would be terrible indeed. But to rise to Heaven, to be with Jesus for ever; why, this makes it worth while even to die a hundred deaths.
I hope my dear friend, Mr. Charlesworth, and all the teachers, and matrons, and nurses, are well; I send them all my kindest regards. I often think about you all. I want to see you all happy here and hereafter. May you grow up to be honorable Christian men; and if God should take any of you away, may we all meet in Heaven! Will you pray a special prayer, just now, that the death of one boy may bring all of you to Jesus to find eternal life? Be diligent in school, be very kind in the homes. Do not cause us pain, but give us all joy, for we all love you, and desire your good.
Mr. Charlesworth will, on my behalf, give you a couple of oranges all round, and I will pay him when I come home.
Dec. 23, ‘83.
It pleases me to think of you all as full of glee and gladness to-day. Let us thank God for providing the Orphanage and then for giving us kind friends who think of our daily wants, and then again for finding another set of friends to make us merry on Christmas Day. You see the Lord not only sends us our daily bread, but something over. Let us together bless the Great Father’s name. I do not know how you can thank Him better than by becoming His own dear children, through believing in His Son Jesus. I hope every boy and girl will be found believing in Jesus, loving Jesus, and serving Jesus.
I am just a thousand miles away from you, but my love gets to you by one great leap. It is a little after seven on Sabbath morning, the sun is just up, and the sea is like melted silver. There are such sweet roses in my room, and just outside the window there are oranges and lemons. Don’t envy me, for I know the oranges are sour, and those which you will have to-day will be much better. Do not forget three cheers for Mr. Duncan. I shall listen between 1 and 2 on Tuesday, and if I hear your voices I shall just ride on the moon to you, and drop down from the ceiling. That is a great big if !
Be very happy and very kind to one another. Do not give the dear matrons and masters any trouble at any time. Obey immediately all Mr. Charlesworth’s rules, and make him happy, and then perhaps he will get quite stout.
December 20, 1887.
DEAR BOYS, —
I wish you all a merry Christmas. My son, Mr. Charles Spurgeon, will tell you that it is a great trouble to me to be away from you all at Christmas, but I hope you will all enjoy yourselves none the less, and be as happy as kittens. I am very pleased to hear that as a rule you are a good lot of fellows, obedient, teachable, and true; therefore you have a right to be happy, and I hope you are. I always wish everything to be done to make you love the Orphanage and feel it to be your home, and in this all the Trustees join, and so does Mr. Charlesworth. We want you to be very jolly while you are with us, and then to grow up and go out into business, and to turn out first-rate men and true Christians.
Boys, give three cheers for the Trustees, who are your best friends, and then the same for Mr. Charlesworth, the matrons, and the masters. Don’t forget the gentlemen who send the shillings and the figs. Hip, hip, hurrah!
Where are the girls?
DEAR CHILDREN, —
You cannot make quite so much noise as those uproarious boys, but your voices are very sweet, and I shall be glad one day to hear them when I get well and come home. Enjoy yourselves all you can, and try to make everybody happy in your new home. I hope my first little girls will be specially good ones. Ought not the first to be the best?
Your friend always, C. H. SPURGEON. [Undated. ]
MY DEAR CHILDREN, —
Let us all be grateful that throughout the year our heavenly Father has provided us with bread to eat, and raiment to put on, and has given us shelter from the stormy wind, and a place wherein to rest. Let us all sing —
“Let us with a gladsome mind, Praise the Lord, for He is kind; For His mercy shall endure Ever faithful, ever sure.” As long as you are in the Orphanage, I hope that all of you, both boys and girls, will be very happy. I should be very unhappy myself if I thought that you were unhappy; yet the best joy some of you may not yet know; it is the joy of being right with God through faith in Jesus Christ, and so being ready both for the life which now is and for that which is to come. I had this happiness when I was a boy, and I wish you all had it.
DEAR GIRLS AND BOYS, —
Mr. Ladds always gives you good characters. But I don’t think even he will dare to say that no boy is up to mischief, and that all the girls are quiet at all times. I think you are better than the average laddies and lassies, and this makes me feel very happy about you. God bless you and make you noble men and women in due time. I wonder which boys and girls will be missionaries. Certainly not all, but all may be useful Christians. May the loving Jesus make you so.
Give the Trustees three cheers, and do the same for the friends who give the shillings, the figs and other things. I will be listening about two o’clock and if I hear you cheering I will cheer too, and if you hear my voice you will hear me say “Another cheer for Mr. Charlesworth, the matrons and the masters, etc.”
Yours lovingly, C. H. SPURGEON.
December 21, 1891.
DEAR BOYS AND GIRLS, —
I send you all my love so far as the post can carry it at twopence-halfpenny for half-an-ounce. I wish you a real glorious Christmas. I might have said a jolly Christmas, if we had all been boys; but as some of us are girls, I will be proper, and say,” A merry Christmas!” Enjoy yourselves and feel grateful to the kind friends who find money to keep the Stockwell Orphanage supplied. Bless their loving hearts, they never let you want for anything; may they have pleasure in seeing you all grow up to be good men and women. Feel very grateful also to the Trustees. These gentlemen are always at work arranging for your good. Give them three times three. Then there are Mr. Charlesworth, Mr. Ladds, and all the masters and the matrons. Each one of them deserves your love and gratitude and obedience. They try to do you good; try to cheer them all you can. I should like you to have a fine day —
such a day as we have here; but if not, you will be warm and bright indoors. Three cheers for those who give us the good things for this festival. I want you for a moment in the day to be all still and spend the time in thanking our Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus for great goodness shown to you and to me, and then pray for me that I may get quite well. Mrs. Spurgeon and I both send our love to all the Stockwell family.
Yours very heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [One of the Orphan Boys]. MENTONE, February 5.
I was so pleased with your little note. It was so good of you, with all your pain, to sit up and write to me. I hope when the spring weather comes you will feel better, but if not, you know of the “sweet fields beyond the swelling flood” which” stand dressed in living green.” The Lord Jesus will be very near you. He feels for dear suffering children. He will keep you patient and joyful. Oh, how He loves 1 If there is anything you want, be sure to let me know.