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LETTERS OF C. H. SPURGEON
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To [Mrs. Bartlett’s Class]. MENTONE, Saturday evening. [Undated. ]
BELOVED FRIENDS, —
I write to salute you all, and especially your beloved mother in the gospel, my dear friend, Mrs. Bartlett. I hope you are enjoying times of power such as have been so usual with the class. The Lord’s own daughters among you —
are, I trust, living in the enjoyment of their high privileges.
“Why should the children of a King Go mourning all their days?” Yours it is to wear a girdle of joy; “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” See to it that your lives are consistent with your high callings, for it ill becomes the daughters of Zion to demean themselves like the children of earth.
For those of you who are unsaved, I have this word, —
Have you not run risks enough, that you must still imperil your souls? An hour even of the toothache is too much; but what is that compared with the disease of sin and the anger of God? Yet these you bear as if they were mere trifles. Will the time of decision never come? Or will you linger till you perish in your sin? “Remember Lot’s wife.” She is a monument of salt; take a little of that salt, and season your thoughts with it. Your graves are yawning for you, hell also enlargeth itself. Flee from the wrath to come; start up, like those who have been asleep upon the brink of death; and “strive to enter in at the strait gate.”
Yours lovingly, for Christ’s sake, C. H. SPURGEON.
MY BELOVED BRETHREN,—
Another death among us, and so soon! It is a loud voice to us all to stand ready.
I greatly wish I had been at home, for Mr. Carr was an old comrade and perhaps better known and valued by me than by anyone else, —
since he served me in many private literary ways. He was true as steel to the old faith, and to me as an advocate of it. He was eccentric in manner, but in doctrine he kept to the form of sound words with great firmness. I am sure you will, in my absence, do all that the severe weather allows to make the family and the world see how we respect an ancient comrade, and a brother-officer. Some letter of sympathy would come well from you as a body of deacons and elders; but this you will have thought of apart from my suggestion.
not idle, but storing powder and shot for the fight.
MENTONE, 1892. BELOVED BRETHREN IN CHRIST,
I know not how to express the wondering gratitude which continues to fill my mind and heart. That the Lord our God should hear the importunate prayers of His whole Church delights me, but does not surprise me. But that the Church should favor me with such a hearty and spontaneous outburst of loving solicitude, altogether amazes me. I am as one spared from the grave henceforth a double debtor to the people of God; and I can only acknowledge the debt, and seek to increase it by asking still to be remembered in prayer.
My recovery so far has been most remarkable. The cessation of the waste caused by the disease is very, very gradual; but as the case is altogether special, I expect, in answer to prayer, to receive a fuller cure than has been known aforetime. I desire this that I may, according to your desire, return to my public service, bearing witness for truth, wooing the souls that stray, and feeding the faithful of the flock.
Peace and prosperity be with all the churches of our Lord Jesus of every name and nation! May loving union prevail over all divergences of judgment, and mayHE come, Who will be the consummation of our hopes!
Yours with hearty gratitude, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [An Elder]. MENTONE, December 21, 1877.
Dear ____, This is a Sabbath with us, but not a Sunday. It is grey and windy, and I am not able to go out. Yet I am much better, although my middle finger is only middling, and will not let the gout go out.
The small punning which appears above is solely due to your letter. I am not in the habit of committing puns, but there is a contagion about persons who have the evil in its very worst form .... I desire you to tender my kindest love to each one of the elders .... I thank those who pray for me. In my pain and weakness I have had great need of your prayers, and now that I am getting well I feel it even more.
The weather is unsettled here, and cold for this place. The logs of olive blaze cheerfully, and are a necessity.
the finger forbids.
Yours heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [A valued Christian worker]. MENTONE. [Undated ].
DEAR ______ I felt grieved to note how ill you seem to be, only kept up by your indomitable spirit. I am afraid you may undertake too much, and break down yet further under the strain. Better serve the Lord with five talents than kill yourself with trying to make them seven.
are with me.
Yours ever heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [One of his most earnest helpers]. WESTWOOD, June 24, 1884. DEAR ____, I was truly sorry to hear of your illness, but Elijah must faint if he runs before the chariot, and who is to prevent his running? I don’t wonder at your excitement, or blame you, but I do feel sad that it should lead to such illness, and place you in such great danger. You are a splendid engine, but you will burst up if you are worked at such high pressure. The most of our people need the fire to be poked, and very rarely do we need to be damped down; but you, dear____, are not so strong as you look to be, and must be careful.
Anyhow, we will rejoice together. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. Peace be unto you. The sycamore fig was bruised before it became sweet. The bruising has been done with heavy hand; but the sweetness is evidently coming. The Lord bless both you and dear ____ I am deeply grateful to you both for the generous present sent to me, which is the most personal gift I have received. I fear it rejoices a weakness, but it is certainly all my own.
Yours heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Temperance Workers].
March 15, 1882.
DEAR FRIENDS, —
I am exceedingly sorry to be absent from this first meeting to form the Tabernacle Total Abstinence Society. The worse 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 putty 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 totally, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [His Students]. MENTONE, Saturday evening. [Undated. ]
BELOVED BRETHREN, —
In my absence, I never cease to remember you, because I have you all in my heart, as the hope of the church, and the future benefactors of the world. I trust every man is conscientiously laboring at his studies, never wasting an hour. Your time for study is so short, and so much will be required and expected of you, that I beseech you to quit yourselves like men. Every moment with you is worth a Jew’s eye, and its profiting will be a hundredfold in the future. We have to cope with no mean adversaries.
Our antagonists are well equipped and well trained. Our trust is in the Lord alone, and we go forth armed only with a sling and a stone; but we must practice slinging till we can throw to a hair’s-breadth, and not miss. It was no unpracticed hand which smote so small a target as Goliath’s brow. Do not let the devil make fools of you by suggesting that, because the Lord works, you may be idle. I do not believe it of the least among you.
Brethren, for our Lord’s sake, maintain a high degree of spirituality; may the Holy Spirit enable you so to do! Live in God that you may live for God. Let the church see that her students are her picked men. I rely upon you, in my absence, to help in all meetings for prayer or revival to the utmost of your ability. Nothing would give me greater joy than to hear that, while I am away, the Lord was moving some of you to make up for my lack of service.
To [Subscribers]. METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, April 6, 1886.
DEAR FRIEND, —
Time has speedily brought round the annual occasion upon which I trouble you about the Pastors’ College. You never treat it as a trouble, but respond cheerfully, and therefore I do very earnestly invite you to the Annual Supper, which is appointed for Wednesday, May 5, at the College.
I give my daily thoughts to this work of aiding my Master’s young servants to know the way of God more perfectly, and to preach it with greater clearness. As the result of years of this work, we have sent out more than 700 men into the field at home and abroad. Among these have been some of the most successful soul-winners of the period; and we are not ashamed of the larger number who make up the rank and file. The Lord has very signally blessed this service, and He continues to do so, although it is not without its trials and disappointments.
Friends have so often rallied at the Supper to help me that I feel already overwhelmed with gratitude; but I must remind them that each year brings new necessities, and that we shall be glad of the same help as we received last year, namely, some £2,000.
When times are bad, they will not be improved by stinting our gifts to the cause of God. When we have great losses, it is wise to make sure of something by laying it up where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt. But I will not plead; but only say,DO COME.
George Palmer, Esq., of Reading, has most cheerfully consented to be our chairman, and he will be glad to be well supported. Do not give the tickets to others if you cannot come yourself, unless it be to generous friends who will really help the object.
Yours ever heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Members of the Conference]. METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, June 17, 1886.
At the Annual Conference it was agreed that we unite in special prayer for each other and for the Church of God on Monday, June 21. As the day is close at hand, I write most lovingly to remind you of it.
There is an urgent need for increased supplication just now; there is a certainty that such supplication will be effectual; and a bright hope that it may bring us more than we ask or even think. Our utmost prosperity can be far outdone, and our adversity can be altogether removed; the wilderness may become a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. There is no limit to the working of our God unless our unbelief should limit the Holy One of Israel, which may God forbid!
A special meeting is often a new departure, and commences a brighter period; let us try it. For Christian friends to meet in their own houses during the day in twos and threes has been found useful. The family altar also may be a favored place for common intercession.
With hearty, ever-growing affection, I entreat all the brotherhood to pray for the prosperity of everyone, for the feeble and dispirited among us, for those who are sick and sorrowful, for the wandering and declining, and for me also. Brothers, we live as we love and pray. By the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of the Spirit, let us bestir ourselves to a holy agony for the kingdom of God, the salvation of souls, and the glory of our Lord.
March 4, 1887.
MY DEAR FRIEND, —
Our sole desire is the glory of God, and this would be greatly promoted if we all made a distinct advance in the Divine life; this may be produced by the Holy Spirit through our communion with each other and the Lord. Let us bow low before the throne for this, and take hold upon the promises with a mighty faith.
It is comparatively a small matter to all but myself; but I hunger to be with you all the day every day. We love each other in the Lord, and yet see so little of each other that I am bitterly disappointed if taken from you by pain.
Brother, pray that we may look each other in the face, and may together behold our Lord. ‘Would you do me the great service to set apart a little time privately to seek an unusual blessing? and it would, be a great gain if in addition you could lead your Church to pray with us. I pine for a heavenly shower to saturate us all.
Please answer the letters of Secretaries promptly. This is a huge business: ease us all you can.
WESTWOOD. DEAR FRIEND,—
Thank you heartily. Five hundred little mouths at Stockwell will be filled.
Your gift…. has been received gratefully, Yours most heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
WESTWOOD. DEAR FRIEND,
If we are to rejoice with them that do rejoice, I am bound to shout with the boys and girls at Stockwell who are made happy by your bounty. You have helped to make a merry Christmas for them. May the Lord give you a full return in your own household and person!
Your kind gift…. was safely received.
Yours with all the good wishes of the season, C. H. SPURGEON.
WESTWOOD, 1887. DEAR FRIEND,
The Orphanage has a mouth which is for ever swallowing, and if it be not filled it will soon be crying out. This last calamity has never yet fallen upon me, for the Lord has supplied our needs from day to day most graciously.
Glory be to His Name.
I am most grateful to you for your generous help....
Now that we have girls as well as boys our expenses are doubled, but our subscriptions axe not increased to so large an extent, and sometimes we feel the water under the good ship to be a little shallow. Still, she floats.
I beg you to continue to remember me in your gifts and prayers.
Yours very heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [A Correspondent].
WESTWOOD. DEAR SIR,—
No one ever writes me to tell me of vacant situations, and yet I am to find them. I am willing to do what I can, but I could as soon fly in the air as find a situation for anyone. It is out of my line altogether.
Yours truly, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [A Correspondent]. 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 opinions 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, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [The Editor of The Star ].
NIGHTINGALE LANE, June 10, 1 857.
I beg to call your immediate attention to several errors in an article in this morning’s Star headed” Mr. Spurgeon done by a pickle-selling Tartuffe.” I cannot imagine the origin of so extraordinary a statement, for it might as well have been said that Adam robbed my orchard as that Mr. had appropriated our funds. I am happy to say that the moneys for the new Tabernacle are “pre served” in the London and Westminster Bank, in two good names, and have never been placed in any jeopardy up to the present. It is very probable that Mr. was a hearer of mine; for, in a congregation of such magnitude, he may have been sometimes included; but he was not a member of my church, he did not hold a seat, nor did he regularly attend. He may have worn a white neckcloth, but he did not purchase it out of our funds, for he was in no way whatever connected with us beyond being an occasional attendant. If ever your informant has been under the sound of my ministry, I can only regret that I must put him down, with as one who did not hear to profit. Men should be cautious in their repetition of unfounded tales, and especially so in cases where the sacred name of religion is concerned.
I am, Yours faithfully, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [The Secretary of the Church at Devonshire Sq.]. CLAPHAM, 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, C. H. SPURGEON.
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.
Yours heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
BRETHREN IN CHRIST, —
I have for some years felt a desire to hold, at times, in our great City, meetings for business men where I might address them upon the things of God. Convenient places are few, and the hire of those available would be beyond my personal means.
It therefore occurred to me that you might perhaps allow me to speak in your Meeting-house, for I know your liberality of mind; and although personally I am not agreed with you in all points, yet in the greater truths we are one, and even in all things one in the desire to be led of the Spirit, and to live to the glory of God.
Several Friends have encouraged me in the hope that you would freely lend me your Meeting-house, but I earnestly entreat that those who are in favor of so doing will not imagine that I could or would wish for this favor if it would wound the minds of any Friends.
your brother in the Lord, ask you for the loan of your Meeting-house for one hour about mid-day on four days in April or May which may be mutually convenient. If it seem good to you to decline, I shall not need to be assured that your reasons will be kind, for I shall be sure of it; but if you are moved to grant me my desire, I can assure you that I seek not to make converts to a sect, or to a school of thought, much less to any form of outward ordinance; but I desire to bear testimony, as the Spirit enables me, for the gospel of Jesus, with the one aim of leading souls to the Savior.
As, through great weariness, I am obliged to rest for a while in the South of France, I must ask your patience if there should be delay in replying to any enquiries which may arise out of this request. May the Spirit of God be over all in your assembly, even as I trust He moveth me in this act!
To [Ben. Nicholson, Esq.]. WESTWOOD, April 1, 1882.
DEAR FRIEND, —
I am the earnest friend and helper of all who preach the Gospel of Jesus; yet I deem it no unfriendly thing to speak the truth, and what I wrote in 1875 I have never seen any reason to alter. Messrs. Moody & Sankey axe two blessed men of God, and if their converts on that occasion vanished, it was no fault of theirs, neither would I have had them refrain for an hour —
far from it.
There is a medium.
In any case, I am not against Evangelistic effort, but heartily its advocate.
Yours very truly and gratefully, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Readers of his sermons]. CLAPHAM, June 5.
TO MY FRIENDS EVERYWHERE, —
I have now endured ten silent Sabbaths, and as I know that many of you are anxious to have accurate information as to my state of health, and as I have now something cheerful to communicate, I feel bound to add the present note to this week’s sermon. The pain of my disease which has been intense has now ceased for a week or more. I have had a succession of good nights in which sweet sleep has so refreshed me that I felt each morning to be fax in advance of the previous day. I am now very weak, weak as a little child, but by the same mercy which allayed the pain strength will be restored, and I shall have the pleasure of being again at my delightful labor.
Please pray for me that I may be speedily and lastingly restored to health, if it be the Lord’s will. Ask also that the furnace heat which I have suffered may produce its full effect upon me in my own soul and in my ministry. My heart’s inmost desire, as the Lord knoweth, is the salvation of sinners and the building-up of His people in their most holy faith, to the glory of the Lord Jesus: hence it has been very grievous to me to have been debarred my pulpit and shut out from other means of usefulness. Nevertheless, no work has flagged at the Tabernacle, because of my illness; pecuniary help has been furnished just when it was needed, and spiritual help has been given by the Lord of Hosts. We desire to accomplish more, and to receive more blessing, when our health is restored to us. Surely the Master has some great design to be answered by laying His servants aside; we trust it will prove to be so. Let our prayers be more fervent, our zeal more ardent, and our labors for the spread of the Truth more abundant, and God will bless us, and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.
I have one great favor to ask of all readers of the sermons, and that is that they will try to spread them abroad, and increase the number of regular subscribers. What has been good to you will be good for others if the Lord bless it. If you cannot preach yourself, you can distribute the word spoken by others.
Yours to serve till death, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Readers of his sermons]. MENTONE, Jan. 9, 1892.
BELOVED FRIENDS, —
The one want of the church in these times is indicated by the title of this sermon. The presence of God, in saving power, in the Church, will put an end to the present plague of infidelity. Men will not doubt His Word when they feel His Spirit.
It will be the only security for the success of missionary effort. If God be with His people, they will soon see crowds converted and added to the Church. For a thousand reasons, we need that Jehovah should come into the camp, as aforetime He visited and delivered His people from bondage in Egypt.
Could we not all unite in prayer for this as fervently as all united in prayer for my life? It is a far greater and more necessary subject for intercession, and the Lord will not be slow to hear us. Come to Thy Church, 0 Lord, in fullness of power to save! If the Great Advent is not yet, —
indulge us with outpourings of grace, and times of refreshing!
Oh, that all Christendom would take up this pleading, and continue it until the answer came!
Receive, dear readers, my hearty salutations. Personally, I scarcely make progress during this broken weather, but the doctor says I hold my own, and that is more than he could have expected. Whether I live or die, I would say in the words of Israel to Joseph, “God shall be with you.”
Yours ever heartily, C. H. SPURGEON.
To [Readers of his sermons]. MENTONE, Jan. 17, 1892.
MY DEAR READERS,—
Your weekly preacher is still weakly; but though his progress towards strength is slow, it has been steadily maintained during the late trying weather. When we consider how many have died, your chaplain is very grateful to be alive to be able to send forth his usual discourse from the Press, and to be, as he hopes, half-an-inch nearer to his pulpit. Happy will he count himself when he is able to preach with the living voice.
Would it not be well for all the churches to hold special meetings for prayer concerning the deadly scourge of influenza? The suggestion has no doubt been made by others; but I venture to press it upon Christians of all denominations that they may in turn urge all their pastors to summon such meetings. Our nation is fast learning to forget God. In too many instances ministers of religion have propagated doubt and the result is a general hardening of the popular feeling, and a greatly-increased neglect of public worship. It is written, “When Thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.” Let us, who believe in inspired Scripture, unite our prayers that it may be even so. With a court and a nation in deepest mourning, it is a time to cry mightily unto the Lord.