LECTURE 1. — The Minister’s Self-watch
LECTURE 2. — The Call to the Ministry
LECTURE 3. — The Preacher’s Private Prayer
LECTURE 4. — Our Public Prayer
LECTURE 5. — Sermons — their Matter
LECTURE 6. — On the Choice of a Text
LECTURE 7. — On Spiritualizing
LECTURE 8. — On the Voice
LECTURE 9. — Attention
LECTURE 10. — The Faculty of Impromptu Speech
LECTURE 11. — The Minister’s Fainting Fits
LECTURE 12. — The Minister’s Ordinary Conversation
LECTURE 13. — To Workers with Slender Apparatus
METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE PULPIT
Bibliotheca Sacra: “These sermons reveal even in cold type the charm, eloquence, and spiritual power of this giant of the pulpit. Although delivered long ago, the sermons have the same relevance, pungency, and convicting power as when first delivered to the large audiences which heard him in the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Undoubtedly this will be, as claimed by the publishers, one of the greatest sets of sermons in the history of the church.” Baptist Quarterly (England): “Pilgrim Publications has recently undertaken the mammoth task of republishing the 63 volumes of Spurgeon’s sermons, as well as other titles of his. Of Spurgeon, the preacher, we say ‘Take and read’. The best way to discover the real Spurgeon is to read his sermons.
The range of his preaching is remarkable. Spurgeon lived his own words.” Review and Expositor: “Pilgrim Publications is making Spurgeon’s works available to those who are being caught up in a renewed interest in this master preacher. Though in many ways Charles Spurgeon was a child of his own times, his sermons possess a surprising timelessness. His warm devotion to Jesus Christ, his common sense, his homely wit, and his informal style combine to make his sermons a delight to read today.” Bookstore Journal: “Just to know the stature and reputation of the author is sufficient without any man’s recommendation! Thousands give testimony to the value of Spurgeon’s sermons in their ministry and upon individual lives. His dual ministry, that of the spoken and written word, is timeless, speaking of the perennial power of the Word of God as it speaks to man at all times.” Moody Monthly: “One of the most remarkable undertakings of reprinting rich Christian literature, long out of print, has been announced by Pilgrim Publications of Pasadena, Texas . . . I would say, without any hesitation at all, that these volumes (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit) form the greatest collection of sermons by one minister of the Word of God that we have in the English language.” (Dr. Wilbur M. Smith). Christianity Today: “For those who were not privileged to be numbered among his (Spurgeon’s) congregation at New Park Street Chapel or later at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, it is indeed fortunate that the sermons of this master of the pulpit were recorded on the printed page. Spurgeon’s sermons are filled with the necessary ingredients of good preaching and have set standard rarely reached in today’s pulpits it is indeed gratifying that this incomparable series of sermons is being made available once again.” Sword of the Lord: “We are glad that Pilgrim Publications, in Pasadena, Texas, is now reprinting Spurgeon’s sermons. Previously, a selection of twenty volumes of Spurgeon’s sermons was published widely, they are now out of print. However, these were only selected sermons from the whole. We are glad that all of Spurgeon’s sermons will now be reproduced just as originally published by Spurgeon in Spurgeon’s day.” Australian Baptist: “Above all else we commend Spurgeon because of the Biblical content of his sermons. Here is sound doctrine, the doctrines of grace. Here is white-hot evangelism, and at the same time evidence of the heart of a loving pastor. Preachers and evangelists will find inspiration for their ministry in these volumes.” New Life (Australia): “The republication of these volumes could prove to be a powerful preservative for evangelical Christianity. These volumes complete and unabridged contain some of the finest preaching this world has ever heard. How much one would like to say! The best thing is that you procure a copy and delve into its heart-warming and inspiring contents.” Evangelical Baptist (Canada): “Charles H. Spurgeon, by general agreement, was one of the great preachers of the ages. His weekly sermons were avidly read as they came from the publisher. Then, each year, the annual volume appeared under the title, ‘Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.’
Those volumes are to be printed now just as they appeared from the presses in former time. A well illustrated brochure, The Pictorial Life of C. H. Spurgeon, is worth more than the fifty cents which it will cost you.” Prairie Overcomer: “Pilgrim Publications has launched what must be one of the most ambitious reprint projects of the twentieth century. We refer to the republication of C. H. Spurgeon’s Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit sermons in their original form, completely unabridged.”
The Pastor’s College began with one student, Mr. T. W. Medhurst, who first contacted Spurgeon about the matter of salvation. After his conversion, Medhurst wanted to study for the ministry under Spurgeon.
Spurgeon first assigned him to Mr. C. H. Hosken as his teacher, then later Mr. George Rogers became the tutor and the small beginning developed into a college for ministerial students. More and more students enrolled, and the Pastor’s College became widely known. With the help of Spurgeon, its library became a great asset to the student body.
The early tutors of the college included James Spurgeon, David Gracey, Archibald Ferguson, and W. R. Selway.
A later staff was composed of Fergusson, Rogers, Gracey, and F. G.
Lectures were of course given in class rooms, but there was also “the Question Oak” a large tree at Mr. Spurgeon’s residence. Often the students would gather under the tree and ask questions of Spurgeon, and he would give the answers.
On Friday afternoon, the students were usually asked to exhibit their own ability as preachers and that without prior knowledge of the subject matter.
Spurgeon called upon a student to give a message on Zaccheus. The student arose and said: “Zaccheus was little of stature, so am I. Zaccheus was up a tree, so am I. Zaccheus came down, so will I.” The students, as well as Mr. Spurgeon, applauded the “ingenious” performance.
The College had an annual conference at which time many of the former students would gather for fellowship and preaching.
THE PASTOR’S COLLEGE.
THE Pastors’ College was commenced upon a very small scale in the year 1856. Since that date it has educated and sent forth into the ministry not less than three hundred and fifty men, of whom, after deductions by death and other causes, about three hundred remain in the Baptist denomination, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. In addition to this, a far larger number of men receive gratuitous education in the evening, such as may fit them to be city missionaries, colporteurs, or useful private Christians.
The institution receives no man in order to make him a preacher, but it is established to help in the further education of brethren who have been preaching with some measure of success for two years at the least. Many men of earnest spirit and established Christian character are hindered in their efforts to do good by the slenderness of their knowledge. Conscious of their own defects, they endeavor to improve themselves, but the absence of a guide, their need of books, and their scanty time, all prevent their making progress. These are the men whom the Pastors’ College welcomes.
Men in whom piety, zeal, and the indwelling Spirit are to be found need not fear refusal at our doors on account of poverty, if they possess those gifts of utterance which are essential to the preacher.
The College aims at training preachers rather than scholars. To develop the faculty of ready speech, to help them to understand the word of God, and to foster the spirit of consecration, courage, and confidence in God, are objects so important that we put all other matters into a secondary position. If a student should learn a thousand things, and yet fail to preach the gospel acceptably, his College course will have missed its true design.
Should the pursuit of literary prizes and the ambition for classical honors so occupy his mind as to divert his attention from his life work, they are perilous rather than beneficial. To be wise to win souls is the wisdom ministers should possess.
In the Pastors’ College definite doctrines are held and taught. We hold by the doctrines of grace and the old orthodox faith, and have no sympathy with the countless theological novelties of the present day, which are novelties only in outward form: in substance they are repetitions of errors exploded long ago. Our standing in doctrinal matters is well known, and we make no profession of latitudinarian charity, yet we find no failure in the number of earnest spirits who rally to our standard, believing that in truth alone, can true freedom be found.
The support of the College is derived from the free-will offerings of the Lord’s people. We have no roll of subscribers, although many friends send us aid at regular intervals. Our confidence is that God will supply all our means, and he has always done so hitherto. The President has never derived a farthing from the work for himself in any shape, but on the contrary delights to give to the work all that he can, both of money and gratis service; and therefore he the more confidently appeals to others to assist him in maintaining the Institution. No work can possibly confer a greater benefit upon mankind than the training of ministers whom God has chosen, for around them spring up churches, schools, and all the agencies of religion and philanthropy. As we are commanded to pray for laborers in the Lord’s harvest, so are we bound to prove the honesty of our prayers by our actions.
At least £100 is required every week to carry on the work.
C. H.SPURGEON, Nightingale Lane , Clapham, Surrey.
INTRODUCTION AND APOLOGY.
IN reply to many requests from those ministers who in their student days listened to my lectures, I submit a selection to the press. This, however, I cannot do without an apology, for these addresses were not originally prepared for the public eye, and are scarcely presentable for criticism.
My College lectures are colloquial, familiar, full of anecdote, and often humorous: they are purposely made so, to suit the occasion. At the end of the week I meet the students, and find them weary with sterner studies, and I judge it best to be as lively and interesting in my prelections as I well can be. They have had their fill of classics, mathematics, and divinity, and are only in a condition to receive something which will attract and secure their attention, and fire their hearts. Our reverend tutor, Mr. Rogers, compares my Friday work to the sharpening of the pin: the fashioning of the head, the straightening, the laying on of the metal and the polishing have been done during the week, and then the process concludes with an effort to give point and sharpness. To succeed in this the lecturer must not be dull himself, nor demand any great effort from his audience.
I am as much at home with my young brethren as in the bosom of my family, and therefore speak without restraint. Generous minds will take this into account in reading these lectures, and I shall hope that all who favor me with their criticisms will be of that noble order.
Possibly caustic remarks may be made upon my frequent references to myself, my own methods of procedure, and personal reminiscences. These also were intentional. I have purposely given an almost autobiographical tinge to the whole, because my own experience, such as it is, is the most original contribution which I can offer, and, with my own students, quite as weighty as any other within my reach. It would have been impossible for me to quote the experiences of other men if they had not been bold enough to record them, and I make an honest attempt to acknowledge my debt to my greater predecessors by writing down my own. Whether this arises from egotism or not, each reader shall decide according to the sweetness or acidity of his own disposition. A father is excused when he tells his sons his own life-story and finds it the readiest way to enforce his maxims; the old soldier is forgiven when he “shoulders his crutch, and shows how fields were won;” I beg that the license which tolerates these may, on this occasion, be extended to me.
It would have saved me much labor had I reserved these lectures for redelivery to new companies of freshmen, and I am conscious of no motive in printing them but that of desiring to keep my counsels alive in the memories of those who heard them years ago, and impressing them upon others who dwell beyond the precincts of our class-room. The age has become intensely practical, and needs a ministry not only orthodox and spiritual, but also natural in utterance, and practically shrewd. Officialism is sick unto death; life is the true heir to success, and is coming to its heritage. Mannerisms, pomposity’s, and proprieties, once so potent in the religious world, are becoming as obsolete in the reverence of men as those gods of high Olympus for whom in past ages poets tuned their lyres, and sculptors quickened marble into beauty. Truth and life must conquer, and their victory is nearest when they cease to be encumbered with the grave clothes of conventionalism and pretense. It is delicious to put one’s foot through the lath and plaster of old affectations, to make room for the granite walls of reality. This has been a main design with me, and may God send success to the effort.
The solemn work with which the Christian ministry concerns itself demands a man’s all, and that all at its best. To engage in it half-heartedly is an insult to God and man. Slumber must forsake our eyelids sooner than men shall be allowed to perish. Yet we, are all prone to sleep as do others, and students, among the rest, are apt to act the part of the foolish virgins; therefore have I sought to speak out my whole soul, in the hope that I might not create or foster dullness in others. May He in whose hand are the churches and their pastors bless these words to younger brethren in the ministry, and if so I shall count it more than a full reward, and shall gratefully praise the Lord.
Should this publication succeed, I hope very soon to issue in similar form a work upon Commenting, containing a full catalogue of Commentaries, and also a second set of lectures. I shall be obliged by any assistance rendered to the sale, for the price is unremunerative, and persons interested in our subjects are not numerous enough to secure a very large circulation; hence it is only by the kind aid of all appreciating friends that I shall be able to publish the rest of the contemplated series.