The river of our peace at certain seasons overflows its banks; and, at times, the believer’s joy is exceeding great. Even princes, who fare sumptuously every day, have their special banquets; and this Jubilee of my life is a true Jubilee of joy, not only to myself, but to every member of my family. — C. H. S., in sermon preached at the Tabernacle in celebration of the completion of his fiftieth year . JUNE 19, 1884, was one of the red-letter days in Mr. Spurgeon’s history, for he then completed the fiftieth year of his life. At the annual churchmeeting, held in the Tabernacle, on February 13, the following resolution was unanimously and enthusiastically passed — “That the church gratefully recognizes the goodness of Almighty God in sparing to it, and to the Christian Church at large.’, the invaluable life of our beloved Pastor, C. H. Spurgeon; and that, in order worthily to celebrate his Jubilee, a suitable memorial be raised, and presented to him; and that it be an instruction to the deacons to take this matter vigorously in hand, and to carry it forward as they may deem best.”
The deacons, having received that instruction from their fellow-members, lost no time in considering the best method of carrying it into effect; indeed, they were the first to suggest that such a notable period in the Pastor’s life must not be allowed to pass without due recognition; and, with their usual generosity, they headed “the list of love” which was immediately commenced. They had, at first, just the sanre difficulty as when they were arranging for the pastoral silver wedding testimonial, for Mr. Spurgeon again insisted that, whatever amount was raised should be devoted to the Lord’s work, and not be tot his own personal benefit. No doubt this restriction somewhat reduced the total sum ultimately reached, for many generous helpers said that, as the Pastor gave away the whole of the £6,500 presented to him in 1879, and as they were constantly contributing to the various Institutions under his charge, they wished, on this occasion, to give him substantial tokens of their ever-growing love and esteem for himself. It will be seen, from his address acknowledging the testimonial, that he consented, under the urgent entreaties of the donors, to take some portion of the amount for himself; but, even then, he simply took it that he might give it away again; and the only way in which a few very special friends could make sure of his reception of their gifts was to send something direct to him for ornament or use in his home.
On May 6, a few friends met the deacons, to hear how the matter was progressing,, to make further contributions to the fund, and to consult as to the final arrangements with regard to its; presentation. Up to that night, about £1,000 had been received or promised, — just the amount which it was estimated would be required to pay for the Jubilee House, at the back of the Tabernacle, which was then being erected as a permanent memorial of the Pastor’s fiftieth year. On the side of that building is a marble slab, which is here reproduced.
JUNE 19 TH, 1884.
WITH GRATITUDE AND GLADNESS THIS HOUSE WAS ERECTED TO COMMEMORATE THE FIFTIETH BIRTHDAY OF C. H.SPURGEON, PASTOR OF THE CHURCH AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE.
TO the Lord be glory for all the work which he has wrought among his people .
“THOU HAST THRUSTSORE AT ME THAT IMIGHT FALL BUT THE LORD HELPED ME. THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH AND SONG, AND IS BECOME MY SALVATION. THE VOICE OF REJOICING AND SALVATION IS IN THE TABERNACLES OF THE RIGHTEOUS. THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD DOETH VALIANTLY THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD IS EXALTED THE RIGHT HAND OF THE LORD DOETH VALIANTLY.
I SHALL NOT DIE,BUT LIVE, AND DECLARE THE WORKS OF THE LORD.
THE LORD HATH CHASTENED ME SORE, BUT HE HATH NOT GIVEN ME OVER UNTO DEATH.”
(Copy of marble slab and inscription on Jubilee House .)
Concerning this inscription, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — ”The somewhat lengthy quotation from the Psalm is an accurate photograph of the Pastor’s personal experience, and of the triumphs of the Lord in the adjoining Tabernacle. Power has been seen in weakness, healing by sickness, and joy through sorrow.” Mr. Spurgeon preached upon the various verses here engraved, and he intended to make a book of these sermons;, and of personal memories of the Lord’s goodness; but the work of revising the discourses was, through illness and the pressure of other service, so long delayed, that the publication of the proposed volume had to be abandoned.
The manuscripts were, however, carefully preserved for future use in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit . A very pathetic interest now attaches to the sermon issued for reading on January 3, 1892, for it was the first that Mr. Spurgeon had been able to prepare for the press after his long illness, and the last but one that he ever revised. The other three sermons, preached from the texts on the Jubilee House, were published, in clue course, in October, 1897, and the four together form a choice memorial of a notable period in ‘the great preacher’s life.
As the date of the celebration of the Jubilee approached, many references to it appeared in the religious and secular newspapers, the most noteworthy being the articles in the Pall Mall Gazelle of June 18 and 19, 1884. They were the result of Mr. Spurgeon’s compliance with the request contained in the following letter from the Editor, Mr. W. T. Stead — “Dear Sir, “You are, I am aware, one of the busiest men in London. But I venture to ask you to spare me a morsel of your leisure to have a talk over things in view of your approaching Jubilee, — your long and successful labors in London, and the general result at which you have arrived after going through it all. That, of course, for the paper and the public. Besides this, I should be very glad to have an opportunity personally of placing myself in immediate communication, with one who has been such a power for good in London and throughout the world. I also am very busy, but any day after 12 I am at your service it you can spare me time for an interview. I have the honor to be, “Your obedient servant, “W. T.STEAD.”
The report of the interview contained allusions to many subjects either of passing or permanent interest. The whole conversation was more or less, of an autobiographical character, the opening paragraphs dealing with the subject of religious endowments. Mr. Stead wrote — “Mr. Spurgeon is one of the most genial of hosts, and in the course of a couple of hours spent in strolling about his well-wooded grounds, or in gossiping in his library, his visitor was able to gather his views concerning a great number of the questions of the day. He found Mr. Spurgeon, as is not to be wondered at, a strong believer in the one-man power. ‘Wherever anything is to be done,’ said he, ‘either in the Church or the world, you may depend upon it, it is done by one man. The whole history of the Church, from the earliest ages, teaches the same lesson. A Moses, a Gideon, an Isaiah, and a Paul are from time to time raised up to do an appointed work; and when they pass away, their’ work appears to cease.
Nor is it given to everyone, as it was to Moses, to see the Joshua who is destined to carry on his work to completion. God can raise up a successor to each man, but the man himself is not to worry about that matter, or he may do harm. Hence I am against all endowments for religion; it is better to spend the money for immediate needs. I am not even in favor of endowing my own College. Someone made me an offer, the other day, to found a scholarship in connection with it, but I declined it. Why should I gather money, which would remain after I am gone, to uphold teaching of which I might entirely disapprove? No! let each generation provide for its own wants. Let my successor, if I have one in the College, do as I have done, and secure the funds which he needs for his own teaching. I wish there were no religious endowments of any shape or kind among Dissenters or Churchmen, for I never yet knew a chapel, possessing an endowment, which did not find that, instead of its being a blessing, it was a curse. One great object of every religious teacher should be to prevent the creation of external appliances to make his teaching appear to live when it is dead. If there were no endowments, an error would soon burst up, whereas an artificial vitality is imparted to it by bolstering it up with endowments.’ “‘Then you have faith for yourself Mr. Spurgeon, but none for your successor?’ queried the visitor. “‘A mart does very well,’ was the reply, ‘ who has faith for himself; but how can he undertake to have faith for another? I am no believer in sponsorship. Who knows where my successor may be? He may be in America, or in Australia, or I know not where. As for the Tabernacle, the man who occupies my place, when I pass away, will have to depend upon his own resources, upon the support of his people, and the grace of God, as I have done; and if he cannot do that, let him come to the ground, for he will not be the fitting man for the post.’“ One other paragraph may be quoted, partly because of the reference made to it by Dr. Peter Bayne — “‘In theology,’ said Mr Spurgeon, ‘I stand where I did when I began preaching, and I stand almost alone. If I ever did such a thing, I could preach my earliest sermons now without change so far as the essential doctrines are concerned. I stand almost exactly where Calvin stood in his maturer years ; — not where, he stood in his Institutes, which he wrote when quite a young man, but in his; later works; that position is taken by few. Even those who occupy Baptist pulpits do not preach exactly the same truths that I preach. They see things differently; and, of course, they preach in their own way. Although few will deny the wonderful power of the truth as it has been preached at the Tabernacle, it is not according to their method; yet it is the Calvinistic way of looking at things which causes my sermons to have such acceptance in Scotland, in Holland, and even in the Transvaal, where a recent traveler expressed his astonishment at finding translations of them lying beside the family Bible in a great many of the farmsteads of the country. I am aware that my preaching repels many’, that I cannot help. If, for instance, a man does not believe in the inspiration of the Bible, he may come and hear me once; and if he comes no more, that is his responsibility, and not mine. My doctrine has no attraction for that man; but I cannot change my doctrine to suit him.’“ Shortly after the publication of the second article in the Pall Mall Gazelle, the following letter reached the Pastor — “Dear Mr. Spurgeon, “It is within the range of possibility that, in your collection of old lumber, you have some scrap of mine which had its place among those ‘paper bullets of the brain’ whose impact did you, it seems, no harm. My present notions about you are contained in the enclosed article, which you may have seen in Thursday’s Christian World. The writing of it gave me unfeigned pleasure. “I have, for many months, been working strenuously at the original sources for a Life of Luther; and being thus led to visit one of the grand fountains of Evangelical inspiration, I have felt my own early Evangelicalism plunged, as it were, in a bath of life. But I do not think that I have ever wavered in my conviction that, for man and for nations of men, the hope of salvation is renewal in the life of Christ. Yours has been a glorious privilege, — to preach Christ, with Divine recognition so decisive, for nearly forty years. “What you said about Calvin to the Pall Mall interviewer interests me much. Since making a careful examination of his theology and life, I have transcendently honored that man. But I measure him chiefly by the Institutes; and am very curious to know how you would define his later and ‘maturer’ position. Do not put pen to paper on the subject; but if you have published your view in sermon or book, I should be much obliged by being told how I can obtain it. Perhaps one of your secretaries would send me the necessary word. “I know you are too magnanimous to retain the least little particle of grudge against me, and you and Mrs. Spurgeon have no more sincere admirer or affectionate well-wisher than I. “Faithfully yours, “PETER BAYNE.”
The actual celebration of the Jubilee commenced on Wednesday, June 18, 1884, when the Pastor sat in his vestry, from twelve to five o’clock, to receive the congratulations of friends, and contributions to be passed on to the treasurers of the testimonial fund. Then, several hundreds of the church-members were entertained at tea in the rooms under the Tabernacle, and afterwards the great sanctuary was crowded with an enthusiastic audience. Such vast numbers of people were anxious to be present, that two evenings had to be set apart for the meetings; and, even then, hundreds of applicants for tickets had to be refused, for so many applied that, if the building had been twice as large, there would have been no difficulty in filling it on both nights.
Little did the cheering thousands know of the intense anxiety that was felt by a few of the Tabernacle officials, and other friends who Shared with them a terrible secret. Just at that time, in various quarters of London, there had been threats of desperate deeds by Fenians, or those in sympathy with them; and an intimation, which the police authorities dared not disregard, had been given that the Tabernacle was to be blown up on the nigh of Mr. Spurgeon’s Jubilee. It seemed scarcely possible that such a diabolical scheme of wholesale destruction of human life could have been devised; but every precaution was taken to prevent it becoming an awful reality. There probably had never been so many detectives and policemen in the building before; and when the proceedings on the second night were over, and the delighted audience had dispersed, there were private but grateful thanksgivings that all had gone off without even a note of alarm; yet, for a considerable period afterwards, it was deemed advisable to have a special watch kept in case arty attempt of the kind indicated might be made. With thoughtful and tender solicitude, all knowledge of the threatened explosion was kept from the Pastor; and it was only when he was in the carriage, on his way home, that Mrs. Spurgeon told him the alarming news which had occupied her thoughts; during the evening, and together they gave thanks that the evil had been averted.
The Wednesday evening meeting was specially intended for the members of the church, and congregation, and representatives of the many missions, schools, and agencies connected with the Tabernacle. The number of these various forms of work for the Lord may’ be judged from the fact that the list of them occupied more than half a page in The’ Sword and The Trowel, while., nearly as large a space was required for the names of the various religious societies, at home and abroad, from which addresses of congratulation had been received.
The Pastor presided, and it was to him a source of intense thankfulness that Mrs. Spurgeon was able to be present on both the evenings, to share with him the joys of the Jubilee, after so many years’ enforced absence from the Tabernacle through severe illness. The keynote of the whole of the gatherings was struck, at the commencement of the meeting, by the Pastor’s opening sentences — ” I do not think anybody imagines that I ought to speak at any great length to-night, but I should like to say very much in very little. I feel overwhelmed ‘with gratitude to you, dear friends, and because of you, to God. Alter the kind words which many of you have spoken to me, I have much to do not to cry; indeed, I have had a little distillation of the eyes quietly, and I feel very much like weeping now, at the remembrance, of all the good and gracious things that have been said to me this day. But let me say this for my speech’ the blessing which I have had here, for many years, must be entirely attributed to the grace of God, and to the working of God’s Holy Spirit among us. Let that stand as a matter, not only taken for granted, but as, a fact distinctly recognized among us. I hope, brethren, that none of you will say that I have kept back the glorious work of the Holy Spirit. I have tried to remind you of it, whenever I have read a chapter, by praying’ that God the Holy Spirit would open that chapter to our minds. I hope I have never preached without an entire dependence on the Holy Ghost. Our reliance upon prayer has been very conspicuous; at least, I think so. We have not begun, we have not continued, we have not ended anything’ without prayer. We have been plunged into it up to the hilt. We have not prayed as we should; but, still, we have so prayed as to prevail; and we wish it to be on record that we owe our success, as a, church, to the work of the Holy Spirit, principally through its leading us to pray. Neither, as a church, have we been without a full conviction that, if we are honest in our asking, we must be earnest in acting. It is no use asking God to give us a blessing if we do not mean it; and if we mean it, we shall use all the means appointed for’ the gaining of that boon; and that we have done. One of my first duties, tonight, will be to remind this audience that it very largely consists of representatives from the various Institutions. A partial list will be read to you; but, incomplete as it is, it is a long one; and though one or two of the Institutions represented may be small ones, yet many of them are so large that they might have constituted public societies having annual meetings at Exeter Hall; and these things have sprung out of this church through that same Holy Spirit who set us praying and set us working’. “Next to that, it behooves me to say that I owe the prosperity I have had in preaching the gospel to the gospel which I have preached. I wish everybody thought as much, but there are some who will have it that there is something very particular and special about the preacher. Well, I believe that there may be something peculiar about the man, something odd, perhaps. He cannot help that, but he begs to say there is nothing about him that can possibly account for the great and long-continued success attending his labors. Our American friends are generally very ‘cute judges, and I have a good many times read their opinion of me, and they say over and. over again, ‘Well, he is no orator. We have scores of better preachers in America than Mr. Spurgeon, but it is evident that he preaches the gospel as certain of our celebrated men do not preach it.’ I so preach the gospel that people coming to hear it are impressed by it, and rejoice to rally to the standard. I have tried, and I think successfully, to saturate our dear friends with the doctrines of grace. I defy the devil himself ever to get that truth out of you if God the Holy Spirit once puts it into you. That grand doctrine of substitution, which is at the root of every other, — you have heard it over and over and over and over again, and you have taken a sure grip of it. Never let it go. And I say to all preachers who fail in this matter, that I wish they would preach more of Christ, and try to preach more plainly.
Death to fine preaching’ There is no good in it. All the glory of words and the wisdom of men will certainly come to naught; but the simple testimony of the goodwill of God to men, and of His sovereign choice of His own people, will stand the test, not only of the few years during which I have preached it, but of all the ages of this world till Christ shall come. I thank you, dear friends, for all your love and your kindness to me, but I do attribute even that, in great measure, to the fact that you have been fed with the pure gospel of the grace of God. I do not believe that the dry, dead doctrine of some men could ever have evoked such sympathy in people’s hearts as my gospel has aroused in yours. I cannot see any reason in myself why you should love me. I confess that I would not go across the street to hear myself preach; but I dare not say more upon that matter, because my wife is here. It is the only point upon which we decidedly differ; I differ in toto from her estimate of me, and from your estimate of me, too; but yet I do not wish you to alter it.”
Mr. B. W. Carr read the congratulatory address which was published at the time in The 5word and the Trowel, but for which space cannot be spared here; the Pastor’s father, brother, and son Charles briefly spoke; Pastor Archibald G. Brown and Mr. H. H. Driver represented the past and present students of the College; Mr. S. R.. Pearce was the speaker on behalf of the Sunday-school; Mr. W. J. Orsman and Mr. W. Olney were the representatives of the missions which had grown out of the church’s work; and Pastor W. L. Lang, F.R.G.S., presented an address from the Baptist ministers of France; but, remembering the worldwide influence, of the American evangelist, Mr. D. L. Moody, probably the most important utterance, that night, was the testimony he gave to the blessing he had derived from the Pastor’s printed and spoken messages — “Mr. Spurgeon has said, tonight, that .he has felt like weeping. I have tried to keep back the tears, but I have not succeeded very well. I remember, seventeen years ago, coming into this building a perfect stranger. Twentyfive years ago, after I was converted, I began to read of a young man preaching in London with great power, and a desire seized me to hear him, never expecting that, some day, I should myself be a preacher. Everything I could get hold of in print that he ever said, I read. I knew very little about religious things when I was converted. I did not have what he has had, — a praying father. My father died before I was four years old. I was thinking of that, tonight, as I saw Mr. Spurgeon’s venerable, father here by his side.
He has the advantage of me in that respect, and he perhaps got an earlier start than he would have got if he had not had that braving, father’. His mother I have not met-but most good men have praying mothers, — God bless them! In 1867, I made my way across the sea; and if ever there was a sea-sick man for fourteen days, I was that one. The first place to which I came was this building. I was told that I could not get in without a ticket, but I made. up my mind to get in somehow, and I succeeded. I well remember seating myself in this gallery. I recollect the very seat, and I should like to take it back to America with me. As your dear Pastor walked down to the platform, my eyes just feasted upon him, and my heart’s desire for years was at last accomplished It happened to be the year he preached in the Agricultural Hall. I followed him up there, and he sent me back to America a better man. Then I began to try and preach myself, though at the time I little thought I should ewer be able to do so. While I was here, I followed Mr. Spurgeon everywhere; and when, at home, people asked if I had gone to this and that cathedral, I had to say ‘No,’ and confess I was ignorant of them; but I could tell them something about the meetings addressed by Mr. Spurgeon. In 1872, I thought I would come over again to learn a little more, and I found my way back to this gallery. I have been here a great many times since, and I never come into the building without getting a blessing to my soul. I think I have had as great a one here to-night as at any other time I have been in this Tabernacle. When I look down on these orphan boys, when I think of the 600 servants of God who haw gone out from the College to preach the gospel, of the 1,500 or 2,0o0 sermons from this pulpit that are in print, and of the multitude of books that have come from the Pastor’s pen, (Scripture says, ‘Of making many books there is no end,’ and in his case it is indeed true,) I would fain enlarge upon all these good works, but the clock shows me that, if I do, 1 shall not get to my other meeting in. time. But let me .just say this, if God can use Mr. Spurgeon, why should He not use the rest of us, land why should we not all just lay ourselves at the Master’s feet, and say to. Him, ‘ Send me, use me’? It is not Mr. Spurgeon who does the work, after ;all; it is God. He is as weak as any other man apart from his Lord. Moses was nothing, but Moses’ God was almighty. Samson was nothing when he lost his strength; but when it came back’ to him, then he was a mighty man; and so, dear friends, bear in mind that, if we can just link our weakness to God’s strength, we ,an go forth, and be a blessing in the world. Now, there are others to speak, and I have also to hasten away to another meeting, but I want ‘to say to you, Mr. Spurgeon, ‘God bless you! I know that you love me, but I assure you that I love you a thousand times more than you can ever love me, because you have been such a ‘blessing to me, while I have been a very little blessing to you. I have read your sermons for twenty-five years. You are never going to die. John Wesley lives more to-day than when he was in the flesh; Whitefield lives more to-.day than when he was on this earth; John Knox lives more today’ than at any other period of his life; and Martin Luther, who has been gone over three hundred years, still lives.’ Bear in mind, friends, that our dear brother is to live for ever. We may never meet together again in the flesh; but, by the blessing of God,. I will meet you up yonder.’
On Thursday evening, June 19, the Tabernacle was packed to its utmost capacity, while crowds in vain sought admission. The Earl of Shaftesbury, K.G., presided, and delivered a notable testimony to the Pastor’s faithfulness from the first days of his ministry until that hour; addresses were also given by the Revs. Canon Wilberforce, J.P. Chown, O. P.
Gifford (Boston, U.S.A.), Newman Hall, LL.B., W. Williams ,’,Upton Chapel), and Joseph Parker, D.D., and Sir William McArthur, M.P.; the Jubilee address was, again read by Mr. Carr, and the treasurers of the testimonial fund presented to Mr. Spurgeon a cheque for L4,500, “free from any condition, and to remain absolutely at his disposal.” In reply, the Pastor said — “The affectionate words to which I have listened have sunk into my heart. I can take a very great deal of encouragement without being lifted up even to the ordinary level, and all I have received will operate upon me more afterwards than just now. But I am sure that the kindly pressure of the hand, and the way in which friends, one after another, have told me that I led them to the Savior, or that I comforted them in the time of trouble, have been a very great joy to me. To God be all the praise; to me it is an overwhelming honor to be His servant. Had there been no money whatever accompanying this celebration, I should have been as well pleased as I am now; for I never proposed a gift, and I never’ thought of it. I did suggest that there should be some money gathered on account of the building of the house at the back, which is for the use of this church; I thought that a very right and proper object. “You will remember that, some years ago, you were so good as to give me nearly L6,500 as a testimonial; and 1 went away, that night, with a very light heart, because I had handed the whole amount over to you for the Almshouses and some other works. That is exactly ‘what I proposed to do to-night ; — just the same thing over again, only that I am not permitted to do it. A very large number of the donors said that they ‘would not give anything if ray Jubilee day was made a pretext for assisting the societies.
They put it as strongly as that; they had contributed the time before with the view of giving something to me, and they would not give a second time unless it was for my personal benefit. At the start, in addition to paying’ for the Jubilee House, I proposed four objects to be helped, and I asked the donors to allot their money to one or other of those four as they pleased.
In pursuance of that request, there has been an allotment made. Judge how very little that idea seemed to take with our friends! Having it before them, and having it pressed upon. them by myself; they have allotted £81 9s. 5d. to the Almshouses. £31 to the Colportage, £74 to the Orphanage, and £43 to my son’s Tabernacle at Auckland; and there is a pound or two — perhaps three — allotted to societies, that is all; and all the rest is evidently left, by the will of the friends, totally free. Well, it must be so, and I accept the. money for myself so far as that is the expressed desire; only I do not know how I can better have it than by being allowed to give it away. What I have is best enjoyed by myself personally when I san use it in some way or other for the advantage .of the work of God. I cannot be debarred from this gratification. I will go the length of saying that I will take some portion of this for myself. But, first of all, there will be £1,000 needed to pay for the house, and furniture, and all sorts of things. Then I want to give something to St. Thomas’s Hospital, which helps many of our poor friends.
Some years ago, my dear brother, Mr. Higgs, at my request, paid the usual amount, and became one of the governors of the hospital. He is gone, and I want to be a governor in succession to him, — not that I have any interest to serve there except that of the sick poor. Than I want to give to the church £200, to make up what is given to the Almhouses to £200, and also to give to the deacons £100, which they may keep to lend to persons who can use a loan well. We have no money to lend, and I am the party who has to lend to everybody. I do not go in tot large loans; but I speculate in sewing machines, and mangles, and some other things of that sort. I should have a considerable number if I ever had them back again, but that does not generally happen; so I want other persons to look after the things that are lent, and get the money back again, and I think that would toe very useful. I want, also, to give to the Baptist Fund for the relief of poor ministers, £50, on the behalf of my son Charles, to make him a member of it. I should like to give L1oo to the fund for augmenting the salaries of our poor brethren. I should like to make up the amount for Colportage work to £200. I should like to give £250 to the Tabernacle at Auckland. I should like to give at least £100 ‘to my wife’s Book Fund for poor ministers. “I have a little list here; but if I were to read any more, friends might object that I was doing contrary to their wish. I must try and avoid all opposition to the donors, and yet help my work and other work. I am called upon so much to help the building of chapels and such like things, that I am kept perpetually very poor; not that I want anything. I have all things. I do not need this money; but, still, there has been a time when we expended all that we had, and we had nothing laid by whatsoever. But if anybody supposes that I have a very large sum of money laid by, I shall be very glad to let him make a bid for it. I think it is highly probable that I should be a great gainer by the offer, even if it were a reasonable one. I had a huge fortune left me, as you know, some time ago, — in the moon. It was in the papers everywhere; that is where it was. When the papers hand it over, I shall be glad. It has; ever been the case with me that, whenever I have had help given me, there have been calls at once more than equal to it. On the last occasion when I received a testimonial from you, I was greatly amused at the shoal of applicants who wrote to me for the money. Though the papers stated that I gave it all back again, these people applied for it all the same.
One person wrote wanting help for her husband, that he might pay his; debts on his farm, amounting to some £500, because it was clear to her mind that I had such a lot of money that I did not want any more, or else I should not have given back the testimonial. I could not see how, after I had handed over the money, I could still give it to somebody else. I beg to give notice that it will be useless to write to me for this money, because I shall be able to appropriate it without the assistance of friends. There are so many Institutions here, and so much work to be done, that, whatever comes to me, the first thing; I begin to think of is, not ‘What shall I do with it?’ but ‘ In which direction do I need it most?’ Our friend spoke the honest truth when he said, ‘Money is just what the Pastor does want.’ I am the pipe through which the money runs. It runs in at one end, and it runs out at the other with extreme rapidity; and you may see daily what good it does.
If you ever wish to see, go to the College; go to the Almshouses; .go to the Orphanage; go and see what God has done through your liberality. “I have coveted no man’s silver or gold!. I have desired nothing at your hands, but that you love the Lord Jesus Christ, and serve Him with all your might. But I have coveted, and I do still covet to have a generous people about me, because I am sure that it is to God’s glory and to your own advantage to be liberal to His cause. Poor men should give that they may’ not be always poor. Rich men should give that they may not become poor.
These are selfish motives; but, still, they are worthy to be mentioned. ‘ There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.’ As a general rule, he that keeps his substance will not find it multiply under his hands; but he that gives shall find that it is given back to him, ‘good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over.” Besides, I do not think much of giving when I have plenty to give with; I like it better when I can I pinch myself. If you pinch yourself, there is a sweetness about giving to the Lord.
What you do not want, you can dispense with, and exhibit small lows; but when you come to what you do want, and give that to the Lord, then there comes to your own heart the comfortable assurance that you are really doing it unto the Lord, because of the needs of His cause. “Now I thank everybody who has given a hundred pounds, and everybody who has given a penny. God bless you, and return it to you in every way!
One of our brethren told you, the other night, what once happened to me. I had been preaching in a country place, and a good woman gave me five shillings. I said to her, ‘Well, my dear friend, I do not want your money.’
She said, ‘ But you must take it; I give it to you because I got good from you.’ I said, ‘Shall I give it to the College?’ She answered, ‘I don’t care about the College; I care about you.’ ‘Then I ‘will give it to the Orphanage.’ ‘No,’ she said, ‘you take it yourself.’ I said, ‘ You need it more than I do.’ She replied, ‘ Now, do you think that your Lord and Master would have talked like that to the woman who came and broke the alabaster box over Him? I do not think He would.’ She added, ‘I know you do not mean to be unkind; I worked extra to earn it, and I give it to you.’ I told her that she owed me nothing, and that woman owed the Lord everything, and asked, ‘ What am I to do with it?’ She said, ‘Buy anything you like with it; I do not care what. Only, mind, you must have it for yourself.” I mention the incident because it is much in that spirit that the friends have given this noble testimonial. “The Lord bless you! The Lord bless you! The Lord bless you, yet more and more, you and your children!”
Mr. Spurgeon wrote many letters gratefully acknowledging the resolutions of congratulation which he received in connection with his Jubilee. One of the replies to friends at home, and another to those abroad, may be given as specimens of the thankful epistles then written; the first was addressed to the Western Baptist Association — “Dear Friends, I feel greatly comforted and humbled by receiving your most loving resolution. It is sweet to live in the affection of so many brethren, but it involves a. great responsibility. I join with you in praising God for His special goodness to me; and implore for you and all your churches renewed blessings of a like character. The gospel of the grace of God is dear to us, and we do not doubt that the Lord will bless its publication in every place. Every year binds us more fast to the eternal verities, and to Him in whom they center. Let us be of good courage, and play the man for our Lord and His Word. “With all my heart I thank you, and return the affection which suggested your considerate action. “Your brother in our Lord Jesus, “C. H.SPURGEON.”
The Philadelphia Conference of Baptist ministers sent a loving resolution of congratulation. The following reply was written to the secretary — “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. “I feel as if I was even now squeezing the. hand of each minister, and receiving a return grip. Take it as done.. Thank you! God bless you! “Yours heartily, “C. H.SPURGEON.”
A Spurgeon Jubilee Album was issued by Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster in connection with the Pastor’s completion of his fiftieth year; he sent a copy of it to Lord Shaftesbury, who replied as follows — “My Dear Friend, “Your Jubilee Album reached me some time ago. I am deeply obliged to you for it, and still more for the touching and affectionate words you have inscribed on the fly-leaf. “My daughter is writing for me, because I am still lying at full length in my bed, where I have been since Saturday last. I am now, thank God, a great deal better, but the attack has been very serious.
I have been longing to come and see you, but both in the number and the importance of engagements I have had more than usual pressure this year; and now, you see, I have lost a whole week by this last attack. “Still, I shall hope to see you again before I die. May our Lord ever be with you, and bless you! You know how truly I love and respect you. “Yours very affectionately, “SHAFTESBURY.”