A RECORD OF COMBAT WITH SIN & LABOR FOR THELORD. EDITED BY C. H. SPURGEON. 1870. “They which builded on the wall, and they that bare burdens, with those that laded, every one With one of his hands wrought in the work,’ and with the other hand held a weapon. For the builders, every one had his sword girded by his side, and so builded. And he that sounded the trumpet was by me.” — Nehemiah 4:17,18.
ESTEEMED READER, Throughout another year you have kindly welcomed our monthly compilations of stirring words, and current histories; we trust you have been in some measure interested and benefited. We can truly say that we have aimed at edification in every monthly issue, and never at mere amusement. The responsibility of catering for so many readers month by month is not light in our esteem, and we write the preface of another Volume with reverent gratitude to the God of all grace for sustaining us to this hour. While thanking our Greatest Helper, we cannot forget also to tender thanks to many earnest friends for increasing our circulation, cheering us with kind words of encouragement, and aiding us by their contributions.
This Magazine has not been conducted in a timid, crouching spirit, neither have we pandered to popular tastes. Some of our articles have brought down upon us upbraidtugs which we have borne without regret. Our reviews, when we have felt conscientiously bound to censure, have cost us many a postal lecture. We are not, however, penitent; we have nothing to retract, but doubt not that we shall sin again; we would not needlessly irritate, but we will not be silent in the presence of error, neither will we bespatter with flattery where honesty demands denunciation. A magazine which is not outspoken, and is destitute of principle, is a literary nuisance.
We use the trowel wherever we can to aid every good cause, but we have a sword also and mean to use it. We expect to receive blows, and therefore when we do we are not overwhelmed with dismay. Christ’s truth is too dear to us for us to flinch from its defense. In the widespread defection which is now so sadly apparent in certain quarters, we see not only signs of coming struggles, but calls to duty, stern and arduous, from which only cowards will desire to be excused. The ancient faith, assailed by foes on all hands, must not lack for champions.
This year the wants of the College have, through the bounty of the Lord, been met as they have arisen. There can be no doubt that the Orphanage attracts to itself much that would otherwise have gone to train the Lord’s servants, to found churches, and open new places for preaching the gospel; but this need not be if all believers who value the Institution will give the Lord his tithe in a conscientious manner. Our heart’s longing is to see the College become more and more a Mission to the outlying places, both at home and abroad, and it may be, in answer to prayer, the Lord will make it so. This year, alas! many a good opening has been missed from want of funds; but it was necessarily so, and therefore we submit.
As for the Orphanage, let it be spoken to the praise of our faithful God, all its needs are met even before they arise. This year the Infirmary has been built, and no debt incurred. Our joy of heart is great for this and for other marvellous favors. The Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are glad. From small beginnings great things have arisen. The widow’s heart has been made to leap for joy, and the fatherless have blessed their helpers.
Our Magazine has been of great service to our two labors of love, the College and the Orphanage. By its means our friends have been informed of our requirements. Tea thousand thanks to donors great and small, who have not only sent their money, but added cheering words of sympathy, more to be desired than silver.
We launch upon another year confident in the God of our strength. Mental labor in preaching, writing, and caring for our work, often lays us low, but with God’s own promise beneath us we rise again. Dear brethren, give the weary laborer the rich dowry of your prayers. Some of you do thus remember us we know: the Lord reward you for it. Many of our dear friends and helpers have gone to heaven this year, but more will arise to fill their places. Those who are fed by the weekly sermon will not let our students and orphans want; and we hope the Colporteurs will not be forgotten.
With Christian love to friends each and all, We are still your willing servant, C. H.SPURGEON