AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, ON\par WEDNESDAY EVENING,JUNE 18 TH C. H. SPURGEON in the Chair.
C. H. SPURGEON : As our friends coming in will make too much noise for prayer, let us sing the third hymn, “All hail the power of Jesu’s name!” C. H. SPURGEON . My one deep anxiety and prayer has been that every part of the proceedings of these two days should be to the glory of God. It would be deeply to my grief as long as ever I lived if there should be anything said or done which should be contrary to the mind of our Lord.
We meet together, with congratulations very hearty and very loving. I cannot tell you how hearty and how loving they have been already: but we want God’s blessing or we shall fall into evil rather than good. I want the brethren representing the deacons and the elders to pray very briefly, if they please, but I am sure very heartily, for God’s blessing upon us now.
My dear brother and deacon, Mr. Allison, will pray, and then our dear and venerable brother, Mr. Bowker, will follow him in prayer. Mr. C. F. ALLISON and Mr. W. BOWKER then offered prayer. C. H. SPURGEON : Now, dear friends, having thus sought the Divine blessing, we expect to have it. I do not think anybody imagines that I ought to speak at any length to-night, but I should like to say very much in very little. I feel to-night overwhelmed with gratitude to you, and because of you to God. I am sure I went home on Monday night feeling that I was buried in mercies, crushed beneath the weight of God’s loving-kindness to me. I feel just so to-night; therefore a man cannot speak much, especially after the kind things which many of you have said to me. I have much to do not to cry, indeed, I have had a little distillation of the eyes quietly, but I try to keep myself all right. 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 matter felt and 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 up 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 to-night 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 behoves :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 man. Well, I believe that there may be something particular 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 longcontinued 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 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 wish to 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 good-will 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 this 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 men’s hearts as my gospel has aroused in yours. I cannot see anything about myself that you should love me: I confess I would not go across the street to hear myself preach. But I dare not say more upon that point 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. You remember the picture Punch gave us of the man and his wife who had bought a teapot — they were aesthetics — and she said, “Oh, what a teapot!” “Yes,” said the husband, “I do not know how we shall ever be able to live up to it.”
That was their high ideal; but the model you set up for me in your kindly estimate of me is one which I must labor to reach. Anything that stimulates us to do better cannot be a very bad thing; therefore I thank you with all my heart for your generous esteem.
Now I am going to ask Mr. Harrald to read the list of societies represented here to-night. I think everybody should know what the church has been moved to do, and I beg to say that there are other societies besides those which will be mentioned, but; you will be tired before you get to the end of them. Mr. J. W. HARRALD read the following list :— The Almshouses; the Pastors’ College; the Pastors’ College Society of Evangelists; the Stockwell Orphanage; the Colportage Association; Mrs.
Spurgeon’s Book Fund, and Pastors’ Aid Fund; the Pastors’ College Evening Classes; the Evangelists Association; the Country Mission; the Ladies’ Benevolent Society; the Ladies’ Maternal Society; the Poor Ministers’ Clothing Society; the Loan Tract Society; Spurgeon’s Sermons’ Tract Society; the Evangelists’ Training Class; the Orphanage Working Meeting; the Colportage Working Meeting; the Flower Mission; the Gospel Temperance Society; the Band of Hope; the United Christian Brothers’ Benefit Society; the Christian Sisters’ Benefit Society; the Young Christians’ Association; the Mission to Foreign Seamen; the Mission to Policemen; the Coffee-House Mission; The Metropolitan Tabernacle Sunday School; Mr. Wigney’s Bible Class; Mr. Hoyland’s Bible Class; Miss Swain’s Bible Class; Miss Hobbs’s Bible Class; Miss Hooper’s Bible Class; Mr. Bowker’s Bible Class for Adults of both Sexes; Mr. Dunn’s Bible Class for Men; Mrs. Allison’s Bible Class for Young Women; Mr. Bartlett’s Bible Class for Young Women; Golden Lane and Hoxton Mission (Mr. Orsman’s); Ebury Mission and Schools, Pimlico; Green Walk Mission and Schools, Haddon Hall; Richmond Street Mission and Schools; Flint Street Mission and Schools; North Street, Kennington, Mission, and Schools; Little George Street Mission, Bermondsey; Snow’s Fields Mission, Bermondsey; the Almhouses Missions; the Almshouses Sunday Schools; the Almshouses Day Schools; the Townsend Street Mission; the Townley Street Mission; the Deacon Street Mission; the Blenheim Grove Mission, Peckham; the Surrey Gardens Mission; the Vinegar Yard Mission, Old Street; the Horse Shoe Wharf Mission and Schools; the Upper Ground Street Mission; the Thomas Street Mission, Horselydown ; the Boundary Row Sunday School, Camberwell; the Great Hunter Street Sunday School, Dover Road; the Carter Street Sunday School, Walworth; the Pleasant Row Sunday Schools, Kennington; the Westmoreland Road Sunday Schools, Walworth; the Lansdowne Place Sunday School; Miss Emery’s Banner Class, Brandon Street; Miss Miller’s Mothers’ Meeting; Miss Ivimey’s Mothers’ Meeting; Miss Francies Mothers’ Meeting. C. H. SPURGEON : We have need to praise God that he enables the church to carry on all these institutions. Let us sing hymn No. 7, “Hallelujah for the Cross.” (The hymn was sung.)
I want you now to hear me a moment while I say that the brother who is now about to speak, Mr. Moody, is one whom we all love. He is not only one whom we all love, but he is evidently one whom God loves. We feel devoutly grateful to Almighty God for raising him up, and for sending him to England to preach the gospel to such great numbers with such plainness and power. We shall continue to pray for him when he has gone home.
Among the things we shall pray for will be that he may come back again. I might quote the language of an old Scotch song with regard to Prince Charlie, — “Bonnie Moody’s gang awa.
Will ye no come back again?
Better loved ye canna’ be, Will ye no come back again?” Now let us give him as good a cheer as ever we can when he stands up to speak. Mr. D. L. MOODY: Mr. Spurgeon has said to-night that he has felt like weeping. I have tried to keep back the tears. I have not succeeded very well. I remember, seventeen years ago, coming into this building a perfect stranger. Twenty-five 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 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 to-night 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 praying father. His mother I have not met, his father I have; 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 remember 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 you preached in the Agricultural Hall. I followed you up there, and you sent me back to America a better man. Then I went to try and preach myself, though at the time I little thought I should ever be able to do so. While I was here I followed Mr. Spurgeon everywhere, and when at home people asked me 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 again 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 have gone out from the College to preach the gospel, of the 1,500 or 2,000 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 the making of 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 I shall not get to my other meeting in time. But let me just say this, if God can use Mr. Spurgeon why not the rest of us, and why should not we all just lay ourselves at the Master’s feet, and say “Send me, use me,”? It is not Mr. Spurgeon after all, it is God. He is as weak as any other man away from him. Moses was nothing, but it was Moses’ God. 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 can 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 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. When I think of a man or woman who has been in this Tabernacle time after time and heard the gospel, I pity them deep down in my heart if they are found among the lost. I have read your sermons for twenty-five years, and what has cheered my heart has been that in them was no uncertain sound. In closing, let, me give you a poem that one of our American Indians wrote. The first line began with “go on,” the second line was “go on,” and the third line was “go on,” and this was all he could write. I say “go on, brother, and God bless you.” 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 to-day than at any other period of his life; and Martin Luther, who has been gone over 400 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. C. H. SPURGEON : Now, dear friends, we have a very good program.
God has given us a blessing at the commencement, and we want to have it all through. There is a great deal to be done to-night, and all the speeches will have to be tolerably short. I believe every word will be blessed of God.
Now I will call upon our dear brother, Mr. Chamberlain, who often enlivens our prayer meetings with his music, to sing for us one of the songs of Zion. It has always done my heart good to hear him, though perhaps I have never yet said as much in his presence. Many sons have sung well, but thou excellest them all! Mr. CHAMBERLAIN then sang Hymn No. 8, “Whoever receiveth the crucified one.” C. H. SPURGEON : Dear friends, we have judged it better on the whole to allow some things to be done twice over rather than to seem negligent. Many friends who are here to-night, cannot be here to-morrow night; indeed, I should be glad if nobody present this evening would attend to-morrow, but give an opportunity to others of coming here; but I think that the address which has been prepared in the name of the church here, and which is to be presented to me, should be read on both occasions, that all may hear it. I do not know anything about it. I have not seen it as yet, and I should not wonder if it contains a great deal that I would have struck out, had it been any part of my duty to overhaul it. You must understand that this is a family meeting, and that we do not have reporters present; if they are here they are in the strangers’ gallery. We had no reporters when my father had been married fifty years. We said some good things in his praise, and he did not grumble; indeed, he could not have helped himself if he had grumbled. Nobody said they should not praise the old man like that; because what was done was kept within walls, and this also will be within the walls — of the universe. We cannot anyhow keep it closer. Before the address is read, our Secretary will announce the other bodies that have sent in their congratulations in addition to those afterwards given.
Mr. HARRALD read the following list, in which are inserted a few names of those whose addresses have been received since the meeting : — The Canada Baptist Union, the Philadelphia Conference of Baptist Ministers, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and Ireland, the Western Association of Baptist Churches, the Denbigh, Flint, and Merioneth Baptist Association, the Carmarthen and Cardigan Baptist Association, the Devon Baptist Association, the G1oucestershire and Herefordshire Baptist Association, the Midland Baptist Association. the Cornwall Baptist Association, the Anglesea Baptist Association, the monthly Fraternal Meeting of General Baptist Ministers in London and its vicinity, a large number of Baptist Ministers and Churches, the Tutors of the Pastors’ College, the Canadian Branch of the Pastors’ College Association, the former students of the Pastors’ College, settled in Victoria, Australia, the Tasmanian Baptist Union recently formed by Pastors’ College men in Tasmania, the First Baptist Church Sunday School, Middletown, Ohio, U.S.A., the Baptist Church, West Troy, :New York, U.S.A., the Reading Club of the Central Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., the Professors in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A., the Knox Presbyterian Church, Galt, Canada, several French Pastors and Missionaries, in addition to those afterwards mentioned, the Committee and Officers of the Paris City Mission, and the Methodist Conference of Ireland, meeting in Belfast. Mr. B. W. CARR , one of the deacons, then read the following address to Mr. Spurgeon : — “TO THE REV. C.H. SPURGEON, PASTORS OF THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE. “With a united voice of thanksgiving to our ever blessed God on your behalf; with a cordial acknowledgment of the good services you have rendered to the universal Church of our Lord Jesus Christ; and with a profound sense of the high character and wide reputation you have established among your fellow Christians, we beg to offer you our sincere congratulations on this the fiftieth anniversary of your birthday. “Accept our assurance that no language but the language of personal affection could fitly express the esteem in which you are held by ourselves and by the numerous constituency we represent. Were it possible for the lips of all those who love you as a brother, and those who revere you as a father in Christ, to sound in your ears the sentiments of their hearts, the music of their chorus at this glad hour would be like the noise of many waters. “Gathered together as we now are in this sacred edifice, — sacred not by reason of any superstitious ceremony at the opening, but by the soul-saving miracles of grace subsequently wrought beneath its roof, — it becomes us to greet you first as Pastor of this Ancient Church. More than thirty of those fifty years you chronicle to-day have been spent in our midst. As our Minister, you are known to the utmost ends of the earth. Richly endowed by the Spirit of God with wisdom and discretion, your conduct as our Ruling Elder has silenced contention and promoted harmony. The three hundred souls you found in fellowship at New Park Street Chapel have multiplied to a fellowship of nearly six thousand in this Tabernacle. And under your watchful oversight the family group has increased without any breach of order. “You came to us in the freshness of your youth. At that flowering age when boys of good promise are wont to change their curriculum from school to college, you had already developed into manliness, and there was ripe fruit as well as pleasant foliage on your branches. The groundwork of your education appeared to be so solid, and the maturity of your character so thoroughly reliable, that you were unanimously elected by venerable members of the Church of Christ to preside over their councils. The fair prospect of your spring-time has not suffered from any blight. Your natural abilities never betrayed you into indolent habits. The talents you possessed gave stimulus to your diligence. A little prosperity did not elate you, or a measure of success prompt the desire to settle down in some quiet resting place. You spread your sails to catch the breeze. The ascendancy you began to acquire over the popular mind, instead of making you vainglorious, filled you with awe, and increased the rigor of that discipline you have always exercised over yourself. These were happy auguries of your good speed. Not that the utmost vigilance on your part could have sufficed to uphold you amidst the vast and accumulating responsibilities that have devolved on you as the sphere of your ministry widened. He who ruleth in the heavens has screened you in times of peril, and piloted you through shoals and quicksands, through straits and rapids. His grace and his goodness, his promises and his providence, have never failed you. From the hour when you first committed your soul, your circumstances, and your destinies to the keeping of our Lord Jesus Christ, you have never feared such a disaster. To your unwavering faith in his guardian care we venture to attribute the coolness of your head and the courage of your heart in all the great adventures of your life. Some of us have been with you from the beginning of your charge. Since then a generation has almost passed away.
According to a law as legibly written as any law of nature, the Scripture has said, ‘Instead of the fathers, shall be the children.’ Hence, in not a few instances, you must miss the sires while you meet the sons. The retrospect of your career, to those who have followed it throughout, appears like one unbroken series of successes; but as our memory retraces the steps you have taken, we can testify to the exhaustive labors in which you have blithely engaged, the constant self-denial you have cheerfully exercised, and the restless anxieties that have kept you and your comrades incessantly calling on the name of the Lord. By such an experience you have enlarged the field of evangelical enterprise in the various institutions of the church.
And it has been your happiness, not only to see the growth of those institutions beyond the most sanguine hopes you cherished when planting them, but to have received the grateful thanks of those who derived unspeakable benefit in partaking of their fruits. Such gratitude demands our notice, though only in the lowest degree. Your skillful generalship has laid ten thousand happy donors to your charities under lasting obligations to you for providing outlets for their benevolence. It has pleased the Lord to make whatever you do to prosper. You have been the faithful steward and the kindly executor of hundreds and thousands of pious individuals, whose fond design has been to lay up treasure for themselves in heaven by paying into the exchequer on earth of their substance, for the widow and the fatherless in their distress, for the poor and those who have no helper. Let the acknowledgments of subscribers to the various purses you hold in your hands, as well as those of recipients, cheer you as you enter on a fresh decade of the days of the years of your earthly pilgrimage. “An occasion like this is so solemn, and an address like the present is so serious, that we may well search the sacred volume for suitable words. We feel sure that brethren in all parts of the earth pray for you. And we are equally certain that the churches which are in Christ throughout the world glorify God in you. The Lord preserve and keep you to the end. To this hour you have maintained an unsullied reputation among men. Erring as we all are before God, it is our sincere conviction that if such a thing were possible, a second edition of your life, revised by yourself, could hardly be an amendment. “You braved much calumny on the outset of your career, and you have outlived it. The secularists who once denounced, now salute you. Where your theology has failed to convert them, your philanthropy has sufficed to enchant them. You are lifted in public esteem above suspicion, as a true man — :no traitor or time-server. Your kindness to everybody has made everybody kind to you. You have illustrated the force and the fullness of a divine proverb which has puzzled many a philosopher: ‘When a man’s ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.’ “If, dear sir, you give us full credit for the intense sympathy we have felt when sickness and sorrow have weakened your strength in the way, you will not deny us the gratification of alluding to the private and domestic joys that pour down like sunbeams on your face and gladden your Jubilee. “Your beloved and estimable wife, whose life long trembled in the balance, has been restored to health. Had she been less heroic and more exacting in her protracted illness, you must have been more reserved and less generous in the Consecration of your time and thought to the good works you were doing. In the stillness of enforced retirement her inventive genius discovered new channels of usefulness. Her ‘Book Fund’ is beyond all praise. And her delicate mission has been so appreciated, that throughout the British Isles, and in foreign lands, her name has become linked with your own at every station where an ambassador of Christ publishes the glad tidings of the gospel. “Your father and mother, walking before God in quiet unpretentious piety, have both been spared to see their first-born son in the meridian of a career that has made their once obscure patronymic famous throughout the world. “Your worthy brother, and trusty yoke-fellow in the pastorate, is still by your side rendering good service, for which his fine business tact, and his manly but modest desire to second all your motions to go forward, eminently qualify him. “Your two sons have both devoted themselves to the ministry; and each of them in his own sphere of labor has found proof that he was divinely anointed to his pastorate. “To yourself, however, we turn as a central figure, recognized from afar by tens of thousands of people, to whom your name is an emblem of purity and power, and by whom you are accounted second to none among living Preachers: and your sermons are appreciated as a faithful exposition of the Gospel of God, instinct with the witness of the Holy Spirit, and therefore quickening in their influence on the consciences and the hearts of men. “On your head we now devoutly invoke those blessings which we believe the Almighty is abundantly willing to bestow. “May your steps in the future be ordered of the Lord, as they have been in the past. May a generation yet unborn witness that your old age is luxuriant and fruitful as your youth. May your life on earth wind up like the holy Psalter that you so much love. Be it yours to anchor at last in David’s Psalm of Praise, prolific as it was of other Psalms, into which no groan or sigh could intrude. So may you rest in the Lord with a vision of the everlasting Kingdom dawning on your eyes, and Hallelujah after Hallelujah resounding in your ears.” C. H. SPURGEON : It is a very great mercy that I am not expected to speak after that. I cannot tell where Mr. Carr can have gathered all those thoughts concerning me. So far as this church and its institutions are truly the work of God — and I believe that the work of God has been done among us so far those words should bring glory to his name; and I am the happiest of the sons of men if I have laid any trophy at the foot of the cross. Now we are going to have a number of short speeches, and my father’s must, of course, come first. Nobody can say that I am old while I have so young a father, although I was “old Spurgeon” when I was very young, and I hope I shall be young when I get very old.
The Rev. JOHN SPURGEON: My dear friends, they say all things work together for good. I have a very bad cold for one thing, and have nearly lost my voice, and that is a very good reason why I should not speak to-night, because you will not hear me if I attempt it. However, this young man here makes me think of my father. He was eighty-four years of age, and when we were out walking together he walked so fast that I lagged behind, and he said, “Come on, boy; what makes you lag behind?” Charles is now a better man to walk than I am, but in ten years’ time we shall see, if we live, who can walk the best. When I was a little boy I suppose I had some curious ways, the same as all boys have. I was walking with my father down the road; I walked with my toes in — pigeon-toed, as it is called — and when he saw it he boxed my ears, and said, “You naughty boy, why don’t you put your feet right?” and the necessity of doing so has been impressed upon my mind ever since. He was a. very good man, was my father. My father did all in his power to give me a good education, and advised me to make the best use of it; but I have never had the advantages enjoyed by some ministers, for, like Mr. Moody, I have gathered up my knowledge, comparatively speaking, as I went along. But I think I have done my fair share of preaching. I have preached five-and-forty years, and the Lord has blessed it. What do you think the text was of the first sermon I ever preached? Why, “God is love!” and don’t you think I could preach from it to-night? He has taken care of me all my life long. He gave me a kind father and mother, who prayed very much for me, and their prayers were heard. And my son has had a praying father and mother, and his mother’s prayers have been heard, and the Lord has taken care of him..
What a mercy it was that that boy was converted when he was! And it was in consequence of his mother’s prayers. My heart rejoices that I can say, “God is love,” that he loved me, and gave himself for me, and redeemed my soul from death. His love has made me happy, and he has indeed been a God of love to raise up two such sons as I have. My father had five sons, and they all had two sons each, and not one of their sons can preach; but my two boys can speak very well, and so can my son’s two boys, God bless them! I wish Tom was here to-night. Last year we had a Jubilee wedding, and then we sang “Hallelujah!” I said “God is love” then, and now at this second Jubilee I again say “God is love.” I lost; my father and mother, but kind friends were raised up for me; and whatever circumstances have arisen, I have been able to say “God is love.” I do rejoice in that good old doctrine. My friends, do not forget this, that God is so full of love that he could not forgive sin without his law being magnified, and that he gave his Son to be a substitute for sinners. Do you all love Jesus? If not; go to him to-night and ask him to bless you, and give you a new heart. I want to see you all in heaven. I am an old man now, and cannot expect to live long in this world; but if any of you have not sought the Lord, go search for him this very night, and if you ask him to give you a new heart and a right spirit, he will not say you nay. God bless this church, the Orphanage, the College, and all the institutions! My dear son, I am very happy to see you to-night so well; God bless you! C. H. SPURGEON : I may say that I did not originally choose him as my father, but if it had been left to my choice, no other should have filled his place. May God bless him in his latter days. And now comes my brother. If there is a good man on the earth I think it is my brother. It is the providence of God, and an instance of the infinite kindness of God to man, that I should have such a helper as my brother. No man in this world has got as good a brother as I have, or if he has, let him cry “Hallelujah!” PASTOR JAMES A. SPURGEON: There is a big handbill to be seen in Croydon advertising the Jubilee Singers; I think we might issue an advertisement for Jubilee clappers. There is another advertisement that I am reminded of this evening, — it is the picture of a small boy looking exceedingly uncomfortable while his grandmother, I should suppose, takes him in hand and is soaping him well, and he looks as if he was very anxious to keep it out of his eyes. I think that my brother was a little in that position, for it was utterly impossible to take him in hand without doing what some people call using the soap; and though his eyes have been smarting a little bit to-night, I do not think it has been caused by anything that ought not to have been said. In the address to him we have not said half that we should like to say, and it. would be quite impossible for us to say to-night all that is in our hearts concerning him. What can I possibly say about him as a brother? There is no one in the world that has so good a brother as I have. Ever since I can remember anything I can remember my big brother, and I am quite content that he should remain my big brother to the end of our days. The esteem in which I have held him has only been equaled by the love I bear him. I always thought him wonderfully wise, but I never thought him so much so as I do to-day. He got the start of me, and he has kept it all along. I do not know that I have gained much on him, though I have tried to run him hard. I have always seen him well in front in every good word and work for the Master, and I have tried to keep as close to him as I could all my life long, and I bless God that we are here today as brothers. Looking back, I can see that both of us have been children of many prayers; and all honor to my father and his father, to my mother and to our good grandmother, for we came of a praying stock, and we came of a pious stock for generations past. I think it was in the year that Job Spurgeon sat a winter through in prison in a chair because he would not go to the steeple-house to worship. He was so afflicted with rheumatism (which the major part of our family inherits) that he could not lie down; so that my dear brother’s infirmities are venerable because of their age. With other things he has inherited much weakness, but it was gained in the Master’s service, and because one of our ancestors would not submit to worship God in any other way than that which he thought right. I thank God to-night for being my brother’s coadjutor. It is a grand thing to assist my brother in any department of service. I consider it to be the greatest honor God could have conferred upon me to make me co-partner in my brother’s work. Anything I can do for him makes me feel that I am multiplying him, and at the same time I feel that I am multiplying myself to a degree which it would have been utterly impossible for me to have done if I had not been linked to my brother. Co-partnerships do not always answer, but be it understood that our co-partnership certainly has answered. A grander leader no man could possibly desire. You who follow him know how nobly he leads us forward. Now, be it known, that the secret of my brother’s success, so far as I have solved, it, is prayer. I do not know any man more preeminent in prayer than my brother, and he who prays like my brother prays may look for a like success. I do not know any man who is more profoundly filled with faith than is my brother in his God, in the gospel that he preaches, and in the comrades that God has sent to his side. I do not know any man who is more full of singleness of eye in connection with his work than my brother is. It is said that no man is a hero to his valet, because his valet knows too much about him. I think I know my brother through and through, and I can say that the more I know him the more I love and esteem him for his loyalty to his Lord. I feel in following him that I am not following him only, but following the Master.
He seeks blessings directly from the Lord, and passes them on to us, and I esteem my brother’s voice to be the voice of God speaking to us in connection with the Master’s work. Then I think I shall have to add that I do not know anybody who works harder than my brother. I saw in a window the other day this advertisement: “All Mr. Spurgeon’s works to be had within.” “Ah!” I thought, “they may get all my brother’s printed works within, but his other works will be found everywhere else in earth and in heaven;” for the results of his labor can be found in almost any part of the world, and this not by accident, but by the blessing of God upon what is downright grinding toil. Only those who stand by my brother’s side know what an enormous amount of work he is obliged to get through in order to carry out the Master’s service on earth. I must confess that a great deal of my brother’s success is due also to what I may call, for want of a better word, his geniality. Is not he a man among men? I cannot remember all the genial jokes and good, funny things, and loving remarks that he has made.
The first joke I ever comprehended was made by my grandfather, who had been asked how much he weighed, and he replied that ‘‘if he was weighed in the balance he was afraid he should be found wanting, but if he was weighed in the pulpit he would be heavy, enough. That, was our grandfather’s joke, but I do not know how many I have heard from my brother, and there has been a shrewdness in connection with them that reminds me often of the old grandfather. It is just that genial spirit of my good brother that lightens his own and others’ burdens, and many who have been in despair have been cheered and sent forward again by having the brighter side of the picture placed before them by him. How many of us, after having had an hour’s talk with my brother, have gone away refreshed and radiant! In him you have the ingredients of a noble man, and God has helped him to consecrate them to his service. I do not know that it would be kind to wish him another fifty years of life, but as long as he lives may his life be crowned with as many blessings as have been vouchsafed him in the fifty years that have gone by. C. H. SPURGEON : Dear friends, I am trying to consider that I am merely representing all of you who have done the work here: I could not have achieved what has been done had it not been for a willing, cheerful, constant, persevering, zealous people. If anybody that is very stiff and prim comes here for a time, it is only for a time. He generally say’s that he does not like you, and goes off; but the real reason is that there is nothing in him that is at all congruous with me, and away he goes. But here is a people warm-hearted, loving, affectionate, tender — everything that is good. Of course we might all be a deal better, I hope we shall be; but I do not know any people that can be better to a minister than you have been to me; and I desire, while my brother is using this soap, which is manufactured on his own premises, and is perfectly genuine — he means, every word he says — I desire to have you all put in the tub with me, and then I shall not object to any quantity of lather. I think it is a very blessed thing for us to have with us without a break three generations — my father, my brother, and then my son. PASTOR CHARLES SPURGEON: Dear friends, — I am here tonight to speak for two, for we are as one — Charlie and Tommy. I am here to say what no one else can say — this is my father, and a grand father too.
I wish there was another tongue to tell of children’s love towards him, but he will be here. God spare him upon the sea! I speak with all his heart, and all his faith, if that be possible, but I cannot speak with his tongue, for that is like his father’s — full of wisdom. You shall hear it, perhaps, and judge for yourselves. Certainly, I think, you would not have given me such a reception as this had it not been for my beloved father. He laughingly said that he counted it an honor to be my father; but this I do know, and I say it sincerely, without any soft soap, that I count it to be the highest honor of all to be his son. May God help me never to put a single blemish upon that name he has given me to bear. Your prayers I know are with me, and as our hearts are right, the blessing shall surely come. I am almost lost tonight, in wonder, love, and praise, for all three are present with us. I have gone into my father’s study and sat at his feet to learn many a time, but I never had the cheek to open my mouth before him. When he said “Charlie, what are you going to preach from?” I wished I could get to the other side of the door as quickly as possible, for I was afraid if I told him the text he would want to know what the divisions were, and would probably say that the middle one was wrong. I have. had a profound respect for him on these matters; nevertheless I have always tried to get as much out of him as possible, because I knew that I could never empty his great pitcher. It may be true that I have been some joy to him at some time, but it is with wonder that I now look upon him, and with profound astonishment shall I ever contemplate him, because he is a mighty man of God. I am over head and ears in love with him. I do not know whether even mother loves him more than I do, for I have got more to love. I have father and mother too.
As regards my brother, never was a better one born. “Distance lends enchantment to the view,” and “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” and I know we shall be right glad to see each other. So that I am lost in love, but above all, I am lost in praise, for our hearts are going up, sometimes in tears, sometimes in tones, and this is the burden of our song, — Hallelujah!
Praise be unto God that he has spared us to see this bright and happy year.
Well may the trumpets be blown when Jubilee’s bright morn arrives. Let them ring out every day, for our God has been kind and true to us, and will ever be so. Let us pray that for long years yet our Pastor may be spared to us, and that he may shine with yet brighter light to the praise of God. May we all rejoice to-night, and to-morrow too, because God has made us to be happy in what God has wrought in him, and through him. I speak for the many churches that I have served when I say that if they could all cry out “God bless him” they would do so in one great shout. Everywhere his sermons are being read. Many say to me, “Let me shake hands with you for your father’s sake. God bless your father!” I always feel highly complimented when anybody does that. I am profoundly thankful that I can glorify God with you to-night in celebrating my father’s Jubilee. C. H. SPURGEON : Surely you have had enough of us all. I wish now to call upon some of our other children, viz., our students, to speak, but before doing so we will sing the 10th hymn. “ Hark! what hallelujahs bringing.” There are many ministers here to-night whom I should have been very glad to ask to speak, but I cannot go beyond the program. It is very kind of them to come. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than now to present Mr. Archibald Brown to you. God bless him for the sake of poor outcast London, and for all that. tenderness of heart which he has; though his sympathy with human misery sometimes brings him very low, it only qualifies him the more for the work to which God has called him. PASTOR ARCHIBALD G. BROWN: I received a very characteristic letter from our beloved Chairman the other day. He said, “Will you come on the 18th, which is for home people, or on the 19th, which is for everybody?” I did not hesitate a moment, for I made bold to argue that, although I could not claim any relationship to the family of the Spurgeons, yet am I a member of the family that worships in this Tabernacle, and I felt that I would far sooner say a few words at the family gathering — that is, if you have not struck me off from the number of your sons. It has always been my joy and delight to remember that, by the providence of God, my life has been wonderfully interwoven with the life of your Pastor, and also with this church. It is now some seven-and-twenty years since, as a lad, I used to look forward to my holidays as an opportunity of running up to hear Mr. Spurgeon preach at the Surrey Music Hall. I remember as if it were only yesterday the sermon that first made me feel I was a sinner. The text was, “Compel them to come in.”
Twenty-three years ago tomorrow I was baptized by Mr. Spurgeon on this lower platform. I had often heard him preach at the Surrey Music Hall, and I remember that it was with awe and wonderment that I looked at him.
Over and over again I felt that I would just give anything if he could only know me, and give me one shake of the hand, little dreaming that we should learn to know each other, or that I should ever be allowed to say a few words on behalf of the College at his Jubilee. What changes have these years wrought! I am now within ten years of a Jubilee myself. Well, Mr. Spurgeon has asked me to speak on behalf of the ministers trained in the College. It is only right to say that I do not occupy this position on the ground of seniority, although I find that there are only three left; and preaching in Great Britain who belonged to the College when I entered it.
Dear Mr. Spurgeon, I am persuaded that I speak your feelings when I say that, in the long list of your enterprises, the College must stand in the very forefront; it is the first-born of your strength. I believe there are now names appearing on the list of ministers. Fifty of them have heard the bugle-call bidding them “Come up higher,” but the greater part still remain to witness to the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. This evening I want to forget my individuality, while talking on behalf of the men of the College, not only in this country but in foreign parts, and I would think of names of beloved brethren on the Congo, and in China, Japan, India, Jamaica, and elsewhere, for this College has her sons all over the globe. Since 1865 I find that the College has been the means, under God, of adding to the church of Christ by baptism, profession, and restoration, 69,000 brethren and sisters who look upon you as a sort of ministerial grandfather; and if we, dear Sir, have ever been a blessing to you, it is because you have been first blessed to us, and I know that tens of thousands of souls run over with devout thankfulness to God for all the marvelous blessings vouchsafed to you. It is God we have to glorify for it, it is our risen Christ that we have to magnify.
He has used us, and unto God be all the praise. When the Lord Jesus ascended up on high, taking “captivity captive,” he received gifts for men, and among other gifts unto the church were good men, and our President is a sort of agent to pass on his gifts to the different churches. God thought it worth while to send an angel all the way down to Cornelius to tell him to send to Peter. I often wonder that while the angel was about it he did not give Cornelius himself the gospel, but he said, “Send for Peter, and he shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house may be saved.” The risen Christ has been pleased to do the angel’s work through our dear friend Mr. Spurgeon, and God only knows how many there are who have been brought to the Savior through our brethren. But there is one failure about the College — one thing that even our President has failed to do — he has never been able to put the stamp of his own genius on any of us: there is no need for me to argue that point — you will believe that at once. Most of us have to say what the Indian did, who, when he was asked where he had been, said, “Me preach.” “What did they pay you?” was the next question, and he said, “Sometimes one shilling, sometimes two shillings.” “Well, that is mighty poor pay.” “Yes,” said the Indian, “but it is mighty poor preach.”
Those of us studying in the College, and those who have come out, are willing enough to acknowledge our own shortcomings in this respect. With all your marvelous powers, Mr. Spurgeon, you have not been able to put the stamp of your genius upon us, but I think there is one thing you have been the means of doing — you have stamped upon hundreds of us loyalty to the truth of God. If ever we were foolish enough to entertain a doubt, or a skeptical thought, one of your Conference addresses would suffice to knock it out of us. There are hundreds of us to whom you have made the Bible more real than ever it was before, and whilst we thank God for many things in connection with you, there are some of us who thank God most profoundly for the unswerving fidelity you have shown to the Word of God. Oh, it is grand, is it not friends? Years have passed by, but the truth that rang out so clear and loud in the Surrey Music Hall is just the same today; and I trust in some humble measure your sons in the College have learned that the grandest thing in all the world is to be faithful to God’s Word. I can bear personal testimony that you have been the means under God of making many of us feel an intenser loyalty to Christ. Nobody can come into contact with our beloved President without feeling that Christ has come near to him, that he walks and talks with God, and that Jesus Christ is intensely real to him. And why should he not be so to us also? Mr. Spurgeon has given all in the College a passion for souls, and has made it their ambition to speak as Paul and Barnabas did, — “They so spake that many people believed.” Above all things we desire that God will make us the means of winning many to the Savior. Last week I was in the infirmary of the workhouse, sitting by the side of a poor dying woman who had been brought to Christ through our mission work. Death was written on her brow, and she said, “I wish you would give us a look in on Sunday sometimes.” I said, “Why? She said,” Because I should like you to give us a jolly good sermon.” I said, “That is a queer expression, what do you mean by it?” She replied, “A jolly good sermon is one that is all about Jesus Christ — one that is full of him.” Such sermons, none of us can doubt, are the best that have most of Jesus Christ in them, and under God you have done more than any other man to make us come to that conclusion. On behalf of every man connected with the College, believe me when I say that as a preacher we admire you, as a man of God we love you, and as our President we revere you. The entire College owes everything to you, and deeply and sincerely we thank God for the past, we congratulate .you on to-night’s meeting, and wish you many blessed returns of to-morrow. The address from the students in the College will now be presented. Mr. H. H. DRIVER: Christian friends, to all that Mr. Brown has said about the College I would add my hearty “Amen,” and so say all of us, I believe. The address has been engrossed and beautified by Mr, Chambers, one of our students, and the son of one who was among the first to be educated at the College. At the foot of the address there is a miniature portrait of this glorious building, and underneath that is our President’s famous motto, “We preach Christ and him crucified.” Then comes the text put upon the Jubilee House, and under the initial letter there is a miniature drawing of the College. On the other side is shown the entrance to the Orphanage, and above that is the far-famed Sword and Trowel There is next a Bible grasped by a hand, and on the top the seven volumes of Mr. Spurgeon’s most famous work, “The Treasury of David.” There are also two Jubilee trumpets, round which are fastened ribbons with “Hallelujah” upon them.
The address is as follows : — “TO MR. C. H.SPURGEON,PRESIDENT OR THE PASTORS’COLLEGE. “BELOVED SIR, “We cannot allow the celebration of your Jubilee birthday to pass by without a hearty expression of our thankfulness and love to you. If all others were silent, yet our indebtedness to you is so great that we must speak out our gratitude on this joyful occasion. We are glad, however, to know that our voices do but blend in a world-wide chorus of congratulation which greets you to-day from numberless friends and admirers: and of all these we feel that we have the best reasons for joy. It is our privilege to belong to the institution which, of all you have founded, lies nearest to your heart; and which, more than all others, has aided the cause of truth and righteousness. Our College owes its existence, its influence, its success, under the good hand of God to you, Sir, and it must gladden your retrospect of half-a-century to remember that more than six hundred and fifty men have gone forth from it to wield the sword and ply the trowel in the service of the Lord. Some lead the van in ‘the sacramental host of God’s elect,’ and some are content to fill the lowliest stations, but in the truest and tenderest affections of all you are enshrined. “We adore the God of all grace that you were ever given to this age as a Defender of the Faith, that the founding of a College so fraught with blessings to the world was entrusted to your care, and that it has been our happy lot to come so directly under your influence. Mingled with our thanksgiving there arise from the depths of our hearts most fervent prayers for your continued health and prosperity. The Lord ever enrich you with the selectest bounties of his grace. “Please accept our most sincere and heartfelt congratulations, and believe us to be, dear Sir, “Yours ever gratefully, “On behalf of the Students, “HARRY H.DRIVER, Hon. Sec.”
The address is also signed by “The Apostles.” C. H. SPURGEON : We always call the front benches in the College the apostolic benches, and twelve elected students are styled by their brethren “apostles,” and I only hope that they may be apostles indeed. Of all the works that have ever been done, there shall be none to redound more to the credit of their authors than education given to those who preach the gospel. I believe everything in this address has come from the heart. I will now call upon Mr. Pearce to speak for our Sunday School. Mr. S. R. PEARCE: After the elaborate speeches we have listened to, I do not think any of you would care to have a long speech from me.
However, I should like to say a word in reference to what we have done in the Sunday School towards celebrating the Jubilee. The boys and girls have taken the matter up very earnestly, and I need scarcely add that the teachers and officers of the school are glad to have an opportunity of doing something to show their love to our dear Pastor. As teachers, we are delighted to see you in such good health. We have not been unmindful of the attacks of illness with which you have been often visited, and many and many a time have the teachers joined in the earnest prayers offered up for your restoration. We desire to testify to you our gladness, not only because we personally love you, but because of the gospel that has been so faithfully preached in this place. It has been preached so plainly that the very children have understood and believed it, while we too, as teachers, are pleased to know that you have helped to build up in the faith many of our young people. Personally, I confess that the sermons our beloved Pastor has preached have helped me marvelously, and I believe they have helped others as well. His preaching is really going on from strength to strength, and producing good effects. As a Sunday School we felt that we ought to do something practical in showing our regard for him, for the gospel is not to be followed in word only, but in deed also. Well, we set to work. Papers were prepared on which the scholars placed their names and the amount given, and I have pleasure to-night in handing to you, Mr. Spurgeon, this book. On the cover of it is this inscription, “Pastor’s Jubilee Testimonial Fund, June 19th, 1884. The offering of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Sunday School to their Beloved Pastor, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.” Just inside there is this short address : — “METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
PASTOR’S JUBILEE TESTIMONIAL “The Teachers and Scholars of the Metropolitan Tabernacle Sunday School have much pleasure in taking this opportunity, with other members of the church and congregation, of testifying their affection to their beloved Pastor. They desire: to add their congratulations on the prosperity and spiritual success which have ever attended his way. They desire to acknowledge the deep and eternal benefits they have enjoyed under his ministry, and they earnestly pray that the same mercy and grace of our Covenant God, and the same victorious faith and love, may be vouchsafed to him in the future as in the past. “They beg his acceptance of the accompanying sum, in which the youngest scholar in the school has had a share, as a token of the place which he holds in the hearts of all in the Sunday School, and as an expression of every desire for his health and happiness in every relationship of his honored and useful life. “Signed on behalf of Teachers, Parents, and Scholars, “S. R.PEARCE, Superintendent.”
This book contains an alphabetical list of the names of the teachers and the amount placed against each scholar’s name, and I am very happy to have the pleasure of handing it to you with a cheque amounting to £63. C. H. SPURGEON : The Lord be thanked for the Sunday School and all that the Lord works in it. You, dear friends of the Sunday School, — God bless you, and anoint you with fresh oil! You could not have a better superintendent than Mr. Pearce. The first to meet me to-day were two or three children of some of our members with their mites. Numbers of children have come to me with flowers, saying, “God bless you!” I prize these sweet salutations of the little ones. May God bless them all. Now we want to have quickly represented to us some of the work that has sprung out of this church. Our dear friend Mr. Orsman will speak to you about that, for he can say that he, too, grew up among us. You know how gloriously he has been serving God in Hoxton. He is the lord archbishop of the costermongers. Mr. W. J. ORSMAN: My dear father — for you, Mr. Spurgeon, are my spiritual father as well as my Pastor; therefore I think I have a right thus to address you, — you do :me too great honor in asking me to speak tonight.
When our good brother Moody spoke about meeting up there, it reminded me of some things that occurred years ago in Virginia. I had been preaching, somewhat excitedly, perhaps a little in the style of the Salvation Army. I told an anecdote of yours, and mentioned your name. An old negress in the congregation became interested, and afterwards said to me, “Do you know Massa Spurgeon?” “Yes,” I said, “he is my father,” at which she went down on her knees to me. I had to explain that I did not mean he was my father according to the flesh, but my spiritual father. Then the poor soul told me how she had read. his sermons, and how they had been blessed to her. When Mr. Lowell, the American minister, was present at the unveiling of Longfellow’s bust at Westminster, he said that some men’s names were like a master-key, and I speak the truth when I say that one of those names is Mr. Spurgeon’s. I have been thinking, as an old member of the Tabernacle, of the faces I knew when at New Park Street Chapel I was brought to Christ, and as I stood at the gate looking at the passers in and out, there were but few I could recognize. On my return from the Crimea I was very indignant, as one who had been brought up in the Church of England, to hear of the large numbers that went to hear him.
After the accident occurred at the Surrey Gardens I went myself to hear him, and that changed the whole tenor of my life. Instead of rowing on the river on Sundays, and spending my time in disregard of the Lord and of his day, I was started on the right track, and I thank God that through you, Sir, I have been the means of encouraging many young men not only to enter the ministry, but to preach the gospel of Christ as laymen. I was invited to enter the College, but, after all, I think I did right in refusing, and I now not only carry on my business, but do all I can to preach Jesus Christ and him crucified. I think I am attached to one of the oldest missions in London, and nearly three hundred members are on the books. I think it is twenty years since you, Sir, came down to Golden Lane to open the old Tabernacle, and to preach your famous sermon to costermongers. The Earl of Shaftesbury visited us afterwards, and since then he has been more or less connected with our fraternity. It is generally admitted that the donkeys in London, and indeed throughout the country, are in much better condition than they used to be, and I think we may fairly attribute it to Mr. Spurgeon, who is the friend of the donkeys. As to Mr. Spurgeon’s personal influence, it is interwoven with most of our families. It will never be known in this world how much our family life has been influenced in various ways by Mr. Spurgeon’s preaching of the gospel. In Rome they show you in one of the cathedrals a marble slab with the imprint of two human feet upon it — they are very large ones — which they say are those of Jesus Christ when he appeared to Peter and said, “I am going to Rome to be crucified,” and Peter turned back and went to Rome. That is not the sort of thing we admire, but it reminds me of a certain temple in India. Men gave their substance to adorn it. One rich man gave as his contribution a thousand young trees, which people thought mean at the time. Those who gave their gold and their jewels are all now gone, and so is he who gave the saplings, but no one remembers the gift of the precious gems, while the trees now form the finest avenue to be seen anywhere in that part of India. Mr. Spurgeon has put in the living seeds, and not only has he seen the foliage but the fruit of his efforts, and in years to come hundreds of those who do not know the gospel shall know it, and their children also, through the teaching of our dear Pastor.
The Hymn, “Grace, ‘tis a charming sound,” was then sung. Rev. W. L. LANG, F.R.G.S.: Dear friends, — It is my duty to speak to you on behalf of the Baptist Ministers of France, and I will first read a translation of the address they have entrusted to me to present to your dear Pastor. “TO PASTOR CHARLES HADDON SPURGEON. “SIR,AND VERY HONORED BROTHER IN JESUS CHRIST: — “The Members, Pastors, and Evangelists of the Baptist Church of Paris recognize it to be both a duty and privilege to tender to you their most sincere congratulations and best wishes, on the occasion of the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of your birth. “We render thanks to God on your account for the lively interest which you have manifested on so many occasions in the labors of the Baptist Church in France in general, and in our own church in particular; for the great and distinguished services which, by Divine assistance, you have been able to render to the Baptist cause throughout the entire world; and above all for the incalculable blessings which, by the precious help of the Divine Spirit, have resulted from your earnest and multiplied labors. “And we ask, at the same time, that He would continue and multiply to you His choicest blessings for many years to come, to the joy of those who love you, for the encouragement of individuals as well as the churches that venerate you, for the eternal good of many many souls, and for the glory of the Master. “Be pleased, Sir, and honored brother, to receive these our best wishes and congratulations, and also to accept the two volumes which accompany this address, which we tender as a humble but sincere token of our respect for you. In the name of the Church —
HENRI ANDRU, Pasteur. ALEXANDRE DEZ, Pasteur. PHILEMON VINCENT, Evangelist.
J.VIGNAL, Evangelist. RUBEN SAILLENS (of the McAll Mission).
( 48, rue die Lille), June 18th, 1884.” There is a long list of names appended which I will not trouble you with reading, but I feel compelled to read one letter from Pastor J. B. Cretin, the oldest Baptist Minister in France, though it is a private one to your dear Pastor. C. H. SPURGEON : That letter is exceedingly beautiful, and in the French language it is still more so. Our friend Mr. Lang’s translation is very good, but one never can convey in a second language all that there is in the original. This is a peculiarly sweet letter, which I shall always keep by me. You will understand, dear friends, that these things have come to me by no sort of solicitation; they are entirely unprompted, and therefore the more valuable. I thank God for them, and take courage. Among those who sent to the testimonial, I could not but notice the names of friends with whom I have conversed at Mentone. In that town I have made some of the most valuable acquaintances I have ever had, and some of my most hearty helpers. I remember one dear friend staying there who attended my morning prayer; he was not very well, and after a while he went away; but he soon returned. I said to him, “Ah, you are back again, I see.” He said, “I missed your little meetings, and I came back to enjoy them again.” I was delighted to notice that he sent £25. It was like the usual liberality of friends who consorted with me at Mentone. And now we shall hear one of the best workers in the church, Mr. William Olney, Junr., though I could wish that we had been able to finish up with his father. Mr. WM. OLNEY, Junr.: This is a night of great joy. It seems almost a pity that we should have to acknowledge that a single regret has entered into our hearts; yet one face has been absent this evening, and one voice has been missed. Both would have been very pleasant to us. Thank God, it is no tragic tale I have to tell. My father has gone on a long voyage with a cheerful heart; but I am sure of this, that one of the greatest regrets he had in leaving England was that he would miss the Jubilee meetings. No more earnest prayer is ascending at this time than his, that God will bless the Pastor, and give him still greater joy in this church in years to come. I do not know that I ever heard my father say that he esteemed Mr. Spurgeon, because I believe that word is ten degrees too cold for my father, but I have heard him say very many times that he loves the Pastor. I do not know that I ever heard him put an adjective before the name of our dear Pastor less warm than this — our “dear” Pastor. And somehow when my father uses the word it has a double meaning in it, for it comes from his heart as well as from his lips. I cannot represent my father, but I would say this in my father’s name, because I know it is the feeling that is in his heart, “Dear Mr. Spurgeon, may God’s blessing rest more increasingly upon you; may there be more and more of the Holy Spirit in your ministry, and may souls be brought to the Cross of Christ in still larger numbers.” A gentleman shook hands with me this evening and said, “Good evening, Mr. Representative.” I wondered for a moment what I represented, but I suppose he referred to Haddon Hall. Just now, however, I represent all the many missions in connection with this place. One of the chief reasons the workers in the missions have for loving the Pastor is that so many were brought to Jesus under his ministry. And is it not a fact, dear missionworkers, that whenever we want fresh encouragement in our work we do not so much turn to ourselves as to the words of our Pastor, to hear from him God’s blessing? It was said in the, time of Whitefield, “As surely as God is in Gloucestershire;” and if we want encouragement we say, “As surely as God is with the Pastor,” and then we feel that God is also with us.
When we remember how our Pastor has struggled against pain, and often served God in great weakness and weariness of body, we are encouraged to go on too, and if we do not ourselves, meet with immediate results, we do look to this church and see how steadily the number is increasing. Go on working and believing, and God will send his blessing. I am quite certain that, however devoted we are to the work of missions, it is impossible that. we should be kept away from the Tabernacle long. Our Pastor has a double influence. He has a repellent influence and an attractive influence. He first of all puts pins into the cushion and drives us away, and makes us feel we cannot stay in the congregation while souls are perishing outside, and then he so preaches Christ that we are compelled to come back even though the pins prick again. So we are continually kept going to and fro, first getting a sip from the brook, and then carrying the water to those perishing of thirst. It seems to me that we ought not to let the testimonial be confined to the Tabernacle; shall we not rather go out and live a testimonial of gratitude to our God? Oh, that we might this night devote ourselves to God with a holier enthusiasm, with a more entire, hearty, loving earnestness of soul than ever we have done before! Nothing will please the Pastor like that; yea, not all the gold and silver that could possibly be given him would so rejoice his heart as the knowledge that all the Sabbath School teachers, all the mission-workers, and all the tractdistributors from this place are filled with the Holy Ghost afresh, and are working for God with greater enthusiasm. I wish you likewise to remember the Pastors’ College. Might not the testimonial be carried on in the weeklyoffering box during the year? Some of you, perhaps, have made it a regular thing to help the Pastor in his much-loved work. Let those of as who attend the ministry here never go past those boxes, if God has only allowed us to partake of his favor in the week to the smallest extent, without giving a fresh expression of our gratitude to God for giving us our beloved Pastor. If only in our gifts and in our work we can do more for our God and try to do it better, then this Jubilee shall indeed be blessed, and there shall come upon this church more reason for gladness, because men and women are seeking to work with all their might for the Lord. I have thought what a pity it was Mr. Spurgeon could not have another fiftieth birthday in a little while. This Jubilee seems to stir us all up, — we all want to do more and give more. A man said to me, “I must go to the Jubilee meeting, for Spurgeon will never be fifty years of age again;” and I thought, “No, but he may be a hundred.” We will give him this promise — I know you will make it, and therefore I make it confidently in your name, — My dear Sir, if only you will live to one hundred we will give you a handsomer testimonial than you are to receive to-morrow night. C. H. SPURGEON : In closing, let me say that I cannot promise you that. Will you join with me just a few minutes in a hearty, earnest prayer? and then we will go our way’.
O God, thou art infinitely good, a well that has overflowed for ever.
Blessed be thy name. We have trusted in thee, and we are not confounded.
Thy servants remember dark days, and times of need, and hours of great difficulty, when we had nothing to stay ourselves upon except our God, and we never were better stayed. Never were we happier, never was there an intenser joy in our spirit than when we felt we were out of our depth, and yet could not drown, but could safely swim. Lord, we thank thee for teaching us to trust thee, for causing us to cast ourselves upon the invisible God, to rest in him whose voice we cannot hear, whose person we cannot see, but who is nevertheless most certainly very near to his people. The Lord bless each speaker tonight. We would pray for each one individually, but thou knowest each one. The Lord bless every member of this church, and bless every person who has been here to-night. We would lift our hands to thee, 0 Lord, to-night, and dedicate ourselves to thee anew; for thee to live, for thee to die, if need be. Thine are we, thou Son of David, and oh, that we could follow thee whithersoever thou goest, and :find this our joy, to live in thee, to live with thee, to live for thee! Oh, send a blessing now upon every head! Reward these generous ones a thousandfold, in their own persons, and in their children, for Jesus Christ’s sake.