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The Death of Spurgeon1
By B. H. Carroll

      Last Sunday night at Mentone, France, there died the greatest man of modern times. If every crowned head in Europe had died that night, the event would not be so momentous as the death of this one man. Nay more, if every member of every reigning dynasty had died in one night, it would not have attracted so much attention as this nan's death. On earth perhaps, yes - in the universe, no. The more thickly peopled worlds beyond this outnumber the population of this planet as the stars and sands and forest leaves outnumber the houses of men. And these people, above and below, were more moved at Spurgeon's death, than if all kings had died. Moreover, their interest is without affectation. There is sincerity after death. "With them there is no stereotyped grief or joy. No perfunctory condolence or congratulation. No official crape or festoons. No hirelings to mourn or hurrah. Napoleon's return from Elba - LaFayette's visit to America - Washington's and Jackson's tours through the States - were all thrilling pageants, but it has not entered into the heart of man to conceive the glory of Spurgeon's return to the bosom of his God, and his welcome beyond the stars. At the depot of death, God's chariot met him as a kingly guest, and a convoy of angels escorted him home. Cherubim hovered over him and Seraphim flamed before him. The bended heavens stooped to meet him.

      "Lift up your heads, O, ye gates - and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors" - and let the child of glory come in.

      And who are these, like clouds of doves from the windows of heaven, that fly to greet him? These are his spiritual children, begotten unto God through his ministry, out of every nation and tribe and kindred. From the British Isles, from America, from the Australian bush, from the Islands of
     1 A Spurgeon Memorial Address delivered at Nashville, Tenn. on the first Sunday in February, 1892.

the sea, "from Afric's torrid climes," and "Greenland's icy mountains," "from India's coral strand," from the pine-clad mountains of Scandinavia, and bleak Nova Zembla, they had gone up before him and were waiting and watching for him. The ends of the earth were there, not only geographically but morally. There met him the drunkard and the debauchee, there the society-banned harlot, there the "ticket-of-leave" convict and the red-handed murderer, there the children of poverty and hereditary vice, there the converts from infidelity, "that caries of the intellect," there the whilom worshipers of Moloch and ghastly Mammon, these all rescued by his instrumentality as "brands from the burning," and now whiter than snow, and absolved and shrived from sin, free, "redeemed, regenerated, and disinthralled." And who can tell their welcome? And who can measure his shout of exultation: "Ye are my crown of rejoicing."

      See the sower. See him "that went forth weeping, bearing precious seed," now coming "with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." Oh, the sheaves of golden grain, the multitude of sheaves! When before, and oh my soul, when again will the angels shout such a harvest home? How does he pluck and appropriate the promise "they that be wise shall shine as the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever"?

      See the builder, the wise master builder. He built on the foundation Jesus Christ. He built thereupon gold, silver, and precious stones. His work is made manifest. The day has declared it, the day revealed by fire. The fire has tried his work. It abides unconsumed. He receives his reward.

      See his heavenly addition. He has added to his faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, god-liness ; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity. These were in him and abounded. They made him that he should be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Christ.

      He was not blind. He could see afar off. He never forgot that he was purged from his old sins. He made his calling and election sure He never fell. And so an entrance was ministered unto him abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. His ship

comes to the port of heaven not a storm-tossed wreck, dismantled and tattered, towed in by some harbor tug; but with every mast standing, every sail filled and flowing, and cargoed to the water's edge. Oh, let me "die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!"

      And what cloud is this that like incense from ten thousand burning censers rises up from the earth and follows him to heaven? Is it not the gratitude of homeless widows whom he has sheltered and clothed and fed ? Is it not the blessing of the fatherless, whose orphan condition he has relieved? Is it not the tribute of poor ministers whom he has educated and supplied with books?

      But most rapturous and entrancing vision - see him meet the Master himself! Spurgeon and Christ - the saint and his Saviour. Meeting above clouds and sorrow and death. Meeting in

That sun-bright clime
Undimmed by sorrow and unhurt by time,
Where age hath no power o'er the fadeless frame
Where the eye is fire and the heart is flame.
      See the saint casting all his star-crowns and honors at the nail-pierced feet - crying out: "My Lord and my God!" - and shouting: "Grace - grace, all grace - a sinner saved by grace."

      Yes, Spurgeon is dead. Earth mourns, but heaven is glad.

      And how does the news affect the lost when they see him afar off - beyond the fixed, broad, and impassable gulf - sitting down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God? How do they remember the gospel he preached? How recall his tears, his melting persuasions? How he warned and plead in vain, pointing to the open door - now shut forever; pointing to the water of life, from whose cooling streams they have cut themselves off forever? How, now hopeless, they recall his sermons on hope! How bitter their wail: "We knew our duty, but did it not! However unworthy other preachers, this man is guiltless of our blood. He is a swift witness against us." So hell beneath was moved at his going, as heaven above was moved at his coming. And so Spurgeon's death attracted more attention than if all kings had died.

      Yes, Spurgeon is dead. The tallest and broadest oak in

the forest of time is fallen. The sweetest, most silvery and far-reaching voice that published the glad tidings since apostolic times is hushed. The hand whose sickle cut the widest swath in the ripened grain-fields of redemption lies folded and nerveless on a pulseless breast, whose heart when beating kept time with every human joy and woe. But he was ready to be offered. He fought a good fight. He kept the faith, and while we weep, he wears the triple crown of life and joy and glory, which God the righteous judge has conferred upon him.

      This wonderful man was both a creation and a result. God created him to be great. His extraordinary natural endowments of mind and body were gifts of God as much as his conversion and call to the ministry. The circumstances of ancestry, training, Puritan libraries, existing contrast between the independent and the State church, together with the times in which he lived - all of which had much to do with him as a result, were providentially furnished ready to his hand. In answer to the question: "How do you account for Spurgeon?" the answer is the monosyllable: "God."

      In discussing the life and labors of such a man, the limits of this address allow us only to touch lightly, here and there, the salient points. The accompanying note will indicate these in his life and work.2

     2 HISTORICAL SKETCH - Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born June 19, 1834. Was born again December 15, 1850. Became a Baptist May 3, 1851. Became a London pastor April 25, 1854. Established publication of weekly sermon, 1854. Established the Pastor's College, 1866. Published "Pulpit Library," 3 vols., 1856-8. Issued first number of " Illustrated Almanac," which continued annually while he lived, 1857. Published "Saint and his Saviour," 1857. Published " Smooth Stones from Ancient Brooks," one volume. 1859.

      Completed Metropolitan Tabernacle, costing one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, seating capacity five thousand, 1861. Became joint editor of "Baptist Magazine;" 1861. Inaugurated "Sword and Trowel," magazine, 1865. Established Colportage Association, 1866. Published "Morning by Morning," one volume, 1866. Incorprated Stockwell Orphanage, 1867.

     BOOKS PUBLISHED - "Evening by Evening," one volume, 1868. "John Ploughman's Talks," one volume, 1869. "Treasury of David," seven large volumes, 1870-85. "Feathers for Arrows," one volume, 1870. "The Interpreter," one volume, 1872. "Lectures to Students," first series, 1875. "Trumpet Calls to Christian Energy," 1875. "Types and Emblems," 1875. "Commenting and

      Never since Paul died has so much work and so much success been crowded into so small a space of time.

      Let us glance briefly at some of this work.

      Mr. Spurgeon was pre-eminently a preacher. He preached more sermons, perhaps, than any other man. More people have heard him than have heard any other man. More people have read and do read his sermons than the sermons of any other man.

      "The average sale of the Weekly Sermon is twenty-five thousand copies. A few have approached one hundred thousand copies. Two have exceeded it; and one, on "Baptismal Regeneration," preached in the summer of 1864, sold to the extent of one hundred and ninety-eight thousand copies." - Schaff. More of them have been translated into foreign tongues than any other sermons. More have appeared in the earth's great daily and weekly papers. More people have been converted by reading them, in more countries, than by, perhaps, all other published sermons. They are all simple. All easily understood. All full of meat, fire, unction, and power. Nearly all are upon the fundamental doctrines of grace. All of them make the way of life so plain that the wayfaring man though a fool, need not err therein. The common people devour them. The poor, ignorant, vile, and unfortunate, rush to them as the thirsty Israelites to the water from the rock. Intellect bows under their power, and negroes shout over them. The great praise them, and the humble hug them to their heart.
Commentaries," 1876. "Metropolitan Tabernacle, its History and Work, 1876. Lectures to Students," second series, 1877. "John Ploughman's Pictures," 1880. "Farm Sermons," 1882. "Present Truth," 1883. " Illustrations and Meditations." 1883. "The Clue of the Maze," 1884. " Sermon Notes on the Whole Bible," four volumes, 1884-7. "Storm Signals, 1886.

      In addition to these, on dates unknown to me: "Sermons in Candles"; "Speeches at Home and Abroad"; "Catechism"; "Salt Cellars," two volumes; "Cheque Book of Faith"; "Sermons to Business Men," three volumes; and innumerable tracts, leaflets, reviews, editorials, and contributions to papers and magazines. His publications aggregate nearly one hundred volumes

      Of his travels and pulpit ministrations all over Great Britain, in Holland, Belgium, Germany. France, and Italy, I have not time to lay a word; nor have I any data of his work for the last six years.

      He died at Mentone, France, January 31, 1892, aged fifty-seven years, seven months, and twelve days.

Livingstone had one of them in his hat when he died, having carried it through Africa. A widow was found half frozen on an Alpine mountain peak, reading one of them through her tears. A bush-ranger in Australia was converted by reading one, blood-stained, which he had taken from the body of a man he had murdered.

      No other man commencing with such large congregations, held them in ever increasing crowds for thirty-eight years, until he died. He came to the old London church where Benjamin Keach was pastor thirty-two years, John Gill fifty-six years, John Rippon sixty-three years. He found a congregation of one hundred in a house whose seating capacity was one thousand and two hundred. In three months it was crowded, and in less than a year they had to enlarge it, while Mr. Spurgeon was filling Exeter Hall. The enlarged church was too small from the first sermon. They moved into Surrey Music Hall, seating seven thousand - and filled it to overflowing.

      The Metropolitan Tabernacle was built, seating five thousand, with standing room for one thousand. The standing room was occupied until he died. He never found but one place that could hold his congregation - the open fields roofed by the skies.

      With whom among men can you compare him? He combined the preaching power of Jonathan Edwards and Whitfield with the organizing power of Wesley, and the energy, fire, and courage of Luther. In many respects he was most like Luther. In many most like Paul.

      His pulpit power derived no aid from adventitious circumstances. He dealt in no tricks of elocution. You cannot conceive of Mr. Spurgeon attitudinizing before a mirror to learn graceful gesticulation. Mr. Spurgeon's pulpit power consisted largely in his convictions. He spake because he believed. He realized that he carried a message from God. A message of life to the lost. It was his business to deliver the message, not vindicate it. He did not feel authorized to minify, dilute, or change it. He believed in God. He believed in the personality of the devil. He believed the Bible doctrines of heaven and hell. He believed in the eternity of future happiness or woe for every man; in the power of the Holy Ghost; in the divinity of Jesus and the

reality of vicarious expiation. He believed that Jesus Christ founded the church. He believed that a Christian congregation should be as a lighthouse on a rock-bound coast, or a chandelier of grouped lights revealing the dangerous pathway to hell and illuminating the narrow way to heaven.

      That the mission of the church was not to amuse and entertain, but to save the world. Hence that meeting-houses were not the successors of Solomon's temple, whose antitype is the spiritual church, but were only meeting-houses, and should therefore be constructed with reference to utility and comfort. They should be good audience rooms, well lighted, heated, and ventilated, with enough entrances and exits for convenience and safety, and without steeples, chancels, altars, stained glass, images, or pictures; indeed, without everything that would divert the minds of the people from the preaching of Jesus Christ and him crucified.

      His pulpit power was also greatly enhanced by his character. All men felt that he was wedded to truth. He hated all lies and shams and frauds. He was neither two-faced, double-minded, nor double-tongued. He loved candor, and abhorred double-dealing, wire-pulling, indirectness, and Macchiavellianism. His own nature was simple, transparent, direct. His eye was single. If in speech he was natural, shunning the affectations of elocution, the flourishes of rhetoric and all theatrical displays, how much more did he abhor hypocrisy in life, and with what relentless scorn did he tear off the mask which covered moral turpitude, and behind which immorality rotted the souls of men.

      He was a real man - not a dreamer or visionary, and possessed withal as large a share of "sanctified common sense" as is ever allotted to man. Then, without being an agitator, politician, or demagogue, he was emphatically one of the people. He had more points of contact with them than any other preacher of modern times. He could play with boys, laugh with girls, and genuinely enjoy a talk with the old women in the almshouses. His sympathy for them in all their sorrows was manifestly unaffected. Except, perhaps, Martin Luther, no other man since the Master himself, so nearly touched the life of the common people all along the line of their experience. He understood them. They understood him. Witness John Ploughman.

     Then his nature was so cheery and sunshiny, so social. He was no misanthrope, no recluse, but a mingler in the everyday affairs of life. Moreover, his discernment of human nature was only equalled by his sturdy independence. He believed in the natural dignity of man, as man, without regard to fictitious distinctions of rank and wealth. Human patents of nobility were no more to his rugged Puritan mind than the "titular dignitaries of the chess-board."

      One can imagine how he would emphasize the couplet of Robert Burns

The RANK is but the guinea's stamp,
The MAN'S the gowd, for a' that.

      Such a character must have told mightily in his preaching.

      But Mr. Spurgeon was not only a preacher, but a teacher of preachers. That preacher whose preaching never leads others to preach, may well doubt that he is one himself.

      This leads naturally, as next in order, to a consideration:

      2. Of the Pastor's College. - In my judgment, Mr. Spurgeon's college for preachers is the most remarkable institution of learning ever established in human history. In its origin, plan of work, means of support, and efficiency, it is "without a model and without a shadow."

      Within two years of his settlement in London the young pastor was confronted with a problem of extraordinary interest and importance. The problem came before him with all the sacredness of a Divine providence. It was a result of his labors. It developed under the power and fervor of his own preaching, as rapidly and naturally as the rich soil of the tropics sends up vegetation in response to sun and rain.

      To quote his own words:

      "There were springing up around me, as my own spiritual children, many earnest young men who felt an irresistible impulse to preach the gospel, and yet with half an eye it could be seen that their want of education would be a sad hindrance to them.

      "It was not in my heart to bid them cease their preaching, and had I done so, they would in all probability have ignored my recommendation. As it seemed that preach they would,

though their attainments were very slender, no other course was open but to give them an opportunity to educate themselves for the work."

      We do well to note that only under fervid, evangelical preaching are others impressed to preach. A ministry barren of such impressions is itself lifeless, and fortunately provides no successor.

      Mr. Spurgeon's hearers, like the Saviour's, consisted mainly of the working classes, the poor and ignorant. Those of such a congregation, called to preach, would, of course, be poor and ignorant.

      Here was the problem. The fruit of his own labors asked: "What will you do with us?" The young preachers, "captives of his own bow and spear," cried unto him for "oppor-tunity." The answers to his own prayers knocked at his door and said: "Where will you put us?" Divine Providence laid a Lazarus at his gate.

      There was no way of escape from this issue. Such personal responsibility could not be shifted. The logic of the situation was inexorable: If the Lord called him to work such results, he must care for the results, not only that they might not be wasted, but that the most should be made of them.

      Like all natural developments to which the agent has been unconsciously led, without plan or prescience, these results were greater in themselves, wider and more far-reaching in tendencies than human forecast could anticipate. The endings were out of all proportions to the beginnings, as we shall see.

      But what shall this pastor, only twenty-two years old, himself without college education - never in a theological seminary what shall he do with this problem? What can he do? Especially since within his knowledge there was available for these young men in all the earth no suitable college.

      According to his own testimony: "No college at that time appeared to me to be suitable for the class of men that the providence and the grace of God drew around me. They were mostly poor, and most of the colleges involved necessarily a considerable outlay to the student; for even where the education was free, books, clothes, and other incidental expenses required a considerable sum per annum."

      But the financial was only a small part of the problem.

     Mr. Spurgeon thought that much of the theology of the colleges was doubtful. That like the bones in the valley of Ezekiel, it was lifeless and "very dry."

      Hear his own description of such theology:

      "Petrarch's works are said to have lain so long in the roof of St. Mark's at Venice, that they became turned into stone.

      "To many men it might well seem that the word of God had become petrified, for they receive it as a hard, lifeless creed, a stone upon which to sharpen the daggers of controversy, a stumbling block for young beginners, a millstone with which to break opponents' heads, after the manner experienced by Abimelech at Thebez. A man must have a stout digestion to feed on some men's theology - no sap, no sweetness, no life, but all stern accuracy and fleshless definition." Proclaimed without tenderness and argued without affection, the gospel from such men rather resembles a missile from a catapult than bread from the Father's table.

      "Teeth are needlessly broken over the grit of systematic theology, while souls are famishing.

      "To turn stones into bread was a temptation of our Master; but how many of his servants yield readily to the far worse temptation to turn bread into stone? Go thy way, metaphysical divine, to the stone-yard, and break granite for McAdam, but stand not in the way of loving spirits who would feed the family of God with living bread.

      "The inspired word is to us spirit and life, and we cannot afford to have it hardened into a huge monolith or a spiritual Stonehenge - sublime but cold, majestic but lifeless: far rather would we have it as our own household book, our bosom companion, the poor man's counsellor and friend,"

      Moreover, as it seemed to him, the methods adopted in most colleges subordinated religious fervor to literary attainments. The students become more learned than pious.

      He thought that "preachers of the grand old truths of the gospel ministers suitable for the masses were more likely to be found in an institution where preaching and divinity would be the main object, and not degrees and other insignia of human learning."

      He feared that the ministerial students of many colleges relied more on culture than the eternal Spirit. Hear him:

      "Souls are not saved by systems, but by the Spirit.

Organizations without the Holy Ghost are mills without wind or water or steam power. Methods and arrangements without grace are pipes from a dry conduit, lamps without oil, banks without capital."

      Therefore he accepted it as a personal responsibility resting on him to establish a pastor's college - more nearly resembling in spirit and methods Samuel's school of the prophets and Christ's school of the apostles than any institution then in existence. His plan of work, with the means of support, was also an evolution, not a forethought. He began work with the material on hand, employing a teacher and renting a house with his own funds - funds accruing from the sale of his sermons in America. Thus the readers of his sermons living in the United States supplied, by their patronage, the first revenues of this now famous institution. Who of you thought it when you purchased one of his books?

      Mark you, he did not mortgage the future by first incurring a big debt in erecting costly and needless buildings, and by the employment of a numerous and costly faculty. As the school grew and when imperious necessity demanded, he increased the teaching force, and waited for the building until the power and influence of the institution itself would create it, as easily and naturally as form adjusts itself to the expansion of life.

      Indeed, Mr. Spurgeon did not know what he was founding, nor to what dimensions it would grow. It developed in his unconscious hands, like Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress." That you may appreciate the illustration, hear Mr. Bunyan's account of that:

When at the first I took my pen in hand
Thus for to write, I did not understand
That I at all should make a little book
In such a mode; nay, I had undertook
To make another, which, when almost done,
Before I was aware, I thus hegun:

And thus it was: I, writing of the way
And race of saints in this our gospel day,
Fell suddenly into an allegory
About their journey and the way to glory,
In more than twenty things, which I set down;
This done, I twenty more had in my crown;
And they again began to multiply,
Like sparks that from the coals of fire do fly.

Nay then, thought I, if that you breed ao fast,
I'11 put you by yourselves, lest you at last,
Should prove AD INFINITUM, and eat out
The book that I already am about.

Well, so I did; but yet I did not think
To show to all the world my pen and ink
In such a mode: . . .
Thus I set pen to paper with delight,
And quickly had my thoughts in black and white.
For having now my method by the end,
Still as I pull'd it came ; and so I penned
It down, until at last it came to be,
For length and breadth, the bigness which you see.

      So developed, unconsciously, the Pastor's College.

      But Mr. Spurgeon soon found that his own funds, of which he appropriated four thousand dollars per annum, were inadequate to support the expanding work. When, in extremity, he offered to sell his carriage and horses, he was advised to appeal to his church.

      But could the church assume such an obligation? Anyhow, the Lord shifted the responsibility from the individual to the congregation. Weekly offerings were made. These were inadequate, though amounting one year to nearly ten thousand dollars. The ladies took up the matter as auxiliaries. It soon went beyond them. Mr. Spurgeon then began to travel, and Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and England were set on fire by his eloquent pleadings. The funds poured in; large benefactions came. The buildings, costing seventy-five thousand dollars, were erected. The current cost of the institution began to average twenty-five thousand dollars annually. The support of the college, day by day and year by year, was rested on faith in God; the foundations were his promises. The checks of faith were all honored. The record is a marvelous one.

      The plan of internal work was also unique. Mr. Spurgeon's ideas were all executed and embodied. While literary attainments were not neglected, spiritual power was made the main object.

      In his report for 1881, Mr. Spurgeon says: "Foremost among our aims is the promotion of a vigorous spiritual life among those who are preparing to be under-shepherds of Christ's flock. By frequent meetings for prayer, and by other means, we labor to maintain a high tone of spirituality.

I have endeavored in my lectures and addresses to stir up the holy fire; for well I knew that if the heavenly flame burns low nothing else will avail."

      That his lectures to his students were well calculated to effect such end, all who have read the published volumes of these addresses will concede. They are without a parallel in theological literature. No other theological addresses have been so widely read or so generally beneficial to young ministers. His last inaugural on "Light, Fire, Faith, Life, and Love," should be read by every preacher on the globe.

      Under such tuition his pupils might not be experts in scholasticism and terminology, might not be able to retain in mind the difference in meaning of such phraseology as homiletics, hermeneutics, polemics, eschatology, soteriology, etc., but would be burning and shining lights in the thick darkness overshadowing the hovels of poverty, ignorance, and crime.

      As to their efficiency the Earl of Shaftesbury is reported to give this testimony: "It was an utter fallacy to suppose that the people of England would ever be brought to a sense of order and discipline by the repetition of miserable services; by bits of wax candles; by rags of popery, and by gymnastics in the chancel. Nothing was adapted to the wants of the people but the gospel message brought home to their hearts, and he knew of none who had done better service in the evangelistic work than the pupils trained in Mr. Spurgeon's college. They had a singular faculty for addressing the population and going to the very heart of the people."

      But where tuition, board, books, and even a little pocket money are all free, the inquiry would naturally arise: What protects from imposition - how are the worthless prevented from swallowing up the school? The difficulty proved to be more apparent than real.

      Where there is a predominance of spiritual light and power it is as painful to fraud and imposture as sunlight is to owls, bats, and beasts of prey. It hurts them. They run to their holes. The light is too bright, not only for their deeds, but for their thoughts.

      But where is any guarantee from mental imbecility, from sloth, from barrenness of spirit, from gush and platitude

eaters? The guarantee against these evils was Mr. Spurgeon's "sifting process." Candor, truth, and fair dealing did the sifting.

      If after a fair trial it was demonstrated that a young man, however pious, had no "aptness to teach"; if another, no matter how apt to teach, had no application, was lazy, either mentally or bodily ; if another, no matter how smart, had no reverence for sacred things, but was given to levity and foolish jesting; if another had no missionary spirit; if another was foul-mouthed, a hearer and teller of obscene anecdotes ; if another was immoral in habits; if another, no matter how moral, had no piety, no spirituality; if another was quarrelsome, these were all quietly but firmly advised to go home and seek some other work - they had run before the Lord sent them.

      Ah! if such a sifting process were applied to our ministers in Texas what a thinning out there would be! What a cloud of chaff would be separated from the wheat!

      More than any other school on earth has this school molded spiritual life and given direction to heavenly destiny. Every Sunday several hundred young preachers go out from its walls, not indeed to preach in Westminster Abbey, surrounded by "storied urn and animated bust," nor to intone fifteen minutes essays to the drowsy few of the titled who patronize the grand cathedrals, but out in the byways and highways, out in the slums and shadows of "darkest England," where sickness, pain, and death, where ignorance, poverty, and vice enthrall the masses; there to the lost, fallen, outcast, abandoned, and perishing thousands they preach the hope, joy, peace, and salvation of the glorious gospel of the blessed God. In one decade these students baptized twenty-six thousand six hundred and seventy-six persons.

      But the problem was not solved by providing the means to clothe, feed, educate, and equip these students. That was but the commencement of responsibility. These young must go out somewhere to permanent work. This was inculcated, line upon line, and precept upon precept. They were exhorted to go to the neediest places. The college was an organized missionary society. Their hearts were fired and their imaginations inflamed by the oft-repeated and thrilling story of spiritual destitution throughout the world. Hence, when they

left school they went forth as crusaders. They went where miners delved in the bowels of the earth, almost unacquainted with the sweetness of sunlight, the song of birds, and the glory of dowers. They went to the smoke-covered cities where factory operatives toiled by day and sinned and suffered at night. They went to China, to Japan, to Australia, to Canada, to the ends of the earth. And thus going, without money and scrip, who would support them with life's necessaries until self-sustaining churches were established - who but Mr. Spurgeon, their spiritual father and the mother church?

      If the Lord honors a church by calling missionaries from its bosom to go to destitute fields and foreign lands, shall not the mother church be grateful enough to take care of these children, so far from home? It thus developed that the church must pay the missionary salaries of her beneficiaries in education, where their fields could not support them.

      Nor was this all. When one of the students, thus sent out, would write home: "The Lord has blessed my labors, hundreds of the lost have been converted and baptized. They have been organized into a church; but they are miserably poor and we have no house of worship, no shelter for the Sunday-school. What can we do?"

      What now? Is the mother church sorry to hear of such success?

      Has he done what he was sent to do?

      Then if glad - what about that house of worship? Thus a Chapel Building Fund developed out of missionaries as missionaries developed out of the Pastor's College. Do you want a limit to results? Do you desire to complain because God honors you? Nay, verily! But where shall we find so much money? Check again on the bank of faith; the promises of God are inexhaustible; the Lord is not straitened; nothing is too hard for him. So they drew the checks. So faith drew the checks and they were honored.

      Up to the last report the school had matriculated eight hundred and twenty preachers, of whom seven hundred are now living. They are pastors, evangelists, or missionaries in nearly all parts of the world. Their connection with Alma Mater is kept alive by an annual reunion, or conference, which all attend in person or by letter. The conference

rekindles expiring fires, rebinds broken ties, inspires with new zeal by its greetings, hand-shakings, exchange of experiences, discussions, and reports of work throughout the world. Till the presiding pastor died his annual address made an epoch of each re-union. There has never before been such a college.

      But the fire in the college warmed up the pew. People not preachers began to hunger for theological instruction which came as bread, not stone - which was alive and not a "very dry bone." Mechanics and artisans whose necessary daily labor prevented college attendance began to call for night classes in theology in lieu of the taverns and beer shops - the school of Satan. This demand necessitated "college extension" in the way of evening lessons.

      Two hundred hard-working men would thus assemble to drink greedily, not beer, but theology. But mark you, the theology was from a cool, clear, running stream.

      But when laymen thus hunger and thirst after the meaning of God's word - when the Spirit quickens that word in their hearts and consciences - there must be another result. They will begin to say, " Is there no work for us to do - must the preachers monopolize the Master's service? Let us at least e colporters - we can distribute books and tracts - all the outfit we want is a little go-cart which we can pull, or push before us. We know the people - we are of them." Hence arose by natural development the most efficacious colportage association the world has ever known. It is reported that in 1890, these colporters sold and distributed four hundred thousand books, held six thousand services, made six hundred and thirty-one thousand visits. In a later year five hundred and fifty-one thousand nine hundred and forty-nine books and packets, three hundred and sixty-five thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight magazines, two hundred and fifty-three thousand tracts, held ten thousand services, and made seven hundred thousand visits. Their sales, in all, up to the last report aggregated six hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

     3. Organized Benevolences as a Necessary Part of Church Work. - There are some really benevolent Christians, ever ready, as individuals, with open hand and purse to aid the needy and suffering, who deny that any obligation rests upon the church, as a church, to do more than provide for its own poor. Their argument is very plausible and becomes cogent

when it manifestly does not proceed from stinginess and selfishness.

      They hold that the church is not per se an eleemosynary institution; that its mission is not to feed and clothe the body, but to give the bread of life-spiritual food; that the resources of the church are not adequate to taking care of the poor of the world ; that too much attention to general charity diverts attention from the supreme mission of the church to save the world; that the distribution in Acts 6, Paul's great collections, and the exhortation of James 2:5, 6, 14-16, all referred to poor saints, and that Paul would not have the church burdened with its own poor when they had relations able to care for them (1 Timothy 5:4, 8, 16).

      On this point Mr. Spurgeon had no scruples. He thought it safe for the church of Jesus to follow the example of Jesus. That the conjoining of practical benevolence with the preaching of the gospel to the poor proved Jesus of Nazareth to be the Messiah by the fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy.

      "Art thou he that should come or do we look for another? "asked John the Baptist through his disciples.

      "Then Jesus answering, said unto them: Go your way and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached." That in commissioning his disciples to go into all the world as missionaries he associated with preaching, benevolence (Matthew 10:1-3, and Mark 16:16-18).

      That it was the custom of Jesus to take out of the common treasury of the disciples and distribute to the poor (John 13:29 and 12:4-8).

      That this example was followed by the Spirit-guided apostles and the churches after Christ's ascension (Galatians 2:9, 10).

      That the soul is in the body and is often reached through relief of the body.

      That the church should exceed in charity a mutual protection society; that it should be more benevolent than Odd Fellows and Masons.

      That the church which, as a church, ignores human suffering, except among her own members, will not succeed in securing acceptance of the bread of life from the hands which withheld bread for the body.

      That orphanage, widowhood, sickness, want, and sorrow are undenominational.

      That the church which leads in general charities and practical benevolence most surely gains the confidence of the world, and most readily secures from them a hearing of the gospel she preaches.

      That charitable institutions from infinite considerations should be in the charge of piety and religion.

      That almost by universal consent the ungodly recognize this fact, and are willing that any church, having such matters in charge, shall disburse in that direction their own contributions, so that after all, the burden of such support does not drain the purses nor dry up the resources of the kingdom of God.

      That the church which, as a church, gives most to charity also gives most to missionary operations and increases most in members and spiritual power.

      From such considerations Mr. Spurgeon led his church to increase the number of widows' almshouses, established by his predecessor, Dr. Rippon, and also established in 1867 the Stockwell Orphanage.

      This wonderful enterprise was also an unpremeditated evolution. It grew up of itself out of his great work as a preacher. When a church is alive spiritually, such things do not have to be sought for and sent for - they discover themselves and come unannounced. We can no more find a limit to enlargement, when we exercise our gifts and graces, than can be found to the divisibility of matter. If we become useful in one direction, God will see to it that we shall be useful in other directions.

      Mr. Spurgeon had indicated in the "Sword and Trowel," among other forms of Christian usefulness, the care of the orphan. Shortly afterward, September, 1866, a lady, the widow of an Episcopal clergyman, who read the article, wrote him a letter, placing one hundred thousand dollars at his command for an orphanage. Mr. Spurgeon tried to escape the natural result of his own article - suggesting Mr. Miller and the Bristol Orphanage. The lady insisted on him as disburser, and London as the place.

      The matter was carried to the church. The whole church became a committee to raise funds to buy the grounds and

put up buildings so as to leave the one hundred thousand Collars as an endowment. In the "Sword and Trowel" appeared the names of one thousand one hundred and twenty collectors who had collected fourteen thousand and ten dollars.

      Was not that the church at work? London and all England were fired. Contributions came in in pennies, in pounds, in thousand pounds, in ten thousand pounds.

      The work enlarged, and enlarged, and enlarged, until its current expenses amount to one thousand dollars per week.

      For suitable buildings, for judicious management, for economic administration, for educational, industrial, and spiritual facilities, for peace, joy, and happiness, no other orphanage ever established equals this one. England's statesmen have learned wisdom from its practical, honest, economical administration.

      I cannot tell this story in its details. I have not time. I cannot describe how later the Girls' Orphanage was added. It is a wonderful story of God's mighty acts through loving human instrumentality. And do you think London banks could purchase this glorious record of church work? Would the church, as a church, exchange it for mines of gold, silver, and precious stones?

      The great crying want of this day in our churches is fire enough, from some source, to warm the frozen activities of the rank and file of church members. Their powers lie dormant and no bell awakens them. When some are roused and hunger and thirst after work, the pastors do not wisely direct them.

      We need organizers, generals, administrative and executive ability. We need a generation of pastors who can get other people to work. We are dying of stagnation and inanition. We need a benevolence that, like the sunlight and spring showers, fall alike on the good and the evil; that like an unsealed fountain, flows forth unpumped by machinery, spontaneously, from its own unwasted reservoirs, without stopping to inquire whether doves or hawks, lambs or wolves, slake their thirst in its cooling stream.

      So shall we be the children of our Heavenly Father who loveth sinners, and "maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."

      Finally, while we cannot dwell on them let us look for a moment at some others of the lessons suggested by Mr. Spur-geon's life.

      1. Debt. Perhaps, more than any other man of bis generation, has Mr. Spurgeon impressed the English-speaking world with the impolicy, degradation, slavery, and sin of debt.

      In the erection of almshouses, orphanages, colleges, church-houses, and mission chapels - costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, he never incurred a debt. " Pay as you go " was his watchword.

      His publications (see "John Ploughman") have teemed with proverbs, illustrations, and exhortations on this subject. He impressed the world that debt is folly, extravagance, bondage, shame, sin. Let us as preachers, Christians, citizens, and churches lay the lesson to heart.

      2. His life and ministry have demonstrated that the doctrine of a free salvation, none of works but all of grace, promotes the highest form of practical piety.

      The believers of this doctrine do not" sin the more that grace may abound." His ministry and its results prove that not Arminianism but, " The grace of God that bringeth salvation . . . teaches us, that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world."

      3. His ministry has demonstrated that a free salvation, none of works but all of grace, promotes and produces the most effective work. Work, not to be saved, but because saved.

      While his life affirms with unspeakable emphasis: " Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he has saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed upon us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour," it also effectively exhorts: "This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men."

      4. His ministry has demonstrated that while salvation is free, none of works but all of grace, yet the sinner must seek the Lord - must pray for forgiveness - must mourn over sins - must strive to enter in at the strait gate.

      5. His ministry has demonstrated the power of a gospel which insists on man's depravity, the necessity of regeneration, the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, and the undiluted doctrine of substitutionary, vicarious expiation.

      6. But perhaps, greatest of all lessons, his ministry has demonstrated and illustrated the truth of the scripture: "And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men unto me."

      That the preaching of " Christ and him crucified," "the glorying only in the cross," "the knowing nothing but the cross," out-draws in attractive power all other themes. What sensationalist, relying on adventitious aids, on flaming advertisements, on slang and ribaldry, on theatrical methods and trick of elocution ever did gather and hold - in one place - attentive thousands for nearly forty years ?

      Like Paul, Mr. Spurgeon could say: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

      The world needed this lesson. The times were out of joint. The church was drifting from mummeries to infidelity. We needed to go back to first principles. If any man seeks popularity, he will lose it. If he loses it he will find it When Bonaparte died, Phillips said: "He is fallen."

      When Spurgeon died, the world said: "He is risen."


[From Sermons by B. H. Carroll, 1893, CHR&A reprint, 1986, pp. 24-44. Transcribed and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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