Was Spurgeon the Original Inspiration for the “Footprints” Poem?

The opening paragraph of a Spurgeon sermon from 1880: Were you ever in a new trouble, one which was so strange that you felt that a similar trial had never happened to you and, moreover, you dreamt that such a temptation had never assailed anybody else? I should not wonder if that was the thought of your troubled heart. And did you ever walk out upon that lonely desert island upon which you were wrecked and say, “I am alone—alone—ALONE—nobody was ever here before me”? And did you suddenly pull up short as you noticed, in the sand, the footprints of a man? I remember right well passing through that experience—and when I looked, lo, it was not merely the footprints of a man that I saw, but I thought I knew whose feet had left those imprints. They were the marks of One who had been crucified, for there was the print of the nails. So I thought to

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Why Spurgeon Thought the Plain Preaching of the Gospel Was Sufficient to Grow a Church

Spurgeon: Are you afraid that preaching the gospel will not win souls? Are you despondent as to success in God’s way? Is this why you pine for clever oratory? Is this why you must have music, and architecture, and flowers and millinery? After all, is it by might and power, and not by the Spirit of God? It is even so in the opinion of many. Brethren beloved, there are many things which I might allow to other worshippers which I have denied myself in conducting the worship of this congregation. I have long worked out before your very eyes the experiment of the unaided attractiveness of the gospel of Jesus. Our service is severely plain. No man ever comes hither to gratify his eye with art, or his ear with music. I have set before you, these many years, nothing but Christ crucified, and the simplicity of the gospel; yet where will you find such a crowd as this

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What may seem defeat to us may be victory to Him

Morning and Evening – C.H. Spurgeon “The night also is Thine.”—Psalm 74:16 ES, Lord, Thou dost not abdicate Thy throne when the sun goeth down, nor dost Thou leave the world all through these long wintry nights to be the prey of evil; Thine eyes watch us as the stars, and Thine arms surround us as the zodiac belts the sky. The dews of kindly sleep and all the influences of the moon are in Thy hand, and the alarms and solemnities of night are equally with Thee. This is very sweet to me when watching through the midnight hours, or tossing to and fro in anguish. There are precious fruits put forth by the moon as well as by the sun: may my Lord make me to be a favoured partaker in them. The night of affliction is as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as the bright summer days when all is bliss.

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What Made Spurgeon a Great Preacher

  By Michael A.G. Haykin In many ways, C.H. Spurgeon’s ministry was nothing less than amazing: the crowded auditories that assembled to hear the “Cambridgeshire lad” in the 1850s and that continued unabated till the end of his ministry in the early 1890s; the remarkable conversions that occurred under his preaching and the numerous churches in metropolitan London and the county of Surrey that owed their origins to his Evangelical activism; the solid Puritan divinity that undergirded his Evangelical convictions-something of a rarity in the heyday of the Victorian era during which he ministered for that was a day imbued with the very different ambience of Romanticism; and finally, the ongoing life of his sermons that are still being widely read around the world today and deeply appreciated by God’s children. What accounts for all of this? Numerous reasons could be cited, many of which may indeed play a secondary role in his ministerial success. For example, in a fairly

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Partakers of the Divine Nature

C.H. Spurgeon on 2 Peter 1:4 To be a partaker of the divine nature is not, of course, to become God. That cannot be. The essence of Deity is not to be participated in by the creature. Between the creature and the Creator there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High, and are partakers of the divine nature. We are, by grace, made like God. “God is love”; we become love—“He that loveth is born of God.” God is truth; we become true, and we love that which is true: God is good, and he makes us good by his grace, so that we become the pure in heart who shall see God. Moreover, we become partakers of the divine nature

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Pastors: Fight for the Time to Read!

From Justin Taylor: Charles Spurgeon, reflecting on 2 Timothy 4:13 (where Paul said to Timothy: “When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, also the books, and above all the parchments”): We do not know what the books were about, and we can only form some guess as to what the parchments were. Paul had a few books which were left, perhaps wrapped up in the cloak, and Timothy was to be careful to bring them. Even an apostle must read. Some of our very ultra-Calvinistic brethren think that a minister who reads books and studies his sermon must be a very deplorable specimen of a preacher. A man who comes up into the pulpit, professes to take his text on the spot and talks any quantity of nonsense is the idol of many. If he will speak without premeditation, or pretend to do so, and never produce what they call a dish of dead men’s brains—oh,

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Spurgeon on prophecy – may be?

CH Spurgeon a continuationist? His words from Sword and Trowel … Our personal pathway has been so frequently directed contrary to our own design and beyond our own conception by singularly powerful impulses, and irresistibly suggestive providences, that it were wanton wickedness for us to deride the doctrine that God occasionally grants to his servants a special and perceptible manifestation of his will for their guidance, over and above the strengthening energies of the Holy Spirit, and the sacred teaching of the inspired Word. We are not likely to adopt the peculiarities of the Quakers, but in this respect we are heartily agreed with them. It needs a deliberate and judicious reflection to distinguish between the actual and apparent in professedly preternatural intimations, and if opposed to Scripture and common sense, we must neither believe in them nor obey them. The precious gift of reason is not to be ignored; we are not to be drifted hither and thither by every wayward

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A Hateful Delusion

CH Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, 1876: Consciousness of self-importance is a hateful delusion, but one into which we fall as naturally as weeds grow on a dunghill. We cannot be used of the Lord without it leading to dreaming of personal greatness, thinking ourselves almost indispensable to the church, pillars of the cause, and foundations of the temple of God. We are nothing and nobodies, but that we do not think so is very evident, for as soon as we are put on the shelf we begin anxiously to enquire, ‘How will the work go on without me?’ As well might the fly on the coach wheel enquire, ‘How will the mails be carried without me?’ –Charles Spurgeon, as quoted in Iain Murray, Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching (Banner of Truth, 1995), 20 The title to the editorial in which Spurgeon wrote this was: ‘Laid Aside: Why?’ (HT: Dane Ortlund)

Are Your Sermons Too Long?

Denny Burk: Here’s a bit of wisdom from the Prince of Preachers on sermon length: Brethren, weigh your sermons. Do not retail them by the yard, but deal them out by the pound. Set no store by the quantity of words which you utter, but strive to be esteemed for the quality of your matter. It is foolish to be lavish in words and niggardly in truth. – C.H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students, p. 71 There is no intrinsic value in an overlong sermon. Nor is there anything to boast about that a congregation has become conditioned to endure them. What constitutes a long sermon is a relative term anyway, isn’t it? In any case, a long-winded preacher is just as capable of wispy words as a short-winded one. Likewise, a short sermon is just as capable of filling a room with hot air as is a long one. Twenty minutes of gospel power would do far more for a

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A great heart

“A man who is to do much with men must love them and feel at home with them.  An individual who has no geniality about him had better be an undertaker and bury the dead, for he will never succeed in influencing the living. . . . A man must have a great heart, if he would have a great congregation.  His heart should be as capacious as those noble harbors along our coast, which contain sea-room for a fleet.  When a man has a large, loving heart, men go to him as ships to a haven and feel at peace when they have anchored under the lee of his friendship.  Such a man is hearty in private as well as in public; his blood is not cold and fishy but he is warm as your own fireside.  No pride and selfishness chill you when you approach him; he has his doors all open to receive you, and you are

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The Mission of the Church

  I’m grateful to Kevin DeYoung for this: In the past week I’ve started reading The Church of Christ by James Bannerman (1807-68). If you aren’t familiar with the work, you should be. It is a classic treatment of Reformed ecclessiology. With almost a thousand pages in two volumes, there isn’t much Bannerman doesn’t cover. Chapter 7 deals with “the church in its relation to the world.” The chapter sounds remarkably contemporary. I’ll probably say more about the book and this chapter later, but it’s worth highlighting the main points here. It is deeply interesting, then, to inquire into the place and office assigned to the Church of Christ in the world. What is the peculiar and important work given to the Christian Church to do upon earth. . . .What, then, I ask, is the mission of the Church on the earth, and its office in relation to the world? Bannerman then makes and expound three statements. “In the first place,

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The Old, Old Gospel is Newest Thing in the World

  C.H. Spurgeon: We ought not, as men in Christ Jesus, to be carried away by a childish love of novelty, for we worship a God who is ever the same, and of whose years there is no end. In some matters “the old is better.” There are certain things which are already so truly new, that to change them for anything else would be to lose old gold for new dross. The old, old gospel is the newest thing in the world; in its very essence it is for ever good news. In the things of God the old is ever new, and if any man brings forward that which seems to be new doctrine and new truth, it is soon perceived that the new dogma is only worn-out heresy dexterously repaired, and the discovery in theology is the digging up of a carcase of error which had better have been left to rot in oblivion. In the great matter

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Truth Essential to Salvation

CH Spurgeon: There are some truths which must be believed; they are essential to salvation, and if not heartily accepted, the soul will be ruined. Now, in [the early church], the saints did not say, as the sham saints do now, “We must be largely charitable, and leave this brother to his own opinion; he sees truth from a different standpoint, and has a rather different way of putting it, but his opinions are as good as our own, and we must not say that he is in error.” That is at present the fashionable way of trifling with divine truth, and making things pleasant all round. Thus the gospel is debased, and “another gospel” propagated. I should like to ask modern broad churchmen whether there is any doctrine of any sort for which it would be worth a man’s while to burn or to lie in prison. I do not believe they could give me an answer, for if

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Spurgeon on a Stupid Way to Read the Scriptures

From Charles Spurgeon’s 1867 sermon “A Song at the Well-head”: You are retired for your private devotions; you have opened the Bible, and you begin to read. Now, do not be satisfied with merely reading through a chapter. Some people thoughtlessly read through two or three chapters—stupid people for doing such a thing! It is always better to read a little and digest it, than it is to read much and then think you have done a good thing by merely reading the letter of the word. For you might as well read the alphabet backwards and forwards, as read a chapter of Scripture, unless you meditate upon it, and seek to comprehend its meaning. Merely to read words is nothing: the letter kills. The business of the believer with his Bible open is to pray, “Lord, give me the meaning and spirit of your word, while it lies open before me; apply your word with power to my soul,

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The soul and substance of the divine message

“The heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. They who preach this truth preach the gospel in whatever else they may be mistaken; but they who preach not the atonement, whatever else they declare, have missed the soul and substance of the divine message.” CH Spurgeon – Spurgeon at his Best, p.17

Hearing with faith

From Jonathan Parnell: Charles Spurgeon writes, . . . the real reason why God’s people do not feed under a gospel ministry, is, because they have not faith. If you believed, if you did but hear one promise, that would be enough; if you only heard one good thing from the pulpit here would be food for your soul, for it is not the quantity we hear, but the quantity we believe, that does us good—it is that which we receive into our hearts with true and lively faith, that is our profit (excerpted from “The Sin of Unbelief“). The massive consumerism of our age has taught us to be critical. We are constantly confronted with options—from allergy medicines to zero-calorie soft drinks. We examine and test and compare, ultimately landing on the preference of our personal market. This isn’t necessarily bad, except that we often fail to check this mindset at the door of the Church’s corporate gatherings. Everything

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No soft words for deceivers

C.H. Spurgeon: “Find if you can, beloved, one occasion in which Jesus inculcated doubt or bade men dwell in uncertainty. The apostles of unbelief are everywhere today, and they imagine that they are doing God service by spreading what they call “honest doubt.” This is death to all joy! Poison to all peace!… “I have not much patience with a certain class of Christians nowadays who will hear anybody preach so long as they can say, “He is very clever, a fine preacher, a man of genius, a born orator.” Is cleverness to make false doctrine palatable? Why, sirs, to me the ability of a man who preaches error is my sorrow rather than my admiration. “I cannot endure false doctrine, however neatly it may be put before me. Would you have me eat poisoned meat because the dish is of the choicest ware? It makes me indignant when I hear another gospel put before the people with enticing words,

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He cannot deny himself

“If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13 “I tell you, if he were to shut you out, dear soul, whoever you may be, if  you go to him, he would deny himself.  He never did deny himself yet.  Whenever a sinner comes to him he becomes his Savior.  Whenever he meets a sick soul he acts as his Physician. . . . If you go to him you will find him at home and on the look-out for you.  He will be more glad to receive you than you will be to be received. . . . As Matthew sat at the receipt of custom, waiting for the people to pay their dues, so does Christ sit at the receipt of sinners, waiting for them to mention their wants.  He is watching for you.  I tell you again that he cannot reject you.  That would be to alter his whole character and

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