If I Understand the Gospel, It Is This

If I understand the gospel, it is this: I deserve to be lost for ever [sic]; the only reason why I should not be damned is, that Christ was punished in my stead, and there is no need to execute a sentence twice for sin. On the other hand, I know I cannot enter Heaven unless I have a perfect righteousness; I am absolutely certain I shall never have one of my own, for I find I sin every day; but then Christ had a perfect righteousness, and He said, “There, poor sinner, take My garment, and put it on; you shall stand before God as if you were Christ, and I will stand before God as if I had been the sinner; I will suffer in the sinner’s stead, and you shall be rewarded for works which you did not do, but which I did for you.”

Autobiography, Vol. 1, 113.

I almost regret this morning that I have ventured to occupy this pulpit

I almost regret this morning that I have ventured to occupy this pulpit, because I feel utterly unable to preach to you for your profit. I had thought that the quiet and repose of the last fortnight had removed the effects of that terrible catastrophe; but on coming back to the same spot again, and more especially, standing here to address you, I feel somewhat of those same painful emotions which well-night prostrated me before. You will therefore excuse me this morning . . . I have been utterly unable to study. . . Oh, Spirit of God, magnify thy strength in thy servant’s weakness, and enable him to honour his Lord, even when his soul is cast down within him.

Spurgeon, “The Exaltation of Christ,” NPSP, Sermon 101.  Quoted in Zack Eswine, Spurgeon’s Sorrows: Realistic Hope for Those Who Suffer from Depression (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications, 2014), Kindle location 154.

Spoken the first time in the pulpit after the Surrey Gardens Music Hall tragedy in 1857 where seven died and over twenty were injured when hooligans yelled “Fire!” in the ten thousand seat complex, causing Spurgeon to sink in the deepest of depressions.

The Best Answer to the New Theology

I have often thought, that the best answer to the new theology is, that the true Gospel was always preached to the poor . . . I am sure that the poor will never learn the Gospel of these new divines, for they cannot make head or tail of it; nor will the rich either. After you have read one of their volumes . . . it sours your temper, it makes you feel angry, to see the precious things of God trodden underfoot . . . we can allow a thousand opinions in the world, but that which infringes upon the doctrines of a covenant salvation, through the impudent righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ–against that we must, and will, enter our hearty and solemn protest, as long as God spares us.

–Preached April 15, 1860.

Know What is Scriptural in All Systems and Accept It

Once, in Leeds, [Spurgeon] read and commented on Romans 9 and 10. Reaching verse 10:13, he said: “Dear me, how wonderfully like John Wesley the apostle talked! ‘Whosoever?’ Why, that is a Methodist word, is it not?” (Amens from the Methodists; frowns from the Hypers!) “But (he proceeded) read verse 9:11 and see how wonderfully like John Calvin he (Paul) talked—‘That the purpose of God according to election might stand.’ (Amens and frowns change faces!) The fact is that the whole system of truth is neither here nor there. Be it ours to know what is scriptural in all systems, and accept it.

Richard Ellsworth Day, The Shadow of the Broad Brim (Philadelphia: Judson Press, 1934), 144. Quoted in William R. Estep, “The Making of a Prophet: An Introduction to Charles Haddon Spurgeon,” Baptist History and Heritage, 6.

Spurgeon Wrote This Hymn at 19 Years Old?

When once I mourned a load of sin,
When conscience felt a wound within,
When all my works were thrown away,
When on my knees I knelt to pray,
Then, blissful hour, remembered well
I learnt Thy love, Immanuel!

When storms of sorrow toss my soul,
When waves of care around me roll,
When comforts sink, when joys shall flee,
When hopeless gulfs shall gape for me,
One word the tempest’s rage shall quell,
That word, Thy name, Immanuel.

When for the truth I suffer shame
When foes pour scandal on Thy name,
When cruel taunts and jeers abound,
When “bulls of Bashan” gird me round,
Secure within my tower I’ll dwell,
That tower, Thy grace, Immanuel.

When hell, enraged, lifts up her roar,
When Satan stops my path before,
When fiends rejoice and wait my end,
When legion’d hosts their arrows send,
Fear not, my soul, but hurl at hell
Thy battle-cry, Immanuel.

When down the hill of life I go,
When o’er my feet death’s waters flow,
When in the deep’ning flood I sink,
When friends stand weeping on the brink,
I’ll mingle with my last farewell
Thy lovely name, Immanuel.

When tears are banished from mine eyes,
When fairer worlds than these are nigh,
When heaven shall fill my ravished sight,
When I shall bathe in sweet delight,
One joy all joys shall far excel,
To see Thy face, Immanuel.

Composed by Charles H. Spurgeon for the jubilee services at Waterbeach on June 26, 1853 (that’s right–at nineteen!).

No Attribute More Comforting to His Children

There is no attribute of God more comforting to his children than the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. Under the most adverse circumstances, in the most severe troubles, they believe that Sovereignty hath ordained their afflictions, that Sovereignty overrules them, and that Sovereignty will sanctify them all. There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend than the dominion of their Master over all creation—the kingship of God over all the works of his own hands—the throne of God, and his right to sit upon that throne.

Divine Sovereignty, NPSP 2:77

Not a Contention of Anger, But of Love

Ah, surely, my brethren, it needs but little logic to understand that this not a contention of anger, but a contention of love. It needs, methinks, but a short sight for us to discover that, if God contendeth with man, it must be a contention of mercy. There must be a design of love in this. If he were angry he would not condescend to reason with his creature, and to have a strife of words with him; much less would he put on his buckler, and lay hold on his sword, to stand up in battle and contend with such a creature as man.

NPSP 5:283

Bernheim Forest, Clermont, Kentucky