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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
From The Baptist Reporter, 1858
Mr. Spurgeon was baptized by Mr. Cantlow, at Isleham, in Cambridgeshire, on Friday, May 3, 1850, in his sixteenth year. He soon after removed to Cambridge, and joined the church in St. Andrews Street, formerly under the care of the learned Robert Robinson and the eloquent Robert Hall. He now began to preach in the villages, and crowds flocked to hear the "boy preacher.
In 1852, he became the minister of the Baptist church at Waterbeach, a village of 1300 inhabitants. In 1853, Mr. S., having made a speech at the Cambridge Sunday School Union meeting, was heard by one who mentioned his extraordinary power of utterance to one of the deacons of the Baptist church in New Park Street, Southwark, then destitute of a minister.
Soon after this Mr. Spurgeon was invited to preach at New Park Street in the autumn of 1853, when he was but in his nineteenth year, and in January, 1854, he engaged in the regular duties of the pastorate over the church.
His subsequent career is patent to all. The chapel was soon too small to contain the crowds who flocked to hear, and a considerable enlargement of it did not meet the requirements of the yet increasing congregation.
The large room at Exeter Hall was then engaged, which was filled to overflowing; and after that the greater Music Hall of the Surrey Gardens was engaged, and yet there was not room for all who wished to attend. Among the crowds who have visited this place to hear our modern Whitefield we might mention ministers of state, nobles of every title with their ladies, ambassadors, and civic authorities, clergymen, and dissenting ministers. But the best of all is, that the "common people" hear him gladly, and they always form the great majority of attendants.
The spiritual state of the church meeting in New Park Street Chapel, Southwark, has, we rejoice to notice, kept pace with the outward prosperity of the congregation. Mr. Spurgeon has, we believe, from Nov. 1853, to Nov. 1857—four years—baptized and admitted to its fellowship upwards of 700 members.
Altogether his ministerial career, when we consider his youth and other circumstances, has been unprecedented, we had almost said, in the history of Christian preachers, since the times when inspired apostles first announced salvation through the blood of the Holy Victim to his murderers in the streets of Jerusalem. May the grace of God, which has been so conspicuously seen in raising him up and qualifying him for his work, preserve him from all evil throughout a long and honourable career!
The theology of Mr. Spurgeon is commonly reported to be of the Calvinistic school. But we observe that he is not high enough for some of his brethren of that class, for they publicly charge him with being a "duty-faith" preacher! Well: if by that they mean that Mr. Spurgeon is vile in their eyes, because he preaches that it is the duty of men to believe the gospel, we hope he will be yet more vile.
For our part, though we have sometimes thought that a volume might be compiled of extracts from his printed sermons, with the title "The Arminianism of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon," we care little about what Mr. Spurgeon may be called, so long as he preaches Christ as the only Saviour, and beseeches sinners to be reconciled to God by him. Indeed, in our estimation, he would not be a minister of the gospel at all—with Peter and Paul for his patterns—if he did not.
We have had before us, in giving these brief details, a sixpenny pamphlet—"Sketch of the Life and Ministry of the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon," in which we find a good deal of mere twaddle and fulsome adulation, which we trust the good sense and piety of Mr. Spurgeon will render innocuous as regards their tendency to puff him up with pride and self importance. There are, however, in the pamphlet, some pleasing little incidents of his childhood and boyhood, which will better suit the columns of our Baptist Children's Magazine, in which we intend to insert them.
Editor’s Note: The hyper-Calvinists in 1858, did not like Spurgeon, but yet they claim him today.