Guest Post: Independent & Inclusive: The Ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Spurgeon Beard Quote

Formed in 1846, the Evangelical Alliance united Protestants of the United States and Britain in a mission to spread their message of Jesus Christ across the globe. Such a relationship came together as a result of the remarkable cohesion among Protestants of the nineteenth century. Methodists set aside doctrinal differences to labor side by side with Presbyterians; likewise, Baptists found room for Anglicans under the banner of evangelism. Virtually every Protestant denomination endeavored to assist one another in converting mankind to Christianity. The formation of the Evangelical Alliance evidenced the urgency with which Protestants carried their message and typified the willingness to ignore theological minutiae in order to see souls delivered from the kingdom of darkness.

            One man, Charles Spurgeon, exemplified the spirit of cooperation perhaps better than any other Evangelical of his day. Likewise, he also enjoyed the most success in terms of his impact. Spurgeon arrived in London in 1854, six years after the formation of the Evangelical Alliance. He pastored at New Park Street Chapel, which eventually became the Metropolitan Tabernacle. His unprecedented popularity forced the congregation to construct a new 5,000 seat worship facility located at Elephant and Castle, Southwark, in 1861. From this location, Spurgeon’s message reached Victorians of every stripe, from the seats of Parliament, to the lowest beggars in the streets. His sermons became events, which occasionally drew crowds in the tens of thousands and in their printed form reached a significant readership, not only in the British Isles, but also in America. Unquestionably the most recognized Baptist of his day, he even cast a shadow over evangelical titans such as D.L. Moody and David Livingstone. 

Spurgeon's Church

            Much has been written on how Spurgeon achieved such acclaim. Evangelical scholar Timothy Larsen argues that his reputation found its roots in his sermons.[1] Spurgeon published his Sunday sermons weekly, and they were unquestionably a hot commodity, often selling out scarcely off the press. Other historians, such as Theodore Hoppen, link Spurgeon’s popularity to his gift as an orator.[2] Possessing a thunderous voice, Spurgeon accommodated large crowds before the advent of modern acoustics. Then, as is often the case with religious figures, divine blessings were often viewed as the primary origin for achievement. Spurgeon himself, when asked why he was effective, simply answered, “My people pray for me.”[3] Although it is impossible to refute such a claim, a more terrestrial explanation is necessary, which leads to another consideration.

Perhaps Spurgeon was merely a product of the time and place in which he ministered. Hoppen notes, “Never was Britain more religious than in the Victorian age.”[4] Nevertheless, right man, right place, and right time do not work either. Even in Victorian England, where the Bible held such a place of prominence that it greatly contributed to the elimination of illiteracy,[5] Spurgeon achieved a notoriety which Larsen calls “disconcerting.”[6] The unsettling nature of Spurgeon stemmed largely from his denominational affiliation. As a nonconforming Baptist, Spurgeon stood as an outlier in a country dominated by the Anglican Church. By positioning himself outside the pale of Anglicanism, he came to recognize his niche in the religious world. David Bebbington, in assessing Spurgeon’s acclaim, notes insightfully, “Spurgeon professed a version of egalitarianism that made him seem the champion of the common man.”[7] Bebbington cites the inclusivity of Spurgeon’s ministry and hints ever so slightly at his resourcefulness. This is the driver behind Spurgeon’s fame. It will be argued here that this brand of independent inclusion fueled Spurgeon’s meteoric rise. From his position of nonconformity, he possessed a degree of autonomy which allowed him to put his innovation to work. Spurgeon’s methods would have been difficult for any religious leader aligned with a denomination adhering to a rigid church government such as the Roman Catholics or Anglicans. Spurgeon realized success due to his position as a nonconforming Baptist, combined with his ingenuity and the ability to resonate with the middle and poor classes of England.

            In his autobiography, Spurgeon confessed, “I believe in the glorious principle of independency.”[8] This spirit of individuality took root early in the life of Spurgeon. For reasons that are not quite clear, his parents sent him to live with his grandparents when he was just 14 months old. Removed from the direct authority of his mother and father, he grew up in Stambourne, which just so happened to contain the highest concentration of nonconformists in all of England.[9] A voracious reader, young Spurgeon found a healthy collection of Puritan writings owned by his grandfather, James, and devoured them. Spurgeon recollected, “When I was but a child, I could have discussed many a knotty problem of controversial theology.”[10] Under the guidance of his grandfather, a nonconforming minister himself, Charles began to develop his own theological ideas.

Spurgeon Preaching

            These opinions eventually grew into a theology of life, or worldview. Spurgeon shaped his worldview beginning with his interpretation of the Bible. He believed the Bible to be the perfect word of God. Speaking on its origins, he stated, “Each letter was penned with an Almighty finger, each word in it dropped from the everlasting lips, each sentence was dictated by the Holy Spirit.”[11] Spurgeon then worked with that assumption of divine authorship to determine which group of Christians he would join. He viewed the Baptists as closest to the principles of scripture and conscience, therefore aligning himself with them. Due to their independent nature, there existed a wide variety of Baptists, each congregation accepting nuances in biblical interpretation.

 This necessitates pinning Spurgeon down even further to determine exactly where he stood theologically. Spurgeon’s most recent biographer, Tom Nettles, identifies Spurgeon as a Particular Baptist, adhering to the London Baptist Confession (LBC) of 1689.[12] A distinctly Reformed document, the LBC supported all five points of Calvinism. Its insistence upon believer’s baptism was the major digression it made from other Calvinists. Given what Hoppen describes as the “virtual collapse of strict Calvinism outside Scotland” in Spurgeon’s era, his ability to captivate an audience appears more impressive.[13] Spurgeon existed as one of the last of his kind in England. The books of his grandfather’s library, containing many Calvinist authors, made a lasting impact upon him. That Spurgeon came to his doctrinal positions having immersed himself in Puritan literature, and having lived in a country under the auspices of the Anglican Church, is further testament to his independent make-up. Without these recognitions, it would be impossible to attempt an accurate portrayal of his character and the primary grounds for his achievements. He stood unswervingly on certain matters, which set him against other Evangelicals.

            Particularly on the issue of baptism, Spurgeon met with resistance. According to him, only those who could publically profess their faith in Christ should be baptized, which excluded infants. This belief lay in direct contradiction to his country’s state church, let alone the vast majority of the Puritans he read and borrowed his theological system from. The Anglican Church maintained within her catechism that infants of member parents should be baptized as a pledge given by the parents, to raise their child according to the teachings of the church. Spurgeon once quipped, “It is due to the Church of England catechism that I am a Baptist.”[14] He contended that any teaching of infant baptism must be imposed upon the plain reading of the text. A proponent of literal interpretation, he found no direct commandment to baptize infants within the Bible.

Spurgeon Baptism

            As with baptism, Spurgeon’s notions of church polity also distanced him from other Evangelicals, and as it has been stated, made many of his accomplishments possible. Much like in other realms of Victorian England, churches contained a structured hierarchy, a notable exception being the Baptists.[15] Whereas Anglican, Catholic, Presbyterian, and Methodist congregations answered to several layers of church authority, Baptists maintained that each individual congregation should rule itself. Their particular pastor possessed the highest authority rather than a synod, diocese, or presbytery, for example. Without the rigmarole of gaining ecclesiastical approval for decisions, Spurgeon held the freedom to make choices unilaterally, unheard of in other ranks of Christendom. From this position of unimpeded church polity, Spurgeon’s nonconformity combined effectively with his innovation and penchant for the common man.

            Two events in particular illustrate the creativity and independent thinking of Spurgeon in reaching out to the whole of society. The first event took place on Sunday, October 19, 1856, at the newly constructed Surrey Gardens Music Hall.[16] Just two years into his London ministry, Spurgeon could find no more room for his congregation to gather comfortably for worship. Located on the Thames River, Surrey Gardens offered an easily recognizable and, more importantly, comfortable venue for Spurgeon’s massive audience to gather. After meeting with some resistance from his deacons and a nation uneasy about a secular building hosting a sacred event, Spurgeon determined to go forward. The largest audience ever to hear a nonconformist minister in the Isles gathered.[17] The second event occurred nearly one year later on Wednesday, October 7, 1857. To commemorate the Indian Mutiny, Spurgeon was charged with speaking at the Crystal Palace to a crowd which Drummond places at 23,654.[18] Both of these speaking engagements would likely have been impossible for any religious figure associated with another denomination, constrained by various degrees of church hierarchy. Additionally, many churches were “preoccupied with status and relative wealth.”[19] The poor were of little use since they could not contribute much to the church financially, but Spurgeon made it his goal to eliminate social distinctions.

            Spurgeon expressly stated his motivations for using two secular locations as a worship site, further disclosing his resourcefulness in his evangelization efforts. “I determined that whether my hearers would receive the Gospel or reject it, they should at least understand it, and therefore I preached it in plain, homely Saxon.”[20] Not only could he accommodate them with a larger facility; he would speak to them in a way they could comprehend, a gift which evidently not all Victorian orators possessed. In examining Spurgeon’s speaking abilities, The Freeman determined that no contemporary of Spurgeon “was so well fitted to carry the Gospel to the poor and ignorant.”[21] Spurgeon admonished ministers in training at his pastor’s college to make their words accessible to all. He urged, “We must come down and make the gospel attractive.”[22] The instruction to “come down” was twofold. First, the vocabulary must be at a level recognizable to even a child. Secondly, with pulpits most likely in a raised position above the congregation as in Spurgeon’s church, the preacher’s message must not contribute to his already intimidating posture by the utilization of lofty vernacular. As a proponent of simplicity in the sermon, Spurgeon met with severe criticism.

 While his fame spread throughout London, the critics hit him where his apparent strengths lie. They scorned him for attracting the rabble and accused him of being ignorant, brash, and arrogant.[23] Lacking a formal theological education, he was viewed more as an oddity than a figure with any promise of longevity. One publication’s attack summarized the most popular criticisms of Spurgeon; his brashness, lack of education, and flash in the pan status. They put it this way:

“To their credit be it spoken, Mr. Spurgeon receives no countenance or encouragement from the ornaments of his denomination. I don’t think he has been invited to take part in any of their meetings. Nor, indeed, does he seek such fellowship. He glories in his position of lofty isolation, and is intoxicated by the draughts of popularity that have fired his feverish brain. He is a nine days’ wonder – a comet that has suddenly shot across the religious atmosphere. He has gone up like a rocket and ere long will come down like a stick.”[24]

The tone of this particular passage typifies the reaction much of the secular press had to Spurgeon. Considering the abundance of criticism he received, its legitimacy should be examined in order to assess the authenticity of his celebrity.

Spurgeon Values

First of all, consider the matter of his purported ignorance. Never one who could be accused of achieving success by attempting to climb the social ladder, Spurgeon not only enjoyed his independency, but to a certain extent he also applauded remaining ignorant, insofar as it concerned the more refined aspects of Victorian England. For example, he loathed the notion of the linkage between respectability and religion in Victorian England. When speaking in Scotland he admitted, “I am not very scrupulous about the means I use for doing good. I would preach standing on my head, if I thought I could convert your souls.”[25] He frequently drew upon his own experiences to measure what would work for him. Spurgeon had been converted at 15 by the plain preaching he heard attending a Primitive Methodist church. Later in his life, he noted how on that particular Sunday a layman had preached. He reminisced, “Now, it is well that preachers should be instructed; but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say.”[26] Rather than seeing simple preaching as pure ignorance, Spurgeon believed the proclamation of the biblical text would be efficacious, a crutch for the ill-prepared preacher. If anything, Spurgeon accepted the charge of ignorance eagerly, for as Bebbington notes, “Spurgeon was profoundly imbued with an antielitism.”[27] Closely connected to the charge of ignorance is the criticism that he was brash.

  Spurgeon stepped into a religious climate which Bebbington acknowledges grew increasingly secular.[28] Although Victorian England is often depicted as an oasis of religion, there were subtle movements away from the sacred. A famous religious census conducted in 1851 found that half of Victorians did not worship anywhere.[29] Many people in Victorian England blamed declining religion on science, specifically, Charles Darwin and his evolutionary theories. Religious leaders felt they had to come to terms with apparent contradictions between Genesis and more current scientific understandings. A noted religion scholar, the late Owen Chadwick believed the high point of the conflict between science and religion occurred in 1874, when scientist John Tyndall boldly proclaimed that scientists would take the cosmological theory away from religion.[30] Spurgeon reacted to these perceived attacks on religion as might be expected, with vociferous disdain.

Spurgeon’s impatience with secularism surrounded the most unfortunate event of his life, the so called Downgrade Controversy of 1887. Despite the inclusivity of Spurgeon’s message, he did have limits to what he would allow or who he would associate with. The Downgrade Controversy, deriving its name from an alleged digression in moral standards, involved Spurgeon’s disagreement over new methods of interpreting the Bible. Chadwick pointed out that from 1887-1895, there existed a new aversion to claiming the Bible was without error among religious leaders.[31] It was no longer popular, for example, to vouch for the authenticity of the story of Jonah, or attempt at an explanation for Cain’s wife. In the most recent scholarly treatment of the Downgrade Controversy, Nettles asserts that Spurgeon typically avoided creating a stir over minor issues; but he perceived the acceptance of biblical criticism as inconceivable.[32] He eventually resigned his membership in the Baptist Union, convinced that irreconcilable differences existed between him and others in the Union who had chosen to adopt these new interpretations. Spurgeon’s impetuous tendencies were a direct outgrowth of the growing secularism of England. He felt compelled to guard against any apparent sullying of the biblical text. Steadfastly he remained as one of the dwindling number of religious figures still defending biblical inerrancy. According to Chadwick’s estimation, after Spurgeon’s death, no Calvinist would ever hold a notable position within English religion.[33] Given his reactionary predisposition, it must finally be considered whether or not Spurgeon was indeed merely a comet streaking through the night sky.

A good argument could be made that Spurgeon’s popularity arose from a curiosity, rather than any substantive gifts he might have possessed. When first called to London, Spurgeon arrived at the tender age of 19, having pastored in the tiny village of Waterbeach. He took over at New Park Street Church, a congregation dwindling in size, and therefore desperate for a jolt of youthful vigor. Spurgeon admitted that when he first received the letter asking him to come and preach for them, he assumed it was a mistake.[34] The notion that a historic church in the city of London would call a country boy to pastor seemed absurd. The London press agreed with Spurgeon. The Bucks Chronicle, The Daily News, The Illustrated Times, and other outlets scorned the young pastor, claiming his success was due to the fact that he resembled a circus show.[35] Unfortunately for Spurgeon, the criticism also reigned down from fellow clergy. Various religious leaders labeled his preaching style a “prostitution of the pulpit,” “pulpit buffoonery,” and slandered his audience as “consisting of people who are not in the habit of frequenting a place of worship.”[36] At least initially, it would appear the novelty alone of Spurgeon motivated the crowds which came. To that point, Hoppen emphasizes that in Victorian England every denomination had its sermon artist, and “sermon tasters” sampled multiple orators.[37] Therefore, it must be conceded that his initial rise to fame was induced by the sheer spectacle attendees hoped to see. On the other hand, the notion that Spurgeon somehow drew a crowd only as a sideshow eventually falls apart, considering the longevity of his career and the other venues by which he promoted his message.

Outside of the pulpit, Spurgeon’s prolific writing endeavors further attest to his creativity. Although impossible to verify, one religious news magazine stated as recently as 2009, “There are more writings in print by nineteenth century Calvinist pastor Charles Haddon Spurgeon than by any other English-speaking author living or dead.”[38] By the time his sermons ceased to be published, one hundred million copies had been sold.[39] Today, reprinted and republished, the worldwide distribution of his sermons is incalculable. For nineteenth-century England, this level of public advertisement had no parallel, certainly not in the religious realm. In addition to making his sermons available in print, he advertised his meetings throughout London. Drummond notes that while the British typically associated posters with the circus or theatre, they soon found Spurgeon utilizing them, making a gathering such as the Crystal Palace possible.[40] Unable or unwilling to set foot in the churches (either from fear of rejection, or from an inability to pay for a seat), the common folk of England flocked to hear Spurgeon.

 Having acknowledged Spurgeon’s ability to attract such large numbers through his sermons and writings, what was it about their substance that kept people coming back for more? If it were true that Spurgeon was only a shooting star, enjoying initial success, a significant drop in numbers would be expected at his church. However, that was not the case. He pastored in London for nearly forty years, passing away in 1892 with a congregation still thriving. Sunday after Sunday, he stood behind the pulpit, giving the audience a sermon useful to them.

Here, we note Spurgeon’s pertinent message for the lower classes. Chadwick observed that some Anglican clergy believed more elaborate ritual was needed in worship to draw the working man.[41] The poor learned more by sight than by any intellect they possessed. The Anglican’s new cultural perception coincided with the blending of Romanticism and Evangelicalism in the mid to late nineteenth century. “Higher churchmanship” found its way into Evangelicalism in the form of changed vocabulary and a greater emphasis upon the Eucharist, or as Spurgeon preferred to call it, the Lord’s Supper.[42] Spurgeon’s sermons reveal that while he hesitated to dabble in rituals, he nonetheless found a deep spiritual application within the Bible, similar to the Romantics. Larsen points out significantly that Spurgeon placed great emphasis on the Bible’s ability to express an individual’s deepest feelings.[43] “Within scripture,” Spurgeon remarked, “there is a balm for every wound, a salve for every sore.”[44] Spurgeon had a flair for the dramatic, and many of his illustrations aimed at his listener’s inner being. The use of illustrations served a dual purpose; it made the sermon applicable, and held the attention of his audience. Messages of hope and redemption resonated to crowds afflicted by poverty.

More important than the content of his sermons, the work ethic of Spurgeon showed he lived a lifestyle which planted him firmly in the good graces of the working class. Spurgeon had an “extraordinary capacity for work.”[45] He maintained a rigorous schedule which included conducting four services per week at the Tabernacle, various writing and editing venues, and lecturing at the Pastor’s College. In some ways, his propensity for work seemed motivated by a determination to prove his critics wrong. A firm believer in living debt free, Spurgeon preached ten times a week in order to raise funds for the construction of the 5,000 seat Metropolitan Tabernacle. In 1861, he and his congregation realized their dream from his arduous efforts and the generous donations of others. Spurgeon took a boastful tone when commenting on his recent success:

“When I sometimes have such statements as these flung in my teeth, ‘This man was never educated at college; he came into the ministry totally unprepared for it in literary attainments; he is only fit to address the poor; his preaching is not polite and polished; he has had but little classical instruction; he cannot read many languages,’ I say, ‘Precisely so; every word of it is true, and a great deal more to the same effect might be said.’ If you go on to say, ‘This man takes a daring project in hand, and succeeds in it,’ I answer, ‘Just so; I will agree to all you say, but I will remind you that God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.”[46]

Spurgeon Drawing

Although activity was common among Evangelicals, as Bebbington recognizes, Spurgeon’s schedule had few peers.[47] His lifestyle matched those he endeavored to reach. Even the nomenclature used for the new facility, “Metropolitan,” showed Spurgeon’s scope was the entire city of London, distinguishing him from the religious milieu.

            Victorian religion can be thought of as comprising an “infinite variety,”[48] yet Spurgeon managed to distinguish himself by pastoring the largest Protestant, English speaking church in the world.[49] The speculations which make an attempt at reasoning how he established such a prevalent role have been examined. While it is certainly true that Spurgeon could not have achieved celebrity without his extensive body of sermons or his oratorical abilities, claiming those as the major foundation from which he accomplished it misses the most basic, visceral reasoning. Spurgeon, to his very core, was nothing, if not an independent thinker. Furthermore, while Spurgeon himself gave credit to the divine, even he would be willing to admit that it is possible he had been given the disposition of a free thinker. The particular style of preaching and the concepts to write and promote himself originated in the mind of a man not tethered to cumbersome church government.

            In order for a dissenting church to succeed, Nettles contends, “Its pulpiteer must be incomparable.”[50] Lacking the government funding of the state church, it was vital that congregations in England such as the Metropolitan Tabernacle have a visionary in leadership in order to endure. The vision of Spurgeon was to provide a place of worship for the working class and poor. He determined to show that a nonconformist church could exist without state support, and he also recognized the unique opportunity before him. When questioned concerning the disproportionate number of underprivileged folk attending his church, Spurgeon replied, “The number of the poor of the church is very great and quite out of proportion to the usual condition of churches. It is our joy and honor to be a church in which the working class and the poor abound.”[51] Spurgeon retained a proclivity for seemingly contradictory ideas: forever happily independent, yet also anxious to invite a multitude without distinction.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography

Bebbington, David. The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody. Downers Grove, IL: Inter Varsity Press, 2005.

Chadwick, Owen. The Victorian Church. London: Adam & Charles Black, 1970.

Christianity Today. September, 2009.

Dallimore, Arnold. Spurgeon. Chicago: Moody Press, 1984.

Drummond, Lewis. Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1992.

Fullerton, William Y. C.H. Spurgeon: A Biography. London: Williams & Norgate, 1920.

Hoppen, K. Theodore. The Mid-Victorian Age: 1846-1886. Oxford: Oxford Press, 1998.

Larsen, Timothy. A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians. New York: Oxford Press, 2011.

Nettles, Tom. Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Mentor, 2013.

Ray, Charles. The Life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1903.

Spurgeon, Charles. Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years, 1834-1859. United Kingdom: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967.

______. Spurgeon’s Autobiography. Edited by David Otis Fuller. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1946.

______. Come Ye Children. London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1897.

______. The Greatest Fight in the World. New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1891.

______. New Park Street Pulpit. Vol. 2. Tomball, TX: Legacy Publications, 2011.

______. Spurgeon’s Sermons. Vol. 3. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2004.

______. The Sword and the Trowel. Vol. 19, 1883.

 

 

 

[1] Timothy Larsen, A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians (New York: Oxford Press, 2011), 258.

[2] K. Theodore Hoppen, The Mid-Victorian Generation: 1846-1886 (Oxford: Oxford Press, 1998), 458.

[3] Arnold Dallimore, Spurgeon (Chicago: Moody Press, 1984), 49.

[4] Hoppen, Mid-Victorian Generation, 427.

[5] David W. Bebbington, The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody (Downers Grove, IL: Intervarsity Press, 2005), 24.

[6] Larsen, People of One Book, 248.

 

[7] Bebbington, Dominance of Evangelicalism, 43.

[8] Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon Autobiography: The Early Years, 1834-1859, (United Kingdom: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), 357.

[9] Lewis Drummond, Spurgeon: Prince of Preachers (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1992), 78.

[10] Charles Spurgeon, Come Ye Children (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1897), 99.

[11] Charles Spurgeon, New Park Street Pulpit, I (1855), 110.

[12] Tom Nettles, Living By Revealed Truth: The Life and Pastoral Theology of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Fearn, Ross-shire, Scotland: Mentor, 2013), 18. Particular Baptists were so named due to their belief in “particular” redemption. They maintained that Christ died for a particular group of people rather than all of humanity.

[13] Hoppen, Mid-Victorian Generation, 436.

[14] Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. David Otis Fuller (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1946), 20.

[15] Other noteworthy exceptions being the Congregationalists and the Quakers, who disavowed church government altogether.

 

[16] Drummond, Spurgeon, 238-249. In this passage, Drummond gives several first-hand accounts of this extraordinary event.

[17] William Y. Fullerton, C.H. Spurgeon: A Biography (London: Williams and Norgate, 1920), 91.

[18] Drummond, Spurgeon, 251.

[19] Hoppen, Mid-Victorian Generation, 449.

[20] Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. Fuller, 109.

[21] The Freeman, February 27, 1856. As cited in Fuller, 85-86.

[22] Charles Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Sermons, vol.3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2004), 153.

[23] Drummond, Spurgeon, 212-218. See also Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. Fuller, 77-96.

[24] “Sheffield and Rotherham Independent,” April 28, 1855. As cited in Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. Fuller, 80-81.

[25] Charles Ray, The Life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (London: Passmore and Alabaster, 1903), 195.

[26] Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. Fuller, 39.

[27] Bebbington, Dominance of Evangelicalism, 43.

[28] Ibid, 182.

[29] Hoppen, Mid-Victorian Generation, 431.

[30] Owen Chadwick, Victorian Church (London: Adam & Charles Black, 1970), 12.

[31] Chadwick, Victorian Church, 97.

[32] Nettles, Living By Revealed Truth, 541.

[33] Chadwick, Victorian Church, 472.

[34] Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. Fuller, 65.

[35] Ibid, 77-96.

[36] Spurgeon, Autobiography: Early Years, 316-325.

[37] Hoppen, Mid-Victorian Generation, 457.

[38] Christianity Today (September, 2009), 31.

[39] Drummond, Spurgeon, 322.

[40] Ibid, 283.

[41] Chadwick, Victorian Church, 308.

[42] Bebbington, Dominance of Evangelicalism, 148-183.

[43] Larsen, People of One Book, 270.

[44] Charles Spurgeon, The Greatest Fight in the World, (New York: Funk & Wagnalls, 1891), 15.

[45] Larsen, People of One Book, 267.

[46] Spurgeon, Spurgeon’s Autobiography, ed. Fuller, 116-117.

[47] Bebbington, Dominance of Evangelicalism, 22.

[48] Chadwick, Victorian Church, 466.

[49] Larsen, People of One Book, 267.

[50] Nettles, Living By Revealed Truth, 71.

[51] Charles Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, Vol. 19, 1883, p. 148.