How Spurgeon Found Christ
An Autobiographical Account
First birth in Kelvedon, Essex, England, 19th June 1834.
Second birth: in Colchester 1849.
in Christ Jesus, in Mentone, France, 31st January 1892.
His body rests in peace in London, since 11th February 1892.
Charles Hadden Spurgeon
As a young man, I found myself in a terrible spiritual state for five years. If any human being is more frightened of God's Law than I was, I pity and sympathise with him. You will find the essence of my story in Bunyan's "Grace Abounding". I’ve never set foot in some of the abysses in to which he fell, and have thrown myself into others which he knew nothing of.
I thought that the sun in my sky had been extinguished because I had sinned so much against God I thought that there was no hope for me anymore. I prayed God knew how I had prayed; but not a gleam of an answer came through as I had hoped. I examined God's Word, and the promises therein appeared more frightening to me than the threats. I read about all the privileges of God's children, but was convinced that they were not intended for me. The secret of my sadness was this: I did not know the Gospel. I lived in a Christian country, my parents were Christians, but I never fully understood the freedom and simplicity of the Gospel.
In the town where I lived, I visited all the places where divine service took place, but I am convinced that the Gospel wasn't fully preached to me. I do not blame anybody for it. One minister preached about divine rule. I listened to him with pleasure, but did it help the poor sinner who wanted to know what he had to do to be saved? Another good man continuously preached about the law: But what was the use of constantly ploughing the ground when it needed to be sown? Another was a fantastically practical preacher. I listened to him, but he seemed like a general teaching war manoeuvres to people who could not walk. What could I do? To me, all these sermons were in vain. I knew that it was written:
"Have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved", but I did not know that it meant to believe in Christ.
Sometimes I think that I might still have been in darkness and despair now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning while I was on my way to a place of worship. When I could go no further, I turned into a court and came to a small ‘Primitive Methodist’ chapel. There may have been twelve or fifteen people in that chapel. The minister did not come that morning: snowed in, I suppose. A poor man – a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of the sort – went up into the pulpit to preach.
Well, it is certainly good that a preacher should be a scholar, but this man was rather unlearned as one might say. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. His text said,
"Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth." He could not even say the words properly, but it did not really matter.
There seemed to be a gleam of hope in this text for me. He began thus: "My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says 'Look'. Now that does not take a great deal of effort. It ain't lifting your foot or your finger; it is just simply 'look'. Well, a man need not go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man need not be worth a thousandayear to look. Everyone can see; a child can see. But that is what the text says, then it says: 'Look unto Me, Aye'," he said in his broad Essex accent, "Many of ye are looking to yourselves. No use looking there. You'll never find comfort in yourselves. Some are looking upon God the Father. 'No, look upon Him later on. Jesus Christ says, 'Look unto Me.' Some of you may answer, 'I have to wait for the coming of the Spirit. But it is not like that; look upon Jesus Christ. It is said 'Look unto Me'."
The good man continued with his text in this manner: "Look unto Me: I am sweating great drops of blood. Look unto me: I was nailed to the cross. Look: I was dead and buried. Look unto Me; I was resurrected. Look unto Me; I am in heaven. I am sitting at the right hand of my Father. Oh, look to Me! Look to Me!"
It took him ten minutes to say this and it seemed as if that was all he knew. Then he saw me under the gallery and recognised me as a stranger, probably due to the fact that there were only a few people present. He then said, "Young man, you look very miserable." Well, I did but I was not accustomed to remarks being made on my personal appearance from the pulpit. However, it was like an arrow piercing through me. He continued, "Yes, and you will always be miserable miserable in life and miserable in death if you do not obey my text. But if you obey now, you will be redeemed this very moment."
Then he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist can, "Young man, look to Jesus Christ!" And I "saw".
Immediately the cloud had disappeared, the darkness was gone and I saw the sun. At that same moment I could have jumped up and sung with any other enthusiastic Christian about the precious Blood of Christ, and the simple faith which only sees Him. Oh, if only someone had told me this before:
"Have faith in Jesus Christ and you shall be redeemed."
Since my faith sees the stream,
Whose kindness made me,
Therefore, redemption's love remains my song,
And forever it shall be.
Spurgeon's Last Sermon
The final words from Spurgeon's last sermon on the 7th of June 1891, are characteristic of the man and are as follows:
"Finally, what I have to say is this; I wish so much that you who do not belong to the army of God, would come to Him and realise what a kind and gracious God He is. Young man, if you could see our captain, you would fall on your knees and ask Him to take you along with those who follow Him. It is like being in Heaven already. To serve Jesus. I am a recruiting sergeant who wants to find recruits now. Everybody has to serve somebody: We have no choice in this matter. Those who do not have other lords are their own slaves. Be aware, you either serve Satan or Christ, either yourself or our Saviour. You will find that sin, self, Satan, and the world are hard lords, but if you wear the uniform of Christ you will find the Lord gentle and kind. Your soul will find peace and rest. Of all captains, He is the most generous. None among the noblest of princes is like Him. You will always find Him in the toughest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold, He stands on the roughest side of the mountain. The heaviest part of the cross still remains on His shoulders. I have served Him for over forty years, praised His Name and have experienced nothing but His love. If it be His will, then I would like to serve Him for the next forty years on earth. Serving Him brings life, peace and joy. Oh, if you would only serve Him. May God help you to step under the banner of Jesus even today. Amen!”
"Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive." ACTS 20:35
Translated from the German: "Wie Spurgeon Christum fand"