Blog Entry

11 Spurgeon Quotes on Living with Zeal

By Ed Romine Sep 13, 2018

“Do not persuade yourselves, dear friends, that you have done enough.”

 

Charles Spurgeon was a man consumed with zeal. He told his students “that your whole life, your whole pastoral life especially, will be affected by the vigor of your piety.” He warned, “If your zeal grows dull, you will not pray well in the pulpit; you will pray worse in the family, and worst in the study alone.”

 

Furthermore, Spurgeon was particularly zealous in his preaching. His life was reflective of the cry, “O that we could learn the secret of entire consecration!” Spurgeon desired nothing less than a “vehement panting and longing,” for his “Lord and Master.” Such a zeal for Christ would make every-day toil “lustrous with the glory of holiness.”

 

Such “pleading and longing” was still evident after twenty-five years of hard, tough ministry. At his Silver Wedding Testimonial Services Spurgeon celebrated a lifetime’s worth of ministry: The Boy’s Orphanage was operational, and the Pastors’ College was booming with fifty-three new Baptist churches in London as a result. Yet for all these accomplishments, Spurgeon’s zeal was not extinguished. Indeed, after twenty-five years he was more zealous than ever! He saw the past work “not as the goal, but as the starting place.” He had only “laid the fire which would soon get alight.”

 

Yet, Spurgeon knew that without the love, support, and prayers of his congregation, none of this would have been possible. He humbly pleaded with his congregation, “Brethren, I have need of you all: need of your prayers, your labours, and your love.” He knew that “The Lord being with us, we shall see greater things than these,” and that “Difficulties will vanish and marvels will be accomplished if we have faith in God and zeal.” In recognition of Spurgeon’s zeal, here are eleven choice quotes from the “fireballing” Prince of Preachers.

 

1. “Zeal is essential to success.”

 

“Brethren, we would not condemn the use of zeal in the common affairs of life, for zeal is essential to success; we only wish that Christians would take copy from worldly men and be half as earnest and half as ambitions to maintain and increase the kingdom of their Lord and Master, as some men are after petty trifles or selfish aggrandisements.”

 

2. “Much zeal is very natural, but very worthless, because its source is not divine.”

 

“That zeal which is kindled and sustained by a heavenly power, which makes us feel that we must speak or the very stones would cry out against us — this zeal, I say, is of an effectual kind, and the more of it the better.”

 

3. “Knowledge is the bridle in the mouth of zeal.”

 

“Zeal is a good thing, but, like the horse without a bit, it becomes useless and even dangerous. Knowledge is the bridle in the mouth of zeal. Zeal is like fire, which may burn the house which it was intended to warm unless it be carefully governed. There must be knowledge in zeal.”

 

4. “True Christian zeal will seek to do the highest work of which sanctified humanity is capable.”

 

“True Christian zeal will seek to do the highest work of which sanctified humanity is capable. Stephen is first heard of as a distributor of the alms of the church to needy widows. He exercised what was virtually, if not nominally, the deacon’s office.”

 

5. “Earnest zeal is a natural result of the Holy Spirit’s working upon the souls of men.”

 

“Earnest zeal is a natural result of the Holy Spirit’s working upon the souls of men. Whenever the Spirit of God comes, he sanctifies in men the natural instinct which leads them to wish others to be like themselves. Whether a man be bad or good, he seeks to make others like himself; the Holy Ghost lays hold of this and constrains Christians to desire to bring others to their state of mind.”

 

6. “When your zeal is most burning, and your love is most fervent, let the warmth and the fervency all go towards the Lord your God, and to the service of him who has redeemed yon with his precious blood.”

 

“Oh, to have true religion in the heart; to love what we know — intensely to love it; to hold it fast as with the grip of life and death — never to let it go! The Lord says, ‘My son, give me thy heart,’ and he will not be contented with anything less than our heart. When your zeal is most burning, and your love is most fervent, let the warmth and the fervency all go towards the Lord your God, and to the service of him who has redeemed yon with his precious blood.”

 

7. “Christ was all zeal.”

 

“A prophet tells us that he was clothed with zeal as with a cloak. He had not zeal over a part of him, but was clothed with it as with some great cloak covering him from head to foot. Christ was all zeal.”

 

8. “Zeal labors for Christ.”

 

“Zeal labors for Christ. My brethren, if you want a picture of zeal, take the apostle. How he compasses sea and land! Storms cannot stay him, mountains cannot impede his progress. He is beaten with rods, he is stoned, he is cast into prison, but the invincible hero of the cross presses on in the holy war, until he is taken up to receive a crown of glory.”

 

9. “Believe in your hearts what you profess to believe; proclaim openly and zealously what you know to be the truth. Be not ashamed to say such-and-such things are true.”

 

“Up with your banners, soldiers of the cross! This is not the time to be frightened by the cries against conscientious convictions, which are nowadays nicknamed sectarianism and bigotry. Believe in your hearts what you profess to believe; proclaim openly and zealously what you know to be the truth. Be not ashamed to say such-and-such things are true, and let men draw the inference that the opposite is false. Whatever the doctrines of the gospel may be to the rest of mankind, let them be your glory and boast.”

 

10. “Blessed would they be who should be guilty of too great a love for him, convicted of too consuming a zeal for the glory. I would gladly die of that heavenly malady.”

 

“Doubtless our Lord’s presence, like the rising of the sun scatters heat as well as light on all sides. Oh to be scorched by that sun, to be parched with that heat. Blessed would they be who should be guilty of too great a love for him, convicted of too consuming a zeal for the glory. I would gladly die of that heavenly malady.”

 

11. “If sinners are zealous in their sins, should not saints be zealous for their God?”

 

“If sinners are zealous in their sins, should not saints be zealous for their God? If the things of time can stir the human passions, should not the realities of eternity have a greater and more tremendously moving force? If these men will spend and he spent, and stretch every nerve and run the race merely for the crown of politics or of ambition, where are we? What idlers, what laggards are we, that we pursue the things of God with but half a heart!”


Edward G. Romine is a Residency Ph.D. student in historical theology studying Spurgeon at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri. He received his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been a preacher of the gospel since 2007. He currently serves as a Research Assistant at The Spurgeon Library.