Charles Spurgeon’s ministry was marked with guilt. After the Surrey Gardens Music Hall disaster on October 19, 1856, he fell into so deep a depression that even the sight of the Bible brought much anxiety. His text was Proverbs 3:33, “The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked.” He never preached from that text again.
Spurgeon had known guilt before. Early in his ministry, he lost sleep imagining the Ten Commandments saying, “You have broken me.” In January 1850, Spurgeon’s guilt erupted violently.
“I feared lest the very skies should fall upon me, and crush my guilty soul.”
“I wished I had never been born.”
“If God does not send me to hell, He ought to do it.”
And so, from the depths of Spurgeon’s guilt we excavate these 13 quotes. In reading them, may you be as healed as Spurgeon was in saying them.
1. “You are a great sinner, but he is a greater Saviour.”
2. “As far as God is concerned your sin has ceased to be.”
3. “God is more ready to forgive than I am ready to offend.”
4. “It is the church that is unmerciful sometimes, but not the Master: he is ever willing to receive us when we come to him.”
5. “If Christ was cursed for you, you cannot be cursed again.”
6. “He could not love us more than that if we had never fallen.”
7. “In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen.”
8. “He is not the God of the hills only, but of the valleys also.”
9. “Your sins are so gone that they cannot be laid to your charge.”
10. “I am forgiven, I am forgiven, I am forgiven!”
11. “When a man believes in Christ, he is in that moment, in God’s sight, as though he had never sinned in all his life.”
12. “Until God can change or lie, he never will bring to mind again the sin of that man whom he hath pardoned.”
13. “Just before I die sanctification will be finished.”
A Final Word
In the midst of his misery, Spurgeon discovered a mercy wider than his wounds and deeper than his depravity.
“Print every word of that in diamonds, 'I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.'”
Spurgeon believed – and we must believe – that God is in the business of new beginnings. No sin is greater than Christ’s desire to forgive it. No conscience is too stained that God cannot wash it white.
Whatever guilt you are feeling today, be encouraged that the same God who didn't abandon Spurgeon will not abandon you.
Take Jesus's words to heart: “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).