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8 Spurgeon Quotes on the Good Life

April 23, 2020

For Charles Haddon Spurgeon, life was good. But, more importantly, Spurgeon knew that God is good. Spurgeon also knew that the creation he enjoyed was contingent, upheld by the Creator of life himself. God had made everything out of nothing and apart from him nothing could exist. It was God who “laid the beams” of creation and “spread out the heavens like a tent.” Nature was, and is, God’s stage, a grand theater for his glory. Spurgeon was convinced that the Scriptural account of creation is “literal and accurate.” Accordingly, he read Genesis as a testament to God’s limitless grandeur and greatness. Indeed, the knowledge of the natural world granted many opportunities to “discover fresh wonders of God’s power and wisdom.”

 

Spurgeon understood that all creation is made for God, and this understanding defined his perspective on creation and nature. Rather than being an end in itself, creation became an opportunity for beholding God’s creative glory. Indeed, all things were made “to do his bidding, to accomplish his purpose, to act forth his glory.”

 

Furthermore, God’s power was magnified by working through his Word alone. The stunning reality of creation ex nihilo caused Spurgeon to exclaim “How rapid was that work, and yet how perfect, how gloriously complete!” Indeed, “The power of God never fails because he always accomplishes what he desires.” Summing up the history of the world Spurgeon asserted that “in no single case was there a failure. There was not even a hesitation, a pause or a demand for a more powerful agency than the Divine Word.”

 

But creation was also a Trinitarian work. Indeed, in creation, as in salvation, one sees the Father, the Spirt, and the Son, the blessed Three-in-One. And Spurgeon reveled in his Trinitarian God and the creation he made. He thought it was “a most right and excellent thing and “One of the purest and most innocent of joys…in which a man can indulge.” As he said, “These are my Father’s works, and therefore I admire them.” Indeed, enjoyment of the creation of the “Master-artist” and “Master-builder” left no room for atheism or agnosticism. Rather, he observed that the “things which overwhelm with a sense of his Omnipotence” make it impossible to “doubt the existence of the Deity.” Both “the anatomy of the body” and “the mighty heavens” should cause “the scorner” to “bow his head…in silence – and own the infinite supremacy of God.”

 

Nonetheless, Spurgeon knew that the highest joy in life was to know God in Christ for “the most joyous life is the life that is nearest to God.” For Spurgeon, knowing Christ was the “grand mark of a Christian.” Regardless of circumstance, Christians could live the good life because “the Lord has become your salvation.” As for Spurgeon this reality resulted in child-like obedience free from hypocrisy. When Christ freed him from his sin, he was set loose to enjoy a life marked by honest, faithful service to God. Indeed, proper gratitude for salvation demanded that Christians “live to praise him.”

 

Spurgeon knew that “if the heart be troubled the whole life must be troubled too.” But Spurgeon was able to keep a peaceful heart by “depending on God” for “mercy,” “grace,” and “strength,” for salvation in Christ produced a peace that passes all understanding. For the “Prince of Preachers” dependence upon God a step at a time was “the only way to live” and “the only way to die.” “Prying into the future” as futile, for because of Christ “whenever [death] comes… you will be ready for it. Now, this required humility, but Spurgeon believed that “humility is the way to a peaceful life.”

           

Most importantly, Spurgeon knew that God alone gave man purpose for living. This “world of beauty and delight” was not an end in itself. Rather, the end of man is the glory of God. Spurgeon rejoiced in God’s plan of redemption and prayed to see the Lord “mould, and model, and form, and fashion” a man to see him become “a vessel fit for thy use.” And once the vessel had served its turn it was the “most comfortable prospect about this life…that it will melt away into life eternal.” Indeed, Spurgeon awaited the day when creation “shall be lifted up from its present state of ruin, and shall glorify God anew

 

Spurgeon lived the good life because he loved the word of life, the gospel (Phil. 2:16). He modeled the good life in his admiration of God’s creation, holy living, and hope in the promised new creation. In recognition of his wisdom here are eight quotes on the good life from the “Prince of Preachers.”

 

1. “This is a grand mark of a Christian, not merely a life of morality, a life of integrity, a life of holiness, but a life of all these in connection with Christ.”

“This is a grand mark of a Christian, not merely a life of morality, a life of integrity, a life of holiness, but a life of all these in connection with Christ. They follow him, not holiness, nor morality, nor integrity, apart from Christ, but they follow their Lord. A good life is good in any man. We cannot speak evil of virtue, even when we find it in the ordinary moralist; but this is not the complete mark of Christ’s sheep. The virtues of Christ’s sheep are in connection with himself. The Christian is holy, and all that, but that is because he follows his perfect Master, and keeps close to him. This is one of the peculiar and unfailing marks of the child of God.”

 

2. “[Genesis] is, no doubt, a literal and accurate account of God’s first day’s work in the creation of the world.”

“[Genesis] is, no doubt, a literal and accurate account of God’s first day’s work in the creation of the world, but the first creation is not the subject of this morning’s discourse: we would rather direct your minds to the second creation of God. Every man who is saved by grace is a new creation. The great work which Jesus Christ is accomplishing in the world, by the Holy Spirit through the Word, is the making of all things new. We believe the old creation to have been typical of the new, and we shall so use it; may we all be taught of the Lord while so doing.”

 

3. “It is well to remember the mighty power of God in creation.”

“Now, beloved, it is well to remember the mighty power of God in creation. Man wants something to work upon: give him material, and with cunning instruments he straightway maketh for himself a vessel; but God began with nothing; and by his word alone out of nothing made all things. He used no instrument except his own word.”

 

4. “I must confess that I think it a most right and excellent thing that you and I should rejoice in the natural creation of God.”

“I must confess that I think it a most right and excellent thing that you and I should rejoice in the natural creation of God. I do not think that any man is altogether beyond hope who can take delight in the nightly heavens as he watches the stars, and feel joy as he treads the meadows all bedecked with kingcups and daisies. He is not lost to better things who, on the waves, rejoices in the creeping things innumerable drawn up from the vasty deep, or who, in the woods, is charmed with the sweet carols of the feathered minstrels.”

 

5. “One of the purest and most innocent joys, apart from spiritual things, in which a man can indulge, is a joy in the works of God.”

“One of the purest and most innocent of joys, apart from spiritual things, in which a man can indulge, is a joy in the works of God. I confess I have no sympathy with the good man, who, when he went down the Rhine, dived into the cabin that he might not see the river and the mountains lest he should be absorbed in them, and forget his Savior. I like to see my Savior on the hills, and by the shores of the sea. I hear my Father’s voice in the thunder, and listen to the whispers of his love in the cadence of the sunlit waves. These are my Father’s works, and therefore I admire them, and I seem all the nearer to him when I am among them.”

 

6. “There are lovely spots on this fair globe which ought to make even a blasphemer devout.”

7. “There are things that God has made which overwhelm with a sense of his Omnipotence.”

“There are lovely spots on this fair globe which ought to make even a blasphemer devout. I have said, among the mountains, ‘he who sees no God here is mad.’ There are things that God has made which overwhelm with a sense of his Omnipotence: how can men see them, and doubt the existence of the Deity? Whether you consider the anatomy of the body, or the conformation of the mighty heavens, you wonder that the scorner does not bow his head — at least in silence — and own the infinite supremacy of God.”

 

8. “God in nature is glorious, but in grace he is all glorious.”

“If any man be in Christ it is not only said that he is a creation, but a new creation, and the word here translated ‘new,’ as has been well observed, does not signify recent, but something altogether different from that which previously existed. A book may be new, and yet it may be only a fresh copy of some old work; but that is not the case in this instance. The creature is not a new specimen of the same kind as the old, but another and different creation. We might almost read the text as if it said, ‘If any man be in Christ he is a fresh creation, a new kind of creature altogether.’ The new creation differs essentially from the old, although the first is an instructive emblem of the second. The first creation was the work of physical power, the second a work of spiritual power: the first created for the most part materialism in its various forms, but the new creation deals with spiritual things, and manifests the sublimest attributes of the divine character. God in nature is glorious, but in grace he is all glorious.”


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.