Charles Haddon Spurgeon entered everlasting rest on January 31, 1892. While it may be true that Christendom lost one of her best preachers, it must not be forgotten that a local church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle, lost her faithful lead undershepherd. Though in mourning, the church sought to press on in obedience to the Lord in its worship and work. The following statement from the Elders and Deacons to the members of the Tabernacle demonstrates that Spurgeon was not a mere preacher; he was the pastor of his people. Though he had made some practical provisions for his passing, there was still much about the future that was uncertain. More importantly, however, Spurgeon had prepared the church spiritually, leading them to love and trust God and to live obediently to His glory, even amid loss.
Statement of Deacons and Elders read to the Church of the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Lord’s Day Evening, Feb. 7, 1892.
To the members of the church assembled at the first communion service after the decease of our beloved and revered pastor, C.H. Spurgeon, held Lord’s Day evening February 7, 1892.
Under the great calamity which has fallen upon the church, the Deacons and Elders have endeavoured to effect to the wise counsels, and to carry out the wishes of our late beloved pastor in every particular, and they take the earliest opportunity of thanking their fellow members for their confidence and support, and for their hearty co-operation by which, under the blessing of God, the unity and usefulness of the church have been maintained.
By the removal of the Senior Pastor upon whom the Great Head of the Church bestowed such abundant honour, we have been called to suffer a loss and a grief so impossible to express. In order that the trial may be sanctified to us, as a church, and that we may glorify our covenant God in his visitation, we must bow in humble submission to the rulings of the Divine Will, and prayerfully wait for the further leading of the Holy Spirit.
As a church we are of one heart, and of one mind in the grateful acknowledgement of the good hand of God, by which our beloved pastor was led to make the present arrangement for the supply of the pulpit, and for the administration of all the departments of our church life and work.
One in heart and in the faith and fellowship of the gospel, the beloved Junior Pastor, James A. Spurgeon, has for many years, borne a large share of the burden incidental to the maintenance and direction of the work of this church; and his beloved brother was ever grateful for his practical wisdom and prudence, in which he had the most entire confidence. Never at any period of the history of the church were we in greater need of his judicious counsels than now, and, “esteeming him very highly in love for his work’s sake,” the church officers announce with devout thankfulness, that he has consented to serve the church as “acting pastor” during this most solemn crisis.
The Rev. A. T. Pierson, D.D. who came to this country at the invitation of our late beloved pastor, to serve the church in the preaching of the Word, and whose richly edifying ministry in our midst has so fully justified the wisdom of the choice, has also consented to continue his labours amongst us during our present trial and need.
The pastoral and ministerial work of the church will, therefore, be maintained for the present in every respect under the arrangements so wisely made by our late beloved pastor.
Ample time will thus be secured for waiting upon the Lord in prayer that we may know the good pleasure of His will as to the future guidance of the church whose welfare is so dear to us all, and for whose prosperity we must labour together to the praise of the glory of his grace, “whose we are and whom we serve.”