You’ve probably heard of Spurgeon, the famous pastor in the 19th century, who pastored a church of over 5,000 members, published over a hundred books, founded two orphanages, trained hundreds for pastoral ministry, planted dozens of churches, and, of course, who preached thousands of rich, Word-centered, Christ-exalting sermons for over 38 years from his pulpit in London.
If you’ve ever read Spurgeon’s sermons, it’s easy sometimes to associate his huge platform with his preaching. But what few people know is that before Spurgeon ever had any platform, he was already preaching excellent sermons.
Today marks the release of Volume 6 of The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon. These sermons were preached sometime between 1852-1854, over a year before Spurgeon arrived in London.
At this point, Spurgeon is a bi-vocational pastor. He is working during the day as a tutor in Cambridge, teaching young boys Latin, grammar, logic, and the classics. It’s only in the evenings and on the weekends that he is working on sermons and ministering to his people.
Not only that, but Spurgeon is a village pastor. Waterbeach was a farming community composed mostly of farmers, laborers, and other agricultural workers. His salary often included “potatoes, turnips, cabbages, apples, and sometimes a bit of meat,” which helped him make ends meet. In other words, this was a far cry from London.
And as an eighteen-year-old, Spurgeon is still a student preacher. Since the first volume of the Lost Sermons, Spurgeon has grown exponentially in his preaching. But in Volume 6, he is still in his first two years of pastoral ministry, learning the rhythms of preaching to the same people week-in and week-out. Against his father’s wishes, Spurgeon did not quit his pastorate to go to college but considered Waterbeach to be the place of his pastoral training. These sermons represent that training.
And yet, as the Lost Sermons series have shown, despite not having much of a platform, we find Spurgeon preaching excellent sermons. From Volume 1 to Volume 6, young Spurgeon has been growing in his preaching and now, this latest notebook contains the best sermons he has preached yet.
What I love about these sermons is that they show that Spurgeon didn’t wait for a huge platform before he devoted himself to the task of preaching. He was faithful, even when he was just a teenager, preaching to farmers and laborers, and pastoring bi-vocationally.
By the time we get to these sermons, 18-year-old Spurgeon has preached over 500 sermons… the equivalent of nearly a decade of preaching experience. So though Spurgeon is young, he is not a novice. His preaching gifts and his love for Christ shine brightly through these sermons.
So I commend this volume to you. These sermons are rich, Word-centered, Christ-exalting sermons. As with previous volumes, we’ve provided facsimiles of Spurgeon’s sermon notes, so that you can see his own handwriting. We’ve also provided footnotes that connect these early sermons to his later ones and expand on the content of these early sermons. Whether you are an experienced pastor, or a bi-vocational pastor, or a student preacher, or just someone wanting to grow in your love for Christ, I commend this volume to you as a reminder to be faithful wherever God has placed you.