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Spurgeon’s ‘Very Great Embarassment’

July 26, 2008

While I’d join Mark Driscoll in his sentiment (not sure I’d use the exact phrase!) that ‘Spurgeon is the Man!’, I was interested to recently discover what Spurgeon perceived to be a chink in his own armory:

“To me still, I must confess, my text selection is a very great embarrassment….I must confess that I frequently sit hour after hour praying and waiting for a subject, and that this is the main part of my study; much hard labor have I spent in manipulating topics, ruminating upon points of doctrine, making skeletons out of verses and then burying every bone of them in the catacombs of oblivion, sailing on and on over leagues of broken water, till I see the red lights and make sail direct to the desired haven. I believe that almost any Saturday in my life I make enough outlines of sermons, if I felt the liberty to preach them, to last me for a month, but I no more dare use them than an honest mariner would run to shore a cargo of contraband goods.” (Lectures to my Students, C Spurgeon, pp84-85)

Alistair Begg’s comment:

“…All we need to acknowledge is that God does not come upon methods but upon men, even when our methods may not give the appearance of being the wisest or the best. I have often imagined how grand it would be to be able to turn to volumes of Spurgeon’s consecutive exposition rather than the collections of sermons he has actually left to us, as rich as they are. Spurgeon serves as a reminder that the best of men are men at best and that there has only ever been one perfect preacher, and that is Jesus. (Preaching For God’s Glory, A Begg, p39)

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One comment

  1. Is Begg saying that CHS would have been a better man had he had an expository ministry? I do hope not.



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