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Advice for Seekers Paperback – September 1, 1998
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About the Author
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. After a childhood in Essex, when he owed much to Christian parents and grandparents, he was converted in 1850 at the age of ﬁfteen. He was then assisting at a school in Cambridge and it was in these Cambridge years that he came to Baptist principles and was called to the Baptist pastorate in the near-by village of Waterbeach. From there he moved to New Park Street, London in 1854 at the age of nineteen.
Roughly speaking, Spurgeon's public work can be divided up into four decades. Through the 1850s he was 'The Youthful Prodigy' who seemed to have stepped full-grown into the pulpit. At the age of twenty the largest halls in London were ﬁlled to hear him; at twenty-one the newspapers spoke of him as 'incomparably the most popular preacher of the day'; when he was twenty-three, 23,654 people heard him at a service in the Crystal Palace.
In the next decade, the 1860s, his work might best be described in terms of 'The Advancement of Gospel Agencies'. The institutions which he founded, and for which he remained responsible, included a College to train pastors; a publications enterprise (with a weekly published sermon and a monthly magazine The Sword and the Trowel); an Orphanage; a Colportage Association to spread Christian literature; and above all the Metropolitan Tabernacle itself, opened for the church he served in 1861 and capable of holding about 6,000. The congregation which he pastored grew from 314 in 1854 to 5,311 in 1892.
Onlookers often supposed that so many enterprises could never be maintained at the high level of usefulness with which they began, but they were, and the 1870s might well be described in terms of 'Holding the Ground'. On every front the work was being blessed.
Then came the 1880s and by far the most difﬁcult period in Spurgeon's life. In this last decade he was faced with increasing controversy and a title for his last years could well be his own words, 'In Opposition to So Many'.
By the time Spurgeon was ﬁfty-seven in 1891 his health was utterly broken. When he left Herne Hill station, London, on 26 October 1891, for the south of France, he said to the friends who came to say good-bye, 'The ﬁght is killing me'. He died at Menton three months later. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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In chapter eight 'Hindrances To Coming To The Light',I think Mr.Spurgeon's first point here is an obstacle with many(an unwillingness to deal with sinful attitudes and a forsaking of sin).An unforgiving heart towards someone who has hurt you,unjust dealings in business,the sin of slothfulness,though preaching and writing in the 19th century,the Baptist Preachers,general examples would still apply to our age.This searching application is pointed and powerful-"Now,art thou willing to give up sin? If not,it is all lost time to preach Christ to thee,for he is not meant to be a Savior of those who persevere in sin." Spurgeon's pressing application here completely aligns with-Our Lord Himself,The Prophets and Apostles,The Reformers and The Puritans,and all the successors of such in our present generation.The author correctly asserts that the one who desires Christ must give their whole heart to him.-p.69 "I will seek him till I find him,and when I find him I will never let him go." This is a good picture of faith(clinging to the Savior and never letting go).
Spurgeon does this in his preaching and writing from time to time,he gives a Biblical-Historical perspective on his subject in a few lines.He does this in chapter 12 'Saved Through Faith' when he states that the way of salvation has never changed though all the ages("no man has ever been saved by his good works").This has ever been the same as well,those who receive the salvation God has provided live in the same way-"the way by which the just have lived has always been the way of faith."
If you are looking for help in your 'Gospel Endeavors' (particularly with those who seem to have some interest in 'spiritual matters')but clearly have not 'closed with Christ',this brief work by one who has been called 'The Prince Of Preachers' will be of great help to you.
Spurgeon originally wrote for those who were looking for Jesus, so although I was looking forward to this read, I didn't expect to be as drawn is as I was. The language would be considered old fashioned, but it isn't too difficult. In fact, the more I read, the less I noticed the difference from modern language. My faith was encouraged as I read through this short work, reminding me of some of the vital, yet simple truths that all seekers must accept.
Although this may be most appropriate for a more academically minded reader, I believe the truth imparted here by the great Charles Spurgeon can benefit anyone no matter their educational background or where they are on their journey with Christ. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and plan to read it again each year to keep the thoughts imparted here fresh in my mind.
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