I have always been a fan of the preaching and writings of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I relate to him because he began in ministry young like I did. Because of his lack of formal theological training he got flack from many older and distinguished gentleman and was distrusted by many pastors early on in his ministry. One day while reading one of the many biographies written about him I discovered the story of how he proposed to Mrs. Spurgeon:
They were at a fair and were supposed to be hanging out, he had brought a book and to her irritation ignored her and pretended to be absorbed in it rather than enjoying quality time with her. This didn’t go over well, he was a bookworm and while with her she expected his attention. Finally she could take it no more and confronted him about it, he simply said what do you think about the authors thoughts in this passage? The book was called Proverbial Philosophy by a man called Tupper, and his finger was pointing at a quote on marriage, how it is a gift from God to find the wife of your youth. She looked up confused and he had a twinkle in his eye and proposed to her.
When I read this I had just purchased a ring and was planning on proposing to my girlfriend, , and being mischievous, I liked his style. The name of the book rang a bell and I looked through my library and realized I owned it, but not just any paperback copy, I had a first edition that I bought while studying overseas in England. It was during a time in my life that I spent most of my grocery money on antiquarian books full of sermons by old dead pastors. What were the chances that I had bought this book Spurgeon had employed to hook his chick? In Laguna Beach, California on a date that I had hyped up as time just for us to enjoy each other, I dutifully ignored Jennie and pretended to be engrossed in my several hundred year old book I had just discovered in my library. All the while my hands shook as I thought of the ring in my pocket. I had asked her father permission and was so overwhelmed at the thought of getting to spend the rest of my life with this amazing girl. It took a while but eventually she got mad enough to comment and I pointed out the same passage he had and had her read it, she read the poetic thoughts on marriage and looked up at me like I was crazy. While she was reading I got on my knee and held up the ring, then I asked her to marry me and be my princess. Fortunately she said yes. I guess Spurgeon and I both were too dense to realize perhaps irritation isn’t the most romantic way to begin a marriage! But it worked. To this day I am still desperately in love with Jennie and I still love reading spurgeon. His passion for the gospel is also a set of footsteps I am trying to follow after. Right now I am reading a book of evangelistic excerpts from hundreds of different sermons of his. Each paragraph is taken from a portion of the messages where he seeks to persuade unbelieving souls to put their faith in Christ. It is Powerful. Spurgeon accomplished so much for Christ in his life. Though he was a diamond in the rough, with the help of a powerful God, he became the prince of preachers. And made it his goal in his life to mentor young men who wanted to get involved in the ministry like he did. I encourage you to read anything you can by him. He wrote alot of books, many are sermons that have been transcribed. I would encourage you to start by picking up a copy of Morning and Evening a devotional that will take you through the whole year with scripture verses and Spurgeon’s thoughts. If you have read anything by him already leave a comment and let me know what it was.
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