Monday, November 21, 2011

Spurgeon Monday: The Letters of Charles Spurgeon - Letter from Charles Spurgeon to his father (on pastoral ministry, books, and other matters), December 31, 1851

CAMBRIDGE, Dec. 31, 1851.

MY DEAR FATHER,—Your Christmas letter was quite as welcome to me as (mine was) to you—no good action is ever forgotten. I was at Waterbeach staying among my people, and so did not receive your letter till my return. I preached twice on Christmas (day) to crammed congregations,' and again on Sunday quite as full. The Lord give me favor in the eyes of the people; they come for miles, and are wondrously attentive. I am invited (to preach at Waterbeach) for six months. My reputation in Cambridge is rather great.

This letter from Mr. Smith is an honor. I have now more money for books.

When I wrote my essay on my knees in the little room upstairs, I solemnly vowed to give two tithes of anything I might gain by it to the Lord's cause.

I have written, the money is come .... My MS. will arrive here shortly.

Now, if you wish, I will send you £... (five-sixths of the amount received), as a little present to you and dear Mother—that shall be exactly as you please—I do not know yet how much I am to pay Mr. Leeding. I have enough. Mr. L. has given me a five-pound note, which I shall not touch except for clothes. I mean to keep that money only for clothes; what I earn on Sundays is my own, for books, expenses, etc. I hope I am sparing, but I have bought several books, which I could not do without. This week I have purchased a good Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament; you will see it mentioned by commentators. This I did for two reasons—1. To improve my Greek. 2. To assist me in studying the Bible.

I got it in two volumes, unbound, for 12s. 6d.—at that price it is reckoned exceedingly cheap.

Now and then you must give me leave to preach three times, not often. I have done so about four times, I was not at all tired. I shall never do so if I have had a hard day. When I feel myself in tune and not at all tired, I may do so; but only now and then. I must say, however, I always get the best congregation in the evening, or at least just as good, for sometimes it is best all day; and you would not have me give up so good a place. I have prayed earnestly that prosperity and fame may not injure me, and I believe strength will be equal to my day. More than one in Waterbeach have declared themselves on the Lord's side—the church is praying hard, and they seem very united.

I take every opportunity of improving myself, and seize every means of improvement. I have lately attended three lectures in the Town Hall to get information; I trust I do.

(The conclusion of the letter is missing.)

HT:  Spurgeon Archive

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