The name Charles Haddon Spurgeon may be a familiar one to you. You may even know that he preached to thousands of people weekly, was the pastor of the largest church in his day, led many people to Jesus, established a school to train pastors in college, wrote over 140 books, built two homes for orphans, and accomplished a myriad of other things for the Lord. However, do you know the story of his conversion?
Once we learn about Spurgeon’s conversion story, we will develop a deeper appreciation for all God did through him after he was converted.
“Through the Lord’s restraining grace, and the holy influence of my early home life, both at my father’s and my grandfather’s, I was kept from certain outward forms of sin in which others indulged; and, sometimes, when I began to take stock of myself, I really thought I was quite a respectable lad, and might have been half inclined to boast that I was not like other boys, untruthful, dishonest, disobedient, swearing. Sabbath breaking, and so on. But, all of a sudden, I met Moses, carrying in his hand the law of God; and as he looked at me, he seemed to search me through and through with his eyes of fire. He bade me read ‘God’s Ten Words’,—the ten commandments—and as I read them, and remembered what I had been taught about their spiritual meaning as interpreted by the Lord Jesus Christ, they all seemed to join in accusing and condemning me in the sight of the thrice-holy Jehovah. Then, like Daniel, “my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength;” and I understood what Paul meant when he wrote, “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
For years he remained under deep conviction of sin until one Sunday morning in January 1850 a snow storm forced him to cut short his intended journey and turn in to a Primitive Methodist chapel in Colchester. “The minister did not come that morning; he was snowed up, I suppose. At last, a very thin looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. . . . He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.”
When he had managed to spin out ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger. Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, “and you always will be miserable—miserable in life, and miserable in death—if you don’t obey my text; but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.” Then, lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothin’ to do but to look and live.” I saw at once the way of salvation . . . I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” What a charming word it seemed to me! Oh! I looked until l could almost have looked my eyes away. There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that instant, and sung with the most enthusiastic of them, of the precious blood of Christ, and the simple faith which looks alone to HIM . . .
E’er since by faith I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply
Redeeming love has been my theme
And shall be till I die
Only heaven knows the name of that preacher, but we praise God for using him that day, and we also praise God for raising up for us Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the “Prince of Preachers.”
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