Lectures to my Students C. Spurgeon Various publishers and editions Every Friday afternoon Charles Spurgeon would head down to the Pastors' College - of all the institutions in which he was involved, the one that was perhaps dearest to his great heart - and attempt to put an edge and a point on the blades that had been tempered in the fires of the college forges all the week long. This is not the place to discuss the peculiar features and particular excellences of Spurgeon's plan for pastoral training, but it shows Spurgeon's sensitivity to the needs of his students that those Friday afternoons found him at his most deliberately engaging and his most transparently personal as he sought to put a little fire in their bellies before the Lord's day.
It is at this point that many current scholars will, perhaps, huff about a Baptist pietist, even a mere activist or enthusiast, given to taking gross liberties with the text - a genius, we grudgingly admit, but a fairly vulgar and far from polished tool in the Master's hands, and not quite the thing as far as exposition is concerned. Others will give you Spurgeon re-made in the image of Stout's Whitefield, a great advertiser and a pulpit actor of the first water, perhaps even a man who ought to be appreciated as an early model for the megachurch pastor.
Please ignore such flawed assertions and myopic perspectives; pick up this book and read it for itself. Our primary interest is in the first three sections of the full collection. Of these, the first two seem to be constructed without the intention of progress that is apparent in many others of the older pastoral theologies. In this way, as we proceed we find our souls both stretched in various directions and, at the same time, firmly held within a developing web of healthy principles and practices that give us a measure of establishment with the aim of stable development and genuine ministerial usefulness.
Most of the time, each element is essentially self-contained, although some topics do break over two or more chapters the main exception is the third section, of which more below. Each chapter is fairly brief, and marked by typically Spurgeonic arrangements of the material, with thoughtful and engaging headings guiding us progressively through the matter at hand. The style is homely, full of quotations broadly drawn from various authors, marked by humour and practical insight. These 'lectures' very quickly turn into sermons - you can almost feel the momentum building in some of them - and so illustrate the very craft they are intended to illuminate.
Each is generally marked by holy wit and sanctified common sense. There are several specific blessings and some particular challenges from reading Spurgeon on pastoral ministry. One blessing is that these chapters are never mere 'how to' guides. To be sure, they are always practical, but they are never merely a set of mechanical rules for this and for that - for sermon construction, for prayer, and so on. Such technical discussions have their value, but Spurgeon does not so much give you a classroom discourse on the nature and excellence of the instrument as get the machine going and take you into the field to use it.
Again, our author covers topics not always covered elsewhere, and rarely with the kind of knockabout pungency found here. He speaks to us about getting the attention of our congregation, about the minister's fainting fits if you have never had one, read this before you do - it will save you much grief , on choosing a text, on open-air preaching, on the voice, on posture and gesture.
Such material digs up the heart and prompts careful reflection about the ways and the means in which we invest our pastoral energies and the manner in which we employ the tools and opportunities we have been given. Spurgeon will nudge you into rooms of experience you might never have visited and open windows for you to look out on views you might never have contemplated.
By a slender apparatus Spurgeon means that they have few books and little or no means wherewith to purchase more. Co-Laborers, Co-Heirs. Illustrations enliven an audience and quicken attention. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Sign in or create an account. Submit your testimonial.
Furthermore, Spurgeon is always stimulating, even when provocative or plain misguided. For example, his chapter 'On Spiritualizing' is perhaps the one which is invariably singled out as worthy of being dismissed. I honestly wonder if some who speak so quickly have read perhaps a couple of his more extravagant sermons remembering that, even if you cannot follow him in everything, he usually takes pains to demonstrate a proper understanding of almost every text he treats, albeit sometimes followed by a phrase like, "However, this morning we are going to take our text as.
However, the first third of the chapter is on abuses of the principle.
Only then does he turn to the types, metaphors, allegories of Scripture, with further thoughts on generalizing universal principles, preaching on parables and miracles, before some further cautions on the kind of men who can employ such an approach wisely, and those who cannot, the whole illustrated with some judicious quotations and thoughtful comments.
I am not saying that I can follow everywhere Spurgeon leads here, but he will make you ask yourself whether or not you have made the Scriptures too much of a dry stick and wrung out a little more sap than you might have intended. The material on illustration - the entire third section - is worth a mention in its own right. Spurgeon will help you think through the purpose, value, collections, selection and employment of illustrations, helping us to really enliven our sermons and put hooks in the ears of those who hear us.
I would not wish to ignore the spirit of consecration that pervades the whole.
There is nothing here that is dry or dull, but it is all carried along by a man who demonstrates the very earnestness he encourages, characterised by a burning desire to see God glorified in salvation, in the fullest sense of the word. You are never allowed the sense that these are treasures for mere display; each is a tool for use in the great business of seeking and saving the lost in the declaration of the gospel.
Overall, the volume is marked by a concern for character as well as capacity, for substance rather than style, for spirit as well as form in service to aim.
LECTURES TO MY STUDENTS. VOLUME 1 by Charles H. Spurgeon. To the Students of the Words, Works and Ways of God: Welcome to the AGES Digital. My College lectures are colloquial, familiar, full of anecdote, and often humorous: they are purposely made so, to suit the occasion. At the end of the week I meet.
But there are a few notes of caution which ought to be sounded. Perhaps first and foremost is the fact that Spurgeon often forgets that you are not Spurgeon.
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Unabridged MP3 CD. Your chance to get a front-row seat in Charles Spurgeon's homiletics class. Twenty-eight of his insightful lectures are presented in their entirety to provide you with practical wisdom and sage advice. Related Products. Stewart Custer.
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