28 Thought-Provoking Charles Spurgeon Quotes

Charles Spurgeon preaching in London
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Great London Preacher (circa 1882).

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Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892), the great 19th century Baptist minister, is one of the most oft-quoted preachers in Christian history. Known as the “Prince of Preachers,” his sermons amazed his contemporaries and continue to captivate the hearts and minds of Christians today. The following Charles Spurgeon quotes contain nuggets of incredible wisdom and showcase several of his most memorable sayings.

Spurgeon on Preaching

Charismatic in his sermon delivery, Spurgeon often paced the stage, dramatizing Bible stories and bringing the Scriptures to life. Those who disliked his dramatic and sentimental preaching style labeled him “the pulpit buffoon.” To these critics Spurgeon responded:

“I am perhaps vulgar, but it is not intentional, save that I must and will make people listen. My firm conviction is that we have had enough polite preachers.”

When asked to describe his preaching manner, Spurgeon said, “I take my text and make a bee-line to the cross.”

“The preaching of Christ is the whip that flogs the devil. The preaching of Christ is the thunderbolt, the sound of which makes all hell shake.”

“…We should first and foremost preach Christ and him crucified … The Christian minister should preach all the truths which cluster around the person and work of the Lord Jesus.”

“We are not responsible to God for the souls that are saved, but we are responsible for the Gospel that is preached, and for the way in which we preach it.”

On the Bible

“The more you read the Bible, and the more you meditate upon it, the more you will be astonished with it. He who is but a casual reader of the Bible, does not know the height, the depth, the length, and breadth of the mighty meanings contained in its pages.”

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the Book widens and deepens with our years.”

Bible study is the metal that makes a Christian. This is the strong meat on which holy men are nourished.”

“There is dust enough on some of your Bibles to write ‘damnation’ with your fingers.”

“The words of Scripture thrill my soul as nothing else ever can. They bear me aloft or dash me down. They tear me in pieces or build me up. The words of God have more power over me than ever David’s fingers had over his harp strings. Is it not so with you?”

On Salvation

“Almost persuaded to be a Christian is like the man who was almost pardoned, but he was hanged; like the man who was almost rescued, but he was burned in the house. A man that is almost saved is damned.”

“The first link between my soul and Christ is not my goodness, but my badness; not my merit, but my misery; not my standing, but my falling; not my riches, but my need. He comes to visit his people, yet not to admire their beauties, but to remove their deformities; not to reward their virtues, but to forgive their sins.”

On the Church

“If we love Christ as we think we do, as we pretend we do, we shall love his Church and people.”

“If I had never joined a church till I had found one that was perfect, I should never have joined one at all. And the moment I did join it, if I had found one, I should have spoiled it, for it would not have been a perfect church after I had become a member of it. Still, imperfect as it is, it is the dearest place on earth to us.”

On Christ

“If Christ is not all to you he is nothing to you. He will never go into partnership as a part Saviour of men. If he be something he must be everything, and if he be not everything he is nothing to you.”

In life he [Christ] is my life, and in death he shall be the death of death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness he makes my bed; in darkness he is my star, and in brightness he is my sun; He is the manna of the camp in the wilderness.”

“I have a great need for Christ; I have a great Christ for my need.”

On Suffering and Affliction

“I am certain that I never did grow in grace one-half so much anywhere as I have upon the bed of pain.”

“Most of the grand truths of God have to be learned by trouble; they must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.”

“Men will never become great in theology until they become great in suffering.”

“There is no learning sympathy except by suffering. It cannot be studied from a book, it must be written on the heart.”

On Doctrine

“I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite sure that if God had not chosen me I should never have chosen him; and I am sure he chose me before I was born, or else he never would have chosen me afterwards.”

“God does not violate the human will when he saves men: they are not converted against their will, but their will itself is converted. The Lord has a way of entering the heart, not with a crowbar, like a burglar, but with a master-key, which he gently inserts in the lock, and the bolt flies back, the door opens, and he enters.”

“From the Word of God I gather that damnation is all of man, from top to bottom, and salvation is all of grace, from first to last. He that perishes chooses to perish; but he that is saved is saved because God has chosen to save him.”

On Hard Work

“Those who are slothful in business are also slothful about their soul.”

“The best and wisest thing in the world is to work as if it all depended upon you, and then trust in God, knowing that it all depends upon him.”

“It is one of the first and last qualifications of a good workman for God that he should put his heart into his work.”

“The best preparation for sleep, the healthiest soporific, is hard work, and one of the best things to prepare us for sleeping in Jesus, is to live in him an active life of going about doing good.”

Sources

  • Excerpts from Spurgeon on Preaching. The Journal of Modern Ministry, 2(1), 135.
  • 300 Quotations for Preachers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
  • 131 Christians Everyone Should Know (p. 103).
  • Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (p. 422).
  • Sayings of Spurgeon. Christian History Magazine-Issue 29: Charles Spurgeon: England’s “Prince of Preachers.”