by Charles H. Spurgeon
Two items here:
First, from Spurgeon's Lectures To My Students.
"Of all I would wish to say this is the sum; my brethren, preach Christ, always and evermore. He is the whole gospel. His person, offices, and work must be our one great, all-comprehending theme. The world needs still to be told of its Saviour, and of the way to reach him. Justification by faith should be far more than it is the daily testimony of Protestant pulpits; and if with this master-truth there should be more generally associated the other great doctrines of grace, the better for our churches and our age. If with the zeal of Methodists we can preach the doctrine of Puritans a great future is before us. The fire of Wesley, and the fuel of Whitfield, will cause a burning which shall set the forests of error on fire, and warm the very soul of this cold earth. We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel. Man's fall, his need of a new birth, forgiveness through an atonement, and salvation as the result of faith, these are our battle-axe and weapons of war. We have enough to do to learn and teach these great truths, and accursed be that learning which shall divert us from our mission, or that wilful ignorance which shall cripple us in its pursuit. More and more am I jealous lest any views upon prophecy, church government, politics, or even systematic theology, should withdraw one of us from glorying in the cross of Christ. Salvation is a theme for which I fain enlist every holy tongue. I am greedy after witnesses for the glorious gospel of the blessed God. O that Christ crucified were the universal burden of men of God. Your guess at the number of the beast, your Napoleonic speculations, your conjectures concerning a personal Antichrist--forgive me, I count them but mere bones for dogs; while men are dying, and hell is filling, it seems to me the veriest drivel to be muttering about an Armegeddon at Sebastopol or Sadowa or Sedan, and peeping between the folded leaves of destiny to discover the fate of Germany. Blessed are they who read and hear the words of the prophecy of the Revelation, but the like blessing has evidently not fallen on those who pretend to expound it, for generation after generation of them have been proved to be in error by the mere lapse of time, and the present race will follow to the same inglorious sepulchre. I would sooner pluck one single brand from the burning than explain all mysteries. To win a soul from going down into the pit is a more glorious achievement than to be crowned in the arena of theological controversy as Doctor Sufficientissimus; to have faithfully unveiled the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ will be in the final judgment accounted worthier service than to have solved the problems of the religious Sphinx, or to have cut the Gordian knot of Apocalyptic difficulty. Blessed is that ministry of which Christ is all."
2) Next, Spurgeons first words at the new Metropolitan Tabernacle in London
"I would propose that the subject of the ministry of this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshippers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist, although I claim to be rather a Calvinist according to Calvin, than after the modern debased fashion. I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist. You have there (pointing to the baptistery) substantial evidence that I am not ashamed of that ordinance of our Lord Jesus Christ; but if I am asked to say what is my creed, I think I must reply: "It is Jesus Christ." My venerable predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a body of divinity admirable and excellent in its way; but the body of divinity to which I would pin and bind myself for ever, God helping me, is not his system of divinity or any other human treatise, but Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substance of the gospel; who is in himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious personal embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life."
3) And as an additional note of inspirational interest ........ the first words of John Gill at Carter Lane. Spurgeon was a later successor of Gill in the church in London. The meeting house at Carter Lane was opened on October 9, 1757. The pastor, John Gill, preached from Exodus 20:24. In the course of his message he made the the following comments.
"As we have now opened a new place of worship, we enter upon it, recording the name of the Lord by preaching the doctrines of the grace of God, and of free and full salvation alone by Jesus Christ; and by the administration of gospel ordinances, as they have been delivered to us. What doctrines may be taught in this place after I am gone is not for me to know; but as for my own part, I am at a point; I am determined, and have been long ago, what to make the subject of my ministry. It is upwards of forty years since I entered into the arduous work; and the first sermon I ever preached was from those words of the apostle, 'For I am determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified:' and through the grace of God I have been enabled, in some good measure, to abide by the same resolution hitherto, as many of you here are my witnesses; and, I hope, through divine assistance, I ever shall, as long as I am in this tabernacle, and engaged in such a work. I am not afraid of the reproaches of man; I have been inured to these, from my youth upwards; none of these things move me.