Lectures to My Students | C. H. Spurgeon

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Complete and unabridged edition.

Perhaps the exhortation most commonly directed at preachers, especially those newer and younger, is “preach the word” (2 Tim. 4:2). Unfortunately, this admonition does not always come with advice. In Scripture, we certainly have the matter of our preaching, but it tells us very little about the manner of our preaching—that is, how to prepare sermons and present them to congregations, weekly over the course of years, growing in power instead of losing our forcefulness. To learn the art of good preaching, we then have no option but to seek the counsel of those men who have themselves engaged in this art with true artfulness, whose words are both wise and like well-driven nails (Eccl. 12:11).

Many preachers in nineteenth-century England had the chance to learn from Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892), whose sermons drew thousands to the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. Spurgeon himself established a college for training preachers, and his teachings there were eventually published in this title, Lectures to My Students. In this book, we may hear his tested advice on nearly every aspect of the planning and delivery of sermons.

Surely the powerful ministry of Spurgeon sufficiently recommends his counsel to us. Yet, his book must be read under the scrutiny of two considerations: (1) As with the wisdom of all men, Spurgeon’s must be tested by Scripture itself. While he was ardently committed to the Bible, Spurgeon would also be the first to confess his own fallibility. Therefore, the reader should be willing to discard any advice from Spurgeon which may not be true to the word of God or which might accidentally add to it. (2) The reader should always recall what sort of church Spurgeon had. While it was large, many of the attendees were one-time visitors, whom Spurgeon largely considered to be unconverted. These circumstances impacted his style of preaching. If your own audience is different from this (as most likely is true), then you must amend his recommendations when you think them unsuitable for your own crowd.

Having pressed those considerations upon you, these Lectures will doubtless continue to be of great help to the church, as they have been for over a century. Those with regular preaching ministries—whether as pastors, evangelists, or missionaries—will doubtless derive the most benefit from Spurgeon’s book. However, those with more of a teaching ministry—leading Sunday School classes or Bible studies—can also learn much from these Lectures, since the same fundamentals undergird teaching as do preaching.

Sample: Contents | Chapter 1

Preachers often quote Spurgeon today because he had an ability to explain Christian truth to ordinary people with pointed, memorable statements. The people who heard and read his words were effectively taught theology and enjoyed it. He was a dogged defender of the Bible as God's truth. There was another side to Spurgeon's Character, he had a sensitive and loving nature that was the spur to him preaching the gospel, so that as many people as possible could hear the good news about why Jesus Christ came to spend time on earth, building the church for eternity. This also showed through in his warm pastoring of his congregation and the setting up of a college for future ministers of the gospel. Spurgeon realized that he could influence the church beyond his own lifetime if he could encourage future pastors to trust the Bible, love people and preach the truth fearlessly. To acheive this he collected his lectures to his college students and published this book. It has been a classic of pastoral theology ever since and is still used to train ministers to this day.
C. H. Spurgeon
Christian Focus
8.75 x 5.63 x 1.38 inches