The Sword and the Trowel, the monthly magazine edited by Spurgeon, began publication in 1865. It contains articles, tracts, poetry, and book reviews, along with regular statistics and detailed reports and reflections on his sermons. Most importantly, The Sword and the Trowel provides a rich source of biographical material on Charles Spurgeon and the context of his ministry. It is an illuminating inside look at the week-to-week happenings at the Metropolitan Tabernacle. The Logos Bible Software edition of The Sword and Trowel was originally published in London by Passmore and Alabaster in 1882.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born in Kelvedon, Essex, England on June 19, 1834. He converted to Christianity in 1850 at a small Methodist chapel, to which he detoured during a snowstorm. While there, he heard a sermon on Isaiah 45:22 and was saved—“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth, for I am God, and there is none else.” He began his own ministry of preaching and teaching immediately, and preached more than 500 sermons by the age of twenty.
In 1854, at nineteen years of age, Spurgeon began preaching at the New Park Street Chapel in London. He was appointed to a six month trial position, which he requested be cut to three months should the congregation dislike his preaching. He gained instant fame, however, and the church grew from 232 members to more than five thousand at the end of his pastorate. Many of his sermons were published each week and regularly sold more than 25,000 copies in twenty languages. Throughout his ministry, Spurgeon estimated that he preached to more than 10,000,000 people. Dwight L. Moody was deeply influenced by Spurgeon’s preaching, and founded the Moody Bible Institute after seeing Spurgeon’s work at the Pastor’s College in London.
Spurgeon read six books per week during his adult life, and read Pilgrim’s Progress more than 100 times. In addition to his studying and preaching, Spurgeon also founded the Pastor’s College (now Spurgeon’s College), various orphanages and schools, mission chapels, and numerous other social institutions.
Charles Spurgeon suffered from poor health throughout his life. He died on January 31, 1892, and was buried in London.