All of Spurgeon’s works are deeply personal, yet the volumes of his autobiography retell the story of his life from start to finish with more detail than his sermons, lectures, articles, and volumes of his other writings. Charles H. Spurgeon's Autobiography, Compiled from His Diary, Letters, and Records is devoted to the complete biographical account of his life and mission. Some of the content is reproduced from Spurgeon’s sermons, manuscripts, books, and other content, while the rest contains explanatory remarks from the editors, including Spurgeon’s wife. This 4-volume biography tells the story of Spurgeon’s childhood, his life at Stambourne, his education and upbringing, and his historic preaching career. It includes hundreds of illustrations, letters, poetry, and other material, making it the first and most detailed complete biographical account of Charles Spurgeon. The Logos Bible Software edition of Charles H. Spurgeon's Autobiography was originally published in London by Passmore and Alabaster in 1897. Volume 1 of Spurgeon's Autobiography covers the years of 1834–1854.
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.
“Luther never saw a Bible till after he was twenty years old, and had taken a degree of arts.” (Page 66)
“I believe the doctrine of election, because I am quite certain 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; and He must have elected me for reasons unknown to me, for I never could find any reason in myself why He should have looked upon me with special love.” (Page 170)
“I have found, in my own spiritual life, that the more rules I lay down for myself, the more sins I commit. The habit of regular morning and evening prayer is one which is indispensable to a believer’s life, but the prescribing of the length of prayer, and the constrained remembrance of so many persons and subjects, may gender unto bondage, and strangle prayer rather than assist it.” (Page 161)
“My mother said to me, one day, ‘Ah, Charles! I often prayed the Lord to make you a Christian, but I never asked that you might become a Baptist.’ I could not resist the temptation to reply, ‘Ah, mother! the Lord has answered your prayer with His usual bounty, and given you exceeding abundantly above what you asked or thought.’” (Page 69)
“He bade me study hard, and mind and keep abreast of the foremost Christians in our little church; ‘for,’ said he, ‘if these men, either in their knowledge of Scripture, or their power to edify the people, once outstrip you, the temptation will arise among them to be dissatisfied with your ministry; and, however good they are, they will feel their superiority, and others will perceive it, too, and then your place in the church will become very difficult to hold.’” (Page 250)