Here’s a snippet from a wonderful sermon on the doctrine of Election from C.H. Spurgeon emphasising the authority of the Bible:
“But if you do not see it to be here in the Bible, whatever I may say, or whatever authorities I may plead, I beg you as you love your souls, reject it; and if from this pulpit you ever hear things contrary to this sacred word, remember that the Bible must be the first, and God’s minister must be subject to it. We must not stand on the Bible to preach, but we must preach with the Bible above our heads. After all we have preached, we are well aware that the mountain of truth is higher than our eyes can discern; clouds and darkness are around its summit, and we cannot discern its topmost pinnacle; yet we will try to preach it as well as we can. But since we are mortal and liable to error, exercise your judgment; “Test the spirits to see whether they are from God;” and if on mature reflection on your bended knees, you are led to disregard election–a thing which I consider utterly impossible–then forsake it, don’t listen to it preached, but believe and confess whatever you see to be God’s word. I can say no more than that by way of introduction.”
In March of this year, Spurgeon’s great-grandson, released a picture of Spurgeon’s cigar case with remaining cigars still inside.
I have heard the anecdotes of Spurgeon’s enjoyment of smoking cigars, but I have never been able to track down where the stories came from… until now.
One of my favourite anecdotes comes from William Williams tract, ‘Charles Haddon Spurgeon: Personal Reminiscences’. He writes,
While Mr. Spurgeon was living at Nightingale Lane, Clapham, an excursion was one day organised by one of the young men’s classes at the Tabernacle. The brake with the excursionists was to call for the President on their way to mid-Surrey. It was a beautiful early morning, and the men arrived in high spirits, pipes and cigars alight, and looking forward to a day of unrestrained enjoyment. Mr. Spurgeon was ready waiting at the gate. He jumped up to the box-seat reserved for him, and looking round with an expression of astonishment, exclaimed: “What, gentlemen! Are you not ashamed to be smoking so early?”
Here was a damper! Dismay was on every face. Pipes and cigars one by one failed and dropped out of sight. When all had disappeared, out came the President’s cigar-case. He lit up and smoked away serenely.
The men looked at him astonished. “I thought you said you objected to smoking, Mr. Spurgeon?” one ventured.
“Oh no, I did not say I objected. I asked if they were not ashamed, and it appears they were, for they have all put their pipes away.”
Amid laughter the pipes reappeared, and with puffs of smoke the party went on merrily.