Charles Spurgeon Biography, Quotes, Beliefs and Facts
Charles Haddon, elder son of John Spurgeon, by his wife, the youngest sister of Charles Parker Jarvis of Colchester, was born at Kelvedon, Essex, in England on 19 June 1834. His early childhood was spent with his grandfather, James Spurgeon, but in 1841 he was sent to a school at Colchester conducted by Henry Lewis. In 1848 he spent a few months at an agricultural college at Maidstone. In the following year he became usher in a school at Newmarkert. His employer was a baptist, and although Spurgeon had been reared an independent, and converted in a primitive Methodist chapel, he was baptised and formally joined the baptist community at Isleham on 3 May 1850. In the same year he obtained a place in a school at Cambridge, recently founded by a former teacher and friend, Henry Leeding. There he became an active member of a baptist congregation, and while a boy of sixteen, dressed in a jacket and turndown collar, preached his first sermon in a cottage at Teversham, near Cambridge.
In 1852 he became the pastor of the baptist congregation at Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire. In April 1854 he was preaching in the pulpit of the baptist congregation at New Park Street, Southwark. Within a few months as a preacher made him famous. The chapel had been empty; before a year had passed the crowds that gathered to hear the country lad of twenty rendered its enlargement essential. Exeter Hall was used while the new building was in process of erection, but Exeter Hall could not contain Spurgeon's hearers. The enlarged chapel, when opened, at once proved too small, and a great tabernacle was projected. In the meantime Spurgeon preached at the Surrey Gardens music-hall, where his congregations numbered ten thousand.
Spurgeon married, in 1856, Susannah, daughter of Robert Thompson of Falcon Square, London, by whom he had twin sons, Charles and Thomas. His widow and sons survived him. Towards the end of his life he suffered severely from gout, and was repeatedly forced to take long rests. He died at Mentone on 31 Jan. 1892, and was buried at Norwood cemetery, London. The best portrait of Spurgeon is an oil painting in the “pastor's” vestry, Metropolitan Tabernacle, and there is a bust by Mr. Acton-Adams at the Pastors' College.
Charles Spurgeon Attacks Crucifixes and Crosses as Idols
I. First, let us enquire, WHAT IS THIS CROSS OF CHRIST to which some men are sadly said to be enemies?
Of course, it is not the material cross. It is not anything made in the shape of the cross. There are some who can fall down and adore a cross of wood, or stone, or gold, but I cannot conceive of a greater wounding of the heart of Christ than to pay reverence to anything in the shape of a cross, or to bow before a crucifix! I think the Savior must say, “What? What? Am I the Son of God and do they make even Me into an idol? I who have died to redeem men from their idolatries, am I, Myself, taken and carved, and chiseled, and molten, and set up as an image to be worshipped by the sons of men?” When God says, “You shall not make unto you any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in Heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them,” it is a strange fantasy of human guilt that men should say, “We will even take the image of the Son of God, or some ghastly counterfeit that purports to be His image, and will bow down and worship it, as if to make the Christ of God an accomplice in an act of rebellion against the commandment of the holy Law.” No, it is not the material cross to which Paul alludes—we have nothing to do with those outward symbols! We might have used them much more, but they have been so perverted to idolatry that some of us almost shudder at the very sight of them!
(Sermon #2553: The Enemies of the Cross of Christ; Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, 26 October 1884)
Geese in Their Hoods
IN the frequent quarrels between the priests and monks of the Church of Rome, the two parties of rogues were silly enough to expose each other's villainies. On the edifices belonging to monasteries, priests were caricatured in the stonework; and on the churches built by priests, the monks and friars were held up to ridicule. A great deal of real truth was thus brought out by their mutual recriminations. The ancient carving above [not shown] is a specimen of a common caricature representing the clergy as foxes with geese in their hoods; a very admirable picture whether monks or priests were intended. Popery, with its secret confessional and priestly interference at dying beds, is essentially a fox. Puseyism, pretending to be Protestant, and gradually bringing in all the foolery of Rome, is a deep fox indeed. Yet there are geese silly enough to be deceived by priests in this nineteenth century; and so long as the supply of such geese is kept up, the foxes will never cease to prowl.
Reader, do you believe that men like yourself have priestly power? Do you think that they can regenerate infants by sprinkling them, and turn bread and wine into the very body and blood of Jesus Christ? Do you think that a bishop can bestow the Holy Ghost, and that a parish clergyman can forgive sins ? If so, your head can be seen in the picture peeping out from the cowl of the fox. You are the victim of crafty deceivers. Your soul will be their prey in life and in death. They cajole you with soft words, fine vestments, loud pretensions, and cunning smiles, but they will conduct you down to the chambers of death, and lead you to the gates of hell. Silly goose, may grace make thee wise!
Jesus Christ is the true Priest who can forgive all your sins; go to him at once, without the intervention of these pretenders. Make confession to him! Seek absolution from him! The Holy Ghost alone can cause you to be born again, and the grace of God alone can bring you to glory. Avoid Puseyite and Romish foxes, for they seek to make a gain of you, and lead you not to Jesus, but to their Church and all its mummeries. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and not in these deceivers.
(No. 22. Sword and Trowel Tracts, by C. H. SPURGEON. 6d. per 100, Post free, 8 stamps. Passmore & Alabaster, 23, Paternoster Row.)
Here follows some refutations of this man's heresies against the Catholic Faith (proven from the Bible):
John 6:53 “Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
Protestants do not believe that the Eucharist is the actual body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ. Catholics believe that after the consecration at Mass, “the Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, is truly, really, and substantially contained” in the Eucharist under the appearance of bread and wine (Council of Trent, Decree on the Eucharist). The Catholic view of the Eucharist was unanimously held for the first 1,500 years of Christianity. The biblical support for the Catholic teaching on the Eucharist is overwhelming and undeniable.
IN JOHN CHAPTER 6, JESUS CLEARLY SAYS THAT HIS FLESH IS FOOD AND HIS BLOOD IS DRINK, AND THAT YOU MUST EAT HIS FLESH AND DRINK HIS BLOOD
John 6:51-58 “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whosoever eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”
Jesus says over and over again, in the clearest terms, that His flesh is food and His blood is drink. He says that unless you eat His flesh and drink His blood you shall not have life in you.
THE JEWS SCOFFED AT THE NOTION OF EATING HIS FLESH; IN RESPONSE, JESUS CONFIRMS THAT THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT HE MEANT
Non-Catholics claim that the words of Jesus in John 6 are not meant to be understood literally. They claim that Jesus was speaking only metaphorically or symbolically. Such an interpretation is not justified by the context of John 6. Furthermore, it is clearly refuted by what Jesus said to the Jews immediately after expressed their disbelief at the idea of eating His flesh.
John 6:52-53 “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.”
The Jews did not believe that it was possible (or that Jesus could really mean) that He would give them His flesh to eat. They said exactly what the Protestants are saying today. If Jesus had been speaking in purely metaphorical (rather than literal) terms, as the Protestants say, then here was the perfect opportunity for Him to assure them that their fears were unfounded. It was the perfect moment for Jesus to explain that He didn’t really mean that people would eat His flesh, but that He meant something else.
So what does Jesus say to them? In response to their disbelief, we see that Jesus repeats the same message, that it’s necessary to actually eat His flesh and drink His blood, but in even stronger terms. He tells them that if they don’t eat His flesh and drink His blood they will not have life in them (John 6:53).
THERE’S MORE: IN JOHN 6:54, THE BIBLE SWITCHES FROM THE WORD PHAGO (MEANING “EAT”) TO TROGO (MEANING “CHEW” OR “GNAW”) TO LEAVE NO DOUBT THAT JESUS ACTUALLY MEANS EATING HIS FLESH
The word phago (meaning “to eat” or “consume”) is used nine times in the original Greek text of John 6:23-53. Phago is sufficient to convey the idea of eating Jesus’ flesh. Immediately after the Jews expressed their disbelief that Jesus could mean such a thing, we read (in John 6:54) that Jesus switched to an even stronger and more graphic word. The word He then used (in John 6:54 and following) is trogo. This word literally means “to gnaw, chew or crunch,” as even a Protestant study bible accessible on the internet will confirm (http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=5176). Therefore, to eradicate all doubt about the necessity to eat His flesh, Jesus switches to a word which means nothing but literal eating (“gnawing, chewing”). The same word trogo is used to mean literal eating in Matthew 24:38 and John 13:18.
John 6:54-56 “Whosoever eateth [trogo] my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth [trogo] my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.”
In light of this evidence, it is absurd to argue that Jesus didn’t mean that people would actually eat His flesh and drink His blood.
WHAT ABOUT JOHN 6:63?
Faced with the overwhelming evidence in John 6 that the Eucharist is the actual body and blood of Jesus, certain non-Catholics will look for anything to combat it. They will point to John 6:63.
John 6:63 “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”
They claim this indicates that Jesus didn’t really mean that people will eat His flesh. This claim does not hold up, however. It is refuted by the following points.
First, we know that Jesus is not talking about His flesh in the part of the verse where He says “the flesh profits nothing.” Consider this question: is the flesh of Jesus of no profit? What about His Incarnation? How could He speak of His own flesh as profiting nothing, when He just said over and over (John 6:51, etc.) that His flesh is the life of the world?
If Jesus was speaking of His flesh when He said that the flesh profits nothing, then He was contradicting Himself. Jesus would have been saying that His flesh is the life of the world (John 6:51, etc.) just before telling them that “it profits nothing.”
That’s impossible and ridiculous. Jesus was not speaking of His flesh when He said “the flesh profits nothing.”
Second, Jesus says that people need to eat His flesh and drink His blood (and that His flesh is food) approximately ten times in this chapter. Not once does He indicate that His meaning is not literal; nor does He do so here.
Rather, by emphasizing to them that what He said about His flesh and blood is “spirit and life,” Jesus was dispelling their notion that all they should be concerned with is having flesh to eat for the sustenance of physical life. The Eucharist is the actual flesh and blood of Jesus (as He makes clear), as well as His soul and divinity, but it primarily brings a spiritual endowment. It is spirit and life. It is primarily for the sustenance of spiritual life and having eternal life.
It is not received for the purpose of filling a hungry stomach, but for the inestimable spiritual life and graces that it brings. That’s what Jesus was telling them. This is confirmed by the next point, which shows that even after His words in John 6:63, many of Jesus’ followers left Him over the “hard saying” about His flesh and blood. They realized that Jesus was telling them that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, but they simply refused to accept it... More on this link: The Bible teaches that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist
JESUS GIVES THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM TO PETER IN MATTHEW 16
Matthew 16:16-19 “And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
Jesus gives the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter, and declares that whatsoever he binds on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever he looses upon earth shall be loosed in Heaven. Even though all 12 disciples are gathered together for this meeting, Jesus says these things only to St. Peter.
WHILE SPEAKING TO PETER, JESUS SAYS THAT HE WILL BUILD HIS CHURCH UPON THIS VERY ROCK
Jesus says: “thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church.” The Greek word for “this” – as in this rock – is the demonstrative pronoun taute. It means “this very” rock or “this same” rock. Taute is used when “it is desired to call attention with special emphasis to a designated object, whether in the physical vicinity of the speaker or the literary context of the writer” (H. E. Dana and J.R. Mantey, A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament, 127). In the King James Version, taute is translated as “the same” in 1 Corinthians 7:20 and “this same” in 2 Corinthians 9:4.
Therefore, Jesus’ statement to Peter has this meaning: thou art Peter and upon THIS VERY ROCK I will build my Church. From the context given, “this rock” naturally refers to Peter. It just so happens that Jesus also changes his name from Simon to a name which means rock. (But we will see more on this point in a bit.)
THE CHANGE OF PETER’S NAME
Jesus changes his name from Simon to Peter, just before he declares: “and upon this rock I will build my Church.”
Matthew 16:17-18 “… Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona… And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter…”
In the Old Testament a change of name denoted an appointment or a special calling or a change in status. In Genesis, we read the following about Abraham:
Genesis 17:5 “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.”
God changed his name from Abram to Abraham because the new name denoted his special role as a LEADER of God’s people. Abraham was chosen to be the father of many nations. (He was also called “rock,” as we will show.) In Hebrew Abram signifies a high father, but Abraham signifies the father of the multitude.
Likewise, in Genesis 32:28, we read that God changed Jacob’s name to Israel in order to signify his special role or position. Therefore, in addition to the other important things that Jesus says to St. Peter in Matthew 16, the change of his name from Simon to Peter serves to confirm St. Peter’s special position and his new status.
THE KEYS OF THE KINGDOM
Matthew 16:19 “And I will give unto thee [Peter] the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”
No other apostle is given the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. In Matthew 18:18, we read that all the Apostles are given the power to bind and to loose; but Peter alone is promised the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven in Matthew 16:19. This shows us that the power which is given to all the Apostles to bind and to loose in Matthew 18:18, must be exercised under the keys which are given alone to Peter. Peter has a unique position of authority in the Church.
THE “KEYS OF THE KINGDOM” REFERS TO ISAIAS 22 AND THE POSITION OF PRIME MINISTER
Here’s what’s really interesting. Most people don’t know that this reference to the keys of the Kingdom in Matthew 16:19 (and to Peter’s binding and loosing with them) comes from Isaias chapter 22. Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 16 are a reference to the function of the prime minister of the Kingdom in the Old Testament.
Isaias 22:22 “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
Notice that the language clearly parallels Matthew 16:19. In the Old Testament God established a covenant with David in order to establish a Kingdom. The Davidic Monarchy, the Kingdom of God on Earth, was meant to be a prototype of the Kingdom of God which Jesus Christ would establish. That’s why Jesus is called the son of David in the Gospels. It’s also why Matthew’s Gospel has kingdom as one of its primary themes. It’s also why Peter himself says in Acts 2:30 that Jesus sits upon David’s throne. Luke 1:32 says the following of Jesus: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of David his father…”
Jesus sits upon the throne of David. But Jesus’ Kingdom is a spiritual one; His Kingdom is His Church. Jesus’ Kingdom not only fulfills, but surpasses the prototype, David’s Kingdom. The point here is that Jesus’ Kingdom is set up along similar lines.
JESUS WAS CLEARLY MAKING ST. PETER HIS PRIME MINISTER
In David’s Kingdom there was not only a king who ruled all the people, but the king had a royal cabinet. The king had royal ministers or chief officers. You see references to this royal cabinet (these chief officers or royal ministers of the king) in 2 Samuel 8 (2 Kings 8 in the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible). You also see a reference to them in 1 Kings 4 (3 Kings 4 in the Douay-Rheims) and in other places. In this royal cabinet, there was a minister of defense, ministers in commerce, provisions, etc.
However, of all the king’s ministers, there was one who stood out with authority above the rest. That was the prime minister, who was over the king’s house. That’s where the fascinating truth of Isaias 22 becomes relevant to Matthew 16.
In Isaias 22 we read that the prime minister HAD THE KEY to the house of David. Let me repeat that: the prime minister had the key to the house of David. This key represented the prime minister’s authority over the house of the king.
Isaias 22:20-22 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy [Shebna’s] robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.”
Notice that the prime minister had the key of the house of David. We also see that to him was committed “the government,” and that he would be “a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.”
In Isaias 22 the prime minister of the Kingdom was a man named Shebna. Isaias 22:15 says Shebna was “over the house” – that is, he was over the house of the king. Then Shebna left the office of prime minister and was replaced by a man named Eliakim. Then we read that the key of the Kingdom, which Shebna had, was given to Eliakim by King Hezekiah (the successor of David who was reigning as the king at the time). King Hezekiah gave the key of the Kingdom to Eliakim because Eliakim succeeded Shebna in the office of prime minister.
Eliakim now had the key to the house of David. By the fact that he had the key, everyone would recognize Eliakim as the king’s prime minister.
Think about the striking similarity to Matthew 16. In Isaias 22:22, we see the clear reference to the key of the Kingdom being passed, just as Jesus gives the keys to St. Peter. In addition, the statement that with the key “he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open” is strikingly similar to what Jesus says to St. Peter in Matthew 16:19, when He gives him the keys to His kingdom: “Whatsoever you bind on Earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatsoever you loose upon earth shall be loosed also in Heaven.” The significance of this should be very obvious.
Jesus sits upon the throne of David. So when Jesus comes to establish His kingdom (His Church), which is the fulfillment of the Kingdom of David, He likewise appoints His royal cabinet: His Apostles. But of those royal ministers (His Apostles), there is one prime minister who is over all the other ministers and all the members of the Kingdom. This prime minister is the one who will have the keys of His Kingdom and will be given the primacy in His Church to look after the affairs of His Kingdom.
When Jesus said to Peter, “I will give you the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven,” it would have been a clear indication to all informed Jews that Jesus was going to make St. Peter His prime minister. He was declaring that St. Peter would be the first pope – the president or governor of His Church. This is a powerful and irrefutable proof that Jesus was indeed saying that St. Peter would be the first pope in Matthew 16:18-19... More on this link: The Bible teaches that Jesus made St. Peter the first Pope
Read some more proofs on the Catholic Faith from the Bible: