This is not really a new biography anymore – written in the mid 90’s. I read this around ten years ago and having read the two volume autobiography of Spurgeon I wanted to read this again.
Dallimore is a wonderful writer. His master piece, two volume work on George Whitefield (Vol1 here & vol 2 here is incredible. However, I don’t think he is quite as good here with Spurgeon, despite the limited space. Spurgeon was an incredible, passionate, god focused, Christ centered man. His ministry was huge, his ability amazing and his drive unquenchable.
He was the pastor of the first modern ‘mega’ church. The Metropolitan Tabernacle in South London, the Church he built (physically) and pastured for the last 30 years of his ministry until his death, would be packed with over 5000 people every Sunday.
Spurgeon was converted at the age of 15 years of age almost by accident (if you can say that about a Calvinist!!). He was sent home from the boarding school he attended due to an outbreak of fever. While at home he attended a small Methodist Chapel one Sunday morning. No more than fifteen people were there due to a snow storm the previous evening. Dallimore, (quoting Spurgeon himself) writes:
“The minister did not come that morning: he was snowed up, I suppose. At last a very thin-looking man, a shoemaker, or tailor, or something of that sort, went up to the pulpit to preach. Now it was well that preachers be instructed, but this man was really stupid. He was obliged to stick to his text, the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was – ‘Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the end s of the earth.’ He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter. There was, I thought, a glimmer of hope for me in that text…….When he had managed to spin out about ten minutes or so, he was at the end of his tether. Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger. Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said “Young man, you look very miserable.” Well, I did, but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made from the pulpit on my personal appearance before. However, it was a good blow, struck right home. He continued, “And you will always be miserable – miserable in life and miserable in death – if you don’t obey my text: but if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.”….I saw at once the way of salvation…”
And hence the journey for Spurgeon began.
This book is a wonderful introduction to Spurgeon – and by reading it I hope you will be encouraged to read his sermons and his books.