Justin Taylor summarizes the amazing work ethic and productivity of Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Prince of Preachers:”
Charles Spurgeon often worked 18 hours a day.
His collected sermons fill 63 volumes (the largest set by a single author in church history).
He read six books a week and could recall their contents.
He read through The Pilgrim’s Progress more than 100 times.
14,460 people were added to his church’s membership, and he did most of the membership interviews himself.
He trained 900 men to the pastorate.
He founded an orphanage.
He edited a magazine.
He produced more than 140 books.
He received 500 letters a week to respond to.
More than 25,000 copies of his sermons were printed each week.
He often preached 10 times a week in various churches.
He did all this while suffering from gout, rheumatism, and Bright’s disease—living only to the age of 57.
And his wife was ill most of that time.
Spurgeon, himself, gives a good description of his drive to serve the Lord:
Ask a Christian when he is the happiest, he will say, when he works the most. I know I am. I have not tried rest yet, and no doubt I shall find it anything but rest when I have it. When I pass a day without preaching my Master’s name I feel that I have not done what I ought to have done, and I do not rest satisfied till I am within the four boards of a pulpit again. When we work the hardest we feel grace the most plentiful, when we dig the deepest we get the sweetest water. He who toils the most has his bread the most sweetened; and depend upon it, drops of sweat are blessed things to make dry bread go down. We shall always have more happiness the more we labor for Christ. [“Christ Manifesting Himself to His People,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, #29. June 10, 1855]
He was a man consumed with a passion to serve His Savior and a love for people in need of the Savior. He was greatly gifted by God and he was a faithful steward of all that God had entrusted to him. It was his heart for God’s glory that overflowed in his service:
God was an awful reality to Spurgeon….. He lived before God; he acted before God; he spoke before God, and it was not left for the pulpit. He [Brown] had never known himself spend half-an-hour with Mr. Spurgeon, and how many had he spent, without being brought into the very presence of the Lord Himself…. God satisfied him. The Elijah of the nineteenth century had the characteristic of his forerunner, that of being one who consciously stood before God. Again Jesus was so absolutely and so manifestly his heart’s Lord — wonderfully so….. He never knew a man who had the tear so near the surface for his Lord as Mr. Spurgeon…. It was wonderful how he lingered at Calvary, — how he would go on talking about the Lord’s unknown agony, the big tears running down his cheeks as he spoke.” [Rev. Archibald G. Brown, a contemporary of Spurgeon in London, cited by James T. Allen, Life Story of C.H. Spurgeon]