PyroManiac devotes Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive.
Here's a letter Charles Spurgeon wrote to his father within days of the younger Spurgeon's first visit to London. He had gone to preach a trial sermon for the famous congregation he would pastor for the rest of his life.
What interests me most about this letter is the insight it gives into Spurgeon's early concerns about high-Calvinist doctrinal tendencies of his new congregation. John Gill had pastored that congregation a hundred years before Spurgeon, and by Spurgeon's era, the nascent hyperism that was popular in Gill's day (and which Gill himself had a hand in promoting) had gone to seed.
Spurgeon's own opposition to hyperism never waned. For more on the subject, see Iain Murray's excellent book titled Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism.
MY DEAR FATHER,
I concluded rather abruptly before;but you are often called out from your writing, and therefore can excuse it in me. I hardly know what I left unsaid. I hope to be at home three days. I think of running down from London on Tuesday, January 3rd, and to go home by Bury on Friday, 6th. I hope it will be a sweet visit though a short one.
Should I be settled in London, I will come and see you often. I do not anticipate going there with much pleasure. I am contented where I am; but if God has more for me to do, then let me go and trust in Him. The London people are rather higher in Calvinism than I am; but I have succeeded in bringing one church to my own views, and will trust, with Divine assistance, to do the same with another. I am a Calvinist; I love what someone called "glorious Calvinism," but "Hyper-ism" is too hot-spiced for my palate.
I found a relation in London; a daughter of Thomas Spurgeon, at Bailingdon. On the Monday, she came and brought the unmarried sister, who you will remember was at home when we called last Christmas. I shall have no objection to preach for Mr. Langford on Wednesday, January 4th, if he wishes it.
I spent the Monday in going about London, climbed to the top of St. Paul's, and left some money with the booksellers.
My people are very sad; some wept bitterly at the sight of me, although I made no allusion to the subject in the pulpit, as it is too uncertain to speak of publicly. It is Calvinism they want in London, and any Arminian preaching will not be endured. Several in the church are far before me in theological acumen; they would not admit that it is so, but they all expressed their belief that my originality, or even eccentricity, was the very thing to draw a London audience. The chapel is one of the finest in the denomination; somewhat in the style of our Cambridge Museum. A Merry Christmas to you all; a Happy New Year; and the blessing of the God of Jacob!Yours affectionately,
More on cessationism tomorrow, Lord willing.