Charles Spurgeon is an English preacher who died in 1892, yet you seem well-acquainted. When did you discover Spurgeon?
I read from his small devotional Morning & Evening many years ago as a young Christian. I’ll never forget reading J.I. Packer’s Knowing God when it first came out in 1975. Right at the beginning of the book Packer quoted from an incredibly deep and profound sermon Spurgeon preached on God’s Immutability. Then it stunned me when Packer said that Spurgeon had written and spoken that sermon at the age of twenty. I was twenty-one when reading the book, and like Spurgeon I had come to Christ at age fifteen. But this man was worlds beyond me in the knowledge of God. I wanted to read more Spurgeon, and above all to know God like Spurgeon did.
The years went by and I picked up a volume of Spurgeon sermons. It was large, the type was small and it had paragraphs that were pages long. Yet it held me captive. Since then one of my great joys has been reading the sermons of Charles Spurgeon, which to me are unparalleled in their depth and eloquence in exalting our God. Every time I read his sermons, whether on Heaven or anything else, my heart is drawn toward my Savior and my King. I think of Spurgeon fondly, as a friend and mentor. I believe he could appreciate this, as he had similar thoughts toward various Christians from previous generations, including John Bunyan.