Tidbits about Spurgeon quoted in various British newspapers. Taken from Charles H. Spurgeon: His Faith and Works, H.L. Wayland, 1892.
Flowers for the Poor
This description of Westwood, Spurgeon's home, was quoted from "The Pall Mall Gazette," of June 19, 1884. I was struck by the idea of giving flowers to the poor.
"The borders of the kitchen garden are all aglow with pinks and other homely English flowers, the beds of which yield every week a heavy crop for the slums of Southwark. The flower mission in connection with the Tabernacle ... sends its gleaners regularly to Westwood, and their baskets of flowers gladden many a home in the dark and dreary alleys of London.
Patience and a Whip
Believing in charity, he practiced it, and gave with both hands; but he held that men should work for their living, and not sponge on the community, and hated the modern feeling of 'pity' for the thriftless and the idle. His opinion about all sorts of beggars, was summed up in his apophthegm, 'There should be patience and pity for poverty; but for laziness, give me a long whip.'
Quoted from the London weekly newspaper, The Spectator, as, I believe, part of an obituary.
Not Just Eloquence
Other churches had speakers of equal eloquence to Spurgeon, so why did Spurgeon grab the hearts of his countrymen? The following, from The Speaker:
It was not merely because of his pulpit eloquence, it was certainly not because of any intellectual superiority to his fellow-teachers and preachers, that he was trusted and esteemed so much above them all. It was because the great British public had arrived at the conviction that he was absolutely sincere, simple, unpretending, and straightforward.
Faith in a Faithless Age
Also from The Speaker:
It is something in a faithless age, or, in what is still worse, an indifferent and invertebrate age, to meet with one whose faith can withstand every assault, whose trust would remain unshaken if all the world were to turn against him.
Unharmed by the Passing Breeze
Also from The Speaker:
Narrow-minded, bigoted, crude, ignorant -- all these terms of reproach were flung in turn at Mr. Spurgeon, and they hurt him no more than a passing breeze. Nor can those who knew him and who knew his preaching forget that, despite the stern fidelity which he showed to a creed that is no longer that of the world, he had a heart filled with love for his fellow-creatures, with compassion for the sinner, with the burning desire that when the end of all things had come, and the Great Account was closed, no human soul which had found itself moved by the Divine Spirit might fail of salvation.
“... you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”
– James 1:3