My husband, Barry, and I are reading “Spurgeon – A New Biography” by Arnold Dallimore. This morning we were reading about Spurgeon’s conversion. I recount that [somewhat lengthy] conversion story below, but there was something else in the chapter that really struck me!
Charles had been visiting his grandfather’s one summer when the Scripture read spoke of a “bottomless pit”. Although Charles’ grandfather tried to answer his question of what a bottomless pit was, Charles was not satisified. From that point onward there was fixed in his mind the certainty that it was “possible for an unjustified person to move, eternally, farther and farther away from God and away from all that was righteous and good. ”
I had never seen it that way before. Having now seen it that way, how can I do anything less than earnestly, boldly, tell people the good news of Jesus Christ and the cost of not being a joint heir with Him? Now, onto Spurgeon’s story…..
The biographer states that the “story of Spurgeon’s conversion is widely known…..”, but I’ll be darned if I knew it! Spurgeon had struggled for multiple years, trying to grasp at what he needed to be saved from the depravity he felt. It was a wonderful read of Spurgeon’s own words (from his autobiography) about his conversion. He tells of a snowy morning when he had to visit a little Primitive Methodist Church because of the weather. The minister had not shown up, as he was snowed in. A thin-looking, hard-worked, unlearned man went up into the pulpit to preach. Spurgeon called him “really stupid”. Here are portions of that story.
He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had little else to say. The text was—“LOOK UNTO ME, AND BE YE SAVED, ALL THE ENDS 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.
The preacher began thus: “This is a very simple text indeed. It says ‘Look’. Now lookin’ don’t take a deal of pain. It aint liftin’ your foot or your finger; it is just ‘Look’. Well, a man needn’t go to College to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man needn’t be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; even a child can look.”
“But then the text says, ‘Look unto Me.’ Ay!” he said in broad Essex, “many on ye are lookin’ to yourselves, but it’s no use lookin’ there. You’ll never find any comfort in yourselves. Some say look to God the Father. No, look to Him by-and-by. Jesus Christ says, ‘Look unto ME.’ Some on ye say ‘We must wait for the Spirit’s workin.’ You have no business with that just now. Look to Christ. The text says, ‘Look unto ME.'”
Then the good man followed up his text in this way: “Look unto ME; I am sweatin’ great drops of blood. Look unto ME; I am hangin’ on the cross. Look unto ME; I am dead and buried. Look unto ME; I rise again. Look unto ME; I ascend to Heaven. Look unto ME; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O poor sinner, look unto Me! Look unto ME!”……….
Just fixing his eyes on me, as if he knew all my heart, he said, “Young man, you look very miserable.”…… “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.” Then lifting up his hands, he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, “Young man, look to Jesus Christ. Look! Look! Look! You have nothing to do but look and live!”
I saw at once the way to salvation……. I had been waiting to do fifty things, but when I heard that word, “Look!” what a charming word it seemed to me. Oh! I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away. .
I remain looking to Him,