In this second lecture to his students at the Pastor's College Mr. Spurgeon clearly lays out helpful signs on what he believes are things to look for when contemplating whether or not a man has received a â€śCall to the Ministry.â€ť
The first of these signs he describes as â€śan intense, all-absorbing desire for the work.â€ť The â€śword of Godâ€ť, he says, must be as â€śfire in our bones, otherwise, if we undertake this ministry, we shall be unhappy in itâ€¦â€ť
Secondly, combined with the earnest desire to become a pastor, there must be â€śaptness to teach and some measure of the other qualities needful for the office of a public instructor.â€ť Mr. Spurgeon suggests that he does not claim â€śthat the first time a man rises to speak he must preach as well as Robert Hall did in his later years.â€ť
The third point Mr. Spurgeon set before his students in order to prove a man's call was that â€śafter a little exercise of his giftsâ€¦â€¦.he must see a measure of conversion-work going on under his efforts, or he may conclude that he has made a mistakeâ€¦..â€ť He gives a heart-felt illustration regarding the first convert under his ministry, â€śone poor labourer's wife who confessed that she felt the guilt of sin and had found the Saviour under his discourse on Sunday afternoon.â€ť â€śBrethren, if the Lord gives you no zeal for souls, keep to the lapstone or the trowel, but avoid the pulpit as you value your heart's peace and your future salvation.â€ť
This lecture was evidently a lengthy one, as at this point we were approximately half-way through, therefore, for the benefit of all we stopped the recording at this point and will bring the concluding portion of the lecture in a separate episode shortly.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London's famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the...