KANSAS CITY, MO—A previously lost-to-the-ages 1861 sermon by Charles Spurgeon has been discovered by the curator of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Spurgeon Library, Dr. Christian George, who confirmed it as the only terrible sermon the Prince of Preachers ever delivered in his lifetime.
George reportedly discovered the message—delivered by Spurgeon shortly after his congregation moved to the Metropolitan Tabernacle—as part of the professor’s ongoing Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon literary project.
The sermon apparently began with the famed Baptist preacher rising up out of the stage on an elevated platform, as dry ice provided an inexplicable foggy atmosphere around the pulpit. “Are y’all ready for some preaching?! I can’t hear you! I said, are you ready for some preaching?!” the message began, according to the transcript.
“He goes on for five or six minutes like that, trying to get the crowd all pumped up,” George told reporters. “After his hype-filled introduction, he tells a few personal anecdotes before encouraging his audience to ‘get out of [their] comfort zones’ and ‘avoid thinking too many negative thoughts,’ before finally cutting to a lengthy clip from a popular Victorian stage play.”
“I could barely finish reading it after Spurgeon gave a long, drawn-out altar call, telling the crowd that he would not dismiss them until every single person in attendance raised their hand to receive Christ,” the professor said, noting that it was distressing enough that the sermon had been preached from a seated position on a stool while a series of oil lamps with colored lenses cast flickering beams onto the background behind him.
“Looking at the historical record recounting the delivery of this unfortunate sermon, it appears it was so poorly received by the congregation that Spurgeon scrapped a plan to take to his pulpit the next Sunday riding a motorbike,” he added.
No, we didn’t find a bad Spurgeon sermon, but Midwestern Seminary’s Spurgeon Library is very real! Curated by Dr. Christian George, who is currently editing the impressive 12-volume project The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon (B&H Academic), the library contains 6000+ books and artifacts from Spurgeon’s personal collection and prolific ministry. Our purpose in maintaining and publicizing this material is to serve God’s people as they study and proclaim the gospel. Midwestern has become one of the fastest growing seminaries in North America, primarily by re-connecting theological education to God’s purposes For The Church. We offer fully-accredited degrees — undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral — at affordable tuition rates. Do you want to take the unchanging gospel to a rapidly changing world? Find out more about The Spurgeon Library and Midwestern Seminary today.