Midwestern Baptist’s Spurgeon Library includes the noted preacher’s set of Charles Simeon’s Horae Homileticae, which inspired Spurgeon as an adolescent.
The sermons of Charles Spurgeon fill 63 volumes, and more than 56 million copies of his sermons were purchased worldwide during his lifetime. The “Prince of Preachers” was called to pastor London’s New Park Street Church in 1854, where he appealed to so many that the church rented out halls to accommodate the throngs. In 1861, the congregation moved to the Metropolitan Tabernacle, which held 6,000. Spurgeon led it until his death at 57 in 1892.
Spurgeon also was an abolitionist, writer, editor, college president, and founder or activist in dozens of parachurch ministries. He accumulated a 12,000-volume library and, after he died, his two sons, both pastors, selected volumes they wanted. The family sold the rest of the collection. It was purchased by the Missouri Baptist Convention, and a century later, in 2006, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary purchased it and opened a spacious new home on its Kansas City campus.
The Spurgeon Library contains nearly 6,000 volumes he owned of literature, theology, travel, biography, science, hymnody, history, and humor. It also includes fascinating letters and notes, his office desk, a preaching rail, and a replica of the pulpit he preached from at Metropolitan Tabernacle. His pipe, one of his favored cigars, and an ashtray are also on display.
“Spurgeon remains relevant for our day because he did not merely address the contemporary issues of his day, but he preached the eternal gospel,” says Geoff Chang, assistant professor of church history and historical theology at Midwestern Baptist and the Spurgeon Library curator.
One of the goals of the library is to foster a deeper appreciation of Spurgeon’s life, legacy, preaching, and theology. As part of that effort, Midwestern Seminary and B&H Academic have collaborated on a multiyear research project, publishing “The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon” series. Last fall they released Volume 5. Two more volumes are in the works.