by Dr. Jonathan Stricklin | Grace Bible Church of Cedar Ridge
“The Prince of Preachers” is the title bestowed upon the great English expositor, Charles Haddon Spurgeon. As Spurgeon’s weekly sermons were being transcribed and published throughout the world, the American novelist, Mark Twain, published The Prince and the Pauper in 1862. Twain’s historical fiction, set in 1537 England, is about two boys that look identical, but one is the prince and the other a pauper. The two boys switch places and experience firsthand the realities of the other’s environment. While the pauper learned his way around the palace, the prince is thrust into the anguish of poverty, abuse, and a host of sufferings. In the end, the boys resumed their rightful stations, but the prince was favorably changed by the suffering he endured. While most would assume that suffering would be the last thing a successful prince would endure, the reality of his trials proved to be the key ingredient to guide his perspective as a newly crowned king.
When preachers today hear of the successful ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, they may assume the lot of the “Prince of Preachers” is to be envied. Yet when one looks at his life a bit closer it becomes obvious that he was a man who experienced great suffering. He bore scars that were etched deeper than merely the surface of his skin, down into his psyche, permeating his emotions. However, rather than his effectiveness being destroyed by the bitter burdens he bore, his preaching exuded greater grace and higher hope than imaginable, leading others to bestow on him the honorable title of “Prince.”[Read more…]