Charles Spurgeon

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The truest lengthening of life is to live while we live, wasting no time but using every hour for the highest ends. So be it this day.
Mind your till, and till your mind.
We must, like goldsmiths, carefully sweep our shops, and gather up the filings of the gold which God has given us in the shape of time.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (June 19, 1834 - January 31, 1892) was a British Baptist minister and writer.


  • If religion be false, it is the basest imposition under heaven; but if the religion of Christ be true, it is the most solemn truth that ever was known! It is not a thing that a man dares to trifle with if it be true, for it is at his soul's peril to make a jest of it. If it be not true it is detestable, but if it be true it deserves all a man's faculties to consider it, and all his powers to obey it. It is not a trifle. Briefly consider why it is not. It deals with your soul. If it dealt with your body it were no trifle, for it is well to have the limbs of the body sound, but it has to do with your soul. As much as a man is better than the garments that he wears, so much is the soul better than the body. It is your immortal soul it deals with. Your soul has to live for ever, and the religion of Christ deals with its destiny. Can you laugh at such words as heaven and hell, at glory and at damnation? If you can, if you think these trifles, then is the faith of Christ to be trifled with. Consider also with whom it connects you—with God; before whom angels bow themselves and veil their faces. Is HE to be trifled with? Trifle with your monarch if you will, but not with the King of kings, the Lord of lords. Recollect that those who have ever known anything of it tell you it is no child's play. The saints will tell you it is no trifle to be converted. They will never forget the pangs of conviction, nor the joys of faith. They tell you it is no trifle to have religion, for it carries them through all their conflicts, bears them up under all distresses, cheers them under every gloom, and sustains them in all labour. They find it no mockery. The Christian life to them is something so solemn, that when they think of it they fall down before God, and say, "Hold thou me up and I shall be safe." And sinners, too, when they are in their senses, find it no trifle. When they come to die they find it no little thing to die without Christ. When conscience gets the grip of them, and shakes them, they find it no small thing to be without a hope of pardon—with guilt upon the conscience, and no means of getting rid of it. And, sirs, true ministers of God feel it to be no trifle. I do myself feel it to be such an awful thing to preach God's gospel, that if it were not "Woe unto me if I do not preach the gospel," I would resign my charge this moment. I would not for the proudest consideration under heaven know the agony of mind I felt but this one morning before I ventured upon this platform! Nothing but the hope of winning souls from death and hell, and a stern conviction that we have to deal with the grandest of all realities, would bring me here.
    • Religion—a Reality part II. Secondly, "It is not a vain thing"—that is, IT IS NO TRIFLE. (June 22nd, 1862)[1]
  • It lies not in man's right nor in man's power truly to justify the guilty. This is a miracle reserved for the Lord alone. God, the infinitely just Sovereign, knows that there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not, and therefore, in the infinite sovereignty of His divine nature and in the splendor of His ineffable love, He undertakes the task, not so much of justifying the just as of justifying the ungodly. God has devised ways and means of making the ungodly man to stand justly accepted before Him: He has set up a system by which with perfect justice He can treat the guilty as if he had been all his life free from offence, yea, can treat him as if he were wholly free from sin. He justifieth the ungodly.
    • All of Grace
  • The truest lengthening of life is to live while we live, wasting no time but using every hour for the highest ends. So be it this day.
    • Faith's Checkbook entry for June 22.
  • For my part, I love to stand foot to foot with an honest foeman. To open warfare, bold and true hearts raise no objections but the ground of quarrel. It is rather covert enmity which we have most cause to fear and best reason to loathe. That crafty kindness which inveigles me to sacrifice principle is the serpent in the grass -- deadly to the incautious wayfarer.
    • Baptismal Regeneration (1864) [2]
  • Is it not proven beyond all dispute that there is no limit to the enormities which men will commit when they are once persuaded that they are keepers of other men's consciences? To spread religion by any means, and to crush heresy by all means is the practical inference from the doctrine that one man may control another's religion. Given the duty of a state to foster some one form of faith, and by the sure inductions of our nature slowly but certainly persecution will occur. To prevent for ever the possibility of Papists roasting Protestants, Anglicans hanging Romish priests, and Puritans flogging Quakers, let every form of state-churchism be utterly abolished, and the remembrance of the long curse which it has cast upon the world be blotted out for ever.
    • The Inquisition, 1868 The Sword and the Trowel [3]
  • Mind your till, and till your mind.
    • Salt-Cellars (1885)
  • There are a few of us who could scarcely do more than we are doing of our own regular order of work, but there may yet be spare moments for little extra efforts of another sort which in the aggregate, in the run of a year, might produce a great total of real practical result. We must, like goldsmiths, carefully sweep our shops, and gather up the filings of the gold which God has given us in the shape of time. Select a large box and place in it as many cannon-balls as it will hold, it is after a fashion full, but it will hold more if smaller matters be found. Bring a quantity of marbles, very many of these may be packed in the spaces between the larger globes; the box is full now, but only full in a sense, it will contain more yet. There are interstices in abundance into which you may shake a considerable quantity of small shot, and now the chest is filled beyond all question, but yet there is room. You cannot put in another shot or marble, much less another cannon-ball, but you will find that several pounds of sand will slide down between the larger materials, and even then between the granules of sand, if you empty pondering there will be space for all the water, and for the same quantity several times repeated. When there is no space for the great there may be room for the little; where the little cannot enter the less can make its way; and where the less is shut out, the least of all may find ample room and verge enough.
    • "A Spur for a Free Horse" in The Sword and the Trowel (February, 1866)[4]


  • A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble.
  • A man who does nothing never has time to do anything
  • A sense of satisfaction with yourself will be the death of your progress.
  • A vigorous temper is not altogether an evil. Men who are easy as an old shoe are generally of little worth.
  • What a mercy it is that it is not your hold of Christ that saves you, but his hold of you!
  • All that befalls us on our road to heaven is meant to fit us for our journey's end. Our way through the wilderness is meant to try us, and to prove us, that our evils may be discovered, repented of, and overcome and that thus we may be without fault before the throne at the last. We are being educated for the skies and for the assembly of the perfect. What we shall be does not yet appear because we are struggling up towards it.
  • All the water in the sea will not hurt the vessel one thousandth part as much as that which comes into it. Are you God's servant or not? If you are, how can your heart be cold?
  • Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.
  • As sure as ever God puts His children in the furnace, He will be in the furnace with them.
  • Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.
  • By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
  • Do not begin to teach others until the Lord has taught you.
  • Do not spare yourself and become self-satisfied; but on the other hand, do not slander yourself and sink into despondency. Your own opinion of your state is not worth much; ask the Lord to search you.
  • Don't rely too much on labels, for too often they are fables
  • Every Christian man has a choice between being humble and being humbled.
  • Every generation needs regeneration.
  • Everything is a trifle to a man who is a Christian except the glorifying of Christ.
  • Everything the Spirit of God does is substance, not shadow. The baseless fabric of a vision is the work of man.
  • God helps those who cannot help themselves.
  • God is more ready to forgive me than I am ready to offend.
  • God will not have his people eat the fat and drink the sweet unless they are prepared to carry their burden and give a portion to others, as well as seek meat for themselves.
  • He who does not love sinners cannot pray aright for them.
  • He will not be a wise man who does not study the human heart.
  • Hell itself does not contain greater monsters of iniquity than you and I might become. Within the magazine of our hearts there is power enough to destroy us in an instant, if omnipotent grace did not prevent.
  • Humility is to make a right estimate of one's self. It is no humility for a man to think less of himself than he ought, though it might rather puzzle him to do that.
  • I believe that our God is best praised in common things. He who molds a shoe with a right motive is praising God as much as the seraph who pours forth his celestial sonnet.
  • I do not know any subject that so much depresses me, humbles me, and lays me in the dust, as the thought of my omissions.
  • I have now concentrated all my prayers into one, and that one prayer is this, that I may die to self, and live wholly to him.
  • I would rather believe a limited atonement that is efficacious for all men for whom it was intended, than a universal atonement that is not efficacious for anybody, except the will of men be added to it.
  • I would rather go to heaven doubting all the way, than be lost through self-confidence.
  • If a man would speak without any present study, he must study much.
  • If He bids us carry a burden, He carries it also.
  • If there be anything I know, anything that I am quite assured of beyond all question, it is that praying breath is never spent in vain.
  • In every well-ordered congregation there are seats emptied by holy service. Many Christians appear to think that their entire religious duty begins and ends with attending church, but no village station receives their ministry, no ragged school enjoys their presence, no street corner hears their voice— but their pew is filled with commendable constancy. We do not condemn such, yet we show them a more excellent way.
  • In nothing shall the glory of God be marred.
  • It has been said that our anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength.
  • It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.
  • It is the will of God that saves. It is the will of man that damns.
  • It’s a good thing God chose me before I was born, because he surely would not have afterwards.
  • Jesus poured out his soul in life before he poured it out unto death.
  • Live by the day—aye, by the hour. Put no trust in frames and feelings. Care more for a grain of faith than a ton of excitement. Trust in God alone, and lean not on the needs of human help. Be not surprised when friends fail you; it is a failing world. Never count on immutability in man.
  • Many a man has reached the summit of a life-long ambition and found it to be mere vanity. In gaining all he has lost all; wealth has come, but the power to enjoy it has gone; life has been worn out in the pursuit, and no strength is left with which to enjoy the game. It shall not be so with the man who lives by faith, for his chief joys are above, and his comfort lies within. To him God is joy so rich that other joy is comparatively flavorless.
  • Many men owe the grandeur of their lives to their tremendous difficulties.
  • Men are microcosms, or little worlds. Each man has his distinct sphere, wherein he dwells apart. We are so many worlds, and no one world of man exactly overlaps another. You cannot completely know your fellowman.
  • Men will allow God to be everywhere except on his Throne.
  • My hope arises from the freeness of grace, and not from the freedom of the will.
  • Never fear dying, beloved. Dying is the last, but the least, matter that a Christian has to be anxious about. Fear living—that is a hard battle to fight, a stern discipline to endure, a rough voyage to undergo.
  • No one is so miserable as the poor person who maintains the appearance of wealth.
  • No one knows who is listening, say nothing you would not wish put in the newspapers.
  • Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and depends with our years.
  • None are more unjust in their judgments of others than those who have a high opinion of themselves.
  • Nothing can enter heaven which is not real; nothing erroneous, mistaken, conceited, hollow, professional, pretentious, insubstantial, can be smuggled through the gates. Only truth can dwell with the God of truth.
  • Nothing puts life into men like a dying Savior.
  • Of two evils, choose neither.
  • Only he is fit to preach who cannot avoid preaching, who feels that woe is upon him unless he preach the gospel.
  • Only that prayer which comes from our heart can get to God’s heart.
  • Our infirmities of judgment are aggravated by our imperfections of character, and by our walking at a distance from God.
  • Our places will be empty soon. Cheer the aged, console the desponding, help the poor, for they will soon be beyond your reach.
  • Our Savior used no force, neither did he use any means which might enlist man's lower nature on his side.
  • Sirs, as far as you can, you do kill God, for you put him out of your thoughts, you make nothing of him, and what is that but the crucifixion of God? You despise him so much that his presence has no effect upon you.
  • Show me the business man or institution not guided by sentiment and service; by the idea that "he profits most who serves best" and I will show you a man or an outfit that is dead or dying.
  • Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite.
  • Some men of little faith are perpetually enshrouded with fears; their faith seems only strong enough to enable them to doubt.
  • Ten minutes praying is better than a year’s murmuring.
  • The Christian should work as if all depended on him, and pray as if it all depended on God.
  • The dog hole of selfishness can never afford you any comfort. When the first and last concern of a man is simply his own feelings, or his own enjoyment, he cannot get any good feelings or any enjoyment either.
  • The holier a man becomes, the more he mourns over the unholiness which remains in him.
  • The keenest griefs cut a narrow but deep channel, and as they wear into the inmost soul they flow without noise.
  • The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.
  • The Lord Jesus fills out every type, figure, and character. Creation is too small a frame in which to hang his likeness. Human thought is too contracted, human speech too feeble, to set him forth to the full. He is inconceivably above our conceptions, inutterably above our utterances.
  • The more we pray, the more we shall want to pray. The more we pray, the more we can pray. The more we pray, the more we shall pray. He who prays little will pray less, but he who prays much will pray more. And he who prays more, will desire to pray more abundantly.
  • The preacher who neglects to pray much must be very careless about his ministry. He cannot have comprehended his calling. He cannot have computed the value of a soul, or estimated the meaning of eternity.
  • The sins of disciples of Christ are a thousand times worse than the sins of unbelievers, because they sin against a gospel of love, a covenant of mercy, against a sweet experience and against precious promises.
  • The things I preach are part and parcel of myself. I am sure that they are true. When I declare God's truth, I claim infallibility not for myself, but for God's Word.
  • The world is full of grinding poverty and crushing sorrow; shame and death are the portion of thousands, and it needs a great gospel to meet the dire necessities of people's souls.
  • There are no crown-wearers in heaven who were not cross-bearers here below.
  • There are three stages of the human soul in connection with Christ. The first is “without Christ.” This is the state of nature. The next is “in Christ.” This is the state of grace. The third is “with Christ.” That is the state of glory.
  • There is no happiness comparable to a complete submergence of self into the glory of God.
  • There is not a spider hanging on the wall that doesn’t have an errand; there is not a weed growing in the corner of the church lot hat doesn’t have a purpose; there is not a single insect fluttering in the breeze that does not accomplish some divine decree. And I will never believe that God created any man, especially any Christian man, to be a blank, and to be a nothing.
  • There is something for us to do in the wilderness, and so we are kept out of the heavenly garden for now.
  • To be prepared to die is to be prepared to live. To be ready for eternity is in the best sense to be ready for time. Who is so fit to live on earth as the man who is fit to live in heaven?
  • To know what men have already done is a light matter compared with knowing what men will yet do.
  • Trials teach us what we are; they dig up the soil, and let us see what we are made of.
  • We are all at times unconscious prophets.
  • We are not called to proclaim philosophy and metaphysics, but the simple gospel.
  • We are not what we ought to be, we are not what we want to be, we are not what we shall be. But we are something very different from what we used to be.
  • We cling with dreadful tenacity to this poor life, and the little pleasures which we foolishly call our all.
  • We have a large class of poor creatures, who, while not discontent with others, are discontent with themselves. They are not what they like to be, and they are not what they wish to be, and they don't feel as they should feel, and they don't think as they would like to think. They are always plunging their finger into their own eyes, because they cannot see as well as they wish, always ripping up the wounds they have, making themselves miserable in order that they may be happy, and at last, crying themselves into an inconsolable state of misery, they acquire a habit of mourning, until that mourning seems to be the only bliss they know.
  • What we mean by salvation is this—deliverance from the love of sin, rescue from the habit of sin, setting free from the desire to sin.
  • When God looks at a man's life, he sees infinitely more in it than the man ever saw in it himself, or that all his fellow creatures have seen. As when a man looks on a map and the whole of the country is before him, so does God look down upon our life as it is spread out for his inspection, and he sees it all at once.
  • When the book of God's purposes shall be all unfolded in actual history there will be found no blots, mistakes and blunders there. He knows the end from the beginning and his purposes shall be fulfilled in every jot and tittle, and in nothing shall the glory of God be marred. Though Satan may be laughing now, and every now and then the men of the world may boast against the people of God, it shall not be so in the close of the affair.
  • Whenever you have much joy, be cautious; there is sorrow down the road. But when you have much sadness be hopeful; there is a joy on the way to you, be sure of that. Our blessed Lord reveals himself to his people more in the valleys, in the shades, in the deeps, than he does anywhere else. He has a way and an art of showing himself to his children at midnight, making the darkness light by his presence.
  • Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom.
  • You are the creature of the Almighty. In every vein and sinew and nerve of your body, there are traces of the Divine Embroiderer's skill. Day by day you are a commoner at the table of divine bounty, a pensioner hour by hour upon the infinite mercy of God. You have nothing and are nothing but as God pleases. You owe all you have and all you are to him.
  • You cannot see the beauty of certain gems unless you place them on black velvet.
  • You might not always get what you want, but you always get what you expect.
  • Your reputation may be dead and buried, but if you have not killed it by your own conduct, it will have a resurrection; and when it rises again it will be much more fair and beautiful than it was before. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him, for he will do the justice in due time for thou art his own, and he will not forget thee.

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