While Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) left an indelible mark on the evangelical movement in the 19th century, this did not come without cost. God called Spurgeon from his beloved rural upbringing and ministry to the largest city in the world (London) when he was only nineteen years old. His ministry grew to more than 5000 members in his thirty-eight-year tenure there. With this incredible growth came attacks from the press due to his increasing celebrity. The tragedy at the Surrey Gardens left seven dead and dozens injured. Furthermore, the Downgrade Controversy severed him from his lifelong association with the Baptist Union. These and other physical and mental issues took their toll on him and his beloved Susannah and cast a shadow over his life and ministry. Spurgeon struggled mightily with physical issues and deep depression, which plagued many inside and outside the church. As well documented as his condition is, one needs to see how Spurgeon used preaching for his counseling session to help him sort through his illness and the soul care of the human condition.
For Spurgeon, the Scriptures provided a spiritual tether as they have for other Christians throughout church history. Yet, the week-to-week practice of preaching provides Spurgeon a rhythmic opportunity to proclaim the promises of God for the care of his people’s souls and to preach those promises to himself .
This paper will show how this consistent preparation and proclamation of the Word provided what Spurgeon needed to navigate through the darker shadows of life.