From a Proper Child to the Prince of Preachers
Charles Haddon Spurgeon was the first-born of seventeen children and was born on June 19, 1834. Almost as soon as he was old enough to leave home, he went to his grandfather’s house. Under his grandfather’s oversight and the devoted guidance of an aunt, Charles developed into a thoughtful boy, commonly fonder of his books than of his play.
A pious minister, Richard Knill, who was visiting his grandfather, took an interest in this young lad as he was waiting some days for a preaching engagement. Spurgeon wrote some years later, “Calling the family together, [Mr. Knill] took me on his knee, and I distinctly remember his saying: ‘I do not know how it is, but I feel a solemn presentiment that this child will preach the Gospel to thousands, and God will bless him to many souls.’”
Of course, there is often no greater influence on a man’s life than his mother. Mrs. Spurgeon trained her children with prayerful concern, and she was rewarded by seeing each one of them make a public profession of their faith in Christ. Two of her sons were preachers, and one of her daughters was the wife of a minister. Speaking one day to her son, Mrs. Spurgeon said, “Ah, Charley, I have often prayed that you might be saved, but never that you should become a Baptist.” To this remark, Charles replied, “God has answered your prayer, mother, with His usual bounty, and given you more than you asked.”
We cannot overemphasize the importance of those influences in the early life of a child. Many saw the boy Spurgeon through the eyes of faith the same as Moses’ parents saw Moses as a “proper child.” This “proper child,” Charles Haddon Spurgeon, became known as the “Prince of Preachers”!
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 251-252.