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Today for Testimony Tuesday, we are going to look at the conversion of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Prince of Preachers.  It has been widely rumored that young Charles was a precocious boy in his youth, but it should be noted that he was a very obedient, well-mannered boy who was very active in both his father and grandfather’s churches.

At age 10, a young but mature Charles began to have a clear understanding that he was not saved.  He compared himself to Christian from Pilgrim’s Progress of walking through the city with the huge burden of sin placed on his back.  And for the next 5 years, he had an internal struggle of knowing that he was accountable for this burden and it would ultimately send him to Hell.  Although living in a Christian household with every answer to salvation at his closest reach, his heart had not been regenerated by the Holy Spirit to conversion.

On January 6, 1850, there happened to be a terrible snowstorm in Colchester, England.  Wandering the streets alone as the wind and snow carried across his heavy soul, he sought refuge in a small Primitive Methodist chapel.  The elements were so terrible that day in January that there were very few present in church, including an absent preacher.  So a peasant man who had no formal education, no training in the Bible, stood up to read God’s Word.  And this Word from Isaiah 45:22 would change young Spurgeon’s life…and the world.

And this is Charles Spurgeon’s account of that day:

I sometimes think I might have been in darkness and despair now, had it not been for the goodness of God in sending a snowstorm one Sunday morning, when I was going to a place of worship. When I could go no further, I turned down a court and came to a little Primitive Methodist Chapel. In that chapel there might be a dozen or fifteen people. The minister did not come that morning: snowed up, I suppose. A poor man, a shoemaker, a tailor, or something of that sort, went up into the pulpit to preach. He was obliged to stick to his text, for the simple reason that he had nothing else to say. The text was, ‘Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.’ He did not even pronounce the words rightly, but that did not matter.

There was, I thought, a glimpse of hope for me in the text. He began thus: ‘My dear friends, this is a very simple text indeed. It says, “Look.” Now that does not take a deal of effort. It ain’t lifting your foot or your finger; it is just “look.” Well, a man need not go to college to learn to look. You may be the biggest fool, and yet you can look. A man need not be worth a thousand a year to look. Anyone can look; a child can look. But this is what the text says. Then it says, “Look unto Me.” ‘Ay,’ said he, in broad Essex, ‘many of ye are looking to yourselves. No use looking there. You’ll never find comfort in yourselves.’ Then the good man followed up his text in this way: ‘Look unto Me: I am sweating great drops of blood. Look unto Me; I am hanging on the Cross. Look: I am dead and buried. Look unto Me; I rise again. Look unto Me; I ascend; I am sitting at the Father’s right hand. O, look to Me! Look to Me!’ When he had got about that length, and managed to spin out ten minutes, he was at the length of his tether.

Then he looked at me under the gallery, and I daresay, with so few present, he knew me to be a stranger. He then said, ‘Young man, you look very miserable.’ Well, I did; but I had not been accustomed to have remarks made on my personal appearance from the pulpit before. However, it was a good blow struck. He continued: ‘And you will always be miserable — miserable in life and miserable in death — if you do not obey my text. But if you obey now, this moment, you will be saved.’

Then he shouted, as only a Primitive Methodist can, ‘Young man, look to Jesus Christ.’ There and then the cloud was gone, the darkness had rolled away, and that moment I saw the sun; and I could have risen that moment and sung with the most enthusiastic of them of the Precious Blood of Christ.

So in the words of that unknown man who did nothing more than read the very Word of God…Look to Jesus today and place your burden at His feet.

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