The world of letters would have been denied a masterpiece if these lectures had not been preserved in book form in 1875. These lectures are full of historical data, including references from the Bible, proverbs, maxims, adages and anecdotes from the personal life of Charles H. Spurgeon. In the introduction he writes:
“My College lectures are colloquial, familiar, full of anecdote, and often humorous: they are purposely made so ,…At the end of the week I meet the students, and find them weary with sterner studies, and I judge it best to be as lively and interesting…as I well can be. They have their fill of classics, mathematics, and divinity, and are only in a condition to receive something which will attract and secure their attention and fire their hearts.”
He has a practical and common sense approach to religion. He advises his students:
” His societies, or project schemes, if I neglect the culture of myself; for books, and agencies, and systems, are only remotely the instruments of my holy calling.”
In fact, he wants to see pious ministers who are above reproach. He wants them to be persons of high moral character because only then, he believes they are fit to teach faith to others. He wants to see his students as morally and intellectually sound individuals harboring true love for Christianity.
In these lectures he pays great attention to teach his students that in order to be devoted to the service of the Lord they must fulfill certain requirements, the most important of which is to overcome their temptations. This, he endorsed to be the right path to seek the truth:
“…genuine piety is necessary as the first requisite whatever ‘call’ a man may pretend to have, if he has not to be called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to ministry…God never saved any man for being a preacher nor because he was an able preacher; but because he was justified, sanctified man and consequentially faithful in his Master’s work.”
He was fully aware that the ministers, being men of God lead the people to the path of the righteous, so he instructs them to remain ever vigilant against the evil machinations of Satan. He advises his students, thus:
“His pulse of vital godliness must beat strongly and regularly; his eye of faith must be bright; his foot of resolution must be firm; his hand of activity must be quick; his whole inner man must be in the highest degree of sanity.”
Spirituality is the main theme of all his lectures. Sturgeon time and again reminds his students that it is not for the weak to join this vocation.He further emphasizes that this is not a profession for those who seek worldly glory.
According to him one can only achieve spirituality through prayer. As praying is not only a mental exercise, but also the only way to attain inner peace. He regards prayer,”…a high spiritual engagement it cleanses your inner eye that you may see the truth in the light of God.”
Since its publication in the nineteenth century this book has been widely read. A great feature of this book is, that it has been so well written that even a person with little knowledge of theology, gains at least a basic understanding of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Written By: Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada