Charles Haddon Spurgeon is commonly heralded as the greatest preacher to grace the Christian pulpit since the Apostle Paul. His metropolitan Tabernacle was undoubtedly a dynamic force for righteousness in Victorian England. But his many years of ministry were marked not only by his masterful pulpiteering, but by his many labors on behalf of the poor and needy as well.
On this day in 1861, he erected an almshouse for the elderly. In 1864, he established a school for the needy children of London. In 1866, he founded the Stockwell Orphanages. And, in 1867, to these many enterprises was added still another, a private hospital.
Explaining this furious activity on behalf of the poor, Spurgeon said, “God’s intent in endowing any person with more substance than he needs is that he may have the pleasurable office, or rather the delightful privilege, of relieving want and woe. Alas, how many there are who consider that store which God has put into their hands on purpose for the poor and needy, to be only so much provision for their excessive luxury, a luxury which pampers them but yields them neither benefit nor pleasure. Others dream that wealth is given them that they may keep it under lock and key, cankering and corroding, breeding covetousness and care. Who dares roll a stone over the well's mouth when thirst is raging all around? Who dares keep the bread from the women and children who are ready to gnaw their own arms for hunger? Above all, who dares allow the sufferer to writhe in agony uncared for, and the sick to pine into their graves unnursed? This is not small sin: it is a crime to be answered for, to the Judge, when He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.”