Charles Spurgeon

"I must confess that I never would have been saved if I could have helped it. As long as ever I could, I rebelled, and revolted, and struggled against God. When He would have me to pray, I would not pray … And when I heard, and the tear rolled down my cheek, I wiped it away and defied Him to melt my soul. But long before I began with Christ, He began with me.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England's best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century.

In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London's famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the famous Baptist theologian John Gill). The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle.

Spurgeon’s was a cross-centered and cross-shaped theology, for the cross was “the hour” of Christ’s glorification (John 12:23–24), the place where Christ was and is exalted, the only message able to overturn the hearts of men and women otherwise enslaved to sin. Along with Isaiah 45:22, one of Spurgeon’s favorite Bible verses was John 12:32: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Spurgeon saw theology much like astronomy: as the solar system makes sense only when the sun is central, so systems of theological thought are coherent only when Christ is central. Every doctrine must find its place and meaning in its proper relation to Christ. “Be assured that we cannot be right in the rest, unless we think rightly of HIM. . . . Where is Christ in your theological system?

For him, Christ is not merely one component—however pivotal—in the bigger machinery of the gospel. Christ himself is the truth we know, the object and reward of our faith, and the light that illumines every part of a true theological system. He wrote, ‘He himself is Doctor and Doctrine, Revealer and Revelation, the Illuminator and the Light of Men. He is exalted in every word of truth, because he is its sum and substance. He sits above the gospel, like a prince on his own throne. Doctrine is most precious when we see it distilling from his lips and embodied in his person. Sermons are valuable in proportion as they speak of him and point to him.’

During his lifetime he preached the gospel to over a million people and personally baptized 15,000 new believers converted under his ministry. Furthermore, his sermons were translated into nearly forty languages including; Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Castilian, Chinese, Congolese, Czech, Dutch, Estonian, French, Gaelic, German, Hindi, Russian, Serbian, Syriac, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, and Welsh.

Robert Hawker

Gentleman, if you want something full of marrow and fatness, cheering to your own hearts by way of comment, and likely to help you in giving your hearers rich expositions, buy Dr. Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary.

Dr. Hawker was the very least of commentators in the matter of criticism, but he sees Jesus, and that is a sacred gift which is most precious whether the owner be a critic or no.

There is always such a savor of the Lord Jesus Christ in Dr. Hawker that you cannot read him without profit."

- Charles H. Spurgeon from "Commenting on Commentaries"

Robert Hawker’s list of works in the British Catalogue of Printed Books takes up six columns. His collected Works were published in 10 volumes in 1831, four years after his death.

  1. He is remembered today for the following:
    The Poor Man's Morning Portion (1809) (Download)
    The Poor Man's Evening Portion (1819) (Download)
    These, of course are daily devotionals.

  2. Other works He has done:

    The Poor Man's Commentary on the New Testament, 4 volumes (1816)
    The Poor Man's Commentary on the Old Testament, 6 volumes (1822)

    The "poor man" in all these titles refers to the fact that he both wrote and priced these books so that they would be understandable and inexpensive to even the poorest members of his flock.

John Newton's Story : Amazing Grace

John Newton's Story : Amazing Grace

John Newton (1725-1807) was a trophy of God's grace. His transformation from a blasphemous slave trader to a much loved minister of the gospel is a testimony to the powerful, life-changing grace of God in Jesus Christ. His hymns, letters, and other writings have been a source of strength and comfort to Christian believers for centuries.

John began his conversion to Christianity while he captained a slave ship. Eventually he gave up his former life completely and became a minister with a deep passion for the gospel. A living witness to God’s ability to change hearts, John joined the movement to set slaves free and penned hymns of hope, such as Amazing Grace, sung by millions around the world today.

“Once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa,” he wrote, “by rich mercy of Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.”


Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) was a well-known South African writer, teacher, and pastor. More than two million copies of his books have been sold, and his name is mentioned among other great leaders of the past, such as Charles Spurgeon, T. Austin-Sparks, George Muller, D. L. Moody, and more.

Murray is best known today for his devotional writings, which place great emphasis on the need for a rich, personal devotional life. Many of his 240 publications explain in how he saw this devotion and its outworking in the life of the Christian. Several of his books have become devotional classics. Among these are Abide in ChristAbsolute SurrenderWith Christ in the School of PrayerThe Spirit of Christ and Waiting on God.


J.C. Ryle

J.C. Ryle

Be swept away by one of the most influential writers of the 19th century! J. C. Ryle's works have been changing hearts and lives for over 100 years. He is still speaks to the heart and soul of every man through his simple, straight forward writing style and his gentle, loving tone, which make him as readable today as he was in his lifetime.

Ryle tackles difficult issues with grace and kindness while providing an excellent and thorough examination of his subject or text that engages the scholar and layman alike. There are many wonderful facets to Ryle's works, but Ryle's love and knowledge of Jesus Christ leaps off of the page, and each work is filled with the same Christ-centeredness that characterized his life. His works are deep, concise, and thought provoking, but most of all, they point you to Christ and help you know and love Him better.

John Bunyan

John Bunyan

The Pilgrim's Progress is a Christian allegory written by John Bunyan in 1678. It is regarded as one of the most significant works of religious English literature, has been translated into more than 200 languages, and has never been out of print. It has also been cited as the first novel written in English.

John Bunyan was imprisoned in 1660 for "unlicensed" preaching in Bedford, England. Besides composing his classic work, Pilgrim's Progress, during twelve years of intermittent confinement, Bunyan also learned that the only way to glorify God in his sufferings was to pray often and pray devoutly. His thoughts and meditations on prayer were forged on the anvil of religious persecution, and it was from prison that he wrote "true prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of your heart and soul to God."