Book Review: Lectures to My Students

January 11, 2012 by Paul Chappell

One of the first books I received as a college student was Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon. This was the text for my Pastoral Theology class and has been one of my favorites throughout the years. Although I have probably read Spiritual Leadership by Oswald Sanders more than any other book, Lectures to My Students would be at the top of the list of books to which I often refer.

One of the things I appreciate about Lectures to My Students is how clearly it reveals that many of the pressures and challenges of the pastorate have not changed over the last two hundred years. Much of Spurgeon’s advice to young preachers is as relevant today as the advice of anyone currently writing. There are a few areas here and there that Spurgeon addresses (mainly regarding health or issues with the schedule of ministry) that indicates the limited knowledge of the medical field at the time in which he ministered. But overall, this book has been helpful and a friend to me.

Spurgeon speaks about “the minister’s self watch” and the importance of remaining consistent in our walk with the Lord as we serve His people.

We do not trust those persons who have two faces, nor will men believe in those whose verbal and practical testimonies are contradictory.

His challenge to private prayer is always convicting. I also enjoy reading how Spurgeon chose a text and developed it into a sermon. His preaching has no equal in masterful use of Scripture.

The chapter that I revisited last year was the chapter entitled “The Minister’s Fainting Fits.” Spurgeon was surprisingly candid regarding his health problems and the emotional burdens of ministry. It is refreshing to read of someone who cares for other pastors enough to transparently share and try to help them avoid some of the same pitfalls. For a pastor who is going through a deep valley, this chapter alone is worth the purchase of the book.

Spurgeon is a favorite resource and historical figure for thousands of pastors around the world. I often read his sermons devotionally and find my heart challenged every time. I have had the privilege of visiting the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London, as well as seeing his house, Bible college, and visiting his tombstone.

Without a doubt, it can be said of Spurgeon that “he being dead yet speaketh” (Hebrews 11:4). If you desire to be more effectively used for the Lord, I am confident you would enjoy Lectures to My Students.


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