The Search for My Own John and Charles

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 11:25 PM 0 comments



This post will not do a four-in-a-row for United Methodism, three consecutive Wesleyan topics are enough. Now, I am not referring to the Wesleys, John and Charles. To whom I am referring to are John Owen and Charles Spurgeon.

John Owen (1616 - 1683)
The Biographical Dictionary of Evangelicals describes John Owen as a man who "was without doubt not only the greatest theologian of the English Puritan movement but also one of the greatest European Reformed theologians of his day, and quite possibly possessed the finest theological mind that England ever produced."

Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)
The Prince of Preachers is rightly labeled so for he preached over 600 times before he was 20 years old, his sermons sold about 20,000 copies a week, these sermons were translated into 20 languages, they fill 63 volumes. It was said that he reads six of the most substantial books a week and can remember what he read and where to find it. He also wrote about 150 books of his own like The Treasury of David, All of Grace, Around the Wicket Gate, and Commenting on Commentaries.

John's Conversion
In his book Contending for our All, John Piper relates Owen's conversion, "When Owen was 26 years old he went with his cousin to hear the famous Presbyterian, Edmund Calamy at St. Mary's Church Aldermanbury. But it turned out Calamy could not preach and a country preacher took his place. Owen's cousin wanted to leave. But something held Owen to his seat. The simple preacher took as his text Matthew 8:26, 'Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?' It was God's appointed word and appointed time for Owen's awakening. His doubts and fears and worries as to whether he was truly born anew by the Holy Spirit were gone. He felt himself liberated and adopted as a Son of God."

Charles' Conversion
Spurgeon, recounting his conversion on a snowy Sunday morning, "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... 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."

My Search
Owen and Spurgeon became GOD's giants. They are indeed giants. But what inspires me enormously is that both of them were fruits of the ministries of unnamed preachers. Giants as they are yet they are indebted to ministers whose names only heaven knows.

I cannot be even a pinch of Spurgeon and be a Prince of Preachers. I cannot be a nip of Owen and be the greatest theologian. But I can be an unnamed preacher history will forget who can humbly serve GOD in His raising up of Johns and Charleses. May GOD be pleased to preserve me to be faithful and enable me to find a young John or a young Charles.

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