Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834 – 1892) was one of England’s greatest preachers. Indeed, he was known as the “Prince of Preachers” and is said to have preached to some 20 million people. He died relatively young, but began his preaching career at 16.
His conversion story is just one of many fascinating aspects of his life. On Sunday January 6, 1850, John Egglen of Colchester awoke to a town buried in snow. Why bother going to church, he thought. But being the good deacon that he was, he walked the 6 miles to the Methodist church. Even the pastor couldn’t make it that snowy morning. Indeed, only 13 people showed up: 12 members and one visitor, a 13-year-old boy.
Some suggested going home. But Egglen refused – after all, they did have a visitor. But who would preach? Egglen was the man, even though he never preached before. And it showed – his sermon was only ten minutes long and was far from elegant. The text was Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth.” Gathering a bit of courage, Egglen looked straight at the visitor and said, “Young man, look to Jesus. Look. Look. Look.” The boy did look, as was instantly and gloriously saved.