Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s Appropriations of Bernard of Clairvaux

One of the great marks of the preaching and writing ministry of Charles Haddon Spurgeon was his vast knowledge of other preachers and writers.  Throughout his sermons, articles, and books he often cites great men and women that came before him.  He surely took to heart the words of John of Salisbury, “We are like dwarves sitting upon the shoulders of giants.  We see more, and things that are more distant than they did, not because our sight is superior or because we are taller than they, but because they raise us up, and by their great stature adds to ours.”[1]  Spurgeon was surely in his time a “shoulder stander” but he was no dwarf; and today, as he stood so tall on the shoulders of others, many are taking their post atop his broad shoulders.  Lewis Drummond said of him, “Spurgeon vividly recognized that Christians who truly want to walk with God must look back to the past and all that God has done in the lives of those who have preceded them.  Therefore he immersed himself in their writings.”[2]  From the Patristic writers, Spurgeon refers to Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, Gregory of Nazianzus, Basil of Caesarea, Jerome, and most obviously Augustine.[3]


The article is by Jason Edwin Dees, pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Georgia. While pastoring, he is pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Biblical Spirituality at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Click here to read his entire paper.

[1] John, and Daniel D. McGarry. The Metalogicon of John of Salisbury: a twelfth-century defense of the verbal and logical arts of the trivium. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1955. (3.4). (John of Salisbury quoting Bernard of Chartres in his work The Metalogicon)

[2] Lewis A. Drummond. Spurgeon: prince of preachers. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1992. 572.

[3] Lewis A. Drummond. Spurgeon: prince of preachers. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1992. 572.



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