Saturday, 14 February 2009

Harper's Bazaar and Hell

Harper's Bazaar is an American fashion magazine.

However, it hasn't always been just that, and on page 134 of the December, 1858 edition you can find a description of Charles Spurgeon preaching:

In person, Mr. Spurgeon is short and stout; his face is large and soft, well-developed in the lower part, and with an overhanging forehead. His countenance is devoid of color, and he has a quantity of neatly-arranged black hair. His voice is penetrating and powerful, but strongly accented with an English provincial twang, and he uses a profusion of gesture and dramatic action. Lately, Mr. Spurgeon preached without any gown, and was not assisted by notes or manuscript.

Mr. Spurgeon's pulpit style is eminently theatrical. He uses his hands and arms forcibly, frequently alters his position, addressing himself now to the right hand, now to the left, and occasionally turning almost entirely round in the pulpit. In the colloquial and conversational parts of his sermon—which are of constant recurrence—he changes his voice, and gives the dialogue in varying tone and accent, to suit the circumstances of his dramatis personae. The discourse, consequently, becomes more of an oration, or of a lecture illustrated with action, than a sermon. The words arc embellished with a profusion of gestures, starts, sudden uprisings, and downward movements, which seem very remarkable to those accustomed to the gravity of demeanor which is generally presented in a Presbyterian pulpit. The introduction of two stanzas of poetry into the prayer was generally remarked as a very singular feature.

In the course of his sermon Mr. Spurgeon presented the following picture of the Day of Judgment: "I think I see the judgment seat and the resurrection-day, A mother with her children are standing there. Three or four of her little babes are saved for endless glory. Their little bodies have put on immortality and life; and where are you who have been permitted to live longer? The stars fire falling from heaven, the sun is changed to darkness, and the moon into blood.

But, lo! there is silence in heaven, and a voice is heard, 'Gather my elect from the four winds of heaven! Your mother is about to be taken into the company of the blessed forever.

'Mother!' shrieks the son, 'lean not be separated from you forever, Save me! Oh, save me! make intercession to the judge for me. He will hear thy cry, though he will not hear mine!' 'My son,' she will reply, 'I directed thy feet to God when thou wast young. On my breast you lay when my prayers went up to God for your soul. I taught you to lisp the name of Jesus, and your lips to utter his precious name. Do you not remember how, when you grew older, I taught you the way to heaven? But the time came when you scorned a father's prayers and mocked a mother's tears. But now your mother says, now, my son, it is changed. I can weep no more now, for I am glorified. I can pray no more for you now, for prayers are useless here. You are justly lost. You are damned, and I must say Amen to your condemnation.'"

-with thanks to Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs.

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