Spurgeon's last thirty years, from the building of the Metropolitan Tabernacle to his death in 1892, saw no fulfillment of the newspaper prophecy of his early days, "Up like a rocket, down like a stick." On the contrary, the zenith of influence and responsibility which he realized in his twenties was to be succeeded by long years of "full harvest." With a congregation of nearly 6,000 to be maintained in the heart of London, and a wider audience of perhaps a million to be addressed weekly through his printed sermon, Spurgeon not only sustained his amazing productivity but even increased the quality.
There is, however, more than Spurgeon the preacher in the Autobiography. We see him as author, as editor of a monthly magazine, as founder and director of his Pastors College (with 900 passing through it before his death), and as organizer of two orphanages as well as other institutions.
It is true that not all is told us about these labors. For example, we gain no hint that his annual income was between £20,000-£30,000, and that it was so constantly laid out to advance the gospel and aid the needy that his personal estate at death was only about £2,000. As those sides of his life are revealed which only an autobiography can record-his family circle, the daily labor which lay behind the public work, the feelings which led him into his attempt to turn back the tidal movement which sought to change the Faith of the Churches-we come to a deeper understanding and greater appreciation of the real man.
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