Charles Haddon Spurgeon is one of the best known preachers of the nineteenth century. But who led him to faith in Christ? The answer is Robert Eaglen, a Primitive Methodist believer. Here is the chain of events that led to Spurgeon’s conversion in 1850.
A Primitive Methodist preacher called Robert Key preached at a village in Norfolk in 1832. As he spoke under the power of God, sinners came under great conviction.
One of the converts that night was a young woman.
The woman’s changed life led her brother, Robert Eaglen to become a follower of Christ.
Eaglen was instrumental in pointing Spurgeon to Christ, in the Colchester Primitive Methodist Chapel.
Here is the account in Spurgeon’s own words …
I was miserable, I could do scarcely anything. My heart was broken to pieces. Six months did I pray, prayed agonizingly with all my heart, and never had an answer. I resolved that in the town where I lived I would visit every place of worship, in order to find the way of salvation. I felt I was willing to do anything if God would only forgive me. I set off determined to visit all the chapels, and though I deeply venerate the men who occupy those pulpits now, and did so then, I am bound to say, that I never heard them once fully preach the gospel. ... At last, one snowy day, I found rather an obscure street and turned down a court, and there was a little chapel. I wanted to go somewhere, but I did not know this street. It was the Primitive Methodists' chapel. I had heard of this people from many, and how they sang so loudly that they made people's heads ache; but that did not matter. I wanted to know how I might be saved, and if they made my head ache ever so much, I did not care. So sitting down, the service went on, but no minister came. At last a very thin-looking man came into the pulpit. He opened the Bible and read these words: "Look unto me and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth." Just setting his eyes upon me, as if he knew me all by heart, he said: "Young man, you are in trouble!" Well, I was, sure enough. Says he: "You will never get out of it unless you look to Christ." Then,
lifting his eyes, he cried, as only a Primitive Methodist could do, "Look, look, look!" I saw at once the way of salvation. O, how I did leap for joy at that moment! I know not what else he said, I was so possessed with that one thought. ... I looked until I could almost have looked my eyes away, and in heaven I will look on still, in my joy unspeakable.
Abridged from Charles H. Spurgeon: His Faith and Works, H.L. Wayland, 1892 and the History of the Primitive Methodist Church, H B Kendal, 1919.