Recently on this site, we’ve taken a look at the origins of a couple of (now-trite) Christian expressions: “Thoughts and prayers,” and “Love the sinner, hate the sin.”  Below, you’ll find a very interesting quote from Charles Spurgeon that is one of the earliest uses of the question, “If you died tonight, would you go to Heaven?”  Now – that exact question isn’t used, but the idea certainly is! This is contained in a letter that Spurgeon wrote to a group of orphans at the Stockwell orphanage. The Stockwell was an orphange founded by Spurgeon himself after the influence of George Muller. Spurgeon would regularly write letters to the boys at Stockwell, urging them on towards godliness, and professing his care for them. The letter below was written in 1874, and contains a powerful gospel appeal:

I have been much impressed by hearing that death has been to the Orphanage. Are you all prepared, if he should shoot another arrow into one of the houses, and lay another low? I wonder who will be the next! Dear boys, would you go to Heaven if you were now at once to die? Wait a bit, and let each one answer for himself. You know, you must be born again, you must repent of sin, you must believe in Jesus. How is it with you? If you are not saved, you are in great danger, in fearful peril! Be warned, I pray you! I cannot bear to think of one boy going from the Orphanage to hell; that would be terrible indeed. But to rise to Heaven, to be with Jesus for ever; why, this makes it worth while even to die a hundred deaths.

Some boys from Spurgeon’s Stockwell Orphanage

Source: Charles Spurgeon, The Letters of Charles Haddon Spurgeon (London; Edinburgh; New York: Marshall Brothers, Limited, 1923), 181.

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