It was on this day in 1834 that Charles Spurgeon was born. He was the first of seventeen children. His ancestors had come to England from Holland. His grandfather, James, was the pastor of the Independent Church in Stambourne, Essex, for 54 years. His Father, John owed a small business, but he also became the pastor of an Independent congregation. Neither were Baptists. As more and more children entered the Spurgeon home, Charles spent a great deal of time with his godly grandfather, where he was taught to love good literature and especially to love the Bible. One evening, after Richard Knill, a pastor himself, had spent some time at the home, he picked up Charles and put him on his knee, saying, “I do not know how it is, but I feel a solemn presentiment that this child will preach the Gospel to thousands, and God will bless him to many souls.”

Charles’ parents and grandparents endeavored to raise their family in the things of God. One by one all the children professed Christ as their Saviour. Eventually one brother entered the ministry, and two of his sisters married preachers. Later in life, speaking to her son, Mrs. Spurgeon said, “Ah, Charley, I have often prayed that you might be saved, but never that you should become a Baptist.” To this Charles famously replied, “God has answered your prayer, mother, with His usual bounty, and given you more than you asked.”