posted by Phil Johnson
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive. This week's excerpt is not by Spurgeon himself but is part of an introductory note (written by Spurgeon's wife or assistant) to the chapter on humor in Spurgeon's Autobiography.
Spurgeon's humor would make an interesting study. It's fairly well known that Spurgeon suffered frequently from a deep melancholy. Ill health in his later years exacerbated his bouts of depression. And yet his keen sense of humor was never far below the surface.
Here Susannah Spurgeon (or possibly Joseph Harrald) comments on the distinctive style of humor Spurgeon was known for:
is fun was always pure, with an emphasis; and he showed how it was possible for the highest spirituality to find a fitting exemplification in the brightest and cheeriest character. Some of his most intimate friends have often said that there was not the slightest incongruity, after one of his brilliant witticisms which had set the whole company laughing, in hearing him say, 'Let us pray,' for both the merriment and the devotion were sanctified.
OK. I'm convicted by that. I'll be the first to confess to my deep shame that my forays into the realm of fun' 'n' satire haven't always been so sanctified that "let us pray" would be a fitting follow-up to my punch line. That would certainly be a safe guideline and a simple test by which to gauge the appropriateness of what we say and write, right?
NOTE: The Spurgeon portrait accompanying this week's Dose o' Spurgeon was provided by Robert Bucknell, of Bucknell Arts in Reno. It's a new portrait of Spurgeon in oil on canvas, and it is the best painting of Spurgeon I've seen, next to those that were done in Spurgeon's own lifetime. See the Bucknell Arts website for information on how to order a print for yourself or for your pastor.