Spurgeon preaching outdoors at the famous Crystal Palace, October 7, 1857 to over 24,000 souls. Remember he preached without any electrical or mechanical means of amplification of his voice. His voice was described as being, strong, clear, bell-like, with could be heard by an audience of many, many thousands. He spoke at the rate of 140 words per minute. 20 more than an average speaker.

 A bitter critic of  C.H. Spurgeon described his preaching in a newspaper article on January 25, 1855 thusly: "The laws of oratory have been well studied and he suits the action to his words. This mode of public speaking was, in the theatres of ancient Greece carried to such an extent that one person had to speak the words and another had to perform the gestures and suit with every variety of  face and form the movement of the subject in hand. Mr Spurgeon has caught the idea, only with this difference, that he  performs both parts himself. (Spurgeon originated the illustrated sermon without special effects)
 



Sheridan Knowles, the famous 19th Century actor and playwright said to his students; "Go and hear Spurgeon at once! His acting is absolutely perfect! He has nothing to learn from me or anyone else.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon left his packed, thatched roof church in Waterbeach at age 19 to pastor the famed New Park Chapel in London. His new pulpit had been filled previously by John Gill. The youngster became so popular, so rapidly when just as in Waterbeach, the un-churched were anxious to hear this "new young train." Quickly the New Park Chapel couldn't hold the large throngs that wanted to hear him. He was forced to move the services to the Surrey Music Hall where over 25,000 could see and hear him. The Hall is depicted on the left, showing the exterior and interior. It was while preaching there on October 17, 1855 that he would experience a life changing occurence that would put him in a depression for the rest of his life.

Here's the way this situation was described: The doors of the building were opened at six o'clock, within a few minutes there was no more room. Just after our pastor had commenced his prayer a disturbance was caused, as it is supposed, by some evil-disposed persons acting in concert, and the whole congregation was seized with a sudden panic. This caused a fearful rush to the doors, particularly from the galleries. Several persons, either in consequence of their heedless haste, or from the extreme pressure of the crowd behind, were thrown down on the stone steps of the north-west staircase, and were trampled. Seven persons lost their lives, and 28 were hospitalized. This lamentable circumstance produced very serious effects on the nervous system of or Pastor. He was prostrated for some days and relinguished his preaching engagements. Through the mercy of our Heavenly Father, he was, however, restored so as to be able to occupy the pulpit in our own chapel on Sunday, October 31st, and gradually recovered his wonted health and vigour. The Lord's name be praised!