The publisher of this blog has secured, at great effort, a series of letters written by the Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon. These letters were written in 1860 exclusively for publication in a Boston Baptist newspaper, The Christian Watchman and Reflector. To my knowledge, this is the first time that these letters have been made available to the public since their original publication. The plan is publish one letter at a time, as soon as I can format everything properly (having pulled these letters from microfilm). It is my belief that many not now readers of this blog will be induced by this, among other elements of interest, to become such.
An index of the letters and several background articles can be found here: Charles Spurgeon in the Christian Watchman & Reflector | Index
The Christian Watchman and Reflector announced their arrangement with Spurgeon in a couple of notices leading up to 1860:
November 24, 1859
REV CHARLES H. SPURGEON
A REGULAR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE CHRISTIAN WATCHMAN AND REFLECTOR
The world-noted Preacher of London, Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, has been engaged as the Regular Correspondent of the CHRISTIAN WATCHMAN AND REFLECTOR. A letter form Mr. Spurgeon to the Publishers, bearing date Clapham, Oct. 29, says: “I am willing to serve you, and shall endeavor to write every fortnight.”
The enlistment of Spurgeon as a Regular Correspondent, according to the terms in which he, in the above, expresses himself, is a feature of advance in the line of what we propose, which we have been at special pains to realize, believing that many not now readers of this journal will be induced by this, among other elements of interest, to become such. We shall publish the first letter of Spurgeon in the issue of Jan. 5, 1860.
December 1, 1860
As the reader is already aware, the publishers have also secured the REV. CHARLES H. SPURGEON, OF LONDON, at great expense, as a regular correspondent of this paper. Among the thousands who have read with profit his sermons in this country, there is hardly one who does not feel a deep interest in his continued usefulness and prosperity, and who will not hail with pleasure this opportunity to hold more intimate communication with him As Mr. Spurgeon keeps himself informed of all religious movements, especially in England, his letters cannot fail to be richly instructive and entertaining.
The readers of the WATCHMAN AND REFLECTOR will have the sole benefit of his contributions, as he writes for no other paper either in this country, or, we believe, in England. His first letter will be published January 5.
It appears that the effort did result in an increase in subscribers to the paper, since Spurgeon was of such intense interest in the U.S. at that time. Shortly into the year, they published this notice:
February 9, 1860
INCREASE OF READERS
During the month of January just closed, the WATCHMAN AND REFLECTOR has received a gratifying accession to its subscription list, and still the increase continues. It is the hope and desire of the Publishers that this increase of readers may continue to go on for months to come. The announcements for the year, we believe, have thus far been fulfilled, not only in the commencement of Mr. Spurgeon’s letters (three of which in his regular series have appeared already) but of other correspondence as well…
Discovering these letters has been thrilling, reading them through the eyes of American Baptists has been fascinating, and hearing from Spurgeon has been thoroughly edifying. It’s a delight to bring these letters out to the public this summer.