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Manning, a man of exceptional abilities and powerful connections, had been marked from an early age as one destined to achieve power in church or politics.
Charles Spurgeon had none of these advantages of privilege, education, or aristocratic connections.
He moved to Cambridge in 1850, and he lived in the Cambridge area until he began his London ministry four years later.
During his years in Cambridge he combined the roles of scholar, teaching assistant, and preacher.
There were about five hundred people in Stambourne, a town so remote that even at the end of the nineteenth century it lacked a railroad station.
The revolutions in industry and transportation that transformed Victorian Britain were unknown to Stambourne, where the pace of life revolved around the seasons rather than the machine.
His father, John, and his grandfather, James, were Independent ministers.
Like many nineteenth-century Nonconformist ministers, Spurgeon was a “son of the manse.” His earliest childhood memories were of listening to sermons, learning hymns, and looking at the pictures in .
It was a remarkable demonstration of affection and respect, even in an era when people were scrupulous in observing the rituals that accompanied death.Sixty thousand people came to pay homage during the three days his body lay in state at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.A funeral parade two miles long followed his hearse from the Tabernacle to the cemetery at Upper Norwood.Spurgeon’s grandfather preached in an Independent meeting house that dated back to the seventeenth century.
Ten years after leaving Stambourne, Spurgeon began his London ministry, and for the rest of his life the metropolis was his home.And they remained his heroes and models in the years when he evoked their example to the thousands who came to hear him in the Tabernacle and the tens of thousands who read his sermons each week.