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Picture of Charles Simeon

Charles Simeon

Photo of contributor

Posted by Ros Clarke, 13 Nov 2017

As the Church of England remembers Charles Simeon today, a few Church Society articles which celebrate particular aspects of his ministry for us to learn from today.

Charles Simeon: Prince of Evangelicals
Arthur Bennett writes about Simeon’s spiritual principles and practices which lay behind his ministry, giving a real insight into Simeon’s character and his faith:

“But perhaps none of the many encomia given to him explanatory of the man and the secret of his achievements may equal his own self-assessment made on his death bed when he slowly smote his chest three times and said:
I am, I know, the chief of sinners; and I hope for nothing but the mercy of God in Christ Jesus to life eternal;  and I shall be,  if not the greatest monument of God’s mercy in heaven,  yet the very next to it; for I know none greater . . . I look, as the chief of sinners, for the mercy of God in Christ Jesus to life eternal, and I lie adoring the SOVEREIGNTY of God in choosing such a one—and the MERCY of God in pardoning such a one—and the PATIENCE of God in bearing with such a one—and the FAITHFULNESS of God in perfecting his work and performing all his promises to such a one.”

Expository Preaching: Charles Simeon and ourselves
A classic article from J.I.Packer in 1960, using one of the greats from church history to illuminate one of the most pressing needs in the contemporary church.

“The quality of his preaching,”  writes the Bishop of Bradford,  “was but a reflection of the quality of the man himself.  And there can be little doubt that the man himself was largely made in the early morning hours which he devoted to private prayer and the devotional study of the Scriptures. It was his custom to rise at 4 a.m., light his own fire, and then devote the first four hours of the day to communion with God.  Such costly self-discipline made the preacher.  That was primary. The making of the sermon was secondary and derivative.”

For more on Simeon, including biographical articles, see our archive page here.

Ros Clarke is Associate Director of Church Society

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