Spurgeon on being cheerful in ministry

I love a minister whose face invites me to make him my friend - a man upon whose doorstep you read Salve, “Welcome”; and feel that there is no need of that Pompeian warning, Cave Canem, “Beware of the dog.” Give me the man around whom children come, like flies around a honeypot: they are first-class judges of a good man…. So you will find that children have their instincts, and discover very speedily who is their friend; and depend upon it the children’s friend is one who will be worth knowing….

A man who has no geniality about him had better be an undertaker and bury the dead, for he will never succeed in influencing the living…. A man must have a great heart if he would have a great congregation. His heart should be as capacious as those noble harbours along our coast, which contain sea room for a fleet. When a man has a large, loving heart, men go to him as ships to a haven, and feel at peace when they have anchored under the lee of his friendship. Such a man is hearty in private as well as in public; his blood is not cold and fishy, but he is warm as your own fireside. No pride and selfishness chill you when you approach him; he has his doors all open to receive you, and you are at home wit him at once. Such men I would persuade you to be, every one of you.

The Christian minister should also be very cheerful. I don’t believe in going about like certain monks whom I saw in Rome, who salute each other in sepulchral tones, and convey the pleasant informaiton “Brother, we must die”; to which lively salutation each lively brother of the order replies, “Yes, brother, we must die.” I was glad to be assured upon such good authority that all these lazy fellows are about to die; upon the whole, it is about the best thing they can do; but till that event occurs, they might use some more comfortable form of salutation.

.... Some of the biggest rogues in the world have been as mortified in appearance as if they had lived on locusts and wild honey. It is a very vulgar error to suppose that a melancholy countenance is the index of a gracious heart. I commend cheerfulness to all who would win souls; not levity and frothiness, but a genial, happy spirit. There are more flies caught with honey than with vinegar, and there will be more souls led to heaven by a man who wears heaven in his face than by one who bears Tartarus in his looks.

(Lectures to my Students on Preaching)

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