He began preaching at sixteen. His first published work was a Gospel tract written in 1853, at the age of 19. A few months later, he was called to be a pastor in London, at New Park Street Chapel. His life was not without controversy, but I choose to focus on what I've been reading of his sermons. As I read my Kindle edition of Spurgeon's Gems, I was impressed by his insights and courage to speak his heart. So much spoke to me, affirming much of what I believe. Over the years, I've learned to glean whatever is good and inspiring. Most of his work is available for free in one place or another.