On one occasion P.T. Barnum, head of the great Barnum & Bailey Circus, invited Charles Spurgeon to speak in the large tent at his traveling circus. Spurgeon’s preaching would often draw crowds exceeding 10,000 people and Barnum saw great opportunity to increase his show attendance if Spurgeon would join him.
Barnum’s pitch to Spurgeon was an attractive one. He offered to supply the musical talent, unless Spurgeon wished to provide his own. Any equipment, side show, or manpower would be at his disposal. And Spurgeon had freedom to speak as long or briefly as he desired.
The only catch was that the Barnum Circus Association would keep all profits from the gate tickets and in return compensate Spurgeon with a thousand dollar per sermon honorarium.
This was a generous offer in Spurgeon’s day and likely would have persuaded many preachers to chase the opportunity.
But not Spurgeon.
He saw through Barnum’s offer and sent him this reply…
Dear Mr. Barnum:
Thank you for your kind invitation to lecture in your circus tents in America. You will find my answer in Acts 13:10.
Very sincerely yours,
Charles H. Spurgeon
I am unsure if Mr. Barnum ever looked up Acts 13:10, but if he had, this is what he would have found: “You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord?”
Spurgeon would never compromise the purity of the Gospel for some coin. May we be ever careful to be of the same mind.
Source: The Gold Mine, Lee Roberson