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These were the first words C.H. Spurgeon preached at the newly-constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle on March 18, 1861:

I would propose that the subject of the ministry in this house, as long as this platform shall stand, and as long as this house shall be frequented by worshipers, shall be the person of Jesus Christ. I am never ashamed to avow myself a Calvinist; I do not hesitate to take the name of Baptist; but if I am asked what is my creed, I reply, “It is Jesus Christ.” My venerated predecessor, Dr. Gill, has left a body of divinity, admirable and excellent in its way; but the body of divinity to which I would pin and bind myself for ever, God helping me, is not his system, or any other human treatise; but Christ Jesus, who is the sum and substace of the gospel, who is in himself all theology, the incarnation of every precious truth, the all-glorious person embodiment of the way, the truth, and the life.

When I, Lord willing, pastor a church some day, I might just steal these exact words to preach my first sermon. I just hope that I can take over from someone named Dr. Gill.

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