Let me beseech you to believe that it is needful as well as justifiable that you should feel compassion for the sons of men. You all desire to glorify Christ by becoming soul-winners—I hope you do—and be it remembered that, other things being equal, he is the fittest in God’s hand to win souls who pities souls most.
I believe he preaches best who loves best, and in the Sunday-school and in private life each soul-seeker shall have the blessing very much in proportion to his yearning for it. Paul becomes a saviour of many because his heart’s desire and prayer to God is that they may be saved.
If you can live without souls being converted, you shall live without their being converted; but if your soul breaketh for the longing that it hath towards Christ’s glory and the conversion of the ungodly, if like her of old you say, “Give me children, or I die,” your insatiable hunger shall be satisfied, the craving of your spirit shall be gratified.
Oh! I would to God there should come upon us a divine hunger which cannot stay itself except men yield themselves to Jesus; an intense, earnest, longing, panting desire that men should submit themselves to the gospel of Jesus. This will teach you better than the best college training how to deal with human hearts. This will give the stammering tongue the ready word; the hot heart shall burn the cords which held fast the tongue. You shall become wise to win souls, even though you never exhibit the brilliance of eloquence or the force of logic. Men shall wonder at your power—the secret shall be hidden from them, the fact being that the Holy Ghost shall overshadow you, and your heart shall teach you wisdom, God teaching your heart.
Deep feeling on your part for others shall make others feel for themselves, and God shall bless you, and that right early.
(Excerpt from Compassion for Souls by C.H. Spurgeon, 1871)