In 1862, Spurgeon was still just 28 years old, but was already the most recognizable preacher in the world. His works had been introduced into America in 1857 and he was, in both the UK and America, a phenom. And with the recognition came challenges. In his correspondence, a couple pop up again and again. The first was his continual exhaustion from preaching for friends who he felt both privileged and obligated to speak for. In one letter, he actually laments that it will be his friends who do him in the end. The second is reflected in this letter. A string of people who have met Spurgeon once or perhaps never at all, but name dropping him or using him as a reference of sorts . . . without permission or any real relationship.
Dec. 1, 1862
My Dear Sir,
I have not the remotest idea to what person you can refer. The name of Lavestein is quite unknown to me. Of course many persons know me of whom I know nothing. If the man is a Baptist, especially a Baptist minister, Mr. Oncken* of Hamburg c[oul]d inform you.
C. H. Spurgeon"
Very good condition as shown. Exceptionally well-preserved early letter.
*Johann Gerhard Oncken [1800-1884] was the father of German Baptists. He was sent out from the Haldane brothers as part of their mission to the Continent, the Genevan revival, etc.,