From Spurgeon’s Sermon on Eph. 4:7-12 preached in March 1871 (Thanks to Rob Cosby for these quotations)
We have thought that Christ’s gifts were valuable enough for us to treasure up and improve them. Our College has now received and sent forth, in the name of Jesus, more than two hundred ministers of the word. Look around you and see how few churches care to receive the ascension gifts of Christ, and how few pastors encourage young men to preach. I read the other day, with unutterable horror, the complaint that our churches were like to have too many ministers; an almost blasphemous complaint, impugning the value of Christ’s ascension gifts. O that God would give us ten times the number of men after his own heart, and surely there would be then great lack of more! But there are too many, say they, for the present pulpits. Oh, miserable soul is it come to this, that a minister of Christ must have a pulpit ready to hand? Are we all to be builders on other men’s foundations? Have we none among us who can gather their own flocks? In a three million city like this can any man say that laborers for Christ are too many? Loiterers are too many, doubtless; and when the church drives out the drones, who shall pity them? While there remain hundreds of towns and villages without a Baptist church, and whole districts of other lands without the gospel, it is idle to dream that of evangelists and teachers we can have too many. No man is so happy in his work as he who presides over a flock of his own gathering, and no pastor is more beloved than he who raised from ruin a destitute church and made it to become a joy and praise in the earth. Pray the Lord to send true pastors and true evangelists. Christ procured them by his ascension. Let us not forget this. What! shall it be thought that the blessings of the crucifixion are worth the having, and the blessings of the resurrection worth receiving, but the blessings of the ascension are to be regarded with indifference or even with suspicion? No; let us prize the gifts which God gives by his Son, and when he sends us evangelists and pastors, let us treat them with loving respect.