Charles H. Spurgeon was not known as the prince of preachers for nothing. He was a master in the pulpit at so many levels. His theology is balanced, his rhetoric profound, his thinking clear, his heart faithful, his manner simple, and his passion for God hot.
To review this book is, for all practical purposes, to review Spurgeon as a preacher as his sermons tend to have the same feel no matter which one you pick up. And there are a lot to pick from since just about every word Spurgeon ever uttered publicly was published the world around and is available today in so many formats.
This particular collection is topically based, giving sermons on hope. Other books in the series focus on decision, praise, prayer, soul-winning, etc.
First, reading this book reminded me that I need to read more Spurgeon. Spurgeon isn’t bombastic. He doesn’t make a big splash in the book stores. His preaching/writing is simple, direct, profound, and timeless. More than that, it is rich in faith and love for God. This is the sort of stuff I want to be taking in.
Second, the topical nature of this book makes it useful for giving to those who are struggling in a particular area.
Third, this compilation is Spurgeon’s best. Ten sermons on one topic hand selected from so many sermons ensures a great read.
First, the credits page of this book says “In the process of preparing this collection, we have taken the liberty to make certain edits to the text.” While it seems to suggest that this editing is only to errors in spelling, archaic forms, and typographical errors, this leaves me uneasy. Especially considering that a major publication in the same circles of Christianity regularly edited certain elements which they deemed to be theologically distasteful out of Spurgeon’s works without notifying the reader. I would like to know exactly what they are editing and where. Footnotes would be an appropriate means of communicating this. While Spurgeon’s writing is still at the level of popular sermonic material in many places, these are still significant historical documents and I feel they should be respected as such.
Second, one’s confidence in the editorial process is not boosted by the presence of dozens of errors in spelling and significant typographical errors. Nor is it helped by the fact that Spurgeon is referred to as “Rev. C. H. Spurgeon” on several occasions (a title reserved for ordained ministers). It is no secret that Mr. Spurgeon was never ordained and was quite direct and vocal in addressing this fact.
Third, there would be a few minor matters of how points were communicated that I should like to ask Mr. Spurgeon about were I to have the privilege of having a cuppa with him. But then, in that case, I suppose there are a great many other ways I would much rather invest such an opportunity.
Spurgeon was a sound theologian. He rarely got off on odd tangents. You can just about count on it that when Spurgeon teaches, his theology will be sound. He had a knack for avoiding peripherals while being downright obstinate in protecting and proclaiming the core doctrines of the faith. This collection is a solid demonstration of this.
Grace to you.