No small amount of ink has been spilled over the joys and importance of journaling in the believer’s life. Keeping track of one’s spiritual growth, prayers (offered and answered), and the truths one is learning from God’s Word provides a map of one’s faith journey. Recently, B&H has offered a new journal in conjunction with its publication of the lost sermons of C. H. Spurgeon. The Spurgeon journal is bound with a leather binding, single ribbon, and 140 ruled pages for your notes.
The art of penmanship is, sadly, a dying art today, but there is something absolutely lovely about slowing down to handwrite one’s thoughts in a personal journal. When I engage in this type of writing, I prefer to use fine fountain pens. However, many journals do not have the requisite paper weight to prevent the ink from bleeding through to the other side. The Spurgeon journal does not have this defect. The paper is sufficient to allow me to use my fountain pens (although, if your fountain pen is more on the wet side, you may discover some bleeding will occur). Each page is numbered, which corresponds to a blank table of contents at the outset. This allows each author to keep track of what they wrote about and where they can find it. I find this to be one of the best features of this journal, a rather unique offering that will pay great dividends for future reference. In addition, a space for the date of each entry graces the top of each page. Every few pages, one is presented with a quotation from one of Spurgeon’s lost sermons (complete with citation), which can easily serve as a thought provoker should writer’s block have you stymied. Spurgeon’s gold embossed signature is displayed on the front cover, while the spine is decorated in some abstract art that is similar to the design used in the released volumes of those lost sermons.
For me, that design does not particularly tickle my fancy. I think I would have preferred that this design were left off altogether (resulting in a solid black journal), or placed on the open end of the covers opposite the spine (so that the colors would not protrude on my bookshelf). Because of this two-tone design, two different materials are used, resulting in the leather portion of the cover overlapping the color portion. It is visibly noticeable where the color portion ends under the leather, and one can physically feel the end of the leather. My concern is whether, over time, the leather will begin to separate from the other material. Given that journals are usually kept for some time and even passed down to subsequent generations, this might be a design flaw. These are my only two concerns with this product, however.
B&H has produced a wonderful product here, one that I look forward to filling soon. If you love the “Prince of Preachers,” this volume would be a lovely addition to keep near your copies of his works. How fitting it would be to fill it with your thoughts on God that have been spurred by Spurgeon’s own words! If you journal, you would be hard pressed to find a better offering at this price point.