“In every era, God has raised up servants granting them a double anointing and unleashing them to impact the world and strengthen his church, Charles Spurgeon was such a man.” – from the Forward of The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon Vol. 2
I’ve never really had an interest in preachers of the past, except maybe Billy Graham. I would hear/see people drop quotes of some guys that preached in the 1800s, but never really paid much attention to them. Then I started doing research into my own family history and studying that time-frame of the 1800s. I wanted to add more to the historical picture of my family than just a list of people that lived and died….I wanted to know how they lived, what they believed, how that impacted their lives and their world.
The sermons of Charles Spurgeon fit neatly into the the time-frame of my family, however, I wonder, since my ancestors were Southerners, if his words were not received well by them.
Spurgeon’s character was assassinated throughout the Confederacy. His sermons, which in 1862-1863 sold one million copies annually, were censured. His books, which sold 1,000 copies per minute at trade shows, were publicly destroyed. Sermon bonfires illuminated jail yards, plantations, and bookshops throughout the Southern states.
The following article appeared in an Alabama newspaper (Montgomery Mail, repr. in “Spurgeon’s Sermons—a Bonfire,” Nashville Patriot [March 15, 1860]):
It reads, “Spurgeon is in danger of an auto-de-fé. The ‘Montgomery Mail’ (Alabama) says: “A Gentleman of this city requests us to invite, and we do hereby invite all persons in Montgomery who possess copies of the sermons of the notorious English abolitionist, Spurgeon, to send them to the jail yard to be burned on next Friday, this day week. A subscription is also on foot to buy of our booksellers all copies of said sermons now in their stores, to be burned on the same occasion. Does anybody say nay?””
Today, I’m reading not only his sermons from that time period, but also a newly released study bible incorporating his sermons and quotes into the CSB text.
Both the Spurgeon Study Bible and the Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon Vol. 2 are beautifully crafted. Pictured above, is the hardcover version of the bible, however it is also available in different leathers. The book and hardcover bible are linen cloth over hardboard, giving them a very eloquent feel and look.
As pictured above, the bible has a very comfortable reading font size for the text. The study notes are taken from Spurgeon’s own sermon notes (Vol. 1). There are inserts of his handwritten notes and sermons throughout the bible, which for me, is very pleasing to the eye….but then, I love the beauty of the writings of our ancestors, before typewriters. Reading the text and then having his notes on that text right there with it is like sitting in his office and having Spurgeon himself explain the Word to me.
The book of lost sermons literally takes each page of his notebook of sermons and prints it out on the adjoining page for easier reading. It’s not a word-for-word composition of his sermons, but his notes he used to study and preach his sermons. It’s bullet journaling at it’s earliest conception.
Each sermon has the focal scripture his was going to use and then highlights of points he wanted to make along with supporting scripture. Some points have more details than others. It’s not a book you can just jump into reading cover to cover. It’s one that needs to be studied with your own bible and notes.
In the back of the book is a list of all Scripture mentioned in his notes. I’ve already used it to add to my preparation for teaching the book of Leviticus in my church. I used the index to find the scripture I was studying and then went to his notes to see what his thoughts were on the topic.
Spurgeon’s notes are timeless as is the Word of God. Both of these together make a great study resource.