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C. H. Spurgeon’s Forgotten Early Sermons

By Terence Peter Crosby
November 2011 | Review by Jeremy Walker

Synopsis

Lovers of Spurgeon's preaching have always had a special affection for the sermons of his New Park Street years, with their youthful vibrancy and freshness, but, when compared with their more numerous Metropolitan Tabernacle successors, a far lower percentage of these actually reached publication. Of the sermons preached mostly on Sundays and Thursdays an average of roughly 105 per year are extant for the 30 years of his Metropolitan Tabernacle ministry, but an average of only about 70 per year for his 7 New Park Street years. The purpose of this volume is to reintroduce some 28 of these early gems which appeared only in The Sword and the Trowel, all but one after his death.

  • Publisher: Day One
  • ISBN: 9781846252020
  • Pages: 320
  • Price: 15.00
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Book Review

C. H. Spurgeon’s Forgotten Early Sermons
Comp. Terence Peter Crosby
Day One
320, £15.00
ISBN: 9781846252020
Star Rating: 3

Continuing the sterling work they are doing in recovering long unavailable Spurgeon resources, DayOne give us twenty eight of Spurgeon’s earliest sermons. Although most date from the New Park Street period of his ministry, all bar one were originally published in The Sword and the Trowel after his death.

The vast majority of the sermons published here therefore come not from Spurgeon via his own editorial pen, but through his first pastoral student, Thomas Medhurst, who recorded sermons that he heard. As a result, some of the sermons are more sinewy outlines than full-bodied orations. In addition, the reader accustomed to those longer sermons that were taken down professionally and then went through Spurgeon’s own hands will undergo the curious experience of reading something which is at once eminently recognisable and yet subtly altered, as Medhurst’s own style mediates Spurgeon’s substance. It is not necessarily awkward, just finely but noticeably different.

Taking this into account, we have here something typically tasty: a range of texts on various topics, each one grounded in its context but often taking us in unexpected directions as Spurgeon’s intense heart and imaginative insights turn each text into a gospel kaleidoscope whereby the Saviour is exalted, the sinner invited, and the saint exhorted.

As a whole, the book confirms our assessments and meets our expectations of Spurgeon as a man whose strength lies in proclaiming Christ as crucified in earnest tones of love and awe, often leaning more toward the experiential side of Christianity, though building on the most solid of doctrinal bases. While there may be emphases with which particular readers will take conscientious issue, those familiar with his preaching will know what to expect and find here a feast of good things, at times discernibly served up by a slightly different hand. The food, though, is as appetising as ever.

Jeremy Walker

Crawley, West Sussex cc

 

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