Subscribe now

CH Spurgeon Forgotten Public Lectures: Forgotten early articles, sermons and public lectures

By Terence Peter Crosby
November 2019 | Review by Alan Wells
  • Publisher: DayOne Publications
  • ISBN: 1846256208
  • Pages: 505
  • Price: £25.00
Buy this book »

Book Review

Where do you start when reviewing C. H. Spurgeon? And is it permissible to rate the ‘Prince of Preachers’ at anything but five stars?

Perhaps the key factor in assessing this collection is to decide on the intended readership. Everything Spurgeon-related has a ready market, but this volume is not a typical compilation of extracts from the long-running Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit. The introduction states, ‘The purpose of this volume is to reintroduce some of the forgotten early articles and a number of his public lectures, the latter of which have long been out of print and known only by their titles’ (p.5).

The mix includes some very early articles from 1853 to 1855, and a wide variety of public lectures from throughout Spurgeon’s long ministry. The value is not so much in the material itself, but in the light it sheds upon Spurgeon the man and the preacher. The style of the earliest articles is instantly recognisable, and it is difficult to believe Spurgeon was still in his teens when he wrote them.

The genius of the man is seen in the scope of his knowledge and interests at a time when he was engaged in a high profile, highly pressured public ministry. He lectures on George Fox (commending him warmly) before an audience of Quakers. He argues the case for the gospel temperance movement. He speaks on gorillas, bellringing and lord mayors of London.

There is a noteworthy defence of the practice of giving midweek lectures on secular subjects within a place of worship and providing a wholesome form of entertainment. Spurgeon rejects the position whereby ‘we first of all debar a man from any amusements which he might like to have, and tell him that they are wrong, and then we do not give him any better ones in the place thereof’ (p.168). A favourite of mine was a lecture on George Whitefield, one gospel hero reviewing the life of another.

The material here is full of wit, curious anecdote and ready gospel application, and so is rarely less than compelling. But at £25 this is not a cheap volume. Readers looking for work of enduring value from Spurgeon’s pen could better start elsewhere. I would conclude that this collection is best suited for the diehard fan or for the historian of Spurgeon’s career.

Alan Wells

Bromsgrove

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Book Reviews

Read our latest book reviews

Coping with Criticism: Turning pain into blessing
Mostyn Roberts

Have you ever faced criticism and found it painful and difficult to cope with? In this short title, Mostyn Roberts addresses this common problem. The book began as a paper written for a ministers’ fraternal, and was later expanded into…

See all book reviews
The History and Theology of Calvinism
Curt Daniel

This must be the most comprehensive study of the subject available today. It is difficult to think of any aspect of Calvinism that is not covered. It is divided into two major sections. The first covers the history, and ranges…

Searching Our Hearts in Difficult Times
John Owen

It is difficult to do this book justice in a review – the only way to grasp how helpful it is will be to read it for yourself. John Owen has a reputation for writing in a style that is…

An Introduction to John Owen: A Christian vision for every stage of life
Crawford Gribben

This unusual yet valuable book is not a biography of the influential Puritan. Rather its purpose – which it achieves capably – is ‘to discover the kind of life he hoped his readers would experience’ (p.13). Drawing on Owen’s extensive…