Charles Haddon Spurgeon was an influential English Baptist pastor and is commonly known as the “Prince of Preachers”. By the time of his death in 1892, he had written more words in the English language than any other Christian in history. He had preached almost 3,600 sermons and published 49 volumes of commentaries.
In The Lost Sermons of C.H. Spurgeon, Christian George has brought us into the world and mind of the Prince of Preachers. This is the first volume of twelve, which contains the outlines for 78 sermons he preached at Waterbeach Chapel. It also contains a timeline of Spurgeon’s life mixed with important historical dates, well-designed charts and graphs that display what books of the Bible he preached on during his early ministry, and more.
What I think:
I believe that these books are and will be a blessing to the church. Please note that this book contains sermon outlines and not sermon manuscripts. A friend asked me a good question the other day, “Are these useful without a working knowledge of the entirety of Spurgeon’s thoughts or at least a sermon manuscript?” While it would be ideal to have at least a manuscript, I still believe that we can learn a lot from even his outlines or as Spurgeon called them “skeletons”. For me, it’s interesting to see how he laid out and organized the sermon. The notes that are included with the outlines do point to other sources where you can view the transcripts of the sermons. This book also contains commentary from Christian George, notes from Susanna Spurgeon, and cross-references. If you’re a nerd like me, you will enjoy the chart that tells you how many miles Spurgeon traveled to preach on different occasions to the comments about the ink blots from Spurgeon’s writing utensil malfunctions. I found it really interesting to learn that Spurgeon sometimes would borrow from the writings of other English pastors and authors to use in his sermons and at times quoted them word for word. He also had outlines for sermons that did not include a single portion of Scripture. I’m hoping that throughout this 12 volume series we will see how Spurgeon progressed and developed in his sermon prep.
The construction of this book is top notch. There are two editions you can get for this volume (Standard and Collector’s). Both editions have pages that are made of a thick and glossy paper which seems to be very durable. High-quality photos of each page of Spurgeon’s first journal are included as well. Below are some photos as well as some additional information on each edition.
I recommend getting the Collector’s Edition. It has custom marbled paper and leather binding like Spurgeon’s original notebook, gold gilded edges, and lots of photographs not found in the standard edition. At first, I didn’t understand the design of these books until I watched the video below.
Here is a short video explaining how the artwork was created.
If you are on a budget, the standard edition is also very nice. It has a dust jacket with another design from one of Spurgeon’s journals and a very nice cloth over board cover. This cover looks very old-school and has a nice look on a bookshelf.
About the editor of this book: Christian T. George is the assistant professor of historical theology and curator of The Spurgeon Library at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO.