MR. SPURGEON AS A LITERARY MAN (CONTINUED) AT the time of Mr. Spurgeon’s home-going, he possessed at least 12,000 volumes. The number would have been far larger if he had not given so generously to the libraries of the Pastors’ College and of many of the ministers trained within its walls, and if he had not also, from his abundant stores, so freely enriched other friends His; books almost filled the shelves of two large rooms, — the study and the library; one smaller room, — “the den”; and the vestibule adjoining the study. There are even more volumes at “Westwood” today than there were in 1892; for, while all that belonged to the beloved owner remain just as he left them, many newly-published works have been added to his collection. He knew the proper place and at least the principal contents of nearly every book in his possession; he could have fetched almost any one of them in the dark, and if any had been taken away by a dishonest visitor, he would speedily have missed them. Probably, a great many of his precious treasures did become permanently lost to him through being lent, for all who borrowed from him were not as particular in returning other people’s property as he himself was. Addressing his students, on one occasion, he said — “I lately met with a statement, by a clergyman, which has very much raised my opinion of human nature; for he declares that he has a personal acquaintance with three gentlemen who have actually returned borrowed umbrellas! I am sorry to say that he moves in a more favored circle than I do, for I have personal acquaintance with several young men who have borrowed books, and never returned them. The orher day, a certain minister, who had lent me five volumes, which! have used for two years or more, wrote to me a note to request the return of three of them. To his surprise, he had them back by the next Parcels’ Delivery, and with them two others, which he had forgotten. I had carefully kept a list of books borrowed, and, therefore, could make a complete return to the owner. I am sure he did not expect their prompt arrival, for he wrote me a letter of mingled astonishment and gratitude; and when I visit his study again, I feel sure I shall be welcome to another loan. You know the rhyme which has been written in many a man’s book, — “‘If thou art borrowed by a friend, Right welcome shall he be To read, to study, not to lend, But to return to me.
Not that imparted knowledge doth Diminish learning’s store; But books, I find, when once they’re lent, Return to me no more.’ “Sir Walter Scott used to say that his friends might be indifferent accountants, but he was sure they were good ‘book-keepers.’” It Mr. Spurgeon could return to his study, he would have no difficulty in finding his books, for they are still arranged according to the method he long ago adopted. Beginning at the right-hand side of the cupboard in the center of the illustration on the previous page, the volumescommence with Commentaries on Genesis, and continue in consecutive order, through the whole of the long side of the room, to the end of Revelation. Then follow Cyclopaedias of anecdotes, illustrations, and emblems, with dictionaries and other works of reference indispensable to a literary’ man. These books fill up half the end of the study. Then, on the other side of the doorway leading into “the den,” and partly hidden by the revolving bookcase, is a choicely-bound set of the,. Pastor’s sermons. These formed part of the background of one of the latest and best of his photographs that was ever taken, and which is here reproduced.
On the, shelves above and below Mr. Spurgeon’s volumes of sermons, is a large assortment of theological works, sufficiently numerous to overflow to the revolving bookcase, which also contains biographies and miscellaneous literature for general reading. — At the opposite end of the room, on the left-hand side of the cupboard shown in the illustration on page 287, are more theological works, somewhat less modern than those mentioned on the previous page.
Several thousands of the books that belonged to Mr. Spurgeon occupied the spacious shelves in the library here represented. In Vol. 2, one view of this room was given; by comparing it with the above illustration, the whole can be seen. The volumes here preserved, like those in the study, are also arranged in sections. Beginning at the side nearest the windows, one whole bay’ is filled with works on natural history and the sciences; the next is devoted to records; of missions, travel,;, and adventures; then follow biographies, which require almost the whole of the space in the two wide sets of shelves, the remainder being allotted to books on Bible lands. The shelves visible on the left-hand side of the picture in Vol. II. are filled with poetry and the hymnals used in the compilation of Our Own Hymn Book, with later additions, and some sermonic and other literature not usually needed in the study. Beyond the doorway, bound volumes of periodicals, both for juveniles and adults, and more general literature, with a large store of books of proverbs and anecdotes, need several sets of shelves; next follow historical and denominational works, the topographical books described on page 286, a great number of old folios, mostly the writings of Latin authors; and last, but certainly not least, more than a whole bay is required for the American and other reprints of Mr. Spurgeon’s sermons and other works, and the translations of them into various foreign languages. He was never able. to procure anything like a complete set of his writings as reproduced!in other tongues, and the number of translations has been greatly increased since his home-going; but those now at “Westwood” include Arabic, Armenian, Bengali, Bulgarian, Castilian (for the Argentine Republic), Chinese, Congo, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esthonian, French, Gaelic, German, Hindi, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kaffir, Karen, Lettish, Maori, Norwegian, Polish, Russian, Servian, Spanish, Swedish, Syriac, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu Welsh, with sermons in Moon’s and Braille type for the blind, making, with the dear preacher’s mother-tongue, nearly forty languages in which he continues, from the printed page, to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ. The text most commonly used concerning him is, “He’. being dead yet speaketh.” Dr. Newman Hall, referring recently to Mr. Spurgeon, gave it new rendering to that passage -”Then, as he yet speaketh, he is not dead.” Verily, it is so.
The foregoing account of the arrangement of Mr. Spurgeon’s books is necessarily incomplete, and many hundreds of his highly-valued volumes may thus have escaped classification; but it gives a general idea of the books he owned, and loved, and used, and with which he was so well acquainted that he was prepared to discuss their contents with any visitor who called to see him.
On removing to “Westwood,” and fitting up with oak bookshelves two sides of the room used by the former occupants of the house as a drawingroom, Mr. Spurgeon found that the space at his disposal proved too large even for the thousands of books which had overtaxed the accommodation at “Helensburgh House.” The Pastor therefore purchased many works which he had long desired to possess, and added them to his previous store; and, as he had still to say, “Yet there is room,” he hit upon an ingenious expedient for temporarily filling the empty shelves at the top of the library and study. He had a number of dummy volumes made by his bookbinder, and had some of them lettered to correspond with the sets of books already in his possession, such as Carlyle’s Works, Macaulay’s Works, Alison’s History of Europe, Hume’s History of England, The Homilist, etc. In other cases, the titles were reversed; as, for instance, Job on Caryl, made to stand not far from Caryl on Job. The lettering of some of the large sets of dummies was amusing. Anyone who handled the volumes entitled Wretched Scandals, by the Talkers’ Sisters, would find that there was nothing in them! Similar sets bore the titles, Mischief by Boys, Windows Ventilated by Stone, Gunpowder Magazine by Plumstead, and Padlock on the Understanding. But it was upon the names of the single volumes that the Pastor exercised the greatest ingenuity. He often referred to the meaning of Mrs. Spurgeon’s Christian name, Susannah, a lily, and associated it with Shushar, so it was not surprising that one of the titles he used was Lilies of Shushan, while the name of Mrs. Spurgeon’s companion suggested Thorn on Roses. The Pastor’s two secretaries were represented by the volumes entitled Mysteries Opened by J. L. Heys, and The Character of William the Conqueror, by Harrald. The tutors and students of the Pastor’s College were represented by the fallowing and other titles — Joseph, Samuel, and Abraham, corrected by G. Rogers; Sublime and Beautiful, by D, Gracey, Goodly Pearls, by Marchant; Eastward Ho! by A.
G. Brown,’ Cuff on the Head; Knell on Death ; Carter on the Road; Cricket on the Green, by Balls; Over the Stream, by Bridge ; Hook and I; Tydeman on Cleanliness; Hammer and Tongs, by Smith; Aches and Pains, by Feltham (felt ‘em); Country Retreats, by Greenwood, Grindery), in all its Branches, by Miller; Do it again, by Dunnett (done it); Standing, Swift, Finch, and another Bird,’ and Flight on the Wings of a Dove.
The internationa1 or political allusions included Bull on Bragging, and Jonathan on Exaggeration (placed side by side.); Bulls, by Patrick; The Art of Wasting Time, by an Irish Member ; The Elevation of Parliament, by Guido Faux ; and Benjamin Disraeli on Honesty. The temperance titles were, Rags and Ruin, by a Brewer, Brains Addled by John Barleycorn; and Madness, by L. L. Whiskey; while among the..amusing descriptions might have been found Purchase of Land, by L. S. D.; Hints ,on Honey Pots, by A. B.; The Composition of Milk, by a Dealer, Weaver’s Meditations among the Looms, Gilpin on Riding Horses,. Absalom on the Mule ; Balaam on the Donkey; Tick on Sheep; Skid on the Wheel; Cat on Hot Bricks; Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday ; Pilgrim’s Progress hindered by a Bunyan (bunion) ; Lectures to my Servants, by a Shrew,’ and Slicking up for One’s Sell, by a Pole.
Before very long, the number of books increased at such a rapid rate that, instead of dummies being required to fill vacant shelves, real and substantial volumes were standing or lying about, in various directions, because there was no proper place available for them. It was then decided that Mr. Spurgeon must have the use of the bookshelves in the vestibule between the hall and the study, which up to that time had been employed as the depot and packing-room for the works distributed in connection with Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund. The accompanying illustration, which shows only about a quarter of the space available for books, gives a good idea of the appearance of the vestibule on “packing-day.” At the time the photograph was taken, there were between twenty and thirty Book Fund grants arranged ready to be made up into separate parcels, and despatched to ministers in all parts of the United Kingdom. The nearness of this set of shelves, to the study made it a very valuable annex and a room in another part of the house was adapted and fitted up for the use of the Manager of the Book Fund and her helpers.
Still later, a greater alteration was made, by which additional accommodation was provided for the ever-multiplying books. During Mr. Spurgeon’s absence at Mentone, one winter, a new room was built, connecting the study with the small conservatory, where he liked to sit for a few minutes, in the chair here represented, admiring the choice flowers, watching the fishes and grasses in the miniature aquarium, and reading or meditating upon the theme of some anticipated address or sermon. One result of the altered arrangements was that, in wet weather, the Pastor could have a continuous walk, under shelter, from the fernery at one side of the ‘house to the greenhouses at the other end. By steadily tramping’ the whole distance, backwards and forwards, several times, a very fair amount of exercise could be obtained when it was not possible to be out of doors.
It had also ‘long been felt that Mr. Spurgeon needed another and more private study, into which he could retire for devotion and pulpit preparation, or for interviews with special visitors. This room was always called “the den,” though it was a very different kind of place from Bunyan’s apartment in the Bedford prison to which the immortal dreamer gave that name. In this favored spot, the works of the Puritan divines were lovingly arranged by the one who always repudiated the title many times accorded to him, — Ultimus Puritanorum, the last of the Puritans, — for he believed that he had helped to train hundreds of men who would continue the Puritanical succession after he was gone from their midst, and he also knew that there were, in other denominations and other lands, multitudes of believers in the truths which the Puritans taught, and for which many of them suffered even unto death.
The empty chair, in the corner of “the den,” is the one in which Mr. Spurgeon used to sit at the head of the study table. After he was “called home,” it was put away so that no one else should occupy it. In addition to the Puritans, “the den” contains a large quantity of homiletical, exegetical, and proverbial literature, with a number of miscellaneous volumes for general reading. The new room was a great boon to the busy Pastor, and many a powerful sermon for the congregation at the Tabernacle, or weighty address for the students of the Pastors’ College, or bright article for The Sword and the Trowel, first saw the light in the quiet seclusion of “the den.”
Mr. Spurgeon never cared to buy a book simply because it was rare, unless it was one of the Puritans that he needed for his collection. He valued literary works for their usefulness, not simply for their market price; yet he possessed a great many volumes, bearing their authors’ autograph inscriptions, which he highly prized; and, among them, some of Mr. Ruskin’s were always accorded a prominent position as reminders of the early and cordial friendship which existed between hint and the Pastor. Sir A. H. Layard, Dr. Livingstone, M. Paul B. Du Chaillu, Mr. C. W. M. van de Velde, Dr. W. M. Thomson, Dr. William Wright, Dr. Lansdell, Mr. John MacGregor \“Rob Roy”), and many other travelers are represented at “Westwood” by their works duly inscribed, or by letters from them fastened in their books. It was one of Mr. Spurgeon’s few “hobbies” to have the photographs and autographs of all authors, as; far as he could, with portions of the manuscripts of their works, or other specimens of their handwriting, inserted in one or more of their volumes, thus materially increasing their value, at least in his estimation. Perhaps it was this fancy which made him so freely give his own signature to other collectors of autographs, even if they did not always enclose stamps with their applications; and the same reason may also have prompted him to write in the many hundreds of books that he gave to his friends, who now prize them all the more because of the tender and loving inscriptions with which he enhanced the intrinsic worth of his gifts.
One of his letters shows that, in his anxiety to secure the signature of a friend whose writings he valued, he unintentionally wrote a second time to the same individual — “Nightingale Lane, “Clapham, “May 11. “Dear Sir, “I have to apologize, for having troubled you twice about so small a matter as your autograph; but the fact is, I did not recognize Dr. David Brown, of Duncan’s Memoir as the David Brown of the Commentary. Pray excuse me. “I am getting to fear and tremble about the Browns. You must know that the President and Vice-President of our Baptist Union are both Browns, and that the chairman of our London Association is also a Brown. Browns to the right of us, Browns to the left of us, etc. God bless them all! “Yours heartily, “C. H.SPURGEON.”
The following genial note, from Sir Emilius Bayley, was written in reply to a request for his photograph and autograph to be inserted in his book, Deep unto Deep — “14, Hyde Park Street, W., “May 29, 1878. “Dear Mr. Spurgeon, “Thanks for your very kind reply to my letter, and also for the photograph you were so good as to send me. “I should have sent an earlier acknowledgment, but I had to get the enclosed portrait taken, and some little delay ensued. I very readily fall in with a ‘whim’ which is so flattering to your friends. “May our gracious Father bless your labors very abundantly! “Believe me, “Yours very faithfully, “EMILIUS BAYLEY.”
In reply to a letter from Mr. Spurgeon to Dr. Andrew A. Bonar, asking for his portrait and autograph to insert in hi Commentary on the Book of Leviticus, the beloved author sent his photograph, and the following characteristic note — “Dear Brother, “I cannot refuse what you are so kind as to ask. But if you had only waited a little while, it would have been really worth having, — for we shall beLIKE HIM (1 John 3. 2)., Meantime, the enclosed may hint to you that sometimes you should pray for me. “Yours, with all brotherly love, “ANDREW A.BONAR.”
The same writer’s volume, Christ and His Church in the Rook of Psalms, contains the inscription — ”This book was given to me by my dear friend, Mr. Bonar, and the corrections are made by his own hand. — C. H. SPURGEON.” Dr. Horatius Bonar’s volume, Earth’s Morning,’ or, Thoughts on Genesis, is thus commended — ”A deeply thoughtful and thought-creating book.”
In The Book of Psalms, a New Translation, with Introductions and Notes, Explanatory and Critical, by J. J. Stewart Perowne, B.D., Mr. Spurgeon wrote — ”For a modern book, this has become very rare. It is most accurate and valuable.” The volume also contains a letter from the author (now the Bishop of Worcester), written while he was Dean of Peterborough, in which he said — “I thank you heartily for your kind words about my book on the Psalms. I am the more sensible of your approbation, because you have yourself conferred so inestimable a boon upon the Church by the publication of your Treasury of David. There is no book like it as an aid to devout meditation on one of the most precious portions of God’s Word. I hope someday you will visit Peterborough. It would be a pleasure to me to show you our beautiful cathedral.”
The volume of Expositon Thoughts on the Gospels, by the present Bishop of Liverpool (Dr. J. c. Ryle), contains his portrait, and a letter which he wrote to Mr. Spurgeon, in 1875, when he was vicar of Stradbroke, in which he said — “You want no praise of man, and you know its worthlessness. But I must tell you how much I like your Lectures to my Students. I have rarely seen so many nails hit right on the head. I should like to give a copy to every young clergyman in the Church of England! I hope you are pretty well. I have had much illness in the last four years, and feel nearer home than I ever felt before.”
Yet he has been spared to continue his faithful testimony for nearly another quarter of a century; and only towards the close of 1899 has he felt compelled to intimate his approaching resignation of his bishopric, while his younger friend, to whom he wrote so heartily, has been “at home,,” for nearly eight years!
Mr. Spurgeon desired to possess a specimen of the manuscript of Dr. Charles Hodge, Professor in the Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.A.; and, in reply to a note to that effect, addressed to his son, Dr. A. A. Hodge, the latter wrote the kind letter printed next. “Princeton, “New Jersey, “July 1st, 1879. “Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon, “Dear Sir, “I thank you very much for your kind note, relating to the Outlines, received yesterday. Your many friends, on this side of the ocean, have been anxious about your health, as we have received irregular, and imperfect, and perhaps irresponsible reports of it from time to time. I sincerely trust that it is re-established fundamentally and permanently. ‘Yet I am sure that God has warned you, as the trusted steward of His gifts, not to work so hard and continuously. “I send you, herewith, two of my father’s papers, prepared for the Conferences held by the Professors and students, every Sabbath afternoon, in our Oratory. ‘Nelson, of Edinburgh, has just published a volume containing 249 of them. These I send you are originals in my father handwriting. “May the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit, bless you with all blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord! “Give my best respects to Mrs. Spurgeon. “Yours sincerely, “A. A.HODGE.”
Mr. Spurgeon’s copy of Dr. A. A. Hodge’s Outlines of Theology contains his autograph, and this entry in Mr. Spurgeon’s handwriting “Autograph written in my study, August 8, 1877. — C. H. S.”
Dr. Fergus Ferguson, of Glasgow, in thanking Mr. Spurgeon for the notice of his Life of Christ , wrote, in 1882: — “You must be well-nigh overwhelmed with literary work alone, — not to speak of the pastoral — I cannot close this letter, which I hope you will not think intrusive, without venturing to express my high admiration of your Christian worth and character, as well as my lofty estimate of the position which, in providence, you have been called to fill. The influence you wield, both by pulpit and press, in a perhaps unexampled degree in the annals of the Christian ministry, is to me the very zenith and beau ideal of what human influence should be. May you yet be long spared to wield such influence! God has chastened you not a little by personal and domestic affliction, — thus putting you into the highest class of His spiritual seminary, like the scholars whom Continental teachers call privatissimi, — those to whom they give advanced lessons in their own dwellings.”
In addition to the letters manuscripts, photographs, and autographs of the authors, which Mr. Spurgeon preserved in his copies of their works, whenever he could obtain them, he also wrote his own name in many of the volumes, with an expression of his opinion of their contents. There are, perhaps, among his books, some hundreds of these inscriptions; many of them are autobiographical, and for that reason deserve a place in the present work. It is worthy of note that, while this chapter has been in course of preparation, the compilers have met with an interesting article by Mr. Andrew Lang, entitled “Scrawls on Books,” which shows that he approved of the custom which the Pastor so extensively observed. Among other things, he wrote — ”The practice of scribbling on fly-leaves and margins has many enemies. I confess that I am not among these purists. I like to see these footprints on the sands of literature, left by dead generations, and to learn from them something about previous owners of books, if it be but their names .... We should all write our names, at least; no more of us may ever reach posterity.... As a rule, tidy and selfrespecting people do not even write their names on their fly-leaves;, still less do they scribble marginalia. Collectors love a clean book, but a book scrawled on may have other merits. Thackeray’s countless caricatures add a delight to his old school-books; the comments of Scott are always to the purpose; but how few books once owned by great authors come into the general market! Where is Dr. Johnson’s library, which must bear traces of his buttered toast? Sir Mark Sykes used to record the date and place of purchase, with the price, — an excellent habit. These things are more personal than book-plates, which may be and are detached by collectors, and pasted into volumes. The selling value of a book may be lowered even by a written owner’s name; but many a book, otherwise worthless, is redeemed by an interesting note. Even the uninteresting notes gradually acquire an antiquarian value, if contemporary with the author. They represent the mind of a dead age. and perhaps the common scribbler is not unaware of this; otherwise, he is indeed without excuse. For the great owners of the past, certainly, we regret that they were so sparing in marginalia.”
The first volume of the Autobiogaphy, (page 254)proves that Mr. Spurgeon commenced, quite early in his, ministry, the practice which Mr. Lang commends, for the inscriptions in Dr. Gill’s Commentary, there quoted, date back to 1852. In Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, is written — ”This volume is one of my earliest friends; — needs no letter of commendation. — C. H.SPURGEON, 1852.”
The following remarkable commendation is inserted on the fly-leaf of the first volume of A Compleat History and Mystery of the Old and New Testament, logically discussed and theologically improved, by Christopher Ness — “Reader, — Here is something worth all thy time, though thou read it all day long. Give eyes and heart a feast here. Here is goodly wordpainting and rich heart-breathing. — C. H.SPURGEON.”
The third volume is marked “much valued;” and the fourth has this inscription — ” I reckon these four volumes to be worth their weight in gold, They may contain some eccentric conceits, but these are as the dust upon a palace. I doubt not that Matthew Henry borrowed very extensively from Ness, and certainly showed his wisdom in so doing. If these volumes shall become the property of another, I charge him either to read them carefully and prayerfully, or else to give or lend them to some godly person who can appreciate them. Such a treasure should be out at interest. — C.
H.SPURGEON, Nov., ‘58.”
In 1857. Mr. Spurgeon wrote in Matthew Pool’s Annotations — ” Pool is a most excellent expositor.” Dr. John Mayer’s Commentarie upon the New Testament bears the inscription “Mayer is one of my greatest favorites. — C. H.SPURGEON, 1859.” The same author’s volume on the Historical Books is described as “excellent, full of research, and rare learning.”
Two volumes of Dr. Adam Clarke’s Commentary contain lengthy but not commendatory notes. In Vol., Mr. Spurgeon wrote, just below the portrait of the commentator — ”who discovered that an ape, and not a serpent, deceived Adam.” At the top of the title-page is this warning — ” Take heed, reader! This is dangerous ground for those who are not grounded and settled.” Vol. VI. has this inscription — “Adam Clarke is as immortal as his monkey, and other errors; see notes on Genesis., He is always to be read with caution, for his sentiments are, in my judgment, most unscriptural. — C. H.SPURGEON.” On the title-page, after the words, “A Commentary and Critical Notes,” there is added — “Adapted to blind the eye, and prevent ‘the truth in Jesus from shining’ upon the soul,” by Adam Clarke, — ” Arminian twister of the Word.”
By way or contrast, it may be mentioned that Dr. Gill’s Exposition of Solomon’s Song contains Mr. Spurgeon’s autograph, and the following note — “This price, less work of my learned predecessor has always been helpful to me.” In different volumes of John Trapp’s Annotations upon the Old and New Testaments, Mr. Spurgeon wrote — Prized for its quaintness; .... A great favorite; .... Trapp is ever my favorite, 1873.” A large folio edition of Ralph Erskine’s Works has two inscriptions .... “The Revelation Joseph Irons, the gift of his father ;” and underneath, “Valued all the more by me as having been the property of Joseph Irons. — C. H. SPURGEON.” Bloomfield’sGREEK Testament, with English Notes, is inscribed — ” I value Bloomfield exceedingly I can always make more out of him than out of Alford. — C. H. SpurgeoN, September 1872.”
Taking, almost at random, the works of various authors who wrote on separate Books of the Bible, the following inscriptions will serve as specimens of the comments, favorable, and otherwise, inserted in them - In Dr. James Morison’s Practical Commentary on the Gospel according to Matthew , Mr. Spurgeon wrote — “Volume greatly valued for its scholarship. Difficult to find much Morisonianism here.” The Genius of the Gospel , by Dr. David Thomas, contains this note — ” A suggestive volume, but rather bombastic.” On the title-page of the same writer’s work, The Book of Psalms Exegetically and Practically Considered , opposite the author’s name, — David Thomas, — Mr. Spurgeon added — ” Not David, nor Thomas. David scrabbling, Thomas doubting.” The same writer’s Homiletic Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles contains his photograph, autograph, and the. following remarks .... Many of the homiletic outlines strike me as ‘much ado about nothing;’ still, if a man should read this work, and get no help from it, it would be his own fault — C. H.SPURGEON, 1874.”
Three books on the Epistle to the Romans naturally have references to the writers’ doctrinal views. Of Dr. F. A. Philippi, Mr. Spurgeon wrote “Frequently goes out of his way to have a fling at what he thinks to be Calvinism.” Revelation William Tyson’s Expositor7 Lectures are said to be “Excellent for an Arminian. I find him sweetly Evangelical in many places.”
Dr. David Ritchie’s Lectures, Explanatory and Practical, are described as “Unsound in many respects. Of the Moderate School, I should judge.”
James Fergusson’s Brief Exposition of the Epistles of Paul contains the autograph and date, C. H.SPURGEON, 1878; and this note — ”A volume of great worth. Few books have been more frequently consulted by me. — C.
H.S.” John Barlow on 2 Timothy 1 and 2 is thus commended — “Though apparently unattractive, this book will richly repay a careful reader. — C.
H. SPURGEON.” Nicholas Byfield, on 1 Peter 1,2, and 3, is wittily criticized — ” Byfield is discursive, and takes in every by-field which he had better have passed by. Yet, in his Preface.,. he calls this an abridgment!
I am glad it was not my lot to hear him. — C. H.SPURGEON.” Nathanael Hardy on The First Epistle of John, is said to be “a rare divine, this Hardy; an Episcopalian Puritan.”
In Frederick Denison Maurice’s Prophets and Kings of the Old Testament, Mr. Spurgeon wrote . — ” Herein we find a great deal of wild doctrine, but yet there is thought of no mean order We can wash out the gold.” The work of a writer of quite another stamp — Notes on the Book of Genesis, by C. H. M., — is thus described — “Good in its line, but too cramped.
There is also error concealed here and there.” Lange’s Genesis is said to be “one of the best of the series ;” but his Isaiah is characterized as “very poor.” Dr. Pusey on The Minor Prophets bears the unique distinction of being highly commended in a single word — ” Invaluable. — C. H. SPURGEON, 1878.” Sermons on Judges, by Richard Rogers, contains this note — “C H. Spurgeon much prizes this book. — 1882.”
Among other brief but notable note’s are the following — Durham’s Christ Crucified — ” Much prized.” Practical Reflections on Every Verse of the Holy Gospels, by a clergyman- ”Good, simple, marred.” Poetical Works of George Herbet — ‘Much valued by C. H. Spurgeon.”
Darling’s Cyclopaedia Bibliographica .’ — “An invaluable tool.”
Joseph Taylor’s volume, Naturales Curiosae Curiosities in Natural History , contains the warning,” Believe not too readily. — C. H. SPURGEON.”
In Whitefield’s Sermons is the autograph, with the inscription following — ”C. H. Spurgeon, who admires Whitefield as chief of preachers.” The Sabbath in Puritan New England , by Alice Morse Earle, probably contains the last inscription written by the Pastor, and a very expressive one it is “An amusing’ but saddening book. The seamy side of New England religion exposed. The authoress is the wife of that Ham of whom we read in Genesis. — C. H.SPURGEON, Dec., 1891.” He knew that there was a “seamy side” even to his beloved Puritanism; but he felt that it ought not to be thus exposed to the public gaze but to be kindly and charitably concealed.