The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon are back in production after a nearly two-and-a-half-year hiatus. Originally planned as a 12-volume set, the project will only produce 9 volumes — one per notebook of Spurgeon’s earliest sermons.
I reviewed Volume IV earlier this year and noted what had changed under the new editor and research team. With the recent publication of Volume V, I think the trajectory for the final four editions is set. I asked Broadman and Holman Publishers for a review copy, and here’s what you can expect from it and the series going forward.
As with each previous edition in the series, I read Volume V from cover to cover. It contains the 52 sermons Spurgeon recorded in the fifth of nine notebooks that correspond to the volumes in this series. Compared to Volume IV, it contains a new forward from Mark Dever, a new editor’s preface, but the same introduction adapted from “Who Is Charles Haddon Spurgeon?” an article available on www.spurgeon.org.
The endnotes in Volume V include the best of previous volumes:
- Excerpts from the sources Spurgeon used in preparing his sermons (e.g. John Gill, Matthew Henry, and Charles Simeon).
- Explanations for historical or cultural references.
- Excerpts from later sermons published in The New Park Street Pulpit and The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit that provide additional insight on statements or phrases used in these early sermons.
- Definitions of unfamiliar words (Spurgeon had an expansive vocabulary).
I appreciate the historical and cultural references in the endnotes. For instance, the inspiration for sermon 242, “Brand Plucked from the Fire,” is told in Spurgeon’s Autobiography and is included in the endnotes. There is also a reference to the Battle of Dunbar in sermon 250, and the notes once again provided helpful context.
With each volume, Spurgeon’s notes become less like an outline and more like a manuscript. Coupled with extensive quotations from later sermons on the same verses or subjects, each sermon is chock full of uplifting material. Volume V contains many sermons on passages that Spurgeon never preached from again in the over 3,500 sermons in his previously published works. I enjoyed reading the two sermons he preached consecutively on baptism and the Lord’s Supper to mark new believers being added to the church and their first opportunity to participate in Communion.
Regarding the presentation of the material, the book is available in standard and collector’s editions. My copy of Volume V is the collector’s edition, with a cover designed to look like the cover of Spurgeon’s fifth notebook. This makes each collector’s edition unique.
The standard edition has cloth-over-board covers; sewn binding; thick, glossy pages; and full-color facsimiles of each page of the notebook. Besides having a better cover, the collector’s edition also contains photographs of Spurgeon, volumes from his library, and other pictures not included in the previous volumes. The collector’s edition also has gilded pages and a box cover. Although both are beautiful, I plan on purchasing the collector’s edition of each of the remaining volumes as they come out.
For an excerpt including the front matter and the first sermon in this volume, click here. If you’re interested in snagging a copy for yourself, you can find The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon, Volume V online at LifeWay.com and other retail stores. Volume VI is slated for release in November 2021. I will be sure to make some not-so-subtle hints to my wife about what I want in my Christmas stocking this year!