Book Reviews

PSALMS, Charles Haddon Spurgeon (edited by David Otis Fuller), Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan; 703 pp., $14.95. [Reviewed by Prof. H.C. Hoeksema] 

This is a one-volume reprint of a two-volume edition of Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David copyrighted by Dr. Fuller in 1968. 

Spurgeon has sometimes been called the prince of preachers.” This does not necessarily mean, however, that he was also “the prince of exegetes.” And as any well-versed Reformed person should know, Spurgeon is surely not always to be depended upon. Nevertheless, one can surely do far worse than to read Spurgeon. And his seven-volume The Treasury of David is indeed a treasure, both because of its warm, devotional character and because of many rich exegetical insights. 

As far as I know, the original seven volumes cannot be obtained today, except second-hand. Most younger ministers and, I am sure, most of our readers will have difficulty gaining access to the unabridged work of Spurgeon on the Psalms. 

This condensation, therefore, is of value in so far as it offers limited access to Spurgeon’s work. It stands to reason that when seven large volumes are condensed to 703 pages, there is some very severe abridgement involved. Moreover, there is always a subjective element involved in abridgement: in this case, one gets to know Spurgeon on the Psalms as David Otis Fuller sees him. This is, of course, the disadvantage of this abridgement. In this connection, I have two points of negative criticism: 1.) The condensation is too extreme. 2.) In some instances there is very little of Spurgeon himself, and a preponderance of the comments of others whom Spurgeon quoted. 

To the extent, therefore, that this volume furnishes some access to Spurgeon, I can recommend it.