By James M. Renihan
The famous Victorian Baptist preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon is rightly remembered for his powerful pulpit ministry. Called to serve as pastor by the congregation of London’s New Park Street Chapel while still only nineteen years of age, his sermons touched thousands over the next thirty–eight years. Demand was so great that they began to be printed on a weekly basis. Every Monday, Spurgeon edited and prepared the sermons for publication, and they were sent around the world. For much of the latter half of the nineteenth century, he may have been the most famous gospel minister on earth.
Spurgeon was exceptionally gifted and devoted himself to many other projects. He established a “Pastor’s College” to train men, an orphanage to relieve the suffering of street children, provided books for poor village preachers and much more. During many weeks he frequently preached in other cities, towns and villages in the United Kingdom, aiding pastors and churches in numerous places.
His literary output is staggering. In addition to the 63 volumes of sermons issued during his life (and posthumously by his wife), he published more than fifty separate books. Many are still available in print and serve as useful tools for Christians everywhere. But perhaps the greatest literary achievement of all is his Treasury of David. Published in seven volumes over the course of about twenty years, it is an extensive commentary on all 150 Psalms. Expository, scholarly, devotional, sermonic—we might use many terms to describe it. Each Psalm is reverently explained verse–by–verse, followed by more detailed notes and “quaint sayings” on the Psalm as a whole and each verse, all drawn from an amazing array of sources, and then the comments are concluded with a brief section titled “Hints to Preachers.” It has been estimated that during his lifetime, 130,000 copies of the Treasury of David were sold or distributed. I wonder how many sets have sold in the 130 years since Spurgeon passed into the presence of his Savior. Do you own a copy?
The Treasury of David has been enormously useful in the lives of Christians. Spurgeon writes with great care and concern for Scripture, and his love for the Word of God is evident on every page. He helps us to see that the 150 Psalms are of great importance for every believer’s spiritual life. Spurgeon is never afraid to see Christ in the Psalms and communicates this clearly. And, he recognizes that the experiences of the various psalmists are the experiences of all believers. He is able to connect our lives to those who kept the faith through trial and difficulty. These are his own words:
“In these busy days, it would be greatly to the spiritual profit of Christian men if they were more familiar with the Book of Psalms, in which they would find a complete armoury for life’s battles, and a perfect supply for life’s needs. Here we have both delight and usefulness, consolation and instruction. For every condition there is a Psalm, suitable and elevating. The Book supplies the babe in grace with penitent cries, and the perfected saint with triumphant songs. Its breadth of experience stretches from the jaws of hell to the gate of heaven. He who is acquainted with the marches of the Psalm–country knows that the land floweth with milk and honey, and he delights to travel therein. To such I have aspired to be a helpful companion.”
With the Lord’s blessing, Spurgeon was successful in providing these.
Recognizing the blessings to be realized in The Treasury of David, a friend suggested to me that perhaps a devotional abridgment of these books would be useful for Christians. Since I cannot take credit for it, I can say that this was a great idea! As a result, I took up the task and worked through the volumes seeking to capture brief portions that might serve as daily meditations on each Psalm. The result is Daily Treasure: 366 Daily Readings from the Treasury of David. It is simply Spurgeon and the Psalms. I hope that it may serve as an introduction to the larger work, perhaps urging you to purchase, read and digest The Treasury of David. You will grow in your faith if you do.
Pre–order Daily Treasure: 366 Daily Readings from the Treasury of David here.