My family and I have loved Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" for years, and read it regularly at dinner. I cannot speak too highly of the book. However this particular edition, ordered to replace a worn-out edition, while it is "revised and updated," is not in my opinion improved.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon is perhaps the greatest wordsmith in the history of the church. Apollos was said to be "eloquent and mighty in the Scriptures." Spurgeon must be his direct descendant, spiritually.
Not only so, Mr. Spurgeon's prose is poetry of the highest order. It is unparalleled in the the world's greatest sonnet writers. So my question is, why revise it? Why "update it?"
I understand the need for updating a Bible version written, say, four hundred years ago. The King's English is today archaic. However Mr. Spurgeon lived in the nineteenth century and his writing is perfectly accessible without revision and updating. For the occasional word which I do not understand, I just laugh to myself and marvel at his vocabulary. It makes no difference, for the context always indicates what he is teaching.
I ordered this version understanding the Bible texts were from the ESV. The ESV seems to me a perfectly fine translation. What I did not understand was the meaning of "revised and updated." I opened my new edition for the first time this morning, December 11, and it struck me as being different. So I compared the two editions and found that in the revised edition it says, "You will have a foretaste of the enjoyments that ravish the souls of the saints in heaven if you can believe with unwavering faith that 'He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.'" By contrast, in the edition I take to be the original it says, "You will have an antepast of the enjoyments which ravish the souls of the perfect saints above, if you can believe with unstaggering faith that 'faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.'" I do not question that Mr. Begg's revision means virtually if not exactly the same as the original. I question the need for it.
Not that it is against the law to issue revised and updated versions. The book is obviously in public domain. But, reader beware. If you want a translation of the original, this is perfectly fine. If you want the original, it isn't.
For those who think my criticism amounts to trifling, this "revision and updating" amounts to trifling.
I can think of no reason for revising and updating this book except for monetary purposes. The book doesn't need fixing, and it strikes me as presumptuous that anyone should think it so, except he landed a "book deal." I recommend the "Morning and Evening-KJV" published by Hendrickson, not because it is KJV but because so far as I can tell this is the original prose. There may very well be other editions faithful to Spurgeon's original text, however the Hendrickson is the one available that I know. I have ordered another copy of the Hendrickson edition.
I wore out a C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening and wanted a new one. this up-dated version is wonderful. I also use and recommend 'Faith's Check book' by Spurgeon for anyone, especially those with less time. I read both.
A devotional tool to keep the Christian anchored to God's Word and God's love. Definitely to be re-read each year because of all the hidden gems of God's character that are mined from from His word by this great servant. Thanks to Alistair for preserving and updating this gem.