by C. H. Spurgeon
Meditations inspired by Thomas Manton. To Manton's thoughts, Spurgeon added his own.
While commenting upon the One Hundred and Nineteenth Psalm, I was brought into most intimate communion with Thomas Manton, who has discoursed upon that marvelous portion of Scripture with great fullness and power. His works occupy twenty-two volumes in the modern reprint—a mighty mountain of sound theology. They mostly consist of sermons—but what sermons! There is not a poor discourse in the whole collection: he is constantly excellent. Ministers who do not know Manton, need not wonder if they are themselves unknown.
Here, then, is a man whose figures will be sure to be usable by the earnest preacher who has forsworn the baubles of rhetoric, and aims at nothing but the benefit of his hearers. I thought it worth while to go through volume after volume, and mark the metaphors; and then I resolved to complete the task by culling all the best figures out of the whole of Manton's works. Thus my clearing his house of all his pictures, and hanging them up in new frames of my own. I do not rob him, but I bless him by giving him another opportunity of speaking.
To make this little book more generally acceptable, I have thrown it into a somewhat devotional form, using Manton's figures as texts for brief meditations: this I humbly hope may be found profitable for reading in the chamber of private worship.
The latter half of the work was composed in the gardens and olive-groves of Mentone, where I found it a pleasure to muse, and compose. How I wish that I could have flooded my sentences with the sunlight of that charming region! As it is, I have done my best to avoid dullness, and to aim at edification. If a single practical truth is the more clearly seen through my endeavors, I shall be grateful; and doubly so if others are helped to make their teaching more striking. Highly shall we be favored if the gracious Master shall accept our service, and grant us the consciousness of that acceptance; happier still if we may hope to hear him say, "Well done good an faithful servant!"
That all my readers may meet with so great a blessing is the earnest prayer of their grateful servant,
C.H. Spurgeon, Westwood, January, 1883.