In 2017, for my personal devotions, I began reading my copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, and the referenced verse’s Bible chapter. The old English and grammar was quite a challenge; I wanted to post some of the devotionals though I hesitated because some phrases and terms just didn’t make sense. I decided to slightly edit one to make it more understandable. Then I did the next one, and another, and started posting them to my blog. I would read my print version which was slightly updated (and the Bible chapter referenced in the NASB, the Bible version I read) ; then I would read the public domain version, copy it to my blog with clarifying edits included, and post it. I converted the King James to the NASB whenever possible. Some days I could make a post in as little as 15 minutes; some days I had to spend many, many minutes in my Oxford English Dictionary puzzling out meanings (the edition is over 20,000 pages in 20 volumes. Did you know the word “knit” takes up a full dictionary page, and meant “pollinate” in one usage? Spurgeon: “The proposal is a blossom which has not been knit, and therefore no fruit comes of it.”)
Here’s a comment I made on June 28th of last year:
Notes on my editing: I have a decent vocabulary but many of the terms Spurgeon used centuries ago have fallen into disuse. As I read his devotions, challenged oft am I (I mean, I am often challenged) by some of the archaic words and the sentence structure. Some may find my editing a travesty, but hopefully some will find it clarifies the message he brings to us after so many years.
Here is a Google analysis of of some of the words with their frequency since 1800 — “emblem,” “foes,” “carnal,” “perdition,” and “charnel.” Even if I recognized the word, if usage has fallen to nearly nothing I may have edited it.
And here’s a section showing some of the edits I did from Evening, September 24:
“Paradoxes abound in Christian experience, and here is one–the spouse was asleep, and yet she was awake. One only can read the believer’s riddle who has ploughed with the heifer of his experience can only understand this riddle who has labored in the same realm of experience. The two points in this evening’s text are a mournful sleepiness, and a hopeful wakefulness. I sleep. Through sin that dwelleth dwells in us we may become lax negligent in holy duties responsibilities, slothful in religious exercises training, dull in spiritual joys, and altogether generally, supine and careless carelessly flat on our back. This is a shameful state for one in whom the quickening life-giving Spirit dwells; and it is dangerous to the highest degree. Even wise virgins sometimes slumber, but it is high time for all to shake off the bands of sloth slothfulness. It is to be rightly should be feared that many believers may lose their strength as Samson lost his locks, while sleeping on the lap of carnal worldly security. With a perishing world around us, to sleep is cruel heartless; with eternity so near at hand, it is madness. Yet we are none of us so none of us are as much awake as we should be; a few thunderclaps would do us all good, and it may be, unless we soon bestir stir up ourselves, we shall have them in the form of war, or pestilence, or personal bereavements and losses. O, that we may leave forever the couch of fleshly human ease, and go forth with flaming torches to meet the coming Bridegroom! My heart waketh wakes. This is a happy sign. Life is not extinct extinguished, though sadly, smothered. When our renewed heart struggles against our natural heaviness, we should be grateful to sovereign grace for keeping a little vitality within the body of this death. Jesus will hear our hearts, will help our hearts, will visit our hearts; for the voice of the wakeful heart is really the voice of our Beloved, saying, “Open to me.” Holy zeal will surely unbar the door.”
I figure I have a minimum 150 hours of time invested in this project, which is now mostly complete. You can put the date and time of the devotion you wish to read into the search field (ie:, September 24 Evening) to find that day’s entry.
I much prefer a print version when I am reading, whether it is my Bible or another book; I am pondering putting together a crowd funding effort to fund printing paper copies of this version. I have had over 1000 readers from 22 countries this last year; I’m going to be reposting the devotions to match up with the morning in the far east for the next year.
Feel free to message me if you have an interest in a print version of these devotions…