Preface to Volume 7, Psalms 125-150
At the end of all these years, the last page of this Commentary is printed, and the seventh preface is requested. This demand sounds strange in my ears. A preface when the work is done? It is only nominally a preface--it is really a farewell. I introduce my closing volume and then retire with many apologies for having trespassed so much on my reader's patience.
A tinge of sadness is on my spirit as I leave The Treasury of David. On this earth, I will never find a richer storehouse, though the entire palace of revelation is open to me. Blessed have been the days spent in meditating, mourning, hoping, believing, and rejoicing with David! Can I hope to spend more joyous hours on this side of the golden gate? Perhaps not, for these have been choice seasons in which the harp of the great poet of the sanctuary has charmed my ears.
Yet, the training that has come from those heavenly contemplations has created and sustained a peaceful spirit, which will never be without its own happy sacred song and never without aspirations for something higher than it has known. The Book of Psalms instructs in the use of wings as well as words, for it set us flying and singing. Often I have stopped commenting on a text that I might rise with the Psalm and gaze on visions of God. My only hope is that these volumes will be as useful to other hearts in the reading, as they have been to mine in the writing. If so, I will be well rewarded.
The previous volumes have enjoyed great popularity. It may be questioned if so large a commentary on a single book of the Bible has enjoyed a circulation close to that of this work. Among all orders of Christians, The Treasury has found its way, unrestrained by sectarian prejudice—another proof of the unity of the spiritual life and the oneness of the food on which it delights to feed. The author would not dare to be proud of the generous acknowledgments received from all sections of the church but, on the other hand, he cannot let them pass in ungrateful silence. Conscious of his many literary sins of omission and commission in these seven volumes, he is glad to have been allowed to do his best and to have received abundant encouragement. Of all its good, the glory is the Lord's. Of all its weakness, the unworthy author must bear the blame.
This last portion of the Psalms has not been the easiest part of my gigantic task. On the contrary, with the exception of The Songs of Ascents and one or two other Psalms, these later hymns and hallelujahs have not been much expounded or referred to by our leading preachers. Failing the English, we have made a larger use of the Latin authors. My esteemed friend, W Durban, has given me great service in the Latin translation. It would astonish our readers to see the books that have been read and the folios that have been covered with translations just to yield tiny morsels, which have been incorporated into this Treasury. The heaps of earth have been sifted and washed, and have yielded only here and there a little 'dust of gold.' No labor has been spared, and no difficulty has been shirked. May the good Lord accept my service and enrich His church by it this day, and when I am gathered to my fathers!
And now the colossal work is done! To God be all glory. More than twenty years have glided away while this pleasant labor has been in the making. The wreath of mercy lavished on me during that time is something my grateful heart is unable to measure. Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all those years and made my heart sing new Psalms for new mercies. There is none like the God of Jeshurun. To Him be all glory forever and ever.
In these busy days, it would profit Christians spiritually to become more familiar with the Book of Psalms. It contains a complete armory for life's battles and a perfect supply for life's needs. Here are both delight and usefulness, consolation and instruction. For every condition, there is a Psalm that is suitable and elevating. This 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 gates of Heaven. Those who are acquainted with the marches of the Psalm country know that the land flows with milk and honey, and they are delighted to travel there. To such, I have aspired to be a helpful companion.
Reader, I implore David's God to bless you. When it is well with you, I pray that you will breathe a like prayer for,
C. H. Spurgeon
Westwood, Upper Norwood