Brooks, Thomas. Smooth Stones Taken from Ancient Brooks: Selections from the Writings of Thomas Brooks by C.H. Spurgeon. Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2011. 204 pp. $11.00. Purchase at Westminster for $8.25.
This book is difficult to summarize as you will see in a few moments. Thus, I have decided to introduce it and summarize it at the same time. I first encountered this book while reading the two volume Charles Spurgeon autobiography. I remembered thinking how having Spurgeon’s selections of Thomas Brooks’ sayings would be enlightening to read. I was correct. If I recall properly, Spurgeon started compiling these for his wife, Susannah. What is now published in this edition is what Spurgeon published in the 19th century.
In essence, this book is 192 pages of little quotes, sayings, illustrations, and phrases of Thomas Brooks selected from his 6-volume set.
Do not read this book with a pen in hand. You will basically be underling everything! Each little quip, phrase, or illustration will draw you into meditation upon the Lord. You can quite literally open the book to any page and begin reading and you will find your heart moved to praise and worship or repentance or, well, you get the idea. I could not put the book down, except when I wanted to stop and pray, which made for some late nights. Reading Smooth Stones also gave some insight into how Spurgeon himself thought.
I thoroughly enjoyed Smooth Stones and I believe you will, too. If you know someone who has never read the Puritans, this book would make an excellent introduction. Even more, it can be used as a sort of mini-devotional throughout your day. The book is small enough to fit into a briefcase or purse and, unlike the Bible where context is king, would offer great meditative thoughts to chew on during your day. (I am not saying this should supplant your Bible reading!)