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John Ploughman's Talk and Pictures Review by Renee KnoblauchC.H. Spurgeon
3215 Country Road G,
Rhinelander, WI 54501
C.H. Spurgeon is a master at conveying Biblical truths for all ages. I was delighted to have an opportunity to read John Ploughman's Talk and Pictures. The book is two volumes in one: John Ploughman's Talk and John Ploughman's Pictures. Both volumes sold hundreds of thousands of copies when they were released in the early 1900’. Reading the treasured wisdom in this book made me wonder why I haven’t picked up a C.H. Spurgeon book in such a long time. The words were refreshing to my soul.
The book itself looks classy in a red two-colored clothbound cover. The cover is stamped in gold and black. The pages are printed on high quality beige-colored paper. The illustrations look rustic and timeless from the 1900’ with the images being rendered in black and white. The pages with the words have a black border around them. The whole book looks classy from the cover to the pages.
John Ploughman is a fictional character that C.H. Spurgeon uses to relate to everyday people about common things. The words and situations are things that are relatable to the audience in a proverbial style. The stories come across as simple advice on how we should live our lives as believers.
John Ploughman's Talk contains twenty-four short stories that cover everything from gossiping, appearance, debt, moral living, ignorant people, being idle, and so much more. A few quotes worth mentioning, “Promises make debts, and debts make promises, but promises never pay debts; promising is one thing and performing is quite another.” “No flies will go down your throat if you keep your mouth shut, and no evil speaking will come up. Think much but say little: be quick at work and slow at talk; and, above all, ask the great Lord to set a watch over your lips.” Such wisdom we should all take into account in our daily lives. Truly, so much wisdom that is beneficial for today’s Christians.
John Ploughman's Pictures contains thirty-nine stories. This particular book was inspired by the huge popularity of John Ploughman's Talk. C.H. Spurgeon knows how to spin a tale and get to the heart of the matter. He doesn’t hold back with what is right and wrong. He masterfully weaves in gentleness, while conveying tough topics that still plague Believers today and over a hundred years ago.
One quote my son highlighted was, “Inside a man’s heart there is a need of a thorough ploughing by God’s grace, for if any part of our nature is left to itself, the weeds of sin will smother the soul, Every day we have need to be looked after, for follies grown in no time, and come to a great head before you can count twenty. God speed the plough.” I was delighted to see my son grasp so many Biblical concepts from the book.
I have enjoyed reading the many proverbial truths with my twelve-year-old son. He was able to grasp the concepts. Some of the stories are a bit odd for today’s world but, they are fun and I really appreciate how C.H. Spurgeon doesn’t beat around the bush with moral issues. The stories cover a variety of topics that you can glean from. I think all ages could learn a lot of wisdom from the stories. You could easily read a story everyday in your homeschool or at bedtime. The stories open up a lot of conversation concerning several biblical concepts. There are scriptures throughout each story. Of course, this book doesn’t replace your Bible reading but, it sure would be a good way to search out topics from God’s word.
Reading these stories with my son I felt like I was giving him a treasure trove of wisdom. The stories are fun, canny, and inspirational. I foresee use coming back to John Ploughman's Talk and Pictures often.
-Product review by Renee Knoblauch, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, September, 2018