C. H. Spurgeon, The Key to Holiness  (Whitaker House, 2012).

“Oh, that you may yet know how precious to a believer is the purifying work of sanctification!” These are words from the heart of the great nineteenth century pastor-teacher, penned about half-way through this little gem of a book.  Called ‘the prince of preachers’ and noted for his ‘penetrating thought’ and ‘precise exposition’, Spurgeon at his best here.  Long interested in reading about the fear of God and the holiness of God (really one subject; 2 Cor 7:1), I found this little paperback recently among my must-read-one-day books.  What a find!

Holiness is not an option for serious Christians (Heb.12:14). They know that God commands it (1 Pet.1:15,16).   But, how to have it, to be it, to live it?  Here is much help, in three little chapters.

Anyone – readers, leaders, pastors and preachers – who is serious about the Bible will be helped by this book. “Yes, yes, yes”, I thought as I read Spurgeon’s careful explanation and application of Scripture after Scripture, centred around Hebrews 10:14, ‘For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified’.

Towards the end of the second chapter, he cries, “Oh, my dear readers, strive after practical holiness!” and the following comments give us a glimpse into nineteenth-century church life and issues. Throughout we find many  practical exhortations, and the reader will be moved by them. 

‘Sanctification’ is often neglected and seldom adequately taught, so, reviving this doctrine seems right for these days of confusion. A friend once paraphrased a thought of C. S. Lewis: ‘For every new book you read, you should read three old ones’ This is one of them, and it deserves to be re-read.

– Neville Taylor