Welcome! Thank you for visiting Heavenly Springs! Today we continue with Part 2 of a series on the life of Susannah Thompson Spurgeon. Yesterday, in Part 1, we covered her early years, courtship, and marriage to Charles Spurgeon. Today we will discuss some of her sacrifices and sufferings. Don’t forget to enter to win a free book — details are at the end of the post!
The couple returned from their honeymoon to their first home, a modest house on New Kent Road. Susie lost no time throwing herself into her husband’s work “with a zeal not less than his own.” Within a year of being married, on September 20th, 1856, Susie gave birth to two beautiful baby boys; fraternal twins, Charles and Thomas. The delivery was a hard one – one she never fully recovered from. Nonetheless, as a devoted mother, she faithfully taught (and lived) the doctrines of the faith so effectively that both boys made early professions of the faith. Years later, they would point to their mother’s influence. Thomas writes, “I trace my early conversion directly to her earnest pleading and bright example. She denied herself the pleasure of attending Sunday evening services that she might minister the Word of Life to her household: There she taught me to sing, but to mean it first … My dear brother was brought to Christ through the pointed word of a missionary; but he, too, gladly owns that mother’s influence and teaching had their part in the matter. By these, the soil was made ready for a later sowing.” How telling it is that the boys credited their mother for their spiritual condition. One would expect that the children of a great preacher like Charles Spurgeon would point to their father. But they recognized their mother. Let this be an inspiration to Christian mothers everywhere who labor, toil, and sacrifice to raise their children in the Lord.
For the first ten years of their marriage, Susannah traveled with her husband on various trips. She writes, “It was my joy and privilege to be ever at his side, accompanying him on many of his preaching journeys, nursing him in his occasional illnesses, his delighted companion during his holiday trips, always watching over and tending him with the enthusiasm and sympathy which my great love for him inspired. But by 1868 Susannah was forced to concede that her traveling days were over. She became what she calls, a “prisoner in a sick-chamber.” Her ministry became “suffering instead of service.” Combined with the agony of her physical suffering was the emotional strain of being separated from her husband for long stretches of time. Due to his numerous physical ailments, not the least of which was a debilitating case of gout, Charles would travel to Mentone, France during the winter months where the warm Mediterranean weather helped him heal. “These separations,” she says, “were very painful to hearts so tenderly united as were ours, but we each bore our share of the sorrow as heroically as we could and softened it as far as possible by constant correspondence.”
Despite the afflictive dispensation to which she was subjected for so many years, she learned to trust the Sovereignty and goodness of God. Her posture, in all her sufferings, was one of uncomplaining submission. Having been schooled in her husband’s school of faith, she understood trials and sufferings were not designed to destroy but to refine and purify. To that end, she could say, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42).
Susannah’s sufferings were not just physical; they were spiritual, too. Although the Spurgeon’s were, at some level, accustomed to the abuse of the press, those abuses reached new heights after the tragic events of October 19th, 1856. On that night Charles was set to preach at Surrey Gardens Music Hall to thousands of people. The service was just beginning when suddenly, in the middle of his prayer, several troublemakers shouted, “Fire! The galleries are giving way!” “In the ensuing chaos, seven people died and twenty-eight were hospitalized with serious injuries. Spurgeon, totally undone, was literally carried from the pulpit….” 
Susannah recalls the moment her husband returned. “When my beloved finally came home he looked a wreck of his former self,—an hour’s agony of mind had changed his whole appearance and bearing. The night that ensued was one of weeping and wailing and indescribable sorrow. He refused to be comforted. I thought the morning would never break; and when it did come it brought no relief.” Charles entered such a period of darkness they wondered if he would ever preach again. It was their “valley of the shadow of death” and “ofttimes,” she writes, “when we lifted up our foot to set forward, we knew not where or upon what we should set it next.”
The darkness of that period was exacerbated by the malicious cruelty of the press. A torrent of slander, the likes of which they had never seen, was unleashed against them. Charles almost entirely lost his spiritual bearings, and a powerless Susannah could do nothing but watch. She writes, “My heart alternately sorrowed over him and flamed with indignation against his detractors.” Finally she received strength through the words of Matthew 5:11-12. The words nearly jumped off the page, coming alive and equipping her to fight the battle raging against her husband’s soul. She printed the text in large Old English type, put it in a pretty Oxford frame, and hung it in their room. She made sure that Charles heard those words each day he left the house. Charles did eventually emerge from his depression — though some argue, he never fully recovered. But by God’s grace he persevered and continued His work for the Lord. For that we have, in large part, his wife to thank.
In 1871, Charles Spurgeon wrote to his beloved, “None know how grateful I am to God for you. In all I have ever done for Him you have a large share, for in making me so happy you have fitted me for service. Not an ounce of power has ever been lost to the good cause through you. I have served the Lord far more and never less for your sweet companionship.”
Given the high place Charles assigns to his wife, how little, comparatively speaking, we think of and honor her. Each time we enjoy, even a small benefit from his labors, we do well to remember that we reap with joy, what she sowed in tears.
This concludes Part 2 of our 3-Part Series. Please join us tomorrow for Part 3. As a reminder, at the end of the series, I will be giving away two copies of Susannah Spurgeon: Free Grace and Dying Love (Morning Devotions with the Life of Susannah Spurgeon). If you are interested in participating, please leave a comment. You may increase your chances by sharing on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media. Just let me know what you have done, and I will add your name once for each share. The Giveaway will close on Friday, September 5th at 9pm EST. Winners will be notified via email.
Click here to read Part 1 of Susannah Spurgeon: A Life of Sacrifice, Suffering, and Service
Click here to read Part 3 of Susannah Spurgeon: A Life of Sacrifice Suffering and Service
 Charles Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1903), 34.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 65.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 47–48.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 51.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 48.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 51.
 Christian History Magazine-Issue 29: Charles Spurgeon: England’s “Prince of Preachers” (Carol Stream, IL: Christianity Today, 1991).
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 42.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 42–43.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 45.
 Ray, Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon, 55.