In the last few years I have begun to learn more about Charles Spurgeon and develop an appreciation for his life and ministry. It probably started with a documentary, Through the Eyes of Spurgeon, that led me to a number of his writings, collected quotes, and sermons. I recently worked through the massive Autobiography compiled by his wife and his secretary. When I saw that Moody was publishing Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes, I knew I needed to pick it up.
Rhodes gives readers a glimpse at the woman behind the man. Although much has been written about Charles, his continued popularity is owed, in large part, to the support Susie gave him while he was alive and the work she did after he died to continue his legacy through the Pastors Book Fund, resulting in more and more people becoming familiar with her husband’s ministry.
I was fascinated by her early life — studies in France, spiritual awakening, growing interest in Charles. When illness left her housebound at a young age, she still managed to be a constant source of support for her husband and ministered to pastors and their families in England and around the world through her book fund. God’s grace was evident in her life, from start to finish, and hers was a truly remarkable life.
In a couple chapters I thought the author focused more on Charles than Susie, but the majority of the book is all about her. What most stood out to me was the love she and Charles shared. Their joy, affection, and mutual love is enviable and worthy of imitation in every marriage. Her life following her husband’s death revealed her to be a passionate and strong woman even as she continued to struggle with grief over his passing and her health began to fail. Countless individuals testified to her influence and impact on their lives, most notably her twin sons, who admired her greatly.
We need more biographies like this. It’s not important merely because women are underrepresented in our studies of Christian history, though this is true. It’s important because her life and ministry are worth remembering because of the service she rendered to God and his people.
I received this book from the publisher in order to provide this review. The opinions expressed are my own.