mrs. c.h. spurgeon
A biography of Susannah Spurgeon
by Charles Ray, 1905
Mrs. Spurgeon has gone, but her work remains. Her last thoughts were for the Book Fund, and for the poor ministers who are benefited by its aid; and by her will she left a sum of money for the assistance of the work which owed its inception and its continued success to her untiring zeal. Further, she had expressed a wish that her friend and companion of forty years, Miss E. H. Thorne, should carry on the Book Fund with its various branches, in conjunction with Pastor J. S. Hockey Miss Thorne has willingly agreed to do this, and her enthusiasm for the work being second only to Mrs. Spurgeon’s, it will be a matter for satisfaction to all Christian people who followed with interest the efforts of the deceased lady, that there will be no cessation in the conduct of the Book Fund.
C. H. Spurgeon once wrote: “This good work of providing mental food for ministers ought never to cease till their incomes are doubled. May Mrs. Spurgeon’s Book Fund become a permanent source of blessing to ministers and churches!” The work must not flag for lack of funds, and as the demand has always been so much greater than the supply, the wherewithal to provide the books cannot be received too quickly. That the devoted woman who originated the ‘Fund, who conducted it with such splendid success for so long, and who gave so generously in her lifetime of her services and substance, has left some money for the Fund, will doubtless only act as an incentive to other “stewards of the Lord” to give liberally, so that this important effort may more and more cope with the need which led to its institution. As a tribute to the memory of Mrs. Spurgeon, what could be better than a gift to the Book Fund which will still bear her name? If greatness depends upon the amount of good which one does in the world, if it is only another name for unselfish devotion in the service of others – and surely true greatness is all this – then Mrs. C. H. Spurgeon will go down to posterity as one of the greatest women of her time.
1892 Mr. Spurgeon passed away at 11:00 pm. on Sunday, January 31st. The news was headlined in the London newspapers on the following Monday morning. According to French law, the body was required to remain in the hotel for 24 hours. A service was conducted at the Scottish Presbyterian Church in Mentone. The telephone wires were blocked with messages of condolence from all around the world. The body was shipped back to London and lay in view at the Common Room of the College, while some 50,000 people passed by. Five funeral services were planned at the Tabernacle, four of them on Wednesday, February 10th. The first was for all the church members; the second, for ministers and students; the third, for the “Christian workers”; and the last one, for the general public. Another service was held the following morning before the body was transported to Norwood Cemetery. Hundreds of thousands lined the route. At the orphanage a stand had been erected for the children to stand on to sing while the body passed, however, they could only weep. Barriers had been placed around the tomb, within which 1,000 mourners assembled, and beyond which several thousand crowded. The last words were spoken by Archibald Brown, a graduate of the College. Others who joined in the funeral services included Dr. A. T. Pierson, Dr. Alexander MacLann, Dr. F. B. Meyer, and Ira D. Sankey on behalf of D. L. Moody, who was conducting meetings in Scotland and was unable to attend. After 57 years of living, 40 years of preaching, and 14,692 baptisms which led to membership at the Tabernacle, the “silver bell” was silenced, his “pen” still preaching to millions in our generation. If he is doing what he predicted, he is now standing on some street comer in the celestial city, proclaiming to passing angels “the old, old story of Jesus and His love.”
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