Monday, April 02, 2007

Your Weekly Dose of Susannah Spurgeon

I'm just back from holiday and I was glad to see that Catriona didn't pass up the opportunity to give you your weekly dose of Mrs Spurgeon. As you know, coming back from holiday tends to leave you in a bit of a whirlwind as you start to get back to the everyday tasks of life, needless to say, the pile of dirty laundry. So, for today I'm going to simply fill you in on a remarkable incident that happened between Charles and Susannah. I was reminded of it, as my husband, having prepared his sermon before our holiday to preach yesterday, spent most of Saturday night pondering afresh the text while I slept soundly! As you will see from the story as told by Charles Ray in his biography, I am no Mrs Spurgeon!
On a certain Saturday evening, C.H. Spurgeon found himself quite unable to get any light upon the text from which he believed he ought to preach on the following morning. Commentaries were consulted, but in vain, and his wife could not help him. The rest of the story shall be told in Mrs Spurgeon's own words.

'He sat up very late and was utterly worn out and dispirited, for all his efforts to get at the heart of the text were unavailing. I advised him to retire to rest and soothed him by suggesting that if he would try to sleep then, he would probably in the morning feel quite refreshed and able to study to better purpose. "If I go to sleep now, wifey, will you wake me very early so that I have plenty of time to prepare?" With my loving assurance that I would watch the time for him and call him soon enough, he was satisfied; and, like a trusting, tired child, he laid his head upon the pillow and slept soundly and sweetly at once.

'By-and-by a wonderful thing happened. During the first dawning hours of the Sabbath, I heard him talking in his sleep, and roused myself to listen attentively. Soon I realised he was going over the subject of the verse which had been so obscure to him, and was giving a clear and distinct exposition of its meaning with much force and freshness. I set myself with almost trembling joy to understand and follow all that he was saying, for if I knew that I could seize and remember the salient points of the discourse he would have no difficulty in developing and enlarging upon them. Never preacher had a more eager and anxious listener! What if I should let the precious words slip? I had no means at hand of "taking notes", so, like Nehemiah, "I prayed to the God of heaven", and asked that I might receive and retain the thoughts which he had given to his servant in his sleep, and which were so singularly entrusted to my keeping.

As I lay repeating over and over again the chief points I wished to remember, my happiness was very great in anticipation of his surprise and delight on awaking; but I had kept vigil for so long, cherishing my joy, that I must have been overcome with slumber just when the usual time for rising came, for he awoke with a frightened start, and seeing the tell-tale clock, said, "Oh, wifey, you said you would wake me very early, and now see the time! Oh, why did you let me sleep? What shall I do? What shall I do?" "Listen, beloved," I answered; and I told him all I had heard. "Why! that's just what I wanted," he exclaimed; "that is the true explanation of the whole verse! And you say I preached it in my sleep?" "It is wonderful", he repeated again and again, and we both praised the Lord for so remarkable a manifestation of his power and love.'

1 comment:

Ellen b said...

I love that! Sometimes in the night watches God's word comes through so much clearer because my mind isn't absorbed by all my daily tasks.