January 8, 2007

Happy 150th Wedding Anniversary!

I am certain that you already new this, but TODAY, JANUARY 8th is the 150th wedding anniversary of Charles & Susannah Spurgeon. What a day that must have been! Here's an excerpt from the Banner of Truth book, "Susannah Spurgeon: Free Grace & Dying Love," that actually contains two titles, Morning Devotions written by Mrs. Spurgeon and a short biography of her life.
"The wedding of Susannah Thompson and Charles Haddon Spurgeon took place at New Park Street Chapel on January 8th, 1856, Dr. Alexander Fletcher of Finsbury Chapel officiating. As may be imagined in the case of a man whose name was in everybody's mouth, and whose remarkable work was the topic of discussion up and down the country, it was quite impossible for the wedding to be a quiet one. At a very early hour in the morning people began to gather outside the Chapel, ladies being among the first arrivals, and soon after eight o'clock the crowd had swelled to such proportions, that New Park Street and some adjoining thoroughfares were blocked with people, and traffic was practically at a standstill. A special body of police had to be summoned to prevent accidents. When the chapel doors were at last opened, there was a rush for seats, and in less than half an hour the building was filled to its utmost extent. Large numbers who had tickets of admission but arrived late were unable to gain entrance. Many went home when they found that there was no chance of their being able to get inside the chapel, but some thousands still remained in the streets to see the bride and bridegroom enter and leave.
"It must have been a trying ordeal for the modest and retiring girl. She had risen early and spent much time in her bedroom in private prayer. Although awed with a sense of the responsibilities which she was about to assume, she was 'happy beyond expression' that the Lord had so favoured her, and on her knees, with no one else near, she earnestly sought strength and blessing and guidance in the new life opening before her."
The book continues with the wedding itself, their honeymoon (Ten days in Paris! Way to go, Charles!), and beyond. It's a good read. Personally, I loved Mrs. Spurgeon's words of what she first thought of Charles when she met him. He had preached at the Tabernacle for the first time that morning; Susannah was not there, but due to the uproar, she attended the evening service and heard him preach then, afterwhich she wrote, "Ah how little I then thought that my eyes looked on him who was to be my life's beloved; how little I dreamed of the honour God was preparing for me in the near future! It is a mercy that our lives are not left for us to plan, but that our Father chooses for us; else might we sometimes turn away from our best blessings, and put from us the choicesst and loveliest gifts of his providence. For, if the whole truth be told, I was not at all fascinated by the young orator's eloquence!" Isn't that great?
Grace & peace, and Happy Anniversary, Charles & Susannah!
Steve