The river of life often flows through sloughs of despond. Charles Spurgeon knew that well... Ditto Zack Eswine in this unusual, refreshing, sensible book... Read it, and take it to heart.
David Powlison, (1949–2019) CCEF Executive Director, Senior Editor, Journal of Biblical Counseling
For those struggling with depression and assuming they are confined to the sidelines because of their mental health, Spurgeon's example should serve as a great encouragement. Spurgeon knew what to do when the lights were on. And after awhile he knew how to take time off in the midst of darkness. We've much to learn here.
Eswine's book is poetic and mercifully short. There are sentences and paragraphs throughout that are life-giving. The writing is compelling and the type of language which resonates with one in the pit. To this end I pray that many who are battling depression will read this book and hold onto these tiny morsels.
Most Christian books on depression depress me. This book is a very rare and precious gift of encouragement and help. In it two godly pastor-scholars open up their lives to us and share their hearts. Both have suffered profoundly and both have known seasons of deep despair and darkness. Together they bring us God's word, helping us wrestle with the scary fact that our Heavenly Father loves us dearly and sometimes calls us to lifelong struggles with dark despair. I wish I could give this book to everyone I have ever counselled or ever will counsel. It gives us a life-changing, gospel-saturated perspective on this very prevalent, painful, and confusing problem.
Barbara Duguid, Author, Extravagant Grace
This book was the best book I have ever read on depression. If you know anyone or you yourself struggle with depression, this book is such an incredible encouragement. It is well worth the time. Even if you have never met anyone who struggles with depression, this book is great for your library because you will probably know a depressed person at some time.
This book was was timely for me. I cried as I read through it because it was such balm to my weary soul. I highlighted so many things that were used to heal my heart in ways I desperately needed. I cannot recommend a book more highly.
Refresh My Soul Blog
You can almost taste Spurgeon's tears in this book... Eswine's gentle, poetic, unmasking of Spurgeon's inner turmoil may become a soothing balm for your soul. It may not heal you, but a healthy empathy emerges when you read about the struggles of a man who has walked down the same dark alleys you stumble along, and somehow found God in the valley of despair. If you don't struggle with depression yourself, it will help you love those who do!
Jeremy McQuoid, Teaching Pastor, Deeside Christian Fellowship, Aberdeen, Scotland and Chair of Council, Keswick Ministries
Zack Eswine's beautifully crafted Spurgeon's Sorrows is poetry for the soul. Weaving Spurgeon's acquaintance with depression with his own, Zack gives language to the honest struggle of the weary. He kindly invites sufferers, and their fellow sojourners, to breathe what is true, offering grace-filled help and real hope. An exquisite book.
Patti Hawley, Licensed Professional Counselor; Faculty Adjunct, Covenant Theological Seminary, St Louis, Missouri
I highly recommend this book for all believers. The wisdom examined by Eswine from the pen of Charles Spurgeon regarding depression is outstanding and will greatly help those suffering from this issue to begin to grab hold of Jesus who suffered as we did, even to the point of death on a cross. I know I learned much about depression and how to help those suffering from this pain in their life. Look to the man of sorrows for he cares for you. That was the approach Spurgeon took and it is the correct one.
Zack Eswine is a pastor with the mind of a scholar and the heart of a poet. His wisdom gleaned from Charles Spurgeon's struggle with depression is theologically profound and pastorally lucid.
Jason Byassee, Senior Pastor, Boone United Methodist Church, Boone, North Carolina
There are few men I trust more to write a book on depression than Zack Eswine. His tears have freed me to embrace my tears, and his story of heartache has taken me further into my own. So Zack hasn't merely written a book chronicling Spurgeon's often debilitating struggles with melancholy and depression; he has given us a grace-full en ramp to understand our sorrows, and an incredibly practical guide for caring for heart-pained friends God places in our lives. I cannot wait to buy many copies of this book to give to strugglers and care-givers alike.
Scotty Ward Smith, Founding Pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin, Tennessee
...Spurgeon from early years to final days found dark distress ever hovering on the edges of his mind and sometimes launching an all out assault on his very being. How he managed all this, by the grace of God, both for himself and for others, drives both the gripping content and the riveting literary style of Zack Eswine in Spurgeon's Sorrows.
Tom J. Nettles, Senior Professor of Historical Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky
I like Zack Eswine's writing.
In Spurgeon's Sorrows Eswine sensitively considers the experience of depression, using Charles Spurgeon's experiences and writings as a reference point. Such are the variations in depression I'm loathe to generalise or make it look like there are universal treatments that will bring relief. It's not a long book, but it is sensitive and constructive
...Poetic, poignant, and platitude-free, this shimmering treasure of a book may literally save your life or the life of someone you love.
Ken Shigematsu, Pastor of Tenth Church and best-selling Author of God in My Everything, Vancouver
Pastors, fellow strugglers, spiritual friends, counsellors, caring church members, and you...will find your own soul enriched and, consequently, more effectively equipped to wisely love others through the dark, foggy valleys that believers of all ages have travelled.
Paul Tautges, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Community Church, Cleveland, Ohio and Author of 'Comfort the Grieving'
Spurgeon's Sorrows is biography meets pastoral exhortation. In taking us through the suffering of CH Spurgeon, Eswine encourages the reader to heed the words and life of this hero of the faith. Pastors deal with enormous emotional struggles by bearing the burdens of an entire flock and standing on the frontline of spiritual warfare. Couple that with personal tragedy and a predisposed temperament towards melancholy and the struggle grows exponentially. Enter Charles Spurgeon.
Eswine uses the events of Spurgeon's life and ministry to help the reader try to understand depression, to help those with depression, and to cope with it ourselves. This book is full of wisdom and grace and will serve the Church well. It is short and easy to read and deserves a broad audience. Spurgeon's Sorrows bears the subtitle of "Realistic Hope for those who Suffer from Depression." It offers that and so much more.
Eswine's writing about depression is some of the most accessible-dare I say beautiful-that I have read... I hope many Christians will read, learn from, and treasure the hope celebrated in this book. It is a tenderly written book from the heart of one who knows that "the sorrowing have a Savior."
A Wonderful Providence Blog
Eswine's work demonstrates the value of reading biographies, old books, and sermons. Interacting with godly men and women from church history can be a vital aid to Christian maturity. He handles Spurgeon carefully, yet provocatively at points, and produces a volume that promises to help pastors and laypeople confront the sad terror of the dark night of the soul.
The Gospel Coalition
In an age of quick answers Spurgeon speaks beyond the grave with heart-felt understanding and solace. Those who know the pain of such suffering find in these pages a level of succour for the soul which both normalizes and gives hope...a rare insight into the experience of a ubiquitous problem.
Margaret Reynolds, Counselor and Co-Founder of Grace Counselling & Conciliation Services, Auckland, New Zealand
I highly recommend this book. It will help Christians at every stage of their Christian life to understand how to help those who often suffer in silence with depression and discouragement. This book will also help those who do struggle with discouragement and depression with the gospel. This is a must read book for pastors, counselors, biblical counselors to learn how to walk with those who struggle with discouragement and depression. This excellent book will bring much encouragement, comfort, and practical help to strugglers and ministers alike
Dave Jenkins- Servants of Grace
What a comfort to know that a great man was very human, a "man of like passions." The grace that came through his preaching also lifted his soul. It is a comfort to be reminded of that great grace.
Leighton Ford, President, Leighton Ford Ministries, Charlotte, North Carolina
The words 'realistic hope' are in the subtitle, and that is exactly what this book offers. The writing style is winsome and the way he frames Spurgeon's quotes almost make it sound as if the great man was writing last week.
The Evangelical Magazine, Published by Evangelical Movement of Wales
Zack Eswine, like Spurgeon, a preacher, pastor, and no stranger to suffering... there is much encouragement, comfort and practical help to be found in this rich and poetic treasure.