April 21, 2006
“I have come down many times from the sick chamber of those members of this church who are now in the upper house, and I have done so with faith confirmed and joy increased. Those beloved ones have given me more strength and assurance than I ever derived from the study of the ablest works in my library. They were sometimes very poor, but I remember well the glories of the little room wherein they were disrobing for the beatific vision. Their heavenly serenity, varied with bursts of triumphant joy, has driven all my fears away. Some have been wasted with disease and racked with pain till it seemed impossible that an original thought could have come from them, and yet their speech has been fresh and new, an inspired utterance far excelling poetry. They only spoke what they were seeing, what they were enjoying, for the jewelled gates were set open to them, and they peered within and then turned round and told us a little of what they saw. It has been a glorious thing to find none of them trembling, none confounded, none wavering. No dying man has looked me in the face and said, ‘Sir, you did not preach a religion which a man can die with; you taught me doctrines which are not substantial enough for the dying hour.’ No, I feel even now their death grips, as they have clasped my hand and told me of their overflowing joy. They have said to me, ‘Bless the Lord that ever I stepped into the Tabernacle to hear of justification by faith, of the divine substitution, of atonement, made by blood, and of a faithful God who casts not away his people!’ Such expressions I have heard from those upon the borders of Immanuel’s land. These are our seals and the tokens that Christ has spoken by us.” CH Spurgeon, “The Proof of our Ministry” (Met Tab, vol. 30 , pp. 369-370).