‘Intra Muros’ by Rebecca Ruter Springer has been added to our online book selection. It is a description of Heaven that was written around 1898. Whether it was an actual vision or just a long dream, she does not really know. Ill, bed ridden, and away from home for many weeks, Ms. Springer received it as a great personal comfort. The only thing she knows and states, is that instead of the memory of the ‘dream’ dimming over the years, it had actually become more vivid. This book has stood the test of time and has a wide mainstream following. Many churches give this book to grieving family members, and Billy Graham wrote an introduction to one of the editions. Here is a beautiful excerpt from the book: (pages 10-12)
He walked on with firm, swift steps, and I think I must have slept; for the next I knew, I was sitting in a sheltered nook, made by flowering shrubs, upon the softest and most beautiful turf of grass, thickly studded with fragrant flowers, many of them the flowers I had known and loved on earth. I remember noticing heliotrope, violets, lilies of the valley, and mignonette, with many others of like nature wholly unfamiliar to me. But even in that first moment I observed how perfect in its way was every plant and flower. For instance, the heliotrope, which with us often runs into long, ragged sprays, there grew upon short, smooth stems, and each leaf was perfect and smooth and glossy, instead of being rough and coarse-looking; and the flowers peeped up from the deep grass, so like velvet, with sweet, happy faces, as though inviting the admiration one could not withhold.
And what a scene was that on which I looked as I rested upon this soft, fragrant cushion, secluded and yet not hidden! Away, away, far beyond the limit of my vision, I well new, stretched this wonderful sward of perfect grass and flowers; and out of it grew equally wonderful trees, whose drooping branches were laden with exquisite blossoms and fruits of many kinds. I found myself thinking of St. John’s vision in the Isle of Patmos, and “the tree of life” that grew in the midst of the garden, bearing “twelve manner of fruits, and whose leaves were for the healing of the nations.”
Beneath the trees, in many happy groups, were little children, laughing and playing, running hither and thither in their joy, and catching in their tiny hands the bright-winged birds that flitted in and out among them, as though sharing in their sport, as they doubtless were. All through the grounds, older people were walking, sometimes in groups, sometimes by twos, sometimes alone, but all with an air of peacefulness and happiness that made itself felt by even me, a stranger. All were in spotless white, though many wore about them or carried in their hands clusters of beautiful flowers. As I looked upon their happy faces and their spotless robes, again I thought, “These are they who have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
True or not, the picture the book paints of Heaven is a wonderful encouragement. Something that registers with our heart. Personally, reading this book makes me homesick. Let us get busy today, so that when we reach those shores there will be no disappointment in our earthly efforts. This book has also been published under the titles – Into the Light, My Dream of Heaven, Within the Gates, Within Heaven’s Gates, and Within the Walls. (Photo is by Ansel Adams)