Stirring Experiences: 10. A Vision of Heaven -- By A Student
On Thursday evening after Mrs. Surbrook was laid to rest, I felt so lonely, and missed her very much. She had been such a blessing to me! When I was sad, oppressed by Satan, or going through a disappointment, she always had a word of cheer, or time to help me. She lived for others.
I retired for the evening and found myself (in my dream) in a room with Mrs. Surbrook. I was lying in bed, when all of a sudden I arose and said, "Evangeline, Evangeline, why did you leave me? I have no one to comfort me, no one to guide me, no one to help me. Oh! come back, Evangeline, why did you leave me?" She was hovering over my bed. She loved me, and answered, "I will come back if you want me to." The thought that came to me was, she lived for others and not for herself. She looked so happy that I said, "No, Evangeline, I don't want you to come back."
She vanished from my sight, and I was carried away, and entered the gates of a beautiful city, Words fail to describe the grandeur of that city. The streets were of pure gold. The mansions were so beautiful that none here would begin to compare with them. The flowers that were blooming were the rarest, costliest, and the most wonderful I ever saw.
As I was walking down the golden streets, drinking in the splendor of the city, lo, and behold, in front of a stately, beautiful mansion sat our dear Evangeline playing a large harp of gold. I stood transfixed, listening to her as she sang and played. I tried to count the strings on the harp, but there were so many that I gave up trying. As she played and sang, her face was lit up with an unseen light and a halo of glory encircled her brow. I never saw her look so beautiful nor heard her sing so sweetly as she did that night. I wish I had words to tell how lovely she looked. While on earth, she sang songs of Heaven, but not as she sang then. I listened to catch the strain, and the song was, "The Home-Coming Week":
"Upon our journey here below we meet with pain and loss, Sometimes there is a crown of thorns, sometimes a heavy cross; The dreary road to Calvary, the bitter goad and sting, But what's inside those gates of pearl will be worth everything.
"When we're inside the gates of pearl, We'll learn a lot of things, We'll have a harp that's made of gold, Perhaps a thousand strings, We'll sing and shout and dance about, The Lord will dry our tears; We'll have a grand home-coming week, The first ten thousand years.
"The shadows now begin to fall, the time is drawing nigh, When Christ our Lord shall come again like lightning from the sky; And while we wait and suffer here, praise God, we'll shout and sing, For one glimpse thro' those gates of pearl will be worth everything.
Evangeline then arose quietly from her seat and approached me. She wore a long flowing robe of spotless white. Her hair hung in curls over her shoulders. As she drew near she was smiling such a heavenly smile. She put her arm around me and we walked back to the gate of the city. I asked her if this were the gate I entered, and she said, "No, this is the Eastern Gate." The gates of the city were pearl with large columns on each side and a magnificent archway over them. The beauty of them I can never describe.
As we reached the gate we stopped and stood by the left column. Evangeline said,
"'I will meet you in the morning, Just inside the Eastern Gate.'
When you come back look for me for I will be waiting for you here. Good-night!"
Just then my roommate called me. I awoke, and said, "Why did you call me? Oh, why did I have to come back? Why didn't they let me stay?" My roommate inquired why I said that, and I told her I had been to Heaven and had seen Evangeline.
This all was so real and impressed me so greatly that it was several days before I got down to earth again. I felt that nothing here was worth while, but to live for Heaven and to help others prepare for that place.