the Fifth Week of Lent
Heaven: to Be Shut Out of at Last
Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Several years ago we heard an old minister relate the following incident:: 'He had preached the Word for many a year in a wood hard by a beautiful village in the Inverness-shire Highlands, and it was his invariable custom, on dismissing his own congregation, to repair to the Baptist Chapel in this village to partake of the Lord's Supper with his people assembled there. It was then usual to shut the gates during this service, in order that communicants might not be exposed to any disturbance through persons going out or coming in. On one occasion the burden of the Lord pressed upon his servant with more than ordinary severity, and anxious to deliver it and clear his soul, he detained his hearers a little beyond the time, and consequently had to hurry to the chapel. As he drew near he noticed the door keeper retire from the outer gate, after having shut it. He called to him, quickening his pace at the same time, but his cry was not heard, the attendant retreated inside and the minister came up 'just in time' to see the door put to, and rear it fastened from within. He walked round the chapel looking up at the windows, but could gain no admittance; here was only one door, and that door was shut. He listened and heard the singing, and thought how happy God's people were inside, while he himself was shut out. The circumstance made an impression upon him at the time which he could never afterwards forget, and he was led to ask himself the question, 'Shall it be so at the last? Shall I come up to the gate of heaven only in time to be too late, to find the last ransomed one admitted, and the door everlastingly shut?'
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Heaven: to Be Shut Out of at Last'. Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fff/​h/heaven-to-be-shut-out-of-at-last.html. 1870.