Occasionally when reading the dead theologians, and let’s face it, the dead guys are better reading, you get a glimpse of the humanity of the writer that makes you smile. Occasionally a bit of humor is seen in Calvin. At times a bit of vulnerability is read in a’Brakel. When we are reminded that the best of men are mere men, we take comfort in knowing that we have the same savior who will sanctify us as he has sanctified those who have gone before us. We enjoy the humanity of our divines.
Today I was reading Spurgeon, as I often do on Mondays, and some humanity was seen in the reading. With Spurgeon this is not surprising because often we blush, smile, and occasionally LOL when reading the Prince of Preachers, but today’s reading was different. Today Spurgeon recalled a dream and he told his readership about it! Spurgeon recalled his dream and as I read it, I imagined him attempting to capture the essence of the dream and realizing that he cannot recall it in the same way that he experienced it. Dreams often do not retell well do they? This was no exception.
Spurgeon dreamed he was the protector of a great castle.
Here’s Spurgeon’s dream that he shared in Treasury of David (on Psalm 127):
…As I was on the border of the land of dreams, I thought I was in a castle. Around its massive walls there ran a deep moat. Watchmen paced the walls both day and night. It was a fine old fortress, bidding defiance to the foe; but I was not happy in it. I thought I lay upon a couch; but scarcely had I closed my eyes, ere a trumpet blew, “To arms! To arms!” and when the danger was overpast, I lay me down again. “To arms! To arms!” once more resounded, and again I started up. Never could I rest. I thought I had my armour on, and moved about perpetually clad in mail, rushing each hour to the castle top, aroused by some fresh alarm. At one time a foe was coming from the west; at another from the east. I thought I had a treasure somewhere down in some deep part of the castle, and all my care was to guard it. I dreaded, I feared, I trembled lest it should be taken from me. I awoke, and I thought I would not live in such a tower as that for all its grandeur.
As I read the dream I envisioned the cherubic Spurgeon clad in armor fighting his way through the castle. I imagined his cigar aflame as he battled a dragon in protection of his treasure. I imagined his sword drawn as he responded to the clarion’s trumpet.
Spurgeon was a dreamer and in the words of the late John Lennon, I was encouraged because “I’m not the only one.” Spurgeon’s strange dream reminded me that we are all of like flesh. The best of our theological heroes are still flesh and blood. The heroes of our faith who spur us on and encourage us and draw us to the savior… they are but men. Men purchased with the same blood that was shed for me!
To me this is a great encouragement.
It’s an encouragement to know that my path of sanctification, as I look to Jesus, is the same path that Spurgeon the dreamer and others have already travelled. I am thankful to Christ who saves and then sanctifies sinners like me. Sinners of flesh and blood. Sinners who are real people… like Spurgeon.