Rebecca Springer was born in Indianapolis in 1832, the daughter of a Methodist pastor. She graduated from the Wesleyan Female College in 1850. Nine years later she married an aspiring attorney who would later serve in the state legislature. Apparently she had a feeble constitution her entire life. It is unclear what year she had her after-death experience, but her book Intra Muros (Latin for “within the walls”) was initially published in 1898.
The first time I gave any serious consideration to the subject of time and eternity was in 1993, when my spiritual mentor gave me a copy of Intra Muros (also known as “My Dream of Heaven”). My initial impression of it was that the author was a very godly woman. It was mostly little things she said throughout the book that gave me that sense. I never had the feeling that it was conjured up or written for self-serving purposes. Most of all, this book has been a tremendous blessing to my life. I make a point of reading it annually, if for no other reason than just to keep the realities of heaven clearly in view.
I would also like to say something about the viability of such a vision. How do we know that heaven is really as good as she depicts? Well, Scripture actually says quite a bit about it and I would highly recommend Randy Alcorn’s excellent book, “Heaven” for those who wish to deepen their understanding of the hereafter for believers. Also I should mention that I devoted an entire section to the subject in my book, “The Time of Our Lives in Light of Eternity.”
But back to our question: I will answer that question with one that Alcorn poses in his book: “Why can’t it be like this?” We know that anything God creates for our eternal happiness is only going to be good. I tend to think that the skepticism expressed in such a question reveals a lack of comprehension of the enormous goodness of God. If anything, I would think that heaven could only be far, far better than the happy place she described.
One other thing I should mention is that I’ve taken the liberty to make a few minor alterations in the text for smoother reading. Occasionally Rebecca Springer’s wording is difficult to grasp and awkward for the 21st Century reader. However, nothing of substance has been changed in anything she expressed.—S.G.
The pages of this little volume contain no fancy sketch, written to while away an idle hour; but are the true, though greatly condensed, record of an experience during days when life hung in the balance between Time and Eternity, with the scales dipping decidedly toward the Eternity side.
I am painfully aware of the fact that I can never paint for others the scenes as they appeared to me during those wonderful days. If I can only dimly show the close linking of the two lives—the mortal with the divine—as they then appeared to me, I may be able to partly tear the veil from the death we so dread, and show it to be only an open door into a new and beautiful phase of the life we now live.
If any of the scenes depicted should seem irreverent in view of our religious training here, I can only say, “I give it as it came to me.” In those strange, happy hours the close blending of the two lives, so wrapped about with the Father’s watchful care and tender love; the reunion of friends, with the dear earth-ties unchanged; the satisfied desires, the glad surprises and the divine joys, all intensified and illumined by the reverence and love and adoration that all hearts gave to the blessed Trinity, appeared to me the most perfect revelation of that “blessed life” of which here we so fondly dream. With the hope that it may comfort and uplift some who read, even as it then did, and as its memory ever will do, for me, I submit this imperfect sketch of a most perfect vision.—R.R. S.