Are we destined to pass our time on earth in a continual and fearful uncertainty, living daily with the terror of not knowing whether or not we shall end up in Heaven or Hell at last? Or may we know here and now that Heaven is our destiny, and be absolutely certain of the fact?
Queen Victoria wanted to be sure. After attending a service in St. Paul's Cathedral, she asked her Chaplain, "Can one be absolutely sure in this life of eternal safety?" But he knew of no way to be certain.
The "Court News" published these remarks and so they became widely circulated throughout the land. Moved by what he read in a copy that he happened to come across, a quiet and unassuming evangelist by the name of John Townsend began to think and pray about answering her himself. Finally he sent the following letter to the Queen;
"To her Gracious Majesty, our beloved Queen Victoria, from one of her most humble subjects:
With trembling hands, but heartfelt love, and because I know that we can be absolutely sure now of our eternal life in the Home that Jesus went to prepare, may I ask your Most Gracious Majesty to read the following passages of Scripture: John 3:16; Romans 10:9,10?
These passages prove that there is full assurance of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ for those who believe and accept His finished work.
I sign myself, your servant for Jesus' sake,
John Townsend told others about his letter to the Queen. Many prayers from many hearts went up to God. In about two weeks he received a modest-looking envelope in which was the following letter;
"To John Townsend:
Your letter of recent date I received and in reply would state that I have carefully and prayerfully read the portions of Scripture referred to. I believe in the finished work of Christ for me, and trust by God's grace to meet you in that Home of which He said, "I go to prepare a place for you."
(signed) Victoria Guelph"
Some years later the Queen was visiting the tenants on one of the Royal Estates, and an old lady nervously came up to her, curtseyed, and said, trembling, "Your Majesty, will I see you in Heaven one day?"
Victoria smiled, and replied, "By the all-availing blood of Jesus, you most certainly shall, my dear! I have His word on it!"
God had graciously brought the Queen to full assurance of faith. From the day she received that humble letter she knew that Heaven was hers.
(See also John 20:31; John 5:24; John 10:27,28,