I have not been able to find about Richard Knill's response to the eighteen year old Spurgeon, though how could be not have been thrilled. However there is an interesting record of a conversation a few years later.
Knill was with a group of friends enjoying dinner when the conversation turned to the hot subject of a wonderful preacher who was pastor of the New Park Street Chapel in London.
'What's his name?' asked Knill.
'I know him' said Mr. Knill.
'No, no,' a friend replied, 'I think not!'
'Yes, I do, sir! I saw him at his grandfather's house some years ago when I preached in the village for the missionary cause, and have always been convinced that he would one day be a most extraordinary character in the Christian world. I remember taking the lad into the garden, I conversed with him and prayed with him, and found that he possessed a mind far beyond his years.'
Isn't it interesting how Christian stories intertwine and how we can look back and remember connections. Richard Knill's was a major one and deserves its place in Spurgeon's story....but on lesser scales have you experienced connections like these?
At the Waterbeach meeting a lady who told me she was blind asked to speak to me afterwards. She recounted how she was visiting Cambridge and worshipped at St. Andrew's Street while I was minister some thirty years ago. Even though she was not staying long she filled in a card to join a house group and I arranged this with her. Apparently this led to the most amazing friendships which have lasted until the present. Indeed she had just spent time with one couple in Dundee. 'I owe so much to that group. All because I filled in a green card and you followed up!' she said. Oh, to be surprised by such connections.