Taken from The Life and Letters of Horace Bushnell (ed. Mary Bushnell Chenry; New York: Harper and Brothers, 1880; available in the public domain on Google Books).
There are some of all ages—a holy few—whose lives have been preserved to us in writing and tradition, and who thus live among us still as known causes, who are not silent, whose names and works and Christian characters are even freshened and made more vigorous by the lapse of time. God has saved these elect men to us by means of written language, that we may ever have them with us, and look to them as our lights of love and truth. They were God’s experimenters, I may say, in all their struggles and trials and works, and so God’s witnesses; and therefore it is expected that we shall go naturally to them for help and life-direction, as one who would open a mine will seize upon the instructive suggestions of an experienced miner. They were the true miners of faith, and we may go to them to be told where the treasures of faith do lie, and how they may be opened. — Horace Bushnell (L&L, p. iii)