THE HAPPY HOME CONTEMPLATED–THE
BLESSEDNESS OF THE SAINTS
"In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures
for evermore." Psalm 16:11
Come, O my soul, retire from the noise, bustle, and tumult of a vain world,
and contemplate your happy home in the heavens! Look beyond this present
fleeting scene of existence, and view your future, eternal resting place;
and may the bright glories of heaven, elevate your views and raise your
affections above the transitory pleasures of this decaying scene.
Under the pleasing emblem of a happy home, heaven is most beautifully set
forth. Christ calls it his Father's house. "In my Father's house are many
mansions." If we are the children of God, we may also call it our Father's
house, our happy home; and each believer may say with the Psalmist, "I will
dwell in the house of the Lord forever.''
Heaven is also described as a glorious city. In his sublime vision of the
heavenly world, John thus speaks: "And I John saw the holy city, new
Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned
for her husband;" "Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a
stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal." The
streets of this city are of gold; and the gates of pearl. "And the twelve
gates were twelve pearls; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it
were transparent glass." And John adds, "I saw no temple therein, for the
Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the temple of it."
In this celestial city which is thus beautified by the creative power of
God, and enlightened with his glory, the saints are to spend the ceaseless
ages of a glorious and happy eternity. This is that city which prophets and
apostles and saints of every age, have desired, and longed for; that city
which Abraham, when "he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange
country," looked for. "For he looked for a city which has foundations, whose
builder and maker is God."
Heaven is that better country which all the saints of old, who confessed
that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth, desired and sought to
obtain. "But now they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one;
therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for he has prepared for
them a city." To this heavenly home, God will bring all his children, and
Jesus will there dwell among them, forever and ever.
When all the saints shall be brought home to be forever with the Lord, they
will be perfectly blessed. They will enjoy the assurance of Christ's love,
and the eternal smiles of his countenance! What heart can conceive the
unutterable bliss of the Redeemed, when brought into the glorious palace of
the great King, where there is fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore.
They will be far from a world of grief, and sin. They will be beyond the
reach of suffering. No gloom or sorrow shall ever becloud their bright
spirits in the presence of Christ. They shall be forever happy with him.
Reaching the happy shores of Emmanuel's land, they shall dwell with God.
They shall see him. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Their souls shall be filled with unutterable bliss, amid the splendors of
beatific vision, and the sublime raptures of celestial joys. The ineffable
glories of the Deity, shall then beam forth upon the redeemed. And, "then
shall the righteous shine forth as the sun, in the kingdom of their Father."
To the love of Christ the saints will owe all their blessedness in this
blessed world. Let us contemplate this blessedness.
In the word of God we see it described. In the 7th chapter of Revelation
there is contained a glimpse of heaven- of the redeemed in glory. There we
find that when all the redeemed shall be brought home to glory, they will
form a mighty host. "After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from
every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the
throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white and held palm
branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a mighty shout,
"Salvation comes from our God on the throne and from the Lamb!" Millions of
Adam's sons and daughters shall be brought to glory, through the merits of
Emmanuel. There we from where this mighty multitude came from. To the
questions, "Who are these who are clothed in white? Where do they come
from?" it is answered, "These are the ones coming out of the great
tribulation. They washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and made them
white. That is why they are standing in front of the throne of God, serving
him day and night in his Temple. And he who sits on the throne will live
among them and shelter them."
The saints have traveled a rough road to glory, and have come out of great
tribulation. Many of them have gone through the fires of persecution, and
their souls have ascended to glory amid the flames of martyrdom. Many of
that blessed number who now stand before God, "were stoned, were sawn
asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword," were once "destitute,
afflicted, tormented;" but they have come out of all their tribulations, and
are now happy before the throne of God.
The saints have all washed their robes and made them white in the blood of
the Lamb. They are invested with the snowy, spotless robe of the Redeemer's
righteousness. "This," says Hamilton, "is the only garb which a child of
Adam can wear before the throne of God. And though the apparel of some may
be more curiously wrought and exquisitely embroidered than that of others,
though the hand of the beautifying Spirit may have made it 'raiment of
needle-work'– the hue and luster of each is the same. Every spirit in glory
wears the vesture radiant with redeeming righteousness- the snowy robe which
speaks of the fountain opened, and which will commemorate through eternity,
the blood of the Lamb."
The employment of the saints in heaven is also described in this glorious
vision. They serve God. "Therefore are they before the throne of God, and
serve him day and night in his temple." "They cry with a loud voice, saying,
"Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb." "And
his servants shall serve him." What a contrast is there between the service
of God on earth, and in heaven! Here, all our divine services are
imperfectly performed; there, all is perfection itself. Here, when the
spirit is often willing, the flesh is weak, and soon wearied, even in the
sweetest seasons of devotion and heavenly meditation. There "
Each of these living beings had six wings, and their wings were covered with
eyes, inside and out. Day after day and night after night they keep on
saying, "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty—the one who always was,
who is, and who is still to come." And again, "You are worthy, O Lord our
God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created everything, and
it is for your pleasure that they exist and were created."
The employment of redeemed saints will be that of everlasting praise and
adoration. They will praise and admire the Savior, for his unbounded love
and goodness to them. They will contemplate that glorious salvation, of
which "the prophets have inquired and searched diligently," and which "the
angels desire to look into." Redemption and salvation by Christ will
constitute their unending theme; in the contemplation of which, their souls
shall be lost in wonder, love and praise. A crucified Savior will be the
wonder of heaven, and will employ ransomed souls in holy meditations through
an inconceivable eternity.
"Christ crucified, "says an excellent old divine, "is the library which
triumphant souls will be studying in to all eternity. Eternity itself will
be too short, in which to unfold the wonders of redeeming love, or to speak
the praises of that blessed Redeemer who was crucified on Calvary for a
sinful world. With increasing wonder and admiration shall that ransomed
host, who stand upon Mount Zion, eternally search into the wonders of
Christ's redeeming love as manifested to them. And all the redeemed will
cast their crowns before the throne in token of their own unworthiness,
shall unite in one long, loud, adoring anthem of praise; in one grand,
everlasting chorus: 'Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and
wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!' Blessing,
and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sits upon the throne, and
unto the Lamb forever and ever."
They sing unceasing praises to him who loved them, and washed them from
their sins in his own blood. "All praise to him who loves us and has freed
us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us his kingdom
and his priests who serve before God his Father. Give to him everlasting
glory! He rules forever and ever! Amen!" "And they were singing the song of
Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous
are your actions, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, O King of
the nations. Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone
are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous
deeds have been revealed."
Such is the employment of heaven; and its blessed inhabitants shall have
power and ability to worship and serve God without weariness, forever!
The saints shall be perfectly happy in the presence of Christ. Free from all
sorrow, they shall possess immortal joys in the presence of Him who sits on
the throne. They shall not know what sorrow is any more. All tears shall be
wiped away; for "He who sits on the throne will live among them and shelter
them. They will never again be hungry or thirsty, and they will be fully
protected from the scorching noontime heat. For the Lamb who stands in front
of the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to the springs of
life-giving water. And God will wipe away all their tears."
Here on earth, the saints weep, and wail, and experience the distressing
calamities and sorrows of mortal life. They feel the mutations of this ever
varying scene. They are often in the depths of adversity and distress. They
also experience changes in the spiritual life. Today they may be on Pisgah,
with heaven in their view, rejoicing; tomorrow, in the valley of Baca,
weeping. Today, the sunshine of Christianity may illumine their path;
tomorrow they may wander about, enveloped in spiritual darkness. Here, the
dearest ties are cut asunder, and the tenderest cords broken; which causes
the heart to overflow with sorrow. Our friends die, and tears trickle down
our checks; and perhaps we ourselves go down with sorrow to the grave. "You
have fed them with the bread of tears; you have made them drink tears by the
bowlful." Thus the saints keenly feel the sorrows of this mortal state; but
in heaven, "Look, the home of God is now among his people! He will live with
them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will
remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or
crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever."
In heaven, the saints shall obtain everlasting joy. "Everlasting joy shall
be unto them." "Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return to
Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will
disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness." "Those who
plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to
plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest." And then
"the days of your mourning shall be ended."
Our joy in heaven will be full, satisfying, and eternal. The redeemed shall
be free from all the suffering, pains, and diseases that afflict humanity,
and render this mortal life one continual scene of distress. In that happy
world, "The people will no longer say, "We are sick and helpless," for the
Lord will forgive their sins.
Immortal health and vigor bloom in heaven. Sin, the cause of sickness, and
pain and sorrow, shall be excluded from that blessed world. There, no tears
bedew the cheek, no sorrows rend the heart, no pain is felt, no dissolution
is feared; for death itself is swallowed up in victory. "And there shall be
no more death."
This present cosmos is nothing but a dying world. Here, death strikes its
dart, and cuts down our dearest friends. Perhaps he who now reads these
lines may have stood over the dying bed of a dear relative or friend, and,
with bitter sorrow, taken the last farewell, and witnessed the death
struggles of him or her whom he loved.
Death annually sweeps off a multitude of the human race. The sun now shines
upon the graves of thousands, who, but a year ago, bloomed with health and
vigor. Where are they now? Gone! Now they are numbered among the dead. Now,
clad with all the habiliments of the grave, they are cold and lifeless in
death's narrow house- in the grave's dismal mansion.
In heaven there shall be no more death, nor painful separation of kindred
souls. Eternal life shall be enjoyed by the blessed inhabitants of the New
Jerusalem. The last enemy shall have been destroyed. Then will God say,
concerning his redeemed ones, "I will ransom them from the power of the
grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction?" Then, "our perishable earthly bodies
must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. When this
happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into
heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come
true: "Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O
death, where is your sting?" In those celestial mansions, all the immortal
sons of God shall meet in blissful harmony and adoring praise, to be forever
with the Lord.
The saints shall enjoy eternal rest in heaven. "There the wicked cease from
troubling, and there the weary are at rest." They shall be perfectly holy
and happy; and shall eternally bask in the sunshine of God's immediate
presence, and drink of those perennial streams that issue from the fountain
of life. The Lamb shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of
"The Godhead is a boundless sea, on which the thin island of creation
floats; and though the region be ever so dry and arid– a burning Baca; and
though the object be ever so bleak and bald– a grim Horeb, a flinty rock; it
needs only the touch of the prophet's rod, and forthwith a fountain springs
as exhaustless as that divine perfection from where it flows. In that better
country the Horeb never staunches, and the Baca never dries: the fountains
play perpetually, and the waters ever live; and the Lamb is familiar with
them all. To the woody brink of one he leads his white-robed followers; and
in its fringing glories and profound populous, they read the riches of
creative power and skill. To the melodious verge of another he conducts them
and in the fountain of light which gushes high, and flings its rainbows
wide; in the balm scattered by its wafted dews, and the song with which the
branches wave, they hear it endlessly repeated, 'God is love.' And to
another still he guides them; and simple as the margin looks, and limpid as
the waters are, it dilates and deepens as they gaze; deepens, until it mocks
the longest line; widens, until Gabriel's eye can see no shore; and in its
fathomless abyss, and ever-expanding bounds, they recognize the divine
unsearchableness. In Paradise, every fountain lives, and each fountain is a
lesson full of God." (Hamilton)
The saints shall spend an everlasting day of light and blessedness in
Emmanuel's land– "and there shall be no night there." Eternal day smiles in
those blessed regions. "Your sun shall no more go down, neither shall your
moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the
days of your mourning shall be ended."
In that bright world which the saints are going to possess, all will be
irradiated by the glory of God and of the Lamb. The glorious Sun of
righteousness will illuminate the heavenly world, the celestial city. "No
longer will you need the sun or moon to give you light, for the Lord your
God will be your everlasting light, and he will be your glory." "And the
city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city,
and the Lamb is its light. The nations of the earth will walk in its light,
and the rulers of the world will come and bring their glory to it. Its gates
never close at the end of day because there is no night."
The saints "shall inherit all things," and "reign with Christ forever and
ever." Such is the blessedness of the saints; and to crown all their
heavenly bliss, it will be ETERNAL. Heaven is a state of never-ending bliss.
Eternity stamps an infinite value on celestial happiness.
"O you blest scenes of permanent delight!
Full, above measure! lasting, beyond bound!
A perpetuity of bliss, is bliss."
With regard to eternity, what a striking contrast there is between earthly
and heavenly joys! How transient are all sublunary pleasures? "Passing
away," is indelibly stamped upon all that is terrestrial. "The world passes
away, and the lust thereof." Youth and beauty, health and strength, riches
and honor are passing away. Incessant changes characterize this globe, and
all its inhabitants; but no such changes are known in heaven.
"Lord, I long to be at home,
Where these changes never come!
Where the saints no winter fear,
Where 'tis spring throughout the year;
How unlike this state below!
There the flowers unwithering grow,
There no chilling blasts annoy,
All is love, and bloom, and joy."
The joys of the Christian's happy home never end. The pleasures which are at
God's right hand endure forever. "Oh yes! those sweet words forever, shall
be attached to everything in glory. You shall eat of the tree of life; drink
of the water of life; wear the crown of life; you shall be made a pillar in
the temple of God, and there shall be no more going out." But oh! what is
the forever of heaven; who can describe it? Who can comprehend vast
eternity, the measure of the saint's bliss?
"Were the house you inhabit, "says Pike, "to be filled with the most fine
sand, and then emptied so slowly that but the smallest grain should be taken
out once in ten thousand years, how many millions of ages should pass away
before the last grain were removed! Yet, compared with eternity, these
countless years would be like the twinkling of an eye. Were the mighty seas
which dash their waves upon so many shores, to be suddenly changed into one
mass of ink, and then to be employed in numbering down figures, and the last
figure to signify a million of years, what countless ages would be numbered
down before the seas were emptied! Yet he who wrote the last figure might
say, 'These ages are not eternity; they are nothingness itself, compared
with eternity; less than one drop compared to all the sea; less than one
moment compared to all these infinite years; they are like a tale that is
told; or a sigh that is forgotten."
Were this vast universe one mass of sand, and were the most high God, by his
infinite power, to create as many worlds as there might be grains of sand;
and were he then to commission a ministering angel to destroy then all, by
removing grain after grain; yet so slowly that he should remove but one
grain in a million years; what millions, and millions, and millions of
years, beyond all thought and conception, would pass away before one world
were thus destroyed! And O, what before all these numbers were! What in
eternity would be here! An eternity! no, not a moment, compared with it.
Sand after sand would be removed, though, at so infinitely slow a rate;
world after world would be destroyed; and the angel would finish his task,
but not finish eternity! Eternity would be eternity still! One grain of sand
would bear some proportion to these numberless worlds; one moment would bear
some proportion to these countless millions of ages; but all these would
bear none to eternity; when they were passed, it would still be 'beginning–
rather beginning to begin.' Such is the forever of heaven!
Eternity! who can grasp the immense idea which this short word conveys? When
millions and millions of ages shall have passed away, the blessed
inhabitants of Emmanuel's land will be young in immortality, and there will
still be stretched before them all "evermore," in which they will enjoy
perfect blessedness at God's right hand. Oh! what a blessed, happy home is
"And what a home for us to return to and abide in forever! A home prepared
before the foundation of the world. A home in the many mansions; a home in
the innermost circle of creation, nearest the throne and heart of God; a
home whose peace shall never be broken by the sound of war or tempest, whose
brightness shall never be overcast by the remotest shadow of a cloud. How
solacing to the weary spirit, to think of a resting-place so hear, and that
resting-place our Father's house, where we shall hunger no more, neither
thirst any more; where the sun shall not light on us, nor any heat; where
the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed us, and lead us to
living fountains of waters, and God shall wipe away all tears from our
eyes." (Bonar) O! how near is our happy home– it is just within sight. How
near, how very near is eternity– it is even at the door!
Christian reader, you shall soon, very soon, reach your happy home. Already
your earthly course may be nearly terminated. One step more, and you will
have gained the happy shores of Emmanuel's land. Having crossed the
tempestuous ocean of life, you will enjoy the refreshing breezes of heaven,
and the calm repose of the saint's everlasting home. Your redemption is
drawing near. "Now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night
is far spent, the day is at hand." A few more suns will rise and set, and
then the unsetting sun shall rise in the "new heavens." A few more days, and
then will dawn the eternal day. A few more fleeting years will pass swiftly
by, and then the everlasting cycles of eternity will roll on. You will soon
exchange a cross of suffering on earth, for a crown of glory in heaven,
immortal, incorruptible, and that fades not away.
You will soon join with the whole family of God, in the contemplation of
Christ's redeeming love. One theme– that of redemption, shall then employ
every soul, and every tongue shall be tuned to the praises of Emmanuel. With
your redeemed companions in glory, you will soon unite in that sweet song,
"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own (yes, his
own most precious) blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and his
Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen."
The time is short. "The Lord is at hand." "Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even
so, come Lord Jesus."