THE CHRISTIAN ON
"Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches
afar." Isaiah 33:17
"Your eyes will see the king in all his splendor, and you will see a land
that stretches into the distance." Isaiah 33:17
"I was a groveling creature once,
And basely cleaved to earth;
I lacked the spirit to renounce
The clod that gave me birth.
But God has breathed upon this worm,
And sent me from above,
Wings such as clothe an angel's form;
The wings of joy and love.
With these to Pisgah's top I fly,
And there delighted stand;
To view beneath a shining sky,
The spacious promised land"'
Before the children of Israel gained possession of the land of Canaan, they
were refreshed with a taste of its delicious fruits. In like manner, the
Christian, before he reaches the better country, has many sweet foretastes
of celestial joys in the valley of weeping. There are times when he seems to
live above the world, and to have nothing but the glories of heaven in his
eye. At such delightful seasons, he can adopt the soul-stirring language of
Payson: "The celestial city is fully in my view. Its glories beam upon me,
its breezes fan me, its odors are wafted to me, its sounds strike upon my
ears, and its spirit is breathed into my heart."
The views of the pilgrim, when by faith he surveys the better land, are
similar to those of the Christian when showed the Delectable Mountains. How
beautifully and strikingly is this described lay the immortal Bunyan: "Then
I saw in my dream, that on the morrow he got up to go forward, but they
desired him to stay until the next day also; and then, said they, we will,
if the day be clear, show you the Delectable Mountains; which, they said,
would yet farther and to his comfort, because they were nearer the desired
haven than the place where at present he was; so he consented and staid.
When the morning came, they took him to the top of the house, and bid him
look south. So he did, and behold, at a great distance, he saw a most
pleasant mountainous country, beautified with woods, vineyards, fruits of
all sorts, flowers also, with springs and fountains, very delectable to
behold. Then he asked the name of the country. They said it was Immanuel's
land; and it is as common, said they, as this hill is, to and for all the
pilgrims. And when you come there, from thence you may see to the gate of
the celestial city, as the shepherds that live there will make appear."
We would notice, in a word or two, HOW and WHERE the Christian obtains the
most glorious views of that Promised Land which lies beyond the Jordan of
1. As Moses obtained a view of the earthly Canaan from the top of Pisgah, so
we yet a glimpse of heavenly glory FROM THE MOUNT OF MEDITATION– our
spiritual Pisgah. "By meditation," says a pious old divine, "I can converse
with God- solace myself in the bosom of my Beloved- bathe myself in rivers
of pleasures- tread the paths of my rest- and view the mansions of my
eternity. What do you gain, then, O my soul, in this valley of tears? Go up
upon the mount, and view the Land of Promise! What can you look for in this
wilderness of trouble? Up upon the wing, and take your flight to Heaven– let
your thoughts be where your happiness is, and let the heart be where your
thoughts are. Though your habitation may be on earth, yet your conversation
shall be in Heaven."
2. It is while waiting upon God IN THE COURTS OF HIS HOUSE– while seated at
the table of the Lord, that the Christian pilgrim sometimes obtains the
brightest views of heaven. It is in the earthly temple of the Lord that we
oftentimes obtain a glimpse of the heavenly mansion. Here it is, that a
sweet promise has been repeatedly verified to the children of God: "Your
eyes shall see the King in his beauty; they shall behold the land that is
very far off." O how delightful is it thus to glance from earth to Heaven-
from a dying world to one of immortal bloom- from the turbulent scene of our
toil and suffering; to the peaceful mansions of our rest and felicity!
There is nothing that transports the soul of a weary pilgrim like a faith's
view of his eternal rest beyond the swelling floods of Jordan.
"How rich the prospect glows
Beyond this vale of tears;
Where crystal water flows,
And verdure crowns the year."
Come then, fellow pilgrim, and survey your everlasting happy home. Ascend
the Mount of Pisgah, and behold the glorious land before you. View the
Celestial City, with its twelve gates of pearls, and its streets of gold,
enlightened by the glory of God and the Lamb. See the river of pleasure,
with its crystal streams, flowing from the Eternal Throne; and the Tree of
Life, with its twelve kinds of fruits, standing in the midst of the
Paradise. Behold the countless throng of the redeemed before the throne.
Hear their sweet, melodious strains, which shall forever gladden the realms
above: "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!" "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and
riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."
"There shall the ransomed throng
A Savior's love record;
And shout, in everlasting song,
Salvation to the Lord!"
Above all, contemplate your blessed Redeemer, seated on his great white
throne, encircled with heavenly glory. Look at the King in his beauty! It is
the sight of a glorified Savior that will make the heaven of the believer.
Endeavor now, by the eye of faith, to behold the Lord Jesus in all his
matchless beauty and excellence. Contemplate his glorious character; his
infinite mercy; his unparalleled condescension, and his boundless love.
There is enough in Jesus to employ the soul in rapturous meditation through
a vast eternity– his excellence, his goodness, and his love can never be
fathomed. O, then, keep your eye fixed on this adorable Savior, while you
sojourn in this valley of tears; and in a little while you shall see him as
he is- face to face, and ascribe to him unceasing praise.
How reviving to the weary Christian traveler, from the top of Pisgah, is a
view of his distant, happy home in the Heavenly Canaan! His feelings on this
delightful spot are well expressed in the following beautiful lines–
"As when the weary traveler gains,
The height of some o'er-looking hill,
His heart revives, if across the plains
He eyes his home, through distant still.
While he surveys the much loved spot,
He slights the space that lies between;
His past fatigues are now forgot,
Because his journey's end is seen.
Thus when the Christian pilgrim views
By faith, his mansion in the skies,
The sight his fainting strength renews,
And wings his speed to reach the prize.
The thought of home, his spirit cheers,
No more he grieves for troubles past;
Nor any future trial fears,
So he may safe arrive at last.
'Tis there, he says, I am to dwell
With Jesus, in the realms of day;
Then I shall bid my cares farewell,
And he will wipe my tears away."