"Jerusalem, my happy home,
Name ever dear to me,
When shall my labors have an end
In joy and peace in Thee!

"When shall these eyes your heaven-built walls,
And pearly gates behold?
Your bulwarks with salvation strong,
And streets of shining gold?

"Oh, when, O city of my God,
Shall I your courts ascend,
Where congregations ne'er break up,
And sabbaths have no end."

"And I saw NO TEMPLE therein, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it."—Rev. 21:22.

HEAVEN WITHOUT A TEMPLE! How strange, at first sight, is this figurative description! The temple was "the excellency of beauty" in the earthly Jerusalem. It was the place of solemnities, the sanctuary of prayer, the frequented resort of angels; no, the visible pavilion where God Himself in mystic splendor dwelt. To the exile of Patmos it had more than an Israelite's customary hallowed associations. Through its "Beautiful Gate" he had often and again passed, in company with his Divine Master. In its sacred porticos he had listened to the voice of Him who spoke as never a man spoke. But as the celestial vision now passes before him, he looks in vain, amid the shining portals, and jasper walls, and golden-paved streets, for a similar sacred shrine. He is struck with the mysterious absence. "I saw no temple therein!"

This apparent omission in the inspired picture tells us that there will be no more need of Temples in Heaven. There was no temple required in the first Eden! There our first parents, in the days of their innocence, worshiped God under the blue vault of nature's temple!

The angels in heaven, so far as we know, have no visible sanctuary, there is nothing in their sinless world to interrupt their interchanges of love and fellowship, or to mar the cadence of their song. Sin first demanded some special localities for religious worship—consecrated spots partitioned off from the world. There was no need of sheepfolds, so long as no wolf prowled abroad. But when sin and Satan gained entrance, the little flock required the sheltering refuge, wherein they might rest in safety amid "the mountains of prey," (Ps. 76:4.)

As it was of old in the earthly paradise, so will it be amid the glories of "Eden restored"—there will be no "present evil world" to disturb its worshipers, and render needful the quiet and seclusion of hallowed edifices, to secure the sanctities of devotion. Every place in the vast domain of Heaven will be a Temple—every spot hallowed ground.

Divisions, too, there will be none. Here, alas! the existence of many and separate Temples, is too often the painful indication of divided churches and severed believers; worshiping apart—refusing to hold fellowship in one and the same church, and drawing lines of improper demarcation between each other. In Heaven, all shall see "eye to eye." No walls of separation there. No rival Gerizims and Zions there. The worshipers being assimilated to God, shall be assimilated to one another. They shall have one temple, one motive, one heart, one song. "See how these glorified Christians love one another!"

But if the apostle, in gazing on the apocalyptic vision, "saw NO temple," what was the substitute? The lack of the earthly symbol of glory and beauty, must surely be supplied by something nobler and sublimer! Yes, there IS to be a Temple in Glory, but it is a house "not made with hands." Materialism, with all its magnificent dimensions, melts away—"The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof."

There is one sense, indeed, in which, at this moment, God and the Lamb are the Temple of the universe. God's presence is all-pervading. The splendors of the visible skies are but the hangings and drapery of a more magnificent and vast temple. But I cannot now, with my feeble faculties, discern the majesty of His glory. I feel that in this "childhood-world" I am like the infant in the assembly of philosophers, who is all unconscious of the superiority of the minds around him, and can hold no fellowship with them in their lofty themes of converse. Though surrounded on all hands with the footprints and manifestations of a present Divinity, my befitting exclamation is, "Can you by searching find out God?" (Job 11:7.)

In Heaven there is to be a vast revelation and unveiling, of a "hidden God." In the Temple on earth, He was screened by an interposing veil—that veil in glory is to be withdrawn. No, I am to be enshrined in Deity! Heaven is not to be so much the temple of God, as God the temple of Heaven. His attributes are to be the walls and bulwarks of my everlasting security.

But this verse of our present Meditation tells us more than this. Jesus "the Lamb" is to form the "Gate Beautiful" of this Temple—the Revealer of Him who dwells "in the light which no man can approach unto!" (1 Tim. 6:16.)

We believe it will be as true of the glorified saint, as of the ransomed on earth, "No man has seen God at any time: the only-begotten SON who is in the bosom of the Father; he has declared him," (John 1:18.) He will be the true Angel "standing in the sun," the all-glorious medium through which we can see God and live!

"The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof!" This tells me that all my knowledge will come directly from God in Christ. Now, there is needed the intervention of the Word, Ordinances, Sacraments. Then, the spiritual world will no more be lighted up by satellites; the "fairness of the moon" will give way to the "brightness of the Sun;"—the starlight will be quenched and superseded by the Great Spiritual Luminary. "You have but now and then seen your Beloved looking through the lattice of ordinances—what a burst of joy awaits you when you shall see Him face to face, and evermore be with Him!" (Miss Plumptre.)

Yes, indeed, ineffable bliss! fullness of joy! No more yearning desires after "something better;"—the infinite all-satisfying "good" attained—as happy as everlasting goodness and wisdom and omnipotence can make me. My feeble voice swelling the joyous anthem within temple-walls whose only confines are light and love.

Is my title clear to this glorious Heaven? Am I fitted now to be the inhabitant of such a Temple?—to dwell with God, (yes, in God,) occupying these inner chambers of Deity? Heaven is a City. It is an amazing privilege the thought of reigning there as King. But not less elevating, surely, the thought of Heaven as a Temple, where I shall be occupied as a ministering priest—"a priest unto God"—ready to cast my censer as well as my crown at His feet, and "offer the sacrifice of praise continually!"

Be it mine to prepare for the priestly work. "Holiness to the Lord," was written on the high priest's frontlet of old. Let it be my superscription now. Let the eye of faith delight to dwell especially on the great High Priest—He who, as the Covenant Angel, is interceding for me; and who, through eternity, will form the blood-besprinkled entrance, the ever-open gate conducting into the Holy Place. There may, and doubtless will be many other lofty anthems that shall resound in that temple; but "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain," will ever be the most sublime chant of the Church of the first-born. We shall exult in its other glories. But it will be the inscription over the portal that will be the theme of eternity—"Boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus."

"Far beyond the grave's dark night,
What bright TEMPLE meets my sight?
Softly stealing on the ear,
What strange music do I hear?
'Tis the golden harps on high,
'Tis the chorus of the sky!
"Give my soul the spotless dress
Of Your perfect righteousness;
Then, at length, a welcome guest,
I shall enter to the feast,
Take the harp and raise the song,
All Your ransomed ones among."