"And I with faltering footsteps journey on,
Watching the stars that roll the hours away,
Until the faint light that guides me now is gone,
And, like another life, the glorious day
Shall open over me from the empyreal height,
With warmth, and certainty, and boundless light."
"There shall be NO NIGHT there."—Rev. 22:5.
Here is another gleaning from the clusters of
Canaan—another bright lamp hung out of our Father's distant dwelling! Amid
the falling shadows of earth, let us come and anticipate the
noontide glories of the better world, and enumerate a few respects in
which it may be said—"There shall be no night there!"
We found, in our first Meditation, Heaven spoken of under
the emblem of Rest. The present figure is suggestive of kindred
reflections; which, though in some respects an echo of the former, we may,
for the sake of the beautiful and expressive symbol itself, be permitted for
a little to pursue.
There shall be no night of weakness or
Here on earth, we are incapable of serving God without intervals
of repose. The weary, jaded framework requires a periodic cessation from
activity. Overly encumber either the body or mental powers, and we are sure
to suffer for it. Here, how often does night suggest the
memory of pain and sickness—the fevered pulse—the throbbing brow—the
sickly candle burning to its socket—the terrible moments of anxiety, when
the spirit of some loved one was struggling on the confines of eternity.
Or, if the body be comparatively exempt from prostration
or suffering, how often has the believer to complain of a weak and
languishing frame of soul—the chill dews of night-fall creeping over
his best affections—no, often deprived of the sensible tokens of God's
presence and favor, groping in darkness and seeing no light!
But, "there is no night THERE!"—no languor to
steal over the body—no lassitude to chain down and hamper the eagle-soarings
of the spirit; no physical weariness or debility to cause a cessation in the
eternal song—no remnants of corruption to produce one solitary moment or
experience of estrangement from the great Source of all light, and love, and
happiness! The tide of love ever full—never ebbing—the sun of our bliss ever
climbing higher and higher the meridian, and never shaded by so much as a
passing cloud! "Oh! what a moment," says a now sainted spirit, "will that
be, when the lamp of faith will be suddenly extinguished—not amid the
darkness of eternal night—but amid the splendors of everlasting day!"
There shall be no night of ignorance there.
We are encompassed here on every side with enigmas—the doctrines of
Scripture (not a few of them) irreconcilable with the dogmas of proud
reason. The ways of God!—they are often a "great
deep"—misapprehended—misinterpreted! Here, we are in the twilight
of our being—Scripture speaks of it as "neither light nor dark." What, if
revealed in broad day, would be all symmetrical in form, assumes dim and
distorted and shadowy shapes.
Even in the acquisition of knowledge, the mind
climbs its tedious way by slow and laborious processes. The ore is dug by
dint of incessant toil; and often when the coveted load is just reached, the
jaded explorer has to resign his task! But there, the "glass darkly"
will give way to the "face to face." All will be made luminous. "In your
light," O God, "we shall see light." Knowledge, which is here the result of
assiduous labor, will there be gained by intuition. To see will be to
And what shall be said of what we call "mysterious
PROVIDENCES?" Eternity will unravel every mazy labyrinth in them. It
will be one of Heaven's loftiest occupations, studying the volumes of the
past—discovering them to be volumes of faithfulness—every page, which
on earth seemed blurred, will then stand forth in illuminated characters,
endorsed with, "God is Love!" The cloudiest sky will be seen to have
had its rainbow, some token of covenant mercy. The higher we climb the
mountains of glory, the wider spread at our feet will be the discoveries of
Jehovah's wisdom. There will be no more room for misgivings. The "why" and
the "wherefore" of every earthly dealing will be revealed. "The channels of
the deep waters will be all made plain, through which the Almighty held His
darksome way," (M'Ewen.)
There shall be no night of sorrow there.
A melancholy minor-note runs its under-tone through all our present
joys. Even when the cup is full, there is the aching thought, "This
cannot always last." Even when the gourd is most flourishing, there
is often the too truthful foreboding, that the worm may come—in a
moment, and it is DOWN!
Night!—poetry has ever spoken of it as the
significant type and emblem of Death. How impressively it recalls
that chamber of mysterious silence, where the footfall echoed no sound but
its own, and the living lip of cherished friendship was sealed forever! With
how many the mind is like a hall draped in sackcloth—the long winding
passages of memory hung with portraits of those "who are not"—the memorials
of buried love!
But there, "sorrow and sighing will forever flee
away," (Isa. 35:10.) Joy will there be undiluted. The angel of death no
longer crosses that threshold. Every shaft is expended. The last night of
earth will be the last night of weeping. Not one shadow will flit
across that bright sky—not one scalding tear will dim the eyes of the
crowned and glorified. As the verse in Psalm 30 may be beautifully and
literally rendered, "Sorrow" (like a wayfaring man, a sojourner) "lodges
for a night," (the night of earth) "BUT, joy comes in the morning!"
Happy time! when, as I reach the gates of glory, the last burden of
sorrow will roll from my back, and I shall pursue my heavenly way
There shall be no night of sin there.
It is sin that bound its death-bands over the world's fevered brow.
"What is soul-rest," says Richard Baxter, "but our freedom from sin?" Give
me all that the world can bestow, so long as this nature of mine remains at
the best only partially sanctified—continuing to drag about with it a body
of SIN, I cannot be perfectly happy. What a blessed world would the
present be, were sin expunged from it! What a joyful world that SHALL be,
where we know that sin is to be forever expelled—the trail of the
serpent never polluting its blessed soil! Here, Satan approached with
his foul assaults even the holy Son of God. "Cast yourself down," was his
blasphemous appeal, as he took him to the Temple summit, (Matt. 4:6.) But
the Prince of this world will in vain plant his footsteps on the pinnacle of
the New Jerusalem Temple—into it nothing that is unholy shall ever enter.
"The spirits of the just" will then be "made perfect!" Here, there is
sin in the best and holiest. There are decayed branches in the stateliest
Lebanon cedars—flaws in the purest cisterns—ripples of corruption in the
clearest fountains; but there, all will be presented "without fault"
before the throne—not a trace or lineament of sin adhering—nothing to be
feared—no dark contingencies—no real or imagined evils.
Night here on earth, is a shadowy-time—full of
spectral images, types of uncertainty, mutability, change. But looking
forward to Heaven, we have "the hope of eternal life, who God that cannot
lie, promised before the world began," (Tit. 1:2). Oh! thrice blessed
moment, when the stormy night-watch will be over—when we shall feel the
shallows underneath us—see the haven in sight—the morning light breaking
over the towers of the Heavenly city—angels pointing to them as they crowd
the shore, and exclaiming, in contrast with what we have left behind
us—"THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE!"
"I journey forth rejoicing,
From this dark vale of tears,
To heavenly joy and freedom,
From earthly bonds and fears.
When Christ, our Lord, shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit—
GOOD-NIGHT, until then!
"I go to see His glory
Whom we have loved below—
I go—the blessed angels—
The holy saints—to know.
Our lovely one departed,
I go to find again,
And wait for you to join us—
GOOD-NIGHT, until then!
"I hear the Savior calling—
The joyful hour has come,
The angel guards are ready
To guide me to our home;
Where Christ, our Lord, shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit—
GOOD-NIGHT, until then!"