The Holy City, ew Jerusalem. — Rev. xxi. 22. T^HE Bible is full of surprises for us. It does not seem strange that the story of man, like the history of civilization, should begin in the open air, with human beings surrounded by fruitful trees, and in free companionship with nature in all its forms. That the story of man should end, like the history of civilization, in the magnificent city, is indeed a surprise. Cities, as we know them, do not seem to give us an image of the Home of the Blessed. Yet in the promise of the Holy City, ew Jerusalem, we have forced upon us one of the great lessons of Christianity. The true religion is not a religion of selfishness and solitude, but of love and sympathy and companionship. How can we describe outward beauty to the blind? How can we make the deaf understand the loving, touching cadences of the human voice, or the delight that gladdens the ear awake to music? What can we, mortals of clay, know of the glories of heaven,

I GLORY. 291 or the joys of that holy place? Little indeed! It is only by its being likened to things with which we are familiar that we can catch a glimpse of its glory and purity. In the city we have the highest forms of development to which man can attain in works of

beauty and splendor from the skilful hand or the thinking mind; yet it has its horrible taint of sin, — sin in its most rank and vigorous growth. In the Holy City there will be nothing that defileth, no dark and gloomy shadow. In the midst of its dazzling magnificence there will appear in its bright streets no long funeral train, with its solemn hearse and mocking pageantry. o mourners, no tears, no secret anguish will be there. There will be no care-wrinkled, sinmarked faces in the glad throngs of the golden streets. o one there will pine for dear ones across the wide ocean, for in the Holy City there will be "no more sea" to divide true hearts. There will be no crime there, no night when deeds are done that would shun detection and shame. The great evil of the earthly city that flourishes even in the daylight, will not enter the pearly gates. He that "loveth and maketh a lie " dare not venture within the jewelled walls of the ew Jerusalem. The lie acted and spoken, that drags down the

292 OUR ELDER BROTHER. soul of the man of business, will not be there. The social lie, that speaks fair words, when the heart is full of bitterness, or that flatters and cringes to win the favor of those who have long purses or sit in high places, will not be there. The beggar's lie will not be there, to harden the heart of speaker and hearer. The religious lie will not be there. o one will solemnly promise in that Holy of Holies to keep the law of God and walk

in purity and truth, and then turn thoughtlessly again to his old ways of folly or sin. o one will sit down to the supper of the Lamb, and rise up to profane His holy name. There will not be the acted lie of the worshippers who seem to pray and praise, while their thoughts are on pleasure or business or anxious care. o one there will be outwardly proper and seemly and righteous, with a foul and evil heart within. Away with the lie here, if we would live hereafter in the glad presence of the God of Truth ! It is not alone in negatives that the Holy City is described. We have its walls flashing with jewels, its gates of pearls, its golden streets, its river that makes a garden in its midst, where trees with healing leaves bear perpetually their fruit in the glad light that knows no shadow. All that we can imagine of outward beauty will be there. " Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to

I GLORY. 293 conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." This world with its worldliness will have passed away. The covetousness that is idolatry will find no place in the Holy City. The garments given by the Lord our Eighteousness will be signs of purity, not of pride. "They that overcome shall walk with Him in white." The Lord God and the Lamb will be that City's light. There will be nothing to hide there.

Accepted in the Elder Brother, the saints shall see the face of God, and not shrink from the All-seeing Eye, but rejoice in the light of His countenance. All happiness that is innocent will be there, all that is ennobling, exalting, all that is holy and pure. " The nations shall bring their glory and honor into it. 3STot that the torn standards captured in war, and the records of bloody victories, will be offered to God. The men who have really been an honor to their native land and its true glory, will be there. What converse there will be with the great and good of all time ! God's best works, noble souls ! " What worship there will be there ! Here, where we are but creatures of a day, some of us have heard in the great gatherings of Christians from the wide world, in the grandest of its cities, prayer and praise go up at once from thousands

294 OUR ELDER BROTHER. of adoring worshippers, from every clime, an# can dimly, very dimly, imagine something of the chorus of holy halleluias in heaven ! There will be music there. God, who gave the human voice its sweet modulations, and formed the subtle laws of sounds that can be grouped to harmony and melody, will have music around His throne, music among the rejoicing saints and angels. There will be love in the Holy City. Earth's best joy will be there, exalted, purified, made

holy and eternal. There we shall be with the Elder Brother, in His glory, as He was with us in His humiliation. There He who hath loved us, will love us unto the end. There we poor orphans of earth will find our Father, and be welcomed to His Home. There we shall be in the presence of our Almighty King, the All-powerful, the All-wise, whose name is Love. What a city that will be, "whose Builder and Maker is God " ! " Here we have no continuing city. " Cities rise, cities fall, and their inhabitants are as the dust of the earth. The Holy City, ew Jerusalem, is the Eternal Home of the redeemed in Christ Jesus.



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