ON THE GLORY OF THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM
Consider first, how glorious and beautiful those mansions are that are prepared for the eternal abode of the servants of God in the heavenly Jerusalem. ‘How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts,’ cries out the royal prophet, Ps. lxxxiii. ‘My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.’ The beauty and glory of this city of God every way correspond with the riches, bounty, and magnificence of this almighty monarch, who has built it for the manifestation of his power, wisdom, and goodness, and to be the eternal habitation of his dearest friends and children. and what great things will he not do, when both his own glory and his love for us call upon him to exert himself? See, my soul, how noble a place he has given us here below, even in this place of our banishment; beautified with the sun, moon, and stars; accomplished and furnished with an almost infinite variety of minerals, plants, flowers, trees, and living creatures, in the earth, air, and waters, all subservient to man, and all wonderfully beautiful in their kinds, & c. If then he has so richly provided for us in this vale of tears, in this region of the shade of death, what must our eternal habitation be in the land of the living? If here he is so bountiful even to his enemies, in affording them so commodious and so noble a dwelling, what may not his friends and children expect in his external kingdom; where alone, according to the prophet, ‘our Lord is magnificent!’ Isaia xxxiii. 21.
Consider 2ndly, how the Scripture, to accommodate itself to our low way of thinking, describes the glory and beauty of this heavenly city by representing it unto us under the figures of such things as we must admire here below; when it tells us that the walls of this city of God are built with precious stones, and that its streets are watered with the bright crystal streams of the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God; and that on the banks of this river, on both sides, grows the tree of life; that there shall be no night, nor any want of sun or moon, but that God himself shall be its everlasting light, and that every one of the just shall shine like the sun, &c. ‘O how glorious are these things that are said of thee, O city of God!’ Ps. lxxxvi. But O how much more glorious are those great things that are veiled under these figures?
Consider 3rdly, that Jerusalem is interpreted the sight or vision of peace; and therefore this name is given to the city above, because there alone is the true seat of eternal peace. ‘There is the tabernacle of God with men, and he shall dwell with them; and he shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away,’ Apoc. xxi. 3, 4. No heats, no colds, no rain, no storms, no diseases, no pains, no conflicts or adversities of any kind, have any access to this city, or can ever come near this blessed abode. But a most bright day, a most serene calm, an everlasting peace perpetually reigns there; ‘a solid peace, a peace never to be disturbed, but always secure, a peace both within and without, a peace every way firm’ – Kempis.
Conclude ever to aspire after this blessed Jerusalem, and to despise all earthly toys in comparison with this heavenly city. O how good is our God, who has prepared such lovely and everlasting mansions for us! O blessed for ever by all his creatures be his infinite goodness!