« Prev Revelation 22:5 Next »

REVELATION OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE - Chapter 22 - Verse 5

Verse 5. And there shall be no night there. See Barnes "Re 21:25".

 

And they need no candle. No lamp; no artificial light, as in a world where there is night and darkness.

Neither light of the sun; for the Lord God, etc. See Barnes on "Re 21:23".

 

And they shall reign for ever and ever. That is, with God; they shall be as kings. See Barnes on "Re 5:10"; See Barnes "Re 20:6".

Compare See Barnes "Ro 8:16"; See Barnes "2 Ti 1:11"

See Barnes "2 Ti 1:12".

 

{i} "there shall be no night" Re 21:23,25 {k} "light" Ps 36:9 {l} "reign" Ro 5:17

————————————————————————————————————-

 

REMARKS ON CHAP. XXI., XXII. 1—5

This portion of the Apocalypse contains the most full and complete continuous description of the state of the righteous in the world of blessedness that is to be found in the Bible. It seems to be proper, therefore, to pause on it for a moment, and to state in a summary manner what will be the principal features of that blessedness. All can see that, as a description, it occupies an appropriate place, not only in regard to this book, but to the volume of revealed truth. In reference to this particular book, it is the appropriate close of the account of the conflicts, the trials, and the persecutions of the church; in reference to the whole volume of revealed truth, it is appropriate because it occurs in the last of the inspired books that was written. It was proper that a volume of revealed truth given to mankind, and designed to describe a great work of redeeming mercy, should close with a description of the state of the righteous after death. The principal features in the description are the following:—

(1.) There will be a new heaven and a new earth: a new order of things, and a world adapted to the condition of the righteous. There will be such changes produced in the earth, and such abodes fitted up for the redeemed, that it will be proper to say that they are new, Re 21:1.

(2.) The locality of that abode is not determined. No particular place is revealed as constituting heaven; nor is it intimated that there would be such a place. For anything that appears, the universe at large will be heaven—the earth and all worlds; and we are left free to suppose that the redeemed will yet occupy any position of the universe, and be permitted to behold the peculiar glories of the Divine character that are manifested in each of the worlds that he has made. Comp. See Barnes "1 Pe 1:12".

That there may be some one place in the universe that will be their permanent home, and that will be more properly called heaven, where the glory of their God and Saviour will be peculiarly manifested, is not improbable; but still there is nothing to prevent the hope and the belief that in the infinite duration that awaits them they will be permitted to visit all the worlds that God has made, and to learn in each, and from each, all that he has peculiarly manifested of his own character and glory there.

(3.) That future state will be entirely and for ever free from all the consequences of the apostasy as now seen on the earth. There will be neither tears, nor sorrow, nor death, nor crying, nor pain, nor curse, Re 21:4; 22:3. It will, therefore, be a perfectly happy abode.

(4.) It will be pure and holy. Nothing will ever enter there that shall contaminate and defile, Re 21:8,27. On this account, also, it will be a happy world, for

(a) all real happiness has its foundation in holiness; and

(b) the source of all the misery that the universe has experienced is sin. Let that be removed, and the earth would be happy; let it be extinguished from any world, and its happiness will be secure.

(5.) It will be a world of perfect light, Re 21:22-25; 22:6. There will be

(a) literally no night there;

(b) spiritually and morally there will be no darkness—no error, no sin. Light will be cast on a thousand subjects now obscure; and on numerous points pertaining to the Divine government and dealings which now perplex the mind there will be poured the splendour of perfect day. All the darkness that exists here will be dissipated there; all that is now obscure will be made light. And in view of this fact, we may well submit for a little time to the mysteries which hang over the Divine dealings here. The Christian is destined to live for ever and ever. He is capable of an eternal progression in knowledge. He is soon to be ushered into the splendours of that eternal abode where there is no need of the light of the sun or the moon, and where there is no night. In a little time—a few weeks or days—by removal to that higher state of being, he will have made a degree of progress in true knowledge compared with which all that can be learned here is a nameless trifle. In that future abode he will be permitted to know all that is to be known in those worlds that shine upon his path by day or by night; all that is to be known in the character of their Maker, and the principles of his government; all that is to be known of the glorious plan of redemption; all that is to be known of the reasons why sin and woe were permitted to enter this beautiful world. There, too, he will be permitted to enjoy all that there is to be enjoyed in a world without a cloud and without a tear; all that is beatific in the friendship of God the Father, of the Ascended Redeemer, of the Sacred Spirit; all that is blessed in the goodly fellowship of the angels, of the apostles, of the prophets; all that is rapturous in reunion with those that were loved on the earth. Well, then, may he bear with the darkness and endure the trials of this state a little longer.

(6.) It will be a world of surpassing splendour. This is manifest by the description of it in chap. xx., as a gorgeous city, with ample dimensions, with most brilliant colours, set with gems, and composed of pure gold. The writer, in the description of that abode, has accumulated all that is gorgeous and magnificent, and doubtless felt that even this was a very imperfect representation of that glorious world.

(7.) That future world will be all abode of the highest conceivable happiness. This is manifest, not only from the fact stated that there will be no pain or sorrow here, but from the positive description in Re 22:1,2. It was, undoubtedly, the design of the writer, under the image of a Paradise, to describe the future abode of the redeemed. as one of the highest happiness—where there would be an ample and a constant supply of every want, and where the highest ideas of enjoyment would be realized. And,

(8.) All this will be eternal. The universe, so vast and so wonderful, seems to have been made to be fitted to the eternal contemplation of created minds, and in this universe there is an adaptation for the employment of mind for ever and ever.

If it be asked now why John, in the account which he has given of the heavenly state, adopted this figurative and emblematic mode of representation, and why it did not please God to reveal any more respecting the nature of the employments and enjoyments of the heavenly world, it may be replied,

(a) that this method is eminently in accordance with the general character of the book, as a book of symbols and emblems.

(b) He has stated enough to give us a general and a most attractive view of that blessed state.

(c) It is not certain that we would have appreciated it, or could have comprehended it, if a more minute and literal description had been given. That state may be so unlike this that it is doubtful whether we could have comprehended any literal description that could have been given. How little of the future and the unseen can ever be known by a mere description; how faint and imperfect a view can we ever obtain of anything by the mere use of words, and especially of objects which have no resemblance to anything which we have seen! Whoever obtained any adequate idea of Niagara by a mere description? To what Greek or Roman mind, however cultivated, could there have been conveyed the idea of a printing-press, of a locomotive engine, of the magnetic telegraph, by mere description? Who can convey to one born blind an idea of the prismatic colours; or to the deaf an idea of sounds? If we may imagine the world of insect tribes to be endowed with the power of language and thought, how could the gay and gilded butterfly that to-day plays in the sun. beam impart to its companions of yesterday—low and grovelling worms many adequate idea of that new condition of being into which it had emerged? And how do we know that we could comprehend any description of that world where the righteous dwell, or of employments and enjoyments so unlike our own?

I cannot more appropriately close this brief notice of the revelations of the heavenly state than by introducing an ancient poem, which seems to be founded on this portion of the Apocalypse, and which is the original of one of the most touching and beautiful hymns now used in Protestant places of worship—the well-known hymn which begins, "Jerusalem! my happy home." This hymn is deservedly a great favourite, and is an eminently beautiful composition. It is, however, of Roman Catholic origin. It is found in a small volume of miscellaneous poetry, sold at Mr. Bright's sale of manuscripts in 1844, which has been placed in the British Museum, and now forms the additional MS. 15,225. It is referred, by the lettering on the book, to the age of Elizabeth, but it is supposed to belong to the subsequent reign. The volume seems tb have been formed by or for some Roman Catholic, and contains many devotional songs or hymns, interspersed with others of a more general character. See Littell's Living Age, vol. xxviii, pp. 333—336. The hymn is as follows :— \-

A SONG MADE BY F. B. P.

 

To the tune of" Diana."

 

Jerusalem! my happy home !

When shall I come to thee?

When shall my sorrows have an end—

Thy joys when shall I see?

 

O happy harbour of the saints-

O sweet and pleasant soil!

In thee no sorrow may be found,

No grief, no care, no toil.

 

In thee no sickness may be seen,

No hurt, no ache, no sore;

There is no death, no ugly deil*, [*devil]

There's life for evermore.

 

No dampish mist is seen in thee,

No cold nor darksome night;

There every soul shines as the sun,

There God himself gives light.

 

There lust and lucre cannot dwell,

There envy bears no sway;

There is no hunger, heat, nor cold,

But pleasure every way.

 

Jerusalem ! Jerusalem!

God grant I once may see

The endless joys, and of the same

Partaker aye to be.

 

The walls are made of precious stones,

Thy bulwarks diamonds square:

Thy gates are of right orient pearl,

Exceeding rich and rare.

 

Thy turrets and thy pinnacles

With carbuncles do shine;

Thy very streets are paved with gold,

Surpassing clear and fine.

 

Thy houses are of ivory.

Thy windows crystal clear-

Thy tiles are made of, beaten gold—

O God, that I were there!

 

Within thy gates no thing doth come

That is not passing clean;

No spider's web, no dirt, no dust,

No filth may there be seen.

 

Ah, my sweet home, Jerusalem!

Would God I were in thee;

Would God, my woes were at an end.

Thy joys that I might see!

 

Thy saints are crown'd with glory great,

They see God face to face;

They triumph still, they still rejoice—

Most happy is their case.

 

We that are here in banishment

Continually do moan;

We sigh and sob, we weep and wail,

Perpetually we groan.

 

Our sweet is mixed with bitter gall,

Our pleasure is but pain;

Our joys scarce last the looking on,

Our sorrows still remain.

 

But there they live in such delight,

Such pleasure, and such play.

that to them a thousand years

Doth seem as yesterday.

 

Thy vineyards and thy orchards are

Most beautiful and fair;

Full furnished with trees and fruits,

Most wonderful and rare.

 

Thy gardens and thy gallant walks

Continually are green;

There grow such sweet and pleasant flowers

As nowhere else are seen.

 

There's pectar and ambrosia made,

There's musk and civet sweet;

There many a fair and dainty drug

Are trodden under feet.

 

There cinnamon, there sugar grows.

There nard and balm abound;

What tongue can tell, or heart conceive.

The joys that there are found?

 

Quite through the streets, with silver sound,

The flood of life doth flow;

Upon whose banks, on every side,

The wood of life doth grow.

 

There trees for evermore bear fruit,

And evermore do spring'

There evermore the angels Sit,

And evermore do sing.

 

There David stands with harp in hand,

As master of the quire;

Ten thousand times that man were blest

That might this music hear.

 

Our Lady sings Magnificat,

With tune surpassing sweet;

And all the virgins bear their parts.

Sitting above her feet.

 

The Deum doth Saint Ambrose sing,

Saint Austin doth the like:

Old Simeon and Zachary

Have not their song to seek.

 

There Magdalene hath left her moan,

And cheerfully doth sing

With blessed saints, whose harmony

In every street doth ring.

 

Jerusalem, my happy home!

Would God I were in thee;

Would God my woes were at an end,

Thy joys that I might see!

« Prev Revelation 22:5 Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |