by Horatius Bonar
MEN, when travelling homeward, turn their eye in the direction in which home lies, scanning the way as it winds before them, counting the coming miles, and trying to catch a glimpse of the family mansion itself, as it stands on some sunny slope, far in the distance. When they do reach it, they delight no less in looking back upon the road by which they have reached the dwelling of their fathers, remembering all that befell them, whether of evil or of good, as they passed along.
So is it with us. Our route is homeward; and our eye turns to the New Jerusalem. It is our joy to think of the eternal day which we are there to spend with God and with the Lamb. Ere long, we shall be within its courts, or pacing o'er its streets, in holy company. And when standing on its bright walls, we shall look backward upon the path that brought us to the kingdom, brief as it was, but very wonderful; we shall recall each struggle, each weary step, each dark or lonely turn, each rugged ascent, each Valley of Baca with its wells or pools; we shall remind ourselves of Jehovah's dealings with us by the way, as he led us, sometimes in sorrow, sometimes in joy, with sure but mysterious guidance to the "joyous city;" or we shall tell our story to others, to some angel, perhaps, or some redeemed one that left earth in infancy, and knew no such rough passage to the "rest" as that which we have to speak of; and, pointing to the different windings of the earthly path, we shall say, There, and then, and thus, I first drew near to God, and tasted that he was gracious;—there, and then, and thus, I endured that conflict, I got entangled with that snare, I lost my way, I stumbled and fell, I was overshadowed with darkness,—yet out of all the Lord delivered me.
What gladness will there be in that backward look, that recollection of the wonders of mighty grace that make up our short but strange career! What matter for happy thoughts, and marvellous recitals, and endless love and praise, will thus be furnished throughout the everlasting ages!*
Time hurries us along. The night will soon be done, and the millennial morn be dawning. And soon, too, shall that millennial glory pass off, and the unchanging DAY which lies beyond it compass us about. It is cheering to anticipate the approach of millennial light; but it is yet more cheering to look beyond even that, and think of the unchanging DAY. It comforts us to think of the darkness of our present night giving way before the rising of the Morning Star; but it comforts us yet more to think of the beauty of that Morning Star being lost in the glory of the Eternal Sun.
KELSO, Dec. 19, 1853.
Table of Contents
CHAP. I. THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. II. THE STABILITY OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. III. THE ENDLESSNESS OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. IV. THE LIFE OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. V. THE LIGHT OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. VI. THE LOVE OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. VII. THE CONSOLATION OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. VIII. THE SERVICE OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. IX. THE CITY OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. X. THE TEMPLE OF THE AGES TO COME
CHAP. XI. THE SONG OF THE AGES TO COME