“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”
THE Apostle proved, in the former part of this and the latter part of the preceding chapter, that there was a rest promised in Scripture called the rest of God. He proved that Israel did not attain that rest–for God swore in His wrath, saying, “They shall not enter into My rest.” He proved that this did not merely refer to the rest of the land of Canaan. For he says that after they were in Canaan and David himself speaks again in after ages concerning the rest of God, as a thing which was yet to come. Again he proves that “seeing those to whom it was promised did not enter in, because of unbelief and it remains that some must enter in, therefore,” says he, “there remains a rest for the people of God.”
“My rest,” says God–the rest of God! Something more wonderful than any other kind of rest. In my text it is (in the original) called the Sabbatism–not the Sabbath but the rest of the Sabbath–not the outward ritual of the Sabbath, which was binding upon the Jew but the inward spirit of the Sabbath, which is the joy and delight of the Christian. “There remains therefore”–because others have not had it, because some are to have it–“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.”
Now, this rest, I believe, is partly enjoyed on earth. “We that have believed do enter into rest,” for we have ceased from our own works, as God did from His. But the full fruition and rich enjoyment of it remains in the future and eternal state of the beatified on the other side the stream of death. Of that it shall be our delightful work to talk a little this morning. And oh, if God should help me to raise but one of his feeble saints on the wings of love to look within the veil and see the joys of the future, I shall be well content to have made the bells ring joyously in one heart at least–to have set one eye flashing with joy and to have made one spirit light with gladness! The rest of Heaven! I shall try first to exhibit it and then to extol it.
- First, I shall try to EXHIBIT the rest of Heaven. And in doing so I shall exhibit it, first by way of contrast and then by way of comparison.
To begin then, I shall try to exhibit Heaven by way of contrast. The rest of the righteous in Glory is now to be contrasted with certain other things. We will contrast it, first, with the best estate of the worldling and the sinner. The worldling has frequently a good estate. Sometimes his vats overflow, his barns are crammed, his heart is full of joy and gladness. There are periods with him when he flourishes like a green bay tree, when field is added to field and house to house, when he pulls down his barns and builds greater, when the river of his joy is full and the ocean of his life is at its flood with joy and blessedness.
But ah, Beloved, the state of the righteous in Heaven is not for a moment to be compared with the joy of the sinner–it is so infinitely superior, so far surpassing it that it seems impossible that I should even try to set it in contrast. The worldling, when his corn and his wine are increased, has a glad eye and a joyous heart. But even then he has the direful thought that he may soon leave his wealth. He remembers that death may cut him down, that he must then leave all his fair riches behind him and sleep like the mean of the land in a narrow coffin, six feet of earth his only heritage.
Not so the righteous man–he has obtained an inheritance which is “undefiled and that fades not away.” He knows that there is no possibility of his losing his joys–
“He is securely blessed,
Has done with sin and care and woe,
And does with Jesus rest.”
He has no dread of dissolution, no fear of the coffin or the shroud and so far the life of Heaven is not worthy to be put in comparison with the life of the sinner. But the worldling, with all his joys, always has a worm at the root of them.
You worshippers of pleasure! The blush upon your cheek is frequently but a painted deception. Ah, you sons and daughters of gaiety! The light foot of your dance is not in keeping with the heavy woe of your miserable spirits. Do you not confess that if by the excitement of company you for a while forget the emptiness of your heart–yet silence and the hour of midnight and the waking watches of your bed bid you sometimes think that there must be something more blessed than the mere wanderings of gaiety in which you now are found?
You are trying the world some of you–speak then! Do you not find it empty? Might it not be said of the world, as an old philosopher said of it when he represented a man with it in his hands smiting it and listening to its ringing? Touch it, touch it! Make it ring again. It is empty. So it is with the world. You know it is so. And if you know it not as yet, the day is coming when after you have plucked the sweets you shall be pricked with the thorn and when you shall find that all is unsatisfactory that does not begin and end with God.
Not so the Christian in Heaven. For him there are no nights. And if there are times of solitude and rest, he is ever filled with ecstatic joy. His river flows ever full of bliss without one pebble of sorrow over which it ripples. He has no aching conscience, no “aching void the world can never fill.” He is supremely blessed, satisfied with favor and full with the goodness of the Lord. And you know, you worldlings, that your best estates often bring you great anxiety, lest they should depart from you. You are not so foolish yet as to conceive that riches endure forever.
You men of business are frequently led to see that riches take to themselves wings and fly away. You have accumulated a fortune. But you find it is harder to retain than it is to get. You are seeking after a competence. But you find that you grasp at shadows that flit away–that the everlasting vicissitudes of business and the constant changes of mankind are causes of prudent alarm to you. You fear that you shall lose your gods and that your gourd shall be eaten by the worm and fall down and your shadow shall be taken away.
Not so the Christian. He lives in a house that can never hasten to decay. He wears a crown, the glitter of which shall never be dim. He has a garment which shall never wax old. He has bliss that never can depart from him, nor he from it. He is now firmly set like a pillar of marble in the temple of God. The world may rock, the tempest may sway it like the cradle of a child. But there, above the world, above the perpetual revolution of the stars, the Christian stands secure and immovable. His rest infinitely surpasses yours.
Ah, you shall go to all the fabled luxuries of eastern monarchs and see their dainty couches and their luscious wines. Behold the riches of their pleasantry! How charming is the music that lulls them to sleep! How gently moves the fan that wafts them to their slumber! But ah–
“I would not change my blessed estate
For all the world calls good or great.
And while my faith can keep her hold
I envy not the sinner’s gold.”
I reckon that the richest, highest, noble condition of a worldly man is not worthy to be compared with the joy that is to be revealed hereafter in the breasts of those who are sanctified. O you spendthrift mortals that for one merry dance and a giddy life will lose a world of joys! O fools that catch at bubbles and lose realities! O ten thousand times mad men that grasp at shadows and lose the substance! What? Sirs, do you think a little round of pleasure, a few years of gaiety and merriment, just a little time of the tossing about, to and fro, of worldly business is a compensation for eternal ages of unfading bliss?
Oh, How foolish will you conceive yourselves to be when you are in the next state! When cast away from Heaven you will see the saints blessed! I think I hear your mournful soliloquy, “Oh, how cheaply did I sell my soul! What a poor price did I get for all I have now lost! I have lost the palace and the crown and the joy and bliss forever and am shut up in Hell! And for what did I lose it? I lost it for the lascivious wanton kiss. I lost it for the merry drunken song. I lost it for just a few short years of pleasures, which, after all, were only painted pleasures!”
Oh, I think I see you in your lost estates, cursing yourselves, rending your hair, that you should have sold Heaven for mere change and have traded away eternal life for pitiful farthings, which were spent quickly and which burned your hand in the spending of them! Oh, that you were wise, that you would weigh those things and reckon that a life of the greatest happiness here is nothing compared with the glorious hereafter–“There remains a rest to the people of God.”
Now let me put it in more pleasing contrast. I shall contrast the rest of the Believer above with the miserable estate of Christians have their sorrows, too. But oh, how different will the state of the righteous be up there, from the state of the Believer here! Here the Christian has to suffer anxiety. He is anxious to serve his Master, to do his best in his day and generation. His constant cry is–“Help me to serve you, O my God.” And he looks out, day after day, with a strong desire for opportunities of doing good.
Ah, if he is an active Christian, he will have much labor, much toil in endeavoring to serve his Master. And there will be times when he will say, “My soul is in haste to be gone. I am not wearied of the labor, I am wearied in it. To toil thus in the sun, though for a good Master, is not the thing that just now I desire.” Ah, Christian, the day shall soon be over and you shall no longer have to toil. The sun is nearing the horizon. It shall rise again with a brighter day than you have ever seen before. There, up in Heaven, Luther has no more to face a thundering Vatican.
Paul has no more to run from city to city and continent to continent. There Baxter has no more to toil in his pulpit, to preach with a broken heart to hard-hearted sinners. There no longer has Knox to “cry aloud and spare not” against the immoralities of the false Church. There no more shall be the strained lung and the tired throat and the aching eye. No more shall the Sunday-School teacher feel that his Sabbath is a day of joyful weariness. No more shall the tract distributor meet with rebuffs. No, there, those who have served their country and their God, those who have toiled for man’s welfare with all their might shall enter into everlasting rest. Sheathed is the sword, the banner is furled, the fight is over, the victory won. And they rest from their labors.
Here, too, the Christian is always sailing onward. He is always in motion. He feels that he has not yet attained. Like Paul he can say, “Forgetting the things that are behind, I press forward to that which is before.” But there his weary head shall be crowned with unfading light. There the ship that has been speeding onward shall furl its sails in the port of eternal bliss. There he who, like an arrow, has sped his way shall be fixed forever in the target. There we who, like fleeting clouds were driven by every wind, shall gently distil in one perennial shower of everlasting joy. There is no progress, no motion there.
They are at rest, they have attained the summit of the mountain, they have ascended to their God and our God. Higher they cannot go. They have reached the Ultima Thule, there are no fortunate islands beyond. This is life’s utmost end of happiness. And they furl their sails, rest from their labors and enjoy themselves for sure. There is a difference between the progress of earth and the perfect fixity of the rest of Heaven.
Here, too, the Believer is often the subject of doubt and fear. “Am I His or am I not?” is often the cry. He trembles lest he should be deceived. At times he almost despairs and is inclined not to put his name down as one of the children of God. Dark insinuations are whispered into his ears. He thinks that God’s mercy is clean gone forever and that He will not be mindful of him any more. Again, his sins sometimes upbraid him and he thinks God will not have mercy on him. He has a poor fainting heart. He is like Ready-to-Halt–he has to go all his way on crutches. He has a poor feeble mind, always tumbling down over a straw and fearing one day he shall be drowned in a cart rut.
Though the lions are chained he is as much afraid of them as if they were loose. Hill Difficulty often frightens him. Going down into the Valley of Humiliation is often troublesome work to him. But there, there are no hills to climb, no dragons to fight, no foes to conquer, no dangers to dread. Ready-to-halt, when he dies, will bury his crutches and Feeble-Mind will leave his feebleness behind him. Fearing will never fear again. Poor Doubting-Heart will learn confidently to believe. Oh, joy above all joys! The day is coming when I shall “know as I am known.” When I shall not want to ask whether I am His or not, for in His arms encircled there shall be no room for doubt.
Oh, Christian, you think there are slips between your lips and that cup of joy–but when you grasp the handle of that cup with your hand and are drinking draughts of ineffable delight–then you will have no doubt or fear–
“There you shall see His face,
And never, never sin.
There from the rivers of His grace,
Drink endless pleasures in.”
Here, too, on earth, the Christian has to suffer. Here he has the aching head and the pained body. His limbs may be bruised or broken, disease may rack him with torture. He may be an afflicted one from his birth, he may have lost an eye or an ear or he may have lost many of his powers. Or if not, being of a weakly constitution he may have to spend the most of his days and nights upon the bed of weariness. Or if his body is sound, yet what suffering he has in his mind! Conflicts between depravity and gross temptations from the Evil One. Assaults of Hell, perpetual attacks of many kinds from the world, the flesh and the devil.
But in Heaven–no aching head, no weary heart. There, no palsied arms, no brow plowed with the furrows of old age. There the lost limb shall be recovered and old age shall find itself endowed with perpetual youth. There the infirmities of the flesh shall be left behind. There they shall flit, as on the wings of angels, from pole to pole and from place to place, without weariness or anguish. There they shall never need to lie upon the bed of rest, or the bed of suffering, for day without night, with joy unflagging, they shall circle God’s Throne rejoicing and ever praise Him who has said, “The inhabitants there shall never be sick.”
There, too, they shall be free from persecution. Here Sicilian Vespers and St. Bartholomew and Smithfield are wellknown words. But there shall be none to taunt them with a cruel word, or touch them with a cruel hand. There emperors and kings are not known and those who had power to torture them cease to be. They are in the society of saints. They shall be free from all the idle conversation of the wicked and from their cruel jeers set free forever. Set free from persecution! You army of martyrs–you were slain, you were torn asunder. You were cast to wild beasts, you wandered about in sheep skins and goat skins–destitute, afflicted and tormented.
I see you now, a mighty host. The garments you wear are torn with thorns. Your faces are scarred with sufferings. I see you at your stakes and on your crosses. I hear your words of submission on your racks, I see you in your prisons, I behold you in your pillories–but–
“Now you are arrayed in white,
Brighter than the noonday sun
Fairest of the sons of light,
Nearest the eternal Throne.”
These are they, who “for their Master died, who love the Cross and crown.” They waded through seas of blood in order to obtain the inheritance. And there they are–with the blood-red crown of martyrdom about their heads–that ruby brightness, far excelling every other. Yes, there is no persecution there. “There remains a rest for the people of God.”
Alas, in this mortal state the child of God is also subject to sin. Even he fails in his duty and wanders from his God. Even he does not walk in all the Law of his God blameless, though he desires to do it. Sin now troubles him constantly. But there in Glory sin is dead. There they have no temptation to sin, from without or from within–they are perfectly free to serve their Master. Here the child of God has sometimes to weep repenting of his backslidings. But there they never shed tears of penitence, for they never have cause to do so.
And last of all, here, the child of God has to wet the cold ashes of his relatives with tears. Here he has to bid adieu to all that is lovely and fair of mortal race. Here it is he hears, “earth to earth and dust to dust and ashes to ashes,” while the solemn music of the dust upon the coffin lid beats doleful time to those words. Here is the mother buried, the child snatched away, the husband rent from the bosom of a loving wife, the brother parted from the sister. The plate upon the coffin, the last coat of arms of earth–earth’s last emblems are here ever before our eyes.
But there never once shall be heard the toll of the funeral bell. No hearse with plumes has ever darkened the streets of gold, no emblems of sorrow have ever intruded into the homes of the immortal. They are strangers to the meaning of death. They cannot die–they live forever, having no power to decay and no possibility of corruption. Oh, rest of the righteous, how blessed are you, where families shall again be bound up in one bundle, where parted friends shall again meet to part no more and where the whole Church of Christ united in one mighty circle, shall together praise God and the Lamb throughout eternal ages.
Brethren, I have tried thus to set the rest of the righteous in the way of contrast. I feel I have failed. Poor are the words I can utter to tell you of immortal things Even holy Baxter himself, when he wrote of the “Saints' Rest,” paused and said–“But these are only tinklings compared with the full thunders of Heaven.” I cannot tell you, dear friends, nor can mortal tell, what God has prepared for them that love Him.
And now I shall try very briefly to exhibit this contrast in the way of comparison. The Christian has some rest here but nothing compared with the rest which is to come.
There is the rest of the Church. When the Believer joins the Church of God and becomes united with them, he may expect to rest. The good old writer of the “Pilgrim’s Progress” says that when the weary pilgrims were once admitted to Table has a sweet enjoyment of rest in fellowship with the saints. But ah, up there the rest of Church fellowship far surpasses anything that is known here. For there are no divisions there, no angry words at the Church meetings, no harsh thoughts of one another, no bickering about doctrine, no fights about practice.
There Baptist and Presbyterian and Independent and Wesleyan and Episcopalian serve the same Lord, and having been washed in the same blood, sing the same song and are all joined in one. There pastors and deacons never look coolly on each other. No haughty prelates here, no lofty-minded ministers there but all meek and lowly, all knit together in brotherhood. They have a rest which surpasses all the rest of the Church on earth.
There is, again, a rest of faith which a Christian enjoys. A sweet rest. Many of us have known it. We have known what it is, when the billows of trouble have run high, to hide ourselves in the breast of Christ and feel secure. We have cast our anchor deep into the rocks of God’s promise. We have gone to sleep in our chamber and have not feared the tempest. We have looked at tribulation and have smiled at it. We have looked at Death himself and have laughed him to scorn. Yes, in the midst of calumny, reproach, slander and contempt, we have said, “I shall not be moved, for God is on my side.” But the rest up there is better still–more unruffled, more sweet, more perfectly calm, more enduring and more lasting than even the rest of faith.
And, again, the Christian sometimes has the blessed rest of communion. There are happy moments when he puts his head on the Savior’s breast–when, like John, he feels that he is close to the Savior’s heart and there he sleeps. “God gives His Beloved sleep.” Not the sleep of unconsciousness but the sleep of joy. Happy, happy, happy are the dreams we have had on the couch of communion. Blessed have been the times, when, like the spouse in Solomon’s song, we could say of Christ, “His left hand was under my head and with His right hand did He embrace me.”–
“But sweeter still the fountain head,
Though sweet may be the stream.”
When we shall have plunged into a very bath of joy we shall have found the delights even of communion on earth to have been but the dipping of the finger in the cup. But the dipping of the bread in the dish, whereas Heaven itself shall be the participation of the whole of the joy and not the mere ante past of it. Here we sometimes enter into the portico of happiness–there we shall go into the presence chamber of the King. Here we look over the hedge and see the flowers in Heaven’s garden. There we shall walk between the beds of bliss and pluck fresh flowers at each step.
Here we just look and see the sunlight of Heaven in the distance, like the lamps of the thousand-gated cities shining afar off–there we shall see them in all their blaze of splendor. Here we listen to the whisperings of Heaven’s melody, borne by winds from afar. But there, entranced, amidst the grand oratorio of the blessed, we shall join in the everlasting hallelujah to the great Messiah, the God, the I AM. Oh, again I say, do we not wish to mount aloft and fly away, to enter into the rest which remains to the people of God?
II. And now, yet more briefly and then we shall have done. I am to endeavor to EXTOL this rest, as I have tried to EXHIBIT it. I would extol this rest for many reasons. And oh, that I were eloquent, that I might extol it as it deserves! Oh, for the lip of an angel and the burning tongue of a cherub to talk now of the bliss of the sanctified and of the rest of God’s people!
It is, first, a perfect rest. They are wholly at rest in Heaven. Here rest is but partial. I hope in a little time to cease from everyday labors for a season–but then the head will think and the mind may be looking forward to prospective labor. And while the body is still, the brain will yet be in motion. Here, on Sabbath days a vast multitude of you sit in God’s house, but many of you are obliged to stand and rest but little except in your mind and even when the mind is at rest the body is wearied with the toil of standing. You have a weary mile, perhaps many miles, to go to your homes on the Sabbath-Day.
And let the Sabbatarian say what he will, you may work on the Sabbath day if you work for God. And this SabbathDay’s work of going to the house of God is work for God and God accepts it. For yourselves you may not labor–God commands you to rest–but if you have to toil these three, these four, these five, these six miles, as many of you have done, I will not and I must not blame you. “The priests in the sanctuary profane the Sabbath and are blameless.” It is toil and labor, it is true but it is for a good cause–for your Master.
But there, my Friends, the rest is perfect. The body there rests perpetually–the mind, too–always rests. Though the inhabitants are always busy, always serving God, yet they are never weary, never toil-worn, never fatigued. They never fling themselves upon their couches at the end of the day and cry, “Oh, when shall I be away from this land of toil?” They never stand up in the burning sunlight and wipe the hot sweat from their brow. They never rise from their bed in the morning, half refreshed, to go to laborious study. No, they are perfectly at rest, stretched on the couch of eternal joy. They know not the semblance of a tear. They have done with sin and care and woe and, with their Savior, they rest.
Again, it is a seasonable rest. How seasonable it will be for some of you! You sons of wealth, you know not the toils of the poor. The calloused-handed laborer, perhaps you have not seen and you know not how he has to tug and to toil. Among my congregation I have many of a class upon whom I have always looked with pity, poor women who must rise tomorrow morning with the sun and begin that everlasting “stitch, stitch,” that works their finger to the bone. And from Monday morning till Saturday night, many of you, my Members and multitudes of you, my Hearers, will not be able to lay aside your needle and your thread, except when, tired and weary, you fall back on your chair and are lulled to sleep by your thoughts of labor!
Oh, how seasonable will Heaven’s rest be to you! Oh, how glad will you be, when you get there, to find that there are no Monday mornings, no more toil for you–just rest, eternal rest! Others of you have hard manual labor to perform. You have reason to thank God that you are strong enough to do it and you are not ashamed of your work. For labor is an honor to a man. But still there are times when you say, “I wish I were not so dragged to death by the business of London life.” We have but little rest in this huge city. Our day is longer and our work is harder than our friends in the country.
You have sometimes sighed to go into the green fields for a breath of fresh air. You have longed to hear the song of the sweet birds that used to wake you when you were lads. You miss the bright blue sky, the beauteous flowers and the thousand charms of a country life. And perhaps you will never get beyond this smoky city but remember, when you get up there, “sweet fields arrayed in living green” and “rivers of delight” shall be the place where you shall rest! You shall have all the joys you can conceive of in that home of happiness.
And though worn and weary you come to your grave–tottering on your staff–having journeyed through the wilderness of life like a weary camel, which has only stopped on the Sabbath to sip its little water at the well, or to be baited at the oasis–there you will arrive at your journey’s end, laden with gold and spices and enter into the grand caravans of Heaven and enjoy forever the things you have wearily carried with you while here.
And I must say that to others of us who have not to toil with our hands, Heaven will be a seasonable rest. Those of us who have to tire our brain day after day will find it no slight benefit to have an everlasting rest above. I will not boast of what I do–there may be many who do more–there may be many who are perpetually and daily striving to serve God and are using their mind’s best energies in so doing. But this much I may say, that almost every week I have the pleasure of preaching twelve times and often in my sleep do I think of what I shall say next time.
Not having the advantage of laying out my seven shillings and sixpence in buying manuscripts, it costs me hard diligent labor to find even something to say. And I sometimes have a difficulty to keep the hopper full in the mill. I feel that if I had not now and then a rest I should have no wheat for God’s children. Still it is on, on, on and on we must go. We hear the chariot wheels of God behind us and we dare not stop. We think that eternity is drawing near and we must go on. Rest to us now is more than labor, we want to be at work. But oh, how seasonable it shall be, when to the minister it shall be said–
“Servant of God, well done!
Rest from your loved employ.
The battle fought, the victory won,
Enter your Master’s joy.”
It will be seasonable rest. You that are weary with State cares and have to learn the ingratitude of men–you that have sought honors and have got them–you seek to do your best but your very independence of spirit is called servility, while your servility would have been praised! You who seek to honor God and not to honor men, who will not bind yourselves to parties but seek in your own independent and honest judgment to serve your country and your God. You, I say, when God shall see fit to call you to Himself, will find it no small joy to have done with Parliaments, to have done with States and kingdoms and to have laid aside your honors, to receive honors more lasting among those who dwell forever before the Throne of the Most High.
One thing and then once more and then farewell. This rest, my Brethren, ought to be extolled, because it is eternal. Here my best joys bear “mortal” on their brow. Here my fair flowers fade. Here my sweet cups have dregs and are soon empty. Here my sweetest birds must die and their melody must soon be hushed. Here my most pleasant days must have their nights. Here the flowings of my bliss must have their ebbs. Everything does pass away but there everything shall be immortal. The harp shall never rust, the crown never wither, the eye never dim, the voice never falter, the heart never waver and the being wholly consolidated unto eternity. Happy day, happy day, when mortality shall be swallowed up of life and the mortal shall have put on immortality!
And then, lastly, this glorious rest is to be best of all commended for its certainty. “There remains a rest to the people of God.” Doubting One, you have often said, “I fear I shall never enter Heaven.” Fear not! All the people of God shall enter there. There is no fear about it. I love the quaint saying of a dying man, who, in his country brogue, exclaimed, “I have no fear of going Home. I have sent all before me. God’s finger is on the latch of my door and I am ready for Him to enter.” “But,” said one “are you not afraid least you should miss your inheritance?” “No,” he said, “no, there is one crown in Heaven that the angel Gabriel could not wear. It will fit no head but mine.
“There is one Throne in Heaven that Paul the Apostle could not fill. It was made for me and I shall have it. There is one dish at the banquet that I must eat, or else it will be untasted, for God has set it apart for me.” O Christian, what a joyous thought! Your portion is secure! “There remains a rest.” “But cannot I forfeit it?” No, it is entailed. If I am a child of God I shall not lose it. It is mine as securely as if I were there–
“Come, Christian, mount to Pisgah’s top,
And view the landscape over.”
See that little river of death, glistening in the sunlight and across it do you see the pinnacles of the eternal city? Do you mark the pleasant suburbs and all the joyous inhabitants? Turn your eye to that spot. Do you see where that ray of light is glancing now? There is a little spot there–do you see it? That is your estate. That is YOURS. Oh, if you could fly across you would see written upon it, “this remains for such an one, preserved for him only. He shall be caught up and dwell forever with God.”
Poor Doubting One–see your inheritance. It is yours. If you believe in the Lord Jesus you are one of the Lord’s people. If you have repented of sin you are one of the Lord’s people. If you have been renewed in heart you are one of the Lord’s people and there is a place for you, a crown for you, a harp for you. No one else shall have it but yourself and you shall have it before long.
Just pardon me one moment if I beg of you to conceive of yourselves as being in Heaven. Is it not a strange thing to think of–a poor clown in Heaven? Think. How will you feel with your crown on your head? Weary matron, many years have rolled over you. How changed will be the scene when you are young again. Ah, toil-worn laborer, only think when you shall rest forever. Can you conceive it? Could you but think for a moment of yourself as being in Heaven now, what a strange surprise would seize you. You would not so as much say, “What? Are these streets of gold? What? Are these walls of jasper?” “What? Am I here? In white? Am I here, with a crown on my brow? Am I here singing, who was always groaning?
“What? I praise God that once cursed Him? What? I lift up my voice in His honor? Oh, precious blood that washed me clean! Oh, precious faith that set me free! Oh, precious Spirit that made me repent, else I had been cast away and been in Hell! But oh, what wonders! Angels! I am surprised. I am enraptured! Wonder of wonders! Oh, gates of pearls, I long since heard of you! Oh, joys that never fade, I long since heard tell of you! But I am like the Queen of Sheba, the half has not yet been told me. Profusion, oh profusion of bliss!–Wonder of wonders!–Miracle of miracles! What a world I am in! And oh, that I am here, this is the topmost miracle of all!”
And yet ‘tis true, 'tis true. And that is the glory of it. It is true. Come, Worm and prove it! Come, pall, come shroud, come and prove it. Then come wings of faith, come, leap like a seraph. Come, eternal ages, come and you shall prove that there are joys that the eye has not seen, which the ear has not heard and which only God can reveal to us by His Spirit.
Oh, my earnest prayer is that none of you may come short of this rest but that you may enter into it and enjoy it forever and ever. God give you His great blessing, for Jesus sake! Amen.