It is a picture, but not a fancy.
It is beautiful, but not a fable.
It is ravishing to the imagination, and yet the presentment of truth as practical and actual and tangible as any sight to be seen at any time in the humdrum streets of a modern city.
It comes direct to us on the guarantee of Him who holds heaven and earth in His hand – who, having cursed, can bless; who, having smitten, can heal; who, having caused us to know the misery of His withdrawn countenance from the earth, and the consequent prevalence of disorder and death, can gladden our eyes by the spectacle of the tabernacle of God with men, and human life a beautiful and holy and joyful thing for ever.
Come to the land of promise in the day of its glory – not as you are now – burdened with infirmity, with a nature easily fatigued, eye soon dimmed, power soon spent, and having but scant capacity to rise to the surrounding sublimities of the universe, or to apprehend sympathetically the subtle glories of the Spirit.
Come, when it has been said to you as to Joshua, “Take away the filthy garments from him…
I will clothe thee with a change of raiment.” Come when mortality no longer weighs you to the earth, and when you know the new experience of having “the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.” Come when you can step lightly and joyously abroad upon the earth in the freedom and power of spirit nature; strong, penetrating eye looks out of a glad heart to behold in all things the unfolded love, and wisdom, and glory of God: when every thought is a joy, every movement a pleasure; every breath the inspiration of an ecstacy that can only find fit expression in praise to Him that sits upon the throne.
In such a state, any land, any configuration of country, would furnish suitable sphere.
But God puts his jewels in fit settings.
He hath called and glorified His children, and “He hath prepared for them a city” – a city having foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham sojourned in the geographical area of this city – in the land of promise – as in a strange country; but that is now long past.
Forsaken and hated for ages, the land is now “an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations.” God has fulfilled His promise, and has made “her wilderness like Eden – her desert like the garden of the Lord.” Come and see as we go; we stand on the hills of Judea, now no longer stern and wild.
They are clad with glorious vegetation, of every form and fragrance.
The hills are clothed with pleasant woods, and the valleys rejoice in the smiling beauties of a rich cultivation – field and vineyard, fruits and flowers, corn and wine.
The air is clear and warm, and laden with pleasant odours.
The view on all sides is magnificent and far-reaching.
No smoke obscures the landscape, no fog on the valleys, no mist on the hills.
The sky is cloudless, and the sun pours his healing flood of light on rejoicing land and ocean.
The whirr of pleasant insect; the musical song of bird helps the sense of gladness that fills the air.
Nearby are pleasant homesteads, standing each in its own plot or portion, neatly trimmed and well-kept.
Below in the valley, towns and hamlets, peopled by righteous Israelites, are visible in the far receding distance, clearly visible in this transparent atmosphere, in which everything appears nearer than it is.
Jerusalem is faintly visible on our northern horizon.
Let us hasten in that direction.
Bro. Robert Roberts describes his vision of the Kingdom in ‘The Final Consolation’.
Stay posted to read the remainder of the series.