JERUSALEM, my Home,
Where shines the royal Throne,
Each king casts down his golden crown
Be,ore the Lamb thereon.
Thence flows the crystal River,
And flowing on forever
With leaves and traits on either hand,
The Tree of Life shall stand.
In blood-washed robes, all white and fair,
The Lamb shall lead his chosen there,
While clouds of incense fill the air—
Jerusalem, my Home.
Jerusalem, my Home,
Where saints in glory reign,
Thy haven safe, 0 when shall I
Poor storm-tossed pilgrim, gain?
At distance dark and dreary,
With sin and sorrow weary,
For thee I toil, for thee I pray,
For thee I long alway.
And lo! mine eyes shall see thee, too;
0, rend in twain, thou veil of blue,
And let the Golden City through—
Jerusalem, my Home!
No man thinks himself rich until he has all he wants. Very few people are satisfied with earthly riches. If they want any thing at all that they cannot get, that is a kind of poverty. Sometimes the richer the man the greater the poverty. Somebody has said that getting riches brings care; keeping them brings trouble; abusing them brings guilt; and losing them brings sorrow.
It's a great mistake to make so much of riches as we do. But there are some riches that we cannot praise too much. They never pass away. They are the treasures laid up in Heaven for those who truly belong to God. No matter how rich or elevated we may be here, there is always something that we want. The greatest chance the rich have over the poor, is the one they enjoy the least—that of making themselves happy. Worldly riches never make any one truly happy. "We all know, too, that they often take wings and fly away. Midas got gold, so that whatever he touched turned into it, but he was not much the better for it with his long ears. There is a great deal of truth in some of these old fables. Money, like time, ought not to be wasted, but I pity that man who has more of either than he knows how to use. There is no truer saying than that man by doing good with his money, stamps, as it were, the image of God upon it, and makes it pass current for the merchandise of heaven; but all the wealth of the universe would not buy a man's way there. Salvation must be taken as a gift for the asking. There is no man so poor that he may not be a heavenly millionaire.
A BAD LIFE-PRESERVER,
How many are worshiping gold to-day! Where war has slain its thousands, gain has slain its millions. Its history is the history of slavery and oppression in all ages. At this moment what an empire it has. The mine with its drudgery, the manufactory with its misery, the plantation with its toil, and the market and exchange with their haggard and care-worn faces—these are but specimens of its menial servants. Titles and honors are its rewards, and thrones are at its disposal. Among its counselors are kings, and many of the great and mighty of the earth are its subjects. This spirit of gain tries even to turn the globe itself into gold. I It is related that Tarpeia, the daughter of the governor of the fortress situated on the Capitoline Hill in Rome, was captivated with the golden bracelets of the Sabine soldiers, and agreed to let them into the fortress if they would give her what they wore upon their left arms. The contract was made; the Sabines kept their promise. Tatius, their commander, was the first to deliver his bracelets and shield. The coveted treasures were thrown upon the traitress by each of the soldiers, till she sank beneath their weight and expired.
Thus does the weight of gold carry many a man down.
When the Steamship Central America went down, several hundred miners were on board, returning to their early homes and friends. They had made their fortunes, and expected much happiness in enjoying them. In the first of the horror gold lost its attraction to them. The miners took off their treasure-belts and threw them aside. Carpet bags full of shining gold-dust were emptied on the floor of the cabin. One of them poured out one hundred thousand dollars worth in the cabin, and bade any one take it who wouldGreed was over-mastered, and the gold found no takers. Dear friends! it is well enough to have gold, but sometimes it is a bad life-preserver. Sometimes it is a mighty weight that crushes us down to hell.
The Rev. John Newton one day called to visit a family that had suffered the loss of all they possessed by fire. He found the pious mistress, and saluted her with:
"I give you joy, madam."
Surprised, and ready to be offended, she exclaimed:
"What! joy that all my property is consumed?"
"Oh no," he answered, "but joy that you have so much property that fire cannot touch."
This allusion to her real treasures checked her grief and brought reconciliation. As it says in the 10th chapter of Proverbs: In the house of the righteous is much treasure; but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble. I have never seen a dying saint who was rich in heavenly treasures who had any regret; I have never heard them say they had lived too much for God and heaven, i
«, A friend of mine says that he was at the River Mersey, in
Liverpool, a few years ago, and a vessel had to be towed with a great deal of care into the harbor; it was clear down to the water's edge, and he wondered why it didn't sink. Pretty soon there came another vessel, without any help at all; it didn't need any tug to tow it in, but it sailed right up the Mersey past the other vessels; and he made inquiry and he found the vessel that had to be towed in was what they call water-logged—that it was loaded with lumber and material of that kind; and having sprung a leak had partially sunk, and it was very hard work to get into the harbor. Now, I believe there are a great many professed Christians, a great many perhaps that are really Christians, who get water-logged. They have too many earthly treasures, and it takes nearly the whole church—the whole spiritual power of the church to look after these worldly Christians, to keep them from going back entirely into the world. Why, if the whole church were, as John Wesley said, " hard at it, and always at it," what a power there would be, and how soon we would reach the world and the masses; but we are not reaching the world because the church itself has become conformed to the world and worldly-minded, and, because so many are wondering why they don't grow in grace while they have more of the earth in their thoughts than God.
The ministers would not have to urge people to live for heaven if their treasures were up there; they could not help it; their hearts would be there, and if their hearts were there their minds would be up there, and their life would center towards heaven. They could not help living for heaven if their treasures were there.
A little girl one day said to her mother, "Mamma, my Sunday school teacher tells me that this world is only a place in which God lets us live a while, that we may prepare for a a better world. But, mother, I do not see anybody preparing. I see you preparing to go into the country, and Aunt Eliza is preparing to come here; but I do not see any one preparing to go there ; why don't they try to get ready?"
A certain gentleman in the South before the war, had a pious slave, and when the master died they told him he had gone to heaven. ^
The old slave shook his head, "I's fraid massa no gone there," he said.
"But why? Ben," he was asked.
"Cos, when massa go North, or go a journey to the Springs, he talk about it a long time, and get ready. I never hear him talk about going to heaven; never see him get ready to go there!/' .
So there are a good many who don't get ready. Christ teaches in the Sermon on the Mount to
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal, for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
TBEASUKES OF THE HEART.
It does not take a great while to tell where a man's treasure is. In fifteen minutes conversation with most men you can tell whether their treasures are on earth or in heaven. Talk to a statesman about the country, and you will see his eye light up; you will find he has his heart there. Talk to some of these business men, and tell them where they can make a thousand dollars, and see their interest; their hearts are there. You talk to these fashionable people who are living just for fashion, of its affairs, and you will see their eyes kindle; they are interested at once; their hearts are there. Talk to a politician about politics, and you see how suddenly he becomes interested. But talk to a child of God, who is laying up treasures in heaven, about heaven and about his future home, and see what enthusiasm. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Now, it is just as much a command for a man to lay up his treasures in heaven as it is that he should not steal. Some people think all the commandments are in those ten that were given back on Sinai, but when Jesus Christ was here, He gave us a good many other commandments. There is another commandment in this Sermon on the Mount, that we ought to " seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added;" and here is a command that we are to lay up our treasures in heaven and not on earth. The reason there are so many broken hearts in this land, the reason there are so many disappointed people, is because they have been laying up their treasures down here.
The worthlessness of gold, for which so many are striving, is illustrated by a story that Dr. Arnot used to tell.
A ship bearing a company of emigrants, has been driven from her course and wrecked on a desert island, far from the reach of man. There is no way of escape; but they have a good stock of food. The ocean surrounds them, but they have plenty of seeds, and a fine soil, and a genial sun, so that there is no danger. Before the plans are laid, an exploring party discovers a gold mine. There the whole party go to dig. They labor day after day and month after month. They get large heaps of gold. But spring is past, and not a field has been cleared, not a grain of seed put into the ground. The summer comes and their wealth increases; but their stock of food grows small. In the fall they find that their heaps of gold are worthless. Famine stares them in the face. They rush to the woods, they fell trees, dig up the roots, till the ground, sow the seed. It is too late! Winter has come and their seed rots in the ground. They die of want in the midst of their treasures.
This earth is the little isle; eternity the ocean round it; on this shore we have been cast. There is a living seed; but the mines of gold attract us. We spend spring and summer there; winter overtakes us in our toil; we are without the Bread of Life, and we are lost. Let us then who are Christians, value all the more the home which holds the treasures that no one can take away. Dr. Muhlenberg, a Lutheran clergyman, has written beautifully:
"Who would live alway, away from his God,
Away from yon heaven, that blissful abode;
Where the rivers of pleasure flow o'er the bright plains,
And the saints of all ages in harmony meet,
Their Savior, and brethren transported, to greet;
While the anthems of rapture unceasingly roll,
And the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul?
That heavenly music, what is it I hear?
The notes of the harpers ring sweet on my ear.
To see soft unfolding those portals of gold—
The King, all arrayed in His beauty, behold 1
Oh give me, oh give me, the wings of a dove,
Let me hasten my flight to those mansions above!
Ay, 'tis now that my soul on swift pinions would soar,
And in ecstacy bid earth adieu evermore."
A BLACK-BOARD LESSOR.
When I was in San Francisco a few years ago, I went into a Sabbath school the first Sunday I was there. It was a rainy day, and there were so few that the superintendent thought of dismissing them, but instead, afterwards invited me to speak to the whole school as one class. The lesson was that passage from the Sermon on the Motint: Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, whore moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. I invited a young man to the blackboard, and we proceeded to compare a few things that some people have on earth, and a few things that other people have in heaven.
"Now," said I, "name some earthly treasure."
They all shouted "gold."
"Well, that is so," I said, "I suppose that is your greatest treasure out here in California. Now let us go on; what is another?"
A second boy shouted, "lands."
"Well," I said, "we will put down lands."
"What else do the people out here in California think a good deal of and have their hearts set on?"
They said "Houses."
"Put that down; what else?"
"Put that down."
"Put them down."
"Yes, " I said : "a great many people have got their hearts buried in their business—put that down." And, as if a little afraid, one of them said "dress," and the whole school smiled.
"Put that down," I said. "Why, I believe there are some people in the world who think more of dress than any other thing. They just live for dress. I heard not long ago from very good authority, of a young lady who was dying of consumption, and she had just been living in the world and for the world, and it seemed as if the world had taken full possession of her, and she thought she would die Thursday night, and Thursday she wanted them to crimp her hair, so that she woukl look beautiful in her coffin. But she did n't die Thursday night. She lingered through Friday, and Friday she did n't want them to take her hair down, but to keep it up until she passed away. And the friends said she looked very beautiful in the coffin! Just what people wear —the idea of people having their heart set upon things of that kind!
"And what else, now?" Well, they were a little ashamed to say it, but one said, "Rum."
"Well," I said, "put it down. There is many a man thinks more of the rum-bottle than he does of the Kingdom of God. He will give up his wife, he will give up his home and mother, and character and reputation forever for the rum-bottle. Many a man by his life is crying out,
"Give me rum, and I will give you heaven, and all its glories. I will sell my wife and children. I will make them beggars and paupers. I will degrade and disgrace them for the rum-bottle. That is my treasure."many earthly treasures. We need not be rich to have our hearts set on riches.
We need not go in the world more than other people to have our hearts there. I believe the Prodigal got into the far country long before his feet got there. When his heart got there he was there. And there is many a man who does not mingle so much in the world as others do, but his heart is there, and he would be if he could, and God looks at the heart.
Now, what we want to do is to obey the voice of the Master, and instead of laying up treasures on earth, lay them up in heaven. If we do that, bear in^mind, we will never be disappointed.
It is clear that idolaters are not going to enter the kingdom of God. I may make an idol of my business; I may make an idol of the wife of my bosom; I may make idols of my children. I do n't think you have got to go to heathen countries to find men guilty of idolatry. I think that you will find a great many right here who have idols in their hearts. Let us pray that the spirit of God may banish those idols from our hearts, that we may not be guilty of idolatry; that we may worship God in spirit and in truth. Anything that comes between me and God is an idol—anything, I don't care what it is; business is all right in its place, and there is no danger of my loving my family too much if I love God more; but God must have the first place; and if He don't then the idol is set up.
ALL ETERNITY FOR REST.
Not the least of the riches of heaven will be the possession of those wants of the soul, which aro so much sought after down here but are never found—such as infinite knowledge, perfect peace and satisfying love. Like a beautiful likeness that has been marred—daubed all over with streaks of black, and is then restored to its original beauty, so the soul is restored to its full beauty of color when it is washed with the blood of Jesus Christ. The senseless image on the canva3 cannot be compared however in any other way with the living, rational soul.
Could we but see some of our friends who have gone on before us we would very likely feel like falling down before them. John, although he had seen so many strange things, when one of the bright angels stood before him to reveal some of the secrets of heaven, fell to worship him. He says in the last chapter of Revelation:
"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things. Then saith he nnto me, see thou do it not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book. Worship God."
The diamond we know not only reflects the light, but is a little sun shining by a light ^of its own. So the polished diamond of the soul reflects the beauty and light of God and preserves its own personality as well.
Among the wants which we have on earth is the thirst for knowledge. As much as sin has weakened man's mental faculties, it has not taken away any of his desire for knowledge. But with all his efforts, with all that he thinks he knows about astronomy, chemistry and geology, and the rest of the sciences, his knowledge of the secrets of nature is yet limited.
There are ever so many things we don't know.
Thousands of astronomers have lived and died, and the ages of the world have rolled on, and it was but the other day, as it were, that they found out that the planet Mars had two moons. Perhaps in ages to come some one will find out that they are not moons at all. This is what most of our human knowledge amounts to.
There is not one of our college professors, and many of them have gone nearly everywhere the mind can reach, but is anxious to learn more and more, to find out new things, to make new discoveries. If we were as familiar with all the stars of the firmament as we are with our own earth, yet we would not be satisfied.
Not until we are like God can we comprehend the infinite.
Even the imperfect glimpses of God that we get by faith, only intensify our desire for more. For now, as i'aul says in the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians, We see through a glass darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. The word Paul used, properly translated, is "mirror." Now we see God, as it were, in a looking-glass—but then face to face.
Suppose we knew nothing of the sun except what we saw of its light reflected from the moon? Would we not wonder about its immense distance, about its dazzling splendor, about its life-giving power? 'Now all that we see, the sun, the moon, the stars, the ocean, the earth, the flowers, and above all, man, are a grand mirror in which the perfection of God is imperfectly reflected.
Another want that we have is rest. We get tired of toiling. Yet there is no real rest on earth. We find in the 4th chapter of Hebrews, beginning with the 9th verse:
"There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief."
Now, while we all want rest, I think a great many people make a mistake when they think the church is a place of rest; and when they unite with the church they have a false idea about their position in it. There are a great many that come in to rest. It says here: There remaineth a rest for the people of God, but it don't tell us that the church is a place of rest; we have all eternity to rest in. We are to rest by and by; but we are to work here, and when our work is finished, the Lord will call us home to enjoy that rest. There is no use in talking about rest down here in the enemy's country. We cannot rest in this world, where God's Son has been crucified and cast out. I think that a great many people are going to lose their reward just because they have come into the church with the idea that they are to rest there, as if the church was working for the reward, instead of each one building over against his own house, each one using all his influence toward the building up of Christ's kingdom.
In the 14th chapter of Revelation and the 13th verse, it says:
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me,Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the. Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; and their works do follow them."
Now, death may rob us of money. Death may rob us of position. Death may rob us of our friends; but there is one thing death can never do, and that is, rob us of the work that we do for God. That will live on forever. "Their works will follow them." How much are we doing? Anything that we do outside of ourselves, and not with a mean and selfish motive, that is going to live. We have the privilege of setting in motion streams of activity that will flow on when we are dead and gone.
It is the privilege of every one to live more in the future than they do in the present, so that their lives will tell in fifty or a hundred years more than they do now.
John "Wesley's influence is a thousand-fold greater to-day thain it was when he was living. He still lives. He lives in the lives of thousand and hundreds of thousands of his followers.
Martin Luther lives more to-day than he did centuries ago, when he was living in Germany. He only lived one life for a while. But now, look at the hundreds and thousands and millions of lives that he is living. There are between fifty and sixty millions of people that profess to be followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, as taught by Martin Luther, that bear his name. He is dead in the sight of the world, but his "works do follow him." He still lives.
The voice of John the Baptist is ringing through the world to-day, although nearly 1,900 years have passed away. Herod thought when he beheaded him that he was hushing his voice, but it is ringing all through the earth to-day. John the Baptist lives, because he lived for God; but he has entered into his rest, and " his works do follow him." And if they can see what is going on upon the earth, how much joy they must have up yonder to think that they have set these streams in motion, and that this work is going on— being carried on after them.
i If. a man lives a mean, selfish life, he goes down in the grave, and his name and everything goes down in the grave with him. If he is ambitious to leave a record behind him, with a selfish motive, his name rots with his body. But if a man just gets outside of himself and begins to work for God, his name will live forever. Why, you may go to Scotland to-day, and you will find the influence of John Knox over every mountain in Scotland. It seems as if you could almost feel the breath of that man's prayer in Scotland to-day. His influence still lives. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." They rest from their labors and their works do follow them." Blessed rest in store; we will rest by and by;
but we don't want to talk about rest down here
If I am to wipe a tear from the cheek of that fatherless boy, I must do it down here. It is not said in Scripture that we will have the privilege of doing that hereafter. If I am going to help some fallen man up that has been overtaken by sin, I must do it here. We are not taught anywhere in Scripture that we are going to have the glorious privilege of working for God in the world to come. We are not going to have the privilege of being co-workers with God in the future—but that is our privilege to-day. We may not have it to-morrow. It may be taken from us tomorrow; but we can enter into the vineyard and do something to-day before the sun goes down. We can do something now before we go to glory.
Another want that we feel down here, is love. Heaven is the only place where the conditions of love can be fulfilled. There it is essentially mutual. Everybody loves everybody else. In this world of wickedness and sin it seems impossible for people to be all on a perfect equality. When we meet people who are bright and beautiful and good, we have no difficulty in loving them. All the people of heaven will be like that. There will be no fear of misplaced confidences there. "We will never be deceived by those we love. When a suspicion of doubt fastens upon any one who loves, their happiness from that moment is at an end. There will be no suspicion there.
"Beyond these chilling winds and gloomy skies,
Beyond death's cloudy portal,
There is a land where beauty never dies—
Where love becomes immortal."