Sermon 3526. The New Wine of the Kingdom

(No. 3526)




"I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom."Matthew 26:29.

SUCH words could hardly have been spoken at such a time by our Lord Jesus Christ without some deep significance. Let us, then,reverently enquire into their meaning. What thoughts were those that stirred in His own breast? What lessons did He conveyto His beloved disciples? And, first, does not our Lord here express-


Putting aside the cup that was filled with the juice of the vine, He said, "I shall henceforth no more drink of this fruitof the vine." Here He bids farewell to social cheer. Whatever little comforts He had enjoyed were now to be quitted. He hadnever been rich-full often He had not where to lay His head. His clothing had always been that of a simple peasant-"a garmentwithout seam" had sufficed for Him. Scanty the rest He had ever known. Little luxury He had ever enjoyed, but now He does,as it were, solemnly relinquish every creature gratification, "I will henceforth no more drink of fruit of the vine." Notas One who had been satiated with the comforts or surfeited with the pleasures of life did our Lord and Master speak. It isno uncommon thing for the pleasure seekers of the world to feel the strongest aversion to the indulgences for which they oncehad the keenest relish. The world's joy sours, its sweet honey sickens on the palate, its most fascinating entertainments,by constant repetition, pall the faculty of enjoying them! Our Savior had encountered life in its sterner moods. His mainaim was to discharge its duties, not to divert Himself with its amenities. Nor did He put aside that cup out of any ostentation,as though He affected a stoical indifference. We all know that refreshment is needed to recruit the energies of the laboreror the sufferer. Nothing could be less in keeping with our Lord's disposition than a gloomy asceticism. Yet He willingly now,before His disciples, renounces all that there was of this world's good. Taking, then, this wine cup as a symbol, and understandingit to represent earthly cheer, we observe how significantly He puts it aside-He will partake of it no more! We ask the reasonwhy in the presence of so strong a determination, so clear a prediction.

But before I attempt to answer the question, let me remind you that there are occasions in the Christian life when a man isbound to give up all his comforts for Christ's sake. It is by no means impossible or improbable that honest principle andsterling integrity may demand of you or me a total surrender of everything which we have been accustomed to hold dear. A sincereChristian must maintain his conscience, even if he can scarcely maintain himself. He must come down from the broadcloth tothe fustian, from the mansion to the cottage, from riding in his carriage to trudging on foot. Our fathers did it and theydid it on principle-they did it for Christ's sake. The martyrs did more-they laid down their lives upon the altar when Christ'scause demanded it. The like times may come back to us again. In the competition of the unscrupulous, the righteous must suffer.Business is rotten through and through, nowadays. The whole style of conducting your merchandise is so doubly dyed in deceit,that I should not marvel if a Christian often finds himself a loser by doing the right thing and maintaining a strict integrity!But we must sooner be losers in this way than lose our acceptance with God! We must be willing to sink in the world's esteemand be counted fools for Christ's sake, rather than amass riches and rise to a position of commercial influence through anyequivocal dealings or any sort of duplicity! We must keep our consciences from being soiled with the wiles and stratagemsof those whose ingenuity is always directed to the promotion of bubble companies, or the practice of some disingenuous finessewhereby they lie in wait to deceive the unwary. Refrain yourselves from every false way! But do not vaunt your own purityor be ostentatious of your own vir-

tue, as if you were better than others. Above all things, do not make a cross for yourselves and then put it on your own backand act the martyr! But when you must take up your cross for your Master's sake, do it as He did-with fidelity, yet with meekness-andsay, "I will no more drink of this fruit of the vine. I will no more seek the esteem of my fellows. I will no more cultivatethe world's friendship. I will no more foster the affection of those who once loved me in my sins. I will give up anything-Iwill give up everything-I will give up life, itself, if necessary, that I may glorify God as my Lord and Master did."

Now why did our Lord thus say, "I will no more drink of this fruit of the vine"? It was because now He had other work to do.He must, therefore, forego all that would stand in the way of His accomplishing it. He had to sweat the bloody sweat! He hadto stand accused before Pilate and Herod! He had to bear His Cross through Jerusalem's malicious crowds! He had to give Hishands to the nails, and His feet to the cruel iron. These were no times for thinking of comforts. And the cause of the Mastermay sometimes make the same demands upon us. The man who will devote himself to the mission field must be willing to dispensewith much of that personal and social comfort and gratification which those who stay at home look upon as the best recompenseof their daily toil. The minister of Christ, if he would serve his Master diligently, must deny himself the rest and easeto which he would have a right if he were engaged in secular pursuits. For your Master's work, you must be prepared to forsakeall and yield yourself up to Him unreservedly! You are not true to Christ, nor fit to put your hand to His plow, if you pullthat hand back because it involves any sacrifice, however heavy. If Christ gave up the wine cup and renounced by that acteverything like the comforts of life-you, too, if you have noble work to do for God-must follow His example and in so doingyou shall have your reward!

Our Savior did this, again, because His love to men compelled Him. Giving up the fruit of the vine was not, in itself, a greatact of self-negation, but as a symbol it was very significant. As I have already observed, it betokened His putting asideeverything that is considered gratifying and joyous in life. Jesus Christ, out of love to us, gave up all. The Heaven of heavenscould not contain Him. The adoration of angels fell short of His Glory. He was "God over all, blessed forever." Yet a mangerheld Him and a Cross upheld Him! What a stoop was that-from the highest Throne in Glory to be a Man of Sorrows and acquaintedwith grief-and this out of love to those who hated Him! And they proved their hate by putting Him to death! Most sweetly willthis Truth of God refresh us if we remember that it was out of love to us. We deserved nothing of Him. Love to miserable sinners,nothing but pure love, could have led Him to resign His gracious breath. He loved me before I had a thought of love to Him!He loved you when you were struggling against His Grace and defying all His Law. Oh, think of His giving up everything outof ardent love! How this ought to nerve us for toil or suffering! How it ought to inflame us with love to Him! How willingit should make us to give up anythingout of love to Him, and love to our fellow men! Alas, that so few of us ever make sacrificesout of love to souls! We can do a little ordinary service which involves but little fatigue and little inconvenience, butoh, to have the old spirit of chivalry burning in our breasts which would make us cast ourselves upon the very teeth of Deathout of zeal for the cause of Christ! Oh, that some young men here could be moved by the love of Jesus to give themselves upfrom this moment to live and die for Him! Oh, that some holy women would renew their early consecration vows and from thisvery hour be servants of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of none beside! The Church needs some few conspicuous specimens of self-denyingholiness, and perhaps those few, like standard-bearers lifting up the ensign, would attract many others-and the Church mightlift herself up from the low level of our poor, weak, beggarly profession! We might then serve Jesus a little after the mannerthat He deserves to be served, and surrender ourselves to Him more after the fashion of His surrendering Himself for us!

I take it that this no more drinking of the fruit of the vine means more than my tongue could ever tell, though I spoke onfor many an hour. So I leave the thought with you. It is Jesus renouncing all that makes life happy-giving up everything thatcheers and gladdens-sanctifying Himself for our sakes because He is called to a noble work by His Father and by His God. Butnow, secondly, I would have you think of our Lord-


He took the cup and, making that the symbol of everything below, He said, "I will no more drink of this fruit of the vine."He bade farewell to His disciples, and to the earth, upon which He had lived for 33 years-and this He did without any repining.He did not say, "Why am I taken away in the strength of My days? Why, when scarcely 40 years old, must My sun go down at noon?Why, before I have attained the full age of man, must I be laid in the grave?" No, not a word of it, and when your turn andmine shall come to bid farewell to everything on earth, and to part with all below,

may we cheerfully yield to the summons without one single word of repining against God! Oh, Lord, You have called me Hometo rest-it was but morning, and my work was scarcely begun, and I had fondly mapped it out in the hope of much service toYou and Your Church, but if You bid me come Home, I will thank You that I have not to bear the heat and burden of the day.Or if it is in middle life, just when my work is about me, and I am busy in the vineyard, that my time of departure shouldcome, may I still be content! There are the plants and flowers I have so fondly nurtured! Yonder is a tree that was aboutto bud and here is what I hoped would be a fruit-bearing vine, but, Master, though I should like to have seen all these reachtheir maturity, and though my pride may say, "What will the Church do without me when I am gone?" Yet, Lord, You did withoutme before I was born and so here in the strength of my days You call me to leave these things, and I come, I come! And ifthe call shall come to you at night, or towards evening-as it will do, I know, to some of you, dear Brothers and Sisters,who are getting gray and old in years-I hope you will feel, "Lord, it is well. Our day's work is over, the shadows have lengthened,it is time to fall asleep. We do not stand so much in the earth as on it-we are waiting to be taken Home, to be gathered intothe Garner." Yes, without regret, I say, without any repining against the will of God, may we heave the anchor and go intoport! May we just quietly shut our eyes on earth and open them in Heaven to behold the Beatific Vision, without having madeour last word on earth to be an act of rebellion by lamenting that the voice says, "Rise up, and come away."

Our Lord did not withdraw from the world as an ascetic. He did not dash the cup to the ground or denounce its contents. Hedid not put away life, saying, "It is sour. I will taste no more of it!" I think I have heard some people talk about lifewith very much of that bitter spirit which cannot brook its toils and cares. They want to go Home, they tell us, when in truththere is more infirmity than faith in the wish they express! They are idle. They are not willing to bear their cross. Theyare weary of suffering for their Master. Oh, shame on us if we are like lazy workmen, always looking for Saturday nights!Such fellows are never worth their pay. Shame upon us if we are courting the grave that we may rest from our labors whilethere are yet wanderers to be sought, outcasts to be restored, sinners to be saved! Are there not kinsfolk and neighbors ofours that can hear the Gospel from our lips? Are there no children to be taught in our schools? Are there no little ones tobe lifted out from the miry clay? Are there not fresh battles to be fought for Christ-new enterprises to be carried forward-regionsbeyond to be explored? If you have a real interest in the Redeemer's Kingdom, you may well ask for a longer life if it isGod's will that you may take a larger share in these labors of love-and have weightier crowns to present to that dear Saviorwho has gone before us to prepare mansions for our rest! Thus, without repining on the one hand, or even a tinge of asceticismon the other hand, He puts away the cup with as cheerful an air as He took it! He sets His face towards death. "I will nomore drink."

And then notice how He stops, as it were, on the way His composure is unruffled, as though death were to Him but the goalof His earthly career, or rather a station on His journey to Heaven! He knows He is about to depart and yet He deplores itnot, for He perceives that it is expedient for His disciples and for Himself that He should go away. Oh, that when our daysbelow come to a close, when we hear the Master's call and feel the symptoms of approaching death, we may not be dismayed orfrightened! God grant that we may take leave of this mortal life with peaceful confidence and holy calm! Should our exit beslow and painful, may we be steadfast in faith and full of patience! Or should it be otherwise, sudden and unexpected, maywe be no less prepared and ready! Floods of wrath rose high at our Lord's death, but there shall be no such tumult about ours.The curse gathered around His dying head-a blessing shall make a halo around ours! There was no sort of pallet for Him todie upon-the Cross was His couch. The sweet comfort of looking up to God was lacking to Him. "Eli, Eli, lama Sabacthanii"was His dying cry! But we have our Lord to meet us and He has promised that He will make our bed in our sickness. Our thirdreflection shall be this- III. OUR LORD'S WORDS CONTAINED HIS DYING ANTICIPATION.

Said He not, "I will no more drink of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's Kingdom"?He knew He would die, but He knew that that was not the end! He expected happier and brighter days, fairer banquets, fresherwine and purer joys. Now, did Christ mean Heaven? I think He did, though that was not all. Yet were it Heaven which He justthen anticipated? Follow out the prospect. Does He not picture Heaven to us as a place of festive enjoyment? When He says,"I shall drink no more this fruit of the vine now with you," does He not imply that in Heaven is the meeting place of themthat triumph, and the state rooms of them that feast? All the enjoyments that can be imagined, and more, belong to the beatificstate of the glorified! Whatever could conduce to make an intellectual

mind happy, whatever could tend to make a refined spirit full of bliss, shall be our portion! At God's right hand there arerivers ofjoy and pleasures forevermore!

We learn, too, that the joys of Heaven are social, for Jesus says, "Until I drink it new with you." I wonder what those makeof Heaven who think we shall not recognize one another there? I rather admire the reply of a good minister to his wife, who,when she asked him whether he would know her in Heaven, said, "Know you in Heaven! Of course I shall! I know you here, andI shall not be a greater fool there, than I am here." We are to sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and they willnot have golden masks or veils that shall cover their faces! Heaven is a place where they shall eat and drink, and rejoicetogether, and I take it that much of the joy of Heaven will consist in seeing the bright spirits whom we shall recognize asbeing men and women in whom Christ's Spirit dwelt on earth, and in whom Christ's shall dwell above. Oh, I reckon on meetingDavid, whose Psalms have so often cheered my soul! I long to meet with Martin Luther and Calvin, and to have the power ofseeing such men as Whitfield and Wesley, and walking and talking with them in the golden streets. Yes, Heaven would scarcelybe so full of charms in the prospect if there were not the full conviction in our minds that we should know the saints andfeast with them after a spiritual sort.

But still our Lord's description of Heaven represents Himself as happy, and happy with His people, "Until I drink it new withyou." Alas, these earthly banquets are too often so vitiated with revelry and excess, that while using them as emblems ofthe feast above, I feel as if I half dishonored that feast! In many cases the festivities of earth have become so degradedand wicked that the Christian shrinks from mingling with them. But we shall drink it new-this wine of Heaven. The wine ofHeaven shall be nothing that can make us sin, or even think of evil! There shall be in it nothing impure or polluted-

"PPure are the joys above the skies, And all the region peace."

And those joys will not be like those of earth-fickle and frothy, volatile and variable-by reason of which we are often liftedup, only to betray our weakness and presumption! The wine will be new! It will be holier joy, purer, sweeter. It will be aDivine joy in which Christ will have His share and we, His people, shall each one take our portion.

I have been wondering what will be the exhilarating contents of the wine cup that we shall drink with Christ in Heaven. Ithink it will be partly the joy of hearing that sinners repent on earth. We shall hear about it. The angels do. "There isjoy in Heaven among the angels of God over one sinner that repents." Oh, how glad we shall be when we hear that after we weredead and gone our dear boy was converted and that in that place where we were once known to assemble, God's Spirit is stillresting on the ministry! It will be a joy to hear the angels come and tell of tens of thousands of sinners brought to Jesusweeping, and finding pardon in His blood! There is a grand cup in store for you that love souls, when you shall hear thesegood tidings. It is Christ's cup, I know, but you, too, shall drink of it!

Another ingredient of the joy will be to see the saints holding on their way and increasing in their likeness to Christ-tosee the boy growing up and resisting temptation and all his spiritual faculties developing. It is the joy of Christ to seeHis saints below growing in Grace and persevering under difficulties, and that is the cup of which we shall drink, too! Weshall be cheered by seeing our Brothers and Sisters who will be fighting the battle in this world when we have left it. Shallwe see them? See them! Why not? What says the Apostle? "Seeing that we are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses."Who are the "witnesses" but those bright and immaculate spirits who, from the battlements of Heaven, look downward and rejoiceas they see us win the race? And we shall soon take our place among the spectators and look down and see the race of the righteouswhom we have left behind, and rejoice as we see them win their crowns!

Another ingredient of that heavenly cup will be to see the saints come up to Heaven. Oh, what bliss it is to Christ as, oneby one, they come up to His bosom-the purchase of His agonies, each one exhibiting the power of His Grace in the change oftheir nature! If I could get a place hard by the gate, how I would like to welcome one of the younger ones of this congregationwho may not arrive till long after we have entered into rest! No, Christ is not losing His reward! He does see of His soul'stravail, and how we, too, will clap our hands as we say to one another-

"They come, they come, Your exiled bands, Wherever they rest or roam, Have heard Your voice in distant lands, And hasten totheir Home! Thus, though the universe shall burn,

And God, His works destroy,

With songs Your ransomed shall return,

And everlastingjoy"

Above all, and perhaps best of all, the wine cups of Heaven are filled with the brimming, sparkling joy of delight in God'sGlory. In the latter days the hymn that now breaks on Christian ears shall salute the ear of every savage and barbarian! Theythat go down to the sea in ships shall sing the name of Christ as they spread the sail! The ranger in Arabia's deserts shalllisten to the name of Jesus, the Savior of men! Far off, the swarthy inhabitants of Africa's sunny plains, and up yonder,where the sun scarcely shines on the natives of frosty Labrador, in every region of the earth, prayer shall be made for Himcontinually and daily shall He be praised! God shall be glorified, the whole world shall become an altar for God's praise!His saints shall worship Him, and sin, death, and Hell shall be overturned! And Christ, if He drinks of this cup new in HisFather's Kingdom, will give us who share in His struggle, also partake in His victory!

But surely this is not all. I think when Christ said, "Until I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom," He referredto His Second Coming to the establishment of the Kingdom of God-to the millennial splendor of the Redeemer's reign, and tothat which will close it, when He shall deliver up the Kingdom, the mediatorial Kingdom, to God, even the Father, and Godshall be All-in-All! I am not going to prophesy. That is not my line. Those brethren who can prophesy succeed so admirablywell in duping their followers and also in contradicting one another, that I feel no inclination to enlist in their ranks!But if I can make anything out of God's Word, it is clear that a day shall come when the cause of Christ shall have supremacy,when the Kingdom of God shall be among men, when here on earth the Jew shall acknowledge the Messiah, and the nations of theGentiles shall come bending before His Throne! There is to be a time when universal peace shall prevail, when the sword shallbe beaten into a plowshare, and the spear into a pruning hook, and there is to be a day when Satan shall be bound and castinto his infernal den in prison-when death and Hell are also to be cast into the Lake of Fire. I take that to mean that therewill be a day when good will triumph over evil, when righteousness will vanquish iniquity, when God shall have put beneathHis feet manifestly before the sons of men all those rebel bands of demons and men who stood out against Him-and all the consequencesof their sin in diminishing the Glory of God shall be forever put away!

Such a day shall come when the great hallelujah shall be sung, when the marriage banqueting table shall be spread, when everyelect soul shall sit at it-with Christ at the head-when every soul redeemed by Jesus' blood from among men, every soul quickenedby the Holy Spirit and kept by the power of God unto salvation, shall, with his body raised from the dead, being perfect accordingto the adoption and the promise, stand up with Christ at the head, and-

"Sing hallelujah to God and the Lamb, And sing hallelujah forever, Amen." Then shall this glorious wine cup of the New Jerusalem'sbest wine be passed from lip to lip! Then shall God be worshipped by all His redeemed! Then shall tears be wiped away andsin and grief shall cease forever! Then shall be fulfilled the saying of the Master, "I will not drink henceforth of thisfruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father's Kingdom." Roll on, you wheels of time, rollon and bring the glorious day, and may we be there! Amen.



Verse 26. Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but theSpirit Himself makes intercession for us with groans which cannot be uttered. Groans, then, are prayers, yes, and prayerswhich the Spirit of God most certainly hears! And those desires which altogether exhaust language, or which cannot be putinto language by reason of the exhaustion of our sorrow, are nevertheless heard of God, for the Spirit of God is in them.

27. And He that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints accordingto the will of God. That is, when the mind lies still and God the Holy Spirit writes His will upon it, He also writes God'swill. Hence such prayers are sure to be effectual, for they are but the shadow of God's secret purpose

falling upon the soul as a kind of prelude to the coming fulfillment of that purpose! Saints' prayers are Prophets of God'smercies. We are sure of it! We have no doubt whatever! We know it by experience, as well as by Revelation.

28. And we know that all things work together for good to them who love God. Not yet, "all mankind," but those who "love God."

28. To them who are the called according to His purpose. For they would never have loved God if He had not called them toit, and had not purposed to call them.

29, 30. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the First-Bornamong many brethren. Moreover whom He did predestinate, them He also called: and whom He called, them He also justified: andwhom He justified, them He also glorified. One is tempted to linger over that golden chain and examine every link! It willsuffice, however, to observe that every link is well fastened to the next. Where there is the "foreknowledge," which is alsothe "forelove," there is also "elect"-there must be '"called"-there shall certainly be "justification," and where that is,there must be "glory."

REVELATION 21:10-27.

Here we shall see a picture of what the Church of God is to be in the latter days. And inasmuch as this vision came out ofHeaven, it gives us an idea of what is already in Heaven. Crowded as it is with almost impossible beauties, this descriptionis given to us to let us think, and by faith conceive, of the glories of the future state!

Verses 10, 11. Andhe carried me away in the spirit to a great andhigh mountain, andshowed me that great city the holy Jerusalem,descending out of Heaven from God. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like ajasper stone, clear as crystal. But what the Glory of God may be, what mortal mind can imagine? All the imagery which theApostle uses must fall far short of that simple expression, "Having the glory of God." That Glory is to be upon the Churchand upon every individual member of it. The glory of every Believer shall be nothing less than the Glory of God!

12, 13. And had a wall great and high. And had twelve gates, and at the gate twelve angels, and names written thereon, whichare the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the souththree gates; and on the west three gates.From every quarter of the world, God's chosen shall come and find a gate straightbefore them, an entrance into Heaven! Die at the Equator, or die at the Pole, there is an immediate entrance into the restof God from any place where we may die. Blessed be the name of God for this!

14-16. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb. And he thattalked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. And the city lies foursquare,and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length andthe breadth and the height of it are equal. This is an idea scarcely to be grasped, to see a city which is as high as it isbroad! Such cities cannot exist on earth. They are meant for that glorious future state. They will exist under the new heavensand in the new earth, for which we look for at the coming of our Lord.

17, 18. Andhe measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is,of the angel. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was of pure gold, like unto clear glass. Allthese joys are without sediment of sin. Gold on earth is a dull thing. You cannot look into it. But the joys of Heaven, ifcompared to gold, must be transparent. "Pure gold like unto clear glass"-all the earth taken out of it, all its earthly grossness.The joy of Heaven is Divine!

19, 20. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundationwas jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius;the seventh, chrysolyte; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth,an amethyst.See hew lovingly our Apostle counts the foundations. He might have run them all into one, and said, "The foundationswere of these twelve stones," but it must be the first foundation, the second, the third, the fourth. He dwells on every one!The joys of Heaven will bear dwelling upon-they will bear reflection. Here our joys, when they are over, leave but a handfulof thorns-but a handful of ashes like thorns that crackle and blaze under the pot, and leave little behind them. But the eternaland spiritual joys will bear for us to go into detail, and each one shall be most precious.

21. And thee twelve gates were twelve pearls. Whoever heard of such pearls? In what ocean but in the depth of God could suchpearls be found? The twelve gates were twelve pearls!

21. The twelve gates were twelve pearls. Each individual gate was one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, liketransparent glass. Streets are used for fellowship. There men meet each other. And the fellowship of Heaven will be golden,bright, clear, perfect. Here, when we meet with one another, we soon display and discover our mutual faults, but there theyshall delight each other with their common beauty, all the beauties being borrowed from the Lamb, who is the Glory of theplace!

22. And I saw no temple therein. For it was all one temple.

22, 23. For the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon,to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof Let us be going that way soon, Brothersand Sisters! Ah, may we all meet there. What must it be to be there?

24-27. And the nations of them which are savedshall walk in the light of it and the kings of the earth do bring their gloryand honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shallbring the glory and honor of the nations unto it. And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defiles, neitherwhatever works abomination, or makes a lie: but they who are written in the Lamb's Book of Life.


Verses 1, 2. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and ofthe Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, andyielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Abounding joy, varied joy,ever changing, yet ever perfect-a tree which bears twelve fruits, and yet fruits every month! Oh, when shall we get away tothose golden orchards? When shall we sit under those vines and press the clusters with our lips?

3. And there shall be no more curse-Of labor, of sin, of sorrow, of death.

3. But the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it. So that we shall all be in the throne room, all beholding the Kingin His beauty, and ourselves made His courtiers.

3. And His servants shall serve Him-That is Heaven to me, for here we sometimes are unable to serve Him as we would. We aredistracted, worried, carried away from holy service by multitudes of cares, but there, His servants shall serve Him.

4. And they shall see His face. What a happy blending-service and communion-the hands busy, but the eyes ravished with thewondrous sight of the face of God! You shall see His face! If any of us could see the face of God on earth, no doubt we woulddie. The vision would be too bright for us! When one heard this-one of the greatest saints-he said, "Then let me see it anddie," and I do not wonder that he said so, for the sight of God, even should we die here, must still be perpetual and it wouldmake us live again! "They shall see His face."

4. And His name shall be on their foreheads. Their faces made like God's face, then-His name, His Character, reflected ontheir brows-is not this worth having?

5. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light;and they shall reign forever and ever. They themselves shall be kings! They shall reign forever and ever!