The Gospel 24/7
---------------------REV. JAMES HALDANE
From An Antique Book in Webmaster's Library - Editor Unknown
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Arise and claim your rich reward,
And share the triumphs of your Lord.
Behold the promised golden throne,--
The conquering palm, the unfading crown!
And more than all-- that beaming eye,
Whose glance is love and ecstasy!
But lo! what sudden splendors beaming
O'er heaven's illumined arch are streaming,
What hues of varied beauty blending,
What fair celestial tower, descending!
O Salem! city of our God!
The saints'-- the martyrs' blest abode,
I see thy gates of pearl untold,
I see thy streets of burnished gold;
I see thy towers in crystal shine!
Meet temple for a King Divine.--Dale.
Innumerable choirs before the shining throne,
Their joyful anthems raise,
Till heaven's glad halls are echoing with the tone
Of that great hymn of praise.
And all its host rejoices,
And all its blessed throng
Unite their myriad voices
In one eternal song.--J. M. Meypat, 1634.
" 'It is much,' he wrote, that the High and Holy One who inhabiteth eternity, should vouchsafe to interfere on our behalf on any subject, but when we read of the condescension of Jesus, in whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwelleth bodily, we are emboldened to ask much, and to expect much, trusting in Omnipotence.'
"Such was the spirit which animated his cheerful and active piety. No gloomy foreboding as to a dark and unknown future-- no dread of the King of Terrors-- no doubt as to his acceptance in Christ, obscured his setting sun. In the same letter written within six weeks of his departure, being then in good health, he thus affectionately addresses his eldest son in London, as if anticipating that his years were numbered.
" 'This is the last day of the year, and the last letter I shall write this year. My life has been wonderfully preserved, much beyond the ordinary course of nature. Goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life, and, without a shadow of boasting, I can add, I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. May the blessing of, God Almighty rest on you and yours.' * *
"It was the gracious will of his heavenly Father that he should be spared the pain of a protracted illness. But there were many things which combined to make his last days, and weeks, and months, a testimony to the strength of that assured faith which bore him onwards and upwards to the heavenly mansions.
"Part of one of his closing addresses, 'I am crucified with Christ! I died. in his death-- I rose in his resurrection. I live, yet not I; Christ liveth in me. Not I a poor, wretched rebel, whose foundation is in the dust, who dwell in a cottage of clay. It is I, the disciple of Christ, the member of Christ's body, who look forward to the "glorious inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, and which fadeth not away," when this vile body shall be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, when I shall have done with sin, when I shall have done with sorrow, when I shall have done with every thing that could interrupt my communion with Christ, and when beyond the utmost bounds of the everlasting hills, I shall lay my crown at his feet, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, "unto Him that loved me, and washed me from my sins in His own blood, unto Him be glory both now and forever, Amen."'
"On Tuesday, the fourth of February, he became worse, but although suffering much pain, he was wheeled into the drawing-room, and in the evening prayed as usual with his family. The twenty-first chapter of the Apocalypse was read in course by his youngest son, and his whole prayer had reference to the bright and glorious city, with its streets of gold, its walls of jasper, and its gates of pearl. He seemed about to close, when, as if unable to let go his hold, he once more began, and prayed most fervently that all his family, his children and his children's children, might meet together in the new Jerusalem, and unite in the song of Moses and the Lamb. It was not then imagined that he had himself really entered the dark flowing river, and was about to enter into the joy of his Lord. But his prayers were tended.' It was the last of these supplications, rich in spiritual grace and unction, which always so eminently marked the closeness of his union with God. From the foot-stool of the throne of grace, he was removed. to his bed, from which he was not again to rise.
"On Friday, a passage of Scripture being repeated to him, at a time when it was uncertain whether he was unable to listen, he raised himself a little and distinctly repeated 'when Christ who is our life, shall appear, then we shall appear with him in glory.' . . . 'To depart and be with Christ is far better.' 'I shall be satisfied when I awake with his likeness.' . . About an hour before his departure, his devoted wife said, 'You are going to Jesus. How happy you will be soon.' A vivid smile lighted up his countenance with the expression of ineffable joy, as he emphatically said, 'Oh, yes.' . . For about a quarter of an hour his breathing was rather difficult. He then became quite calm. His pulse beat almost to the last minute, and his face was suffused with color. Then, in the presence of his family, he drew the last soft breath, and, in an instant, the shadow of death passed over his countenance, and his ransomed spirit entered the joy of his Lord.'