And there shall be no night there - notes on Revelation 21:25.
And they need no candle - No lamp; no artificial light, as in a world where there is night and darkness.
Neither light of the sun; for the Lord God, - See the notes on Revelation 21:23.
Remarks On Revelation 21:1.
(2) the locality of that abode is not determined. No particular place is revealed as constituting heaven; nor is it intimated that there would be such a place. For anything that appears, the universe at large will be heaven - the earth and all worlds; and we are left free to suppose that the redeemed will yet occupy any position of the universe, and be permitted to behold the special glories of the divine character that are manifested in each of the worlds that he has made. Compare the notes on 1 Peter 1:12. That there may be some one place in the universe that will be their permanent home, and that will be more properly called heaven, where the glory of their God and Saviour will be especially manifested, is not improbable; but still there is nothing to prevent the hope and the belief that in the infinite duration that awaits them they will be permitted to visit all the worlds that God has made, and to learn in each, and from each, all that he has especially manifested of his own character and glory there.
(3) that future state will be entirely and forever free from all the consequences of the apostasy as now seen on the earth. There will be neither tears, nor sorrow, nor death, nor crying, nor pain, nor curse, Revelation 21:4; Revelation 22:3. It will, therefore, be a perfectly happy abode.
(a)all real happiness has its foundation in holiness; and,
(b)the source of all the misery that the universe has experienced is sin. Let that be removed, and the earth would be happy; let it be extinguished from any world, and its happiness will be secure.
(a)literally no night there:
(b)spiritually and morally there will be no darkness - no error, no sin.
Light will be cast on a thousand subjects now obscure; and on numerous points pertaining to the divine government and dealings which now perplex the mind there will be poured the splendor of perfect day. All the darkness that exists here will be dissipated there; all that is now obscure will be made light. And in view of this fact, we may well submit for a little time to the mysteries which hang over the divine dealings here. The Christian is destined to live forever and ever. He is capable of an eternal progression in knowledge. He is soon to be ushered into the splendors of that eternal abode where there is no need of the light of the sun or the moon, and where there is no night. In a little time - a few weeks or days - by removal to that higher state of being, he will have made a degree of progress in true knowledge compared with which all that can be learned here is a nameless trifle. In that future abode he will be permitted to know all that is to be known in those worlds that shine upon his path by day or by night; all that is to be known in the character of their Maker, and the principles of his government; all that is to be known of the glorious plan of redemption; all that is to be known of the reasons why sin and woe were permitted to enter this beautiful world. There, too, he will be permitted to enjoy all that there is to be enjoyed in a world without a cloud and without a tear; all that is beatific in the friendship of God the Father, of the Ascended Redeemer, of the Sacred Spirit; all that is blessed in the goodly fellowship of the angels, of the apostles, of the prophets; all that is rapturous in reunion with those that were loved on the earth. Well, then, may he bear with the darkness and endure the trials of this state a little longer.
(6) it will be a world of surpassing splendor. This is manifest by the description of it in Revelation 20:1-15, as a gorgeous city, with ample dimensions, with most brilliant colors, set with gems, and composed of pure gold. The writer, in the description of that abode, has accumulated all that is gorgeous and magnificent, and doubtless felt that even this was a very imperfect representation of that glorious world.
(7) that future world will be an abode of the highest conceivable happiness. This is manifest, not only from the fact stated that there will be no pain or sorrow here, but from the positive description in Revelation 22:1-2. It was, undoubtedly, the design of the writer, under the image of a “Paradise,” to describe the future abode of the redeemed as one of the highest happiness - where there would be an ample and a constant supply of every want, and where the highest ideas of enjoyment would be realized. And,
(8) All this will be eternal. The universe, so vast and so wonderful, seems to have been made to be suited to the eternal contemplation of created minds, and in this universe there is an adaptation for the employment of mind forever and ever.
If it be asked now why John, in the account which he has given of the heavenly state, adopted this figurative and emblematic mode of representation, and why it did not please God to reveal any were respecting the nature of the employments and enjoyments of the heavenly world, it may be replied:
(a)That this method is eminently in accordance with the general character of the book, as a book of symbols and emblems.
(b)He has stated enough to give us a general and a most attractive view of that blessed state.
(c)It is not certain that we would have appreciated it, or could have comprehended it, if a more minute and literal description had been given.
That state may be so unlike this that it is doubtful whether we could have comprehended any literal description that could have been given. How little of the future and the unseen can ever be known by a mere description; how faint and imperfect a view can we ever obtain of anything by the mere use of words, and especially of objects which have no resemblance to anything which we have seen! Who ever obtained any adequate idea of Niagara by a mere description? To what Greek or Roman mind, however cultivated, could there have been conveyed the idea of a printing-press, of a locomotive engine, of the magnetic telegraph, by mere description? Who can convey to one born blind an idea of the prismatic colors; or to the deaf an idea of sounds? If we may imagine the world of insect tribes to be endowed with the power of language and thought, how could the happy and gilded butterfly that today plays in the sunbeam impart to its companions of yesterday - low and grovelling worms - any adequate idea of that new condition of being into which it had emerged? And how do we know that we could comprehend any description of that world where the righteous dwell, or of employments and enjoyments so unlike our own?
I cannot more appropriately close this brief notice of the revelations of the heavenly state than by introducing an ancient poem, which seems to be founded on this portion of the Apocalypse, and which is the original of one of the most touching and beautiful hymns, now used in Protestant places of worship - the well-known hymn which begins, “Jerusalem! my happy home!” This hymn is deservedly a great favorite, and is an eminently beautiful composition. It is, however, of Roman Catholic origin. It is found in a small volume of miscellaneous poetry, sold at Mr. Bright‘s sale of manuscripts in 1844, which has been placed in the British Museum, and now forms the additional ms. 15,225. It is referred, by the lettering on the book, to the age of Elizabeth, but it is supposed to belong to the subsequent reign. The volume seems to have been formed by or for some Roman Catholic, and contains many devotional songs or hymns, interspersed with others of a more general character. See Littell‘s Living Age, vol. xxviii. pp. 333-336. The hymn is as follows:
A Song Made by F. B. P.
To the tune of “Diana”
Jerusalem! my happy home!
When shall I come to thee?
When shall my sorrows have an end -
Thy joys when shall I see?
O happy harbor of the saints -
O sweet and pleasant soil!
In thee no sorrow may be found,
No grief, no care, no toil.
In thee no sickness may be seen,
No hurt, no ache, no sore;
There is no death, no ugly deil*,
There‘s life forevermore.
No dampish mist is seen in thee,
No cold nor darksome night;
There every soul shines as the sun,
There God himself gives light.
There lust and lucre cannot dwell,
There envy hears no sway;
There is no hunger, heat, nor cold,
But pleasure every way.
God grant I once may see.
Thy endless joys, and of the same.
Partaker aye to be.
Thy walls are made of precious stones,
Thy bulwarks diamonds square;
Thy gates are of right orient pearl,
Exceeding rich and rare.
Thy turrets and thy pinnacles.
With carbuncles to shine;
Thy very streets are paved with gold,
Surpassing clear and fine.
Thy houses are of ivory,
Thy windows crystal clear;
Thy tiles are made of beaten gold -
O God, that I were there!
Within thy gates no thing doth come.
That is not passing clean;
No spider‘s web, no dirt, no dust,
No filth may there be seen.
Ah, my sweet home, Jerusalem!
Would God I were in thee;
Would God my woes were at an end,
Thy joys that I might see!
Thy saints are crown‘d with glory great,
They see God face to face;
They triumph still, they still rejoice -
Most happy is their case.
We that are here in banishment.
Continually do moan;
We sigh and sob, we weep and wail,
Perpetually we groan.
Our sweet is mixed with bitter gall,
Our pleasure is but pain;
Our joys scarce last the looking on,
Our sorrows still remain.
But there they live in such delight,
Such pleasure, and such play,
As that to them a thousand years.
Doth seem as yesterday.
Thy vineyards said thy orchards are.
Most beautiful and fair;
Full furnished with trees and fruits,
Most wonderful and rare.
Thy gardens and thy gallant walks.
Continually are green;
There grow such sweet and pleasant flowers.
As nowhere else are seen.
There‘s nectar and ambrosia made,
There‘s musk and civet sweet;
There many a fair and dainty drug.
Are trodden under feet.
There cinnamon, there sugar grows,
There nard and balm abound;
What tongue can tell, or heart conceive,
The joys that there are found?
Quite through the streets, with silver sound,
The flood of life doth flow;
Upon whose banks, on every side,
The wood of life doth grow.
There trees forevermore bear fruit,
And evermore do spring;
There evermore the angels sit,
And evermore do sing.
There David stands with harp in hand,
As master of the quire;
Ten thousand times that man were blest.
That might this music** hear.
Our Lady sings Magnificat,
With tune surpassing sweet;
And all the virgins bear their parts,
Sitting above her feet.
Te Deun doth Saint Ambrose sing,
Saint Austin doth the like;
Old Simeon and Zachary.
Have not their song to seek.
There Magdalene hath left her moan,
And cheerfully doth sing.
With blessed saints, whose harmony.
In every street doth ring.
Jerusalem, my happy home!
Would God I were in thee;
Would God my woes were at an end,
Thy joys that I might see!
*devil, in ms., but it must have been pronounced Scoticè, “deil.”
**Musing, in ms.
Here, again, we have the declaration that there shall be no night in the city; for the Lord God will be the light of the place. Verse 7 proves that Christ is the speaker, a fact which it is of especial importance to bear in mind in connection with verse 14. To keep the sayings of the prophecy of this book is to obey the duties brought to view in connection with the prophecy, as, for instance, in chapter 14:9-12.DAR 719.6
“These are they which follow the Lamb withersoever He goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” Revelation 14:4. The vision of the prophet pictures them as standing on Mount Zion, girt for holy service, clothed in white linen, which is the righteousness of the saints. But all who follow the Lamb in heaven must first have followed Him on earth, not fretfully or capriciously, but in trustful, loving, willing obedience, as the flock follows the shepherd. AA 591.1
“I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: and they sung as it were a new song before the throne: ... and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.... In their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Verses 2-5. AA 591.2
“And I John saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” “Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; and had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel.” “The twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Revelation 21:2, 11, 12, 21, 22. AA 591.3Read in context »
Why are not the chosen of God more enthusiastic? They are striving for an immortal crown, striving for a home where there will be no need of the light of the sun or moon, or of lighted candle; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. They will have a life that measures with the life of God; but the candle of the wicked shall be put out in ignominious darkness, and then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.... CT 344.1
I do not recommend pleasure parties where young people assemble together for mere amusement, to engage in cheap, nonsensical talk, and where loud, boisterous laughter is to be heard. I do not recommend the kind of gathering where there is a letting down of dignity and the scene is one of weakness and folly. CT 344.2
Many times young men for whom heavenly intelligences have been waiting in order to number them as missionaries for God are drawn into the gatherings for amusement, and are carried away with Satan's fascinations. Instead of being afraid to continue their association with girls whose depth of mind is easily measured, whose character is of a cheap order, they become enamored of them and enter into an engagement. Satan knows that if these young men enter into an engagement with cheap-minded, pleasure-loving, worldly-minded, irreligious young women, they will bind themselves to stumbling blocks. Their usefulness will be largely crippled, if not utterly destroyed. Even if the young men themselves succeed in making an unreserved surrender to God, yet they will find that they are greatly crippled by being bound to an untrained, undisciplined, un-Christlike wife who is dead to God, dead to piety, and dead to true holiness. Their lives will prove unsatisfying and unhappy. CT 344.3Read in context »
Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying: ... for the former things are passed away.” “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24. GC 676.1
There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth, “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” “Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Saith the Lord: “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3. GC 676.2
In the City of God “there shall be no night.” None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. “And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day. GC 676.3Read in context »