The Prerogatives Which the Elect Shall Enjoy in Heaven.

Taken and adapted from, “The Practice of Piety: Directing a Christian How to Walk, that He May Please God.”
Written by, Lewis Bayly, Circa 1631.

heavenly-union

By reason of this communion with God, the elect in heaven shall have four super-excellent  prerogatives…

1. They shall have the kingdom of heaven for their inheritance (Matt. 25; 1 Pet.1:4), and they shall be free denizens of the heavenly Jerusalem (Eph. 2:19; Heb. 12:22.) St. Paul, by being a free citizen of Rome (Acts 21:26), escaped whipping; but they who are once free citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, shall ever be freed from the whips of eternal torments. For this freedom was bought for us, not with a great sum of money (Acts 22:28), but with the precious blood of the Son of God (1 Pet.1:18.)

2. They shall all be kings and priests (Rev. 5:10; 1 Pet. 2:9; Rom. 16:10:) spiritual kings, to reign with Christ, and to triumph over Satan and the world; and spiritual priests, to offer to God the spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for evermore (1 Pet. 2:5; Heb. 13:15.) And therefore they are said to wear both crowns and robes. O what a comfort is this to poor parents that have many children! If they breed them up in the fear of God, and to be true Christians, then are they parents to so many kings and priests.

3. Their bodies shall shine as the brightness of the sun in the firmament, like the glorious body of Christ (Matt. 13:43), which shined brighter than the sun at noon, when it appeared to Paul (Phil. 3. 21; Acts 12: 6.) A glimpse of which glorious brightness appeared in the bodies of Moses and Elias, transfigured with our Lord in the holy mount (Luke 9:30; Mark 9:5.) Therefore, saith the apostle, it shall rise a glorious body; yea, a spiritual body, not in substance, but in quality (1 Cor. 15:43, 44:) preserved by spiritual means, and having (as an angel) agility to ascend or descend. O what an honour is it, that our bodies (falling more vile than carrion) should thus arise in glory, like unto the body of the Son of God! (1 Thess.4:1.)

4. Lastly, They (together with all the holy angels) there keep, without any labour to distract them, a perpetual Sabbath, to the glory, honour, and praise of God, for the creating, redeeming, and sanctifying the church; and for his power, wisdom, justice, mercy, and goodness, in the government of heaven and earth. When thou hearest a sweet concert of music, meditate how happy thou shalt be, when, with the quire of heavenly angels and saints, thou shalt sing a part in that spiritual Allelujah, in that eternal blessed Sabbath, where there shall be such variety of pleasures, and satiety of joys, as neither know tediousness in doing, nor end in delighting.

Nearing Home


Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me.…
John 14:1-4


night-steamerIt was stormy from shore to shore, without a single fair day…

But the place to which we were going was my home; there was my family; there was my church; there were my friends, who were as dear to me as my own life. And I lay perfectly happy in the midst of sickness and nausea. All that the boat could do to me could not keep down the exultation and joy which rose up in me. For every single hour was carrying me nearer and nearer to the spot where was all that I loved in the world.

It was deep, dark midnight when we ran into Halifax. I could see nothing. Yet the moment we came into still water I rose from my berth and got up on deck. And as I sat near the smoke stack while they were unloading the cargo, upon the wharf I saw the shadow of a person, apparently, going backward and forward near me. At last the thought occurred to me, “Am I watched?” Just then the person addressed me, saying, “Is this Mr. Beecher?” “It is,” I replied. “I have a telegram for you from your wife.”

I had not realized that I had struck the continent where my family were. There, in the middle of the night, and in darkness, the intelligence that I had a telegram from home — I cannot tell you what a thrill it sent through me!

We are all sailing home; and by and by…

…when we are not thinking of it, some shadowy thing (men call it death), will pass by at our midnight, and will call us by name, and will say, “I have a message for you from home; God waits for you.”

Are they worthy of anything but pity who are not able to bear the hardships of the voyage? It will not be long before you, and I, and every one of us will hear the messenger sent to bring us back to heaven. It is pleasant to me to think that we are wanted there. I am thankful to think that God loves in such a way that He yearns for me — yes, a great deal more than I do for Him. 

–Beecher

Homesick for Heaven

539wAnd I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, 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. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done…     –Rev. 21: 1-6

In the American Civil War…

…there is an old, old story about when the Federals and the Confederates were encamped on opposite sides of the Rappahannock. One morning the brass band of the Northern troops played the national air, or anthem, and all the Northern troops cheered and cheered.

Then, on the opposite side of the Rappahannock, the brass band of the Confederates played “My Maryland” and “Dixie,” and then all the Southern troops cheered and cheered.

But after a while one of the bands struck up “Home, Sweet Home,” and the band on the opposite side of the river took up the strain, and when the tune was done, as the tears rolled down their cheeks, the Confederates and the Federals all together united, gave one great “Huzza! Huzza!”

Well, my friends, heaven is very near…

It is only a stream that divides us –the narrow stream of death; and the voices there and the voices here seem to commingle, and we join trumpets and hosannas and hallelujahs, and the chorus of the united song of earth and heaven is, “Home, Sweet Home.” 

–Talmadge

“Home! Home! Home!”

Written by Thomas De Witt Talmage.

I WAS IN A FAR DISTANT LAND

images (1)…not Persia, although more than Oriental luxuriance crowned the cities; nor the tropics” although more than tropical fruitfulness filled the gardens; nor Italy” although more than Italian softness filled the air.

And I wandered around looking for thorns and nettles, but I found none of them grew there. And I walked forth, and I saw the sun rise, and I said: “When will it set again?” And the sun sank not. And I saw all the people in holiday apparel, and I said: “When will they put on workingman’s garb again and delve in the mine and swelter at the forge?” But neither the garments nor the robes did they put off. And I wandered in the suburbs, and I said: “Where do they bury the dead of this great city?” And I looked along by the hills where it would be most beautiful for the dead to sleep, and I saw castles and towns and battlements, but not a mausoleum, nor monument, nor white slab could I see. And I went into the great chapel of the town, and I said: “Where do the poor worship; where are the benches on which they sit?” “And a voice answered: “We have no poor in this great city.” And I wandered out, seeking to find the place where were the hovels of the destitute, and I found mansions of amber and ivory and gold, but no tear did I see or sigh hear.

New JerusalemI was bewildered, and I sat under the shadow of a great tree, and I said, “Where am I, and whence comes all this?” And at that moment there came from among the leaves, skipping up the flowery paths and across the sparkling waters a very bright and sparkling group; and when I saw their step I knew it, and when I heard their voices I thought I knew them; but their apparel was so different from anything I had ever seen, I bowed, a stranger to strangers. But after awhile, when they clapped their hands and shouted, “Welcome! welcome!” the mystery was solved, and I saw that time had passed and that eternity had come, and that God had gathered us up into a higher home; and I said: “Are we all here;”‘ and the voices of innumerable generations answered: “All here;” and while tears of gladness were raining down our cheeks and the branches of the Lebanon cedars were clapping their hands, and the towers of the great city were chiming their welcome, we began to laugh and sing and leap and shout,

“Home! Home! Home!”

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Meet the Author and part of your Christian heritage: Dr. Thomas De Witt Talmage (7 January 1832 – 12 April 1902) was a preacherclergyman and divine in the United States who held pastorates in the Reformed Church in America and Presbyterian Church. He was one of the most prominent religious leaders in the United States during the mid- to late-19th century, equaled as a pulpit orator perhaps only by Henry Ward Beecher. He also preached to crowds in England. During the 1860s and 70s, Talmage was a well-known reformer in New York City and was often involved in crusades against vice and crime.

During the last years of his life, Dr. Talmage ceased preaching and devoted himself to editing, writing, and lecturing. At different periods he was editor of the Christian at Work(1873–76), New York; the Advance (1877–79), Chicago; Frank Leslie’s Sunday Magazine (1879–89), New York; and the Christian Herald (1890–1902), New York. For years his sermons were published regularly in more than 3,000 journals, through which he was said to reach 25,000,000 readers.

“One Sunday morning when the time came for him to deliver his sermon, he walked to the extreme edge on one side of his fifty-foot platform, faced about, then suddenly started as fast as he could jump for the opposite side. Just as everybody in the congregation, breathless, expected to see him pitch headlong from the further side of the platform he leaped suddenly in the air and came down with a crash, shouting, “Young man, you are rushing towards a precipice”. And then he delivered a moving sermon upon the temptations and sins of youth in a big city.”