The Walls of the Holy City

It is remarkable that more is said of the walls of the Holy City than of the city itself (Rev. 21); there must be an important reason for this. The city is, as we have seen in a former paper (see "The Holy City"), the glorified church and the vessel which radiates the light and blessing of God throughout the universe. The question arose the other day as to what these walls indicate — why are they there? My answer was: They are not there to exclude from that city a single saint of God; for "they that are written in the Lamb's book of life, shall enter in." Those walls are inclusive walls; everyone whom sovereign grace has chosen and called to heavenly glory; everyone who has been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb will have a place there.

"A garden enclosed is my sister, my spouse," says the Bridegroom, in the Song of Songs, meaning that she was all for Him, and it is this that the walls of the city, great and high, teach us; if they are inclusive of all whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, they indicate that the city is exclusively for God. The city will be for God's pleasure in the first instance, without restraint and in perfect complacency He will walk in its golden street, and though its gates are opened wide to every point of the compass and will never be closed there shall in no wise enter into it ought that defileth; the gates are guarded gates.

No wall will be needed in the eternal state, when God shall be all in all, then He will dwell with men, and His will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, and no fresh invasion of sin will ever cause Him to retire behind a veil. But in the Millennial age sin will not be wholly vanished from the earth, and while God will be active towards men in goodness and blessing, there will still be reserve as far as His relations with them are concerned, His temple and dwelling-place will be walled about. But within those walls all will be as He would have it — holy and unblameable shall His saints be before Him in love.

The walls will not be frowning battlements grimly reared for defence or defiance, raised against great foes and manned by intrepid warriors, for from those heavenly places in which the city will appear the foe will have been cast down, and the devil chained in the bottomless pit (Rev. 12 and 20). The city is the church triumphant, and will fear no attack from without and will be free to enjoy the riches of God's grace within. It will be God's enclosure, within it He will show His glory and every created intelligence will learn from it what pleased Him. And through the walls the glory will shine; they will not obscure the glory or hide its beauties, but they shine as a jasper stone; they have the glory of God. And in their foundations are every manner of precious stones, cut by the supreme art of the Divine Lapidary, the all-varied wisdom of God will radiate there, not to repel, but to attract all nations in admiring worship to it.

How great the glory of it will be — the glory of God, how great is the grace that has given us a part in it — the grace of God.