A Vision of the World to Come.

By James Boyd.

UPON my spirit breaketh
The cloudless morning bright;
Eternal song awaketh,
Is past and gone the night.

Within my heart ariseth
The Star of morning fair;
Its beams make glad my vision,
I scent the balmy air.

I see the vast effulgence
Of heavenly light descend;
I see its holy radiance
Flash to earth's utmost end.

I see celestial myriads,
God's armies clothed in white,
And thro' the clouds fire flaming
The angels of His might.

I hear the trumpet sounding,
And at its music dread
Arise the host of martyrs
In glory from the dead.

The king is there in brightness,
There by His faithful side,
In faultless grace and beauty,
His pure and spotless bride.

That city dissipating
The clouds of nature's night;
Each brilliant far-surpassing
A thousand suns in light.

The city prophets dreamed of,
The nations now behold,
Gleaming with Godhead glory,
Thro' jasper, pearl, and gold.

Length, breadth, and height perfection!
Eternal wisdom's plan;
The complement of Jesus,
The measure of THAT MAN.

From the deep blue descending,
Out from the heart of heaven,
Forth from the Father's bosom,
To light creation given.

To lift the cloudy covering
From off the human race,
And bid poor man look upward
Upon the Father's face.

O city, great thy glory!
Deep mystery of God!
Bride of the Lamb, thy brightness
The tribes of earth shall laud.

Caskets of hidden treasures,
Secrets of wisdom rare,
Deep things, it is thy province
And glory to declare.

In thee the secret's finished,
For all is in display;
The mists of darksome ages
Before thee roll away.

Christ's beauty decks thy towers,
Thy fulness, love, and grace;
God and the Lamb are in thee;
His servants see His face.

Within thee wealth of kingdoms,
Memorials from afar,
Triumphs in gold engraven,
And booty brought from war.

From Egypt trophies glorious,
From Babylon's proud halls;
Thy battles and thy seiges
Emblazoned on thy walls.

Spoils brought from death and Hades,
From Sheol costly gems,
From darkness and destruction
Immortal diadems.

There warriors tread thy pavement
Who in God's might arose,
And chased from fort and fortress
Hordes of infernal foes;

Who scaled the heights of heaven
With naked sword and lance,
Struck headlong the usurper,
And claimed the inheritance;

Who staggered hosts of evil,
Who shook the gates of hell,
And to the earth smote legions
Of the destroyer fell;

Veterans who single-handed
Armies at once engaged,
And for their heavenly portion
War to death's portals waged;

Who feared no fallen creature;
Who life laid gladly down,
For God, and Christ, and glory,
And an immortal crown;

Who wandered in the deserts,
And mountains far from men,
And shelter found from tempest
In cavern or in den;

Who fought with beasts, encountered
Men, demons, fire, and flood —
God's sons! High heaven's nobles!
Peers! Princes of the blood!

Warriors who fought their battles
Beneath one banner blue;
And led by one great Captain
Disaster never knew.

Not by their own great prowess:
Their strength was heaven-supplied;
By might of Christ they battled,
And held the field, or died.

The scars upon their visage
Got in those wars abroad,
Declare before all peoples
Their faithfulness to God.

They enter thro' thy portals,
They stand within thy halls
Fresh from those fields of slaughter,
Or loathsome prison walls.

Thro' thirst and cold and hunger,
From springs of grace supplied,
They fought their way to heaven
Reproached and vilified.

Never again shall summon
The trump to battle's roar;
Crushed is the might of evil,
The foe shall rise no more.

They rest, thy sons, blest city!
They walk with Christ in light,
Who succoured them when fainting,
And led them in the fight.

Well-disciplined in sorrow,
Made wise thro' dire distress,
They shall instruct the nations
In love and righteousness.

O joy beyond all telling!
O bliss of saints above!
The heathen now shall hearken
And hear that God is love.

O happy, holy city!
O house of festive joys!
Where comes no cloud of sorrow,
No evil power annoys.

Thy holy light shall gladden
Dark places of the earth,
And men shall know no longer
Disease and death and dearth.

Thy gates are ever open,
Thy wealth the world shall share,
Thy heralds to the heathen
Glad tidings shall declare.

Within thee life's tree verdant
Where living water flows
Free sheds its leaves for healing
Of all the nations' woes.

No curse, no death, no sorrow,
Can blight thy bliss above,
No pestilence envenom
Thine atmosphere of love.

Thy light is vivifying;
And hearts o'er earth abroad
Warmed into life, are blessing
The holy love of God.

Pale is the sun at mid-day;
The moon and stars by night,
Abashed before thy glory,
Sink in the blue from sight.

No temple stands within thee,
Thou holy city great!
Nothing that brings defilement
Shall enter thro' thy gate.

No veil to drape His glory
Who sits upon the throne,
And fills with all His brightness
Each precious living stone.

In thee He is effulgent,
Displayed to mortal sight;
The saved of all the nations
Walk in thy holy light.

Thy fulness — Christ; thy glory —
The Father's and the Son's;
The Spirit permeating
Thy holy living stones.

The heavens are bathed in splendour,
The last dark cloud hath flown;
The heralds far are telling
That Christ is on the throne.

Before Him blooms the desert,
All evil disappears;
At His blest presence vanish
Sin, sorrow, death, and tears.

The pride of man is broken,
The power of Satan bound;
And corn and wine and plenty
In peace and rest are found.

The veil is rent, and goodness
And grace make haste to pour
Their rich exhaustless treasures
Forth thro' the heavenly door.

The voice of gladness filleth
The new and happy world,
Where mercy's hand hath freely
The flag of peace unfurled.

The sun and moon, Creator,
In Jesus gladly own;
God's angels strong do homage
Before His glorious throne.

The sea is His, He made it;
The heavens high declare
His glory great, and owns Him
The firmament of air.

The unexplored creation
Proclaims, in sweet accord
With everything that breatheth,
The praises of the Lord.

The winter frosts have vanished,
The tempests and the rain
Are past, and lo, the music
Of birds is heard again.

The flowers wild are blooming,
Is heard the turtle dove;
The vine and fig-tree flourish,
In that bright land of love.

No shade of coming sorrow
The prospect darken may;
The thousand years of blessing
Lead on to endless day.

No more again the desert,
The wilderness is past;
His saints, nor worn, nor weary,
Have reached His rest at last.

Not one is faint among them;
Not e'en their garments smell
Of fiery tribulation
Which sorely them befell.

The way is all forgotten;
Upon their souls no trace
Remains of all their wanderings,
But that of love and grace.

That grace and love that kept them,
Until their feet were set
Upon the golden pavement,
They never shall forget.

That grace and love that furnished
Each warrior for the fight
With more than Asahael's fleetness
And more than Samson's might.

That grace and love that placed them,
Whiter than falling snow,
Where emerald and jasper
With love immortal glow.

The grace and love of Jesus,
The grace and love of God;
Their blest eternal service,
Eternal love to laud.

For this, the Father gave them
In counsel to the Son;
For this, a Man of sorrows,
Was God's anointed One;

For this, Thou changeless Lover,
The cross was meekly borne;
For this, was disregarded
Reproach and shame and scorn;

For this, Thy night of weeping,
When judgment must be met;
For this, Thy holy body
Was bathed with bloody sweat;

For this, the darkness deeper
Than plague of Egypt, fell
Across Thy spirit, Saviour,
With woe no tongue can tell;

For this, Thou Lord of glory
And Prince of life, wast led
From prison and from judgment,
And laid amongst the dead.

But, O triumphant Saviour
The darkness all is past;
Aside in might eternal
The cords of death are cast.

And Thou hast high ascended,
All thrones and powers above,
And left us as our portion
The Father's name and love.

With all the light which breaketh,
Upon us from that home,
From that bright world of blessing,
The world that is to come.

That world, whose sinless pleasures,
No human heart hath guessed;
Whose pure delights can never
By mortal be expressed.

The Father's house, His favour,
Companionship with Thee;
In courts of stainless glory,
The face of God to see.

To breathe the holy fragrance
Of heaven, home, and rest;
Like Thee, the Son, the Firstborn,
And Chief of all the blest.

This is our happy portion.
The desert soon is crossed;
And tho' the way be weary,
The time shall not be lost.

As exile home returning,
Sees the faint line of blue
Rise o'er the waters, bringing
His longed-for home in view;

And bounds his prisoned spirit
Impatient of delay,
And beats his breast, as longing
To wing its flight away;

So leaps my spirit forward
To reach the heavenly land,
And join that saintly gathering,
That white-robed holy band.

Here, 'round me darkness deepens:
There, light doth ever shine.
Here, doubt and death and distance:
There, love and life divine.

Here, self-will and confusion:
There, righteousness and peace.
Here, strife and fierce contention:
The battle there shall cease.

Here, Babel and corruption,
Man boasting in his shame:
But there, God's holy city
His glory shall proclaim.

Here, round me noisome creatures,
Fell spirits fill the air,
Whose fiery darts the poison
Of death eternal bear:

But there the hosts of heaven,
Pure as the light of day,
Spread life and health and healing
Along the shining way.

Here, those who follow Jesus,
Reproach and shame must bear:
But there, enthroned, the meanest
A diadem shall wear.

Here, down before his idol
The heathen bends his knee:
But there, unveiled the glory
Of God his eyes shall see.

The light of God shall cover
The earth's wide fields, as spread
The tractless wastes of water
O'er oceans spacious bed.

O keep us, Holy Father,
Keep us for that blest day,
When Jesu's royal sceptre
Holds undisputed sway.

When Thou shalt have Thy people
According to Thy heart;
And His beloved companions
With Him shall have their part,

To Thine eternal glory,
Thy brightness to extol;
The fruit of all His sorrow,
The travail of His soul.

Come then, all-glorious Saviour!
Thy day bring swiftly nigh,
With foot that doth for fleetness
The winds of heaven defy.

Let it outstrip and distance
The wild gazelle, deride
The hart upon the mountains —
Come, Bridegroom, for Thy Bride!

Come! End the night of weeping,
Bring in eternal day;
Come, Thou bright Star of Morning!
For this Thy people pray.