Let us read a passage in the book of Revelation, which will keep us in mind of the twelve tribes whose story has occupied us so long—
The most volatile powers of nature are under God’s control, and though they are also the most powerful and destructive, yet his angelic messengers have them as thoroughly under control as though they were horses restrained by bit and bridle. God has many servants, and therefore no quarter of the universe shall suffer because there are no agents to protect it. Go where we may, the sacred body-guard shall attend us.
Revelation 7:2, 3
Not a ripple ruffled the waters, not a leaf stirred on the trees, till leave was given to the winds to blow. Evils are impotent till the Lord lets them loose. No child of God need fear the terrible years to come, for until all the Lord’s Noahs are safely housed, no destruction can come.
A large number to indicate a great multitude, a certain and complete number to represent a company known to God, and fixed by his decree.
The royal tribe takes its part, else were its royalty wretched preferment.
Unstable, but yet preserved. It is not our faithfulness to God, but his faithfulness to us which saves us.
Overcome by troops of trials, they overcome at the last.
He dipped his foot in oil, having a rich anointing here, and glory hereafter.
He gave goodly words, and now enjoys a goodly heritage.
He received a double portion on earth, and yet has his lot in heaven.
Cursed by their father for their sin, yet the tribe yielded an elect remnant.
Now in very deed made priests unto God.
Too fond of ease, yet redeemed.
The sea-dwelling people. Thank God for converted sailors.
Archers shot at him, but his full number is saved.
Last and least in Israel, yet not forgotten by electing love.
These make up the. Jewish believers, and the elect among the Gentiles are mentioned next.
In this heavenly song we join with heart and voice. All glory be to Jesus, our Lord. Happy were John’s ears to hear the eternal harmonies; we listen not to them as yet, but even now we send up our joy notes to swell their volume.
For thee, O dear, dear country,
Mine eyes their vigils keep;
For very love, beholding
Thy happy name—they weep.
The mention of thy glory
Is unction to the breast,
And medicine in sickness,
And love, and life, and rest.
O one, O only mansion!
O paradise of joy!
Where tears are ever banished,
And smiles have no alloy;
The Lamb is all thy splendour;
The Crucified thy praise;
His laud and benediction,
Thy ransomed people raise.
Let God arise, and scatteréd
Let all his enemies be;
And let all those that do him hate
Before his presence flee.
As smoke is driv’n so drive thou them;
As fire melts wax away,
Before God’s face let wicked men
So perish and decay.
But let the righteous all be glad:
Let them before God’s sight
Be very joyful; yea, let them
Rejoice with all their might.
How strange that souls, whom Jesus feeds,
With manna from above,
Should grieve him by their evil deeds,
And sin against his love!
But ’tis a greater marvel still,
That he, from whom they stray,
Should bear with their rebellious will,
And wash their sins away.
Jesus! who in the form of God
Didst equal honour claim,
Yet, to redeem our guilty souls,
Didst stoop to death and shame.
Oh may that mind in us be form’d,
Which shone so bright in thee;
May we be humble, lowly, meek,
From pride and envy free.
May we to others stoop, and learn
To emulate thy love;
So shall we bear thine image here,
And share thy throne above.
Since I have tasted of the grapes,
I sometimes long to go
Where my dear Lord, the vineyard keeps,
And all the clusters grow.
Weak as I am, yet through his grace,
I can the land subdue;
Tread down the Canaanitish race,
And force a passage through.
Is anything too hard for God?
Through Jesus we can all things do;
Who Satan and his works destroyed,
Shall make us more than conquerors, too.
Let us at once the land possess,
And taste the blessings from above,
The milk sincere of pardoning grace,
The honey of his perfect love.
The rising morning can’t assure
That we shall end the day;
For death stands ready at the door,
To seize our lives away.
Our breath is forfeited by sin,
To God’s avenging law;
We own thy grace, immortal king,
In every gasp we draw.
Are we not set apart
To live for Christ alone?
If we are sanctified in heart,
Our life must make it known.
Oh! be ye pure that bear
The vessels of the Lord;
Be separate from sin, who share
Communion at his board.
Should bounteous nature kindly pour
Her richest gifts on me,
Still, O my God, I should be poor
If void of love to thee,
Though thou shouldst give prophetic skill
Each mystery to explain,
If I’d no heart to do thy will,
Such knowledge would be vain.
O grant me then this one request,
And I’ll be satisfied,
That love divine may rule my breast
And all my actions guide.
The object of his gracious care
He never yet forsook,
But did himself my weakness bear,
And all my burden took.
He bore me up, from earth he bore
On wings of heavenly love,
And taught my callow soul to soar
To those bright realms above.