The City.

ONCE, to the beloved disciple,

Was a glorious vision shown,

While upon the Isle of Patmos,

He, in exile, dwelt alone.

'Twas upon the holy Sabbath,

All his soul was filled with prayer;

Then the spirit's eye was opened,

And unclosed the spirit's ear.

As in some vast moving picture,

You have seen the shapes go by,

So, perchance, the Revelation

Passed before the prophet's eye.

Scenes of solemn awe and splendor

In sublime succession passed,

But, the one most full of glory,

Full of beauty, was the last.

'Twas of that fair, Heavenly city,

Bright with everlasting day,

Like a bride's, was her adorning,

Rich and costly, her array.

All her walls were built of jasper;

Her twelve lofty gates, each one

Was a pearl of rarest beauty;

And, with every precious stone,

Were her twelve foundations garnished,

And the light that on her shone,

Was the brightness of God's glory,

Streaming from the eternal throne.

Oh, what unimagined splendors,

In that royal city met!

All their wealth, and power, and honor,

Had all nations brought to it.

All the streets of that great city,

With the finest gold were paved,

Where, with fruit, and leaves of healing,

Trees of Life their branches waved.

And a pure and shining river,

Clear as crystal ever flowed,

With its life sustaining-waters,

From the eternal throne of God.

Countless streams, from that blest river,

Watered every mount and plain,

And the soul its wave that tasted

Knew no feverish thirst again.

And the temple of that city

Was the Lord, the God of Heaven,

And the Lamb the undefiled One,

Who for men His life hath given.

All the glorious bands of angels,

To their harps, His praises sing,

And the "morning stars" together

Make the Heavens with anthems ring.

Will ye ask for whom this dwelling

Pure and beautiful is made ?

For that "host no man can number,"

All in shining robes arrayed,

Who have suffered persecution,

For the sake of Him they loved,

Who have trod His thorny pathway

Living, dying, faithful proved. 

For the loving ones and trustful,

Who have sought to do His will,

Saying "God hath given, and taken,"

And His name have honored still.

And ye, whose sweet melodious voices,

Sweeter than the angels' song,

Say that "glory, power and honor,

Ever unto Christ belong!"

These are they whom He hath chosen

In His kingdom to find rest

Meek and trusting little children,

With peculiar favor blest.

None shall hurt and none offend them,

Tender lambs of Jesus' fold!

Now, the face of God, the Father,

Evermore shall they behold.

Peace, which passeth understanding,

Through each grateful heart shall steal,

And the smile of boundless favor

Every soul with rapture fill.

Oh, the dwellers in that city!

May we of their number be;

May we taste those living waters,

And that holy temple see!