Revelation 21:1

“And there was no more sea.” 
              — Revelation 21:1

Scarcely could we rejoice at the thought of losing the glorious old
ocean: the new heavens and the new earth are none the fairer to our
imagination, if, indeed, literally there is to be no great and wide
sea, with its gleaming waves and shelly shores. Is not the text to be
read as a metaphor, tinged with the prejudice with which the Oriental
mind universally regarded the sea in the olden times? A real physical
world without a sea it is mournful to imagine, it would be an iron ring
without the sapphire which made it precious. There must be a spiritual
meaning here. In the new dispensation there will be no division-the sea
separates nations and sunders peoples from each other. To John in
Patmos the deep waters were like prison walls, shutting him out from
his brethren and his work: there shall be no such barriers in the world
to come. Leagues of rolling billows lie between us and many a kinsman
whom to-night we prayerfully remember, but in the bright world to which
we go there shall be unbroken fellowship for all the redeemed family.
In this sense there shall be no more sea. The sea is the emblem of
change; with its ebbs and flows, its glassy smoothness and its
mountainous billows, its gentle murmurs and its tumultuous roarings, it
is never long the same. Slave of the fickle winds and the changeful
moon, its instability is proverbial. In this mortal state we have too
much of this; earth is constant only in her inconstancy, but in the
heavenly state all mournful change shall be unknown, and with it all
fear of storm to wreck our hopes and drown our joys. The sea of glass
glows with a glory unbroken by a wave. No tempest howls along the
peaceful shores of paradise. Soon shall we reach that happy land where
partings, and changes, and storms shall be ended! Jesus will waft us
there. Are we in him or not? This is the grand question.

On this day...

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  1. November 23, 2010

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