The City of the Great King
“Jerusalem is the city of the great King.” Thus saith the Lord, Matthew 5:35.
Where is Jerusalem? Wherever a tear of longing after God fills the eye, or the knee bows at the footstool of the throne of grace; wherever the hands of faith are spread upward to the Cross, and an honest heart lisps the confession “My Lord and My God,” – there is Jerusalem.
The Joys of Jerusalem
Jerusalem! Thou beloved city, over which waves the blood-stained banner of the Cross; thou art the joy of the earth, and thou alone. There is in it nothing fair, nothing noble, nothing venerable but Jerusalem. Who would dwell in this wilderness, if Jerusalem, with its peaceful tabernacles, did not stand in the midst of it? What makes this life in a strange land endurable, nay, dear and precious? It is Jerusalem.
Jerusalem! O, it is good to be within thy walls, to sit together as fellow-citizens according to the dignity of the new birth, take the harp and praise the Lord whose glory is great in the midst of us, to review together the blessed work of faith in our souls, and recount our treasures of which the world knoweth not; or to place ourselves at the windows toward the east, and breathe the morning air of an eternal day, and gaze with rapture on the golden shadows of the land that “is afar off.” O Jerusalem! If I forget thee, let my right hand forget her cunning.
Where are the treasures of God opened, and the jewels of heaven spread forth to view? Where burn the torches of eternal light? Where are the well-springs of peace and joy that cannot run dry? Where does the soul look into the opened book of life? Where does the rill of joy trickle from the flinty rocks, and the balm drop down that heals every wound? Where, but in Jerusalem? Therefore, blessed are all they, O Jerusalem, that love thee and pray for thy peace!
The Spiritual Jerusalem
But what shall I say of the Jerusalem above, that lies beyond the river of death; where the everlasting palm trees flourish, and the still waters flow through the green pastures, and the angels sing to their golden harps among the trees of paradise! Thither we are journeying, we happy pilgrims – from Jerusalem to Jerusalem. While ye that love not the father are journeying to Tophet, to the valley of destruction, to the blackness of darkness; we are going to full and cheerful day, and on our staff is inscribed “The citizenship of heaven;” and if we sometimes appear to you as those that dream, and you see our eyes glistening with tears as we gaze into the far blue distance, it is our longing for home, and all you can say is, “They are weeping after Jerusalem.”
And who has built us this city, and made it so beautiful for us? Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Thus he speaks, “Here is my rest for ever, here will I dwell.” He dwells there, and the city rests peacefully under the wings of his love. This day shall we advance in our pilgrimage toward Jerusalem.
Excerpt from Elijah the Tishbite, by F. W. Krummacher.