And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
There was no more sea. A world without a physical sea, we confess, does not strike us as attractive. The sea is one of the grandest and most beneficent parts of this world. It is to the earth what the blood is to the body; it circulates through its every part, animates and beautifies the whole. The negation is to be understood in a spiritual sense. Division, mutation, agitation, are ideas we associate with the sea. In heaven these things will not be.
I. THERE IS NO DIVISION THERE. The sea is the great separator. It divides the great family of man into separate sections. The sea forms the boundary of kingdoms, continents, and races. The more fallen the world is the more necessary for such divisions. Let the race advance in intelligence and purity, and a commingling will become more possible and desirable. Indeed, as the world advances, the sea becomes less and less a divider. Ship building and navigation are making old ocean the highway of nations, and the mighty channel of intercourse between the most distant peoples of the earth. Meanwhile, however, it is a separator. "And there was no more sea." To John these words would have a special significance. He was a prisoner in Patmos, a small desolate island in the AEgean. A treacherous and tempestuous sea divided him from the great world of men and from all the objects of his affection. "A touching tradition pictures the aged apostle going day after day to an elevated spot on the ocean rock, to which, Prometheus like, he was chained, and casting a long look over the wide waste of waters, with his face like that of the captive Daniel in Babylon, steadfastly fixed towards Jerusalem; as if, by thus gazing with all his soul in his eyes on the open sea, he could bring nearer to his heart, if not to his sight, the beloved land and the cherished friends for whom he pined." How much there is in this world that divides men! There are:
(1) Social caste;
(2) national prejudices;
(3) religious sectarianism;
(4) selfish interests;
(5) mutual misunderstandings,
None of these will exist in heaven.
II. THERE IS NO MUTATION THERE. What so changeable as the sea? A pulse of restlessness throbs through every part. It knows no repose. Sometimes it moves in silence, at other times its march is as the roll of terrible thunders. It is not only ever changing in scene and sound, but it is ever producing change in the world. It levels the mountains, it fills up valleys, it creates new land. It is in all the changes of the face of the sky; all the organic and inorganic departments of the world it transfigures. Human life on this planet is, like the sea, in constant mutation. Not only does one generation come and another go, but the life of the individual man is a continual change - sorrow and joy, friendship and bereavement, prosperity and adversity. In heaven there is no such change. The only change is that of progress. Progress in
(1) higher intelligence;
(2) loftier services;
(3) nobler fellowship.
No change in the way of loss. The crown, the kingdom, the inheritance, all imperishable.
III. THERE IS NO AGITATION THERE. The sea is a tumultuous world. What human agony has its furious billows created! Human life here has many storms. Most men here are driven up and down like Paul in the Adrian, under starless skies, by contrary winds, and through treacherous and unknown seas. In how many hearts does deep call upon deep, and billows of sorrow roll over the soul! In heaven there are no spiritual storms. - D.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.