Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.…
I. HEAVEN'S DESCRIPTION OF THE CHARACTER OF THE SAINTED DEAD. They "die in the Lord." Their character was that of vital union with Christ. This union may include two things —
1. Their existence in His affections. Christ's disciples live in Him; they are in His heart; He thinks upon them; He plans for them; He works for them; He causes all things to work together for their good.
2. Their existence in His character. Without figure, we live in the character of those we admire and love. Arnold's most loyal pupils live in his character now. We see their old master in their books, and hear him in their sermons. Christ is the grand object of their love, and the chief subject of their thought, and to please Him was the grand purpose of their life.
II. HEAVEN'S DESCRIPTION OF THE CONDITION OF THE SAINTED DEAD.
1. Their blessedness is in rest from all trying labour. Not rest from work, for work is the condition of blessedness; but from all trying labour, all anxious toil, all wearying, annoying, irritating, fruitless toll.
(1) Rest from all trying labour pertaining to our physical subsistence.
(2) Rest from all trying labour pertaining to intellectual culture. How much trying labour is there here to train our faculties, and to get knowledge.
(3) Rest from all trying labour pertaining to our spiritual cultivation.
(4) Rest from all trying labour to benefit our fellow-men. To do good here is a trying work. Not so yonder.
2. Their blessedness is in the influence of their works. No one act truly done for Christ, and in His spirit, will be lost.
3. Their blessedness begins immediately after death. "From henceforth." Not from the waking of thy soul into consciousness after the sleep of centuries; not from the extinction of purgatorial fires — but from death. "To-day shalt thou be with Me."
4. Their blessedness is vouched by the Spirit of God. He who knows the present and future; He who hears the last sigh of every saint on earth, and his first note of triumph. The Spirit saith it. Let us believe it with an unquestioning faith. The Spirit saith it: let us adore Him for His revelation.
Parallel VersesKJV: Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.