Visit with Daniel
Seneca came bright and early His face was beaming with holy joy and light. He hastily looked over the manuscript and was pleased and said: “This part of your task is nearly done. Fully carry out all the further details and you will not be disappointed in your rewards.
When I left you last we were eating some fruit nearby a fountain on the east side of the throne and the elder, which proved to be Daniel the prophet was by our side. He now said to us: “Well, dear brethren, I am glad to have this visit with you. I know you have lately arrived in the city and are eager to know of the wonders, which are constantly crowding upon you.
He told us: “Jesus our Lord, who was conceived by the eternal spirit and born of the Virgin Mary, is Lord of earth and heaven. His Father has given all power to Him. While I was in the earth I knew Him long before His advent by the Virgin Mary, as the “Ancient of days, whose garment was white as snow and the hair of His head like pure wool.”
“In the revelations which God then gave me I saw Him ‘sitting on His throne in the last judgment and His throne was like a fiery flame. A fiery stream, or bands of flaming angels, issued and came forth from before Him; a thousand ministered to Him and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him, the judgment was set and the books were opened.” (Daniel 7:9,10)
At this Bohemond clasped his hands and said: “Oh, Daniel, greatly beloved, I remember the Scripture, part of which thou hast just quoted.”
“Indeed,” said the elder, “and it will stand as my testimony from God till the time of the end.
He continued, “Man has been created in the likeness and image of the Triune God. In his creation he was lower than the angels, but in his redemption and glorification he is their equal and in some respects their superior. All these great hosts of the redeemed are the bride of our Lord and He is complete only in them; which is His fullness and very precious to Him. Have you not noticed how completely in His image we are?”
“Indeed,” I replied, “and who could have believed when we were children playing in the dirt and dusk of the earth, that all this exaltation and glory was in store for us. We were taught about heaven, but how little we conceived of its glory and grandeur.”
“Sure enough,” said the elder, “you have seen but little of our Father’s house and the many mansions it contains. Tell me where you have been. Maybe I can help you still further in the unfolding’s and knowledge of this great kingdom of God.”
“Oh,” said Bohemond, “we first met each other far down the river in a remote portion of paradise. We came from the earth about the same time and have been much together since we spent some time about the river and met several ancient men and learned our first lessons and hymns on the river banks.”
Abraham conducted our company to the Judean gate, where we first met our Lord and received His smiles of welcome. We have visited the children’s praise service at the Polytechnic and also a great praise meeting on Fourth Avenue. We also visited the Shrine of Sacred Relics, and have attended a most interesting convention of the prophets and apostles and writers of the Bible, called to discuss the condition of the church on earth, their doctrinal disputes and errors which have crept in among them from time to time, and many scenes of the deepest interest have met us at every turn since entering the city. Our souls have been constantly tilled with wonder and admiration every moment of our time since leaving the earth in the angel’s chariot.”
“Well,” said Daniel, “you have only seen the threshold of your inheritance when compared to the vastness and greatness of the provisions for you. But as to what is before you, eternity is short enough to show it all. But be assured that your enlarging cup of enjoyment will always be full. You have noticed how completely free you are from unrest and without aches or pains of any kind and that no distress or trouble burdens or haunts you here, such as we all experienced so much while in the earth, but these things are all passed away, and your appreciation of heaven is greatly increased by the bitter cups of your earthly life.”
“You will have such needed employment here as will make life the most real. The government and business of your earthly life was but a preparation for and a little reflex of heaven. There is no toil here, like the sweat of our brow of which we used to know so much, but a joyful employment of all the powers of the soul to further the interest of all about us.”
“Whatever you were most accustomed to do on earth will aid in your busy life in heaven. Were you in the agricultural departments of the earth, then you will often enjoy your visits to the plains, valleys, hills and mountains of paradise. These with their abounding fruitfulness and scenery will be of great delight to you and with the increasing multitudes gathering here from the earth, enlarged provisions are constantly being made for them in which you will delight to share.”
“Have you been a teacher, then you will greatly relish the service of instructing those who have just come from terrestrial shores to this eternal kingdom. Those who were mechanics will find ample scope for that trait of mind in heaven. Our Lord has been preparing these mansions for us for thousands of years; but He employs the busy hands of millions of His saints in the most wonderful architecture of heaven.
“But now for you, dear brethren, all you see before you is for your enjoyment and comfort. The chariots are for your journeys. If you wish you could go at the speed of sound, go at your pleasure. Massive praise services, of which we are all so fond here, are held in various sections of the city. If you wish to ascend to the higher or lower galleries or sections of the city, step into the elevator and press the number of the button and you may in a few moments be landed a thousand furlongs above or below as you desire. For you will remember that the city lays four squares, its length and breadth, its height and depth are equal, being like a solid cube, twelve thousand furlongs each side.
“Oh, how massive and great is our inheritance!” said Bohemond, “twelve thousand furlongs would be fifteen hundred miles of earthly measurement.”
“Sure enough,” said the elder, “and there are nearly four hundred thousand of these sections or stories of the city, beside all the vast illimitable regions of paradise. A thousand years of an earthly count will have passed before you have seen but a small portion of what is yours forever. Its vastness is beyond your ability to comprehend at present. So you see, you have ample room for the expansions of your wondering soul.”
At this I clasped my hands and with great ecstatic’s of joy cried out: “Oh, Daniel, greatly beloved, is there no end to the provisions God has made for us?”
The elder replied: “The resources of heaven are inexhaustible, and as to the height and depth of the city, its length and breadth, you can never take it all in, but go where you will and you will find that the busy hosts of God know no fatigue and they will welcome you to any and all their banquets and feasts and services of song and praise as we have here.
“If you desire a trip to the beauties and scenery of any part of paradise, any one of the saints or angels will be glad to accompany you, for we all take pleasure in each other’s comfort here. Let us now step to yon elevation at the four corners near us” We climbed the spacious stairway. “Now will you cast your eyes down this avenue toward the far distance yonder?”
We did so, and as we stood above the busy throngs and countless hosts, all who were once children of earth, and who, like ourselves, once shared in the toils and sweat of an earthly life, and with us had struggled against the fearful hosts of sin, but now exalted and glorified with our blessed Redeemer, the elder said, “Are you repaid for your faith and service for your Lord in the world?”
“Repaid,” I said, “what did I ever do to merit this? No, no, it’s all of grace. God is love. We were nothing; we did nothing, but cling to Jesus. He was our All in All.”
“Will you now look to the north?” and he pointed with his finger the way, for we knew no north nor south, for no sun shone at noonday, nor any north star at midnight, for there is no noonday nor midnight in heaven. We needed not the light of sun, or moon for the Lord God and the Lamb is our eternal light.
As we looked in the directions suggested, we saw the avenue was broad and lovely and the mansions were of exquisite beauty. The golden streets were as warm with so many happy people. Thousands of children were playing in the streets. Lovely fountains were throwing up their spray, which sparkled like beaded diamonds of light. We saw long tables of a thousand cubits each most beautifully adorned and ladened with most precious fruits and nuts of all varieties, and with such freedom everyone seemed to be eating and drinking at his ease and pleasure.
I thought in what a different sense could all this mighty throng says in the same words of many of the Jews of old, “We have eaten and drunk in Thy presence and Thou hast taught in our streets.” (Luke 13:26)
“Many of these children,” said the elder, “have but recently come, but you see how completely contented they are. No change of place nor surroundings could make them happier, unless it would be to see their parents, brothers, sisters or friends here: then their cup of happiness would be complete indeed, They have no desire to go back to the earth from whence they have so lately come, but they do greatly rejoice in the coming of their friends. Contentment of which we only knew the first rudiments in the world is written on every soul here.”
“Will you now look upward,” said the elder.
We cast our eyes above. To our greater wonder still, the arches and domes above us were ablaze with the sparkle of what seemed to be the most precious diamonds for beauty, and jasper stones clear as crystal.
“This,” said the elder, “is but a reflection of the glory of God which shines out from the throne and through all His works.”
“Now,” said the elder, “I must leave you and bid you goodbye. The blessings of the eternal God are forever yours. Great things are in store for you; but I will see you again,” and he disappeared among the countless throng.