Who are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? Revelation 7:13
Words: Horatius Bonar, Hymns of Faith and Hope, second series (London: James Nisbet, 1861), pages 22–24, alt.
Et de Hierosolymis et de Britannia aequaliter patet aula coelestis—Jerome, Ep. ad Paulinum.
Not from Jerusalem alone,
To Heav’n the path ascends;
As near, as sure, as straight the way
That leads to the celestial day,
From farthest realms extends;
Frigid or torrid zone.
What matters how or whence we start?
One is the crown to all;
One is the hard but glorious race,
Whatever be our starting place—
Rings round the earth the call
From the balm breathing, sun loved isles,
Of the bright southern sea,
From the dead north’s cloud shadowed pole,
We gather to one gladsome goal,
One common home in Thee,
City of sun and smiles!
The cold, rough billow hinders none;
Nor helps the calm, fair main;
The brown rock of Norwegian gloom,
The verdure of Tahitian bloom,
The sands of Mizraim’s plain,
Or peaks of Lebanon.
As from the green lands of the vine,
So from the snow wastes pale,
We find the ever open road
To the dear city of our God;
From steppe, or Burman vale,
Or terraced Palestine.
Not from swift Jordan’s sacred stream
Alone we mount above;
Indus or Danube, Thames or Rhone,
Rivers unsainted and unknown—
From each the home of love
Beckons with heav’nly gleam.
Not from gray Olivet alone
We see the gates of light;
From Morven’s heath or Jungfrau’s snow
We welcome the descending glow
Of pearl and chrysolite
And the unsetting sun.
Not from Jerusalem alone
The Church ascends to God;
Strangers of every tongue and clime,
Pilgrims of every land and time,
Throng the well trodden road
That leads up to the throne.