~~Alexander Hamilton to John Laurens, August 15, 1782
With the signs of the end of the age coming closer and closer at hand, this Scripture from Hebrews 11 has been recurring to me, and for this week, I intended to post it. It just so happens that my family and I read this passage together during our devotions for this Wednesday morning:
By faith he [Abraham] dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. ... These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.Having this on my mind, I often find myself humming the last stanza of the British patriotic hymn, "I Vow to Thee My Country." The first two stanzas sing the praises of the author's country (which would be England), and I think that it's taken a bit too far. However, the last verse speaks of the Heavenly Country, the one which far surpasses any of the pitiful glories of our earthly habitation:
Most great to them that love it, most dear to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul, and silently, her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness,
And all her paths are PEACE.
The melody to this hymn comes from a portion of Gustav Holst's rousing composition, "Jupiter" from his work, "The Planet Suite." You can play or download it here, courtesy of FreePlayMusic.com. At 3 minutes and 15 seconds into the music is the melody to this verse. Please listen, and sing along!