7: An Excursion with the Martyred Saints

David’s chariot was now here. With him were a number of new arrivals but who were full fledged saints of earth. With exultant praises they were glorifying God. Their faces beaming with the light of heaven. David called to us, saying, “I’ll see you again later. Go where you will. I must take these dear brethren far up the river toward the gate of Manasseh, where they will spend some time among the trees which you can see in the far distance over there.” As the chariot moved off, David’s harp strings were trembling to the words of the twenty-fourth Psalm, in which all had joined.

My mother now said, “Over there comes four beautiful spirits whom I want you to meet. They are the most joyful souls I have met in a long time. I have often met them in the city and know them quite well.”

As they came nearer I asked her who they were.

“They were of the martyred saints,” she replied. “They were all burnt at the stake, for their testimony for our Lord.”

“Oh, mother, I shall be so glad to meet them.”

“And I too,” said Mary.

By this time they were very near us. A wonderful halo of glory was about them.

“Good morning,” said mother, for everyone says good morning in heaven for a long time after they have entered paradise or even the city gates, for it seems as though morning had only come, one feels so refreshed, happy and light-hearted. They returned the greeting with a lovely bow and handshake. We were soon introduced and a lively conversation following and indeed it was a joyful meeting. Their holy, heavenly laugh and joyful expressions filled my soul with rapture of praise.

“My mother has just told me that you are of those who once suffered martyrdom for Christ’s sake.”

“Yes,” said one of them, “we remember those days of awful persecution as though it were but yesterday. But many hundreds of years have passed since then and we are amply repaid for it here. They tried hard to force us to renounce, but no, our Lord’s words were too close to our hearts for that. He had said, ‘Fear not them which kill the body but are not able to kill the soul, but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.’ (Matthew 10:28) Our sufferings were intense, but it was soon over and we were immediately ushered into this glory. As we leaped from the body we shouted victory over fire and enemies.”

As they uttered these words I thought of the Scripture where John, the beloved disciple, said: “I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, ‘How long, O Lord, holy and true, do you not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?’ And white robes were given to every one of them, and it was said unto them that they should rest yet for a little season until their fellow servants also and their brethren should be killed as they were.” (Revelation 6:10-11)

“Indeed,” said they all, “and our rest has been most sweet among these bowers of paradise and the glories of the eternal city.”

“It is here,” said one of them, “as it used to be on earth when the old soldiers of war times would have their reunions and festivities, and talk over the memories of their awful struggles. We are just now headed for a great reunion of the martyrs and confessors of our Lord during the dark ages of bitter persecution on earth. In a little while you will see many chariots bringing their thousands to what we call here, ‘Our excursion to the hills.’ We would be pleased to have you go along with us.”

Mary quickly spoke up and said, “Yes, let us go.”

We quickly dropped in with them and walked to the station just near. While waiting for a chariot I said to mother and Mary, “I am so glad for this meeting. I have heard so much of the days of awful persecution and of the thousands who were killed by fire and sword. Nero’s persecution at Rome was an awful time when he burnt so many of the saints. Smearing their nude bodies with pitch and making midnight torches of them, and their agonizing cries were the music for his chariot races.”

“It was terrible,” said mother, “but they are all here now with the glory of God upon them. No doubt we will meet many of them soon.”

“Look,” said Mary, “do you see the chariots coming?”

“Oh, yes, in the distance,” I replied. “Is their route past this station?”

“I think so,” said one of the saints, and with that he waved the flowing ends of his mantle and a charioteer seeing him turned his chariot toward us. As it came near, I noticed there were a number of coaches attached somewhat like our railroad train cars on earth. I did not yet know the propelling power of the chariots, but something like the electrical currents of earth strongly operated these wonderful fliers of heaven. h

As the chariot slowed its speed and drew near us, we all stepped aboard and were greeted by hundreds of the most joyful people I have met in heaven. The chariot moved on with wonderful speed toward the pleasure parks and hillsides of paradise. When at last it slowed down amid a mighty crowd gathering from all parts of the city of those who had been beheaded and martyred for Christ’s sake. Many of them had suffered untold anguish and tortures in prisons, at racks and inquisitions, torn of wild beasts in the arena of amphitheaters for the amusement of wicked men. We saw many of those alluded to in the blessed Book which now lies on your table, where it speaks of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah and David and Samuel and the prophets and others which had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, or bonds and imprisonments. We saw those who had been stoned, sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword, who had wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented: Of whom the world was not worthy. They had wandered in deserts and in mountains and dens and caves of the earth.

Among them we saw James whom Herod killed with the sword, and Stephen whom they stoned—in fact, nearly all the apostles were there. We saw also Latimer and Thomas Hawks and a hundred beside who had suffered in England as martyrs under the reign of her who was called “Bloody Mary.” But they with the thousands of others who had sealed their testimony with their own blood, were the most joyful of all men whom I had met in all the heavenly domain. During the course of the exercises of the occasion and the joyful and exultant praises from this great army of saints over whom neither fire, sword, nor prison could prevail to make them deny their holy confession of Jesus, I kept thinking of that Scripture where in the Revelation of St. John he says: “I saw the souls of them who were beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, nor in their hands, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)

Just at this time Paul came to us and seeing I was but a newcomer to this great feast, said to me, “Were you a martyr for Jesus?”

I said, “No, but I truly love Him and hope I am not intruding.”

“Oh, no,” he replied, “you are indeed welcome.”

I was then emboldened to ask him to explain that Scripture just quoted.

“Certainly,” said he, “all this great number who have suffered for Christ on earth shall also likewise reign with Him on earth. The millennial Sabbath is almost to dawn, when for a thousand years these will be greatly honored among the hosts of heaven when the Lord shall return to earth with all His saints. They shall reign with Him. This honor have all the martyred saints, for they who suffer with Him shall also reign with Him.”

When the great assembly had closed its business session (for there is much business carried on in heaven of which the business in the earth is but child’s play in comparison), then followed the praise service which for enthusiasm and spiritual activity would put to blush most of our active services in the church on earth. The harps and stringed instruments of heaven, in the hands of these trained choir singers, simply made the arches and domes of heaven ring. Souls developed under such trials of suffering as these had passed through, who make up this mighty convocation, brought forth the sweetest and loveliest melodies, until I was simply bewildered in the consideration of the capacity and development of a human soul in heaven.

Following this was a heavenly picnic, which for joy and gladness and demonstration of victories and praise, nothing in earth will compare to it. Fruits of many kinds with the various spices and provisions of the eternal world were prepared for the lunch. Angels were busy at this service. It was difficult for me to learn of the multitudes of good things prepared for these saints, there was such an abundance. After all had eaten, then the thousands began their rambles through the valleys and among the hills and mountains of paradise. Great gorges with stupendous cataracts and magnificent scenery and pleasant places of rest and enjoyment abounded everywhere. Perpetual blooming flowers with groves of trees and carpets of grass with such endless varieties bring their constant rewards to those who rest from their labors, with an eternal satisfaction in this blessed paradise above.


* * * * *


At the close of the great convocation, mother came to me and said, “Son, have you noticed there is no race prejudice in heaven?”

“No distinctions of the races, mother?”

“Yes, there are distinctions, but no prejudice because of race. It makes no difference here as to the kind of body we had on earth. All souls have a spotless whiteness here and their robes, the same. Whatever the physical condition may have been on earth, we are all one family here. Children of one Father. Do you notice that group of singers over there?”

“I do, mother.”

“They were all colored people of America,” she said. “Some of them suffered much, as slaves, by their old masters. Let us go and speak to them a moment.”

We did so, when to my great surprise I quickly recognized one of them. We stood face to face, but for a moment I hesitated, and then said, “In the name of paradise, is this you, Rastus?”

“Oh,” he said, “it’s me, but who be you?”

I said, “Look again.”

He did so and began to smile. “I do know you, Mr. Sodi. You preached to us colored folks once on board the vessel on de North Sea,” and with that he gave me his hand.

I knew him in my earlier years having business with his old master in the South. He was very dark-skinned and uneducated, but his face now shone with the brightness of heaven itself, and his garments were perfect whiteness.

“Well, I am glad to meet you,” he said.

“Indeed, it is mutual,” I replied. “But you are so changed. Are there no black faces in heaven?” I inquired.

“Oh,” he said, “we are all white here and in de perfect image of de Lord.”

I asked what his old master thought of the great exaltation into which he had come.

“My master,” said he, “I fear is not here. I have never seen him since I escaped him and went to northern Russia on de vessel of which you know. De floggin’ had been a hard one and I determined he’d never give me anoder one. So after de vessel was full of de cotton bales I hid underneath ‘em till she was well out at sea, when I made myself known because of hunger and thirst. They made many threats to throw me over into the sea, like to Jonah, but my life was spared and I escaped to Russia. Neither have I seen him in dis heavenly world. I have passed to and fro among these countless hosts of de redeemed and have been to very many sections of de city, but I have not met him. I fear he is not here. He used to attend de services of his church and made a good profession on de Sunday, but during de week he was ungodly and rough to his children and still worse to us his slaves. I have been made to feel so deeply de folly of servin’ de Lord one day in de seven and de devil de udder six. Thousands are lost tryin’ to serve two masters and ‘peerin’ to be good on de Sunday and let de devil rule ‘em de rest of de week. Oh, I was so poor in de world—my cabin had no window, nor did we have a rag of a carpet on de floor, nor a picture on de wall, neither did we have a flower in de yard nor did we have a yard, for the cotton growed to de door.

“But oh, I have everything here; everything I kin see is mine. And all beside and still it belongs to all dese udder people just as much as me. I goes just where I like, up and down de streets, through de long avenues, out through de gates of de city in de blessed chariots of God, to de infinite regions of dis paradise, and de Lord Jesus has given me entire liberty and says, ‘Go jis whar you will, and eat of every tree you like. Clime de mountains and go into de valley and along de rivers and bathe your soul in de sunshine of de Lamb, who is de light of all de heavenly city and dis paradise.’”

“Well, Rastus,” I said to him, “I am very glad to meet you here and witness how God has lifted you up from the dust and the dung hill and made you a prince among His saints.”

“Indeed, I am gladder dan you kin be. I am de object of His grace and you de witness. But when did you come to de city?”

“This,” I replied, “is my first visit to paradise after having been in the city only a short time. I have only just begun to see my inheritance.”

“Well,” said he, “you will never git tired lookin’ into de great mysteries of de eternal city. Nor will your heart ever shrivel again under de cold blasts of de world of sin, but it will swell wid de highest emotions of praise. Do you see dis harp (which he loosened from his belt and began to test the strings)? I keep it tuned up all de time ready for de praise of de Lord Jesus. Oh, if I only could meet my ole master of de earth a comin’ along the street some day, den de angels would have to minister de first rebuke in heaven, and say, ‘Not quite so loud wid de music over in dat corner, for you disturb de children’s meetin’ on the Fourth Avenue.’ But I fear I shall never meet him, for God says, dar shall in no wise enter into de city anything dat defiles, neither whatsoever works abomination or makes a lie, but dey which are written in de Lamb’s book of life. He used to defile de women of de plantation and lead others to do the same, and do other immoral abominations—dar was no end to ‘em, and den de matter was, he would cover it up and seem to be a saint on de Sunday. Oh, I fear his hopeless cries will never reach to de Throne. And yet some day one of de angels may come to me sayin’ I have good news for you, your old master is at last earnestly prayin’ and washin’ hisself wid his tears and de soap of de word. Den dis ole harp would begin on de highest key, until de angel would have to say, ‘Rastus, you had better drop back to de key of F, for he’s a leper from de sole of his foot to de crown of his head, and will need to dip himself seven times in de Jordan afore he is clean.’”

“Well, Rastus,” I said, how about the rest of the slaves, are many of them here in heaven?”

“Oh,” he said, “dear Mr. Sodi, I ‘spects you haven’t recognized dem since they have put on their shinin’ garments and put off de black ones—There’s multitudes of dem here and dey sing in de choir wid de odder people and their voices are often de loudest. Of course, dey are not all here by any means.

“Many of dem were as big hypocrites as de master. Some were of de fearful kind; some of de unbelievin’ sort, and some were de whoremongers and de liars. And God says all these shall have their part in de lake of fire and brimstone. If I could only go back and see dem once more, I would take dis harp and show dem dis robe, and take ‘em one bunch of de fruit—dey might believe me, though dey would not believe Moses and de prophets.”

“Well, Rastus, the visit has been very interesting to me.”

“And to me also,” said Rastus, “but my company is scattering and I must also go, and will see you again soon, I trust.” So saying he said good-bye and disappeared among the chariots, and thousands who were leaving the martyrs’ reunion.

I now said to mother, “It does seem a most blessed thing that there are no feelings of prejudice here toward anyone whom God sees fit to enter the gates.”

“Oh,” she said, “we are here from every nation under heaven, all races, kindreds, tongues and people are here, and all are in the likeness of their Lord, while all retain a peculiar likeness to their former life. But see, David’s chariot is coming.” In a few moments we were seated with him and flying with great speed toward the city gate.

We passed in at the gate of Manasseh and at last stopped near the children’s great Polytechnic. Mother and Mary stepped out and I said good-bye for now, saying, “I hope to see you again soon,” for David had said, ‘I will take you on a flying trip through some of the leading avenues toward the Throne, for I see your heart is in that direction and I have a commission to be your servant for a time.’

On we went through streets and avenues, flying at a tremendous speed. The light of the Throne began to be luminous in the distance, even the trees lining the thoroughfares, somewhat like the trees for shade in earthly cities, seemed hanging with diamonds and rubies of glistening brightness and the mansions seemed literally studded with the same.

We now came to a broad avenue leading toward the Throne. Thousands of glorified saints, some walking, engaged in holy conversation, others in the chariots, with the joy and rest of heaven upon them, were going to and from the Throne.

I now turned to David and said, “While I am eager to go on to the Throne, I am very eager to see the dear bosom companion of my life, who I am told is detained in a distant place in paradise.”

“Oh,” said David, “why did you not tell me while we were in paradise? We could have gone so quickly, but now I will turn the chariot, and go at once, for I know her well and she will be greatly pleased, and I myself will be greatly pleased in assisting you for this great pleasure trip.” So turning his chariot, he said, “Have you any choice of routes?”

“Not any, for I know nothing of the way, only go past the children’s Polytechnic and take mother and Mary. I am so ignorant of the ways, so choose for me.”

“Most gladly indeed,” said David. So with the speed of sound we were flying toward the great cathedral, and soon stopped beside the gate.” i


* * * * *


I was eager to see my bosom companion who was busily engaged with a thousand more, as I had been told, assisting a great number of souls who had recently come into the heavenly realm from certain heathen countries where the missionaries had been busily preaching the Lord Jesus. So, as we were waiting in the chariot, I saw my mother and Mary passing near, and motioned them to come to us. When I told them of my great desire and David’s pleasing offer, they at once accepted our invitation to go along with us and were soon seated by our side.

Mother at once said, “I know well where they are, at one of the remote locations far beyond the gate of Benjamin.”

So David turned the chariot to the right, saying, “I will go down Ninety-second Avenue and out at the gate of Benjamin.”

No sweeter raptures filled my soul since leaving the Judean gate at our first entrance into the city, and where we had been welcomed by the Lord of the kingdom. The thoughts of the family reunion were so precious. Mother and daughter by my side. David the sweet singer of Israel, our servant. He who had led the hosts of the servants of the Most High and fought His battles, now our servant and so soon to meet the dear wife of my youth who has for many years been so prominent in these eternal realms in service for her Lord. Oh, blessed morning it was to me! My whole soul was in raptures of delight with the sweet thought.

David now said, “Are you ready?” and the chariot moved on. We were now passing through a new section of the city to me. Mother and Mary seemed to be much at home and acquainted with the route.

Mary now spoke and said, “Father, I am so glad you can so soon see dear mother, she has been so busy of late. She has not had time to visit with me, as we often do, but we will soon meet, and I can introduce you. I wonder if she will know you among all the busy crowd.”

“Know me! Oh, yes. How could she help knowing me? I have changed but little since we parted. Indeed, dear child, I am very eager to see her myself, even more than you can know, for you have had no separations from any loved ones. Neither have you known the sorrows and tears which we have known so long. All these you escaped, as well as the dark sins of the world. I do not think now we ought to have grieved so much and so long as we did when you left us, for you were eternally safe from that moment.”

“Oh, indeed, I am safe and very happy in my experience. I know nothing of the sorrow and tears of which you speak. Others have often told me of their sad mistakes and sin-burdened hearts: but how thankful they all are, for our blessed Redeemer! Without Him I would have been lost myself and would never have seen nor entered this celestial world.”

David began to reduce the speed of the chariot, and, calling me by my name, said, “I want you to notice what we are now passing.”

On both sides of the great avenue there were multitudes of peculiar, yet most beautifully constructed mansions.

“These,” said David, “are built according to the tastes and fancies of their occupants, as indeed all the ‘many mansions’ are. You have noticed the great variety of scenery and buildings throughout the city, no doubt. Everyone can choose his own, and change to another at his own will. God Himself delights in variety and has made no two blades of grass alike, neither two grains of sand, nor two human souls. But communities in the world with similar choices—education and fancies—naturally group together here, so you see in these peculiar mansions. You will notice how happy and contented everyone seems to be in this great colony.”

Mother now spoke and said to David, “I have been here for many years and yet I have never seen anyone dissatisfied or restless or homesick. It seems our great Father has anticipated all the wishes and desires of all His people and has so planned and arranged this eternal kingdom that everyone has his desires fully met in all things.”

“The city,” said David, “with all its variety of architecture and constructions, its fruits and rivers and fountains, is adapted to all the nations of the earth, and from all the nations, kindreds, people and tongues, these countless numbers are gathered. Multitudes from heathen nations are here, their children especially, in large numbers are here, for they do not arrive to the age of accountability so early as in Christian lands. These are all saved by virtue of the atonement, until they sin against eternal light, so thousands are gathered here well grown in years and it is these that are being taught, by these faithful servants, in the preparatory regions of paradise, to which point we are now going.”

“Oh, David,” I said, “will you drive your chariot faster, for I am eager to meet her who was the bosom companion of my life on earth?”

With this the chariot flew as with the speed of sound. The avenue was a perfect pleasure ground of delight. Trees loaded with their ripening fruit! Beautiful mansions of all descriptions! Thousands of happy souls, going and coming! Many reclining on the cushioned upholstery of heaven! But with the speed we were now going thousands of mansions were passed without distinguishing one from another.

“I see the gateway in the distance,” said Mary.

“Are we so near the great wall and the entrance into paradise?” I said.

I looked up to scan the great wall again, with its magnificent splendors, as David was slowing his chariot. The gate stood open as indeed they all do. As we passed out at the gate of Benjamin with its great glistening pearl and shining hinges of gold, we had only time to cast one glance backward to say good-bye to the city, until we seemed to be a hundred kilometers [5] beyond, along one of the great highways of paradise.

[5. “Many leagues.” That is maybe 50 miles. A league being about 5.7 kilometres (3.5 miles).]

Mary leaned her head upon my shoulder and said, “Father, how do you like the music and hum of the chariot wheels? Ordinarily they are almost noiseless.”

“Oh, I am bewildered at the immensity and grandeur of heaven. Mother, how soon do you think we will reach our destination?”

“Oh, quite soon, I think I see the domes and steeples of the mission now.”

“Yes,” said Mary, “they are quite plain to me.”

“Oh, glory!” I said. “Look at the mountains, hills, and valleys we are passing. Oh, my soul is perfectly full of rapture. Oh, for a thousand tongues —”

“Use the one you have,” said Mary.

“Hallelujah to God!” I shouted, when David quickly took his harp and we all sang again the victories of the Lamb.

The chariot now stood still outside a great archway leading to one of the preparatory departments in paradise. We all stepped out when to my surprise more than a hundred most beautiful spirits met us, all with the glory and light of heaven upon them. Introduction? I needed none—especially to one—the fairest among the hundred, and altogether lovely. She sprang from among the rest and shouted, “Glory to God in the highest!” She hugged me tightly but could not weep, neither could I, for none can weep in heaven, but the cup of our joy was full.

“I knew you were coming,” said Genevive, “but did not know David would bring you. Oh, how glad I am you are now at home! And then here’s mother and daughter,” she said, as she embraced them both in her arms.

“Dear Genevive, I have been so eager to see you ever since coming into paradise, but could not reach you earlier. Our dreams of the future while on earth are now realized, our prayers answered. Home at last!”

“Oh,” said Genevive, “I have much to ask you, so we will walk to that group of buildings over there.”

David said, “My time is at your disposal. Take your leisure, for so I have command.”

As we walked slowly along I was introduced to many of those who met us at the gateway. I found they were from various parts of the world, but all were engaged in a blessed service for our Lord. Everyone seemed perfectly joyful and happy. j


* * * * *


We were now inside a most beautiful building—a large drawing room or parlor, beautifully decorated with various kinds of ornaments unlike what I was used to seeing within the gates of the city. Everything was tinged with silver drapings, lovely indeed, and the upholstery of chairs, sofas, etc., were of magnificent designs of heavenly patterns.

From this room we were brought into the large spacious dining hall which was practically ablaze with burnished silver hangings and all manner of silvertinged table ware. Think of a table one and a half kilometers [6] long, at which ten thousand guests can sit down at one time and you have some idea of this dining hall.

[6. “Three thousand cubits.” That is about 4,500 feet, or about 1,371 meters. A cubit is about 18 inches.]

Genevive now came and said, “We will go to the side table over there where we can sit down together.” So Genevive, Mary, mother and myself were seated alone, while David and all who met us at the gate were gone on to the farther end of the great hall.

Genevive now ordered our luncheon which consisted of beautiful cakes of the finest of the wheat of paradise, with all manner of fruit with which paradise abounds everywhere. Breadfruit grows in abundance and is one of the twelve kinds on each tree. When our thanksgiving was over, Genevive, who sat by my side, said to me, “I have been eagerly waiting for this time to come when we would all be together again and the sorrows of earth be over. Now tell me about the rest of the children.”

“Yes,” said Mary, “tell us all about them. I am so eager to know about my brothers and sisters of whom mother says there are six.”

“I am glad to tell you they are all alive and getting on well in the world and in homes of their own. They are not all good Christians and yet they have all known the way of life and we trust they will yet all be counted among the saved.”

“Oh, yes,” said Genevive, “I have so often prayed for them and that angel over there which you see with David and the rest, has often told me about them, for he often visits the sections of earth where they live.”

“How often I have wondered with great curiosity, if the saints in heaven know about the affairs and doings of those they have left behind, and your words, Genevive, thoroughly convince me that they do.”

“True, indeed,” said Genevive, “we have frequent messages from the earth.”

“Oh, Genevive, there is no comparison between the humble fare of our earthly table and what we have here. How refreshed I feel, and then those wonderful fountains in the distance, gushing up from burnished silver fixtures, and hundreds gathering about them drinking to their hearts’ content! Oh, heaven, indeed! How precious that promise: ‘He shall lead them to fountains of living water!’” (Revelation 7:17)

“This is its fulfillment,” said Genevive, “and when you see the ten thousand at these tables with the bounties of heaven before them then you’ll say, ‘The Lamb which is in the midst of the Throne shall feed them,’ (Revelation 7:17) for truly all this blessed provision and infinitely more than what we can see here, is the gracious result of His thoughtful care of His people, for He has prepared for them a city.” (Hebrews 11:16)

“Now,” said Mary to Genevive, “I wish you would take us through the great amphitheater.”

We all arose and followed as Genevive led the way. A doorway opened from the great dining hall into a stupendous auditorium, furnished with seats somewhat like the ancient amphitheaters of the world. Thousands were seated in various places of this great building. Silver furnishings were everywhere sparkling with the glory of paradise. This great hall I found to be one of the places where the heathen are gathered who have been saved by Christ and are yet uninstructed in the ways of the kingdom or in spiritual matters in reference to salvation. One of the chief stations of paradise opening its doors to heathen countries is just near this place.

Genevive now said, “I always took a great interest in mission work in the world, in Sunday school and children’s classes, and the same traits are with me here. Of my own choice I spend much time instructing the precious souls who come to these portals, ignorant of God’s plans and purposes. All the heathen infants are saved as well as those in civilized and Christian lands. They don’t reach accountability as early as they do in more enlightened nations, hence a larger number die in childhood and youth who have never known the law of God so as to bring them under condemnation. And being under the free gift of eternal life, they arrive here in very great surprise. While heathen nations are responsible to God, yet their responsibility is not so great as those of Christian lands.”

“But, mother,” said Mary, “how is it that so many of the heathen children are saved and gathered here when so many of their parents are lost?”

“Their parents,” said Genevive, “have reached an age of accountability through the measure of light they have. They have likewise sinned and fallen under condemnation and following their superstitions have died in their sins, while their children have not reached the place of enlightenment to bring them under such responsibility.”

At this I spoke and said, “The Bible declares that: ‘By the transgression of one man judgment came upon all men to condemnation. Even so, by the righteousness of one man the free gift came upon all men to justification of life.’ (Romans 5:18) So in man’s beginning he is universally saved by Christ, as Paul said again, ‘I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came sin revived and I died.’” (Romans 7:9)

“Indeed,” said Genevive. “All are alive and remain so until they receive a knowledge of God’s will sufficient to bring them under responsibility, when by transgression spiritual death follows. But I see you are eager to know about this great place for the gathering of the multitudes of those saved by Christ from heathen lands. Do you notice what a large proportion are young people and children? These have had but little instruction in the ways of the true God, His worship and spiritual nature—many of them none at all. Their teaching of idolatry clings to them and they must be trained in the ways and truths of the eternal kingdom.

“Each of these has a history of its own. They wonder with great astonishment as to who and where they are, when the angels have brought them inside the gates of paradise. The shining glory of this world is so great, many of them are completely overcome, like one on earth just awakened from a sleep filled with an enchanting dream, they are speechless with wonder. Little children of different ages are here and yet many of these know as much as children of Christian lands. This great amphitheater is often filled until every seat is taken and here they are taught everything pertaining to an earlier experience in this world of light. Many of them were objects of scorn and neglect, without friends or a mother’s love. They greatly admire and wonder at the kindness shown them here. Thousands and millions of them have gone throughout the regions of paradise and into the city and their voices are ringing out with the melody of heaven.”

“Genevive,” I said, “why is this place arranged for the heathen more than for any others?”

“It is not for heathen children alone,” she replied. “There are many here from Christian lands, but God has made wise provisions for all His people. The teaching here is adapted to a class who hardly know the basic elements of anything in modern or civilized life, and who know nothing of the doctrines of salvation. Many of those boys and girls and even men and women whom you see are being taught in those classes over there, are only as those in the introductory class in the schools of the world. The great effort is to instruct them and develop their spiritual and intellectual faculties. It is most interesting to note how quickly they develop from mere babes into full-fledged saints in heaven.

“They all quickly learn to praise God and everyone has a harp similar to your own. The great praise services which are held here very frequently are soul-refreshing seasons, I assure you. When twenty thousand to thirty thousand all join in the new songs so recently learned, and quoting passages and heavenly teaching concerning the eternal truths of God, much as we did on earth in our praise services, these arches and domes echo and re-echo the melody until you would think the vibrations would be heard in the city itself.”

“Well, Genevive, I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed this meeting and visit with you. My whole soul is filled with the highest sense of adoring praise to our Lord, for such love tokens for His people. Surely, all these great things for the children He had in mind before the foundation of the world was laid.”

“Indeed,” said Genevive, “or even before this paradise was planned or fitted up.”

“Well, dear Genevive, are you engaged here so constantly that you cannot go to other places when you would like to do so?”

“Oh, no,” she replied, “I have the most unbounded freedom, even as that of the angels or the elders themselves, to go as I will, and I will be exceedingly glad to accompany you to any places you wish to go.”

“Oh, Genevive, nothing could give me more pleasure than to have you go with us. I was just planning a visit to the Throne itself when I felt I must see you first and David generously offered his services and our party was quickly made up, as you see.”

“If you would like,” said Genevive, “I will go with you to the Throne and we can return at our leisure to this or other parts of paradise.” So she called mother and Mary to us and made the proposition which was quickly accepted. She dispatched one standing nearby to bring David and the hundred, and in a few moments they were with us.

I said to David, “We have decided to return at once to the city and to go on toward the Throne.”

“I am at your pleasure until this trip is ended.”

Genevive quickly arranged for others to fill her place in the great preparatory classes, saying we must now join with the rest in a chorus of thanksgiving, before we leave the amphitheater. The order of the services was quickly arranged; David led in the chorus. We had tuned our harps and joined with them, and falling on our faces, with adoring praises, we practically shouted the salvation of God. We now arose and with deep emotions said good-bye to the great multitude we were leaving behind. We walked toward the gateway where stood the chariot. After saying once again good-bye to those beautiful spirits of light, with the pure love tokens of which heaven abounds, we were seated in the chariot. k, l

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2 Responses to 7: An Excursion with the Martyred Saints

  1. Joy says:

    i am so excited to read this tonight

  2. angela says:

    I found this on amazon, and have been reading it. What an amazing testimony of our glorious King. I am sharing the book and now your site. Thank you for your obedience to our great God in Heaven. I have a blog in which I share the words of The Father.
    DwellIntheholyplace.blogspot.com. Blessings, your sister in Christ.

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