There Is a Land of Pure Delight


By Isaac Watts

There is a land of pure delight
Where saints immortal reign;
Infinite day excludes the night,
And pleasures banish pain.

Refrain
We’re trav’ling to Immanuel’s land,
We soon shall hear the trumpet sound,
And soon we shall with Jesus reign,
And never, never part again.
What! Never part again? No, never part again,
What! Never part again? No, never part again,
And soon we shall with Jesus reign,
And never, never part again.

There everlasting spring abides,
And never-withering flowers;
Death like a narrow sea divides
This heavenly land from ours.

Sweet fields beyond the swelling flood
Stand dressed in living green;
So to the Jews old Canaan stood,
While Jordan rolled between.

But timorous mortals start and shrink
To cross this narrow sea,
And linger shivering on the brink,
And fear to launch away.

Oh! could we make our doubts remove,
These gloomy doubts that rise,
And see the Canaan that we love
With unbeclouded eyes:

Could we but climb where Moses stood,
And view the landscape o’er,
Not Jordan’s stream, nor Death’s cold flood
Should fright us from the shore.

I remember singing this song every year when the final form fives were leaving school after their O’level examinations. Then I never knew much about the hymn or the hymn writer. This song has come alive to me again as i look forward to being with the Lord someday.

1Cor 2:9 says: But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard,neither have entered into the heart of man, the thingswhich God hath prepared for them that love him.

What a beautiful promise for the Saints of God! We will never know the wonderful things God has prepared for us until we reach the other side. Oh, when we behold the beauty of what God has created upon this earth, it is just a foretaste of what Heaven is like! And we cannot even comprehend the New Heaven and the New Earth that God will create someday!

In this life, there are tribulations but we can still behold the beauty of what the Lord made and rest upon the promises that our Lord Jesus gave us. He said that He went to His Father’s house to prepare a place for us and He will return someday. We wait in expectancy for the day when our Blessed Saviour– The Lord Jesus Christ— shall return for us!

John 14:1 says: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

The second coming of King Jesus will be a day of great rejoicing for those who have lived and loved their Lord. It will be a day when we will “never part again.” Eternal life is promised to those who have accepted the grace of the Lord enough to obey him in this life and in the life to come.

About the Author Isaac Watts: When a man is the author of over six-hundred hymns, and when these hymns include such as “O God our help in ages past,” “When I survey the Wond’rous Cross,” “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun,” “Come we that love the Lord,” “Join all the glorious names,” and “I’m not ashamed to own my Lord,” then a person might be excused for finding difficulty in deciding which of those hymns he should chose to entitle “great.” Such is the case when our minds turn to “The father of English hymn-writing,” Isaac Watts, and I have chosen our hymn for this edition, not because it is necessarily the greatest of Watts’ hymns, but simply because it represents the depth of our author’s faith and hope, and also, because it is a theme that should be much on the believer’s heart and mind.

“There is a land of pure delight,
Where saints immortal reign,” the hymn begins.

And it is, perhaps, not surprising that we often find “The Serephic Doctor,” as old Isaac Watts was called, dwelling on that place where “everlasting spring abides,” for it is there that the saints of God gather around the Throne of the Lamb and sing eternal praises to His Name.

Watts wrote on almost every subject that touches the believer’s hope and trust in Christ, and he dwelt on “The Glories of the Lamb,” not only “amidst His Father’s Throne,” but on that “wondrous Cross” where he invites us to –

Indeed, indeed, it is “all of grace.” Not only must we be “brought out of Egypt by a mighty hand,” but we must be led into Canaan by the one and the same omnipotence. Through grace, the condemned sinner is set for that “land of pure delight where saints immortal reign.” This is salvation and this is the gospel.

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