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Stanza Six

Can’an in golden print enwalled with gems

A kingdom rim’d with glory round: in fine

A glorious crown pal’de thick with all the stems

Of Grace, and of all properties Divine.

How happy wilt thou make me when these shall                    35

As a blessed heritage unto me fall?

Notes

The import of this stanza is simple. A glorious kingdom is shown to him as his inheritance. He anticipates how happy he will be when he receives this inheritance.

Canaan was the land promised to Israel. As the promised land it functions as a picture of heaven. Here is an example from Jonathan Edwards, the son of Taylor’s friend:

“But the first possession he had in it was the possession of a burying place, or a possession for him to be in after he and his were dead; which signifies this, that the heavenly Canaan, the land of promise, the rest that remains for the people of God, is a land for them to possess, and abide and rest in, after they are dead.” Edwards, Jonathan. Notes on Scripture. Edited by Harry S. Stout and Stephen J. Stein, vol. 15, Yale University Press, 1998, p. 335.

He compares the sight of Canaan as an image which has been interlaid (enwalled) with gemstones.

Gem stones are used throughout the Scripture as an image of the glory of the world to come:

“This kingdom excels in the riches of it; gold doth not so much surpass iron, as this kingdom doth all other riches; ‘the gates are of pearl,’ Rev. 21:21. ‘and the foundations of it are garnished with all precious stones,’ ver. 19. It is enough for cabinets to have pearl; but were gates of pearl ever heard of before? It is said ‘kings shall throw down their crowns and scepters before it.’ Rev. 4:10 as counting all their glory and riches but dust in comparison of it; this kingdom hath Deity itself to enrich it, and these riches are such as cannot be weighed in the balance; neither the heart of man can conceive, nor the tongue of angel express them.” Watson, Thomas. “Discourses upon Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.” Discourses on Important and Interesting Subjects, Being the Select Works of the Rev. Thomas Watson, vol. 2, Blackie, Fullarton, & Co.; A. Fullarton & Co., 1829, p. 74.

He repeats the image this time as a kingdom of glory.

“In fine” means in conclusion. (Latin, finis)

The image of the kingdom is repeated, as a crown. Grace is made to be the adornment of a crown.

all properties Divine. There are two possible references here. This could be a generic reference to all things divine, pertaining to God, of any sort.

However, “properties” is a technical theological term. For example, this usage by Jonathan Edwards, “COMMUNICATION OF PROPERTIES with respect to the divine and human nature of Christ. Such a communication of properties and characters with respect to Christ in the language of Scripture, which divines suppose to have its foundation in the union of the divine and human natures of Jesus, is not absurd.” Misc. 1219. Properties is an equivalent of attributes.

This second usage means the glory of the world to come which so stirs Taylor’s heart is the nature of God himself. John Piper had a useful meditation on this particular point some years ago. https://www.desiringgod.org/books/god-is-the-gospel

The hope is not some place, as lovely as it may be, but communion with God. This is also known in Christian theology as beatific vision.

“CHAP. XLVI

“The happiness of the beatifical vision discovered

“Secondly, they shall have the Beatifical Vision of God, we shall be where he is, and we shall see his face. Says Christ, Father, I will, that those which thou hast given me, be where I am, that is a blessing; but in Rev. 22:4. it is said, They shall see his face, and that is more, They shall know as they are known,* 1 Cor. 13:12. It is the promise of the pure in heart, that they shall see God: 1 John 3:2. Behold, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know, that when he shall appear,* we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. It is the happiness of the Angels that they behold the face of God; so it shall be the happiness of the Saints to behold the face of God in heaven: As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness, I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likeness, Psal. 17:15. and so we may have the help of divers Scriptures to shew, that this is the happiness of the Saints.” Burroughs, Jeremiah. Moses His Choice, with His Eye Fixed upon Heaven: Discovering the Happy Condition of a Self-Denying Heart. John Field, 1650, p. 535.

This sight is the greatest answer for the human heart.

tu excitas, ut laudare te delectet, quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te.” Augustine of Hippo. St. Augustine’s Confessions, Vol. 1: Latin Text. Edited by T. E. Page and W. H. D. Rouse, Translated by William Watts, The Macmillan Co.; William Heinemann, 1912, p. 2.

“Because you have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in Thee.”  Augustine, Confessions, 1.1.1. You can find an analysis of that sentence here. https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justin-taylor/an-analysis-of-one-of-the-greatest-sentences-ever-written/