The Heaven of the Bible

Have you looked for a book about heaven that is grounded in what we know from the Bible and avoids mere wishful speculation beyond what Scripture teaches? Just such a volume was written in the 19th century by James Madison McDonald (1812-1876): My Father's House; or, The Heaven of the Bible (1855). 

The author considers it an important subject, and so should we. He emphasizes how meditation on heaven is of great value to the Christian because this is where our true citizenship resides as we pass through this earthly vale. And he recognizes the many misconceptions of heaven and the afterlife which prevailed in his day (and ours), in part because of occultic ideas. 

We are reminded by the author of what heaven is not, or rather, what it lacks - there will be no more pain, no more sorrow, no more night, no more death, and no temple. Indeed, one characteristic of heaven is that of all things that accompany the joy of the presence of God there will be no lack at all. 

He addresses who will be in heaven, and who will not. He examines the issue of children who die in infancy. He responds to the question of whether the saints will know one another in heaven (also addressed by John Aspinwall Hodge here).

Several of our Log College Press authors are cited in this volume, among them Archibald Alexander, J.W. Alexander, Charles Hodge, William Armstrong Dod and Gardiner Spring. He acknowledges also the great writings on heaven that precede him by men such as Richard Baxter and John Howe. 

Great pains are taken to speak to what the Bible teaches, and to leave off where the Bible does so. Not all is revealed at present, but all shall be revealed in heaven, and that is part of the reason we are to stick to the Bible on our pilgrimage to heaven. If you have sought a devotional treatise from an American Presbyterian, and fellow pilgrim, about the heaven of the Bible, which avoids the vain imaginations of men, download this book for your prayerful study and meditation. 

The First Presbyterian Church in America

The first Presbyterian church established in America, which continues to exist to this day, is the congregation known today as the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, located in Jamaica, Queens, Long Island, New York. It was organized in 1662, and its history is ably told by its pastor, James Madison McDonald (1812-1876), who wrote two books on the subject: 1) A Sketch of the History of the Presbyterian Church, in Jamaica, L.I. (1847); and 2) Two Centuries in the History of the Presbyterian Church, Jamaica, L.I.; The Oldest Existing Church, of the Presbyterian Name, in America (1862). These volumes, told by a Princeton minister, stationed at the Jamaica church, tell a story that is not well-known today, but deserves to be told. Organized Presbyterianism in America began in New York, and in these records we find not only a remembrance but inspiration for the future.