1. I long for home, my Father’s house in heaven,
    Where joys are ever springing new;
Far from the weary world’s confusing customs,
    To heaven’s rest, so pure and true!
That land where Jesus is the only Shepherd,
    The gentle lamb will lie down with the leopard,
Where honest hearts will never be alone,
    I long for home, I long for home!

Refrain
I long for home, I long for home,
I long for home, my Father’s house in heaven!
I long for home, my Father’s house in heaven,
I long for home, I long for home!

2. I long for home, where crystal streams are flowing,
    The tree of life will feed the meek;
Widespreading plains swell into hills of beauty,
    And mountains rear their lofty peaks.
Upon those plains, beside the living waters,
    A dwelling place for freedom’s sons and daughters,
And wand’ring pilgrims nevermore shall roam,
    I long for home, I long for home!
Refrain

3. I long for home, where suffering is banished,
    Where tears and death are passed away;
No sickness mars the health of minds and bodies,
    For there is no iniquity.
There is a city where the saints assemble,
    Like precious stone, her glorious light resembles,
For God is there and reigns upon His throne,
    I long for home, I long for home!
Refrain

4. I long for home, where I shall see my Father,
    Not through a veil, but face to face,
And walk and talk with happy, holy beings
    To learn the mysteries of grace.
Immortal minds will contemplate with wonder,
    As treasures from the universe are gathered,
And love increase as Love is better known,
    I long for home, I long for home!
Refrain


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The verses of this song are inspired by pages 675 to 678 of The Great Controversy. The music and title were taken from a hymn, Ich möchte heim, which appears in the German Seventh-day Adventist hymnal, Zions-Lieder.

I heard this hymn while I was working on our church hymnal at the church center in Dickendorf, Germany, and was charmed with the melody and title. I thought of translating it into English, but when I considered the subject, the paragraphs from Great Controversy seemed more suitable for the task.

These are the last few pages in the book, and describe more clearly than any other book, what life in the new earth will be like.

Of course, no hymn in a feeble language from this Earth could ever do justice to the real majesty and beauty of Heaven, but it is our privilege here to exercise our imagination upon topics that are healthy and true. This is the correct use of that mental faculty.

I have included below the pages from Great Controversy upon which the song is based:

Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God.

In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called “a country.” Hebrews 11:14-16. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.

“My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: . . . Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 32:18; 60:18; 65:21, 22.

There, “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.” “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; . . . and a little child shall lead them.” “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” saith the Lord. Isaiah 35:1; 55:13; 11:6, 9.

Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying: . . . for the former things are passed away.” “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24.

There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth, “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” “Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Saith the Lord: “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3.

In the City of God “there shall be no night.” None will need or desire repose. There will be no weariness in doing the will of God and offering praise to His name. We shall ever feel the freshness of the morning and shall ever be far from its close. “And they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Revelation 22:5. The light of the sun will be superseded by a radiance which is not painfully dazzling, yet which immeasurably surpasses the brightness of our noontide. The glory of God and the Lamb floods the Holy City with unfading light. The redeemed walk in the sunless glory of perpetual day.

“I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.” Revelation 21:22. The people of God are privileged to hold open communion with the Father and the Son. “Now we see through a glass, darkly.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. We behold the image of God reflected, as in a mirror, in the works of nature and in His dealings with men; but then we shall see Him face to face, without a dimming veil between. We shall stand in His presence and behold the glory of His countenance.

There the redeemed shall know, even as also they are known. The loves and sympathies which God Himself has planted in the soul shall there find truest and sweetest exercise. The pure communion with holy beings, the harmonious social life with the blessed angels and with the faithful ones of all ages who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb, the sacred ties that bind together “the whole family in heaven and earth” (Ephesians 3:15)–these help to constitute the happiness of the redeemed.

There, immortal minds will contemplate with never-failing delight the wonders of creative power, the mysteries of redeeming love. There will be no cruel, deceiving foe to tempt to forgetfulness of God. Every faculty will be developed, every capacity increased. The acquirement of knowledge will not weary the mind or exhaust the energies. There the grandest enterprises may be carried forward, the loftiest aspirations reached, the highest ambitions realized; and still there will arise new heights to surmount, new wonders to admire, new truths to comprehend, fresh objects to call forth the powers of mind and soul and body.

All the treasures of the universe will be open to the study of God’s redeemed. Unfettered by mortality, they wing their tireless flight to worlds afar–worlds that thrilled with sorrow at the spectacle of human woe and rang with songs of gladness at the tidings of a ransomed soul. With unutterable delight the children of earth enter into the joy and the wisdom of unfallen beings. They share the treasures of knowledge and understanding gained through ages upon ages in contemplation of God’s handiwork. With undimmed vision they gaze upon the glory of creation–suns and stars and systems, all in their appointed order circling the throne of Deity. Upon all things, from the least to the greatest, the Creator’s name is written, and in all are the riches of His power displayed.

And the years of eternity, as they roll, will bring richer and still more glorious revelations of God and of Christ. As knowledge is progressive, so will love, reverence, and happiness increase. The more men learn of God, the greater will be their admiration of His character. As Jesus opens before them the riches of redemption and the amazing achievements in the great controversy with Satan, the hearts of the ransomed thrill with more fervent devotion, and with more rapturous joy they sweep the harps of gold; and ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of thousands of voices unite to swell the mighty chorus of praise.

“And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:13.

The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.

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