(John Angell James, “The Death of Mrs. Sherman” May 28, 1848)
“And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life.” 1 John 2:25
In the infinite comprehensiveness of this one promise are included:
all that the omniscient mind of the Father in the exercise of His love has contrived in eternity;
and all that the incarnate Son has obtained by His sacrifice upon the cross;
all that the Divine Spirit has revealed upon the page of Scripture;
and all which is contained in that one majestic, inconceivable and expressive word–HEAVEN!
...It is enough to know that it is GLORY–first prepared, then promised, and ultimately bestowed by Jehovah as the concentration of His infinite beneficence and the full manifestation of His boundless benevolence!
Heaven is . . .
the absence of all evil, natural and moral;
the possession of all possible good;
a glorified body united with a perfect soul;
and all this in the immediate presence of God!
There we shall see God!
We shall not only see Him, but love Him!
And not not only love Him, but serve Him!
We shall not only serve Him, but enjoy Him!
And not only enjoy Him, but hold such communion with Him as will assimilate us to the all-perfect source of our felicity!…
No secondary concern will call off our unwearied attention from the service of God; no sin or pain will interrupt us in it; nor will death ever dismiss us from it. The business and the blessedness of that happy state are the same–our supreme delight will be our constant employment!
Every sense will be an inlet,
every faculty a capacity,
and every energy a pulsation
–of the purest bliss!
Heaven will be “life” . . .
life in perfection,
the life of the soul,
and life of God,
the life of eternity!
But to describe it, how vain and arrogant the attempt, when even to conceive of it is impossible! “In Your presence is fullness of joy! At Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore!” Neither language nor thought can go beyond this! Mind cannot conceive more. God Himself can tell us no more, than that Heaven consists in His presence and the enjoyment of His favor–forever and ever!
“No eye has seen,
and no ear has heard;
no mind has imagined
the things that God has prepared for those who love Him!” 1 Corinthians 2:9
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