by Archibald Alexander
Heaven is a reality, not seen by eyes of flesh, but made known by
revelation, and received by faith.
Heaven is a rest from toil, trouble, temptation,
and sin. Such a rest is very desirable, if it were only a sweet sleep; but
heaven is more.
It is a state of delightful activity. Every
faculty and every affection will find appropriate exercise; and probably
latent powers, not needed here, will there be waked into activity—powers
suited to the new condition in which the soul exists.
Heaven is full of light; all darkness and doubt
are absent. Knowledge will there be clear, and will possess a transforming
efficacy; still, knowledge in heaven will be progressive; the pleasure will
partly consist in ever learning something unknown before.
Heaven is a region of perfect love; all the heart
and mind and strength will be exerted in love. And if the power of loving
should, in the progress of the immortal soul, be increased a thousand-fold,
all this increased ability will be kept constantly in full stretch by the
loveliness and glory of the objects of affection.
Christ is the center of attraction in heaven. From
him radiate the rays of divine glory which enliven, attract, and beautify
all the innumerable army of worshipers.
Love in heaven is pure, perfect, and reciprocal. He who
loves, cannot be satisfied without a return of affection. And the more
exalted and excellent the character of the person beloved, the sweeter the
sense of his favor. Heavenly joy consists in loving with all the heart, and
in being beloved.
As heaven is a society, the members are happy not only in
loving their King, but in mutual love. There will exist no envy, nor
jealousy, nor apathy. Every soul will be transparent to every other, and all
will see that nothing but pure love exists in every heart.
Heaven is a place of peace—sweet peace and
uninterrupted harmony; all disturbing elements will be left behind. In the
symbolical heavens of the Revelation, we read of wars; but in the heaven
where saints and angels dwell and worship, war can have no place. The
atmosphere of heaven is exempt from all evil; it is purity itself; all sin
and impurity are denied admission into that holy place.
Heaven is a place of song: high affections are
expressed in celestial music. O how elevating, how delightful the melodies!
Heaven is an unchanging state. All change is
advancement in knowledge, in dignity, in happiness!