I can conceive of no higher heaven
(John Angell James, "Christian Hope" 1859)
In the sublime visions of the Apocalypse, where
heaven is opened to our view, it is Christ who is
represented as the glory of that place . . .
lighting up all countenances with joy,
filling all hearts with gladness, and
making all tongues vocal with praise.
Jesus is the sun of that blessed world--the orb
of that nightless, cloudless, and eternal day!
"I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better
by far!" This was the heaven Paul longed for. That one
idea of 'being with Christ' filled his soul. To be absent
from the body, and present with the Lord--was the
prevailing wish of his truly Christian heart.
Jesus is the object of the Christian's supreme
regard. Are there not moments when he has . . .
such views of Christ's glory,
such conceptions of His amazing mercy,
such a sense of His love,
such feelings of gratitude and affection,
that he is ready to say, "If I feel all this now,
when I only believe, what must be the felicity . . .
of beholding His full-orbed glory,
of gazing upon His face,
and hearing His loving voice!
I can conceive of no higher heaven, no more perfect
paradise, than to be in the presence of Him who died
for me upon the cross!"
There is something wonderfully impressive and delightful,
in thus resolving the bliss of heaven into a one state of
mind, consisting of an adoring and grateful love, for a
being to whom we are indebted for redemption from an
infinitude and eternity of torment, and to an infinitude
and eternity of bliss; and who adds to all these claims
upon our gratitude, additional claims upon our homage
and admiration--for His own infinity and eternal glories!