glorycloud's Diaryland Diary


no shadow of death there

no shadow of death there

My day off from work goes by typically. Josiah left earlier to go for hike by the Lake. It is a lovely warm day for a hike in the woods by Lake Michigan. I would have gone with him but works has left me dead tired and broken. Bethany just left for work. I have been reading "Encounter With God: An Approach to the Theology of Jonathan Edwards" by Michael J. McClymond and listening to Nate Ruth's CD "Whatever It Meant"-I am having a hard time staying awake. I should go to bed but it is too early to go to bed. Right now the house is full of bright sunlight. All the new windows are in, but do not have shades installed so the light rushes in. Our bedroom is full of sunlight. Carol is sleeping with a sleep mask on her face.

The mail came today and I received the used Nate Ruth CD, no book was in the mail though.

Mack the old man dog has been outside all morning and afternoon-he is enjoying the warm windy autumn weather. Mack likes wind blowing through his hair.

Well I suppose I will close to read my books and wander the house.

"For "who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16

I have not forgotten that I wanted to share my knowledge of what the old English divines wrote on Death. I was mainly thinking of two Puritan works-one is found in Volume 3 "Baxter's Practical Works" in this massive volume one will found the Puritan classic treatment on the doctrine of Heaven titled "The Saint's Everlasting Rest" also in this volume will find Baxter's "Dying Thoughts" The other work I was thinking of mentioning to all my lovers of Puritan theology is a treatise found in volume 4 The Complete Works of William Bates titled "The Four Last Things: DEATH, JUDGMENT, HEAVEN, HELL, Practically Considered And Applied In Several Discourses"" also in this volume is found Bate's treatise "The Everlasting Rest Of The Saints In Heaven".

I will close quoting Bates on the blessed advantage of death for the Christian "Besides the privative advantage, the freedom from all the effects of displeasure, and the resentments of it, there is the highest positive good obtained by death; "The spirits of just men are made perfect in heaven." The soul is the glory of man, and grace is the glory of the soul, and both are then in their exaltation. All the faculties of the soul are raised to the highest degrees of natural and divine perfection. In this life grace renews the faculties, but does not elevate them to their highest pitch: it does not make a mean understanding pregnant, nor a frail memory strong, nor a slow tongue eloquent, but sanctifies them as they are. But when the soul is released from this dark body of earth, the understanding is clear and quick, the memory firm, the will and affections ardent and vigorous. And they are enriched with divine light and love, and power, that makes them fit for the most noble and heavenly operations. The lineaments of God's image on the soul are first drawn here, but then it receives his last hand. All the celestial colours are added, to give the utmost life and lustre to it. Here we are advancing, but by death we arrive at perfection.

We shall in heaven be joined to the assembly of saints and angels, our best friends. . . We shall be in the glorious presence of God and Christ, "where is fulness of joy, and infinite pleasures for ever." It is said of Abraham, "he rejoiced to see the day of Christ," two thousand years before his coming. When by faith he saw the incarnation of the Son of God in order to the redemption of men, it put him into an ecstacy. Yet then our Saviour was born to sorrows and miseries. But now how ravishing is the sight of our Redeemer, "set down on the right hand of the majesty on high, having purged our sins by himself," and accomplished our salvation? Now we are "absent from God," yet in believing his infallible promise, we "rejoice with a joy unspeakable and glorious:" but how much more joyful is the fruition of them? Here the divine goodness is derived to us through secondary means, that weakens its efficacy; but in heaven the consolations of the Creator are most purely dispensed, and his immediate excellencies are made known.

This blessedness exceeds all our thoughts and explicit desires, and requires the eloquence and experience of an angel to set it forth. The bright sum of it is this, we shall see God in his glory, "face to face," 1 Cor.13. in the most perfect manner: the sight of his glory shall transform us into his likedness; "we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3. This shall produce in us the most pure and ardent love; and love shall be attended with inexpressible joy, and that with the highest praises of the blessed God, whose influxive presence is the heaven of heaven.

And that which crowns all is, that the life above is eternal. This satisfies all our desires, and excludes all our fears: for unchangeableness is an inseparable attribute of perfect felicity. The blessed are in full communion with God, "the fountain of life, and Christ the Prince of life." "Because I live," saith our Saviour, "ye shall live also." What can interrupt, much less put an end to the happiness of the saints? The love of God is immutably fixed upon them, and their love upon them. Here their love is subject to decays and gradual alienations; as the needle, yet sometimes it declines and has its variations. But in heaven the love of the saints is directly and constantly set upon God. The light of his countenance governs all their affections. It is impossible to divert their desires from him, as to cause one that is inflamed with thirst, to leave a clear flowing spring for a noisome puddle. In short, heaven is filled with eternal hallelujahs: for there is no appearance of sin, no shadow of death there: all miseries are vanished, and all that is desirable is possessed by the saints: the circle of their employment is to enjoy and praise the divine goodness for ever." William Bates ON DEATH

I will close to rest and read. Tomorrow starts another work week.

3:18 p.m. - 2002-11-09


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