You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for ever more.
I. OUR TRUEST NOTIONS OF HEAVEN ARE DERIVED FROM CONSIDERATIONS RATHER OF WHAT IT IS NOT THAN OF WHAT IT IS. How glorious a liberty it will be to attain "the redemption of our body." Think of the toil it has to undergo, the distempers and pains to which it is subject. But then, we shall be out of the reach of these. There will be no sickness, no withering old age; no poor shall cry for bread, none shall thirst or hunger any more. And there will be no more death. No, not of the irrational creation; the sheep and cattle will be slaughtered no more. And there will be no more sin. Then the nations learn war no more. Sin is the root of all our miseries. But days of innocence that we cannot know here will be realised there. Such are some of its negative blessings.
II. LET US CONSIDER SOME OF ITS POSITIVE BLESSINGS. The happiness of heaven is occasionally described under the most captivating forms of rural pleasure. We read of its green pastures, its clear fountains, its rivers of pleasures. When I sometimes walk in a garden, amidst fruits and flowers, and birds that sing among the branches, I feel relieved in turning to those promises which hold out to us, as it were, a renewal and restoration of these calm delights, in an unchangeable world, in the paradise of God. And sometimes the state of blessedness is likened to a city; and its brilliancy and magnificence are described. See the description, in the Revelation, of the holy city, the new Jerusalem. Such is the residence which God has prepared for His people. There they will pass, not a solitary existence, but will form a united and happy society together. All jarring interests, all selfish and discordant passions unknown. And then we shall meet the holy and illustrious dead: all who have walked with God on earth, or suffered for the testimony of Jesus. To see there, perhaps, those who led us to Christ, and our parents who watched and wept and prayed over our souls, and the children who followed their good example. Above all, we shall meet the Lord Jesus there. He has promised this to all His faithful ones. The evil hearts of men are made known by their desertion of God, but so are also all faithful souls which confess Him when all the world is against Him. How will His faithful flock hail their triumphant Shepherd, when He appears in glory! And then, there is the beatific vision of God — Himself unveiled without a cloud. But we have not now faculties for so high a theme. And these joys are for all who will accept Christ. We could never reach them by ourselves. Receive the Gospel in its fulness and it will prepare you for them. We, then, pray you, "Be reconciled to God."
(H. Woodward, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.