“Let us all be exhorted hence earnestly to seek after that great privilege that has been spoken of, that when we are absent from the body, we may be present with the Lord. We can’t continue always in these earthly tabernacles: they are very frail, and will soon decay, and fall, and are continually liable to be overthrown, by innumerable means. Our souls must soon leave them, and go into the eternal world.
O how infinitely great will the privilege and happiness of such be, who at that time shall go to be with Christ in His glory, in the manner that has been represented!
The privilege of the twelve disciples was great, in being so constantly with Christ as His family, in His state of humiliation.
The privilege of those three disciples was great, who were with Him in the mount of His transfiguration, where was exhibited to them some little semblance of His future glory in heaven, such as they might behold in the present frail, feeble and sinful state. They were greatly entertained and delighted with what they saw, and were for making tabernacles to dwell there, and return no more down the mount.
And great was the privilege of Moses, when he was with Christ in Mount Sinai, and besought Him to show him His glory, and he saw His back-parts, as He passed by, and proclaimed His name.
But is not that privilege infinitely greater, that has now been spoken of, the privilege of being with Christ in heaven, where He sits on the right hand of God, in the glory of the King and God of angels, and of the whole universe, shining forth as the great light, the bright sun of that world of glory, there to dwell in the full, constant and everlasting view of His beauty and brightness, there most freely and intimately to converse with Him, and fully to enjoy His love, as His friends and spouse, there to have fellowship with Him in the infinite pleasure and joy He has in the enjoyment of His Father, there to sit with Him on His throne, and reign with Him in the possession of all things, and partake with Him in the joy and glory of His victory over His enemies, and the advancement of His cause in the world, and to join with Him in joyful songs of praise, to His Father and their Father, to His God and their God, forever and ever?
Is not such a privilege worth the seeking after?”
–Jonathan Edwards, “True Saints, When Absent From The Body, Are Present With The Lord,” in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 25, Sermons and Discourses 1743-1758. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006), 243-244.