“The sight of the glory of Christ is the spring and cause of our everlasting blessedness.
‘We shall ever be with the Lord,’ (1 Thess. 4:17), or ‘be with Christ,’ which is best of all, (Phil. 1:23). For there shall we ‘behold His glory,’ (John 17:24); and by ‘seeing Him as He is, we shall be made like Him,’ (1 John 3:2);– which is our everlasting blessedness.
The enjoyment of God by sight is commonly called the BEATIFICAL VISION; and it is the sole fountain of all the actings of our souls in the state of blessedness: which the old philosophers knew nothing of; neither do we know distinctly what they are, or what is this sight of God.
Howbeit, this we know, that God in His immense essence is invisible unto our corporeal eyes, and will be so to eternity; as also incomprehensible unto our minds. For nothing can perfectly comprehend that which is infinite, but what is itself infinite.
Wherefore the blessed and blessing sight which we shall have of God will be always ‘in the face of Jesus Christ.’ Therein will that manifestation of the glory of God, in His infinite perfections, and all their blessed operations, so shine into our souls, as shall immediately fill us with peace, rest, and glory.
These things we here admire, but cannot comprehend. We know not well what we say when we speak of them: yet is there in true believers a foresight and foretaste of this glorious condition.
There enters sometimes, by the Word and Spirit, into their hearts such a sense of the uncreated glory of God, shining forth in Christ, as affects and satiates their souls with ineffable joy.
Hence ariseth that ‘peace of God which passeth all understanding,’ keeping ‘our hearts and minds through Jesus Christ,’ (Phil. 4:7). ‘Christ,’ in believers, ‘the hope of glory,’ gives them to taste of the first-fruits of it; yea, sometimes to bathe their souls in the fountain of life, and to drink of the rivers of pleasure that are at His right hand.
Where any are utterly unacquainted with these things, they are carnal, yea, blind, and see nothing afar off. These enjoyments, indeed, are rare, and for the most part of short continuance. ‘Rara hora, brevis mora.’ (‘A rare hour but quickly gone.’)
But it is from our own sloth and darkness that we do not enjoy more visits of this grace, and that the dawnings of glory do not more shine on our souls.”