The whole church, ransomed and purified, shall there be presented to Christ as a bride clothed in fine linen, clean and white, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Wherever the inhabitants of that blessed world shall turn their eyes, they shall see nothing but dignity, beauty, and glory.
- There are none but lovely objects in heaven.
No odious, or unlovely, or polluted person or thing is to be seen there. There is nothing there that is wicked or unholy. “There shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination” (Rev. 21:27). And there is nothing that is deformed with any natural or moral deformity, but everything is beauteous to behold, amiable, and excellent in itself. The God that dwells and gloriously manifests himself there is infinitely lovely—gloriously lovely as a heavenly Father, as a divine Redeemer, and as a holy sanctifier.
All the persons that belong to the blessed society of heaven are lovely. The Father of the family is lovely, and so are all his children; the head of the body is lovely, and so are all the members. Among the angels, there are none that are unlovely, for they are all holy, and no evil angels are suffered to infest heaven as they do this world, but they are kept forever at a distance by that great gulf that is between them and the glorious world of love. And among all the company of the saints, there are no unlovely persons. There are no false professors or hypocrites there; none that pretend to be saints and yet are of an unchristian and hateful spirit or behavior, as is often the case in this world; none whose gold has not been purified from its dross; none who are not lovely in themselves and to others. There is no one object there to give offense or at any time to give occasion for any passion or emotion of hatred or dislike, but every object there shall forever draw forth love.
- And not only shall all objects in heaven be lovely, but they shall be perfectly lovely.
There are many things in this world that in general are lovely, but yet are not perfectly free from that which is the contrary. There are spots on the sun, and so there are many men that are most amiable and worthy to be loved who yet are not without some things that are disagreeable and unlovely. Often there is in good men some defect of temper, or character, or conduct that mars the excellence of what otherwise would seem most amiable; and even the very best of men are, on earth, imperfect. But it is not so in heaven. There shall be no pollution, or deformity, or unamiable defect of any kind seen in any person or thing, but everyone shall be perfectly pure and perfectly lovely in heaven.
That blessed world shall be perfectly bright, without any darkness; perfectly fair, without any spot; perfectly clear, without any cloud. No moral or natural defect shall ever enter there, and there nothing shall be seen that is sinful, weak, or foolish; nothing, the nature or aspect of which is coarse or displeasing, or that can offend the most refined taste or the most delicate eye. No string shall there vibrate out of tune, to cause any jar in the harmony of the music of heaven, and no note be such as to make discord in the anthems of saints and angels.
The great God who so fully manifests himself there is perfect with an absolute and infinite perfection. The Son of God, who is the brightness of the Father’s glory, appears there in the fullness of his glory, without that garb of outward meanness in which he appeared in this world. The Holy Ghost shall there be poured forth with perfect richness and sweetness, as a pure river of the water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and the Lamb (see Rev. 22:1). And every member of that holy and blessed society shall be without any stain of sin, or imperfection, or weakness, or imprudence, or blemish of any kind.
The whole church, ransomed and purified, shall there be presented to Christ as a bride clothed in fine linen, clean and white, without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Wherever the inhabitants of that blessed world shall turn their eyes, they shall see nothing but dignity, beauty, and glory. The most stately cities on earth, however magnificent their buildings, yet have their foundations in the dust, and their streets are dirty and defiled, and made to be trodden under foot; but the very streets of this heavenly city are of pure gold, like unto transparent glass, and its foundations are of precious stones, and its gates are pearls. And all these are but faint emblems of the purity and perfection of those that dwell therein.
- And in heaven shall be all those objects that the saints have set their hearts upon and have loved above all things while in this world.
There they will find those things that appeared most lovely to them while they dwelt on earth; the things that met the approbation of their judgments, captivated their affections, and drew away their souls from the most dear and pleasant of earthly objects. There they will find those things that were their delight here below, on which they rejoiced to meditate, and with the sweet contemplation of which their minds were often entertained; and there, too, the things that they chose for their portion, and that were so dear to them that they were ready for the sake of them to undergo the severest sufferings, and to forsake even father, mother, kindred, friends, wife, children, and life itself.
All the truly great and good, all the pure, holy, and excellent from this world, and it may be from every part of the universe, are constantly tending toward heaven. As the streams tend to the ocean, so all these are tending to the great ocean of infinite purity and bliss. The progress of time does but bear them on to its blessedness; and us, if we are holy, to be united to them there. Every gem that earth rudely tears away from us here is a glorious jewel forever shining there; every Christian friend that goes before us from this world is a ransomed spirit waiting to welcome us in heaven. There will be the infant of days that we have lost below, the grace to be found above; there the Christian father, mother, wife, child, and friend, with whom we shall renew the holy fellowship of the saints, which was interrupted by death here, but shall be commenced again in the upper sanctuary, and then shall never end.
There we shall have company with the patriarchs, fathers, and saints of the Old and New Testaments, and those of whom the world was not worthy, with whom on earth we were only conversant by faith. And there, above all, we shall enjoy and dwell with God the Father, whom we have loved with all our hearts on earth, and with Jesus Christ our beloved Savior, who has always been to us the chief among ten thousands and altogether lovely, and with the Holy Ghost, our sanctifier, guide, and comforter; and shall be filled with all the fullness of the Godhead forever!
This article is adapted from Heaven Is a World of Love by Jonathan Edwards; used with permission.