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CHAPTER XXV

O WHO shall enjoy this Good! And what shall he have, and what shall he lack? Surely whatsoever he wisheth he shall have and whatsoever he wisheth not, he shall be without. For there shall be goods of body and of soul, such as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man4747   1 Cor. ii. 9. to conceive. Why then, poor child of man, dost thou wander hither and thither, seeking the goods of thy soul 41and body? Love the one Good wherein are all goods, and it sufficeth thee. Set thy desires upon that uncompounded Good which is all good, and it is enough. For what dost thou love, O my flesh, what dost thou desire, O my soul? If beauty delight thee, the righteous shall shine forth as the sun4848   Matt. xiii. 43.: if swiftness or strength or freedom of body which nothing may hinder, they are as the angels of God,4949   Matt. xxii. 30. because it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body,5050   1 Cor. xv. 44. spiritual, that is, in powers, not in nature. If a long life of health, there is an eternity of health; for the righteous live for evermore5151   Wisdom v. 15. and the health of the righteous cometh of the Lord.5252   Ps. xxxvii. 40. The Latin word salus may mean either health or salvation. If abundance, they shall be satisfied when the glory of God shall appear.5353   Ps. xvii. 16. (In the English Prayer-Book version When I awake up after thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it, but in the Vulg. I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear). If drunkenness, they shall be made drunken with the plenteousness of God’s house.5454   Ps. xxxvi. 8 (acc. to the Vulg.). If melody, there shall the choirs of angels sing together unto God for ever and ever. If any pleasure, so it be but chaste, Thou shalt give them drink of Thy pleasures as out of the river.5555   Ps. xxxvi. 8. If wisdom, the very Wisdom of God shall 42manifest itself to them.5656   Probably with reference to John xiv. 21. If friendship, they shall love God above themselves and one an other as themselves5757   See Matt. xxii. 37-40.; and God shall love them more than they love themselves; for they shall love Him and one another in Him; and He shall love Himself and them in Himself. If concord, they shall all have one will, for they shall have no will but God’s will only. If power, they shall be almighty to do their own wills, even as God to do His; for as God shall be able to do what He willeth through His own power, so shall they be able to do what they will through His power; since, as they will nothing else but what He wills, so He shall will whatsoever they will; and whatsoever He willeth cannot but be. If honour and riches, God shall set His good and faithful servants over many things5858   Matt. xxv. 23.; yea, they shall be called sons of God, and gods5959   1 John iii. 1, 2. John x. 34, 35.; and where His Son shall be, there also they shall be,6060   John xiv. 3. heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.6161   Rom. viii. 17. If true security, certainly they shall be as sure that those goods, or rather that Good, shall never and in no wise fail them as they shall be sure that they will not lose it of their own free will, and that God their lover will not take it against their wills from them that love Him, and that nothing mightier than God will separate God and them against their wills.6262   Rom. viii. 39. But what manner of joy 43and how great a joy must there be, where there is such and so great a Good! O thou human heart, thou hungry heart, thou heart acquainted with sorrow, nay overwhelmed by sorrow, how wouldest thou rejoice if thou didst abound in all these goods! Look into thine heart and ask it whether it could contain the greatness of the joy which it would have, did it possess so great happiness. Yet surely if another whom thou didst love altogether as well as thyself, were to have the same happiness, thy joy would be doubled, since thou wouldst rejoice for him no less than for thyself. But if two or three or many more should have the same happiness, thou wouldst rejoice as much for each as for thyself, didst thou love each as thyself. Therefore in that perfect mutual love of innumerable blessed angels and men, where none loveth another less than himself, each will rejoice no less for every other, than for himself. If then the heart of a man can scarce contain the joy he will have in himself in one enjoyment of so great a good, how shall it be capable of so many and so great joys? And since every man rejoiceth in the good of any in proportion as he loveth Him, as in that perfect felicity everyone will love God beyond all comparison more than he loves himself and all his fellows; so will he rejoice beyond all measure more in the felicity of God than in his own and that of all his fellows. But if they so love God with their whole heart, their whole mind, their whole 44soul,6363   Matt. xxii. 37. yet so that the whole heart, the whole mind, the whole soul shall not suffice to the excellency of the love; it will follow that they shall so rejoice with their whole heart, their whole mind, their whole soul, that their whole heart, their whole mind, their whole soul shall not suffice to the fulness of their joy.


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