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CHAPTER XXXV.

ON THE DELIGHTS OF OUR HEAVENLY COUNTRY.

O LIFE eternal! most desirable abode! heavenly Jerusalem, who can describe thee? who can speak of thee, or rightly understand thee? In thee is that good, that joy, that solace, which “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man” (1 Cor. ii. 9); for the sake of which so many legions of martyrs have most readily welcomed death. Thy gates shine with choice pearls; thy streets are paved with the purest gold; thy walls are bright with most precious stories. In thee, delicious gardens and pleasant vales are ever fresh; in thee, perennial flowers and violets continually flourish; in thee, the cinnamon and balsam incessantly breathe forth an ineffable odour of sweetness; in thee, all kinds of beautiful things abound without fading, remain without passing away, exist without corruption, are eternal without change. In thee is a climate temperate and serene, beyond all human conception; in thee, are peace and repose surpassing all imagination; in thee, is eternal day, and one life in all; in thee, is 94certain security, and secure eternity, and eternal tranquillity, and tranquil happiness, and happy sweetness, and sweet joy: in thee shall the just shine as the sun (Matth. xiii. 43). No one can seek, or desire, or love anything, which he will not find in thee. That only which is nothing worth, is not in thee.

Oh, what an ocean of unalloyed bliss, what a torrent of unmixed joy, what an abyss of purest delight is it to see the God of gods in Sion (Psalm lxxxiii. 8), to discern that incomprehensible glory of the Most Holy Trinity: clearly to contemplate that surpassing fairness, perfectly to taste that ineffable sweetness, from whence flows out all the beauty and sweetness of created things; to behold the most Blessed Mother of God, to join the chorus of Angels, to have perpetual fellowship with the holy Patriarchs and Prophets, with the holy Apostles and Martyrs, with the holy Confessors and Virgins: to know all the citizens of heaven, and to rejoice with each of them in their eternal happiness. Love this beatitude, and frequently sigh after it. Thou canst not, indeed, see it now with thy bodily eyes; but thou canst perceive it with the eyes of faith. Believe what thou seest not, that thou mayest deserve one day to obtain what thou hast believed.

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