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§ 2. The thought of paradise.

After thy purgatory (if thou wert yet in need of being purified,) thou wilt arrive in thy heavenly home, a home of eternal glory, a home ever most sweet and joyful; where there is no infirmity, no corruption, no fear, no 201anxiety, no grief, no poverty, no affliction, no sorrow or misery (Apoc. xxi. 4). There wilt thou most happily enjoy that supreme and unchangeable Good, which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of mortal man (1 Cor. ii. 9). For thou shalt clearly see the glorious Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the One supremely desirable God. Thou will be in God and God will be in thee in a most excellent manner. Being thus united to God, thou wilt perfectly taste the sweetness of His goodness, and wilt be utterly inebriated with the torrent of divine delights (Psal. xxxv. 9). Thou wilt then most fully know and feel, with what immense love He has loved thee from all eternity. Filled with unspeakable and incomprehensible joy, thou wilt behold the Human Face of thy Beloved Jesus, which is verily all gracious, glorious, and sweet; for His beauty and fairness far surpass all that can in this life be wished for or desired. Thou wilt also behold, with ineffable joy, the most benign, fair and sweet Mother of Christ the Virgin Mary, and all the blessed Spirits and all the Saints; and dwelling most happily with them, thou wilt love and praise God without end, without labour and without impediment. O blessed home, and truly the only home! All who are there, are certainly kings and queens, and children of God. There all are adorned with incorruptible beauty, and enjoy an imperturbable peace. There all are ever glorified by the serene light of the Godhead, and obtain full knowledge of the truth. Each one distinctly and perfectly 202knows every one of the citizens of heaven, and abounds with every sort of riches, delight and joy. Thou needst not fear lest any of those things which please thee here should be absent. For all the beauty, elegance, sweetness, grace, perfection, and excellence that can here be found in all creatures, exist there most exuberantly and superessentially. In short, there is the influx of every good. And the elect who arrive there, receive the glory of eternal bliss most abundantly in their souls before the resurrection; but after the Judgment they will receive it also in their bodies. We shall all rise again at the age at which the Lord Jesus was when He died for us. The old man of a hundred years and the infant of one night old will be of the same stature. And although the good may now be lame, or blind, or deformed; yet they will then rise again sound, whole, fair, beautiful, and free from every blemish. The bodies of the elect will then emit a most sweet odour, and will be seven times more brilliant than the sun, since the glory of their souls will penetrate them. They will also be impassible, so that they can suffer no injury. And they will be endowed with such agility that wherever the soul may wish to be, thither it will in a moment transport the body. They will moreover be so subtle that they will penetrate solid and thick substances with less difficulty than the light of the sun penetrates glass. Then the heavens and the elements will shine for ever, being changed and adorned with wonderful beauty; and all corruption being removed, the clouds, winds, showers, burning heat, thunder, frost, night and 203darkness being done away, they will be succeeded by perpetual tranquillity, warmth, and light, and sunshine sevenfold brighter than it now is. The air will contain more light than it now does. The water will be purer than it now is. The earth will be clear as crystal, and perfectly level. And the sensible world thus renovated will offer for ever a most joyful spectacle to all the Saints. Oh! how fresh and pleasant will be that perennial summer! Then, in deed, the Saints, who during the winter of this exile, like trees stripped of all adornment, appeared lowly and were esteemed barren, will be clothed with unspeakable glory and beauty, and will flourish like palm-trees for ever and ever.

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