Even while we are on earth, we can learn some of what heaven will be like from the blessings that we have while we are here.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. - 1 Corinthians 13:12
“To be in heaven is to lean one’s head upon the breast of Jesus. You have done it on earth? Then you know what heaven is. To be in heaven is to talk with Jesus, to sit at his feet, to let our heart beat against his heart. If you have had that on earth, you have had some of the grapes of heaven.” - Charles Spurgeon
Old hymns and Christian poetry shed light on the depth of thought and contemplation of the gospel in God's word in earlier times. In this age of hectic busyness and technological intrusion, it is like a drink of pristine water to step away from the world and consider the words of Christians who lived in quieter and simpler times.
Christian, dost thou see them on the holy ground,
how the pow’rs of darkness rage thy steps around?
Christian, up and smite them, counting gain but loss,
in the strength that cometh by the holy cross.
Christian, dost thou feel them, how they work within,
striving, tempting, luring, goading into sin?
Christian, never tremble; never be downcast;
gird thee for battle, watch and pray and fast.
Christian, dost thou hear them, how they speak the fair?
“Always fast and vigil? Always watch and prayer?”
Christian, answer boldly, “While I breathe I pray!”
Peace shall follow battle, night shall end in day.
Hear the words of Jesus: “O my servant true;
thou art very weary, I was weary too;
But that toil shall make thee
someday all mine own,
and the end of sorrow shall
be near my throne.”
- John Mason Neale, 1862