"Blessed day which hastens fast,
End of conflict and of sin,
Death itself shall die at last,
Fullness of all joy begin.
Then eternity shall prove
God is Light and God is Love!"

"In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore."—Psalm 16:11.

FULLNESS of joy! Can that be said of anything on this side Heaven? There is a restless craving in the human bosom for something better than this world can give.

"Although its heart is rich in pearls and ores,
The sea complains upon a thousand shores;
Sea-like, we moan forever. We are weak—
We ever hunger for diviner stores."

There are aching voids—deep, yawning chasms in the soul of man, which the world and all its tinsel pleasures can never fill. Hope is ever gilding the future with the prospect of that happiness which the present denies. Lured and dazzled, the worldling pursues the phantom. But each successive failure more painfully convinces him that all here is a delusion. Happiness, the object of his life-search, is as far from him as ever!

These longings of the heart are only satisfied when it finds in God its "fullness of joy." The old nature, like the old philosophy, will cleave to the world as the center of its system. It holds its happiness to consist in "minding earthly things." The new nature, like Copernicus, finds out "the secret hid from ages and generations." It dethrones a usurping earth, and makes all its affections circle and constellate around God Himself, the true "Sun of the soul." What will this be in that blessed world of purity, where there will be no disturbing forces to interfere with the saint's spiritual orbit, or dim and darken the emanations from the great Source of light and life, happiness and joy!

Happiness even on earth is proportioned to the worthiness of the object on which our hearts are fixed in connection with it. What must be the happiness of the glorified spirit which has its affections centered on Him who is unsearchable in His wisdom, boundless in His resources, unchanging in His love! David said regarding earthly things—"I have seen an end of all perfection." In Heaven the soul will have, in the enjoyment of God, the perfection of bliss. All the perfection of earth is finite; that of heaven is infinite. All earthly bliss has its bounds and limits; in Heaven and in God's presence that bliss will be unbounded.

Think of the happiness of having no unfulfilled desire, nothing to be dreaded, nothing to be delivered from! To have the vision and fruition of God to guarantee all, and stamp permanency and immutability on every joy. Insecurity is the attribute of all worldly joys. Ours today, they may be gone tomorrow. How the thought of the slender tie which binds to life must haunt the idolater of earthly affection!—that in the twinkling of an eye the cup of creature-love may be dashed from his lips—his most fondly cherished fabric become a heap of humiliating ruins! often in one's happiest moments we have (do as we like) the chilling forebodings of coming trial—the feeling, All this cannot last. This gladsome music—earth's high holiday—may this night give place to the dirge of sorrow!

In Heaven, "our sun shall go down no more." No real or imagined evils will loom in a troubled future—the music of its eternal festival will never be suspended or hushed by the intrusion of sadder notes. Here, one main source of the believer's joy is in the words, "no condemnation!" There, it will rather be, "no separation!" His sorrow will be turned into joy, and that joy no one will take from him. The wheat will be "gathered into the garner." So long as it is unharvested— standing in the open field—it is exposed to furious winds and corroding rains. But the angel-reapers have made it secure. These garnered sheaves of bliss are as safe as everlasting love and faithfulness and power can make them!

And while it is "fullness of joy," (denoting its perfection) and "pleasures for evermore," (denoting their security) let us not forget the nobler and grander attribute of that heavenly bliss—"In Your presence." Is it this which is drawing me to Heaven—the prospect of being admitted into union and communion with my God? Some are eager to leave this world, because they have been the victims of disappointed hope and crossed affections. In a fit of morbid moroseness, they hate life, and look to the grave as a refuge from its ills! Am I conscious of nobler and loftier motives in my heavenward aspirations? Is it the thought of seeing GOD, enjoying GOD, loving GOD, which is drawing me there? Other hallowed ties and motives I may have, beckoning me upwards. Voices hushed on earth may be stealing down, in tones of celestial music, from the spirit-land—"The Bride" (the blessed dead, among whom my fondest earthly memories linger) maybe saying, "Come." But do I feel that even such a sacred incentive as this, is subordinate to the voice of the Bridegroom?—that these are but star-light glories, compared to the meridian sun—"the glory that excels?" Oh! how wondrous the thought that God's pleasures are to be my pleasures—that I am to be linked through eternity in congeniality of sentiment and enjoyment, with essential goodness, essential greatness, essential love! I will rejoice in God, and the Lord my God will rejoice over me. He shall make me to "drink of the river of His pleasures!" (Ps. 36:8.)

And soon—very soon—all this happiness may be mine. A few more beats of the pulse—a few more falling grains of the sandglass, and I may be by that river's brink, washing off the dust and scars of battle, and bathing in the floods of ineffable joy! Meanwhile, let me seek to aspire after closer and more intimate communion with God, so as to feel that no blessing on earth can be comparable to His favor, and no loss equal to the forfeiture of His love. Let me often think of death as the moment which will admit me into the full possession of this transcendent bliss; and see the promises of the gospel, like so many lights hung out from the windows of my Father's house, beckoning me Home!

"Onwards, upwards may I move,
Wafted on the wings of love;
Looking, Lord, for You to come,
Longing for my heavenly home;
There forever to remain,
Partner of Your endless reign;
There Your face unveiled to see,
Find my Heaven of Heaven in THEE!"