This is too much!
(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)
Only to be permitted to contemplate such a being as Jehovah . . .
to ponder goodness, holiness, justice, mercy, patience and sovereignty — personified and condensed;
to ponder them united with eternity, infinite power, unerring wisdom, omnipresence, and all sufficiency;
to ponder all these natural and moral perfections indissolubly united and blended in sweet harmony — in one pure, spiritual being, and that being placed on the throne of the universe
— to ponder this would be happiness enough to fill the mind of any creature in existence!
But in addition to this,
to have this ineffable Being for my God, my portion, my all;
to be permitted to say, "This God is my God forever and ever!"
to have His resplendent countenance smile upon me;
to be encircled in His everlasting arms of power and faithfulness and love;
to hear His voice saying to me, "I am yours — and you are Mine! Nothing shall ever pluck you from My hands, or separate you from My love — but you shall be with Me where I am, behold My glory, and live to reign with Me forever and ever!"
This is too much! It is honor, it is glory — it is happiness too overwhelming, too transporting for mortal minds to conceive, or for mortal frames to support!
In Heaven, the saints will be entirely lost and swallowed up in God, and their minds will be so completely absorbed in the contemplation of His ineffable, infinite, uncreated glories!
Oh, then, what must it be, to escape forever from error and ignorance and darkness and sin — into the region of bright, unclouded, eternal day!
What must it be, to behold your God and Redeemer face to face!
What must it be, to continually to contemplate, with immortal strength — glories so dazzlingly bright, that one moment's view of them would now, like a stream of lightning, turn your frail bodies into dust!
What must it be, to see the eternal volume of the divine counsels, the mighty map of the divine mind, unfolded to your eager, piercing gaze!
What must it be, to explore the heights and depths, the lengths and breadths of the Redeemer's love — and still to see new wonders, glories, and beauties pouring upon your minds in constant, endless succession, calling forth new songs of praise — songs in which you will unite with the innumerable choirs of angels, with the countless myriads of the redeemed, all shouting with a voice like the voice of many waters, "Alleluia, for the Lord God omnipotent reigns!"