Concerning the glory of Christians which shall be vouchsafed to their bodies at the resurrection, and they shall be enlightened together with the soul.
1. AS the bodily eyes see everything clearly, so to the souls of the saints the beauties of the Godhead are manifest and visible, and Christians are mingled with them and think upon them. To the bodily eyes that glory is hidden, but to the believing soul it is clearly revealed—the soul which was dead, which the Lord raises out of sin, even as He wakens the dead bodies also, and prepares for it a new heaven and a new earth, and a sun of righteousness, giving it all things out of His own Godhead. There is a true world, and a living earth, and a fruitful vine, and a bread of life, and living water; as it is written, I believe to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, and again, Unto them that fear the Lord shall the sun of righteousness arise, with healing in his wings; and the Lord said, I am the true vine, and again, I am the bread of life, and again, He that drinketh of the water that I shall give him, there shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
2. For the whole coming of the Lord was for man’s sake—man who lay dead in the grave of the darkness of sin, of the unclean spirit and of evil powers—that now in this world He might raise man up and quicken him, and cleanse him from all blackness, and enlighten him with His own light, and array him in His own garments, the heavenly garments of His own Godhead. But at the resurrection of the bodies, whose souls were raised before and glorified before, then the bodies also are glorified with them, and are enlightened by the soul which had been enlightened and glorified in this life. For the Lord is their home, their tabernacle and their city. They are clothed with the habitation from heaven, not made with hands, the glory of the divine light, as being made children of light. They will gaze upon each other with no evil eye; for evil has been taken away. There is there no male nor female, bond nor free, for all alike are changed into a divine nature, being good, and gods, and children of God. There brother will then speak peace to sister without confusion, for all are one thing in Christ, at rest in one light. One will gaze upon another, and in the gazing will forthwith shine back in truth, at the true contemplation of light inexpressible.
3. Thus in many shapes and many varying divine glories they look upon each other, and each is astonished and rejoices with joy unspeakable, gazing upon the other’s glory. You see how the glories of God are beyond all utterance, and are incomprehensible, of light inexpressible, and of mysteries eternal, and of good things without number. As, in the world of sense, it is impossible for any one to comprehend in number the plants, or seeds, or various blossoms of the earth, and it is out of the question for any one to measure or understand the entire wealth of the earth; or as in the sea it is impossible for a man to comprehend the living creatures in it, or their number, or their kinds, or their differences, or the measure of its water or the measure of its place; or as in the air it is impossible to know the number of the birds, or their kinds or variety; or as it is impossible to comprehend the greatness of the sky, or the positions of the stars, or their courses; so is it impossible to speak or to recount the wealth of Christians, which is infinite and incomprehensible. For if these creatures are so infinite and incomprehensible to men, how much more He that created and prepared them!
A man ought therefore rather to rejoice and be glad because such wealth and such an inheritance is prepared for Christians, that no one can utter it or reckon it up. With all diligence and humility therefore we ought to set ourselves to the Christian’s contest and to receive that wealth. For the inheritance and portion of Christians is God Himself. The Lord Himself, it says, is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup. Glory to Him who gives Himself, and mingles His own holy nature with the souls of Christians, for ever. Amen.