Heaven Desired

O my Lord,

May I arrive where means of grace cease and I need no more to fast, pray, weep, watch, be tempted, attend preaching and sacrament; where nothing defiles, where is no grief, sorrow, sin, death, separation, tears, pale face, languid body, aching joints, feeble infancy, decrepit age, peccant humours, pining sickness, griping fears, consuming cares; where is personal completeness; where the more perfect the sight the more beautiful the object, the more perfect the appetite the sweeter the food, the more musical the ear the more pleasant the melody, the more complete the soul the more happy its joys, where is full knowledge of thee.

Here I am an ant, and as I view a nest of ants so do you view me and my fellow-creatures; but as an ant knows not me, my nature, my thoughts, so here I cannot know you clearly. But there I shall be near you, dwell with my family, stand in your presence chamber, be an heir of your kingdom, as the spouse of Christ, as a member of his body, one with him who is with thee, and exercise all my powers of body and soul in the enjoyment of you.

As praise in the mouth of your saints is comely, so teach me to exercise this divine gift, when I pray, read, hear, see, do, in the presence of people and of my enemies, as I hope to praise you eternally hereafter.

"Heaven Desired," in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, ed. Arthur Bennett (Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust), 372-373.

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