Lesson 47: Ad Inf.

And the Life everlasting.

This last article of the Creed is what all its previous articles have led up to, the final and glorious end-that-has-no-end for which every Christian was made by God the Father, redeemed by God the Son, lived in and led by God the Holy Ghost (St. Matthew 25, 34): endless joy in heaven.

We cannot yet understand how perfect this joy will be (1 Corinthians 2, 9); nor can we yet truly imagine what heaven will be like. So I have drawn a circle, the figure of endlessness, in which you write the four words above. But the old Saint in exile on the island, to whom God showed (“revealed”) heaven before he died, has told us something about it and its joy (Revelation 7, 16 and 21, 4).

When our souls and bodies have come together again after our resurrection - and we shall not have perfect joy until then, for until then we shall not be our whole selves - there will be no more Time. So we shall have done with such things of this life as illness (Jeremiah Juniper Jones looks very unwell, with his toes turning up and his temperature-chart rising; don’t you think?), and Dismal Desmonds who give us the hump, and air-raids: to name, and draw, only a few of them. But principally we shall be utterly happy in heaven because we shall see, love, and be with, God for ever; and know that it was for this that we were made (Psalm 17, 15).

All this can be yours and mine, if we want it now, while we are in this world, and go on wanting it all the time. A great English priest, Dr. Pusey, said, “None will be lost who wills to be saved”; and a greater than he, St. Paul, wrote (Romans 8, 38 and 39). So far as heaven is concerned, it is true to say, “It all depends on me.”