One of the leading characteristics by which the religion of the Bible is distinguished from those systems of philosophy and morality which many would impose upon us in its place, is, that every thing pertaining to it bears a relation to eternity. The object of all other systems is at best to form the manners; but this rectifies the heart. They aspire only to fit men for this world; but this, while it imparts those dispositions which tend more than any thing to promote peace, order, and happiness in society, fixes the affections supremely on God and things above.
That such should be the exclusive property of revealed religion is not surprising, since it is this only that assures us of the existence of an eternal hereafter. If we relinquish this, all beyond the grave is uncertainty, and our attention will of course be confined to the transitory concerns of a few revolving suns. The conclusion of those who doubt the resurrection ever has been and will be, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” But, believing in the Scriptures of truth, immortality opens to our view. This is the seed time and eternity the harvest. All that is known of God and done for him in this life is preparatory to the joy that is set before us.
To this affecting theme, fellow Christians, let us bend our attention. Would we be heavenly-minded, we must think of what heaven is. Would we set our affections on things above, we must know them, converse with them, and perceive their superior value to things on the earth. It is true, when all is done, it is but little we can comprehend. It is a weight of glory which if let down upon our minds in our present feeble state would overset them. It did not appear even to an inspired apostle, while upon earth, what believers “would be;” but if we can only obtain a few ideas of it, a glimpse of glory through the breakings of interposing clouds, it will more than repay us for the utmost attention. What pains do men take by artificial mediums to descry the heavenly bodies! Every discovery, whether real or imaginary, is to them a source of rapture and delight. Yet they expect no possession in these supposed worlds of wonder. It is not the object which they discover, but the act of discovery, which by giving birth to a momentary fame is their reward. And shall we be indifferent towards those blessed realities in which everything that we discover is our own, and our own forever?
Excerpt: “The Heavenly Glory: The Nature and Progressiveness of the Heavenly Glory,” in Miscellaneous Tracts, Essay Letters, Etc.
Fuller, A. G. (1988). The Complete Works of Andrew Fuller: Expositions—Miscellaneous. (J. Belcher, Ed.) (Vol. 3, pp. 725–726). Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Publications.