"Verse 11. In thy presence, etc. To the blessed soul resting in Abraham's bosom, there shall be given an immortal, impassable, resplendent, perfect, and glorious body. Oh, what a happy meeting will this be, what a sweet greeting between the soul and the body, the nearest and dearest acquaintance that ever were! What a welcome will that soul give to her beloved body! Blessed be thou (will she say), for thou hast aided me to the glory I have enjoyed since I parted with thee; blessed art thou that sufferedst thyself to be mortified, giving "thy members as weapons of righteousness unto God." Romans 6:13 . Cheer up thyself, for now the time of labour is past, and the time of rest is come. Thou wast sown and buried in the dust of earth with ignominy, but now raised in glory; sown in weakness, but raised in power; sown a natural body, but raised a spiritual body; sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption. 1 Corinthians 15:43 . O my dear companion and familiar, we took sweet counsel together, we two have walked together as friends on God's house (Ps 55:14). For when I prayed inwardly, thou didst attend my devotions with bowed knees and up lifted hands outwardly. We two have been fellow labourers in the works of the Lord, we two have suffered together, and now we two shall ever reign together; I will enter again into thee, and so both of us together will enter into our Master's joy, where we shall have pleasures at his right hand for evermore. The saints, entered as it were into the chambers of God's presence, shall have joy to their ears in hearing their own commendating and praise, "Well done, good and faithful servant" ( Matthew 25:21 ); and in hearing the divine language of heavenly Canaan; for our bodies shall be vera et viva, perfect like Christ's glorious body, who did both hear other and speak himself after his resurrection, as it is apparent in the gospel's history. Now, then, if the words of the wise spoken in due places be like "apples of gold with pictures of silver" ( Proverbs 25:11 ). If the mellifluous speech of Origen, the silver trumpet of Hillary, the golden mouth of Chrysostom, bewitched as it were their auditory with exceeding great delight; if the gracious eloquence of heathen orators, whose tongues were never touched with a coal from God's altar, could steal away the hearts of their hearers, and carry them up and down whither they would, what a fulness of joy will it be to hear not only the sanctified, but also the glorified tongues of saints and angels in the kingdom of glory?... Bonaventure fondly reports at all adventure, that St. Francis hearing an angel a little while playing on a harp, was so moved with extraordinary delight, that he thought himself in another world. Oh! what a "fulness of joy" will it be to hear more than twelve legions of angels, accompanied with a number of happy saints which no man is able to number, all at once sing together, "Hallelujah, holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all them that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever." Revelation 4:8 5:13. If the voices of mortal men, and the sound of cornet, trumpet, harp, sackbut, psaltery, dulcimer, and other well tuned instruments of music, passing through our dull ears in this world be so powerful, that all our affections are diversely transported according to the divers kinds of harmony, then how shall we be ravished in God's presence when we shall hear heavenly airs with heavenly ears!
Concerning "fulness of joy" to the rest of the senses, I find a very little or nothing in holy Scriptures, and therefore seeing God's Spirit will not have a pen to write, I may not have a tongue to speak. Divines in general affirm, that the smelling, and taste, and feeling, shall have joy proportionable to their blessed estate, for this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality; the body which is sown in weakness is to be raised in power; it is sown a natural body, but it is raised a spiritual body; buried in dishonour, raised in glory; that is, capable of good, and, as being impassable, no way subject to suffer evil, insomuch that it cannot be hurt if it should be cast into hell fire, no more than Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, were hurt in the burning oven. In one word, God is not only to the souls, but also to the bodies of the saints, all in all things; a glass to their sight, honey to their taste, music to their hearing, balm to their smelling. John Boys.
Verse 11. In thy presence is fulness of joy. The saints on earth are all but viatores, wayfaring men, wandering pilgrims far from home; but the saints in heaven are comprehensores, safely arrived at the end of their journey. All we here present for the present, are but mere strangers in the midst of danger, we are losing ourselves and losing our lives in the land of the dying. But ere long, we may find our lives and ourselves again in heaven with the Lord of life, being found of him in the land of the living. If when we die, we be in the Lord of life, our souls are sure to be bound up in the bundle of life, that so when we live again we may be sure to find them in the life of the Lord. Now we have but a dram, but a scruple, but a grain of happiness, to an ounce, to a pound, to a thousand weight of heaviness; now we have but a drop of joy to an ocean of sorrow; but a moment of ease to an age of pain; but then (as St. Austin very sweetly in his Soliloquies), we shall have endless ease, without any pain, true happiness without any heaviness, the greatest measure of felicity without the least of misery, the fullest measure of joy that may be, without any mixture of grief. Here therefore (as St. Gregory the divine advises us), let us ease our heaviest loads of sufferings, and sweeten our bitterest cups of sorrows with the continual meditation and constant expectation of the fulness of joy in the presence of God, and of the pleasure at his right hand for evermore. "In thy presence, IS," etc., there it is, not there it was, nor there it may be, nor there it will be, but there it is, there it is without cessation or intercession, there it always hath been, and is, and must be. It is an assertion aeternae veritatis, that is always true, it may at any time be said that there it is. "In thy presence is the fulness of joy;" and herein consists the consummation of felicity; for what does any man here present wish for more than joy? And what measure of joy can any man wish for more than fulness of joy? And what kind of fulness would any man wish for rather than this fulness, the fulness kat ezochn? And where would any man wish to enjoy this fulness of joy rather than in the presence of God, which is the ever flowing and the over flowing fountain of joy? And when would any man wish for this enjoyment of the fulness of joy in the very fountain of joy rather than presently, constantly, and incessantly? Now all these desirables are encircled within the compass of the first remarkable, to make up the consummation of true felicity. "In thy presence is fulness of joy." "The Consummation of Felicity," by Edward Willan, 1654." from the Treasury of David by C. H. Spurgeon