Earth and Heaven
I live here as a fish in a vessel of water,
only enough to keep me alive,
but in heaven I shall swim in the ocean.
Here I have a little air in me to keep me breathing,
but there I shall have sweet and fresh gales;
Here I have a beam of sun to lighten my darkness,
a warm ray to keep me from freezing;
yonder I shall live in light and warmth for ever.
My natural desires are corrupt and misguided,
and it is thy mercy to destroy them;
My spiritual longings are of thy planting,
and thou wilt water and increase them;
Quicken my hunger and thirst after
the realm above.
Here I can have the world,
there I shall have thee in Christ;
Here is a life of longing and prayer,
there is assurance without suspicion,
asking without refusal;
Here are gross comforts, more burden
there is joy without sorrow,
comfort without suffering,
love without inconstancy,
rest without weariness.
Give me to know that heaven is all love,
where the eye affects the heart,
and the continual viewing of thy beauty
keeps the soul in continual transports
Give me to know that heaven is all peace,
where error, pride, rebellion, passion
raise no head.
Give me to know that heaven is all joy,
the end of believing, fasting, praying,
mourning, humbling, watching,
And lead me to it soon.
Arthur Bennett, “Valley of Vision”