I recently purchased A God Entranced Vision of All Things, The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards; edited by John Piper & Justin Taylor, Crossway, 2004. I began to read the book while on the train from Wiltshire to London Paddington on Saturday. It was a clear, chilly morning and Salisbury Plain looked hauntingly beautiful through the carriage windows. The sun shone brightly upon fields dusted with frost. The partially frozen Kennet & Avon canal glowed like a tongue of fire against the backdrop of hoary Plain. This happy vision of the glory of God in creation was an appropriate context for reading about Edwards' God entranced vision of all things.
He sends out his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He gives snow like wool; he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. He hurls down his crystals of ice like crumbs; who can stand before his cold? (Psalm 147:15-17 ESV)
I'm only a couple of chapters into the book, but this quote was enough to whet my appetite:
The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven, fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives. or children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows; but God is the substance. They are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the ocean. Therefore it becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven, as it becomes us to make the seeking of our highest end and proper good, the whole work of our lives; to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labour for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?