Heaven

“Father, I will that they also… be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory…”

John 17:24

“And they shall see His face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.  And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”

Rev. 22:4-5

“God hath made many fair flowers, but the fairest of them all is heaven, and the flower of all flowers is Christ.”

Samuel Rutherford

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Subsections

Bible Verses on Degrees of Reward in Heaven

On the Beatific Vision

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Oder of Contents

Articles  3
Books  4
Quotes  2
Historical Theology
On Lutheranism
Will We Know Each Other in Heaven?  Yes
On the Glorified Soul
On the Renovation, the New Heavens & New Earth & the Believer’s Eternal Home

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Articles

1600’s

Ambrose, Isaac – ‘Heaven’s Happiness’  on Lk. 23:43  in Ultima = the Last Things…  or certain meditations on Life, Death, Judgment, Hell, Right Purgatory & Heaven…  (London, 1650), pp. 197-222

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1700’s

Edwards, Jonthan – ‘Nothing upon Earth can Represent the Glories of Heaven’  in Works, 22 vols.  (Yale Univ. Press, 1992), 14:137-60

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1800’s

Alexander, Archibald – ‘Heaven’  no date or source info, 4 paragraphs

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Books

1600’s

Love, Christopher –

Baxter, Richard – The Saint’s Everlasting Rest: Or, a Treatise of the Blessed State of the Saints, in Their Enjoyment of God in Heaven…  (London, 1650)  848 pp.  ToC  IA  ToC  450 pp.

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1700’s

Mather, Increase – Meditations on the Glory of the Heavenly World. I. On the Happiness of the Soul of Believers at the Instant of their Separation from their Bodies. II. On the Glory of the Bodies of God’s Children in the Resurrection World, when they shall be as the Angels of Heaven. III. On the Glory of Both Soul & Body in the Heaven of Heavens, after the Day of Judgment, to all Eternity  (Boston: T. Green, 1711)

Mather, Cotton – Coelestinus: a Conversation in Heaven, Quickened & Assisted, with Discoveries of Things in the Heavenly World…  by Dr. Increase Mather, Waiting in the daily Expectation of his Departure to that Glroious World  (Boston, 1723)  205 pp.

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1800’s

Patterson, Robert M. – Paradise: the Place & State of Saved Souls Between Death & the Resurrection  (Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1874)  ToC  MOA

Patterson (1832-1911) was a presbyterian minister in Pennsylvania.

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2000’s

Donnelly, Ed –

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Quotes

1600’s

Samuel Rutherford

“When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings; then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of timesuffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven.”

“Sure I am He is the far best half of heaven; yea He is all heaven, and more than all heaven.”

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1800’s

John ‘Rabbi’ Duncan

“Till He comes it is the reign of hope; when He comes it is the reign of grateful remembrance.”

“I would see Jesus.  I am thinking on his name distantly, but I would see Him.”

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Historical Theology

Ancient History to Middle Ages

Wright, J. Edward – The Early History of Heaven  (Oxford, 2002)

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Biblical Era to Present

McDannell & Lang – Heaven: a History  Pre  (Yale Univ. Press, 1988)

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Intertestamental Era to the Medieval Church

Simon, Ulrich – Heaven in the Christian Tradition  (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958)

“The title…  suggests that the broad sweep of Christian history will be previewed.  In reality it is a study of heaven looking at Old Testament and New Testament texts, supplemented with references to inter-testamental literature, rabbinic sources, and the apostolic fathers;” – John H. Duff

Russell, Jeffrey Burton – A History of Heaven: The Singing Silence (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1997)

“Russell explores Christian concepts of heaven from 200 B.C.E. to the early fourteenth century when Dante published the Divine Comedy in 1321.” – John H. Duff

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The Whole of Church History

McDannell, Colleen & Bernhard Lang – Heaven: A History  (New York: Vintage Books, 1990)  Ch. 6, is on sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth-century Protestant and Catholic conceptions of life after death.  For a review, see Duff, pp. 4-5.

McGrath, Alistair – A Brief History of Heaven  in Blackwell Brief Histories of Religion  (Blackwell Publishing, 2003)  This study is thematic rather than chronological, and surveys literature more than theological works.

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Early Church to the Post-Reformation

Crippen, T.G. – ‘Final Blessedness of the Saints’  in A Popular Introduction to the History of Christian Doctrine  (Edinburgh, 1883), pp. 250-53

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1600’s to Present

Smith, Gary Scott – Heaven in the American Imagination  (Oxford Univ. Press, 2011)  ToC  Has coverage of the puritans, Edwards, the Great Awakenings, etc.

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1600’s to 1700’s

Almond, Philip C. – Heaven & Hell in Enlightenment England  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)  Covers 1650-1750

Duff, John H. – ‘A Knot Worth Unloosing’: the Interpretation of the New Heavens & Earth in Seventeenth Century England  PhD Dissertation  (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2014)

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On Lutheranism

Quote

Francis Turretin

Institutes of Elenctic Theology, vol. 1, 5th Topic, ‘Creation’, 6th Question, p. 447

“IV.  …This must be opposed to the Lutherans who hold that heaven to be uncreated and feign that it is illocal (illocale) and incorporeal and everywhere (in order to weaken the argument drawn from the ascension of Christ to Heaven against the ubiquity [everywhere-ness] of his body).”

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Will We Know Each Other in Heaven?  Yes

Quote

William Bucanus

Institutions of Christian Religion...  (London, 1610), ch. 39, ‘Of Eternal Life’, p. 488

“Shall men know one another in this eternal life?

Yea verily, for they shall be full of the Holy Spirit, and of wisdom, as Adam before his Fall, keeping as then the integrity of God’s image, acknowledged Eve, whom he had never seen, and whence she was, being told of no man, Gen. 2:23.  As Peter on the mountain, receiving only a certain taste of life-eternal in his mortal body, knew by inward revelation Moses and Elias, whom he never saw, Mt. 17:3-4, yet this shall not be a carnal, but a spiritual knowledge.”

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Articles

1600’s

Turretin, Francis – Question 11, ‘Will the Saints in the Other World Know One Another?  We Affirm.’  in 20th Topic, ‘The Last Things’  in Institutes, vol. 3, pp. 630-32

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1800’s

Kerr, John J. – Future Recognition, or the Blessedness of those ‘Who Die in the Lord’  (Philadelphia: Hooker, 1847)  ToC

Kerr was a Protestant Episcopal Church clergyman in Philadelphia.

Killen, J.M. – Our Friends in Heaven, or the Mutual Recognition of the Redeemed in Glory Demonstrated  15th ed.  (1854; London, 1873)  270 pp.

Killen (1815–1879), D.D., was a minister in Comber, co. Down, and was the brother of ​the Irish presbyterian, ecclesiastical historian, William Dool Killen (1806–1902).

Bickersteth, Robert, et al. – The Recognition of Friends in Heaven  (London, 1866)  320 pp.  ToC  There is a collection of excerpts from divines on pp.191-224.

Bickersteth (1816-1884) was an Anglican Bishop of Ripon.

Foster, Randolph Sinks – ‘The Doctrine of Recognition’  in Beyond the Grave: being Three Lectures before Chautauqua Assembly in 1878, with papers…  (NY, 1879), pp. 189-238

Foster (1820–1903) was an American, Arminian bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Woodruff, Purl G. & Jonathan F. Woodruff – Recognition of Friends in Heaven  Indiana Conference  (Indianapolis, 1887)  45 pp.

J. Woodruff was a minister.  The authors take the Bible as authoritative.

Hodge, J. Aspinwall – Recognition After Death  (Robert Carter & Brothers, 1889)  185 pp.  No table of contents

Ziegler, Henry & Peter H. Anstadt – Future Recognition of our Friends in Heaven… Together with the Requisites to Recognition…  Also extracts from the writings of Harbaugh, Schmucker, Stork, Luther, Melanchthon, Knapp, Calvin, Tillotson, Doddridge, Baxter, Melville & Others…  (York, PA: 1895)  195 pp.  ToC  The excerpts from theologians are on pp. 83-131.

Ziegler (1816-1898) was a Lutheran minister and professor in the Pennsylvania and Maryland area.  Anstadt (1819-1903) was a Lutheran minister in the Pennsylvania area.

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On the Glorified Soul

Bucanus, William – ‘What shall be the State of the Godly Souls?’  in ch. 37, ‘Of the Last Resurrection’  in Institutions of Christian Religion...  (London, 1610), pp. 463-4

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On the Renovation, the New Heavens & New Earth & the Believer’s Eternal Home

Reformed Creeds

ed. Dennison, James – Reformed Confessions (RHB), 1.598, 2.29, 2.561, 2.625, 3.18

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Articles

1600’s

William Bucanus – ‘What is the Place of Eternal Life?’  in ch. 39, ‘Of Eternal Life’  in Institutions of Christian Religion...  (London, 1610), p. 492

Willet, Andrew – Hexapla on Romans  (1611), on Rom. 8:20-22

Wolleb, Johannes – ch. 36, ‘Of the End of the World & Life Eternal, the Consequents of the Judgment’  in Abridgment of Christian Divinity  Buy  (1626), pp. 301-309

Wollebius (1589–1629) was a Swiss Protestant theologian. He was a student of Amandus Polanus.

He argues, cautiously, for the annhilation of the current physical world and heavens, the empyrean heavens remaining untouched.  Thus all that would remain through eternity would be Hell (or the Lake of Fire) and the empyerean heaven.  He is the only reformed figure we have found arguing for annhilationism, which was a typical Lutheran view.

His editor, Alexander Ross (1591-1654), argues that outer-space will not be included in the conflagaration, in a footnote on p. 304.  This was inline with the Romanist view, though not distinctive of it.

Adams, Thomas – A Commentary or, Exposition upon the Divine Second Epistle General, written by the Blessed Apostle St. Peter  (London, 1633)

On the Renovation

on 2 Pet. 3:10

on 2 Pet. 3:12

On the New Heavens & Earth

on 2 Pet. 3:13

Adams’s treatment is very similar to Willet’s.

Turretin, Francis – Question 5, ‘What will the Destruction of the Earth be Like?  Will it be Annihilated by the Final Conflagration [Not Likely] or will it be Restored & Renewed [Likely]?’  of 20th Topic, ‘The Last Things’  in Institutes, vol. 3, pp. 590-97

This treatment is of note as it deals with the renovation at the End and the creation of New Heavens and New Earth; yet it only speaks of the renovation of the earth and the first and second heavens (the skies and outer-space), not the third heaven (the empyrean, highest and spiritual Heaven).

The most likely reason for this is that the standard position of the reformed orthodox was that the spiritual heaven of God’s throneroom is eternal, and will not be renovated.   The ‘creation’ of the New Heavens refers only to the renovation of the skies and outerspace, not to God’s spiritual, empyrean Heaven of his throneroom.  See Duff’s dissertation below.

Baxter, Richard – ch. 9, ‘Of the New Earth’  in The Glorious Kingdom of Christ, Described & Clearly Vindicated Against the Bold Asserters of a Future Calling & Reign of the Jews, & 1,000 Years Before the Conflagration & the Asserters of the 1,000 Years Kingdom after the Conflagration: Opening the Promise of the New Heaven & Earth…  Answering Mr. Thomas Beverley…  (London, 1691), pp. 71-73

van Mastricht, Peter – in Theoretical-Practical Theology, vol. 3, bk. 3, ch. 6, sections 30-32, 34-6, 38-43 & vol. 6, bk. 8, ch. 4, sections 8, 19, 21

For a summary of Mastricht’s view see the video lecture, ‘The Third Heaven – The Believer’s Home’ by Michael Spangler, the editor of Mastricht’s Theoretical-Practical Theology in English.

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1700’s

Mather, Increase

‘Meditations on Death, & on the Heavenly-Country, which Believers go into at the Hour of Death’  on 1 Chron. 29:15  in Meditations on Death. Delivered in Several Sermons, wherein is showed: I. That some true believers on Christ are afraid of death, but that they have no just cause to be so. II. That good men as well as others may be taken out of the world by a sudden death. III. That Not Earth but Heaven is the Christian’s Home  (Boston, 1707)

Meditations on the Glory of the Heavenly World. I. On the Happiness of the Soul of Believers at the Instant of their Separation from their Bodies. II. On the Glory of the Bodies of God’s Children in the Resurrection World, when they shall be as the Angels of Heaven. III. On the Glory of Both Soul & Body in the Heaven of Heavens, after the Day of Judgment, to all Eternity  (Boston: T. Green, 1711)

Sermons 1 & 2  in Practical Truths, Plainly Delivered: wherein is showed, I. That True Believers on Jesus Christ Shall as Certainly Enjoy Everlasting Life in Heaven, as if they were there Already  (Boston, 1718)

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Dissertation

Duff, John H. – ‘A Knot Worth Unloosing’: the Interpretation of the New Heavens & Earth in Seventeenth Century England  PhD Dissertation  (Calvin Theological Seminary, 2014)

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Quotes

Edward Leigh

Bk. 10, ‘Of Glorification…’, ch. 4, ‘Of Everlasting Life’, p. 873  of A System or Body of Divinity  (London, 1654)

“Whether the blessed saints after the end of this world shall inhabit this earth, or at least often visit it, Curiose quaeritur & docte ignoratur ‘It is carefully examined, shrewdly passed over’. Voet, Bibliotheca Studiosi Theologiae, bk. 1, ch. 9 [p. 87].

Dr. [Andrew] Willet upon the Romans holds the affirmative (as I remember) and grounds it on that place of Mt. 5:5.  Some urge that place in Peter, ‘A new heaven and earth wherein dwelleth righteousnesse’, that is, righteous persons.”

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Related Pages

The Judgment

Hell