From Jonathan Edwards, sermon delivered in 1733 titled “The True Christian’s Life, A Journey Towards Heaven”:
“If we spend our lives in the pursuit of a temporal happiness: if we set our hearts on riches, and seek happiness in them; if we seek to be happy in sensual pleasures; if we spend our lives in seeking the credit and esteem of men; the goodwill and respect of others; if we set our hearts on our children, and look to be happy in the enjoyment of them, in seeing them well brought up, and well settled, etc. All these things will be of little significance to us. Death will blow up all our hopes and expectations, and will put an end to our enjoyment of these things…
"We are designed for this future world. We are to be in two states; the one in this world, which is an imperfect state; the other, in the world to come. The present state is short and transitory; but our state in the other world is everlasting…Our state in the future world, therefore, being eternal, is of so exceedingly greater importance than our state in this world, that it is worthy that our state here, and all our concerns in this world should be wholly subordinate to it...God hath made us for himself…
"There is but a very imperfect union with God to be had in this world; a very imperfect knowledge of God in the midst of abundance of darkness; a very imperfect conformity to God, mingled with abundance of enmity and estrangement. Here we can serve and glorify God, but in an exceeding imperfect manner; our service being mingled with much sin and dishonor to God.
"But when we get to heaven (if ever that be), there we shall be brought to a perfect union with God. There we shall have clear views of God. We shall see face to face, and know as we are known. There we shall be fully conformed to God, without any remainder of sin. We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. There we shall serve God perfectly…In heaven alone is the attainment of our highest good. God is the highest good of the reasonable creature. The enjoyment of him is our proper happiness; and 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. Better than fathers and mothers, husbands, wives or children, or the company of any, or all earthly friends. These are but shadows; but the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams; but God is the sun. These are but streams; but God is the fountain. These are but drops; but God is the ocean.”
(“The True Christian’s Life, A Journey Towards Heaven” in The Works of President Edwards vol. 4 of 4. (New York: Leavitt & Allen, 1852) p. 575.)