By Lewis Bayly
By reason of this communion with God, the elect in heaven shall have four superexcellent prerogatives:-
1. They shall have the kingdom of heaven for their inheritance (Matt. xxv.; 1 Pet. i. 4), and they shall be free denizens of the heavenly Jerusalem (Eph. ii. 19; Heb. xii. 22.) St. Paul, by being a free citizen of Rome (Acts xxi. 26), escaped whipping; but they who are once free citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, shall ever be freed from the whips of eternal torments. For this freedom was bought for us, not with a great sum of money (Acts xxii. 28), but with the precious blood of the Son of God (1 Pet. i. 18.)
2. They shall all be kings and priests (Rev. v. 10; 1 Pet. ii. 9; Rom. xvi. 10:) spiritual kings, to reign with Christ, and to triumph over Satan and the world; and spiritual priests, to offer to God the spiritual sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for evermore (1 Pet. ii. 5; Heb. xiii. 15.) And therefore they are said to wear both crowns and robes. O what a comfort is this to poor parents that have many children! If they breed them up in the fear of God, and to be true Christians, then are they parents to so many kings and priests.
3. Their bodies shall shine as the brightness of the sun in the firmament, like the glorious body of Christ (Matt. xiii. 43), which shined brighter than the sun at noon, when it appeared to Paul (Phil. iii. 21; Acts xii. 6.) A glimpse of which glorious brightness appeared in the bodies of Moses and Elias, transfigured with our Lord in the holy mount (Luke ix. 30; Mark ix. 5.) Therefore, saith the apostle, it shall rise a glorious body; yea, a spiritual body, not in substance, but in quality (1 Cor. xv. 43, 44:) preserved by spiritual means, and having (as an angel) agility to ascend or descend. O what an honour is it, that our bodies (falling more vile than carrion) should thus arise in glory, like unto the body of the Son of God! (1 Thess. iv. 1.)
4. Lastly, They (together with all the holy angels) there keep, without any labour to distract them, a perpetual Sabbath, to the glory, honour, and praise of God, for the creating, redeeming, and sanctifying the church; and for his power, wisdom, justice, mercy, and goodness, in the government of heaven and earth. When thou hearest a sweet concert of music, meditate how happy thou shalt be, when, with the quire of heavenly angels and saints, thou shalt sing a part in that spiritual Allelujah, in that eternal blessed Sabbath, where there shall be such variety of pleasures, and satiety of joys, as neither know tediousness in doing, nor end in delighting.