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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Praise of God
By Saint Augustine (354–430)
 
From ‘The City of God’

WHEREFORE it may very well be, and it is perfectly credible, that we shall in the future world see the material forms of the new heavens and the new earth, in such a way that we shall most distinctly recognize God everywhere present, and governing all things, material as well as spiritual; and shall see Him, not as we now understand the invisible things of God, by the things that are made, and see Him darkly as in a mirror and in part, and rather by faith than by bodily vision of material appearances, but by means of the bodies which we shall wear and which we shall see wherever we turn our eyes. As we do not believe, but see, that the living men around us who are exercising the functions of life are alive, although we cannot see their life without their bodies, but see it most distinctly by means of their bodies, so, wherever we shall look with the spiritual eyes of our future bodies, we shall also, by means of bodily substances, behold God, though a spirit, ruling all things. Either, therefore, the eyes shall possess some quality similar to that of the mind, by which they shall be able to discern spiritual things, and among them God,—a supposition for which it is difficult or even impossible to find any support in Scripture,—or what is more easy to comprehend, God will be so known by us, and so much before us, that we shall see Him by the spirit in ourselves, in one another, in Himself, in the new heavens and the new earth, in every created thing that shall then exist; and that also by the body we shall see Him in every bodily thing which the keen vision of the eye of the spiritual body shall reach. Our thoughts also shall be visible to all, for then shall be fulfilled the words of the Apostle, “Judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and then shall every man have praise of God.” How great shall be that felicity, which shall be tainted with no evil, which shall lack no good, and which shall afford leisure for the praises of God, who shall be all in all! For I know not what other employment there can be where no weariness shall slacken activity, nor any want stimulate to labor. I am admonished also by the sacred song, in which I read or hear the words, “Blessed are they that dwell in Thy house; they will be alway praising Thee.”  1
 
 
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