The Practice of Heavenly Meditation: Learning from Baxter’s The Saints’ Everlasting Rest
The Christian life is to be one oriented to the future. According to Colossians, our faith in God and love for each other flow from the hope we have of heaven. If we feel dry, disillusioned or full of doubts, it may be because we have lost our future perspective. In 1646 a pastor called Richard Baxter set about meditating on heaven, in order “to sweeten both the rest of my life and my death.” Not only was his life transformed by this heavenly meditation, but the book that grew out of the notes he made during this time – The Saints’ Everlasting Rest – went on to become a devotional classic, one of the most read books of its time.
This short paper is a distillation of the teaching of this book – helping us to focus more on the new heavens and earth, and so to enjoy greater fellowship with God, greater pleasure and contentment in this life, and great hope and comfort for the future. Through this paper may we all “set our hearts on things above” and look forward to “the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.” (Col 3:1; Heb 11:10)