Why It's OK That Some Are Happier Than Others in Heaven

We saw last week in Jonathan Edwards' Miscellanies #3 that God created the universe so that it would be happy in him. Today, in this excerpt from Miscellanies #5, he explains how the experience of higher levels of happiness by some in heaven will not dampen the joy of others.

We are very apt to conceive that those that are more holy and more happy than others in heaven will be elated and lifted up above them, whereas their being superior in holiness implies their being superior in humility, or having the greatest humility.

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And besides, those that are highest in holiness, and so necessarily highest in happiness (for holiness and happiness are all one in heaven), instead of anything like despising those that are less holy and happy, will love those that are inferior to them more than they would do if they had not so much holiness and happiness, more than if they were but equal with them, and more than those do that are equal with them.

This is certain: for the foundation of the saints’ love to each other will be their love to the image of God which they see in them. Now most certainly the holier a man is, the more he loves the same degree of the image, so that the holiest in heaven will love that image of God they see in the least holy more than those do that are less holy, and that which makes it beyond any doubt that this superior happiness will be no damp to them is this: that their superior happiness consists in their great humility, and in their greater love to them, and to God, and Christ, whom the saints look upon as themselves.

If I'm not mistaken, this is one of the Miscellanies that Sam Storms referred to in his message at our 2003 National Conference: "Joy's Eternal Increase: Edwards on the Beauty of Heaven"

Tyler Kenney (@tylerkenney) is a former content strategist at Desiring God. He and his wife, Kristen, live in the Twin Cities.