“When a man hath received the consolations of the Spirit, he is in the skirts and suburbs of heaven, he begins to enter upon his country and inheritance.
Heaven begins in us, when the Holy Ghost comes with peace, confidence, and joy, and doth leave a sweet sense and relish upon the soul.
Fullness of joy, that is the portion of the life to come, and is reserved for God’s right hand; but here is the beginning of heaven; and peace of conscience and joy in the Holy Ghost is but the pledge of that joy which the blessed spirits have.
And therefore the comforts of the Holy Ghost which we have here in this world are called ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory,’ (1 Peter 1:8), because it tends and works that way towards our glorious and happy estate in heaven.
As the odours and sweet smells of Arabia are carried by the winds and air into the neighbouring provinces, so that before travellers come thither they have the scent of that aromatic country; so the joys of heaven are by the sweet breathings and gales of the Holy Ghost blown into the hearts of believers, and the sweet smells of the upper paradise are conveyed into the gardens of the churches.
Those joys which are stirred up in us by the Spirit before we get to heaven are a pledge of what we may expect hereafter.
God would not weary our hopes by expecting too much, therefore He hath not only given us His Word, but He gives a taste and earnest here as part of the sum which shall be paid us in heaven.
By these sweet refreshments of the Spirit we may conceive of the glory of the everlasting state.
Look, as before the sun ariseth, there are some forerunning beams and streaks of light that usher it in; so the joys of the Holy Ghost are but the morning glances of the daylight of glory, and of the sun of happiness that shall arise upon us in another world.”
–Thomas Manton, The Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 13 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1870/2020), 13: 330-331.