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Light Amid Uncomprehending Darkness
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It takes a little while, but it should come while you read below
Dr. Robert E. Donaldson
World Wide Web Witness inc.
Beauty of holiness is not cosmetic, glamorous or fizzy. It is not mere exuberance, nor indeed is it even close to inert entropy of the spirit, gazing at nothing and lusting to be like it.
It is one aspect of the glory of God. It is HIS. If it imbues people at any time, it is because of His presence. In Him, its purity is perfect, in His love, its motivation is unalloyed, in His wisdom it is without fluctuation. Orchids suggest its delicacy and strength despite fragility. Oceans touch its depth of meaning, and declare something of its grandeur; for it is not willing to be debased, and witless wanderers who try to touch it without warrant, are like small craft in the vehemence of the storms in mid-ocean.
You cannot put it on, but rather, like the bloom on peaches, it is a result of WHO HE IS and it is only when you know Him, that it is realised. It is not a thing of terror, nor is it a matter of complacency; and its presence is from Him willingly, not by constraint. Like love, it is not to be manufactured, and like godliness in mankind, it is not a thing of whim or caprice, sudden starts or mere method. It is found in personal inter-relationship, and grows in close abiding in His will and rejoicing in His wonders, who is not only unique, for there is but one God, but unblended, uncomposed and non-composite, filled with glory as the waters of the sea with waves. From a distance it is not readily discernible at all; but when you are close, it is all but impossible to believe that it is not perceived more readily among mankind, than it is.
It is one aspect of the glory of God; and the uncomprehending darkness is one aspect of the debasement of mankind. When the light shines, as enemy bombers used to try to avoid it lest their wings be torn to tatters by fiery bullets, so man will often scurry into darkness, afraid of the light. That it is here beneficent, benevolent, and indeed beautiful for what it reveals: this becomes a mere increment to its menace for many; for they do not want the light, whatever it may reveal, being committed to darkness; and so they drone on in the night, till out of fuel, they ditch at the end.
Indeed, while the
beauty of the Lord is to be found in Christ Jesus, there is a vigorous preliminary
in the heart of man, before he is regenerated into the region of the visible
in such things. As Christ told Nicodemus (John 3:3), "Most
assuredly, I tell you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the
The darkness is singularly unrevealing; but when one opens the eyes, through the exquisite regenerative surgery of that master craftsman, Jesus Christ, that Lord of the spirits of man and their Creator indeed, then what is to be seen in the beauty of holiness in the divine being is that beginning, or point of origin to speak spatially of what is not spatial at all, for all that excites the wonder and incites admiration among our race, whether in the celestial architecture of things, the astronomical immensities, the oceanic thrust and majesty, the intricacy of little things and their meaning, the glories of art, the wonders of life and the intimacies of reality.
These are its offspring. But in itself, in God Himself, the beauty of holiness is seen in figure in such passages as Ezekiel 1, in transifguration in Matthew 17, in grace on the Cross, in love in the approach to it and the completion of it, in compassion uninhibited but pure, as in Mark 3 and Matthew 8:2ff., in loving lament as in Luke 19:42ff., in self-control as in Luke 22:39ff., in guileless wisdom as in Matthew 5-7, in illimitable power combined with plan, oblivious of suffering to grant grace, as in the resurrection, and indeed in the whole work of the incarnation. To BECOME one of us is more than a come-down, a degradation, a nobless oblige, far more: it is to enter squalor, like a diamond in the dust-bin, but yet again, far worse than that. On HIM was etched the sin of those who receive His salvation (Zechariah 3:9).
In its divine reaches, the beauty of holiness is unattainable, being one aspect of the divine nature, like the pure snow waters on the high mountains. In its human envelopments, however, it is in His gift to beautify the saints, and this is the very message of Ephesians 5:27:
It abhors vanity and flows like a stream, where the waters are fluent and frequent.
In this it reminds us of two further scriptures, one positive, one negative:
II Corinthians , and
They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters,
And hewn themselves cisterns - broken cisterns - that can hold no water" - Jeremiah 2:13.
with reference to what follows
Not only Roses, but Algae
THE NEW COAT IS THREADBARE
With extensive reference to Ezekiel 1-10 and Revelation
THE OLD GARMENTS ARE BEAUTIFUL AS EVER
PLACED FROM ABOVE,
GRACED FROM WITHIN
"HE FEEDS AMONG THE LILIES"
The Advertiser November 16, 1996
continuing in such ways to the present ,
is not less newsworthy now than then!
of Solomon and the 21st Century Sense of Man
be Thy Name
Thy Kingdom Come
THE PROFUSION OF CONFUSION,
and the GRANDEUR OF TRUTH