Friday, June 24, 2011

The Beauty of Holiness


As the beauty of the divine nature does primarily consist in God’s holiness, so does the beauty of all divine things.

Herein consists the beauty of the saints, that they are saints, or holy ones: ’tis the moral image of God in them, which is their beauty; and that is their holiness.

Herein consists the beauty and brightness of the angels of heaven, that they are holy angels, and so not devils (Dan. 4:13, 17, 23; Matt. 25:31; Mark 8:38; Acts 10:22; Rev. 14:10).

Herein consists the beauty of the Christian religion, above all other religions, that it is so holy a religion.

Herein consists the excellency of the Word of God, that is so holy; “Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it” (Ps. 119:140). “I esteem all thy precepts, concerning all things, to be right; and I hate every false way” (ver. 128). “Thy testimonies, that thou hast commanded,a re righteous, and very faithful” (ver. 138). And: “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (ver. 172). And: “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple: the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes: the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever: the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether: more to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey, and the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:7-10).

Herein does primarily consist the amiableness and beauty of the Lord Jesus, whereby he is the chief among ten thousands and altogether lovely; even in that he is the holy One of God (Acts 3:14), and God’s holy Child (Acts 4:27), and “he that is holy, and he that is true” (Rev. 3:7). All the spiritual beauty of his human nature, consisting in his meekness, lowliness, patience, heavenliness, love to God, love to men, condescension to the mean and vile, and compassion to the miserable, etc. all is summed up in his holiness. And the beauty of his divine nature, of which the beauty of his human nature is the image and reflection, does also primarily consist in his holiness.

Herein primarily consists the glory of the gospel, that it is a holy gospel, and so bright an emanation of the holy beauty of God and Jesus Christ: herein consists the spiritual beauty of its doctrines, that they are holy doctrines, or doctrines according to godliness.

And herein does consist the spiritual beauty of the way of salvation by Jesus Christ, that it [is] so holy a way.

And herein chiefly consists the glory of heaven, that it is the holy city, the holy Jerusalem, the habitation of God’s holiness, and so of his glory (Is. 63:15). All the beauties of the new Jerusalem, as it is described in the two last chapters of Revelation, are but various representations of this: see ch. 21:2, 10-11, 18, 21, 27; ch. 22: 1,3.

from The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 2

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