Tag Archives: Beauty

“We were once blind to His beauty” by John Newton

“The Lord reigns. He who once bore our sins, and carried our sorrows, is seated upon a throne of glory, and exercises all power in heaven and on earth. Thrones, principalities, and powers, bow before Him.

Every event in the kingdoms of providence and of grace are under His rule. His providence pervades and manages the whole, and is as minutely attentive to every part as if there were only that single object in His view.

From the tallest archangel to the meanest ant or fly, all depend on Him for their being, their preservation, and their powers. He directs the sparrows where to build their nests, and to find their food.

He overrules the rise and fall of nations, and bends, with an invincible energy and unerring wisdom, all events, so that while many intend nothing less, in the issue their designs all concur and coincide in the accomplishment of His holy will.

He restrains with a mighty hand the still more formidable efforts of the powers of darkness, and Satan with all his hosts cannot exert their malice a hair’s-breadth beyond the limits of His permission.

This is He who is the head and husband of His believing people. How happy are they whom it is His good pleasure to bless!

How safe are they whom He has engaged to protect! How honoured and privileged are they to whom He is pleased to manifest Himself, and whom He enables and warrants to claim Him as their friend and their portion!

Having redeemed them by His own blood, He sets a high value upon them. He esteems them His treasure, His jewels, and keeps them as the apple of his eye.

They shall not want. They need not fear. His eye is upon them in every situation, His ear is open to their prayers, and His everlasting arms are under them for their sure support.

On earth He guides their steps, controls their enemies, and directs all His dispensations for their good.

While in heaven He is pleading their cause, preparing them a place, and communicating down to them reviving foretastes of the glory that shall be shortly revealed.

O how is this mystery hidden from an unbelieving world! Who can believe it, till it is made known by experience, what an intercourse is maintained in this land of shadows between the Lord of glory and sinful worms!

How should we praise Him that He has visited us! For we were once blind to His beauty, and insensible to His love, and should have remained so to the last, had He not prevented us with His goodness, and been found of us when we sought Him not.”

–John Newton, Letters of John Newton (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth Trust, 1869/2007), 237-239.

Leave a comment

Filed under Banner of Truth, Christian Theology, Communion with God, God's Power, Jesus Christ, John Newton, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Sanctification, Sovereignty, The Gospel

“The glorious excellencies and beauty of God” by Jonathan Edwards

“The redeemed have all their objective good in God. God Himself is the great good which they are brought to the possession and enjoyment of by redemption.

He is the highest good, and the sum of all that good which Christ purchased. God is the inheritance of the saints; He is the portion of their souls.

God is their wealth and treasure, their food, their life, their dwelling place, their ornament and diadem, and their everlasting honor and glory. They have none in heaven but God.

He is the great good which the redeemed are received to at death, and which they are to rise to at the end of the world. The Lord God, He is the light of the heavenly Jerusalem, and is the ‘river of the water of life’ that runs, and the tree of life that grows, ‘in the midst of the paradise of God’.

The glorious excellencies and beauty of God will be what will forever entertain the minds of the saints, and the love of God will be their everlasting feast.

The redeemed will indeed enjoy other things. They will enjoy the angels, and will enjoy one another: but that which they shall enjoy in the angels, or each other, or in anything else whatsoever, that will yield then delight and happiness, will be what will be seen of God in them.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “God Glorified in the Work of Redemption, by the Greatness of Man’s Dependance upon Him, in the Whole of It (1731),” in The Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: A Reader, ed. Wilson H. Kimnach, Kenneth P. Minkema, and Douglas A Sweeney (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999), 74-75.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Communion with God, God the Father, Heaven, Jesus Christ, Jonathan Edwards, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

“The brighter glories and beauties of the Creator” by Jonathan Edwards

“God is infinitely exalted above all created beings in excellency and loveliness. It all runs upon infinities in God: so great as is His duration, so great as is His being and essence, so great is His excellency and loveliness.

His excellency excels all other excellencies that ever were seen or heard of, as much as His being exceeds created beings in greatness. It must needs be so: for all other excellencies proceed from Him as the fountain, for He has made them all.

He has made all things that are excellent, and therefore He must have given them their excellency, and so must have all that excellency in Himself, or else could not have given it.

He must have all the glories, perfections, and beauties of the whole creation in Himself in an infinite degree, for they all proceed from Him, as beams do from the sun, and He is as much more excellent than they all, as the whole sun is than one single ray.

We admire at the beauty of creation, at the beautiful order of it, at the glory of the sun, moon, and stars. The sun appears very bright and glorious.

So beautiful doth the sun appear that many nations take it to be the supreme God, and worship it accordingly. But we have much more reason from the beauty of the sun to admire at the invisible glory of that God whose fingers have formed it.

The beauty of trees, plants, and flowers, with which God has bespangled the face of the earth, is delightful. The beautiful frame of the body of man, especially in its perfection, is astonishing.

The beauty of the moon and stars is wonderful. The beauty of the highest heavens is transcendent. The excellency of angels and the saints in light is very glorious.

But it is all deformity and darkness in comparison of the brighter glories and beauties of the Creator of all, for ‘behold even to the moon, and it shineth not’ (Job 25:5).

Think of the excellency of God and the moon will not seem to shine to you, God’s excellency so much outshines it. And the stars are not pure in His sight, and so we know that at the great Day when God appears, the sun shall be turned into darkness, shall hide his face as if he were ashamed to see himself so much outshined.

And the very angels, they hide their faces before Him. The highest heavens are not clean in His sight, and He charges His angels with folly (Job 4:18).

God’s is an infinite excellency, infinite glory, and beauty itself. He is an infinite, eternal, and immutable excellency. He is not only an infinitely excellent being, but a being that is infinite excellency, beauty, and loveliness.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “God’s Excellencies” in Sermons and Discourses, 1720-1723, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 10. Ed. Wilson H. Kimnach (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992), 420-421. You can read this sermon on Psalm 89:6 in its entirety here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Communion with God, Doxology, God the Creator, God's Power, grace, Jesus Christ, Jonathan Edwards, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel, Worship

“Christ was never more lovely” by Richard Sibbes

“Here is a sea indeed if we should enter into it, to see the love of God, which is the most beautiful and amiable grace of all: the love of God in Christ, and the love of Christ towards us.

Christ was never more lovely to His church than when He was most deformed for His church; ‘there was no form nor beauty in him,’ Isa. 53:2, when He hung upon the cross.

Oh! There was a beauty to a guilty soul, to see his surety enduring the wrath of God, overcoming all his enemies, and nailing the law to his cross. And that should endear Christ to us above all things.

He should be the dearer to us, the more vile and base He was made for us, and He should be most lovely in our eyes, when He was least lovely in His own, and when He was deformed, when our sins were upon Him.

We should consider those times especially. The world is most offended at that, that a Christian most joys in. ‘God forbid that I should joy in anything but in the cross of Christ,’ Gal. 6:14, saith St Paul.

So we should joy in and love that especially in Christ.”

–Richard Sibbes, “A Breathing After God,” in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes (ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart; vol. 2; Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet And Co.; W. Robertson, 1862), 231.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, Richard Sibbes, The Gospel

“The need and beauty of humility” by J.C. Ryle

“Heaven alone, I suppose, will fully teach us how humble we ought to be. Then only, when we stand within the veil, and look back on all the way of life by which we were led, then only shall we completely understand the need and beauty of humility.”

–J.C. Ryle, Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots (London: William Hunt and Company, 1889), 398.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Heaven, Humility, J.C. Ryle, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes

“The foundation and fountain of all being and all beauty” by Jonathan Edwards

“As God is infinitely the greatest being, so He is allowed to be infinitely the most beautiful and excellent. And all the beauty to be found throughout the whole creation is but the reflection of the diffused beams of that Being who hath an infinite fullness of brightness and glory.

God’s beauty is infinitely more valuable than that of all other beings upon both those accounts mentioned, that is to say, the degree of his virtue and the greatness of the being possessed of this virtue. And God has sufficiently exhibited Himself, in His being, His infinite greatness and excellency.

And He has given us faculties, whereby we are capable of plainly discovering immense superiority to all other beings in these respects. Therefore He that has true virtue, consisting in benevolence to Being in general, and in that complacence in virtue, or moral beauty, and benevolence to virtuous being, must necessarily have a supreme love to God, both of benevolence and complacence.

And all true virtue must radically and essentially, and as it were summarily, consist in this. Because God is not only infinitely greater and more excellent than all other being, but He is the head of the universal system of existence; the foundation and fountain of all being and all beauty; from whom all is perfectly derived, and on whom all is most absolutely and perfectly dependent; of whom, and through whom, and to whom is all being and all perfection; and whose being and beauty is as it were the sum and comprehension of all existence and excellence: much more than the sun is the fountain and summary comprehension of all the light and brightness of the day.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “The Nature of True Virtue,” Ethical Writings, Ed. Paul Ramsey, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 8 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989), 550-551.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Jonathan Edwards, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes

“Remember your fairy tales” by C.S. Lewis

“The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things– the beauty, the memory of our own past– are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself, they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

Do you think I am trying to weave a spell? Perhaps I am; but remember your fairy tales. Spells are used for breaking enchantments as well as for inducing them. And you and I have need of the strongest spell that can be found to wake us from the evil enchantment of worldliness which has laid upon us for nearly a hundred years.”

–C.S. Lewis, “The Weight of Glory,” in The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses (New York: Harper Collins, 1949/2001), 30-31.

Leave a comment

Filed under C.S. Lewis, Christian Theology, Quotable Quotes, Worldliness