"God is light." 1 John 1:5

"Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is to behold the sun." In what believing heart will not these words awaken a quick and grateful response? The renewed man is the only being who knows what true light is, because he only, really knows Jesus. All others are like miners dwelling from their birth beneath the surface of the earth, having never seen the sun, through whose eternal gloom not one vivifying ray has ever pierced. "Darkness covers the earth, and gross darkness the people." When man sinned, God went out of the temple, luminous and glorious with His presence, and the sun of the soul set in guilt, darkness, and death. Henceforth the natural man walks in darkness, not knowing where he goes, until the time of electing love and sovereign grace draws on, when He who at creation's dawn said, "Let there be light, and light was," causes the light of life to shine, and the soul is immediately "translated out of darkness into His marvelous light," henceforth and forever to be a child of the light and of the day. "You were once darkness, but now are you light in the Lord walk as children of light." But the present pages have more especially to do with God Himself as the God of light. We are invited to consider, less the reflection and effects of God's light, than the Divine Fountain from which it flows.

The image is sublime and expressive. Creation, from her boundless variety, would be at a loss to suggest a material object more worthy of her Creator-God. There is nothing in nature more familiar to the sense, beautiful to the eye, or essential to growth than light. It possesses three distinct elements, perhaps, more appropriate to the illustration of our present subject than any others– luminousness, velocity, and vitality. Thus, in God's own light we see light upon His character, dealings, and Word.

More rapid than the travel of natural light is the entrance of converting light into the soul of man. And the life, thus darting in upon the soul, quickens it with spiritual life, and causes the heart to bloom and blossom with the graces and fruits of the Spirit. Such is the image of God, and such the blessings, among countless others, which flow from Him concerning whom the sublime expression of the Psalmist is employed, "You cover Yourself with light as with a garment."

Let us, in the further contemplation of this title of our God, consider the different views which it presents for our study. In the first place, God is ESSENTIAL LIGHT. It will be observed, the concrete, and not the abstract form of the expression is employed by the Holy Spirit. It is not said that God is brightness, or, that God enlightens; but, that "God is light,"– that is, Essential, uncreated light. Light is His essence. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." All other light flows from Him, the "Fountain of Light," compared with which it is as darkness. Thus, the light of day has been termed the "shadow of God." And if such the shadow, what must God's essential light be! His abode is the dwelling-place of light. "He alone can never die, and he lives in light so brilliant that no human can approach him. No one has ever seen him, nor ever will. To him be honor and power forever. Amen." The Greek expresses it, "Inhabiting unapproachable light." So divine, pure, and dazzling is the light in which He dwells, no mortal eye could behold, or even endure it. Encircled by divine and unapproachable glory, He dwells in His own solitary grandeur, and from His own essential fullness, pours light on every other being and object in the universe.

What a sublime view does this give us of the greatness of the "God of light." We too imperfectly deal with God's essence. The natural and inevitable result of which is, we measure the Infinite by the finite, the Divine by the human, and think that God is such an one as ourselves! Hence the contracted views we cherish of His power, the false judgments we form of His designs, and the incorrect interpretations we arrive at of His word- the dishonor we cast upon Him, and the injury we inflict upon ourselves. All this leads to unbelieving distrust and fleshly reasoning. So when trouble is near we tremble, and when need is pressing we despair, and when temptation assails we yield, and when grief overshadows we sink, and when the rod corrects we rebel. And, when the guilt of sin and conscious backsliding weigh us down to the dust, and the chastening we so righteously evoked lands heavily upon us, we mournfully inquire, "Will the Lord cast us off forever, and will He be favorable no more? Is His mercy clean gone forever? Does His promise fail forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger closed up His tender mercies?"

Such is the fruit of unbelief, such the natural result of an imperfect knowledge of the perfections, character, and government of our God. We believe that wrong views of God lie at the root of all that is erroneous in doctrine and low in practice. Imperfect acquaintance with His character, and inadequate views of His law, must necessarily result in loose thoughts of inspiration and lax views of holiness. And when God's truth is not regarded as His truth, it ceases to exert its proper influence as the instrument of sanctification, and a defect in personal holiness must necessarily be the result. But do even the saints really believe half they profess to believe, or fully possess what they do possess? Well did our blessed Lord exhort, "Have faith in God," since the lack of faith is the root of all our evil. Oh, to have higher views of God, more enlarged thoughts of His all-sufficiency! To believe that such is the extent of His power, and such the depth of His love, and such the infinitude of His resources, and such the tenderness of His compassion, we crave not a blessing, we have not a want, we feel not a sorrow, we dread not a trial, we prefer not a request which He is not prepared immediately and fully to meet.

God is the Author of NATURAL LIGHT. God is light, and streams of light broken into a thousand prismatic rays of beauty and power- now of strength and then of wisdom, here of love and there of grace– gleam along our homeward path, shining brighter and more beautiful unto the perfect day. And thus while the atheist's creed banishes the God of light from His own beauteous world- writing upon every tree and flower and star, "There is no God"- the believing heart gratefully acknowledges and devoutly contemplates the Creator in His creation; loves to trace up to Him the light which colors the world by day, and which silvers it by night; which paints the lily, and kindles the diamond. Such is our God, the God of natural light. "The day is Yours, the night also is Yours. You prepare the light and the sun."

The solar system, by virtue of which this vast globe is lit up with countless glories, pursues its trackless course through the starry heavens, bearing on its resistless course its magnificent furniture of animate and inanimate nature, exhibits traces of a Divine intelligence, an All-creative power, which, while it invites our profoundest contemplation, and challenges our unquestioning faith, infinitely transcends the loftiest flight of our reason. Oh, let us be true worshipers of this Divine Sun! And while the blinded Persian, in his idolatry, prostrates himself before the 'shadow of God,' let us worship Him in spirit and in truth who gave the sun to rule by day and the moon by night, Himself the Divine Sun of our soul.

Passing from this view of God as the Author of natural light, let us contemplate Him in the LIGHT OF HIS PROVIDENCE. Here is presented a yet brighter view of our God. Providence were but a dark mystery– a cloud-veil over God and His dealings, unpenetrated by a single ray- but for the light which flows from God. It is in His light we see light upon those events and circumstances of the Divine administration which else would be to us altogether inexplicable. How unsearchable the ways He often chooses to accomplish His purposes of mercy and His designs of goodness towards us! The event is, perhaps, enshrouded in the deepest obscurity. The handwriting upon the wall is entirely unintelligible.

Thus was it with dear old Jacob, and thus, too, with that eminent personal type of Jesus, Joseph. Who can study their histories and not learn that God's way with the people He loves is often in the pathless deep, and that His footsteps are not known? There is a "wheel within a wheel," and the whole machinery is so complex, complicated, and involved, as to baffle the most sagacious and confound the most intelligent.

Is your God, beloved, thus dealing with you now? His thoughts are, perhaps, a great deep, His ways with you past finding out. The event is mysterious, the calamity dark, the blow crushing. You are awe-struck and gazing in mute astonishment upon the scene, you marvel what He means and where the whole will end. But, "God is light." What to your mind is mysterious is to Him as a perfect whole. What to your eye is obscure, to His is all luminous. And like some rustic gazing with mute wonder upon a piece of machinery, lost in ignorant conjecture, we are confounded and silent, God stands by, and, smiling at our fruitless speculation, with a word says, "Let there be light," and in a moment the whole scene is radiant with brightness; and in this light we see with what skill and harmony, wisdom and love, He was working all things after the counsel of His own will, and all things for our good.

Such will be the course of His present dealings with you. Let your only aim be to glorify Him amid the dark and enigmatical events of His providence. "Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness." Be your one single aim to walk uprightly in this dark event, this mysterious providence, and the light which is sown for the righteous will spring out of darkness, and the whole will appear to you one beauteous and harmonious whole. Well does God remind us, "My thoughts are completely different from yours," says the Lord. "And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts."

All may be dark to you now– circumstances dark, Providence dark, your path draped with the deepest, gloomiest shadow. Be it so. God is light, and God is love, and God is unchangeable. And if, in this time of dark Providence, integrity and uprightness are restraining you from any false step, from the employment of any dubious, carnal means of relieving the gloom that enshrouds you, then shall be fulfilled the precious promise we have already quoted, "Unto the upright their arises light in the darkness."

Another not less beautiful and precious promise will God also make good in your present experience, "Light is sown for the godly, and joy on those who do right." Oh, blessed truth, oh, comforting thought that, dark and dreary though our way may be to us, it is all light to our God, for "in Him is no darkness at all." "He knows your walking through this great wilderness," knows the way that you take- the dreary way, the lonesome way, the intricate way, the perilous way, and the light that is sown for the righteous shall spring forth and shed its brightness and its bloom along all the way your God is leading you.

Oh, how beauteous and smiling the flowers that spring from God's light sown! How they gem and irradiate, soften and cheer the solitary and somber, the rough and winding paths we tread through the wilderness, across the desert, home to heaven. They are God's smiles. Sunbeams flowing from Him who is light, all light, and nothing but light to those who are light in the Lord, and whose path is that of the 'just,'– the justified in Christ, the accepted in the Beloved- 'shining more and more unto the perfect day.' "Commit your way unto the Lord, and trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass; and He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noon-day."

Remember, that the darkest part of the night immediately precedes the dawn of day; and that, if your present position is ever so shaded or depressing, your circumstances ever so entangled, and your way ever so intricate and hedged up, the long, dreary night of weeping shall terminate in a morning of joy, brighter far, it may be, and more cloudless, than any that ever broke upon your spirit.

Your way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be,
Lead me by Your own hand-
Choose out the path for me.
"Smooth let it be, or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Your rest.
"I dare not choose my lot-
I would not, if I might.
O choose for me, my God
So shall I walk aright."
"The kingdom that I seek
Is Yours; so let the way
That leads to it be Yours,
Else I must surely stray.
"O take my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to You may seem-
You choose my good and ill.
"O choose for me my friends,
My sickness or my health
O choose my cares for me,
My poverty or wealth.
"Not mine, not mine the choice,
In things either great or small,
O be my Guide, my Strength,
My Jesus, and my all."

God is light IN HIS WORD OF TRUTH. Here we approach still nearer to the light. Beauteous and glorious as is God's light in creation, testifying, as it does, to His "eternal power and Godhead," it is but the mere shadow of God. Yet brighter as is God's light in providence, it is but as the twilight of God. But, in the revelation which He has given of Himself- in His Word of truth, His light beams out more gloriously than in the most brilliant and dazzling unfoldings of nature or providence. By the mere light of creation, fallen, sinful man, can never find his way to God. The most magnificent landscape, the loftiest mountain, the most stately tree, the most lovely flower, the brightest star, can supply no answer to the great question, "What must I do to be saved?" God has written the inscription of His power and Godhead across the sky, but not His redeeming, saving love.

Therefore it is written, "The world by wisdom knew not God." "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things." Read the treatises of ancient philosophers who attempt to treat of God and of His works. Are they not but as the scintillations of the glowworm in the hedge compared with the light of the noontide sun, when contrasted with the revelations God has made of Himself in His Word? God's Word is a divine and pure reflection of Himself, and all is spiritual darkness until this light breaks in upon the soul. "The entrance of Your Word gives light." "Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

By no other light- the light of creation, the light of reason, the light of science, the light of education- can a poor, lost sinner, find his way to God. Through these media we see God but "through a glass darkly," "His back parts", or dark parts only. We can trace the nature and attributes of God– His wisdom, and power, and goodness; but His moral attributes- His justice, and holiness, and truth- which must all harmonize with mercy and love in the scheme that saves us- we do not even see in part. But, the entrance of God's revealed Word gives light. And one portion of divine truth brought home to the understanding and the heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, scatters the clouds and shades of spiritual ignorance, and pours the light of God in upon the soul.

Oh, how divine, how unerring, how blessed is this light! One solitary beam from God, how good is it! What are the writings of MEN, the most enlightened and spiritual, but as dim lanterns reflecting the light of God's truth, compared with God's truth itself, as it flows, pure and sparkling, from Him, the fountain of truth? It is true that there are revelations which challenge our faith rather than our reason; which demand the humble reception of the heart rather than the full grasp of the intellect– truths which transcend, though they do not contradict, our reason. Such, for example, are the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son of God, the Atonement and Sacrifice of Christ, the Regenerating work of the Spirit in the soul; nevertheless, these doctrines, while they transcend, do not contradict our natural reason.

But if these are parts of God's Word which, through their 'excessive brightness,' are dark to our fallen understanding- that is, secret things in God's revelation which belong to God alone, the full understanding of which awaits us in the world of which it is said, " here is no night there"– there yet is sufficient light flowing from the inspired page to teach us how, as sinners, we may be saved and become fitted for endless glory. It pours a flood of divine and golden light upon the great questions of our pardon, our justification, our adoption, our final safety, our fitness for the "inheritance of the saints in light." It tells of Jesus; how He became our Surety and Sin-bearer, how His obedience becomes our righteousness, His death our satisfaction, His blood our guilt-cleansing, His indwelling Spirit our sanctification and preservation to eternal glory.

Enlightened on these vital and precious truths, we can patiently wait the light above, when, no longer seeing through a glass darkly and knowing but in part, we shall know even as we are known, and love even as we are loved. Thus our God is light in the Scriptures of truth. And it is because the "wise and the prudent" of this world- the men of fleshly wisdom; will not walk by the light of God's Word, but in the light of the "sparks of their own kindling"- their natural and blinded reason- that they "err, not knowing the Scriptures." But we who hope that, through sovereign grace, we belong to the 'babes' to whom the Father has revealed the great things of His law, the precious things of His love, and who accept God's Word as our only rule of faith and of practice in this life, and as our only light and guide in our travel to the life that is to come.

Oh, let us in this day of lax views of Inspiration, a day in which everywhere, among professed friends and avowed foes, God's Word is so flagrantly tampered with, its truth so openly and defiantly assailed by Rationalistic and Ritualistic views, cling closer and warmer to His Divine Word; "whereunto we do well that we take heed, as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the day star arises in our hearts." Thus, we see enough in God's Word to satisfy us that the evidences of its divinity are many and conclusive- that, it contains a revelation of Himself, His mind and will, found nowhere else; that, it is an unveiling of His love to man seen in no part of His creation; that, it demands our universal holiness and teaches us the lessons of its attainment; and that, it contains a wisdom infinitely transcending the most exalted finite understanding, which will furnish the enlarged and perfectly sanctified mind with material for thought and study, widening, increasing, to all eternity.

But God, in the revelation of His light, has surpassed all His works of creation and wonders of providence, and even of His word, in THE PERSON AND WORK OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST. The Son of God is the great revelation of God's light. In Him God appears not in profile or in dim twilight, but in express image and in full-orbed light, softened, indeed, and toned to our visual organs, for no man can see God and live, seeing that He dwells in light which no man has seen or can see; yet so full, clear, and resplendent as to be "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His Person." Herein our God is light. Christ is the "Sun of Righteousness," and every truth He revealed, and every promise He spoke, and every invitation He issued, was a radiant beam flowing from God through Christ His Incarnate Son.

How fully does this statement accord with the Old Testament Scriptures of truth. The prophet Isaiah calls the Savior a "Great Light," the "Light of Jehovah," the "Light of the Gentiles." With this perfectly agrees the teaching of the New Testament. John, Christ's forerunner, styles Him the "True Light." It is true, Christ testifies of John that he was a "burning and a shining light"- a lamp, a candle, as the original expresses it, but his light was kindled by Christ, the true Light. Our Lord's own declarations on this point are decisive. He speaks of Himself as the "Light of the world," and as the "Light of life." This He is, as He represents and reveals the Father. God is light, but because He is essential light, no created eye could look upon Him. But God, in the fullness of His benevolence, would so unveil and manifest Himself to the eyes of His own created intelligences, angels and men, as should permit them to gaze upon Him and live.

The mode was in all respects worthy of Himself; it was such a mode as could only find its conception in a Divine mind. And what was the mode thus conceived and adopted? "Let us go even to Bethlehem, and see this thing, which has come to pass, which the Lord has made known unto us." What thing? The most marvelous, unheard of, and glorious the universe ever beheld- the Incarnation of the Son of God, "God manifest in the flesh."

Here is the mode by which God has manifested His light to man. We go to Bethlehem, and we behold in Christ "the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His person." "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has ''shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." Thus, Christ is the light, or revelation, of God. Hence He said to the inquiring disciple, "He who has seen Me has seen the Father." Behold how God has subdued, and softened, and toned down the splendor of His essential person to the gaze of mortal man! True, in gazing upon Christ, we gaze but upon the rays of the Divine Sun; nevertheless, we accept the invitation, "Look unto Me, all you ends of the earth, and be you saved; for I am God, and there is none else;" and in so looking in simple faith, we are saved. We look upon God, revealed to us in the Son of His love, reconciled, pacified towards us, and behold, we live!

We learn from this subject the NECESSITY AND IMPORTANCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT'S ILLUMINATION. If, as we have endeavored to show, we only really see God's light as it is revealed in Christ, it follows as a truth equally conclusive, that we only truly know Christ as He is made known to us by the Spirit. Veiled and subdued as the glory of Christ is, it is yet too pure and resplendent for the visual intellect of man, unillumined by the Spirit. The natural man sees no glory or beauty in Christ. He is as a "root out of the dry ground, having no form nor loveliness." How truly is this confirmed by God's Word! "The natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Behold, then, the essential importance of praying to the Holy Spirit for His Divine illumination.

If it is the office of Jesus to lead us to the Father, it is equally the office of the Spirit to lead us to Jesus. We only spiritually and savingly know the Father through the Son, and the Son by the Spirit. And thus we learn the existence and necessity of the Trinity in the economy of grace. No system of theology is complete, and no hope of salvation is sure, that excludes this essential doctrine of the Christian faith. If its existence is essential to God's plan of mercy, and its belief is absolutely necessary to salvation, then, if it be ignored and rejected, we ask, By what other means can the rejecter possibly be saved? To illustrate this statement: if, as a drowning man, I thrust from me the plank that would have floated me in safety to the shore– or, if resolved to reach it by some expedient of my own, I persistently refuse to enter the life-boat launched for my rescue, it follows that I must inevitably perish, and most righteous and deserved will be my doom.

There is but one divinely-revealed way of salvation– faith in Jesus. "Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved." Jesus has said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." If, then, I walk not in Christ the Way, believe not in Christ the Truth, and accept not Christ the Life– in other words, if I deny His Person, ignore Atonement, reject His offered salvation- I must inevitably perish in my sins, and every perfection of God will approve and countersign my fearful yet most righteous, condemnation.

Betake yourself, then, in prayer to the Holy Spirit, earnestly imploring Him so to enlighten your understanding, and to convince your heart of sin, and to renew you in the spirit of your mind, that you may henceforth walk in the light of the Lord. Remember God's order: Christ leads you to the Father, and the Holy Spirit leads you to Christ.

Another truth is taught us by this subject. Our Christian discipleship pledges us to BE FAITHFUL AND CLEAR REFLECTORS OF GODS LIGHT. Our blessed Lord recognized this Christian duty when He said, "You are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." True believers are light in the Lord. This light is a borrowed, but it is solar light, kindled from no human shrine. It flows from Christ, the Sun of righteousness, beholding whose glory, as in a glass, they are transformed into the same image, as by the Spirit of the Lord; and thus, "in the midst of a wicked and perverse nation, they shine as lights in the world."

This gospel truth was beautifully typified by the Urim and the Thummin worn by Aaron on his breastplate- the literal meaning of which is, light and perfection. Such are all the true Israel of God. Christ, our great High Priest, bears them upon His breastplate within the veil; and thus borne upon His bosom, the blaze of ten million suns pales into darkness before the light and perfection of every believer, flowing from Christ Jesus, their Lord. Allow, then, the word of solemn exhortation. See to it that your religious light is not borrowed from a Church, or from a minister, or from a creed, but is derived directly and only from Christ. Let your knowledge of Christ, your faith in Christ, your love to Christ, your obedience to Christ, be the test and the measure of the light that is in you. God denounces those spurious prophets who borrowed their religion from others." I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me."

Is there not a great danger of stealing, or of borrowing, our religious thoughts, sentiments, and phraseology, from others? And was not this the case with the foolish virgins in the parable, when they exclaimed, "Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone (or, are going) out?" Oh, it is of the utmost importance that our religious light is not a borrowed or false light. See that your religion is your own- the personal, vital experience of your own heart. It is easy– nothing easier, more deceptive or fatal; than to make a religious profession, adopt a religious ceremonial, imitate the experience, and quote the language of others.

A borrowed or a counterfeit religion is of all religions the most ensnaring and dangerous. Do not go to the grave clad in the religious habiliments of others, but robed in Christ's true and joyous garments of salvation, "girded with the golden girdle" of truth, holiness, and love. Bear not to death's gate the empty, Oilless, flameless lamp of a mere religious profession, dark and hopeless as the valley down which you pass; but, see that you have Christ in you, the hope of glory- a living, burning light, shining brighter and brighter through the dark passage, until it ushers you into the meridian splendor of heaven's eternal light.

We learn, too, from this subject, how rapid may be the dawn of spiritual, converting light, in the soul of man. The Bible abounds with illustrations of this fact– the dying malefactor, is perhaps the most touching and conclusive. There is no necessity why conversion should be a process long and tedious. The kingdom of nature, which is but a type of the kingdom of grace, disproves this theory. He who said, "Let there be light," and the darkness of chaos vanished in a moment before His all-commanding voice, has but to speak the word, and the soul shall as quickly pass out of darkness into marvelous light, henceforth to shine a child of the light and of the day forever.

But the full unveiling of God's light awaits us above. HEAVEN is beautifully described as the "inheritance of the saints in light." Of the new Jerusalem it is said, "And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations of the earth will walk in its light, and the rulers of the world will come and bring their glory to it. Its gates never close at the end of day because there is no night there." Oh, who would not so live as to be an inhabitant of this glorious city, to walk in this light, and to dwell forever where there shall be 'no night' of ignorance, and 'no night' of sorrow, and 'no night' of sin!

Dwell much, my reader, on the sunlight slopes of heaven. There are bright gleams of glory here below, if we but seek and enjoy them. God is light; and God's light shall shine around our path if we seek first His kingdom and righteousness- that is, if we make real religion the first, paramount, and chief object of our desire and aim, the all-molding, all-controlling, all-commanding object of life. Oh, seek to walk in the light of the Lord! In this light let us live. To this light let us bring all our sins and follies, all our perplexities and trials, all our griefs and woes. "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eye to behold the sun." Why be content to walk in the shade when it is our high privilege, as the children of light, to walk in the sunshine of God's countenance?

Or, should it be the discipline of our Heavenly Father that we for a season travel, as Jesus Himself did, in soul-darkness, nevertheless, faith is still to trust the faithfulness and unchangeable love of God, clinging all the closer to Christ, as the timid child clings in the night-season to the arms that embrace, and to the bosom that enfolds it. "Who among you fears the Lord and obeys his servant? If you are walking in darkness, without a ray of light, trust in the Lord and rely on your God."

Such is our God. All light His beauteous offspring– natural and intellectual, spiritual and eternal light; springing from Him, the "Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Clods of earth though we are- of the earth earthy- and returning to the earth from where we came; the Holy Spirit, by His regenerating power, can make us more radiant and luminous than a thousand suns, each in his own orbit reflecting the image of Christ, and giving glory to God.

Thus, there is no light, as there is no beauty, so transcendent as HOLINESS. Holiness assimilates us more closely to God's nature than any other endowment. We may be intellectual, and discerning, and loving, and not be God-like. Alas! vice of the greatest enormity, and sin of the deepest hue, has been found in the closest alliance with greatest intellectual powers, and with the deepest and strongest sensibilities. But holiness cannot deceive us. He that is holy is like God. His mental powers may be cramped, his range of thought limited, his attainments in literature and science measured; nevertheless, if his heart is regenerate, and the spirit of his mind is renewed, and his life is endowed and adorned with the gifts and the beauty of holiness, then is he one of whom it may be said, "Truly, this is a man of God."

Be your light, then, the light and luster of divine holiness. Welcome all the discipline of your Heavenly Father, as but designed to make you a more burning and a shining light. In the dark furnace of affliction, in the gloomy chamber of sickness and sorrow, the light of your graces– patience, submission, faith, and love; shall shine forth with a purer, richer luster; and so seeing it, the saints will rejoice in your light, and you shall glorify God in the fires.

And when the "candle of the wicked shall be put out," you shall burn stronger and brighter, until death quenches it in this world, but to rekindle in the world to come, where "they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God gives them light." Then, "your sun shall no more go down; neither shall your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended."

"Walk in the light! so shall you know
That fellowship of love
His Spirit only can bestow,
Who reigns in light above
"Walk in the light! and sin abhorred
Shall never defile again;
The blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord,
Shall cleanse from every stain!
"Walk in the light! and you shall find
Your heart made truly His,
Who dwells in cloudless light enshrined,
In whom no darkness is.
"Walk in the light! and you shall own
Your darkness passed away,
Because that light has on you shone,
In which is perfect day.
"Walk in the light! and even the tomb
No fearful shade shall wear;
Glory shall chase away its gloom,
For Christ has conquered there.
"Walk in the light! and you shall see
A path, though thorny, bright;
For God by grace shall dwell in thee,
And God Himself is Light"