THE GOD OF LIGHT
"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
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
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
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
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
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"