“Holiness is a most beautiful and lovely thing” by Jonathan Edwards

“Holiness is a most beautiful and lovely thing. We drink in strange notions of holiness from our childhood, as if it were a melancholy, morose, sour and unpleasant thing; but there is nothing in it but what is sweet and ravishingly lovely. ‘Tis the highest beauty and amiableness, vastly above all other beauties.

‘Tis a divine beauty, makes the soul heavenly and far purer than anything here on earth; this world is like mire and filth and defilement to that soul which is sanctified. ‘Tis of a sweet, pleasant, charming, lovely, amiable, delightful, serene, calm and still nature. ‘Tis almost too high a beauty for any creatures to be adorned with; it makes the soul a little, sweet and delightful image of the blessed Jehovah.

Oh, how may angels stand, with pleased, delighted and charmed eyes, and look and look, with smiles of pleasure upon their lips, upon that soul that is holy; how may they hover over such a soul, to delight to behold such loveliness! How is it above all the heathen virtues, of a more light, bright and pure nature, more serene and calm, more peaceful and delightful!

What a sweet calmness, what a calm ecstasy, doth it bring to the soul! How doth it make the soul love itself; how doth it make the pure invisible world love it; yea, how doth God love it and delight in it; how do even the whole creation, the sun, the fields and trees love a humble holiness; how doth all the world congratulate, embrace, and sing to a sanctified soul!

Oh, of what a sweet, humble nature is holiness! How peaceful and, loving all things but sin, of how refined and exalted a nature is it! How doth it clear change the soul and make it more excellent than other beings! How is it possible that such a divine thing should be on earth?

It makes the soul like a delightful field or garden planted by God, with all manner of pleasant flowers growing in the order in which nature has planted them, that is all pleasant and delightful, undisturbed, free from all the noise of man and beast, enjoying a sweet calm and the bright, calm, and gently vivifying beams of the sun forevermore: where the sun is Jesus Christ; the blessed beams and calm breeze, the Holy Spirit; the sweet and delightful flowers, and the pleasant shrill music of the little birds, are the Christian graces.”

–Jonathan Edwards, The “Miscellanies:” Entry Nos. a–z, aa–zz, 1–500, in The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 13, ed. Thomas A. Schafer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994), 13:163-164.

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

One response to ““Holiness is a most beautiful and lovely thing” by Jonathan Edwards

  1. It is so beyond me to state such beauty as the state of God, let alone to actually have eyes that have seen such beauty. Truly angels behold the face of God constantly. What it must be to not be able to take ones eyes away from such perfection. Free of darkness to a perfect degree. When Christ revealed Himself in me I tasted of perfection, I knew for an instant purity that I can not put into words. It hurts deep within me that I can not express it, share it so anyone might feel what I felt. How great I desire for anyone to feel it and for some reason to know absolutely another felt it as I.

    One can imagine and put beautiful words together that cause one to imagine such beauty, to just have it right out of reach, a whisper of such beauty. How creation can testify of such beauty. The calm, the still, the undisturbed, peace, a garden indeed.

    No matter what words I have used to try and express that which can not be expressed by words of a single second in my life, I always feel it is kept just out of my reach. As if it is just within reach, just there if I look hard enough it it will reveal itself. If I will just understand this or that I will know something, see something and have the ability to express it so another will know it.

    Just words of a fool for the Lord indeed.

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes, made me recall the single greatest moment of my life and the betwixt, that rock and a hard place I find myself since that night I found Christ and was told I was forgiven. Reading this I could feel it just outside my reach, that beauty I felt in me. The word “morose”, the gloom I live. Not being in the presence of the Lord is hard to bear at times. To be in His presence would truly be better for me, but to remain and testify of what I heard is better for you. I am heavy for it, but praise comes from heaviness.

    I am not a writer, but I do love writing about the Lord. I do love reading such beautiful words expressing holiness, the beauty of the Father.

    I find this to be beautiful and that is what I am trying to say.

    God Bless all that truly love the Lord with all…

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