The Loveliness of Christ
by Thomas Watson
"Yes! He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved,
this my Friend!" Song of Solomon 5:16
In this book, which is a divine marriage song, are
all the strains of holy love set forth in the purest allegories and
metaphors, such as represent that dear affection and union between Christ
and His people. The text is nothing but the breathing forth of the spouse's
love to Christ: "He is altogether lovely!" In the preceding verses, she had
made her sacred paeans, and had been setting Christ forth in His spiritual
"He is dark and dazzling" (verse 10). This denotes
excellency of complexion; in Him is a mixture of the purest colors. He is of
"The chief among ten thousand." The Hebrew word
signifies "the standard-bearer among ten thousand." The standard is a
warlike ensign—and he who bore the standard in ancient times was the most
eminent person in the army. Just so, Christ is the most glorious person of
renown, the standard-bearer; according to Isaiah 11:10, "He shall stand
for an ensign of the people."
"His head is as the most fine gold" (verse 11). Kings
have crowns of gold; Christ is described with a head of gold. The
Hebrew signifies shining gold, or sparkling gold, to set forth the infinite
resplendence of Christ's beauty. It is of such a sparkling luster that the
angels must wear a veil!
"His eyes are as the eyes of doves" (verse 12).
Christ is described with eyes like a flame of fire in Revelation 1:14. So
indeed He is to the wicked. He is a consuming fire; but to His children He
has doves' eyes, which are the emblem of meekness. He has eyes dropping
tears of love and compassion.
"His cheeks are as a bed of spices" (verse 13). There
is an aromatic perfume coming from Him to refresh a fainting soul. Some
expositors understand this bed of spices to mean the fragrancy of His
virtues, which are in Scripture compared to sweet perfumes.
Thus the spouse goes on enumerating Christ's beauty; at
last being in a holy rapture of spirit, she winds up all with this
passionate strain of affection, "His mouth is most sweet, yes, He is
"His mouth is most sweet." The Chaldean version
paraphrases it, "The words of His mouth are as sweet as honey." In the
Hebrew it is, "His mouth is sweetnesses." That mouth must be sweet which has
the words of eternal life (John 6:68). That mouth must be sweet, a kiss of
whose lips can make death sweet to a believer! Well might the spouse say,
"Let Him kiss me with the kisses of His mouth!" (Song of Solomon 1:2).
"Yes, He is altogether lovely!" It is as if the
spouse had said, "What do I do to set Christ forth in His several parts? His
head of gold, His eyes like doves eyes, His hands as gold rings set with
beryl, His belly as bright ivory overlaid with sapphires . . . alas, what is
all this that I have been speaking of Christ? How barren is my conception,
how dull are my expressions! Whatever I have said of Him falls infinitely
short of His worth; but this I affirm: He is altogether lovely!"
The original language is, "He is all made up of loves and
delights; He is all that may excite desire." So Jerome and Ambrose render
it: "He is composed of sweetness and amiableness."
The text contains a glorious and magnificent description
of Christ, "He is altogether lovely!" Behold here a spring full of
the water of life; and whoever brings his vessel here—a heart fit to receive
this water—may be refreshed, as was the woman of Samaria coming to Jacob's
well—for Christ is here! The text is a sacred cabinet which contains in it,
first, the jewel—Christ, in this word "He;" second, the value
of this jewel—"altogether lovely."
Doctrine: Jesus Christ is infinitely and superlatively
He is the most amazing and delightful object; the very
name of Jesus Christ is as a precious ointment poured forth. It is said that
the letters of this name were found engraved on Ignatius's heart. Jesus
Christ is in every believer's heart (Colossians 1:27, "Christ in you");
and nothing can do better there, for He is altogether lovely.
This whole book of the Song of Solomon is bespangled with
the praises of Christ. Homer might praise Achilles, and Jerome might commend
Nepotian; but who can set forth Christ's praise? All that I can say will be
no more than the dark shadow in the picture; and yet it will be so much as
may represent him very lovely. That Christ is thus transcendently lovely,
will appear in four manner of ways—by titles, by types, by comparisons, and
1. Christ appears lovely by His TITLES. These
are so many jewels hung upon His crown. He is called "The Desire of All
Nations" in Haggai 2:7, "The Prince of Peace" in Isaiah 9:6, "The Holy One
of God" in Acts 2:27, and "elect and precious" in 1 Peter 2:6. These are
2. Christ appears lovely by TYPES. He was
prefigured by such
types as were lovely—and these types were either of
persons or things.
Christ was typified by most lovely
persons. I will name but three.
MOSES prefigured and typified out Christ in
Moses was a type of Christ in his natural
beauty. He was a lovely child (Exodus
2:2). Josephus said, "Moses was so lovely that he drew the eyes of all to
him; and those who had seen him were so amazed at his beauty and fed on it
with such delight, that they were unwilling to look away again." And herein
he was a type of Christ, in whom are all sparkling beauties to be found,
"He is altogether lovely!"
Moses was a type of Christ in his
education. He was bred up a while at court and, as Josephus
said, Pharaoh's daughter set a crown of gold upon his head. But leaving the
court, he went and lived in the land of Midian (Exodus 2:15). So Christ left
the royal court of heaven—to come and live in the world.
Moses was a type of Christ in his
office. He was a PROPHET. Deuteronomy 34:10, "There has never
been another prophet like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face." He
acquainted Israel with the mind of God; he gave them the two tables of the
law. So Jesus Christ is a prophet (Luke 24:19). He reveals to His people the
mysteries of salvation. He unseals the book of God's decrees and makes known
His will (Revelation 5:5). He is counted worthy of more glory than Moses
Moses was a type of Christ in his noble
He was a deliverer of the people from the Egyptian
furnace; he was a temporal savior. So Jesus' name signifies a Savior.
Matthew 1:21, "You are to name Him Jesus, because He will save His people
from their sins."
Moses was an intercessor for Israel and turned
away the wrath of God from them (Numbers 14). So Christ is the saints'
advocate. Romans 8:34: "He also rnakes intercession for us."
Christ was also typified by
DAVID. David was a king; so is Christ adorned with regal power.
He is a king to govern His people (Revelation 15:3), and to
conquer His enemies (Psalm 110:1). David was a man after God's own
heart. This prefigured Christ, in whom God was well pleased (Matthew 3:17).
Christ was also typified by
SOLOMON, first in his name, which signifies "peaceable."
Christ is called "The Prince of Peace" in Isaiah 9:6. The angels proclaimed
this at His incarnation. Luke 2:14: "Peace on earth." All his wars tend to
peace. And He gives that peace which passes all understanding.
Solomon typified Christ in his government. His was
a most flourishing kingdom (2 Chronicles 9:22). King Solomon surpassed all
the kings of the earth in riches. So Christ's kingdom is very glorious; all
His subjects are made kings. He reigns in heaven and earth—and of His
kingdom there is no end.
Solomon typified Christ in His wisdom. He was the
oracle of his age (1 Kings 4:31) and was wiser than all men. So Christ
received the unction from His Father. He had a spirit of wisdom and holiness
poured upon Him without measure (John 3:34; Isaiah 11:2). "Behold, one
greater than Solomon is here!" (Matthew 12:42). Thus Jesus Christ was
prefigured by those persons who were most lovely.
Christ was typified by most lovely
Type 1. Christ was typified by the pillar of
cloud and fire, which was Israel's guide and conductor in the wilderness
(Exodus 13:21). This typified Christ, our pillar of cloud, who guides our
feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:79). The cloud was unerring, for God was
in it. Such is Christ, who is the way and the truth (John 14:6). How lovely
is this pillar to behold!
Type 2. Christ was typified by the manna. This
pointed to Christ, who is like the manna in three things.
The figure of manna was circular. Exodus 16:14:
"There lay a small round thing." The circle is a figure of
perfection; this typified Christ, in whom is all perfection.
The manna was a food prepared for Israel. The
Hebrew word (from whence manna seems to be derived) signifies "to prepare."
Manna was a food cooked and dressed in heaven. God Himself prepared it—and
then served it. Thus Jesus Christ was like manna: He was prepared and set
apart by His Father to the blessed work of mediatorship. Hebrews 10:5: "A
body have You prepared for Me."
The Jewish Rabbis say that manna suited itself to
everyone's taste; whatever he desired, that he found in manna. So Jesus
Christ suits Himself to every Christian's condition. He is full of
quickening, strengthening, comforting virtue. What fools are they, who
prefer the earthly mammon—before this heavenly manna!
Type 3. Christ was typified by the mercy seat,
which was a sacred emblem representing the mercy of God to His people. There
the Lord gave forth His oracles and answers of peace to His people. Exodus
25:22: "There will I meet you—and I will commune with you." This mercy seat
was a type of Christ, in and through whom God is appeased towards us.
Therefore He is called a sacrifice of atonement in Romans 3:25. Oh,
how lovely is this mercy seat! We could not speak to God in prayer, nor
would He commune with us—were it not for this blessed atoning sacrifice. The
Hebrew word for mercy seat signifies a covering—to show that in
Christ the sins of believers are covered.
Type 4. Christ was prefigured by the brazen
serpent (Numbers 21:9). The brazen serpent resembled Christ in two ways:
It was made like a serpent—but it was no real serpent.
Just so, Christ was made in the likeness of sinful flesh (Romans 8:3), but
He was not a sinner. He was made sin—but He knew no sin. Christ was as void
of sin—as the brazen serpent was of a sting!
When the people of Israel were stung by the fiery
serpents, then whoever looked upon the brazen serpent was cured. Thus, when
sin stings the souls of men (for it is a serpent with five stings: it stings
men with guilt, shame, horror of conscience, death, and the curse of God),
then Christ, that brazen serpent, being looked upon with a penitent's
believing eye, cures these deadly stings! Oh, how lovely is this brazen
serpent! Many of the Jews worshiped the serpent of brass, "He broke into
pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made, because the people of Israel
had begun to worship it by burning incense to it. The brazen serpent was
called Nehushtan." (2 Kings 18:4). Let us in our hearts adore this brazen
serpent—the Lord Jesus.
Type 5. Christ was typified by Noah's ark,
which saved Noah and his family from the flood. Thus when the wrath of God,
as a deluge, overflows the wicked, Christ is the Ark in which the believer
sails above those bloody waves—and is preserved from drowning!
And is not the Lord Jesus most lovely? All these types
did but serve to shadow forth the divine excellencies of Christ and render
Him lovely in our eyes!
3. That Christ is this lovely appears by those
RESEMBLANCES to which the Scripture compares Him. He is compared
to things that are
most illustrious. There are seven lovely resemblances of
Christ in Scripture:
1. Christ is resembled to a ROSE. Song of
Solomon 2:1: "I am the Rose of Sharon." The rose is the queen of
flowers; it is most delicious for color and scent—to show that fragrant
perfume which Christ sends forth. All roses, though beautiful, have their
prickles; only the Rose of Sharon does not! So sweet is this rose of
paradise that it makes us become a sweet fragrance to God (2 Corinthians
2:15). This rose never loses its color nor fragrancy! Is it not then, very
2. Christ is resembled to a VINE in John 15:1.
The vine, as Pliny says, is the noblest of plants—and to this Christ is
compared. Oh, what lovely clusters grow upon this Vine: the fruits of
justification, sanctification, and so on! These bunches of grapes hang upon
the Lord Jesus. We are indebted to this Vine. Hosea 14:8: "From Me is your
fruit found." Nay, Christ excels the vine. For though there are many things
on the vinetree besides the fruit that are useful—the leaves, the gum, the
ashes of the vine—yet the wood of the vine is useless "Can wood be taken
from it to make something useful? Or can anyone make a peg from it to hang
things on?" (Ezekiel 15:3).
Now herein Christ is more lovely than the vinetree; there
is nothing in Christ which is not useful. We have need of His human
nature; we have need of His divine nature; we have need of His
offices, influences, privileges—there is nothing in this
vine which we can be without. Oh, how blessed are the branches of this Vine!
Mary was saved not by bearing the Vine—but by being engrafted
into the Vine!
3. Christ is resembled to a CORNERSTONE in 1
Peter 2:6, and that in two respects:
First, the whole weight of the building lies upon the
cornerstone. Just so, the weight of our salvation lies upon Christ (1
Second, the cornerstone knits and unites together both
parts of the building. Just so, when God and man were at variance, Christ,
as the cornerstone, united them together, yes—and cemented them with His own
blood! Oh, how lovely and precious is this cornerstone!
4. Christ is resembled to a ROCK. 1
Corinthians 10:4: "That Rock was Christ." He is a Rock in a threefold sense:
First, He is a rock of offense. A rock breaks the
waves. The church, being built upon Christ—all the adversaries that come
against her are like a ship coming full sail against a rock.
Second, He is a Rock for defense. The dove hides
in the rock. Song of Solomon 2:14: "O my dove in the clefts of the rock."
Christ's wounds are the clefts of the rock where the believing soul, this
dove, hides itself!
Third, He is a rock for comfort. The rock is a
screen to shade off the heat; so Christ is called in Isaiah 25:4, "a shade
from the heat." He shades a poor sinner from the scorchings of God's wrath!
Also, honey came out of the rock in Deuteronomy 32:13: "He made him to suck
honey out of the rock—and oil out of the flinty rock." The honey of
the promises—and the oil of gladness come out of this blessed Rock!
5. Christ is compared to a RIVER in a desert.
"He will shelter Israel from the storm and the wind. He will refresh her as
a river in the desert and as the cool shadow of a large rock
in a hot and weary land." (Isaiah 32:2). When by nature we are as a scorched
wilderness, dry and barren, Christ sends forth the sacred influences of His
blood and Spirit, making us like the fields of Sharon—full of moisture and
fertility! Are not these silver streams lovely!
6. Christ is resembled to a rich TREASURY.
Riches are lovely in men's eyes. Ephesians 3:8 speaks of "the unsearchable
riches of Christ." The angels can never dig to the bottom of this golden
mine! Christ has the true monopoly, because He has those riches which are
nowhere else to be found: the riches of His merit—and the riches of His
Spirit. Christ has a partnership with His Father. John 16:15: "All that the
Father has, is Mine." He is crowned with the riches of the Deity. Alexander
had no regard for the kingdom of Macedonia when he heard of the riches of
India. Just so, a Christian will in a manner despise all other riches—when
he has Christ's riches (Philippians 3:8).
7. Christ is resembled to a beautiful ROBE.
Isaiah 61:10: "He has covered me with the robe of righteousness."
Christ's righteousness is a lovely robe; no robe of gold or ermine, with
which kings are invested, is so honorable as this one. In this robe we shine
as angels in God's eyes. The high priest's glorious vestments (Exodus
28:2)—the miter, the robe, the ephod of gold, and the breastplate of
precious stones—did all serve to set out the beautiful garment of Christ's
righteousness, with which a believer is adorned. Thus Christ appears lovely
in these several resemblances, which can but faintly shadow out His beauty.
4. Christ's loveliness appears by His DEMONSTRATIONS.
He is lovely in Himself—and He is lovely in the account of others.
A. He is lovely in HIMSELF—and that in five
1. He is lovely in His person—as He is MAN.
Psalm 45:2: "You are the most excellent of men." The Hebrew is emphatic,
denoting excellency of beauty; for though it is said He had no
loveliness (Isaiah 53:2), that was in regard of His afflictions, which so
disfigured Him and, as it were, drew a veil over His glory. Yet certainly
the person of Christ was incomparably fair, as Jerome and Chrysostom
observe; and if His body on earth was so beautiful, what is it now in
heaven! The apostle calls it a glorious body in Philippians 3:21. If Christ
can make a lily of the field more beautiful than Solomon in all his glory,
how lovely is He Himself? How white is that lily which grows in paradise?
2. Christ's person is lovely—as He is GOD-man.
He may not unfitly be compared to Jacob's ladder, which reached from
earth to heaven. Christ's human nature, which was the foot of the ladder,
stood upon the earth; and His divine nature, which was the top of the
ladder, reached to heaven. The Arians and Socinians deny His Godhead, as the
Valentians do His manhood. If the Godhead is in Him, He must be God; but the
Godhead shines in Him. Colossians 2:9: "In Him dwells all the fullness of
To confirm us in this truth, let us consult with those
Scriptures which clearly assert His Godhead:
1 Corinthians 8:6: "To us there is but one God the
Father, of whom are all things—and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all
When Philippians 2:6 uses the phrase "who, being in the
form of God," this is as much, Basil said, as to exist in the essence of
1 Timothy 3:16: "God was manifest in the flesh."
1 John 5:20: "We are in Him that is true, even in His Son
Jesus Christ. This is the true God."
Besides these testimonies of Scripture which expressly
assert the Godhead of Christ, it may be clearly demonstrated by those
incommunicable attributes belonging to the Deity which are ascribed to
Christ—and are the flowers of His crown: omnipotence (Hebrews 1:3);
omniscience (Mark 2:8); omnipresence (Matthew 28:20); a power to seal
pardons (Matthew 9:6); the giving of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7);
co-equality with God the Father (Philippians 2:6) in both power (John 5:19,
21) and dignity (John 5:23).
Thus we see His Godhead proved; and as He is God-man, He
is altogether lovely. He is the very picture of His Father's glory;
therefore He is called the express image and character of His person in
Hebrews 1:3. The very effigies and print of God's face are seen in Christ;
the glory of God's wisdom, holiness, and mercy most transparently shine
forth in Him—thus His person is lovely.
3. Christ is lovely in His DISPOSITION. A good
nature is able to render deformity itself lovely. Christ is lovely not only
in his complexion—but in His disposition. He is of a loving and merciful
disposition, and in this sense may he called the delight of mankind. It is
reported of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor, that he was of a most affable
winning temper, given to clemency—and every day would set one hour apart to
hear the causes of the poor. Thus Jesus Christ is of a most sweet
disposition. He will not always chide (Psalm 103:9). He is inclined to show
mercy to the penitent. He delights in mercy (Micah 7:18). He invites sinners
to come to Him (Matthew 11:28). He begs them to be saved (2 Corinthians
5:20). He knocks at their hearts by His Spirit, until His head is filled
with dew and His locks with the drops of the night (Revelation 3:20). If any
poor soul accepts His offer, and arises and goes to Him—how Christ welcomes
him. Christ makes the feast (Luke 15:23) and the angels make the music
(verse 7). But if men will not receive the offers of grace, Christ grieves
(Mark 3:5). He is like a judge who passes the sentence with tears in his
eyes. Luke 19:41: "And when He was come near the city, He beheld it and
wept." You can hear Christ saying, "Ah, sinners, I come to save you—but you
put away salvation from you. I come with healing under My wings—but you bolt
from your Physician. I would have you but open your hearts to receive Me and
I will open heaven to receive you; but you will rather stay with your sins
and die—than come to Me and live." Psalm 81:11: "My people would not listen
to me; Israel would not submit to Me." "Well, sinners, I will weep at your
funerals." Oh, how lovely Christ is, in His disposition! He comes with His
suppling oil to pour into sinners' wounds. He would gladly break their
hearts with His mercies. He labors to overcome their evil with His good.
4. Christ is lovely in His SUFFERINGS when He
makes expiation for our sins. But how can He be lovely in His sufferings?
Lovely when He was buffeted, spat upon, and smeared with blood? Oh, yes! He
was most lovely upon the cross—because then He showed most love to us. He
bled love from every vein! His drops of blood were love-drops. The
more bloody—the more lovely. The more Christ endured for us—the more dear He
ought to be to us. Osorius, writing of the sufferings of Christ, said that
the crown of thorns bored His head with seventy-two wounds; and Tully, when
he speaks of the death of the cross, shows his rhetoric best by a silence:
"What shall I say of His death?" Though he was a great orator, he lacked
words to express it.
Nor did Christ only endure pain in His body—but agony in
His soul. He conflicted with the wrath of God, which He could never have
done if He had not been more than a man. We read that the altar of wood was
overlaid with brass so that the fire on the altar might not consume the wood
(Exodus 27:1-2). This altar was a type of Jesus Christ. The human nature of
Christ, which was the wood, was covered with the divine nature, which was
like brass, else the fire of God's wrath would have consumed it.
All that Christ suffered was in our stead (Isaiah 53:5).
We ate the sour grapes—-and His teeth were set on edge. We climbed the tree,
we stole the forbidden fruit—and Christ goes up the ladder of the cross and
dies! Oh, how lovely ought a bleeding Savior to be in our eyes! Let us wear
this blessed crucifix always in our heart. "The cross of Christ,"
said Damascen, "is the golden key that opens paradise to us."
How beautiful Christ is upon the cross! The ruddiness of
His blood—took away the redness of our guilt. How lovely are those wounds
which wounded the red dragon! When this blessed Rock was smitten, water came
out of it to cleanse us and blood to cheer us (1 John 5:6). "When Christ was
on the cross," said Bernard, "then the vine was cut—and salvation came to us
in the blood of the vine." Oh, how lovely is this bleeding Vine! Christ's
crucifixion—is our coronation!
5. Christ is lovely in His GRACES which, as a
divine embroidery, bespangled and set Him off in the eyes of the world.
Grace was not in Christ as a quality—but as an essence, as light is
intrinsic to the sun and is of the essence of it. Christ opened a box of
precious perfume and, because of the fragrance of His ointments, the virgins
love Him (Song of Solomon 1:3). In Christ there was a constellation of all
the graces; how He shone in wisdom, humility, zeal, heavenly-mindedness,
and, which did not adorn Him only a little little, meekness. How lovely was
Christ in His graces!
He came into the world meek. Matthew 21:5: "Behold your
King comes meek." He came not with a sword or scepter in His hand—but with
an olive branch of peace in His mouth. He preached tidings of peace (Matthew
11:29). Though He was the Lion of Judah—yet He was the Lamb of God.
When He was in the world, He was a pattern of meekness. 1
Peter 2:23: "When He was reviled, He reviled not again." He left His
Father's bosom, that hive of sweetness, to come and live here; and truly, He
exchanged His palace for a dunghill. How often He was called a friend of
sinners; nay, He was charged to have a devil. But. see how mildly He
answered (this dove had no gall) in John 8:49: "I have no devil—but I honor
My Father." All His words were steeped in honey.
When He was going out of the world, He showed
unparalleled meekness. He prayed for His enemies, "Father forgive them"
(Luke 23:34). When the soldiers came to take Him by force, one would have
thought that He would have called for fire from heaven, as the man of God
did in 2 Kings 1:10. But, behold, grace was poured into His lips (Psalm
45:2). See what a mild answer He gave, enough to have made the hardest heart
relent. Matthew 26:55: "Am I some dangerous criminal, that you have come
armed with swords and clubs to arrest Me?" It is as if He had said, "What
wrong, I ask, have I done to you? What have I stolen from the world—but
their sins? What have I robbed them of—but the wrath of God?" Oh, the
mildness of this Savior! Surely, had not the soldiers' hearts been very hard
(for in the whole story of Christ's passion I do not read of one soldier
converted; there was a thief indeed converted—but no soldier), Christ's
meekness would have melted them into tears of repentance.
When He was led away to be crucified—He went as a lamb to
the slaughter. "He opened not His mouth" (Isaiah 53:7). He opened His
side—but not His mouth in repining. And was not Christ lovely in
His meekness? No wonder the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the likeness
of a Dove; not a lion or eagle—but a Dove, which is the emblem of meekness.
6. Christ is lovely in His CONDUCT. What was
said of Saul and Jonathan in 2 Samuel 1:23 ("they were lovely in their
lives") is much more true of Christ. "His life," said Chrysostom, "was purer
than the sunbeams." All the ethics of Aristotle and all the wisdom of
Greece, could never describe virtue as it was livelily portrayed out in
Christ's holy example. He is called "a Lamb without spot" (1 Peter 1:19).
His lips never spoke a word amiss. Luke 4:22: "All bore Him witness, and
wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth." Thus were
His lips like lilies, dripping pure myrrh (Song of Solomon 5:13). His foot
never tread a step awry. He who was a way to others—never went out of the
way Himself. He was so pure, that no temptation could fasten upon Him.
Temptation to Christ was like throwing a burr upon a crystal glass, which
will not stick—but glides off. "The prince of this world comes and has no
power over Me" (John 14:30). There was no powder for the devil's fire to
take. What was Christ's whole life—but a pattern of good works? "He went
about doing good" (Acts 10:38). He was either anointing the blind, healing
the sick, raising the dead, preaching, or working miracles. Thus He was
B. And then Christ is lovely in the account of OTHERS.
He is lovely to God His Father, lovely to the saints—and lovely to
1. He is lovely to God His Father. God is
infinitely delighted with Him. Christ is called "the Rose of Sharon," and
how God delights to smell this rose! Isaiah 42:1: "My Chosen One in whom My
soul delights." Surely if there is loveliness enough in Christ to delight
the heart of God, there may well be enough in Him to delight us. Christ is
the center, where all the lines of His Father's love do meet.
2. Christ is lovely in the account and esteem of His
saints. 2 Thessalonians 1:10: "He shall admired by all those who
have believed." He is admired now—and He shall be more admired by them. Well
may the saints admire to see Christ sitting in the bright robe of their
flesh above the angels in glory. Well may they admire to see their nature
united with the Deity. Oh, how lovely and beautiful is this sight! Well may
Christ be admired by His saints.
3. Christ is lovely in the esteem of the angels.
They adore Him. Hebrews 1:6: "And let all the angels of God worship
Him." The cherubim are painted with their faces looking upwards, to show
that the angels in heaven all are still looking upward, admiring and being
ravished with the amazing beauties of Jesus Christ.
A. Information. There are three branches:
Branch 1. Behold here, as in a Scripture glass—the
transcendent excellencies of the Lord Jesus! "He is altogether
lovely." He is a lovely prospect set before us. I do not wonder that Paul,
that seraphic saint, desired to know nothing, but Jesus Christ (1
Corinthians 2:2). What else would He want to know? He is altogether lovely;
no wonder then that the apostles left all—and followed Him (Matthew 19:27).
Had I the tongues of angels, I could never set forth Christ in all His
lively and lovely colors. Besides what has been said, take a further view of
Christ's lovely excellencies in three particulars:
1. Christ is our LIGHT. Light is a glorious
creation (Ecclesiastes 11:7). Truly the light is sweet; the light pulls off
the veil and draws aside the dark curtains of the night, making everything
appear in its fresh colors. Thus Jesus Christ is lovely. He is called that
true light (John 1:9) and the bright and morning star (Revelation 22:16).
When the soul is darkened with ignorance, Christ is the morning star that
enlightens it. He is the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2).
This Sun of Righteousness is more glorious than the sun
in the sky. The sun in the firmament rises and sets—but the Sun of
Righteousness, once it rises upon the soul in conversion, never sets finally
upon him. It may pull in its beams when the clouds of our sin come
between—but it comes out of the cloud again (as it did to David) and never
sets finally. The sun in the sky only shines upon us—but the Sun of
Righteousness shines within us. Galatians 1:16: "But when it pleased
God to reveal His Son in me." The sun in the sky shines only upon our
faces—but the Sun of Righteousness shines in our hearts. 2
Corinthians 4:6: "God has shined in our hearts." And how sweet are these
beams! The sun in the sky shines only in the daytime—but the Sun of
Righteousness shines in the night; in the night of spiritual desertion and
affliction, this Sun shines. Psalm 112:4: "Unto the upright there arises
light in darkness." Oh, how lovely in this Sun of Righteousness! By the
bright beams of this Sun, we see God.
2. Christ is our FOOD. He is not only lovely
to the eye—but to the taste. John 6:55: "My flesh is food indeed." This is
princely fare; it was never prepared for the angels—but for us. It is lovely
feeding here; all the rarities of heaven are served in this dish!
"And My blood is drink indeed." This blood is better than
wine. Wine may be taken in excess. Noah took too much of the wine of the
grape—but it is otherwise with the wine of Christ's blood; there is no fear
of excess here. Though a drop is sweet—yet the more we drink, the better;
the deeper, the sweeter! Drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved.
Excess here makes us sober!
Wine, though it cheers the heart—yet at some times, if it
is taken, it may be harmful. Give wine in a fever—and it is as bad as
poison. But this wine of Christ's blood is best in a fever. When the heart
burns as hot as hell in the sense of God's wrath, and, as it were, in a
spiritual agony and fever—then a drop of Christ's blood allays the
inflammation—and sweetly refreshes the soul. It is lovely drinking at this
3. Christ is our LIFE. Colossians 3:4: "When
Christ who is our life shall appear." Life is sweet; life makes everything
comfortable. In this the devil said truly, "skin for skin, yes, all that a
man has will he give for his life" (Job 2:4). A man will cast his jewels
overboard to save his life; he will lose a leg or an arm to preserve the
vital parts. Is life lovely—and is not Christ, who is our life, lovely?
He was typified by the tree of life in the garden
(Genesis 2:9). That tree was symbolic, as Augustine said; it was a pledge
and sign of life—if man had continued in obedience. It was certainly a
lovely tree—but it was only a type of Christ, who is called "the tree of
life" in Revelation 2:7. This tree of life, the Lord Jesus, is a better tree
than that which grew in paradise. Adam's tree in paradise might preserve
life—but it could not prevent death; there was dying for all that. But this
tree of life, Jesus Christ, prevents death. John 11:26: "Whoever believes in
Me shall never die," that is—not die the second death spoken of in
Revelation 20:14. This blessed tree is an antidote against death. If there
were a tree to be found in the world that could preserve men from dying, how
far would they go on pilgrimage to reach it? What vast sums of money would
they give for one leaf of that tree? Such a tree is Christ—He will keep you
from dying! And is not this tree very lovely?
In particular, there is a threefold life flowing from
There is a life of GRACE. John 1:16: "We have all
received grace after grace from His fullness." This life of grace, is a bud
of eternity; it is a life purchased for us by Christ's death.
There is a life of COMFORT, which is the cream of life.
John 16:22: "Your heart shall rejoice." This is a holy jubilation of spirit;
so sweet and ravishing is this joy that if David, when he had lost his joy
had lost also his crown, and God had put the question to him which of these
two he would have restored, David would have said, "Lord, restore unto me
the joy of Your salvation" (Psalm 51:12).
There is also a life of GLORY. (John 17:22). This is the
most noble life; this is to live the life of angels, nay, to live the life
of God! It is the highest elevation and perfection of the reasonable
creature. And may we not cry out with Chrysostom, "What is more lovely
than Christ, from whom these golden streams of life flow!" Oh, that all
this might make Him amiable in our eyes!
What else should we admire? What should we rejoice in,
but Christ? Christ's beauty, like His coat, is without seam. We read of
Absalom (2 Samuel 14:25) that in all Israel there was none to be so praised
as Absalom for his beauty; from the sole of his foot, even to the crown of
his head, there was no blemish in him. This may be far more truly applied to
Christ. He is the mirror of beauty, the map of perfection, the paradise of
delight! He is the crown of the gospel. If the gospel is the field—Christ is
the pearl hidden in the field. If the gospel is the ring—Christ is the
diamond in this ring. He is the glory of heaven. Revelation 21:23: "The Lamb
is the light thereof." Well might Paul account all things dross and dung,
for Christ (Philippians 3:8).
Branch 2. If Christ is altogether lovely, it shows us the
true reason why men do not embrace Christ, namely, because they are ignorant
of His beauty. A blind man does not admire the colors in a
rainbow; and when the god of this world has blinded men's eyes—they do not
see any excellency in Christ. Therefore they cry out, as the watchmen did,
"What is your Beloved more than another beloved?" Men do not admire the
sun—because the cloud of their ignorance comes between. Christ is a
treasure—but a hidden treasure. He is more lovely than the children
of men—but to a natural person He is like Moses, with a veil upon His face.
The men of the world do not see the stupendous beauty of Christ. He does not
lack worth—but they lack eyes! "O unhappy man," said
Augustine, "who knows all things—but Christ! Your knowledge will but serve
to light you to hell."
QUESTION. But you will say to me, "What, not know Christ?
I hope we are better bred than that! Has Christ been preached so long in our
streets—and we not know Him?"
ANSWER 1. I wish there were not many people grossly
ignorant of Christ, who understand nothing of His person, offices, or
privileges. A minister told me that not long since, he went to visit a
neighbor of his parish lying on his deathbed, a man eighty years of age, one
who came frequently to church. This minister questioned him about what sin
was—and the man said he did not know; he asked him who Christ was—and he
told him he did not know. So the minister said to him, "If you do not know
Christ, how do you think to go to heaven?" His answer was this, "If I cannot
get to heaven, I will just stay here." Oh, gross ignorance! Balaam's donkey
spoke better sense to the prophet.
That people have been very ignorant of Jesus Christ
appears by this, because they have been so inclined to error, so greedy to
drink in every new opinion as soon as the devil has set it abroach!
ANSWER 2. Whereas you say, "Can we be ignorant of Christ
in this broad daylight of the gospel?" I say, a man may have excellent head
notions of Christ—and may be able to make an elegant discourse of Him—and
yet not know Him savingly. Though he is not rationally ignorant of
Christ—yet he may be spiritually ignorant. There is a threefold defect in
the knowledge of most. It is a speculation without conviction, affection, or
Their supposed knowledge is merely a speculation, without
conviction. Men are not thoroughly convinced of the excellencies of
Christ. John 16:8: "And when He (that is the Holy Spirit) comes, He shall
convince the world of sin." Strange! Was not Christ in the world? Had He not
made many sermons about sin? It is true, He had; but the Jews were not yet
convinced of it. Therefore He shall send His Spirit to convince them. "And
of righteousness." Why? Had not Christ told them that there was no
righteousness to be found, but in Him—that they could graft their hopes of
salvation upon no other stock besides? Yes, they had heard Christ say so—but
they were not yet convinced; therefore the Spirit shall come and convince
them. Hence I gather that men may have a speculative knowledge of Christ—yet
be ignorant of Him, that is, not know Him convincingly. And that they do not
have a convincing knowledge is clear; for were they convinced in their
consciences of the lovely excellencies of Christ, would they value a lust or
trifle? Would they, with Judas, prefer thirty pieces of
silver before Him?
Their "knowledge" is a speculation, without affection.
Men have notions of Christ—but are not warmed with love for Christ. Their
knowledge is like the moon: it has light in it—but no heat. True knowledge
of Christ is like fire to the ice—it melts it into water. So this saving
knowledge melts the sinner into tears of love. I do the hypocrite no
wrong—to tell him that he bears no true affection to Jesus Christ. There is
a great deal of difference between the knowledge that the prisoner has of
the judge—and the knowledge the child has of the parent. The prisoner knows
the judge—but has no affection for him; his knowledge is joined with fear
and hatred. But the child's knowledge of his parent is joined with
affection; he loves to be in his presence. The hypocrite knows Christ as the
prisoner does the judge, or as the devils knew Him (Mark 1:24), with a
knowledge of horror and amazement; whereas true knowledge is filial. The
affections are drawn forth in an inflamed manner after Him. The apostle has
an elegant expression to set forth the nature of true knowledge; he calls it
"the savor of the knowledge of Him" (2 Corinthians 2:14). A man
tastes a savory sweetness in his meat—but hypocrites have no taste for
Their "knowledge" is a speculation, without operation.
The knowledge that hypocrites have of Christ, has no saving influence upon
them; it does not make them more holy. It is one thing to have a notion
of Christ—another thing to fetch virtue from Christ. The knowledge of
hypocrites is a dead, barren knowledge; it does not brings forth the
child of obedience. There is a great deal of difference between a
scholar who studies medicine for the theory and notion—and one who studies
medicine to practice it. Hypocrites are not practitioners; they are all head
and no feet; they do not walk in Christ (Colossians 2:6). Their knowledge is
informing—but not transforming; it does not make them one jot the better; it
does not leave a spiritual tincture of holiness behind. Such
knowledge is no better than ignorance.
1 John 2:4: "He who says, 'I know Him,' and keeps not His
commandments, is a liar—and the truth is not in him." A man may have a
speculative knowledge—and be no better than a devil. This is the reason why
men do not embrace Christ, who is infinitely lovely, because they do not
know His worth. Though they are not intellectually ignorant of Christ—yet
they are spiritually ignorant. To this day the veil is upon their hearts.
Branch 3. If Jesus Christ is so lovely—it shows us the
misery of a man who lives and dies without Christ.
Behold his misery who lives without Christ. He is very
deformed and unlovely; for all loveliness flows from Christ. A sinner in
the state of nature is like an infant tumbling in its blood. Ezekiel 16:6:
"You were in your blood." In Leviticus 13, the leper in the law was but the
sad emblem of a sinner. The leper was to live alone, as being unworthy to
come into the congregation of the holy. The leper wore three marks to be
known by: his garments torn, his head bare, his mouth covered. He was to
cry, "Unclean, unclean." This spiritual leprosy is upon every Christless
Therefore a man in a state of unregeneracy is in
Scripture compared to most vile things most: to a dog
(Revelation 22:15); to a swine (2 Peter 2:22); to a viper
(Matthew 3:7); and to a devil (John 6:70). A sinner's heart is a
poisoned spring; it is like a piece of muddy ground which defiles the purest
water that runs through it. The heathen had this kind of notion engrafted
into them for, as authors report, they had their stone pots of water set at
the doors of their temple, where they used to wash before they went to
A sinner is blind (Revelation 3:17)—and the more
blind because he thinks he sees. He is dead; and although he may be
decked with some moral virtues, this is but like strewing flowers upon a
dead corpse (Ephesians 2:1). Dead things have no beauty in them. A sinner
out of Christ is a filthy, vile creature; he is nothing but dregs; he
is hell epitomized. There is no part of him sound. The man who had his
running sore in his flesh (Leviticus 15:2) was but a type of a sinner who
has the plague-sores of sin running upon him (1 Kings 8:38). Oh, how ghastly
and deformed is every Christless soul! God loathes him. Zechariah 11:8: "My
soul loathed them!" So abominable and detestable is a sinner, that God
stands afar off (Psalm 138:6). He will not come near the stench of him.
The sinner is so deformed and diseased that, when he
comes to be converted, the first thing he does is to loathe himself.
Ezekiel 36:31: "You shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for your
iniquities." Thus unlovely is every person out of Christ. If he brags of his
goodness, it is because he never yet looked at his face in the looking-glass
of God's Word so that would discover his spots and blemishes.
Behold his misery who dies without Christ. Though Jesus
Christ is so infinitely beautiful, the sinner shall see none of His beauty.
Christ will put a veil upon his face, as Moses did when his face shone
(Exodus 34:33). Nay, that is not all; though Christ is so lovely in
Himself—yet to an ungodly sinner He will be dreadful to behold. A wicked man
shall see nothing in Christ that is lovely. The Sun of Righteousness will be
eclipsed to him. His beauty will be changed into fury. The
Lamb will be turned to a Lion. Christ's visage will strike the
heart of a sinner with horror and dread. King Ahasuerus was pleasant to
Queen Esther to behold when he held forth the golden scepter; but how
dreadful was his visage to Haman, when he arose from the banquet of wine in
his wrath! His look carried death in its face. So, though Christ is so
lovely in Himself—and full of smiling beauty to His saints—yet to those who
reject Him and die in their sins, oh, how ghastly and frightening will His
looks be! His eyes will be as a flame of fire! (Revelation 1:14).
Christ is represented with a bow and a crown
(Revelation 6:2). He will appear to the saints with a crown—very
lovely and glorious to behold; but to the wicked He will appear with His
bow—to shoot at them with the arrows of His indignation. We read in Psalm
97:2 that "clouds and darkness are round about Him." To believers Christ
will shine forth with His rays of majesty and beauty; but to the wicked He
will cover Himself with a cloud of displeasure. This will be the hell of
hell to the damned—they shall be shut out from a sight of Christ's
glory—and shall behold only a sight of His wrath! "And they cried to the
mountains and the rocks—Fall on us and hide us from the face of the One
who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb!" (Revelation
6:16). "Christ," said Jerome, "will be as dreadful to a sinner, as the sight
Branch 1. If Christ is so infinitely lovely—then let us
labor to get a part in Christ so that the cursed deformity of our
nature may be taken away—and the bespangled beauties of holiness may shine
in us! It is little comfort for the soul to say, "Christ is altogether
lovely," unless it can also say, "My Beloved is mine!" (Song of Solomon
2:16). Ignatius did not care what befell him—as long as he had Christ. Clear
your interest in Christ; the ground of salvation is union with Christ.
"There are," said Bernard, "many professors who have nothing of Christ in
them." Oh, labor to be made one with Christ, to have Christ not only in your
Bible—but in your heart; renounce your own
beauty, all your abilities, moralities, and duties. These
are a rotten bough to hold on to. Philippians 3:9: "That I may be found in
Him, not having my own righteousness."
When Augustus Caesar desired the senate of Rome to join
with him in the consulship, the senate answered that they held it a great
disparagement to him to join any consul with him. So Jesus Christ takes it
as a great disparagement to Him—to join our duties, with His merits. O
sinner, cast away your beggars' rags—so that you may put on Christ's lovely
robes. I would not take you off from your duty—but from confidence in
your duty. Noah's dove might make use of her wings to fly—but she did not
trust her wings—but the ark. A man makes use of his feet to go over a
bridge—but he trusts the bridge for safety. Christians, while they walk with
the feet of obedience, must trust Christ as the bridge to lead them over the
devouring sea of hell. In short, if you should get a saving interest in
Christ, rely on Christ by faith—and resign yourself up to Christ by service.
A believer with one hand receives Christ—and with the
other hand gives himself up to Christ. Christ says to a believer, "With My
body, yes, with My blood, I endow you." And a believer says to Christ, "With
my soul I worship You." O Christian, part with all—for a part in this lovely
Branch 2. If Christ is thus full of sparkling beauties,
then fall in love with this lovely object. With the spouse; be
love-sick for Christ. Beauty draws love. Ministers are friends of the
bridegroom. This day I come a wooing for your love. Love Him who is so
lovely. Let Christ lie as a bundle of myrrh always between your breasts. "If
anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed!" (1 Corinthians
16:22). "Love," said Chrysostom, "is the diamond that only the queen wears,"
that is, the gracious soul. Oh, that all these surpassing beauties of Christ
might kindle a flame of divine love in our hearts. Christ is the very
extract and quintessence of beauty. He is a whole paradise of delight. He is
the rose of Sharon, enriched with orient colors and perfumed with the
sweetest fragrance. Oh, wear this flower not in your bosom—but in your
heart—and be always smelling it.
Show your love to this lovely Savior by the strength
and effects of it. Love Him above all other things; let Him carry
away the crown and the glory from the creature. Love Him more than your
relations. Matthew 10:37: "He who loves father or mother more than Me is
not worthy of Me." Nay, our love to relations must be hatred in
comparison with our love to Christ (Luke 14:26). Great is our love to
relations. The creatures void of reason have natural affection; the young
stork feeds the aged mother stork—and helps to carry her when she is old and
cannot fly. Children should exceed and outfly the stork in affection.
Christ must be dearer to us than all. He must weigh
heavier than relations in the balance of our affections, for He is
altogether lovely. If parents lie as a stumbling block in our way to
Christ, if they either come in competition with Christ or stand in
opposition against Christ—we must either leap over them or tread upon
Love Christ more than your estate. Gold is but
shining dust; though it may be lovely—yet it is not altogether
lovely. Gold is worse than yourself; it is of an earthly extract. If
you love anything, love something better than yourself; and that
alone is Christ, who is altogether lovely. Riches avail nothing in the day
of wrath (Proverbs 11:4). Riches are no lifeguard to defend us from divine
fury; but how lovely is Christ who can screen off the fire of God's wrath
from us! Oh, then love Him more than these perishable things. Christ's
gleanings—are better than the world's vintage. Do not be
like Noah's raven which, when it had found a carrion to feed on, did not
care to return home to the ark. He who loses all for Christ—shall find all
Love Christ more than your life. Revelation 12:11:
"They loved not their lives to the death." They carried their sufferings as
signs of their glory. They had pangs of love—stronger than the pangs
of death. Did the Curtii die for the Romans, the Codri for the
Athenians—and shall not we be willing to lay down our lives for Christ, who
is so infinitely lovely?
Show your love to this lovely Savior by the effects
of love. The first fruit of love, is desire for COMMUNION. Love
is a transporting of the affections; lovers desire to be often talking and
conversing together before the marriage day. Christ converses with the soul
by His Word and Spirit—and the soul converses with Him by prayer and
meditation. The soul that loves Christ, desires to be much in His presence.
He loves the ordinances; he thinks it is good lying in the way where Christ
passes by. Ordinances are the chariots of salvation. Christ rides into the
believer's heart in these chariots. Ordinances are the feast of fat things.
The soul feasts with Christ here. Song of Solomon 2:4: "He brought me to the
banqueting house." In the Hebrew it is, "He brought me to the house of
wine." The Word, prayer and the sacraments are to a Christian, the house of
wine. Here, often Christ turns the water of tears into wine! How
lovely is this house of wine! The ordinances are the lattice where Christ
looks forth and shows His smiling face to His saints. Christ's parents found
Him in the temple (Luke 2:46). The soul that loves Christ desires conference
with Him in the temple.
Where there is love to Christ, there is SYMPATHY.
Friends who love, grieve and rejoice together; they have sympathizing
spirits. Lovers grieve together. Thus, if we love Christ, we shall grieve
for those things which grieve Him. Psalm 119:158: "I beheld the
transgressors—and was grieved." We shall grieve to see truth bleeding, and
heretics increasing. We shall grieve to see heresy setting up its mast and
topsail—and multitudes sailing in this ship to hell. It was a charge drawn
up against the church of Pergamos "You have some there who hold to the
teaching of Balaam" (Revelation 2:14). By toleration of heresy, we adopt
other men's sins and make them our own. I pray God, that this does not
hasten England's funeral. He who loves Christ, will lay these things to
He who loves Christ will endeavor to preserve His
MEMORY. Friends will preserve the memory of those people they love, by
keeping their pictures, letters, love-tokens, sometimes by preserving their
monuments. Herein Artemisia, Queen of Caria, showed an act of singular love
to her husband Mausolus; for he being dead, she caused his body to be
reduced to ashes and to be mingled in her drink every day, so making her
body a living tomb to hold her dead husband. Thus the soul that loves Christ
will be often eating His body and drinking His blood in the sacrament, that
he may remember Christ's death until He comes. They who live without
sacraments show plainly that they have no love to Christ, because they do
not desire to preserve His memory among them.
He who bears love to Christ, this lovely object, will not
entertain any other lovers; "What more have I to do with idols?" (Hosea
14:8) The Hebrew word is "with sorrows." Indeed, sin raises a tempest of
sorrow in the soul; and he who is espoused to Christ has now changed his
judgment. Those sins he before looked upon as lovers—he now looks
upon as sorrows. He who loves Christ can look a temptation in the
face—and turn his back upon it. When Cyrus would have tempted the chaste
wife of Tygranes, she took no notice of him, though he was a king; for she
had a husband at home. When sin, like Mercury's rod with a snake about it,
would wind itself subtly into the soul, he who loves Christ, dares not give
it entertainment. He will say, "All the rooms are taken up already for
Christ—and a better guest cannot come; for He is altogether lovely!"
Branch 3. If Christ is so lovely in Himself, then you who
profess Christ, labor to render Him lovely in the eyes of others.
Commend Him and tell others of His beauty—so that they
may admire Him. So the spouse in this chapter labors to portray and set Him
forth in His glory: "My Beloved is white and ruddy—the chief among ten
thousand!" Tell others that Christ is all marrow, all sweetness. Christ is
the richest jewel in the cabinet of heaven! Set up the trophies of His honor
and triumph in His praises so that you may entice others to fall in love
with Him! The tongue is the organ of praise; it is a pity the organs are so
often out of tune in murmuring and complaining. Oh, let these organs be
still going; let our tongues sing forth the praises of Him who is altogether
lovely! Daughters of the royal blood have the pictures of kings brought to
them—and by seeing the pictures they fall in love with their persons and are
married to them; by our commendations of Christ, we should so paint out
Christ to others and draw His picture that, when they see His picture, they
may fall in love with Him—and the match may be presently struck up.
Render Christ lovely in the eyes of others by adorning
His gospel and walking worthy of Him (Colossians 1:10). It is an honor to a
master to have good servants—and how it proclaims Christ to be lovely and
glorious—when they who profess Him are eminent for piety! Christ appears
lovely in the holy lives of His people.
Brethren, there are some people among us whose scandalous
impieties, masked over with religion, have made Christ appear unlovely in
the eyes of others; it is enough to make them afraid to have anything to do
with Christ, as if He abetted men in their sin, or at least connived with
them. The blood of some will not make reparation for the injury which their
sins have done to Christ. I have read of certain images which on the outside
were covered with gold and pearl, resembling Jupiter and Neptune—but within
nothing but spiders and cobwebs. And have not we many who have been covered
with the gold and pearl of profession, resembling the saints of the Most
High God—but within, as Christ said, are full of uncleanness (Matthew
23:27), insomuch that we may see the spiders creeping out of them! Oh, that
all who profess the name of Christ might depart from iniquity (2 Timothy
2:19), so that they might set a crown of honor upon the head of Christ—and
make Him appear lovely in the eyes of others!
C. Consolation. Here is comfort to those who
are by faith, married to Christ. This is their glorious privilege: Christ's
beauty and loveliness shall be put upon them; they shall shine by His beams.
This is the apex and crown of honor: the saints shall not only behold
Christ's glory—but be transformed into it. 1 John 3:2, "We shall be like
Him, for we will see Him as He really is!" That is, we shall be irradiated
and enameled with His glory. Christ is compared to the beautiful lily in
Song of Solomon 2:1. His lily-whiteness shall be put upon His saints. A
glorified soul shall be a perfect mirror or crystal, where the beauty of
Christ shall be transparent. Moses married a black woman—but he could not
make her complexion white; but whoever Christ marries, He alters their
complexion. He makes them altogether lovely. Other beauty causes pride;
but no such worm breeds in heaven. The saints in glory shall admire
their own beauty—but not grow proud of it. Other beauty is soon lost. The
eye weeps to see its furrowed brows, and the cheeks blush at their own
paleness; but this is a never-fading beauty. Age cannot wither it; it
retains its glossiness, the white and vermillion mixed together to all
Think of this, O you saints, who mourn now for your sins
and bewail your spiritual deformities! Remember, by virtue of your union
with Christ, you shall be glorious creatures; then shall your clothing be of
wrought gold; then shall you be brought unto the King in glorious
raiment—and you shall hear Christ pronounce that blessed word from Song of
Solomon 4:7: "You are all beautiful, My love—there is no spot in you!"