The beauty and glory of a Christian!
(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)
Holiness will render you most beautiful and amiable. As holiness is the beauty of God, and the beauty of angels—so it is the beauty and glory of a Christian also. Holiness casts such a beauty upon man, as makes him very amiable and desirable.
The redness of the rose, the whiteness of the lily, and all the beauties of the natural universe—are but deformities compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us. If all natural beauty were contracted into one beauty—yet it would be but an obscure and an unlovely beauty, compared to that beauty which holiness puts upon us!
Holiness is lovely, yes—loveliness itself. Purity is a Christian's splendor and glory. There is no beauty compared to that of sanctity; nothing beautifies and bespangles a man like holiness.
Holiness is so attractive and so lovely a thing—that it draws all eyes and hearts to an admiration of it. Holiness is so great a beauty—that it puts a beauty upon all other excellencies in a man. That holiness is a very beautiful thing, and that it makes all those beautiful who have it—is a truth that no devil can deny!
"Demetrius," says Plutarch, "was so lovely of face, that no painter was able to draw him." Just so, holiness puts so rare a beauty upon man—that no painter under heaven is able to draw him!
Scipio Africanus was so lovely a person, that the Spaniards stood amazed at his loveliness. Holiness puts such a loveliness, and such an amiableness upon a person—that many admire it, and stand amazed at it.
O sirs, as ever you would be amiable and desirable—be holy!
As ever you would be attractive and lovely—be holy!
As ever you would outshine the sun in splendor and glory—labor to be holy!
Many have ventured their names, their estates, their liberties, their lives, yes, their very souls—to enjoy a lovely Bathsheba, an attractive Helena, a beautiful Diana, a lovely Cleopatra, etc.—whose beauties have been but clay, well-colored. Oh, how much more, then, should you be provoked to labor and venture your all for holiness—which will imprint upon you that most excellent and most exquisite beauty; which will go to the grave and to glory with you; yes, which will render you not only amiable and excellent in the eyes of men—but also lovely and lovely in the eyes of God!
Unholy souls are . . .
altogether unlovely souls.