The Beauty Of Holiness
In all the moral universe there is nothing so beautiful as holiness. All the gifts and graces of the Spirit gain lustre and beauty only in proportion as they arc adorned with holiness. Christian life and Christian experience are beautiful only as they approximate this, the perfection of all beauty –holiness. Holiness is “the beauty of our God” and holiness is the essence and acme of all that is beautiful in Christian character.
Holiness is beautiful, first, because it is freedom from moral defilement and corruption; it is cleanness and whiteness of soul; it is freedom from sin and conformity to the divine nature and the divine image. Holiness is transparency of character, consistency in conduct, and harmony with heaven. Sin is moral filth, and pollutes the soul, corrupts the life, and blackens the character. To be holy is to be clean clear through, and clear clean through, “without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing.”
Again, the beauty of holiness may be seen in the rhythm and harmony it brings to the soul-life. Sin is discord, and puts a man out of harmony with himself, with his fellowman, and with his God. Holiness takes out of the heart the discordant notes, and puts a man in harmony with the object of his creation, in harmony with his fellowman; in harmony with the laws of nature and in harmony with his God, and so brings the very harmony and music of heaven into the soul. The discordant tones of strife, and envy, and passion will cease, and the dove of peace will continually sing in the soul. “The wilderness and the solitary places shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the excellency of our God.” (Isa. 35:1, 2.)
Again, the beauty of holiness may be seen in the symmetry and evenness it brings into the soul-life. Instead of the spasmodic and fluctuating, up-and-down experience, it gives a steady, constant and abiding walk with God. It safeguards the soul against extremes, and gives moderation and soul-poise in all things. Holiness of heart means holiness of life, and so becomes the controlling power of the thoughts, and imagination, of the appetites and tempers, of the will and the affections, and regulates all the life and conduct of such as really possess it. What the sun is to the solar system, holiness is to the soul-life, in that everything radiates from and converges to this center. Holiness is the infallible cure for fretfulness, peevishness and ugliness, and adorns the character with the beautiful fruit of the Spirit — “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
Again, the beauty of holiness may be seen in the resignation, contentment, and satisfaction it brings to the soul. Only holy hearts know what it is to have a satisfying portion. Having lost holiness in the fall of Adam, it is utterly impossible to satisfy the craving of the soul until holiness is regained. God never intended that any one should be satisfied with anything less than holiness; and if men will simply heed the soul-cry it will invariably lead them back to holiness. “He satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.” As David said, “I shall be satisfied when I awake with Thy likeness.” Nothing less will, nothing less can satisfy the soul. But he who has holiness — be he young or old will want nothing better. They may be heard to sing:
“There’s thirsting for life’s pleasures, Nor adorning rich and gay;
I have found a richer treasure, One that fadeth not away.”
All they want is more of the same kind. Every longing of the soul is now satisfied. Praise God!
“The ornament and beauty of this lower world, next to God and his works, are the men and women who sparkle and shine in the Beauty of Holiness.” (John Bunyan.)
“Let the beauty of the Lord our God he upon us. (Ps. 90:17.)