You hide Yourself from prying eyes,
From faithless seekers veil Your face,
Conceal Your form, confound the wise,
Your brightness dim, though not Your grace.
Shekinah garbed in smoke and cloud,
Invisible to them that peer,
Your brilliance hidden from the proud,
Disclosed to those who love and fear.
Invisible, yet present still,
You show Yourself in unsought ways.
Your handiwork reveals Your will,
Your wisdom sets the night ablaze.
Your voice resounds in storm and fire,
Your attributes adorn the sky,
The starry host, a mighty choir,
Shouts forth Your praise to every eye.
Eternal essence, ever One,
Yet ever moving, ever Three,
Unchanging Father, Spirit, Son,
Profound in Your simplicity:
When sinners stood condemned and lost
(For justice must be satisfied)
You rescued them—appalling cost!—
As on the cross, the Savior died.
You prove Your grace to all who trust
Upon the Son, upon the Lamb,
Upon the Holy One and Just,
Upon the glorious “I AM.”
But they who scorn the Risen Lord,
And who reject His blood-bought grace,
Will find themselves to be abhorred,
When they behold His wrathful face.
You jealously resist the proud,
The arrogant will be denied;
But they who come with visage bowed
To seek You will be satisfied.
True-hearted lovers find You true,
Seekers of wisdom find You wise,
And they who give themselves to You
Will gaze on You with open eyes.
This poem is by Kevin T. Bauder, Research Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Not every one of the professors, students, or alumni of Central Seminary necessarily agrees with every opinion that it expresses.
from A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections
Jonathan Edwards (1703–1758)
By this is seen the excellency of the word of God. Take away all the moral beauty and sweetness in the word, and the Bible is left wholly a dead letter, a dry, lifeless, tasteless thing. By this is seen the true foundation of our duty, the worthiness of God to be so esteemed, honored, loved, submitted to, and served, as he requires of us, and the amiableness of the duties themselves that are required of us. And by this is seen the true evil of sin; for he who sees the beauty of holiness, must necessarily see the hatefulness of sin, its contrary. By this men understand the true glory of heaven, which consists in the beauty and happiness that is in holiness. By this is seen the amiableness and happiness of both saints and angels. He that sees the beauty of holiness, or true moral good, sees the greatest and most important thing in the world, which is the fullness of all things, without which all the world is empty, no better than nothing, yea, worse than nothing. Unless this is seen, nothing is seen that is worth the seeing; for there is no other true excellency or beauty. Unless this be understood, nothing is understood that is worthy of the exercise of the noble faculty of understanding. This is the beauty of the Godhead, and the divinity of divinity (if I may so speak), the good of the infinite fountain of good; without which, God himself (if that were possible) would be an infinite evil; without which we ourselves had better never have been; and without which there had better have been no being. He therefore in effect knows nothing, that knows not this; his knowledge is but the shadow of knowledge, or the form of knowledge, as the apostle calls it. Well therefore may the Scriptures represent those who are destitute of that spiritual sense by which is perceived the beauty of holiness, as totally blind, deaf, and senseless, yea, dead.
About Kevin Bauder
Kevin T. Bauder is Research Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. Not every one of the professors, students, or alumni of Central Seminary necessarily agrees with every opinion that this post expresses.