23 January 2013

What Is Holiness?

Holiness, as I then wrote down some of my contemplations on it, appeared to me to be of a sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm nature, which brought an inexpressible purity, brightness, peacefulness and ravishment to the soul.

In other words . . . it made the soul like a field or garden of God, with all manner of pleasant flowers; all pleasant, delightful, and undisturbed; enjoying a sweet calm. . . .

The soul of a true Christian, as I then wrote my meditations, appeared like such a little white flower as we see in the spring of the years; low and humble on the ground, opening its bosom to receive the pleasant beams of the sun's glory, rejoicing as it were in a calm rapture; diffusing around a sweet fragrance; standing peacefully and lovingly, in the midst of other flowers round about; all in like manner opening their bosoms, to drink in the light of the sun.
--Jonathan Edwards, Personal Narrative, in Works, 16:796

We tend to think of holiness in terms of vehemence, zeal, ardor, passion. Better is 'sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm.' Hell can imitate the former far more easily than the latter.

3 comments:

Erik Most said...

this is fantastic.

Aletheia said...

"We tend to think of holiness in terms of vehemence, zeal, ardor, passion. Better is 'sweet, pleasant, charming, serene, calm.' Hell can imitate the former far more easily than the latter."

Perhaps this tends, in our culture, to be more linked to whichever gender one happens to be. For women then, that which is "hellacious" in nature, mimics holiness by presenting itself in a way that is in actuality "nice...sweet...passive...indifferent..."

Aletheia said...

I suppose, Dane, I say that as somewhat of a confession-it was said of me, after highschool, that I was "the nicest girl in highschool." Looking back, I regret that I didn't love better.