The Beauty of God and Christ

screenshot-2016-09-27-06-08-57Christ draweth with three sorts of General Arguments, in this Moral way: The first is taken from pleasure; this is the beauty that is in God, 1. That is in a communion with God. 2. The delectation we have in God as love-worthy to the understanding. For the drawing beauty of God, a word: 1. Of God’s beauty. 2. Of God’s beauty in Christ. 3. Of the relative beauty of God in Christ to Men and Angels. 1. Beauty, as we take it, is the loveliness of face and person arising from 1. the natural well contempered colour, 2. the due proportion of stature and members of body, 3. the integrity of parts; as that there is nothing wanting for bodily perfection. So beauty formally is not in God, who hath not a body: Nor speak we of Christ’s bodily beauty, as Man. Then beauty, by analogy, and eminently, must be in God: So as there be four things in the creature to make up beauty to the bodily eyes, and there be, by proportion, those same four things in God; for if beauty be good, and a desirable perfection in the creature, it must be in an infinite and eminent way in God; as the perfection of the effect, is in the cause. If the roses, lilies, meadows be fair, he must be fairer who created them; but in another kind. If the heavens, stars, and sun be beautiful, the lovely Lord who made them must have their beauty in an high measure. Zech. 9.17. How great is the Lord’s goodness, how great is his beauty? What then is the beauty of God?

I conceive it to be, The amenity and loveliness of his nature and all infinite perfections, as this pleasantness offers it self to his own understanding, and the understanding of men and Angels, and as bodily beauty satisfies the eies, and so acts on the heart to win love to beauty; so the truth of the Lord’s nature, and all his Attributes offered to the understanding and mind, and drawing from them admiration or wondering, and love is the beauty of God; David maketh this his one thing, Psal. 27.4. That (saith he) I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and inquire in his Temple. See then as white and red excellently contempered maketh pleasure and delectation to the eyes, and through these windows to the mind and heart, so there ariseth from the nature of God and his Attributes a sweet intelligibility, as David desires no other life but to stand beside God, and behold with his mind and faiths eyes, God in his Nature and Attributes, as he reveals himself to the creature. The Queen of Sheba came a far journey to see Solomon, because of his perfection; some common people desire to see the King; the Lord is a fair and pleasant object to the understanding.

2. There is in beauty a due proportion of members. 1. quantity. 2. situation. 3. stature. Let a person have a most pleasant colour, yet if the ears and nose be as little as an Ant, or as big as an ordinary mans leg, he is not beautiful. 2. If members be not right seated, if the one eye be two inches lower in the face then the other, it mars the beauty; or if the head be in the breast, it is a monster. Or 3. if the stature be not due, as if the person be the stature of ten men, and too big; or the stature of an infant, or a Dove; had he all other things for colour and proportion, his beauty is no beauty, but an error of nature, he is not as he should be, now the Lord is beautiful because infiniteness, and sweetness of order is so spread over his nature and Attributes, nothing can be added to him, nothing taken from him, and he is not all mercy only, but infinitely just; were God infinitely true yet not meek and gracious, he should not be beautiful; had he all perfections, but weak, mortal, not omnipotent, not eternal, his beauty should be marred; then one attribute does not over-top, out-border or limit another; were he infinite in power, but finite in mercy, the luster and amenity of God were defaced.

3. There is integrity of parts in beauty. Were a person fairer than Absalom, and wanted a nose or an arm, the beauty should be lame. The Lord is compleat and absolutely perfect in his blessed nature, and attributes.

4. All these required in beauty, must be natural, and truly and really there. Borrowed colours, and painting, and fair-ding of the face, as Jezebel did, are not beauty: the Lord in all his perfections is truly that which he seems to be. Now as there is in Roses, gardens, creatures that are faire, something pleasant, that ravisheth eye and heart; so there are in God so many faire and pleasant truths to take the mind, and God is so capatious, and so comprehensive a truth, and so lovely, such a bottomless Sea of wonders, and to the understanding that beholds God’s beauty, there is an amenity, goodliness, a splendor, an irradiation of brightness, a loveliness, and drawing sweetness of excellency, diffused through the Lord’s nature. Hence heaven is a seeing of God face to face, Revel. 22.4. Matth. 18.10. Now God hath not a face; but the face of a man is the most heavenly visible part in man, there is majesty and gravity in it, much of the art and goodliness of the creature is in his face. To see God’s face, is to behold God’s blessed essence, so far as the creature can see God. Now as we may be said to see the Sun’s face, when we see the Sun, as we are able to behold it; but there is beauty, and such vehemency of visibility in it, as it exceedeth our faculty of seeing; so do we see God’s face, when we nearly behold him, not by hearsay, but immediately. Let us imagine that millions of Suns in the firmament, were all massed and framed in one Sun, and that the sense of seeing that is in all men, that ever hath been, or may be, yet this Sun should far excel this faculty of seeing: so suppose that the Lord should create an understanding faculty of man or Angels, millions of degrees more vigorous and apprehensive, then if all the men and Angels that are, or possibly may be created, were contemperated in one, yet could not this understanding so see God’s transcendent and superexcellent beauty, but there should remain unseen treasures of loveliness never seen, yea, it involves an eternal contradiction, that the creature can see to the bottom of the Creator.

Samuel Rutherford, Christ Dying and Drawing Sinners to Himself, pp. 290-292

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