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He is Holy

[Holiness] is the divine beauty which chiefly engages the attention, admiration, and praise of the bright and burning seraphim: “One cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). And, “They rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). … And the Scriptures represent the saints on earth as adoring God primarily on this account, and admiring and extolling all God’s attributes, either as deriving loveliness from his holiness, or as being a part of it. Thus when they praise God for his power, his holiness is the beauty that engages them (Psalm 98:1). So when they praise him for his justice and terrible majesty (Psalm 99:2-3, 5, 8-9). So when they praise God for his mercy and faithfulness (Psalm 97:11-12).

Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections, 105–106.

This attribute should work in us a deep and reverential respect to God. This is the reason rendered why we should “worship at his footstool,” in the lowest posture of humility, prostrate before him, because “he is holy” (Psalm 99:5). Shoes must be put off from our feet (Exodus 3:5), that is, lusts from our affections, everything that our souls are clogged and bemired with, as the shoe is with dirt. He is not willing we should offer to him an impure soul, mired hearts, rotten carcasses, putrefied in vice, rotten in iniquity. Our services are to be as free from profaneness as the sacrifices of the law were to be free from sickliness or any blemish. Whatsoever is contrary to his purity is abhorred by him, and unlovely in his sight, and can meet with no other success at his hands, but a disdainful turning away both of his eye and ear (Isaiah 1:15). …

We are too low, too lame to lift up ourselves to it; too much in love with our own deformity, to admit of this beauty without a heavenly power inclining our desires for it, our affections to it, our willingness to be partakers of it. He can as soon set the beauty of holiness in a deformed heart, as the beauty of harmony in a confused mass when he made the world. He can as soon cause the light of parity to rise out of the darkness of corruption, as frame glorious spirits out of the insufficiency of nothing. His beauty doth not decay, he hath as much in himself now as he had in his eternity: he is as ready to impart it as he was at the creation; only we must wait upon him for it, and be content to have it by small measures and degrees. There is no fear of our sanctification, if we come to him as a God of holiness, since he is a God of peace, and the breach made by Adam is repaired by Christ: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (1 Thessalonians 5:23). He restores the sanctifying Spirit which was withdrawn by the fall, as he is a God pacified, and his holiness righted by the Redeemer. The beauty of it appears in its smiles upon a man in Christ, and is as ready to impart itself to the reconciled creature, as before justice was to punish the rebellious one.

Stephen Charnock, The Complete Works of Stephen Charnock, 2:273-4.

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Excerpts Quotes

The Presence of God

“Believer, since the Lord is always present with you, compassing your pathway and your lying down, besetting you behind and before (Psalm 139:3-5), be careful to refrain yourself from doing anything that would be unbecoming of His presence. Set the Lord always before you. Acknowledge Him in all your ways. Fear Him. Humble yourself before Him. Walk in all reverence and humility before His countenance, for to sin in the presence of God greatly aggravates the sin committed. The presence of people serves as a restraint against the commission of many sins, and if the presence of God does not accomplish the same, one reveals himself having more respect for people than for the majestic and holy God. What a despising and proving of God this is! Therefore, let your reverence for the presence of God prevent your sinning against Him and let it motivate you to live a life pleasing to the Lord”

Wilhelmus A Brakel, The Christian’s Reasonable Service
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High Above All Nations

The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!

—Psalm 113:4

Though the Gentiles knew him not, yet was Jehovah their ruler: their false gods were no gods, and their kings were puppets in his hands. The Lord is high above all the learning, judgment, and imagination of heathen sages, and far beyond the pomp and might of the monarchs of the nations. Like the great arch of the firmament, the presence of the Lord spans all the lands where dwell the varied tribes, for his providence is universal: this may well excite our confidence and praise. “And his glory above the heavens”—higher than the loftiest part of creation; the clouds are the dust of his feet, and sun, moon, and stars twinkle far below his throne. His glory cannot be set forth by the whole visible universe, nor even by the solemn pomp of angelic armies; it is above all conception and imagination, for he is God—infinite. Let us above all adore him who is above all.

—Charles H. Spurgeon
The Treasury of David, 3:30.

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Solitary in His Excellency

So few are accustomed to meditate upon the personal perfections of God. Comparatively few who occasionally read the Bible are aware of the awe-inspiring and worship-provoking grandeur of the divine character. That God is great in wisdom, wondrous in power, yet full of mercy is assumed by many as common knowledge. But to entertain anything approaching an adequate conception of His being, nature, and attributes, as revealed in the Scripture, is something which very few people in these degenerate times have done. God is solitary in His excellency. “Who is like unto Thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like Thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” (Ex 15:11).

—A. W. Pink,
The Nature of God, 11.

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Quotes

The Immensity of God

From the greatness and immensity of God…

Your soul must reverently stay all its busy, bold inquiries, and know that God is to us, and to every creature, incomprehensible.

If you could fathom or measure Him, and know His greatness by a comprehensive knowledge, He were not God. A creature can comprehend nothing but a creature.

You may know God, but not comprehend Him

As your foot treads on the earth, but does not cover all the earth. The sea is not the sea, if you can hold it in a spoon.

—Richard Baxter
Adapted from The Practical Works of the Rev. Richard Baxter, 13:29.

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