THE IMAGE OF CHRIST.
The image of Christ, drawn by the pencil of the Spirit, to which Scripture directs our aim, is painted in such colors that it is impossible often to contemplate it without its irresistibly affecting the heart. As the bodily eye that has looked long at the sun retains a bright image of it, so the spiritual eye that gazes steadfastly on the face of Christ is filled with light. We carry this image with us wherever we go, and it blends with all our thoughts and actions. It never ceases to be a study to us, ever growing more bright and beautiful as we gaze upon it, revealing in contrast, more and more, every darkness of our own hearts. I have said, it is with us at conversion as it is in spring, when the sun melts the snow in the fields and on the mountain side; but upon the highest peaks, and in the deepest valleys, patches of it still remain. So the rays of the spiritual sun may penetrate our souls, and still there remains in each heart heights and depths where yet all is cold and hard. How much must yet be melted away, he is first aware who conscientiously yields himself up to the discipline of Scripture. The longer we contemplate Christ, the more do we discover how unlike him we are, how selfishness has penetrated our inmost nature, how poor we are in humanity, in love. When we enter this school of discipline, it does not seem so. This beholding ourselves in the image of Christ has the peculiarity, that whilst we more and more discover the darkness in us, upon us all the while unconscious, it is pouring its light. Paul has expressed this in a particularly rich passage in his letter to the Corinthians. He says: "But we all, with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." A wonderfully rich saying indeed. Just as when we behold ourselves in a metallic mirror, he would say, it spreads over us its own effulgence; so we Christians, looking with unveiled face at Christ, as into the mirror of humanity, are adorned with his light, made partakers of his Spirit, changed, as from glory to glory, into the same resplendent image. --Tholuck.