BLTC Press Titles

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Letters on the Aesthetical Education of Man

Friedrich Schiller

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

Novalis Including Hymns to the Night

Novalis, George MacDonald, Thomas Carlyle

Through the Looking Glass

Lewis Carroll

Christ is all

by Henry Law


"I am that I am." Such is the voice from the burning bush. The Speaker, then, is hid in no mask of mystery. It is the Angel of the everlasting Covenant. It is the great Redeemer. He would establish His people on the firm rock of comfort. Therefore with trumpet-tongue He thus assured them, that all the majesty, all the supremacy, all the glory of absolute and essential Deity, are His inherent right.

0 my soul, into what a speck must poor man dwindle before 3iich greatness! The limits of the mind cannot scan it. The arms of the heart cannot embrace it. Words are mere skeletons before it. Intellect would fain on eagle's wing fly' around the ever-widening circle. But vain is the effort. Its height is on heaven's summit. What mortal arm can reach it? It is as space, which has no bounds. What human line can mete it? Our visual orbs pierce not unlimited expanse. Our scales weigh not the mountains. Our vessels measure not the ocean's waters. So our faculties are short to probe the immensities of God. To grasp divine essence requires divine largeness. "I am that I am" alone can read the volume of that title.

Shall we then repine? What! repine because our God is so great? Where is the subject, who frets, because he cannot count his prince's treasures? Let us rather bow our heads in pious adoration. Let us rather give thanks, that a mine is open, in which the very dust is gold. Let us rather humble ourselves, that we are so slow and careless to gather up tho manna of rich truth, which falls at the tent-door. Let us rather pray the Spirit to illumine more clearly the written page. Let us rather long for the day, when every cloud, which veils our God, shall brighten into perfect light; and when His people "shall be like Him, for they shall see Him, as He is."

Come, then, and with such loving teachableness let us take our seat beside this sea of truth; and strive with reverence to touch the spray, which sparkles on the shore.

"I am that I am." Here the first sound is eternity. Jesus, as God, here puts on eternity as His robe. He knows no past. He knows no future. He lives unmoved, in one unmoving present. He stretches through all the ages, which are gone, and which are yet to come. His only bounds are immeasurable boundlessness. Ere time was born, He is, "I am that I am." When time shall have expired, He still is, "I am that I am." If there had been the moment, when His being dawned, His name would be, I am what I was not. If there could be the moment, when His being must have end, His name would be, I am what I shall not be. But He is, "I am that I am." Thus He treads first and last beneath His feet. He sits on the unbroken circumference of existence, as He who ever was, and ever is, and ever shall be. Let thought fly back, until in weariness it faint—let it look onward—until all vision fail—it ever finds Him the same "I am."

Reader, look down now from this astounding glory, and fix your eye on Bethlehem's manger. What see you there? A lowly babe lies in the lowly cradle of a lowly town, the offspring of a lowly mother. Look again. That child is the eternal " I am." He, whose Deity had never birth, is born "the Woman's Seed." He, whom no infinitudes can hold, is contained within infant's age, and infant's form. He, who never began to be, as God—here begins to be, as man. And can it be, that the great "lam that I am" shrinks into our flesh, and is little upon our earth, as one newborn of yesterday? It is so. The Lord promised it. Prophets foretold it. Types prefigured it. An angel announces it. Heaven rings with rapture at it. Faith sees it. The redeemed rejoice in it.

But wherefore is this wonder of wonders? Wherefore is eternity's Lord a child of time? He thus stoops, that He may save poor wretched sinners, such as we are. Could He not do so by His will or by His word? Ah! no. He willed, and all things were. He speaks, and all obey. But he must die, as man, that a lost soul may live. To rescue from one stain of sin, the eternal must take the sinner's place—and bear sin's curse—and pay sin's debt—and suffer sin's penalty— and wash out sin's filth—and atone for sin's malignity. "I am that I am" alone could do this. "I am that I am" alone has done it.

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