The Excellencies of Christ Illustrated in Nature

The Excellencies of Christ Illustrated in Nature

The triune God had a purpose when he set his final creation, man, in the midst of such a marvelous universe. He wanted every aspect of that universe to teach man something about him.

Psalm 19:1-4 and Romans 1:20 tell us this. "The heavens declare the glory of God"; that is, they show forth "his eternal power and divine nature," along with the rest of creation.

In this excerpt from Miscellanies #108, Jonathan Edwards lists a variety of scenes from nature and suggests which attributes of Christ they were made to picture.

[T]he Son of God created the world for his very end, to communicate himself in an image of his own excellency. . . .

So that when we are delighted with flowery meadows and gentle breezes of wind, we may consider that we only see the emanations of the sweet benevolence of Jesus Christ; when we behold the fragrant rose and lily, we see his love and purity.

So the green trees and fields, and singing of birds, are the emanations of his infinite joy and benignity; the easiness and naturalness of trees and vines [are] shadows of his infinite beauty and loveliness; the crystal rivers and murmuring streams have the footsteps of his sweet grace and bounty.

When we behold the light and brightness of the sun, the golden edges of an evening cloud, or the beauteous bow, we behold the adumbrations of his glory and goodness; and the blue skies, of his mildness and gentleness.

There are also many things wherein we may behold his awful majesty: in the sun in his strength, in comets, in thunder, in the towering thunder clouds, in ragged rocks and the brows of mountains. That beauteous light with which the world is filled in a clear day is a lively 1shadow of his spotless holiness and happiness, and delight in communicating himself.

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Tyler Kenney (@tylerkenney) is a former content strategist at Desiring God. He and his wife, Kristen, live in the Twin Cities.