Saturday, August 4, 2012

abyss of wonders

Thomas Traherne (1637-1674), writing about Christ's death on the cross.  From his work, Centuries, I:58-60...


The Cross is the abyss of wonders, the center of desires, the school of virtues, the house of wisdom, the throne of love, the theater of joys, and the place of sorrows. It is the root of happiness, and the gate of Heaven.


Of all the things in Heaven and Earth it is the most peculiar. It is the most exalted of all objects.  It is an Ensign lifted up for all nations, to it shall the Gentiles seek, His rest shall be glorious: the dispersed of Judah shall be gathered together to it, from the four corners of the earth. If Love be the weight of the Soul, and its object the center, all eyes and hearts may convert and turn unto this Object: cleave unto this center, and by it enter into rest. 


There we might see all nations assembled with their eyes and hearts upon it. There we may see God’s goodness, wisdom and power: yea His mercy and anger displayed. There we may see man’s sin and infinite value. His hope and fear, his misery and happiness. There we might see the Rock of Ages, and the Joys of Heaven. There we may see a Man loving all the world, and a God dying for mankind. There we may see all types and ceremonies, figures and prophecies. And all kingdoms adoring a malefactor: An innocent malefactor, yet the greatest in the world. There we may see the most distant things in Eternity united: all mysteries at once couched together and explained. The only reason why this Glorious Object is so publicly admired by Churches and Kingdoms, and so little thought of by particular men, is because it is truly the most glorious: It is the Rock of Comforts and the Fountain of Joys. It is the only supreme and sovereign spectacle in all Worlds. It is a Well of Life beneath in which we may see the face of Heaven above: and the only mirror, wherein all things appear in their proper colors: that is, sprinkled in the blood of our Lord and Savior. 


The Cross of Christ is the Jacob’s ladder by which we ascend into the highest heavens. There we see joyful Patriarchs, expecting Saints, Prophets ministering, Apostles publishing, and Doctors teaching, all Nations converging, and Angels praising. That Cross is a tree set on fire with invisible flame, that illuminates all the world. The flame is Love: the Love in His bosom who died on it.

No comments: