by George H. Morrison

The Veiled Faces of the Seraphim
George H. Morrison
Isaiah 6:2

This is the only place in the Old Testament where we find mention of the seraphim. It is the one glimpse we have in Scripture of these strange creatures by the throne of God. In every vision of God vouchsafed to men there are certain features which are universal. Just because God is one, and man is one, all hours of rapture have their common elements. But just because the yearning of each heart is different from that of every other heart, each vision has its peculiar character. To Moses, gazing upward into heaven, there was under the feet of God a sapphire pavement. To dying Stephen, when the heavens were opened, there was Jesus standing on the right hand of God. To Isaiah, in a circle round the throne, there rose these mystical and mighty creatures, crying antiphonally and eternally, Holy, Holy, Holy. They were in fashion as a man, for they had hands and feet, yet each was the possessor of six wings. With twain they did fly, in the ministry of God; with twain in humility they hid their feet. But most subduing of all perhaps is this, that before the dazzling radiance of God with twain they covered their faces. Just as a man who has lingered in the shadows, and steps out suddenly into a blaze of light, puts up his hand before his eyes, instinctively, to shield them from that blinding glare, so these mysterious beings round the throne, returning from their voyaging through the universe, cover their faces in the light of God. There is a radiance which they cannot brook. There is a dazzling glory which would blind them. Gifted with powers more splendid than the angels, they know it is wisest for them not to see. And so do I think they teach us our true wisdom, in regard to many of the mysteries around us, which are so dark, often, with excess of bright. We have such curiously discursive intellects that there is nothing we do not seek to penetrate. We want to gaze into the heart of things, till we have ...

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