“I am black, but lovely!”

“I am black, but lovely!” 

“I am black, but lovely!” Song of Solomon 1:5

The believer pictures her state. It is a seeming paradox. The extremes of lowliness and greatness are combined. She presents two aspects: deformity and loveliness compose the portrait. “I am black, but lovely!”

Blackness is frightful and repulsive. No eye can rest on it complacently. But blackness is the emblem of our state by nature. We are conceived and born in sin; and sin is most hideous wherever it appears. The Spirit has revealed this truth to each enlightened convert.

He sees it;

he feels it;

he owns it;

he bewails it.

It is his constant misery.

When he would do good, evil is present with him. He hates and loathes and abhors himself in dust and ashes. Surveying the innate corruption, which is his, he mournfully confesses, “I am black! I am vile!”

But he looks off to Christ. He sees the precious blood washing out every stain and obliterating the crimson dye.

The blackness disappears.

In Christ he is whiter than the whitest snow.

He puts on Christ, and adores Him as made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. He sees His pure and perfect obedience wrought out as a robe to hide his every defect, so bright, so lovely, and so glorious, that it exceeds all admiration.

He feels that this righteousness is through grace imputed to him. He knows that he is lovely through divine loveliness. Thus clothed and decked, he triumphantly tells his friends, “I am black, but lovely!”

“You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved! There is no spot in you!” Song of Solomon 4:7

Henry Law 1879

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