By Horatius Bonar
"The eyes of them that see shall not be dim." -- Isaiah 32:3
THESE blessed words tell us four things, (1.) There are eyes that do not see; (2.) there are eyes that do see; (3.) of the eyes that see some are dim; (4.) the time is at hand when they shall not be dim.
I. There are eyes that see not. Of the dead idols this is said,--"They have eyes but see not;" and this is not wonderful. But that the same should be said of living men is marvelous. It is not true of angels; it is not true of devils; they have eyes and see. It is true of men; of millions; of the greater part of our race; they have eyes but see not. They shut them; they turn them away from their proper objects; they allow scales to grow over them; they deliberately veil them. O fearful calamity! O bitter curse! And yet for all this, they themselves are responsible. It is not God that blinds them, or veils, or darkens. They are their own undoers. They did not wish to see; they were resolved not to see. Self- blinded, not God-blinded! They suffer this world to blind or dazzle them; so that their eyes are useless. They let Satan, the god of this world, put his hand over their eyes; or bewilder them with his snares and enticements. Thus, having eyes they see not.
II. There are eyes that see. These are they whom God hath enlightened; whose eyes the son of God hath opened; for it is his work to open the eyes of the blind. They did not open their own eyes. Their eyes did not open by chance. Once they were blind,--quite as blind as others; but now they see. There are not many of whom this can be said; yet there are some. And what do they see? (1.) They see God; (2.) they see Christ; (3.) they see themselves; (4.) they see the word of God; (5.) they see the things within the veil. They are not like the men of this world, with eyes that see outward things, sun, moon, and stars, earth and sea, woods and hills and fields. They see beyond all these,--that which is spiritual and divine; that which is true and glorious. Yes; they see! In a blinded generation they see! How great a thing and how blessed to be able to say this of them,--they see! They have got eyes that are not useless; eyes that do not mislead; eyes that present things in their proper light and proportions and distances! Their eyes have been anointed with the heavenly eyesalve, and they see! They no longer stumble nor grope in the dark, nor go after false objects. They see, and they know that they see!
III. Of these eyes that see some are dim. They see; but they do not see afar off (2 Peter 1:9). They see; but it is dimly. Their vision is defective. They see men as trees walking. They are near-sighted, short-sighted. Their eyes require further purging. They ought to see fully and truly; but they do not. They were not meant to be dim. God has no pleasure in their being dim. The objects are vivid and distinct; yet they are seen dimly. In what respects is this the case? (1.) They see but part or parts of the truth; (2.) what they do see is imperfectly realised. The gospel is but half a gospel. The cross is not so full of peace and light as it ought to be. The way of life is but partially known. The coming glory has but a feeble radiance. The advent of Christ has but little value to them. Christ himself has but little of the excellence which he ought to possess to them, and is but poorly appreciated. There is no doubt something in the atmosphere of this present evil world that hinders vision and beclouds the eye; but still, after all, it is the dimness of the eye that is the evil. How many are all their lifetime afflicted with this imperfect vision. How much they lose by this! Their faith is not the substance of things hoped for; it is but the shadow of that substance. Hope is to them a vague expectation, with little of certainty or brightness in it. Their life has more of the cloud than of the sunshine about it.
IV. The time is at hand when these eyes shall not be dim. There are many partial removals of this dimness even now; times when we see farther and more clearly. At Pentecost this was the case. At the Reformation also. In times of revival it has been so. In individual cases this has been known. Paul was a man that saw clearly. Augustine, Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Rutherford, Edwards; these were clear-sighted men, from whom the Holy Spirit had purged the scales and the dimness. But the reference here is prophetical. The prophet points to a coming; era of perfection, when we shall see Him as he is; see as we are seen, know as we are known. No dimness then; no defective vision; no cloudy atmosphere; no diseased organ of sight. All brightness and distinctness. The cross clear and bright. The light and love unclouded. Christ seen face to face, no longer in a glass darkly. Every ray of glory coming freshly from his revealed countenance; every feature fair and perfect; Himself the chief among ten thousand; His kingdom infinitely glorious. No doubting either as to the things of Christ, or our interest in them. No unbelief; no error; no mist. All the perfection of vision, and the perfection of light. O day of brightness and true vision, dawn! O Morning-star, arise! O Prince of light, light of the world, make haste, end the long darkness of humanity, and cover earth with celestial sunshine!