Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
As we have many contributors on holiday, we’ve decided over the next few weeks to send devotions from Daily Devotions from the Puritans – the 1997 Bryntirion Press book by I.D.E. Thomas.
Lord, make me beautiful within
Is it beauty that you are proud of? I have told you what sickness and death will do to that before. ‘When you discipline a man with rebukes for sin, you consume like a moth what is dear to him; surely all mankind is a mere breath!’ (Ps. 39:11).
And if your beauty would continue, how little good will it do you? And who but fools look at the skin of a rational creature, when they would assess its worth?
A fool, and a slave of lust, and Satan, may be beautiful. A sepulchre may be gilded that hath rottenness within. Will you choose the finest purse, or the fullest? Who but a child or a fool will value his book by the fineness of the cover, or the gilding of the leaves, and not by the worth of the matter within? Absalom was beautiful, and what better was he?
— Richard Baxter, A Homiletic Encyclopedia, p. 435 (Н.Е.)