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“Behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them.”—Matt. xvii. 5.

THE other day I watched a cloud form very suddenly and cover the summit of a great mountain, and hide its exalted glory. I could see the track, which had been made by the feet of many generations, winding up the mountain, and I could see where it was lost in the lowering cloud. The cloud itself was bright and radiant. It concealed, and yet it was luminous. It had its deep secrets, and yet it was lucent. It was a home of light, and yet it acted as a veil. The summit of the mountain was hid, but the minister of concealment was also a minister of grace and glory.

And there are bright clouds which often overshadowed the lives of the devoted friends of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secrets 49are hid from our gaze. We cannot trace even the outlines of our Father’s will. Meanings are shrouded in mystery, but in the very mystery there is a certain radiance. The Presence that is hid is shining. The secrets are love secrets. The veil is there, but within the veil is the home of God.

The atonement itself is a bright cloud. The ordinary roads are lost in the vast mystery, and the mountain peaks are hid, but the cloud is not black and cold and chilling; it is warm and radiant with eternal love. The Lord is within the cloud, in the unfathomable wonders of perpetual sacrifice. Our understandings are not yet finally enlightened, but the heart is kindled and sustained. We can rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. When the veil is lifted we shall see “Jesus only.”

And in Christ Jesus even death itself is a bright cloud. It is a great mystery, but it is lit up from within. The fitting symbol of a Christian’s death is not midnight but dawn; not blackness but greyness, for greyness is just blackness made luminous with an indwelling whiteness. Within the mystery of death the Sun of Righteousness is 50arisen and there is healing in His radiant wings. The veil has not yet been lifted; but death is like a house in the night-time, whose shades are drawn, and whose door is closed, but whose windows are bright with the comforting cheer of fire and light within. Our Lord is in the house and the mystery is radiant.

And so it is with many other mysteries which confront us in life’s way. In Christ Jesus there are bright clouds. To-morrow is one of them. Yes, and when we look back, yesterday is another of them. We need not fear to enter the cloud. The transfigured Saviour is within. It is the dwelling-place of the Lord.

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