The previous post in this series may be found here
What is this throne all glory? Crown all gay?
Crown of all brightest shine of glory’s wealth?
This is a lisp of non-sense. I should say,
He is the throne and crown of glory ‘tself.
Should sun beams come to gild his glory they
Would be as ’twere to gild the sun with clay.
Jesus in his glory is portrayed as crowned. For example, Revelation 14:14:
“Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.”
Matthew Bridges’s hymn begins:
Crown Him with many crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own.
Awake, my soul, and sing of Him who died for thee,
And hail Him as thy matchless King through all eternity.
“Lisp of non-sense”: speaking like a child. An interesting use of this phrase, which may have been known to Taylor, would be Calvin’s well-known (in theological circles) statement about God “lisping”:
“Indeed, that they dared abuse certain testimonies of Scripture was due to base ignorance; just as the error itself sprang from execrable madness. The Anthropomorphites, also, who imagined a corporeal God from the fact that Scripture often ascribes to him a mouth, ears, eyes, hands, and feet, are easily refuted. For who even of slight intelligence does not understand that, as nurses commonly do with infants, God is wont in a measure to “lisp” in speaking to us? Thus such forms of speaking do not so much express clearly what God is like as accommodate the knowledge of him to our slight capacity. To do this he must descend far beneath his loftiness.”
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1960), 1.13.1.
The idea of God’s glory and being the source and measure of glory is a frequent theme in Scripture. For example, Psalm 24:8-10:
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle!
9 Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah
“Gild the sun with clay”: gilding would diminish His beauty and glory.
The phrase reminds one of Shakespeare’s play, King John Act 4, scene 2 where Salisbury says:
Therefore, to be possess’d with double pomp,
To guard a title that was rich before,
To gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
To throw a perfume on the violet,
To smooth the ice, or add another hue
Unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
To seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish,
Is wasteful and ridiculous excess.