LIGHT AND DARK
THE SOURCE of the second color contrast in Crashaw is the Bible. God manifests the distinction between light and dark, like the concept of abundance, in the opening verses of Genesis. The Judaeo-Christian tradition will trace its emphasis on this opposition back to these verses, though the idea is fundamental and exists in pre-Hebraic and pagan cultures.1 Dionysius the Areopagite, devotes several ecstatic chapters of the Divine Names to the description of of the actions and characteristics of God as Light. As a commentary on the symbolism of light in Crashaw his remarks are valuable.
Let us then now celebrate the spiritual Name of Light, on the ground that He that fills every supercelestial mind with spiritual light, and expels all ignorance and error from all souls in which they may be, and imparts to them all sacred light, and cleanses their mental vision from the mist which envelops them, from ignorance, and stirs up and unfolds those enclosed by the great weight of darkness, and imparts, at first, a measured radiance; then, whilst they taste, as it were, the light, and desire it more, more fully gives Itself, and more abundantly enlightens them, because "they have loved much," and ever elevates them to things in advance, as befits the analogy of each for aspiration.
The Good then above every light is called spiritual Light, as fontal ray, and stream of light welling over, shining upon every mind, above, around, and in the world, from its fulness, and renewing their whole mental powers, and embracing them all by its over-shadowing; and being above all by its exaltations; and in one word, by embracing and having previously and preeminently the whole sovereignty of the light-dispensing faculty, as being source of light and above all light, and by comprehending in itself