54. Verse 17. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead, signifies that from such presence of the Lord there was a defect or deprivation of his own life. A man's own life cannot sustain the presence of the Lord, such as the Lord is in Himself, yea, such as He is in the inmosts of His Word; for His Divine love is altogether like the sun, which no one can bear as it is in itself, without being consumed. This is what is meant by saying that:
No one can see God and live (Exod. 33:29; Judges 13:22).
This being the case, therefore the Lord appears to the angels in heaven as a sun, at a distance from them, as the sun of this world is from men; the reason is, because the Lord in Himself is in that sun. But yet the Lord so moderates and tempers His Divine that man can sustain His presence. This is effected by veilings. It was so done when He revealed Himself to many in the Word. Yea, by veilings He is present with everyone who worships Him; as He Himself says in John:
He that doeth My commandments, with him I will make My abode (John 14:21, 23).
That He will be in them, and they in Him (John 15:4-5).
Hence it is evident why John, when he saw the Lord in such glory, fell at His feet as dead; and also, why the three disciples, when they saw the Lord in glory, were heavy with sleep, and a cloud covered them (Luke 9:32, 34).