The Happy Christian
Extract from Lectures Introductory to the Historical Books
Nothing indeed so disturbs the world as to see a man
thoroughly happy in the Lord. It is not finding fault with the world that
rouses its feelings, but the certainty that you have got a blessing to which
they do not even pretend. And this, my brethren, is not best attested by strong
expressions about it. The most effective testimony on every subject may be
indirect; nor is anything of greater power than the simple unaffected
expression of our heart's satisfaction in a worthy object. Even the men of the
world are sensible of this. There is nothing that so forcibly proves or
disproves as that which does not lie on the surface, and is not said to serve a
You are in a trial, or difficulty, poor, persecuted, in prison, or dying; yet you are thoroughly happy. What can the world do with a man that nothing can conquer? It may oppose, insult, punish; but he only gives God thanks, and rejoices the more, and this without in the least making light of what is done. What can the world do with such a man? "This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
It is refreshing therefore to see that, when God must give us many a failure, it is not all failure. Nor should it be so with us. It is an unhappy spirit that always dwells upon the dark side; but at the same time it is never a truthful spirit that does not take full account of it. Has not grace brought us, beloved brethren, into such a place that we can fairly look at anything and any one in the face? We have no reason to fear, except that we should not confide in our God, and that we should not also dread the letting slip ourselves- the letting in self to anything that concerns the Lord. Then I grant you there are weakness and failure at hand.
Excerpt from the Lectures Introductory to the Historical Books,
Judges (chapter 1), p 111-112
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