The Joy of Jesus is The Bread of Life

<< John 6:35 >>

New International Version (©1984)
Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
New Living Translation (©2007)
Jesus replied, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

English Standard Version (©2001)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.

International Standard Version (©2008)
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
Jesus told them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in me will never become thirsty.

King James Bible
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

American King James Version
And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.

American Standard Version
Jesus said unto them. I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Bible in Basic English
And this was the answer of Jesus: I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be in need of food, and he who has faith in me will never be in need of drink.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst at any time.

English Revised Version
Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me, shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me, shall never thirst.

Weymouth New Testament
"I am the bread of Life," replied Jesus; "he who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never, never thirst.

World English Bible
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Young's Literal Translation
And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of the life; he who is coming unto me may not hunger, and he who is believing in me may not thirst -- at any time;


Barnes' Notes on the Bible
I am the bread of life - I am the support of spiritual life; or my doctrines will give life and peace to the soul.

Shall never hunger - See the notes at John 4:14.

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible
I am the bread of life - That is, the bread which gives life, and preserves from death.

He that cometh to me - The person who receives my doctrine, and believes in me as the great atoning sacrifice, shall be perfectly satisfied, and never more feel misery of mind. All the guilt of his sins shall be blotted out, and his soul shall be purified unto God; and, being enabled to love him with all his heart, he shall rest, fully, supremely, and finally happy, in his God.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life,.... Christ is so called, because he gives life to dead sinners: men in a state of nature are dead in trespasses and sins; and whatever they feed upon tends to death; Christ, the true bread, only gives life, which is conveyed by the word, and made effectual by the Spirit: and because he supports and maintains the life he gives; it is not in the power of a believer to support the spiritual life he has; nor can he live on anything short of Christ; and there is enough in Christ for him to live upon: and because he quickens, and makes the saints lively in the exercise of grace, and discharge of duty, and renews their spiritual strength, and secures for them eternal life.

He that cometh to me shall never hunger; not corporeally to hear him preach, or preached, or merely to his ordinances, to baptism, or the Lord's table; but so as to believe in him, feed, and live upon him, as the next clause explains it:

and he that believeth on me shall never thirst; and which is owing, not to the power and will of man, but to divine teachings, and the powerful drawings of the efficacious grace of God; see John 6:44. Now of such it is said, that they shall never hunger and thirst; which is true of them in this life, though not to be understood as there were no sinful desires in them; much less, that there are no spiritual hungerings and thirstings after they are come to Christ; but that they shall not desire any other food but Christ; they shall be satisfied with him; nor shall they hereafter be in a starving and famishing condition, or want any good thing: and in the other world there will be no desires after that which is sinful, nor indeed after outward ordinances, in order to enjoy communion with God in them, as now, for they will then be needless; nor shall they have any uneasy desires after Christ, and his grace, and the enjoyment of him, since he will be all in all to them.

Vincent's Word Studies
I am the bread of life

A form of expression peculiar to John. See John 6:41, John 6:48, John 6:51; John 8:12; John 10:7, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 10:14; John 11:25; John 14:6; John 15:1, John 15:5.

Cometh - believeth

Faith in its active aspect and in its resting aspect.

Never (οὐ μὴ)

Rather, in nowise, or by no means. Rev., shall not.

Geneva Study Bible
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread {i} of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

(i) Which has life and gives life.

People's New Testament
6:35 Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life. They ask for this bread. He answers, it is here; I am that bread. The work of God is that you receive it by believing upon him whom he hath sent. He that cometh shall not hunger; he that believeth shall not thirst. It is thus shown that faith is the power that brings us to Christ. We come to him by believing.

Wesley's Notes
6:35 I am the bread of life - Having and giving life: he that cometh - he that believeth - Equivalent expressions: shall never hunger, thirst - Shall be satisfied, happy, for ever.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
35. I am the bread of life-Henceforth the discourse is all in the first person, "I," "Me," which occur in one form or other, as Stier reckons, thirty-five times.

he that cometh to me-to obtain what the soul craves, and as the only all-sufficient and ordained source of supply.

hunger . thirst-shall have conscious and abiding satisfaction.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
6:28-35 Constant exercise of faith in Christ, is the most important and difficult part of the obedience required from us, as sinners seeking salvation. When by his grace we are enabled to live a life of faith in the Son of God, holy tempers follow, and acceptable services may be done. God, even his Father, who gave their fathers that food from heaven to support their natural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation of their souls. Coming to Jesus, and believing on him, signify the same. Christ shows that he is the true Bread; he is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives, which he has made to be the food of our souls. Bread nourishes only by the powers of a living body; but Christ is himself living Bread, and nourishes by his own power. The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was. He is the Bread which came down from heaven. It denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and his authority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flows to us through him. May we with understanding and earnestness say, Lord, evermore give us this Bread.

The Stages of Spiritual Growth (10/13/2002)

The Stages of Spiritual Growth (10/13/2002)

The Joy Jesus is The Goodness of God

THE GOODNESS OF GOD

"The goodness of God endureth continually" (Ps. 52:1) The "goodness" of God respects the perfection of His nature: "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5). There is such an absolute perfection in God’s nature and being that nothing is wanting to it or defective in it, and nothing can be added to it to make it better.
He is originally good, good of Himself, which nothing else is; for all creatures are good only by participation and communication from God. He is essentially good; not only good, but goodness itself: the creature’s good is a superadded quality, in God it is His essence. He is infinitely good; the creature’s good is but a drop, but in God there is an infinite ocean or gathering together of good. He is eternally and immutably good, for He cannot be less good than He is; as there can be no addition made to Him, so no subtraction from Him. (Thos. Manton).

God is summum bonum, the chiefest good.
The original Saxon meaning of our English word "God" is "The Good." God is not only the Greatest of all beings, but the Best. All the goodness there is in any creature has been imparted from the Creator, but God’s goodness is underived, for it is the essence of His eternal nature. As God is infinite in power from all eternity, before there was any display thereof, or any act of omnipotency put forth; so He was eternally good before there was any communication of His bounty, or any creature to whom it might be imparted or exercised. Thus, the first manifestation of this Divine perfection was in giving being to all things. "Thou art good, and doest good" (Ps. 119:68). God has in Himself an infinite and inexhaustible treasure of all blessedness enough to fill all things.
All that emanates from God—His decrees, His creation, His laws, His providences—cannot be otherwise than good: as it is written. "And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good" (Gen. 1:31). Thus, the "goodness" of God is seen, first, in Creation. The more closely the creature is studied, the more the beneficence of its Creator becomes apparent. Take the highest of God’s earthly creatures, man. Abundant reason has he to say with the Psalmist, "I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works, and that my soul knoweth right well" (139:14). Everything about the structure of our bodies attests the goodness of their Maker. How suited the bands to perform their allotted work! How good of the Lord to appoint sleep to refresh the wearied body! How benevolent His provision to give unto the eyes lids and brows for their protection! And so we might continue indefinitely.

The Joy of Jesus is Understanding God's Love

The Love of God! How blessed is this to the hearts of believers, for only believers can appreciate it, and they but very imperfectly. It is to be noted that here in John 3:16 there are seven things told us about God’s love: First, the tense of His love—"God so loved." It is not God loves, but He "loved." That He loves us now that we are His children, we can, in measure, understand; but that He should have loved us before we became His children passes knowledge. But He did. "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8). And again: "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee" (Jer. 31:3). Second, the magnitude of His love—"God so loved." None can define or measure that little word "so." There are dimensions to the breadth, and length, and depth, and height of His wondrous love, that none can measure. Third, the scope of God’s love—"God so loved the world." It was not limited to the narrow bounds of Palestine, but it flowed out to sinners of the Gentiles, too. Fourth, the nature of God’s love—"God so loved the world that he gave." Love, real love, ever seeks the highest interest of others. Love is unselfish; it gives. Fifth, the sacrificial character of God’s love—"he gave his only begotten Son." God spared not His Best. He freely delivered up Christ, even to the death of the Cross, Sixth, the design of His love". That whosoever believeth on him should not perish." Many died in the wilderness from the bites of the serpents: and many of Adam’s race will suffer eternal death in the lake of fire. But God purposed to have a people who "should not perish." Who this people are is made manifest by their "believing" on God’s Son. Seventh, the beneficence of God’s love—"But have everlasting life." This is what God imparts to every one of His own. Ah, must we not exclaim with the apostle, "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us"! (1 John 3:1). O dear Christian reader, if ever you are tempted to doubt God’s love go back to the Cross, and see there how He gave up to that cruel death His "only begotten Son."
"For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17). This verse enlarges upon the beneficient nature and purpose of God’s love. Unselfish in its character—for love "seeketh not her own"—it ever desires the good of those unto whom it flows forth. When God sent His Son here it was not to "condemn the world," as we might have expected. There was every reason why the world should have been condemned. The heathen were in an even worse condition than the Jews. Outside the little land of Palestine, the knowledge of the true and living God had well nigh completely vanished from the earth. And where God is not known and loved, there is no love among men for their neighbors. In every Gentile nation idolatry and immorality were rampant. One has only to read the second half of Romans 1 to be made to marvel that God did not then sweep the earth with the besom of destruction, But no; He had other designs, gracious designs. God sent His Son into the world that the world through Him "might be saved." It is to be remarked that the word "might" here does not express any uncertainty. Instead it declares the purpose of God in the sending of His Son. In common speech the word "might" signifies a contingency. It is only another case of the vital importance of ignoring man’s dictionaries and the way he employs words, and turning to a concordance to see how the Holy Spirit uses each word in the Scriptures themselves. The word "might"—as a part of the verb—expresses design. When we are told that God sent His Son into the world that through Him "the world might be saved," it signifies that "through him the world should be saved," and this is how it is rendered in the R. V. For other instances we refer the reader to 1 Peter 3:18—"might bring us to God" implies no uncertainty whatever, but tells of the object to be accomplished. For further examples see Galatians 4:5; Titus 2:14; 2 Peter 1:4, etc., etc.
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (John 3:18). For the believer there is "no condemnation" (Rom. 8:1), because Christ was condemned in his stead—the "chastisement of our peace" was upon Him. But the unbeliever is "condemned already." By nature he is a "child of wrath" (Eph. 2:3), not corruption merely. He enters this world with the curse of a sin-hating God upon him. If he hears the Gospel and receives not Christ he incurs a new and increased condemnation through his unbelief. How emphatically this proves that the sinner is responsible for his unbelief!
"And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil" (John 3:19). Here is the cause of man’s unbelief: he loves the darkness, and therefore hates the light. What a proof of his depravity! It is not only that men are in the dark, but they love the darkness—they prefer ignorance, error, superstition, to the light of truth. And the reason why they love the darkness and hate the light is because their deeds are evil.
"For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God" (John 3:20, 21). Here is the final test. "Every one that doeth (practices) evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light," and why?—"lest his deeds should be reproved." That is why men refuse to read the Scriptures. God’s Word would condemn them. On the other hand, "he that doeth truth," which describes what is characteristic of every believer, "cometh to the light"—note the perfect tense—he comes again and again to the light of God’s Word. And for what purpose? To learn God’s mind, that he may cease doing the things which are displeasing to Him, and be occupied with that which is acceptable in His sight. Was not this the final word of Christ to Nicodemus, addressed to his conscience? This ruler of the Jews had come to Jesus "by night," as though his deeds would not bear the light!
For the benefit of those who would prepare for the next lesson we submit the following questions:
1. What does the "much water" teach? verse 23.
2. What was the real purpose of the Jews in coming to John and saying what is recorded in verse 26?
3. What is the meaning of verse 27?
4. What vitally important lesson for the Christian is taught in verse 29?
5. What is the meaning of verse 33?
6. What is meant by the last half of verse 34?
7. How does verse 35 bring out the Deity of Christ?

The Joy of Jesus is in the spirit of love

The First Sign: Jesus Turns Water Into Wine (John 2:1-11)

Introduction

My wife and I know what it is like to get married on a limited budget. When we became engaged, Jeannette and I both contributed to the purchase of her engagement ring. When we got married, we had to stop and cash one of the checks given to us as a wedding gift in order to pay for our room that night. The second night of our honeymoon was spent on the living room couch of my former roommate’s parents’ house in Eastern Washington. If you think that’s bad, our third night was spent at a state park. Jeannette slept in one seat of the car, and I slept in the other. The next night was a little better; we stayed with Karl and Martha Lind, our friends in Portland, Oregon.
John 2:1-11 (King James Version)

John 2

1And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:

2And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

3And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

4Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

5His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

6And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.

7Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

8And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.

9When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

10And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

11This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

King James Version (KJV)


Some of you may remember the story I have told about staying in their son David’s room, since he had moved away from home. John, the older brother, still lived at home. We were awakened in the morning to the sound of a booming voice over the intercom announcing: “Breakfast will be served in the dining room in ten minutes!” The voice sounded so dignified, so formal, but I knew it was John. Before he could even take his finger off the intercom button, we heard a huge crash and the breaking of glass. It literally sounded as though every dish in the cupboard had fallen and broken on the floor. This thunderous crash was quickly followed by a bellowing voice that I knew was Karl’s: “John!”

Getting married on a limited budget is not easy. It was not easy when Jeannette and I married, and it may not have been easy for some of you. Neither does it seem to have been easy for this unnamed couple whose wedding Jesus, His mother, and His disciples attend in Cana of Galilee. The story of the wedding at Cana of Galilee is found only in John’s Gospel. It is on this occasion that our Lord performs His first demonstration of power. It is no mere miracle; it is a sign, a miracle with a message. Let us listen carefully to the words of this text to learn what the Spirit of God intends to teach us from this wedding miracle.

The Joy of Jesus is Giving Thanks & Praise

Luke 17:11-19 (English Standard Version)

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

11(A) On the way to Jerusalem(B) he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,[a](C) who stood at a distance 13and lifted up their voices, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us." 14When he saw them he said to them, "Go and(D) show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back,(E) praising God with a loud voice; 16and(F) he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was(G) a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus answered, "Were not(H) ten cleansed? Where are the nine? 18Was no one found to return and(I) give praise to God except this(J) foreigner?" 19And he said to him, "Rise and go your way;(K) your faith has made you well."[b]
Footnotes:

YouTube - The First Thanksgiving Story

YouTube - The First Thanksgiving Story

JDK& Associates Press Room

JDK& Associates Press Room

The Joy of Jesus is a Blessing

It is of vital importance at the outset that we clearly recognize that God alone can make His people grow and prosper, and that we should be deeply and lastingly sensible of our entire dependency upon Him. As we were unable to originate spiritual life in our souls, so we are equally unable to preserve or increase the same. Deeply humbling though that truth be unto our hearts, yet the declarations of Holy Writ are too implicit and too numerous to leave us in the slightest doubt upon it. "None can keep his own soul alive" (Ps. 22:29): true alike naturally and spiritually; positively, "O bless our God . . . which holdeth our soul in life" (Ps. 68:9). "Thou maintainest my lot" (Ps. 16:5) said Christ Himself. "Thy God hath commanded thy strength" (Ps. 68:28). "From me is thy fruit" (Hos. 14:8). "Thou also hast wrought all our works in us" (Isa. 26:12). "All my springs are in thee" (Ps. 87:7). "Without me ye can do nothing" (John 15:5). Such flesh-withering statements as those cut away all ground for boasting and place the crown of honor where it rightfully belongs.

The Joy of Jesus is Showing Appreication

As we approach black Friday people will be in pure commercial holiday mode. Yet the spiritual needs are what is at hand after lifting the world out of a depression. People need to speed wisely and with a sense of the future for all this time. The Joy of Jesus is here to help.

People still need jobs and business opportunities. The Joy of Jesus offers assistance with both areas. We in addition, have the spirit of Joy to share as well. There is information on jobs, careers, education, health care, green technology and business development.

The Joy of Jesus Film Fest is more than a collection of movies to inspire you. We thank God for you and pray for the well being of the world today. Visit and give to The Joy of Jesus. Shop at our our E-Store that has all of your big named stores at great savings. Thank you for being you.
http://thejoyofjesuschurchonline.blogspot.com/

JESUS of Nazareth According to the Gospel of Luke (Full Lenght)

JESUS of Nazareth According to the Gospel of Luke (Full Lenght)

Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional

Monday, November 22, 2010

Read | Genesis 3:1-13

Today’s passage offers a picture of what happens when believers don’t listen to God. Eve knew the Lord’s instructions so well that she repeated them almost verbatim to the serpent. However, pride and fleshly appetites got the better of her, and she was deceived. Eve stopped listening to God and opened her ears to the wrong voices.

Think about how many voices we hear in a given day. Media, billboards, and even friends and family bombard our minds with ideas and philosophies. We hear vain and ungodly messages wrapped up in pretty language. It’s easy to fall prey to deception unless we keep scriptural principles always before our eyes and heart.

Eve got into trouble simply by pausing long enough to take in the serpent’s words. Satan twisted God’s meaning sufficiently to tempt her away from truth and into error. He assured Eve that instead of falling over dead, she would become like God: her eyes would open, and she would know truth!

In one way, the Devil’s words were accurate, but they weren’t true. Eve’s eyes were opened; however, the knowledge wasn’t as wonderful as the serpent implied. She was awakened to her own sinful nature and the chasm that had developed between her and God. Moreover, Eve’s physical body would undergo death as a result of her sin.

Exercise caution when messages vie for your attention. Satan, who is as crafty today as he was in Eden, dresses up deception so that it sounds like truth. But the Evil One lies when he speaks (John 8:44). Tune into God and the principles of His Word instead. He speaks only what is right.

5. Prayer for Insight

5. Prayer for Insight

YouTube - Dr. Charles Stanley - Praying In A Crisis 1/3

YouTube - Dr. Charles Stanley - Praying In A Crisis 1/3

The Joy of Jesus and It's Blessing

Faith: Holy assurance delivers from those doubts and fears which rob many a Christian of his legitimate joy in the Lord. This is clear from the contrast presented in Romans 8:15, "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba Father." Suspense is bad enough in any of our concerns, but most of all in connection with our eternal interests. But true assurance sets us free from the painful bondage of uncertainty, and even robs death of its terrors. It enables the soul to say, "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation" (Isa. 61:10).
Holy assurance produces patience in tribulation: "And took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance" (Heb. 10:34). Where the heart is anchored in God, basking in the sunshine of His countenance, the Christian will not be afraid of evil tidings, remains calm under bereavements, is unmoved by persecutions. "When I live in a settled and steadfast assurance about the state of my soul, methinks I am as bold as a lion. I can laugh at all tribulation: no afflictions daunt me. But when I am eclipsed in my comforts, I am of so fearful a spirit that I can run into a very mouse-hole" (Latimer to Ridley, 1551).
Holy assurance results in a joy in God, which causes its possessor to despise those vaporous pleasures after which the worldling so much dotes. "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yd I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation" (Hab.. 3:17, 18). "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure . . . for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly (both now and in the future) into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Pet. 1:10, 11).

The Joy of Jesus is Love

The Love of God to Us

By "Us" We Mean His People. Although we read of the love "which is in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Rom. 8:39), Holy Writ knows nothing of a love of God outside of Christ. "The LORD is good to all: and His tender mercies are over all his works" (Ps. 145:9), so that He provides the ravens with food. "He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil" (Luke 6:35), and His providence ministers unto the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45). But His love is reserved for His elect. That is unequivocally established by its characteristics, for the attributes of His love are identical with Himself. Necessarily so, for "God is love." In making that postulate it is but another way to say God’s love is like Himself, from everlasting to everlasting, immutable. Nothing is more absurd than to imagine that anyone beloved of God can eternally perish or shall ever experience His everlasting vengeance. Since the love of God is "in Christ Jesus," it was attracted by nothing in its objects, nor can it be repelled by anything in, of, or by them. "Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end" (John 13:1). The "world" in John 3:16 is a general term used in contrast with the Jews, and the verse must be interpreted so as not to contradict Psalm 5:5; 6:7; John 3:36; Romans 9:13.
The chief design of God is to commend the love of God in Christ, for He is the sole channel through which it flows. The Son has not induced the Father to love His people, but rather was it His love for them which moved Him to give His Son for them. Ralph Erskine said:
God hath taken a marvelous way to manifest His love. When He would show His power, He makes a world. When He would display His wisdom, He puts it in a frame and form that discovers its vastness. When He would manifest the grandeur and glory of His name, He makes a heaven, and puts angels and archangels, principalities and powers therein. And when He would manifest His love, what will He not do? God hath taken a great and marvelous way of manifesting it in Christ: His person, His blood, His death, His righteousness.

YouTube - RICHARD SMALLWOOD: "CENTER OF MY JOY"

YouTube - RICHARD SMALLWOOD: "CENTER OF MY JOY"

YouTube - The Life of Jesus, Part 1

YouTube - The Life of Jesus, Part 1

Can Green Friday Replace Black Friday?

Can Green Friday Replace Black Friday?

The Joy of Jesus is God's Plan

Ephesians 1

1Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

7In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

8Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

15Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,

16Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;

17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,

21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:

22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

23Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

The Joy of Jesus is The Center of All Joy


Jesus is The Center of All Joy.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LHD5KZEtX8
The Joy of the Lord, the Strength of His People
Sermon
(No. 1027)
Delivered on Lord's Day Morning, December 31st, 1871, by
C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington

"The joy of the Lord is your strength."—Nehemiah 8:10.
"And the singers sang aloud, with Jezrahiah their overseer. Also that day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off."—Nehemiah 12:42-43.
AST Sabbath day in the morning I spoke of the birth of our Saviour as being full of joy to the people of God, and, indeed, to all nations. We then looked at the joy from a distance; we will now in contemplation draw nearer to it, and perhaps as we consider it, and remark the multiplied reasons for its existence, some of those reasons may operate upon our own hearts, and we may go out of this house of prayer ourselves partakers of the exceeding great joy. We shall count it to have been a successful morning if the people of God are made to rejoice in the Lord, and especially if those who have been bowed down and burdened in soul shall receive the oil of joy for mourning. It is no mean thing to comfort the Lord's mourners; it is a work specially dear to the Spirit of God, and, therefore, not to be lightly esteemed. Holy sorrow is precious before God, and is no bar to godly joy. Let it be carefully noted in connection with our first text that abounding mourning is no reason why there should not speedily be seen an equally abundant joy, for the very people who were bidden by Nehemiah and Ezra to rejoice were even then melted with penitential grief, "for all the people wept when they heard the words of the law." The vast congregation before the watergate, under the teaching of Ezra, were awakened and cut to the heart; they felt the edge of the law of God like a sword opening up their hearts, tearing, cutting, and killing, and well might they lament: then was the time to let them feel the gospel's balm and hear the gospel's music, and, therefore, the former sons of thunder changed their note, and became sons of consolation, saying to them, "This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. Go your way eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Now that they were penitent, and sincerely turned to their God, they were bidden to rejoice. As certain fabrics need to be damped before they will take the glowing colours with which they are to be adorned, so our spirits need the bedewing of repentance before they can receive the radiant colouring of delight. The glad news of the gospel can only be printed on wet paper. Have you ever seen clearer shining than that which follows a shower? Then the sun transforms the rain-drops into gems, the flowers look up with fresher smiles and faces glittering from their refreshing bath, and the birds from among the dripping branches sing with notes more rapturous, because they have paused awhile. So, when the soul has been saturated with the rain of penitence, the clear shining of forgiving love makes the flowers of gladness blossom all around. The steps by which we ascend to the palace of delight are usually moist with tears. Grief for sin is the porch of the House Beautiful, where the guests are full of "The joy of the Lord." I hope, then, that the mourners, to whom this discourse shall come, will discover and enjoy the meaning of that divine benediction in the sermon on the mount, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."
From our text we shall draw several themes of thought, and shall remark: first, there is a joy of divine origin,— "The joy of the Lord;" and, secondly, that joy is to all who partake of it a source of strength— "The joy of the Lord is your strength." Then we shall go on to show that such strength always reveals itself practically—our second text will help us there: and we shall close by noticing, in the fourth place, that this joy, and, consequently, this strength, are within our reach today.
I. THERE IS A JOY OF DIVINE ORIGIN—"The joy of the Lord." Springing from the Lord as its source, it will necessarily be of a very elevated character. Since man fell in the garden, he has too often sought for his enjoyments where the serpent finds his. It is written, "upon thy belly shalt thou go and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life," this was the serpent's doom; and man, with infatuated ambition, has tried to find his delight in his sensual appetites, and to content his soul with earth's poor dust. But the joys of time cannot satisfy an undying nature, and when a soul is once quickened by the eternal Spirit, it can no more fill itself with worldly mirth, or even with the common enjoyments of life than can a man snuff up wind and feed thereon. But, beloved, we are not left to search for joy; it is brought to our doors by the love of God our Father; joy refined and satisfying, befitting immortal spirits. God has not left us to wander among those unsatisfactory things which mock the chase which they invite; he has given us appetites which carnal things cannot content, and he has provided suitable satisfaction for those appetites; he has stored up at his right hand pleasures for evermore, which even now he reveals by his Spirit to those chosen ones whom he has taught to long for them.
Let us endeavour to analyze that special and peculiar pleasure which is here called "The joy of the Lord." It springs from God, and has God for its object. The believer who is in a spiritually healthy state rejoices mainly in God himself; he is happy because there is a God, and because God is in his person and character what he is. All the attributes of God become well-springs of joy to the thoughtful, contemplative believer; for such a man says within his soul, "All these attributes of my God are mine: his power, my protection; his wisdom, my guidance; his faithfulness, my foundation; his grace, my salvation." He is a God who cannot lie, faithful and true to his promise; he is all love, and at the same time infinitely just, supremely holy. Why, the contemplation of God to one who knows that this God is his God for ever and ever, is enough to make the eyes overflow with tears, because of the deep, mysterious, unutterable bliss which fills the heart. There was nothing in the character of Jupiter, or any of the pretended gods of the heathen, to make glad a pure and holy spirit, but there is everything in the character of Jehovah both to purify the heart and to make it thrill with delight. How sweet is it to think over all the Lord has done; how he has revealed himself of old, and especially how he has displayed his glory in the covenant of grace, and in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. How charming is the thought that he has revealed himself to me personally, and made me to see in him my Father, my friend, my helper, my God. Oh, if there be one word out of heaven that cannot be excelled, even by the brightness of heaven itself, it is this word, "My God, my Father," and that sweet promise, "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people." There is no richer consolation to be found: even the Spirit of God can bring nothing home to the heart of the Christian more fraught with delight than that blessed consideration. When the child of God, after admiring the character and wondering at the acts of God, can all the while feel "he is my God; I have taken him to be mine; he has taken me to be his; he has grasped me with the hand of his powerful love; having loved me with an everlasting love, with the bands of lovingkindness has he drawn me to himself; my beloved is mine and I am his;" why, then, his soul would fain dance like David before the ark of the Lord, rejoicing in the Lord with all its might.
A further source of joy is found by the Christian, who is living near to God, in a deep sense of reconciliation to God, of acceptance with God, and yet, beyond that, of adoption and close relationship to God. Does it not make a man glad to know that though once his sins had provoked the Lord they are all blotted out, not one of them remaineth; though once he was estranged from God, and far off from him by wicked works, yet he is made nigh by the blood of Christ. The Lord is no longer an angry judge pursuing us with a drawn sword, but a loving Father into whose bosom we pour our sorrows, and find ease for every pang of heart. Oh, to know, beloved, that God actually loves us! I have often told you I cannot preach upon that theme, for it is a subject to muse upon in silence, a matter to sit by the hour together and meditate upon. The infinite to love an insignificant creature, an ephemera of an hour, a shadow that declineth! Is not this a marvel? For God to pity me I can understand, for God to condescend to have mercy upon me I can comprehend; but for him to love me, for the pure to love a sinner, for the infinitely great to love a worm, is matchless, a miracle of miracles! Such thoughts must comfort the soul. And then, add to this, that the divine love has brought us believers into actual relationship with God, so that we are his sons and daughters, this again is a river of sacred pleasure. "Unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son." No minister of flame, though perfect in obedience, has received the honour of adoption; to us, even to us frail creatures of the dust, is given a boon denied to Gabriel, for through Jesus Christ the firstborn, we are members of the family of God. Oh! The abyss of joy which lies in sonship with God, and joint heirship with Christ! Words are vain here. Moreover, the joy springing from the spirit of adoption is another portion of the believer's bliss. He cannot be an unhappy man who can cry, "Abba, Father." The spirit of adoption is always attended by love, joy, and peace, which are fruits of the Spirit; for we have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we have received the spirit of liberty and joy in Christ Jesus. "My God, my Father." Oh how sweet the sound. But all men of God do not enjoy this, say you. Alas! we grant it, but we also add that it is their own fault. It is the right and portion of every believer to live in the assurance that he is reconciled to God, that God loves him, and that he is God's child, and if he doth not so live he has himself only to blame. If there be any starving at God's table, it is because the guest stints himself, for the feast is superabundant. If however, a man comes, and I pray you all may, to live habitually under a sense of pardon through the sprinkling of the precious blood, and in a delightful sense of perfect reconciliation with the great God, he is the possessor of a joy unspeakable and full of glory.
But, beloved, this is not all. The joy of the Lord in the spirit springs also from an assurance that all the future, whatever it may be, is guaranteed by divine goodness, that being children of God, the love of God towards us is not of a mutable character, but abides and remains unchangeable. The believer feels an entire satisfaction in leaving himself in the hands of eternal and immutable love. However happy I may be today, if I am in doubt concerning tomorrow, there is a worm at the root of my peace; although the past may now be sweet in retrospect, and the present fair in enjoyment, yet if the future be grim with fear, my joy is but shallow. If my salvation be still a matter of hazard and jeopardy, unmingled joy is not mine, and deep peace is still out of my reach. But when I know that he whom I have rested in hath power and grace enough to complete that which he hath begun in me, and for me; when I see the work of Christ to be no half-way redemption, but a complete and eternal salvation; when I perceive that the promises are established upon an unchangeable basis, and are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, ratified by oath and sealed by blood, then my soul hath perfect contentment. It is true, that looking forward there may be seen long avenues of tribulation, but the glory is at the end of them; battles may be foreseen, and woe unto the man who does not expect them, but the eye of faith perceives the crown of victory. Deep waters are mapped upon our journey, but faith can see Jehovah fording these rivers with us, and she anticipates the day when we shall ascend the banks of the hither shore and enter into Jehovah's rest. When we have received these priceless truths into our souls we are satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord. There is a theology which denies to believers this consolation, we will not enter into controversy with it, but sorrowfully hint that a heavy chastisement for the errors of that system of doctrine, lies in the loss of the comfort which the truth would have brought into the soul. For my part, I value the gospel not only for what it has done for me in the past, but for the guarantees which it affords me of eternal salvation. "I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand."
Now, beloved, I have not yet taken you into the great deeps of joy, though these streams are certainly by no means shallow. There is an abyss of delight for every Christian when he comes into actual fellowship with God. I spoke of the truth that God loved us, and the fact that we are related to him by ties most near and dear; but, oh, when these doctrines become experiences, then are we indeed anointed with the oil of gladness. When we enter into the love of God, and it enters into us; when we walk with God habitually, then our joy is like Jordan at harvest time, when it overfloweth all its banks. Do you know what it means—to walk with God—Enoch's joy; to sit at Jesus' feet—Mary's joy; to lean your head upon Jesus' bosom—John's familiar joy? Oh yes, communion with the Lord is no mere talk with some of us. We have known it in the chamber of affliction; we have known it in the solitude of many a night of broken rest; we have known it beneath discouragements and under sorrows and defamations, and all sorts of ills; and we reckon that one dram of fellowship with Christ is enough to sweeten an ocean full of tribulation, and that only to know that he is near us, and to see the gleaming of his dear eye, would transform even hell itself into heaven, if it were possible for us to enjoy his presence there. Alas! Ye do not and cannot know this bliss, ye who quaff. Your foaming bowls, listening to the sound of stringed instruments, ye do not know what this bliss means—ye have not dreamed of it, nor could ye compass it though a man should tell it unto you. As the beast in the meadow knows not the far-reaching thoughts of him who reads the stars and threads the spheres, so neither can the carnal man make so much as a guess of what are the joys which God hath prepared for them that love him, which any day and every day, when our hearts seek it, he revealeth unto us by his Spirit. This is "the joy of the Lord," fellowship with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. Beloved, if we reach this point, we must labour to maintain our standing, for our Lord saith to us "abide in me." The habit of communion is the life of happiness.
Another form of "the joy of the Lord" will visit us practically every day in the honour of being allowed to serve him. It is a joy worth worlds to be allowed to do good. To teach a little child his letters for Christ, will give a true heart some taste of the joy of the Lord, if it be consciously done for the Lord's sake alone. To bear the portion to those for whom nothing is prepared, to visit the sick, to comfort the mourner, to aid the poor, to instruct the ignorant, any, and all of such Christian works, if done in Jesus' name, will in their measure array us in Jehovah's joy. And happy are we, brethren, if when we cannot work we are enabled to lie still and suffer, for acquiescence is another silver pipe through which "the joy of the Lord" will come to us. It is sweet to smart beneath God's rod, and feel that if God would have us suffer it is happiness to do so, to fall back with the faintness of nature, but at the same time with the strength of grace, and say, "Thy will be done." It is joy, when between the millstones crushed like an olive, to yield nothing but the oil of thankfulness; when bruised beneath the flail of tribulation, still to lose nothing but the chaff, and to yield to God the precious grain of entire submissiveness. Why, this is a little heaven upon earth. To glory in tribulations also, this is a high degree of up-climbing towards the likeness of our Lord. Perhaps, the usual communions which we have with our Beloved, though exceeding precious, will never equal those which we enjoy when we have to break through thorns and briars to be at him; when we follow him into the wilderness then we feel the love of our espousals to be doubly sweet. It is a joyous thing when in the midst of mournful circumstances, we yet feel that we cannot mourn because The Bridegroom is with us. Blessed is that man, who in the most terrible storm is driven—not from his God, but even rides upon the crest of the lofty billows nearer towards heaven. Such happiness is the Christian's lot. I do not say that every Christian possesses it, but I am sure that every Christian ought to do so. There is a highway to heaven, and all in it are safe; but in the middle of that road there is a special way, an inner path, and all who walk therein are happy as well as safe. Many professors are only just within the hedge, they walk in the ditch by the road side, and because they are safe there, they are content to put up with all the inconveniences of their walk; but he who takes the crown of the causeway, and walks in the very centre of the road that God has cast up, shall find that no lion shall be there, neither shall any ravenous beast go up thereon, for there the Lord himself shall be his companion, and will manifest himself to him. You shallow Christians who do but believe in Christ, and barely that, whose bibles are unread, whose closets are unfrequented, whose communion with God is a thing of spasms, you have not the joy of the Lord, neither are you strong. I beseech you, rest not as you are, but let your conscious feebleness provoke you to seek the means of strength: and that means of strength is to be found in a pleasant medicine, sweet as it is profitable—the delicious and effectual medicine of "the joy of the Lord."
II. But time would fail me to prolong our remarks upon this very fruitful subject, and we shall turn to our second head, which is this: that THIS JOY IS A SOURCE OF GREAT STRENGTH.
Very rapidly let us consider this thought. It is so because this joy arises from considerations which always strengthen the soul. Very much of the depth of our piety will depend upon our thoughtfulness. Many persons, after having received a doctrine, put it by on the shelf; they are orthodox, they have received the truth, and they are content to keep that truth on hand as dead stock. Sirs, of what account can this be to you, to store your garners with wheat if you never grind the corn for bread, or sow it in the furrows of your fields? He is the joyful Christian who uses the doctrines of the gospel for spiritual meat, as they were meant to be used. Why, some men might as well have a heterodox creed as an orthodox one for all the difference it makes to them. Having the notion that they know, and imagining that to know sufficeth them, they do not consider, contemplate, or regard the truths which they profess to believe, and, consequently, they derive no benefit from them. Now, to contemplate the great truths of divine election, of eternal love, of covenant engagements, of justification by faith through the blood of Christ, and the indwelling and perpetual abiding of the Holy Ghost in his people, to turn over these things is to extract joy from them; and this also is strengthening to the mind. To press the heavenly grapes by meditation, and make the red wine flow forth in torrents, is an exercise as strengthening as it is exhilarating. Joy comes from the same truths which support our strength, and comes by the process of meditation.
Again, "the joy of the Lord" within us is always the sign and symbol of strong spiritual life. Holy vivacity betokens spiritual vigour. I said that he who had spiritual joy gained it by communion with God, but communion with God is the surest fosterer of strength. You cannot be with a strong God without getting strength yourself, for God is always a transforming God; regarding and looking upon him our likeness changes till we become in our measure like our God. The warmth of the South of France, of which you often hear so much, does not spring from soft balmy winds, but from the sun; at sunset the temperature falls. You shall be on one side of the street in Italy and think it May, cross the street into the shade and it is cold as January. The sun does it all. A man who walks in the sunlight of God's countenance, for that very reason is warm and strong. The sunlight of joy usually goes with the warmth of spiritual life. As the light of joy varies so does the warmth of holy strength; he who dwells in the light of God is both happy and strong. He who goes into the shade and loses the joy of the Lord becomes weak at the same time. So the joy of the Lord becomes our strength, as being an indicator of its rise or fall. When a soul is really vigorous and active, it is like the torrent which dashes down the mountain side, which scorns in winter to own the bonds of frost: in a few hours the stagnant pools and slowly moving streams are enchained in ice; but the snow king must bring forth all his strength ere he can manacle the rushing torrent. So when a soul dashes on with the sacred force of faith, it is hard to freeze it into misery, its vigour secures its joy.
Furthermore, the man who possesses "the joy of the Lord," finds it his strength in another respect, that it fortifies him against temptation. What is there that he can be tempted with? He has more already than the world can offer him as a reward for treachery. He is already rich; who shall ensnare him with the wages of unrighteousness? He is already satisfied; who is he that can seduce him with pleasing baits? "Shall such a man as I flee?" The rejoicing Christian is equally proof against persecution. They may well afford to be laughed at who win at such a rate as he does. "You may scoff," saith he, "but I know what true religion is within my soul, and your scoffing will not make me relinquish the pearl of great price." Such a man is, moreover, made strong to bear affliction; for all the sufferings put upon him are but a few drops of bitterness cast into his cup of bliss, to give a deeper tone to the sweetness which absorbs them.
Such a man becomes strong for service, too. What can he not do who is happy in his God? By his God he leaps over a wall, or breaks through a troop. Strong is he, too, for any kind of self-sacrifice. To the God who gives him all, and remains to him as his perpetual portion, such a man gives up all that he hath, and thinks it no surrender. It is but laying up his treasure in his own peculiar treasure house, even in the God of his salvation.
A joyous man, such I have now in my mind's eye, is to all intents and purposes a strong man. He is strong in a calm restful manner. Whatever happens he is not ruffled or disturbed. He is not afraid of evil tidings, his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. The ruffled man is ever weak. He is in a hurry, and doth things ill. The man full of joy within is quiet, he bides his time and croucheth in the fulness of his strength. Such a man, though he is humble, is firm and steadfast; he is not carried away with every wind, or bowed by every breeze, he knows what he knows, and holds what he holds, and the golden anchor of his hope entereth within the veil, and holds him fast. His strength is not pretentious but real. The happiness arising from communion with God breeds in him no boastfulness; he does not talk of what he can do, but he does it; he does not say what he could bear, but he bears all that comes. He does not himself always know what he could do; his weakness is the more apparent to himself because of the strength which the Holy Ghost puts upon him; but when the time comes, his weakness only illustrates the divine might, while the man goes calmly on, conquering and to conquer. His inner light makes him independent of the outward sun; his secret granaries make him independent of the outer harvest; his inward fountains place him beyond dread though the brook Cherith may dry Up; he is independent of men and angels, and fearless of devils; all creatures may turn against him if they please, but since God himself is his exceeding joy, he will not miss their love or mourn their hate. He standeth where others fall, he sings where others weep, he wins where others fly, he glorifies his God where others bring dishonour on themselves and on the sacred name. God grant us the inward joy which arises from real strength and is so linked with it as to be in part its cause.
III. But now I must hasten on to notice in the third place that THIS STRENGTH LEADS TO PRACTICAL RESULTS. I am sure I shall have your earnest attention to this, because in many of you I have seen the results follow of which I now speak. I would not flatter any one, but my heart has been full of thanksgiving to the God of all grace when I have seen many of you rejoicing in the Lord under painful circumstances and producing the fruits of a gracious strength. Turn then to our second text, and there you shall observe some of the fruits of holy joy and pious strength.
First, it leads to great praise. "The singers sang aloud," their ministrelsy was hearty and enthusiastic. Sacred song is not a minor matter. Quaint George Herbert has said—

"Praying's the end of preaching."

Might he not have gone further and have said, praising's the end of praying? After all, preaching and praying are not the chief end of man, but the glorifying of God, of which praising God vocally is one form. Preaching is sowing, prayer is watering, but praise is the harvest. God aims at his own glory so should we; and "whoso offereth praise glorifieth me saith the Lord." Be ye diligent then to sing his praises with understanding. We have put away harps and trumpets and organs, let us mind that we really rise above the need of them. I think we do well to dispense with these helps of the typical dispensation; they are all inferior even in music to the human voice, there is assuredly no melody or harmony like those created by living tongues; but let us mind that we do not put away an atom of the joy. Let us be glad when in the congregation we unite in psalmody. It is a wretched thing to hear the praises of God rendered professionally, as if the mere music were everything. It is horrible to have a dozen people in the table-pew singing for you, as if they were proxies for the whole assembly. It is shocking to me to be present in places of worship where not a tenth of the people ever venture to sing at all, and these do it through their teeth so very softly, that one had need to have a mircroscope invented for his ears, to enable him to hear the dying strain. Out upon such mumbling and murdering of the praises of God; if men's hearts were joyous and strong, they would scorn such miserable worship. In this house we all try to sing, but might we not have more praise services? We have had a praise meeting every now and then. Ought we not to hold a praise meeting every week? Should not the prayer meeting be more than ever cheered by praise. The singing of God's people should be, and if they were more full of divine strength would be, more constant and universal. How sinners chant the praise of Baechus in the streets! You can hardly rest in the middle of the night, but what unseemly sounds of revelry startle you. Shall the votaries of wine sing so lustily, and shall we be silent? We are not often guilty of disturbing the world with our music; the days in which Christian zeal interfered with the wicked seem to have gone by; we have settled down into more orderliness, and I am afraid also into more lukewarmness. Oh for the old Methodistic shout. Brethren, wake up your singing again. May the Lord give us again a singing-time, and make us all praise him with heart, and with voice, till even the adversaries shall say, "The Lord hath done great things for them;" and we shall reply, "Ay, ye speak the truth; he hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad." Perhaps there has not been so large a blessing upon the churches of England, because they have not rendered due thanksgiving. In all the time in which we are in trouble we are anxious and prayerful; when a prince is sick bulletins are issued every hour or so; but ah, when the mercy comes but few bulletins are put out, calling upon us to bless and praise the name of God for his mercies. Let us praise the Lord from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, for great is the Lord, and greatly is he to be praised.
The next result is great sacrifice. "That day they offered great sacrifices and rejoiced." What day is that in which the church of God now makes great sacrifices? I have not seen it in the calendar of late; and, alas! If men make any sacrifice they very often do so in a mode which indicates that they would escape the inflection if they could. Few make great sacrifices and rejoice. You can persuade a man to give a considerable sum; a great many arguments at last overcome him, and he does it because he would have been ashamed not to do it, but in his heart he wishes you had not come that way, and had gone to some other donor. That is the most acceptable gift to God which is given rejoicingly. It is well to feel that whatever good your gift may do to the church, or the poor, or the sick, it is twice as much benefit to you to give it. It is well to give, because you love to give; as the flower which pours forth its perfume because it never dreamed of doing otherwise; or like the bird which quivers with song, because it is a bird and finds a pleasure in its notes; or like the sun which shines, not by constraint, but because, being a sun, it must shine; or like the waves of the sea which flash back the brilliance of the sun, because it is their nature to reflect and not to hoard the light. Oh, to have such grace in our hearts that we shall joyfully make sacrifices unto our God. The Lord grant that we may have much of this; for the bringing of the tithes into the storehouse is the way to the blessing; as saith the Scripture: "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in thine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it."
Next to that, there are sure to follow other expressions of joy. They "rejoiced, for God had made them to rejoice with great joy." It was not all singing and giving. When the wheels of the machine are well oiled the whole machine goes easily; and when the man has the oil of joy, then in his business, and in his family, the wheels of his nature glide along sweetly and harmoniously, because he is a glad and a happy man. There are some professors who imagine the sorrow of the Lord to be their strength; they glory in the spirit of bondage and in an unbelieving experience, having great acquaintance with the corruption of their hearts, sometimes of a rather too practical character. They make the deformities of the saints to be their beauty-spots, and their faults to be their evidences. Such men denounce all who rejoice in the Lord, and only tolerate the unbelieving. Their strength lies in being able to take you through all the catacombs of nature's darkness, and to show you the rottenness of their evil hearts. Well, such strength as that let those have who will, but we are persuaded that our text is nearer to wisdom: "The joy of the Lord is your strength." While we know something of our corruption, and mourn it, know something of the world's troubles, and sometimes lament as we bear them; yet there is a joy in the perfect work of Christ, and a joy in our union to him which uplifts us far above all other considerations. God becomes to us such a strength that we cannot help showing our joy in our ordinary life.
But then the text tells us that holy joy leads to family happiness. "The wives also and the children rejoiced." It is so in this church. I have lately seen several children from households which God has blessed, and I have rejoiced to see that father and mother know the Lord, and that even the last of the family has been brought to Jesus. O happy households where the joy is not confined to one, but where all partake of it. I dislike much that Christianity which makes a man feel, "If I go to heaven it is all I care for." Why, you are like a German stove which I found in the room of an hotel the other day—a kind of stove which required all the wood they could bring up merely to warm itself, and then all the heat went up the chimney. We sat around it to make it warm, but scarce a particle of heat came forth from it to us. Too many need all the religion they can get to cheer their own hearts, and their poor families and neighbours sit shivering in the cold of ungodliness. Be like those well constructed stoves of our own houses, which send out all the heat into the room. Send out the heat of piety into your house, and let all the neighbours participate in the blessing, for so the text finishes, "The joy of Jerusalem was heard afar off." The joy of the Lord should be observed throughout our neighbourhood, and many who might otherwise have been careless of true religion will then enquire, "What makes these people glad, and creates such happy households?" Your joy shall thus be God's missionary.
IV. And now I have to close. THIS JOY, THIS STRENGTH, ARE BOTH WITHIN OUR REACH! "For the Lord had made them glad with great joy." God alone can give us this great joy. Then it is within the reach of any, for God can give it to one as well as to another. If it depended upon our good works or our natural abilities, some of us could never reach it; but if God is the source and giver of it he may give it to me as well as to thee, my brother, and to thee as well as to another. What was the way in which God gave this joy? Well first, he gave it to these people by their being attentive hearers. They were not only hearers, but they heard with their ears, their ears were into the word; it was read to them and they sucked it in, receiving it into their souls. An attentive hearer is on the way to being a joyous receiver. Having heard it they felt the power of it, and they wept. Did that seem the way to joy? It was. They received the threatenings of the law with all their terrors into their soul, they allowed the hammer of the word to break them in pieces, they submitted themselves to the word of reproof. Oh! That God would incline you all to do the same, for this, again, is the way in which God gives joy. The word is heard, the word is felt. Then after this, when they had felt the power of the word, we see that they worshipped God devoutly. They bowed the head. Their postures indicated what they felt within. Worshippers who with penitent hearts really adore God, will never complain of weary Sabbaths; adoration helps us into joy. He who can bow low enough before the throne shall be lifted as high before that throne as his heart can desire.
We read also that these hearers and worshippers understood clearly what they heard. Never be content with hearing a sermon unless you can understand it, and if there be a truth that is above you, strain after it, strive to know it. Bible-reader, do not be content with going through the words of the chapter: pray the Holy Ghost to tell you the meaning, and use proper means for finding out that meaning; ask those who know, and use your own enlightened judgment to discover the sense. When shall we have done with formalism of worship and come into living adoration? Sometimes, for all the true singing that there is, the song might as well be in Latin or in Greek. Oh! To know what you are singing, to know what you are saying in prayer, to know what you are reading, to get at it, to come right into it, to understand it—this is the way to holy joy.
And one other point. These people when they had understood what they had devoutly heard, were eager to obey. They obeyed not only the common points of the law in which Israel of old had furnished them with examples, but they found out an old institution which had been buried and forgotten. What was that to them; God had commanded it, and they celebrated it, and in so doing this peculiar joy came upon them. Oh, for the time when all believers shall search the word of God, when they shall not be content with saying, "I have joined myself with a certain body of Christians, and they do so; therefore I do so." May no man say to himself any longer, "Such is the rule of my church;" but may each say, "I am God's servant and not the servant of man, not the servant of thirty-nine articles, of the Prayer-book, or the Catechism; I stand to my own Master, and the only law book I acknowledge is the book of his word, inspired by his Spirit." Oh, blessed day, when every man shall say, "I want to know wherein I am wrong; I desire to know what I am to do; I am anxious to follow the Lord fully." Well, then, if your joy in God leads you to practical obedience, you may rest assured it has made you strong in the very best manner.
Beloved brethren and sisters, we had, before I went away for needed rest, a true spirit of prayer among us. I set out for the continent joyfully, because I left with you the names of some eighty persons proposed for church-membership. My beloved officers, with great diligence, have visited these and others, and next Lord's-day we hope to receive more than a hundred, perhaps a hundred and twenty fresh members into the church. Blessed be God for this. I should not have felt easy in going away if you had been in a barren, cold, dead state; but there was a real fire blazing on God's altar, and souls were being saved. Now, I desire that this gracious zeal should continue, and be renewed. It has not gone out in my absence, I believe, but I desire now a fresh blast from God's Spirit to blow the flame very vehemently. Let us meet for prayer tomorrow, and let the prayer be very earnest, and let those wrestlers who have been moved to agonizing supplication renew the ardour and fervency of their desires, and may we be a strong people, and consequently a joyous people in the strength and joy of the Lord. May sinners in great numbers look unto Jesus and be saved. Amen, and Amen

The Joy of Jesus is Now

The Psalms
92

Praise for the LORD's Goodness
A Psalm or Song for the sabbath day.

1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD,

and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
2 to show forth thy loving-kindness in the morning,

and thy faithfulness every night,
3 upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery;

upon the harp with a solemn sound.
4 For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work:

I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
5 O LORD, how great are thy works!

And thy thoughts are very deep.
6 A brutish man knoweth not;

neither doth a fool understand this.
7 When the wicked spring as the grass,

and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish;
it is that they shall be destroyed for ever:
8 but thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.
9 For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD,

for, lo, thine enemies shall perish;
all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10 But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn:

I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
11 Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies,

and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree:

he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD

shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age;

they shall be fat and flourishing;
15 to show that the LORD is upright:

he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Published by The American Bible Society

The Joy of Jesus is Gratitude

Ephesians 1:3

Ephesians Presents the inestimable treasures of divine wisdom, the knowledge-surpassing manifestations of God’s love to His people. The book sets forth "the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7), yes, "the exceeding riches of his grace" (Eph. 2:7), "the riches of his glory" (Eph. 3:16), and "the unsearchable riches of Christ" (Eph. 3:8). Ephesians contains the fullest opening up of the mystery, or the contents of the everlasting covenant. Here we are shown in greater detail than elsewhere the intimate and ineffable relation of the Church to Christ. Here as nowhere else we are conducted unto and into the "heavenlies." Here are revealed depths which no finite mind can fathom and heights which no imagination can scale.
Paul Bows in Worship
Before Paul proceeded to the orderly development of his wonderful theme, he bowed in worship. As his mind was absorbed with the transcendentally glorious subject on which he was to write, as he contemplated the exceeding riches of God’s grace to His people, his soul was overwhelmed—"lost in wonder, love, and praise." The heart of Paul was too full to contain itself and overflowed in adoring gratitude. That is the highest form of worship, and only in such a spirit can we truly enter into the contents of this epistle. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). As a prayer those words may be viewed thus: first, its nature—an ascription of praise; second, its Object—the God and Father of Christ; third, its incitement—our enrichment in Him. Were we to sermonize the verse, our divisions would be (1) The believer’s excellent portion: blessed with all spiritual blessings. (2) The believer’s exalted position: in the heavenlies in Christ. (3) The believer’s exultant praise: "blessed be the God and Father."
What It Means to Bless God.

The Joy of Jesus is God's Glory

Psalm 24 & 1 Corinthians

Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
Psalm 24:7ff (Inner Cycle: Spoke 2, Cycle 2)

Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

The Joy of Jesus is God's Goodness

The Psalms
105

The LORD's Wonders in Behalf of Israel
1 Chr. 16.7-22
1 O give thanks unto the LORD;

call upon his name:
make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him:

talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name:

let the heart of them rejoice
that seek the LORD.
4 Seek the LORD, and his strength:

seek his face evermore.
5 Remember his marvelous works that he hath done;

his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant,

ye children of Jacob his chosen.
7 He is the LORD our God:

his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever,

the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, Gen. 12.7 ; 17.8

and his oath unto Isaac; Gen. 26.3
10 and confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law,

and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan,

the lot of your inheritance. Gen. 28.13
12 When they were but a few men in number;

yea, very few, and strangers in it;
13 when they went from one nation to another,

from one kingdom to another people;
14 he suffered no man to do them wrong:

yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15 saying, Touch not mine anointed,

and do my prophets no harm. Gen. 20.3-7
16 Moreover he called for a famine upon the land:

he brake the whole staff of bread. Gen. 41.53-57
17 He sent a man before them,

even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: Gen. 37.28 ; 45.5
18 whose feet they hurt with fetters:

he was laid in iron:
19 until the time that his word came:

the word of the LORD tried him. Gen. 39.20--40.23
20 The king sent and loosed him;

even the ruler of the people,
and let him go free. Gen. 41.14
21 He made him lord of his house,

and ruler of all his substance: Gen. 41.39-41
22 to bind his princes at his pleasure;

and teach his senators wisdom.
23 Israel also came into Egypt; Gen. 46.6

and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. Gen. 47.11
24 And he increased his people greatly;

and made them stronger than their enemies.
25 He turned their heart to hate his people,

to deal subtilely with his servants. Ex. 1.7-14
26 He sent Moses his servant;

and Aaron whom he had chosen. Ex. 3.1--4.17
27 They showed his signs among them,

and wonders in the land of Ham.
28 He sent darkness, and made it dark; Ex. 10.21-23

and they rebelled not against his word.
29 He turned their waters into blood,

and slew their fish. Ex. 7.17-21
30 Their land brought forth frogs in abundance,

in the chambers of their kings. Ex. 8.1-6
31 He spake, and there came divers sorts of flies, Ex. 8.20-24

and lice in all their coasts. Ex. 8.16, 17
32 He gave them hail for rain,

and flaming fire in their land.
33 He smote their vines also and their fig trees;

and brake the trees of their coasts. Ex. 9.22-25
34 He spake, and the locusts came,

and caterpillars, and that without number,
35 and did eat up all the herbs in their land,

and devoured the fruit of their ground. Ex. 10.12-15
36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land,

the chief of all their strength. Ex. 12.29
37 He brought them forth also with silver and gold:

and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
38 Egypt was glad when they departed:

for the fear of them fell upon them. Ex. 12.33-36
39 He spread a cloud for a covering;

and fire to give light in the night. Ex. 13.21, 22
40 The people asked, and he brought quails,

and satisfied them with the bread of heaven. Ex. 16.2-15
41 He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out;

they ran in the dry places like a river. Ex. 17.1-7 · Num. 20.2-13
42 For he remembered his holy promise,

and Abraham his servant.
43 And he brought forth his people with joy,

and his chosen with gladness:
44 and gave them the lands of the heathen: Josh. 11.16-23

and they inherited the labor of the people;
45 that they might observe his statutes,

and keep his laws.
Praise ye the LORD.

Published by The American Bible Society

The Joy of Jesus is into Blessing You

The Psalms
104

The LORD's Care for His Creation
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul.

O LORD my God, thou art very great;
thou art clothed with honor and majesty:
2 who coverest thyself with light as with a garment:

who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:
3 who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters:

who maketh the clouds his chariot:
who walketh upon the wings of the wind:
4 who maketh his angels spirits;

his ministers a flaming fire: Heb. 1.7
5 who laid the foundations of the earth,

that it should not be removed for ever.
6 Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment:

the waters stood above the mountains.
7 At thy rebuke they fled;

at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.
8 They go up by the mountains;

they go down by the valleys
unto the place which thou hast founded for them.
9 Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over;

that they turn not again to cover the earth.
10 He sendeth the springs into the valleys,

which run among the hills.
11 They give drink to every beast of the field:

the wild asses quench their thirst.
12 By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation,

which sing among the branches.
13 He watereth the hills from his chambers:

the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.
14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle,

and herb for the service of man:
that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
15 and wine that maketh glad the heart of man,

and oil to make his face to shine,
and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.
16 The trees of the LORD are full of sap;

the cedars of Lebanon, which he hath planted;
17 where the birds make their nests:

as for the stork, the fir trees are her house.
18 The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats;

and the rocks for the conies.
19 He appointed the moon for seasons:

the sun knoweth his going down.
20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night:

wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21 The young lions roar after their prey,

and seek their meat from God.
22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together,

and lay them down in their dens.
23 Man goeth forth unto his work

and to his labor until the evening.
24 O LORD, how manifold are thy works!

In wisdom hast thou made them all:
the earth is full of thy riches.
25 So is this great and wide sea,

wherein are things creeping innumerable,
both small and great beasts.
26 There go the ships:

there is that leviathan, Job. 41.1 · Ps. 74.14 · Is. 27.1
whom thou hast made to play therein.
27 These wait all upon thee;

that thou mayest give them their meat in due season.
28 That thou givest them they gather:

thou openest thine hand, they are filled with good.
29 Thou hidest thy face, they are troubled:

thou takest away their breath, they die,
and return to their dust.
30 Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created:

and thou renewest the face of the earth.
31 The glory of the LORD shall endure for ever:

the LORD shall rejoice in his works.
32 He looketh on the earth, and it trembleth:

he toucheth the hills, and they smoke.
33 I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live:

I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
34 My meditation of him shall be sweet:

I will be glad in the LORD.
35 Let the sinners be consumed out of the earth,

and let the wicked be no more.
Bless thou the LORD, O my soul.
Praise ye the LORD.

Published by The American Bible Society

The Joy of Jesus is Great Hope

1 Peter Chapter 1:

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

5Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

7That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

9Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

10Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:

11Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

13Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

22Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

24For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

25But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

King James Version (KJV)
Public Domain

The Joy of Jesus is Complete in Christ

COMPLETE IN CHRIST



"Ye are complete in Him." -- Colossians 2:10.



The pardoned sinner for a while is content with the one

boon of forgiveness, and is too overjoyed with a sense of

freedom from bondage to know a wish beyond. In a little

time, however, he thinks about his position, his wants, and

his prospects: what is then his rapture at the discovery

that the roll of his pardon is also an indenture of all

wealth, a charter of all privileges, a title-deed of all

needed blessings! Having received Christ, he has obtained

all things in Him. He looks to that cross upon which the

dreadful handwriting of ordinances has been nailed; to his

unutterable surprise he beholds it blossom with mercy, and

like a tree of life bring forth the twelve manner of fruits

-- yea, all that he requires for life, for death, for time,

or for eternity. Lo! at the foot of the once accursed

tree grow plants for his healing, and flowers for his

delight; from the bleeding feet of the Redeemer flows

directing love to lead him all the desert through -- from

the pierced side there gushes cleansing water to purge him

from the power of sin -- the nails become a means of

securing him to righteousness, while above the crown hangs

visible as the gracious reward of perseverance. All things

are in the cross -- by this we conquer, by this we live, by

this we are purified, by this we continue firm to the end.

While sitting beneath the shadow of our Lord we think

ourselves most rich, for angels seem to sing, "Ye are

complete in Him."



"COMPLETE IN HIM!" -- precious sentence! sweeter than

honey to our soul, we would adore the Holy Spirit for

dictating such glorious words to His servant Paul. Oh! may

we by grace be made to see that they really are ours -- for

ours they are if we answer to the character described in

the opening verses of the Epistle to the Colossians. If we

have faith in Jesus Christ, love towards all the saints,

and a hope laid up in heaven, we may grasp this golden

sentence as all our own. Reader, have you been able to

follow in that which has already been described as the "way

which leads from banishment"? Then you may take this

choice sentence to yourself as a portion of your

inheritance; for weak, poor, helpless, unworthy though you

are in yourself, IN HIM, your Lord, your Redeemer, you are

complete in the fullest, broadest, and most varied sense of

that mighty word, and you will be glad to muse upon the

wonders of this glorious position. May the great Teacher

guide us into this mystery of the perfection of the elect

in Jesus, and may our meditation be cheering and profitable

to our spirits! As the words are few, let us dwell on

them, and endeavor to gain the sweets which lie so

compactly within this little cell.



Pause over those two little words, "IN HIM" -- in

Christ! Here is the doctrine of union and oneness with

Jesus -- a doctrine of undoubted truth and unmingled

comfort. The Church is so allied with her Lord that she is

positively one with Him. She is the bride, and He the

bridegroom; she is the branch, and He the stem; she the

body, and He the glorious head. So also is every

individual believer united to Christ. As Levi lay in the

loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him, so was every

believer chosen in Christ, and blessed with all spiritual

blessings in heavenly places in Him. We have been spared,

protected, converted, justified, and accepted solely and

entirely by virtue of our eternal union with Christ.



Never can the convinced soul obtain peace until, like

Ruth, she finds rest in the house of her kinsman, who

becomes her husband -- Jesus the Lord. An eminent pastor,

lately deceased, [Rev. Joseph Irons, Camberwell.] said in

one of his sermons, "Now, I am as sure as I am of my own

existence that wherever God the Holy Ghost awakens the poor

sinner by His mighty grace, and imparts spiritual life in

his heart, nothing will ever satisfy that poor sinner but a

believing assurance of eternal union with Christ. Unless

the soul obtains a sweet and satisfactory consciousness of

it in the exercise of a living faith, it will never `enter

into rest' this side eternity."



It is from oneness with Christ before all worlds that

we receive all our mercies. Faith is the precious grace

which discerns this eternal union, and cements it by

another -- a vital union; so that we become one, not merely

in the eye of God, but in our own happy experience -- one

in aim, one in heart, one in holiness, one in communion,

and, ultimately, one in glory.



This manifest union is not more real and actual than

the eternal union of which it is the revelation; it does

not commence the union, nor does its obscurity or clearness

in the least affect the certainty or safety of the

immutable oneness subsisting between Jesus and the

believer. It is eminently desirable that every saint

should attain a full assurance of his union to Christ, and

it is exceedingly important that he should labor to

maintain a constant sense thereof; for although the mercy

be the same, yet his comfort from it will vary according to

his apprehension of it. A landscape is as fair by night as

by day, but who can perceive its beauties in the dark? --

even so we must see, or rather believe, this union to

rejoice in it.



No condition out of Paradise can be more blessed than

that which is produced by a living sense of oneness with

Jesus. To know and feel that our interests are mutual, our

bonds indissoluble, and our lives united, is indeed to dip

our morsel in the golden dish of heaven. There is no

sweeter canticle for mortal lips than the sweet song, "My

Beloved is mine, and I am His," --





"E'en like two bank-dividing brooks,

That wash the pebbles with their wanton streams,

And, having rang'd and search'd a thousand nooks,

Meet both at length in silver-breasted Thames,

Where in a greater current they conjoin;

So I my best Beloved's am, so He is mine."



Verily the stream of life flows along easily enough

when it is commingled with Him who is our life. Walking

with our arm upon the shoulder of the Beloved is not simply

safe, but delightful; and living with His life is a noble

style of immortality, which may be enjoyed on earth. But

to be out of Christ is misery, weakness, and death -- in

short, it is the bud, of which the full-blown flower is

damnation. Apart from Jesus we have nothing save fearful

forebodings and terrible remembrances. Beloved, there is

no Gospel promise which is ours unless we know what it is

to be IN HIM. Out of Him all is poverty, woe, sorrow, and

destruction: it is only in Him, the ark of His elect, that

we can hope to enjoy covenant mercies, or rejoice in the

sure blessings of salvation. Can we now entertain a hope

that we are really hidden in the rock? Do we feel that we

are a portion of Christ's body, and that a real union

exists between us? Then may we proceed to unfold and

appropriate the privileges here mentioned.



Ye are COMPLETE in Him. The word "complete" does not

convey the whole of the meaning couched in the original

word PEPLEIROMENOI. It is on the whole the best word which

can be found in our language, but its meaning may be

further unveiled by the addition of other auxiliary

readings.



I. YE ARE COMPLETE IN HIM. Let us consider the

meaning of the phrase as it thus stands in our own

Authorized Version. We are COMPLETE. In all matters which

concern our spiritual welfare, and our soul's salvation, we

are complete in Christ.



1. COMPLETE WITHOUT THE AID OF JEWISH CEREMONIES.

They had their uses. They were pictures wherewith the law,

as a schoolmaster, taught the infant Jewish church; but now

that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster,

for in the clear light of Christian knowledge we need not

the aid of symbols:--



"Finished are the types and shadows

Of the ceremonial law."



The one sacrifice has so atoned for us that we need no

other. In Christ we are complete without any addition of

circumcision, sacrifice, passover, or temple service.

These are not but beggarly elements. They would be

incumbrances -- for what can we need from them when we are

complete in Christ? What have we to do with moon or stars,

now that Christ hath shone forth like the sun in his

strength? Let the dim lamps be quenched -- they would but

mock the dawn, and the sunlight would deride their unneeded

glimmerings. We despise not the ceremonial law -- it was

"the shadow of good things to come," and as such we

venerate it; but now that the substance has appeared, we

are not content with guesses of grace, but we grasp Him who

is grace and truth. How much more highly are we favored

than the ancient believers, for they by daily offerings

confessed themselves to be incomplete! They could never

stay their hand and say, "It is enough," for daily sin

demanded daily lambs for the altar. The Jews were never

made complete by their law, for their rites "could never

make the comers thereunto perfect;" but this is our

peculiar and superior privilege, that we are perfected by

the one offering on Calvary.



2. WE ARE COMPLETE WITHOUT THE HELP OF PHILOSOPHY.

In Paul's time there were some who thought that philosophy

might be used as a supplement to faith. They argued,

contended, and mystified every doctrine of revelation.

Happy would it have been for them and the Church had they

heeded the words of Paul, and kept entirely to the

simplicity of the Gospel, glorying only in the cross of

Christ! The Christian has such a sublime system of

doctrine that he never need to fear the vain speculations

of an infidel science, nor need he ever call in the

sophisms of the worldly wise to prop his faith -- in Christ

he is complete. We have never heard of a dying believer

asking the aid of a worldly philosophy to give him words of

comfort in the hour of dissolution. No! he has enough in

his own religion -- enough in the comforts of the Holy

Ghost. Never let us turn aside from the faith because of

the sneer of the learned: this a Christian will not,

cannot do -- for we see THAT eternal evidence in our

religion which we may call its best proof, namely, the fact

that in it we are complete.



No man can add anything to the religion of Jesus. All

that is consistent with truth is already incorporated in

it, and with that which is not true it can form no

alliance. There is nothing new in theology save that which

is false. Those who seek to improve the Gospel of Jesus do

but deface it. It is so perfect in itself that all

additions to it are but excrescences of error; and it

renders us so complete that aught we join with it is

supererogation, or worse than that. David would not go to

the fight in Saul's armor, for he had not proved it; so can

we say, "The sling and stone are to us abundant weapons; as

for the mail of philosophy, we leave that for proud

Goliaths to wear." One of the most evil signs of our day

is its tendency to rationalism, spiritualism, and

multitudes of other means of beclouding the simple faith of

our Lord Jesus; but the Lord's chosen family will not be

beguiled from their steadfastness, which is the only hope

of an heretical generation; for they know whom they have

believed, and will not renounce their confidence in Him for

the sophistries of "the wise and prudent."



3. COMPLETE WITHOUT THE INVENTIONS OF SUPERSTITION.

God is the Author of all revealed and spiritual religion;

but man would write an appendix. There must be works of

supererogation, deeds of penance, acts of mortification, or

else the poor papist can never be perfected. Yea, when he

has most vigorously applied the whip, when he has fasted

even to physical exhaustion, when he has forfeited all that

is natural to man -- yet he is never sure that he has done

enough, he can never say that he is complete; but the

Christian, without any of these, feels that he has gained a

consummation by those last words of his Savior -- "It is

finished!" The blood of his agonizing Lord is his only and

all-sufficient trust. He despises alike the absolutions

and the indulgences of priest or pontiff; he tramples on

the refuge of lies which the deceiver has builded -- his

glory and boast ever centering in the fact that he is

COMPLETE IN CHRIST. Let but this sentence be preached

throughout the earth, and believed by the inhabitants

thereof, and all the despots on its surface could not

buttress the tottering Church of Rome, even for a single

hour. Men would soon cry out, "Away with the usurper!

away with her pretensions! There is all in Christ; and

what can she add thereto, saving her mummeries, pollutions,

and corrupt abominations?"



4. WE ARE COMPLETE WITHOUT HUMAN MERIT, OUR OWN WORKS

BEING REGARDED AS FILTHY RAGS. How many there are who,

while waxing warm against popery, are fostering its

principles in their own minds! The very marrow of popery

is reliance on our own works; and in God's sight the

formalist and legalist are as contemptible, if found in an

orthodox church, as if they were open followers of

Antichrist. Brethren, let us see to it that we are resting

alone in the righteousness of Jesus, that He is all in all

to us. Let us never forget that if we are perfect in Him,

we are perfect only in Him. While we would diligently

cultivate works of holiness, let us be careful lest we seek

to add to the perfect work of Jesus. The robe of

righteousness that nature spins and weaves is too frail a

fabric to endure the breath of the Almighty; we must,

therefore, cast it all away -- creature doings must not be

united with, or regarded as auxiliary to, divine

satisfaction.



We would be holy, even as God is, but we are still

confident that this will not be supplementing the great

righteousness which is ours by imputation. No; though

compassed with sin and surrounded by our depravity, we know

that we are so complete in Jesus that we could not be more

so, even were we free from all these things, and glorified

as the spirits of just men made perfect.



Blessed completely through the God-Man, let our

unbelief be ashamed, and let our admiration be fastened

upon this interesting and delightful state of privilege.

Arise, believer! and behold yourself "perfect in Christ

Jesus." Let not your sins shake your faith in the

all-sufficiency of Jesus. You are, with all your

depravity, still in Him, and therefore complete. You have

need of nothing beyond what there is in Him. In Him you

are at this moment RIGHTEOUS, in Him entirely clean, in Him

an object of divine approval and eternal love. NOW, as you

are, and where you are, you are still complete. Feeble,

forgetful, frail, fearful, and fickle in yourself, yet

IN HIM you are all that can be desired. Your

unrighteousness is covered, your righteousness is accepted,

your strength is perfected, your safety secured, and your

heaven certain. Rejoice, then, that you are "complete in

Him." Look on your own nothingness and be humble, but look

at Jesus, your great Representative, and be glad. Be not

so intent upon your own corruptions as to forget His

immaculate purity, which He has given to you. Be not so

mindful of your original poverty as to forget the infinite

riches which He has conferred on you. It will save you

many pangs if you will learn to think of yourself as being

IN HIM, and as being by His glorious grace accepted in

Him, and perfect in Christ Jesus.



II. YE ARE FULLY SUPPLIED IN HIM. Having Him, we

have all that we can possibly require. The man of God is

thoroughly furnished in the possession of his great Savior.

He need never to look for anything beyond, for in Him all

is treasured. Do we need FORGIVENESS for the past?

Pardons, rich and free, are with Jesus. Grace to cover all

our sin is there; grace to rise above our follies and our

faults. Is it WISDOM which we lack? He is made of God

unto us wisdom. His finger shall point out our path in the

desert; His rod and staff shall keep us in the way when we

walk through the valley of the shadow of death. In our

combats with the foe do we feel want of STRENGTH? Is He

not Jehovah, mighty to save? Will He not increase power to

the faint, and succor the fallen? Need we go to Assyria,

or stay on Egypt, for help? Nay, these are broken reeds.

Surely, in the Lord Jehovah we have righteousness and

strength. The battle is before us, but we tremble not at

the foe; we feel armed at all points, clad in impenetrable

mail, for we are fully supplied in Him. Do we deplore our

ignorance? He will give us KNOWLEDGE; He can open our ear

to listen to mysteries unknown. Even babes shall learn the

wonders of His grace, and children shall be taught of the

Lord. No other teacher is required; He is alone efficient

and all-sufficient. Are we at times distressed? We need

not inquire for COMFORT, for in Him, the consolation of

Israel, there are fats full of the oil of joy, and rivers

of the wine of thanksgiving. The PLEASURES of the world

are void to us, for we have infinitely more joy than they

can give in HIM who has made us complete.



Ah! my reader, whatever exigencies may arise, we

shall never need to say, "We have searched, but cannot find

what we require; for it is, and ever shall be, found in the

storehouse of mercy, even in Jesus Christ." "It hath

pleased the Father that in Him should ALL fulness dwell;"

and truly none of the saints have ever complained of any

failure in Him. Tens of thousands of them have drawn from

this sacred well, yet is it as full as ever, and all who

come to it are supplied with the full measure of their

necessities. Jesus is not one single sprig of myrrh, but

"a BUNDLE of myrrh is my Beloved unto me;" [Song of Sol.

1:13,14] not one mercy, but a string of mercies, for "my

Beloved is unto me as A CLUSTER of camphire." "In Christ

is a cluster of all spiritual blessings; all the blessings

of the everlasting covenant are in His hands and at His

disposal; and saints are blessed with all spiritual

blessings in heavenly places in Him. He is the believer's

wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

There is not a mercy we want but is in Him, or a blessing

we enjoy but what we have received it from Him. He is the

believer's `ALL IN ALL.'" [Dr. Gill] The word

translated "complete" is used by Demosthenes in describing

a ship as fully manned -- and truly the Christian's ship,

from prow to stern, is well manned by her Captain, who

Himself steers the vessel, stills the storm, feeds the

crew, fills the sails, and brings all safe to their desired

haven. In every position of danger or duty Christ Himself

is all-sufficient for protection or support. Under every

conceivable or inconceivable trial, we shall find in Him

sufficient grace: should every earthly stream be dried,

there is enough in Him, in the absence of them all. His

glorious person is the dwelling-place of all-sufficiency.

"In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;"

as the fulness of Deity is sufficient to create and sustain

a universe of ponderous orbs, and whole worlds of living

creatures, can it be supposed that it will be found unable

to supply the necessities of saints? Such a fear would be

as foolish as if a man should tremble lest the atmosphere

should prove too little for his breath, or the rivers too

shallow for his thirst. To imagine the riches of the

incarnate God to fail would be to conceive a bankrupt God,

or a wasted infinite. Therefore, let us set up our banners

in His name, and exceedingly rejoice.



III. A third reading is -- YE ARE SATISFIED IN HIM.

Satisfaction is a jewel rare and precious. Happy is the

merchantman who finds it. We may seek it in RICHES, but it

does not lie there. We may heap up gold and silver, pile

on pile, until we are rich beyond the dream of avarice,

then thrust our hands into our bags of gold, and search

there for satisfaction, but we have it not. Our heart,

like the horse-leech, cries, "Give, give!" We may erect

the palace and conquer mighty nations, but among the

trophies which decorate the hall, there is not that

precious thing which worlds cannot buy. But give us

Christ, let us be allied to Him, and our heart is

satisfied. We are content in poverty -- we are rich; in

distress we have all, and abound. We are full, for we are

satisfied in Him.



Again, let us explore the fields of KNOWLEDGE; let us

separate ourselves, and intermeddle with all wisdom; let us

dive into the secrets of nature; let the heavens yield to

the telescope, and the earth to our research; let us turn

the ponderous tome, and pore over the pages of the mighty

folio; let us take our seat among the wise, and become

professors of science; but, alas! we soon shall loathe it

all, for "much study is a weariness of the flesh." But let

us turn again tot he fountain-head, and drink of the waters

of revelation: we are then satisfied. Whatever the pursuit

may be, whether we invoke the trump of fame to do us

homage, and bid our fellows offer the incense of honor, or

pursue the pleasures of sin, and dance a giddy round of

merriment, or follow the less erratic movements of

commerce, and acquire influence among men, we shall still

be disappointed, we shall have still an aching void, an

emptiness within; but when we gather up our straying

desires, and bring them to a focus at the foot of Calvary,

we feel a solid satisfaction, of which the world cannot

deprive us.



Among the sons of men there are not a few of restless

spirit, whose uneasy souls are panting for an unknown good,

the want of which they feel, but the nature of which they

do not comprehend. These will hurry from country to

country, to do little else but attempt a hopeless escape

from themselves; they will flit from pleasure to pleasure,

with the only gain of fresh grief from repeated

disappointments. It were hard indeed to compound a

medicine for minds thus diseased. Verily, the aromatics

and balms of Araby, or the islands of the sea, might be

exhausted ere the elixir of satisfaction could be

distilled, and every mystic name in the vocabulary of the

wise might be tried in vain to produce the all-precious

charm of quiet. But in the Gospel we find the inestimable

medicine already compounded, potent enough to allay the

most burning fever, and still the most violent palpitations

of the heart. This we speak from experience, for we too

were once, like the unclean spirit, "seeking rest and

finding none;" we once groaned for an unseen something,

which in all our joys we could not find, and now, by God's

great love, we have found the water which has quenched our

thirst -- it is that which Jesus gives, "the living water"

of His grace. We revel in the sweets of the name of Jesus,

and long for nought beside. Like Naphtali, we are

satisfied with favor, and full of the blessing of the Lord.

Like Jacob, we exclaim, "It is enough." The soul is

anchored, the desire is "satiated with fatness," the whole

man is rich to all the intents of bliss, and looks for

nothing more. Allen, in his "Heaven Opened," represents

the believer as soliloquizing in the following joyous

manner: -- "O happy soul, how rich art thou! What a booty

have I gotten! It is all mine own. I have the promises of

this life and of that which is to come. Oh! what can I

wish more? How full a charter is here! Now, my doubting

soul may boldly and believingly say with Thomas, `My Lord

and my God.' What need we any further witness? We have

heard His words. He has sworn by His holiness that His

decree may not be changed, and has signed it with His own

signet. And now return to thy rest, O my soul! for the

Lord has dealt bountifully with thee. Say, if thy lines be

not fallen to thee in a pleasant place, and if this be not

a goodly heritage? O blasphemous discontent! how absurd

and unreasonable an evil art thou, whom all the fulness of

the Godhead cannot satisfy, because thou art denied in a

petty comfort, or crossed in thy vain expectations from the

world! O my unthankful soul, shall not a Trinity content

thee? Shall not all-sufficiency suffice thee? Silence, ye

murmuring thoughts, for ever. I have enough, I abound, and

am full. Infiniteness and eternity are mine, and what more

can I ask?"



Oh, may we constantly dwell on the blissful summit of

spiritual content, boasting continually in the completeness

of our salvation IN HIM, and may we ever seek to live up

to our great and inestimable privilege! Let us live

according to our rank and quality, according to our rank

and quality, according to the riches conveyed to us by the

eternal covenant. As great princes are so arrayed that you

can read their estates in their garments, and discern their

riches by their tables, so let our daily carriage express

to others the value which we set upon the blessings of

grace. A murmur is a rag which is ill-suited to be the

dress of a soul possessed of Jesus; a complaining spirit is

too mean a thing for an heir of all things to indulge. Let

worldlings see that our Jesus is indeed a sufficient

portion. As for those of us who are continually filled

with rejoicing, let us be careful that our company and

converse are in keeping with our high position. Let our

satisfaction with Christ beget in us a spirit too noble to

stoop to the base deeds of ungodly men. Let us live among

the generation of the just; let us dwell in the courts of

the great King, behold His face, wait at His throne, bear

His name, show forth His virtues, set forth His praises,

advance His honor, uphold His interest, and reflect His

image. It is not becoming that princes of the blood should

herd with beggars, or dress as they do; let all believers,

then, come out from the world, and mount the hills of high

and holy living; so shall it be proved that they are

content with Christ, when they utterly forsake the broken

cisterns.



IV. The text bears within it another meaning -- YE

ARE FILLED IN HIM: --so Wickliffe translated it, "AND ZE

BEN FILLID IN HYM." A possession of Jesus in the soul is a

filling thing. Our great Creator never intended that the

heart should be empty, and hence He has stamped upon it the

ancient rule that nature abhors a vacuum. The soul can

never be quiet until in every part it is fully occupied.

It is as insatiable as the grave, until it finds every

corner of its being filled with treasure. Now, it can be

said of Christian salvation, that it, and it alone, can

fill the mind. Man is a compound being, and while one

portion of his being may be full, another may be empty.

There is nothing which can fill the whole man save the

possession of Christ.



The man of hard calculation, the lover of facts, may

feast his head and starve his heart; -- the sentimentalist

may fill up his full measure of emotion, and destroy his

understanding; -- the poet may render his imagination

gigantic, and dwarf his judgment; -- the student may render

his brain the very refinement of logic, and his conscience

may be dying: -- but give us Christ for our study, Christ

for our science, Christ for our pursuit, and our whole man

is filled. In His religion we find enough to exercise the

faculties of the most astute reasoner, while yet our heart,

by the contemplation, shall be warmed -- yea, made to burn

within us. In Him we find room for imagination's utmost

stretch, while yet His kind hand preserves us from wild and

romantic visions. He can satisfy our soul in its every

part. Our whole man feels that His truth is our soul's

proper food, that its powers were made to appropriate HIM,

while HE is so constituted that He is adapted to its every

want. Herein lies the fault of all human systems of

religion -- they do but subjugate and enlist a portion of

the man; they light up with doubtful brilliance one single

chamber of his soul, and leave the rest in darkness; they

cover him in one part, and allow the biting frost to benumb

and freeze the other, until the man feels that something is

neglected, for he bears a gnawing within him which his

false religion cannot satisfy. But let the glorious Gospel

of the blessed Jesus come into the man; let the Holy Spirit

apply the word with power, and the whole man is filled --

every nerve, like the string of a harp, is wound up, and

gives forth melody -- every power blesses God -- every

portion is lighted up with splendor, and the man exclaims,



"There rest, my long divided soul,

Fixed on this mighty centre, rest."



"Shaddai," the Lord all-sufficient, is a portion large

enough to afford us fulness of joy and peace. In Him, as

well as in His house, "there is bread enough and to spare."

In the absence of all other good things, He is an

overflowing river of mercy, and when other blessings are

present, they owe all their value to Him. He makes our cup

so full that it runneth over, and so He is just what man's

insatiable heart requires. It is a fact which all men must

acknowledge, that we are never full till we run over -- the

soul never has enough till it has more than enough; while

we can contain and measure and number our possessions, we

are not quite so rich as we desire. PAUPERIS EST NUMERARE

PECUS -- we count ourselves poor so long as we can count

our wealth. We are never satisfied till we have more than

will satisfy us. But in Jesus there is that

superabundance, that lavish richness, that outdoing of

desire, that we are obliged to exclaim, "IT IS ENOUGH --

I'M FILLED TO THE BRIM."



How desirable is that state of mind which makes every

part of the soul a spring of joys! The most of men have

but one well of mirth within them; according to their

temperament, they derive their happiness from different

powers of the mind -- one from bold imagination, another

from solitary meditation, and a third from memory; but the

believer has many wells and many palm-trees, for all that

is within him is blessed by God. As the waters cover the

sea, so has divine grace flooded every portion of his

being. He has no "aching void," no "salt land, and not

inhabited," no "clouds without rain;" but where once were

disappointment and discontent, there are now "pleasures for

evermore," for the soul is "filled in Him."



Seek then, beloved Christian reader, to know more and

more of Jesus. Think not that you are master of the

science of Christ crucified. You know enough of Him to be

supremely blessed; but you are even now but at the

beginning. Notwithstanding all you have learned of Him,

remember you have only read the child's first primer; you

are as yet on one of the lower forms; you have not yet a

degree in the sacred college. You have but dipped the dole

of your foot in that stream wherein the glorified are now

swimming. You are but a gleaner -- you have not at present

handled the sheaves with which the ransomed returned to

Zion. King Jesus has not showed you ALL the treasures of

His house, nor can you more than guess the value of the

least of His jewels. You have at this moment a very faint

idea of the glory to which your Redeemer has raised you, or

the completeness with which He has enriched you. Your joys

are but sips of the cup, but crumbs from under the table.

Up then to your inheritance, the land is before you, walk

through and survey the lot of your inheritance; but know

this, that until you have washed in Jordan, you shall be

but as a beginner, not only in the whole science of divine

love, but even in this one short but comprehensive lesson:

"COMPLETE IN HIM."



TO THE UNCONVERTED READER.



FRIEND, -- We will venture one assertion, in the full

belief that you can not deny it -- YOU ARE NOT ENTIRELY

SATISFIED. You are one of the weary-footed seekers of a

joy which you will never find outside of Christ. Oh! let

this chapter teach you to forgo your vain pursuit, and look

in another direction. be assured that, as hitherto your

chase has been a disappointment, so shall it continue to

the end, unless you run in another manner. Others have dug

the mines of worldly pleasure, and have gained nothing but

anguish and despair; will you search again where others

have found nothing? Let the experience of ages teach you

the fallacy of human hopes, and let your own failures warn

thee of new attempts.



But hark! sinner, all you need is in Christ. He will

fill you, satisfy you, enrich you, gladden you. Oh! let

your friend beseech you, "Taste and see that the Lord is

good."