(by Octavius Winslow)
Spiritual joy is a holy, sensitive plant.
It shrinks from the rude, ungentle touch;
from every influence uncongenial with its
heaven born nature. Watch it with sleepless
vigilance; shield it with every hallowed defense.
There are many hostile influences to which
it is exposed, any one of which will seriously
injure it. Temptation courted, sin tampered
with, worldliness indulged, the creature
idolized, means of grace slighted, Christ
Any one of these things will dampen your joy,
and cause it to shrink, and compel it to retire.
But nothing will sooner or more effectually
do this than looking away from the Object
and Source of joy, the Lord Jesus Christ.
There is everything in Christ to make you a
joyful Christian. There is all redundance of
grace to subdue your corruptions, an
overflowing sympathy to soothe your sorrows,
a sovereign efficacy in His blood to cleanse
your guilt, infinite resources to meet all your
needs, His ever encircling presence around
your path, His ceaseless intercession on your
behalf in heaven. His loving attention of all
you feel, and fear, and need.
Oh, is this not enough to make your heart a
constant sunshine, and your life a pleasant psalm?