Sometimes, indeed, I am amazed at the joy of sinners,
while those who have the greatest cause of exultation are rather too sad.
Yes, I wonder that, on due consideration, joy of soul bursts not my mortal
frame. Though I should never think highly of myself, yet I should never
think lowly or basely of the manifestations of the love and favor of God.
What shall I, then, think of this quiet of mind, this peace of God which
passes understanding—pouring into my soul, and giving me the life of a
prince—while one would be ready to conclude that I lived like a prisoner?
What of this dwelling under the smile of Heaven? this joy that I have in
believing these transforming glances of glory, which give a sweet promise of
the fruition to come, and make me long for the day of perfect communion with
God? What of my daily allowance from the table of the King, yes, sometimes
my being allowed to eat at the King's table of the hidden manna, and bread
of life—and to behold his glory with the eye of faith.
Surely, then, I ought to sing and rejoice; for as the
sorrow of the world works death, so the joy that is spiritual tends to life.
God remembers both the place and time where he lets out his love to his
people. Hence, "I remember you, the kindness of your youth, the love of your
espousals." Dare I, then, despise the day of small things, or forget what
God may be pleased to remember? And if I look but a little further to the
end of my life, which is perhaps nearer than I realise—what a flood of glory
waits to replenish my enlarged soul, when sin and imperfection shall be put
off, and perfection put on! Should not such a happy change, secured to me by
the faithfulness of him who cannot lie—but who rests in his love, cause a
continual joy in my soul?
I daily see sinners, whose life is one scene of
joviality, one round of mirth—and yet they know not on what account they are
so cheerful. And why should I be sad, who have the truest cause of purest
joy? Neither should the outward troubles of time disquiet me—any more than a
king riding in his coach of state, attended with his guards, should be
disturbed that dust should fly round him, or a gentle shower fall on him,
when screened from both. So I am safe in the promise; yes, I ride in the
chariot of my Beloved with greater security, and statelier bearing—than the
kings of this world, could ever boast of.
Hasten your flight, O time, that I may see him whom I
love, for whom I long, on whom I have fixed my affection, and with whom my
soul dwells by faith. Now will I rejoice in you with a joy superior to those
who divide the spoil; and wait for the day when I shall be allowed to bring
to the throne of your glory, the tribute of praise for all your mercies to
me, and among the rest—for this true substantial joy.