by James Smith, 1860
"You have put gladness into my heart!" Psalm 4:7
I am sad enough at times.
I get looking within--and the corruptions that lurk, and work there, make me sad.
I look into the church--and lack of life, union, and love there, makes me sad.
I look at my family--and there are generally some things there to make me sad.
I look at the world--and like David, who beheld transgressors and was grieved, I see enough there to make any Christian sad!
But my sadness often arises . . .
from my wandering from God, who is the fountain of joy;
from my violating God's precepts, in keeping which there is a great reward;
from a view of my unlikeness to God, and unfitness to enjoy God;
and at times from a sinful, slavish, painful fear of God.
At other times, I take my eye off the gospel, and get back under the law--and then a sight of its extensive demands, its fearful threatenings, and its awful curses, makes me sad.
So also, if I look at God as a just lawgiver, and an angry judge--this makes me sad.
my repeated failures, when I have endeavored to be more spiritual and consistent;
my lack of a suitable frame to love and enjoy God;
and my lack of satisfaction with God's providential arrangements
--these things make me sad.
But I am not always sad, for if heaviness endures for the night--then joy comes in the morning. And to my gracious God I can say, "You have put gladness into my heart!" This he does sometimes . . .
by showing me the infinite efficacy of the atoning blood;
by applying the blood to the conscience;
by shedding abroad his sweet, powerful, and everlasting love in my heart;
by sending the Holy Spirit to breathe upon my soul, as the Spirit of adoption and liberty;
by revealing to me more clearly than heretofore, that I am accepted in the Beloved, and am pleasant in his sight;
by showing me my interest in, and title to--the many, exceeding great, and precious promises recorded in his Word;
by manifesting his divine approbation, and treating me as his friend;
by also by raising my expectations, and directing my eye upward to the celestial mansions, and forward to the glorious appearing of his beloved Son!
Blessed be God, he has often put gladness in my heart, not only by revealing blessings in his Word--but by presenting them to me by his Spirit. And also by giving me . . .
the oil of joy for mourning;
a sweet subject for meditation;
and a glorious prospect for anticipation.
He has given me to drink at times, of the wine of confusion--but at other times, I have drank deeply of the wine of consolation.
I have tasted the waters of strife, and had bitter draughts of the waters of Marah--but I have oftener, with joy drawn sweet waters out of the wells of salvation.
Blessed be God for a glad heart! A heart made glad by . . .
the light of his countenance,
the whispers of his love, and
the work and witness of the Holy Comforter!
This gladness makes one . . .
holy--as well as happy;
useful--as well as peaceful; and
fits us for Heaven--while it makes us ornamental on earth!
Joy is a fruit that will not grow,
In nature's barren soil;
All we can boast, until Christ we know,
Is vanity and toil.
But where the Lord has planted grace,
And made his glories known;
There fruits of Heavenly joy and peace
Are found--and there alone.
A bleeding Savior seen by faith,
A sense of pardoning love;
A hope that triumphs over death,
Give joys like those above.
To take a glimpse within the veil,
To know that God is mine;
Are springs of joy that never fail,
These are the joys which satisfy,
And sanctity the mind;
Which make the spirit mount on high,
And leave the world behind!