THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 237 229 Lecture V. The Joy of God's Salvation ...

I. Our first enquiry respects the elements which enter into the Christian's joy, or in other words, the joy of God's salvation.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 244 229 Lecture V. The Joy of God's Salvation ...

6. Of course there will be implied in this, a delight in the whole revealed will of God; in all his character; in all he does and in all he omits to do. It involves acquiescence in all his providential arrangements, including all He accomplishes and all He neglect to accomplish. When this state of mind exists in its purity, there is a universal satisfaction of mind in God. Every want and demand both of our nature and of our circumstances is seen to be perfectly met in God. A deep apprehension of this forms a prominent part of the joy of God's salvation.

II. Why should this blessing be sought in prayer?

1. The thing is desirable in itself. It is in itself a good, and therefore it is lawful to pray for it.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 248 229 Lecture V. The Joy of God's Salvation ...

5. The joy of the Christian is exceedingly useful to others. Who can estimate the value of a living fountain of water in a barren desert? Like Siloam's well in a land of drought, or like an oasis in a wilderness is a Christian who has always some thing to say of the joy of God's salvation. His words and his spirit are all the more reviving because so many are always complaining. How often are we grieved and distressed with these complaints!

On the other hand, a single joyous-hearted Christian is a priceless blessing in a family. To have one such Christian in each household who should be so full of the joys of God's salvation that he could not help speaking it out on all fit occasions--this would be like planting a well-spring of water in every acre of earth's desert sands. How soon would the wilderness rejoice and blossom as the rose! How often has one such Christian set a whole community on fire with desire to get rid of their darkness and come forth into God's glorious light!

6. The spiritual joy of Christians is exceedingly useful to sinners. Sinners know that Christians ought to rejoice in God, and of course they are not surprised at all that they should. How impressive to the sinner to see that the Christian is at rest in God! Oh, he knows nothing of that peace himself; and the view of it as enjoyed by the Christian reveals his own desolation. What sinner was ever in the habit of mingling in the society of Christians whose heart and lips are full of joy, without himself feeling unutterable yearnings of heart for such joys as these? I can well recollect that some of my earliest impressions of a serious nature, were occasioned by hearing a young man speak of his joy in God. I went home from that meeting weeping. I said to myself--that joy is rations; it is a joy worthy of a human soul. I walked along with many tears, and when alone, I sought a retired and dry place to kneel down and pray that God would give me what that young man had. All that I had ever heard of sermons and lectures had not made half so much impression as that young man's religious joy.

Sinners know that their own joy is a mean affair. Hence, when they see the Christian's joy, they can not help contrasting it with their own, and the result can scarcely fail of revealing to them their own wretched state.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 261 229 Lecture V. The Joy of God's Salvation ...

6. Also a willingness to have God use all the necessary means to open the way for this result. There may be a great many springs of earthly joy to be dried up; many idols to be removed; many a cup of earthly pleasure to be dashed, before we shall be prepared to receive in our souls the joy of God's salvation. Consequently there must be on our part a willingness to have God do anything He pleases with us to prepare the way in our souls. Unless we are thus willing that God should take his own course, we are making conditions for God which show that we are real hypocrites. We are trying to get the joy of holiness without the holiness itself.



THE OBERLIN EVANGELIST 1849 paragraph 275 229 Lecture V. The Joy of God's Salvation ...

Legalists are greatly stumbled at those who possess the joy of God's salvation. Legalists are never happy in themselves; always in a strait-jacket, every muscle drawn up with a tightness never to be relaxed; they don't know about such a joyous state of mind. They see a great many things that look suspicious. When they see souls rejoicing greatly in the Lord--O they don't know about that. If a Christian's soul triumphs in his God--alas, they say to themselves, what can that mean? There is nothing like that in my religion!