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The Joy of Faith.

The Joy of Faith.

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Published by glennpease
BY JOSEPH A. SEISS,^. D., LL.D., L.H.D.,


Rejoice in the Lord alway : and again I say, Rejoice. — Phil. 4 : 4.
BY JOSEPH A. SEISS,^. D., LL.D., L.H.D.,


Rejoice in the Lord alway : and again I say, Rejoice. — Phil. 4 : 4.

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 26, 2014
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THE JOY OF FAITH. BY JOSEPH A. SEISS,^. D., LL.D., L.H.D.,Rejoice in the Lord alway : and again I say, Rejoice. — Phil. 4 : 4. T would seem that the apostle considered it the privilege and duty of all Christians to be uninterruptedly happy and joyous. This is a very remarkable presentation. It is remarkable, as coming from St. Paul, who was a man of incessant toil and tribulation, ever in conflict with visible and invisible powers, an example of sufferings which made him a spectacle to men and angels, and a man whose temper was intensely serious, severe, and vehement. It is remarkable, in view of the ordinary state of mankind in this world, which is everywhere mixed with sorrow, the sunshine often interrupted, and the shadows often very deep. It is remarkable, in being addressed to these Philippians; who were much grieved over their apostle's imprisonment at Rome; who, with
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Christians in general at that time, were in con-stant anxiety by reason of abounding persecution, and around whom everything was more or less adverse to their peace of mind. It is remarkable, also, in being placed in spe-41 42 THE JOY OF FAITH. cific connection with the prospect of the speedy coming of the Lord; regarded usually as a matter of solemn fear and awe, calling rather for the utmost seriousness and anxious concern. And it is well worthy of our devout considera-tion that such a man, at such a time, to such peo-ple, under such apprehensions, should give it as a matter of privilege and duty, not only to be free from all saddening depression and disturbing per-turbation, but to be cheerful and happy withal, maintaining a mood and temper of constant and peaceful rejoicing.
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Many have the notion that to be a Christian is to be austere, morose, gloomy, and adverse to all the natural enjoyments that give zest to life. The Gospel does, indeed, require some things which carnal nature does not fancy. Nor is any one more positive than this same apostle in demanding self-denial, the giving up of sin, and the mortifi-cation of the works of the flesh. But with all this, he both inculcated and exemplified a spirit of gladness and spiritual rejoicing. The things to be renounced are those only which disable, harm, and destroy, and which a right man should be glad to be rid of. Why regret to abandon lusts wliich war against the soul, or selfish desires which contract and harden the heart, or turbulent passions which fill the mind with disquiet and the world with disorder, or the sins and follies which sacrifice purity, degrade character, and plunge into temporal and eternal ruin ? These and such like. Christians must needs surrender, and ever FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT. 43
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