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Joy and Power

Joy and Power

Joy and Power

Three messages with One meaning

Henry van Dyke

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Joy and Power

i. Joy and Power ii. The Battle of Life iii. The Good Old Way

Joy and Power


St. John viii. 17: If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I ask you to think for a little while about the reli ion of !hrist in its relation to ha""iness. This is only one "oint in the #ir#le of truth at the #entre of whi#h Jesus stands. But it is an i$"ortant "oint be#ause it $arks one of the lines of "ower whi#h radiate fro$ %i$. To look at it #learly and steadily is not to disre ard other truths. The $ariner takes the whole hea&ens of astrono$y for ranted while he sha"es his #ourse by a sin le star. In the wish for ha""iness all $en are stran ely alike. In their e'"lanations of it and in their ways of seekin it they are sin ularly different. (hall we think of this wish as ri ht) or wron * as a true star) or a will+o,+the+wis"If it is ri ht to wish to be ha""y) what are the #onditions on whi#h the fulfil$ent of this wish de"ends- These are the two .uestions with whi#h I would #o$e to !hrist) seekin instru#tion and uidan#e. I. The desire of ha""iness) beyond all doubt) is a natural desire. It is the law of life itself that e&ery bein seeks and stri&es toward the "erfe#tion of its kind) the reali/ation of its own s"e#ifi# ideal in for$ and fun#tion) and a true har$ony with its en&iron$ent. 0&ery dro" of sa" in the tree flows toward folia e and fruit. 0&ery dro" of blood in the bird beats toward fli ht and son . In a #ons#ious bein this $o&e$ent toward "erfe#tion $ust take a #ons#ious for$. This #ons#ious for$ is ha""iness)1the satisfa#tion of the &ital i$"ulse)1 the rhyth$ of the inward life)1the $elody of a heart that has found its keynote. To say that all $en lon for this is si$"ly to #onfess that all $en are hu$an) and that their thou hts and feelin s are an essential "art of their life. 2irtue $eans a #o$"leted $anhood. The 3oyful welfare of the soul belon s to the fulness of that ideal. %oliness is wholeness. In stri&in to reali/e the true ai$ of our bein ) we find the wish for ha""iness i$"lanted in the &ery heart of our effort. 4ow what does !hrist say in re ard to this natural hu$an wish- 5oes %e say that it is an illusion- 5oes %e #onde$n and deny it- Would %e ha&e a##e"ted Goethe,s definition6 7reli ion is renun#iation89

Joy and Power (urely su#h a notion is far fro$ the s"irit of Jesus. There is nothin of the hardness of (toi#is$) the #oldness of Buddhis$) in !hrist,s os"el. It is hu$ane) sy$"atheti#) #onsolin . :nrest and weariness) the fe&er of "assion and the #hill of des"air) soul+solitude and heart+trouble) are the &ery thin s that %e #o$es to #ure. %e be ins %is reat dis#ourse with a series of beatitudes. 7Blessed8 is the word. 7%a""y8 is the $eanin . 4ine ti$es %e rin s the #han es on that word) like a sil&er bell soundin fro$ %is fair te$"le on the $ountain+side) #allin all who lon for ha""iness to #o$e to %i$ and find rest for their souls. !hrist ne&er asks us to i&e u" $erely for the sake of i&in u") but always in order to win so$ethin better. %e #o$es not to destroy) but to fulfil)1to fill full)1to re"lenish life with true) inward) lastin ri#hes. %is os"el is a $essa e of satisfa#tion) of attain$ent) of feli#ity. Its &oi#e is not a si h) but a son . Its final word is a benedi#tion) a ood+sayin . 7These thin s ha&e I s"oken unto you) that $y 3oy $i ht re$ain in you) and that your 3oy $i ht be full.8 If we a##e"t %is tea#hin we $ust belie&e that $en are not wron in wishin for ha""iness) but wron in their way of seekin it. 0arthly ha""iness)1"leasure that belon s to the senses and "erishes with the$)1earthly ha""iness is a drea$ and a delusion. But ha""iness on earth)1s"iritual 3oy and "ea#e) blosso$in here) fruitin hereafter)1 i$$ortal ha""iness) is the keynote of life in !hrist. ;nd if we #o$e to %i$) %e tells us four reat se#rets in re ard to it. i. It is inward) and) not outward* and so it does not de"end on what we ha&e) but on what we are. ii. It #annot be found by dire#t seekin ) but by settin our fa#es toward the thin s fro$ whi#h it flows* and so we $ust #li$b the $ount if we would see the &ision) we $ust tune the instru$ent if we would hear the $usi#. iii. It is not solitary) but so#ial* and so we #an ne&er ha&e it without sharin it with others. i&. It is the result of God,s will for us) and not of our will for oursel&es* and so we #an only find it by i&in our li&es u") in sub$ission and obedien#e) to the #ontrol of God.


Joy and Power =or this is "ea#e)1to lose the lonely note Of self in lo&e,s #elestial ordered strain6 ;nd this is 3oy)1to find one,s self a ain In %i$ whose har$onies fore&er float Throu h all the s"heres of son ) below) abo&e)1 =or God is $usi#) e&en as God is lo&e. This is the di&ine do#trine of ha""iness as !hrist tau ht it by %is life and with %is li"s. If we want to "ut it into a sin le "hrase) I know not where we shall find a $ore "erfe#t utteran#e than in the words whi#h ha&e been tau ht us in #hildhood)1words so stron ) so noble) so #heerful) that they su$$on the heart of $anhood like $ar#hin +$usi#6 7>an,s #hief end is to lorify God and en3oy %i$ fore&er.8 Let us a##e"t without reser&e this tea#hin of our 5i&ine Lord and >aster in re ard to the "ossibility and the duty of ha""iness. It is an essential ele$ent of %is os"el. The at$os"here of the 4ew Testa$ent is not loo$) but ladness* not des"onden#y) but ho"e. The $an who is not lad to be a !hristian is not the ri ht kind of a !hristian. The first thin that #o$$ended the !hur#h of Jesus to the weary and disheartened world in the early years of her triu$"h) was her "ower to $ake her #hildren ha""y)1ha""y in the $idst of affli#tions) ha""y in the release fro$ the burden of uilt) ha""y in the sense of 5i&ine =atherhood and hu$an brotherhood) ha""y in !hrist,s &i#tory o&er sin and death) ha""y in the assuran#e of an endless life. ;t $idni ht in the "rison) Paul and (ilas san "raises) and the "risoners heard the$. The lateral for#e of 3oy)1that was the "ower of the !hur#h. 7,Poor world), she #ried) ?so dee" a##urst) Thou runn,st fro$ "ole to "ole To seek a drau ht to slake thy thirst)1 Go seek it in thy soul., @ @ @ @ @

Tears washed the trouble fro$ her fa#eA (he #han ed into a #hildA ,>id weeds and wre#ks she stood)1a "la#e Of ruin)1but she s$iledA8 >u#h has the !hur#h lost of that "ristine and "owerful 3oy. The furna#e of #i&ili/ation has withered and hardened her. (he has be#o$e an'ious and B

Joy and Power troubled about $any thin s. (he has sou ht earthly honours) earthly "owers. Ci#her she is than e&er before) and "robably better or ani/ed) and "erha"s $ore intelli ent) $ore learned)1but not $ore ha""y. The one note that is $ost often $issin in !hristian life) in !hristian ser&i#e) is the note of s"ontaneous 3oy. !hristians are not as $u#h #al$er) steadier) stron er) and $ore #heerful than other "eo"le as they ou ht to be. (o$e !hristians are a$on the $ost de"ressin and worryful "eo"le in the world)1the $ost diffi#ult to li&e with. ;nd so$e) indeed) ha&e ado"ted a theory of s"iritual ethi#s whi#h "uts a s"e#ial &alue u"on unha""iness. The dark) $orbid s"irit whi#h $istrusts e&ery 3oyful feelin ) and de"re#iates e&ery #heerful &irtue) and looks askan#e u"on e&ery ha""y life as if there $ust be so$ethin wron about it) is a de"arture fro$ the beauty of !hrist,s tea#hin to follow the dark+browed "hiloso"hy of the Orient. The reli ion of Jesus tells us that #heerful "iety is the best "iety. There is so$ethin finer than to do ri ht a ainst in#lination* and that is to ha&e an in#lination to do ri ht. There is so$ethin nobler than relu#tant obedien#e* and that is 3oyful obedien#e. The rank of &irtue is not $easured by its disa reeableness) but by its sweetness to the heart that lo&es it. The real test of #hara#ter is 3oy. =or what you re3oi#e in) that you lo&e. ;nd what you lo&e) that you are like. I #onfess frankly that I ha&e no ad$iration for the "hrase 7disinterested bene&olen#e)8 to des#ribe the $ain+s"rin of !hristian $orals. I do not find it in the 4ew Testa$ent6 neither the words) nor the thin . Interested bene&olen#e is what I find there. To do ood to others is to $ake life interestin and find "ea#e for our own souls. To lorify God is to en3oy %i$. That was the s"irit of the first !hristians. Was not (t. Paul a ha""ier $an than %erod- 5id not (t. Peter ha&e $ore 3oy of his life than 4ero- It is said of the first dis#i"les that they 7did eat their $eat with ladness and sin leness of heart.8 4ot till that "ristine ladness of life returns will the !hur#h re ain her early #har$ for the souls of $en. 0&ery reat re&i&al of !hristian "ower1like those whi#h #a$e in the ti$es of (t. =ran#is of ;ssisi and of John Wesley1has been $arked and heralded by a re&i&al of !hristian 3oy. D

Joy and Power If we want the !hur#h to be $i hty in "ower to win $en) to be a sour#e of li ht in the darkness) a fountain of life in the wilderness) we $ust re$e$ber and renew) in the s"irit of !hrist) the relation of reli ion to hu$an ha""iness. II. What) then) are the #onditions u"on whi#h true ha""iness de"ends!hrist tells us in the te't6 If ye know these thin s) ha""y are ye if ye do the$. This is the blessin with a double if. 7If ye know)81this is the knowled e whi#h !hrist i&es to faith. 7If ye do)81this is the obedien#e whi#h faith i&es to !hrist. Enowin and 5oin )1these are the twin "illars) Ja#hin and Boa/) on whi#h the house of ha""iness is built. The har$ony of faith and life)1this is the se#ret of inward 3oy and "ower. Fou re$e$ber when these words were s"oken. !hrist had knelt to wash the dis#i"les, feet. Peter) in "eniten#e and self+re"roa#h) had hesitated to "er$it this lowly ser&i#e of 5i&ine lo&e. But !hrist answered by re&ealin the $eanin of %is a#t as a sy$bol of the #leansin of the soul fro$ sin. %e re$inded the dis#i"les of what they knew by faith)1that %e was their (a&iour and their Lord. By deed and by word %e #alled u" before the$ the reat s"iritual truths whi#h had i&en new $eanin to their life. %e su$$oned the$ to li&e a##ordin to their knowled e) to a#t u"on the truth whi#h they belie&ed. I a$ sure that %is words swee" out beyond that .uiet u""er roo$) beyond that beautiful in#ident) to e$bra#e the whole s"iritual life. I a$ sure that %e is re&ealin to us the se#ret of ha""y li&in whi#h lies at the &ery heart of %is os"el) when %e says6 If ye know these thin s) ha""y are ye if ye do the$. i. 7If ye know)81there is) then) a #ertain kind of knowled e without whi#h we #an not be ha""y. There are .uestions arisin in hu$an nature whi#h de$and an answer. If it is denied we #an not hel" bein disa""ointed) restless) and sad. This is the "ri#e we ha&e to "ay for bein #ons#ious) rational #reatures. If we were $ere "lants or ani$als we $i ht o on li&in throu h our a""ointed years in #o$"lete indifferen#e to the ori in and $eanin of our e'isten#e. But within us) as hu$an bein s) there is so$ethin that #ries out and rebels a ainst G

Joy and Power su#h a blind life. >an is born to ask what thin s $ean. %e is "ossessed with the idea that there is a si nifi#an#e in the world beyond that whi#h $eets his senses. John =iske has brou ht out this fa#t &ery #learly in his last book) Throu h 4ature to God. %e shows that 7in the $ornin twili ht of e'isten#e the %u$an (oul &a uely rea#hed forth toward so$ethin akin to itself) not in the real$ of fleetin "heno$ena) but in the 0ternal Presen#e beyond.8 %e ar ues by the analo y of e&olution) whi#h always "resu""oses a real relation between the life and the en&iron$ent to whi#h it ad3usts itself) that this forth+rea#hin and unfoldin of the soul i$"lies the e&erlastin reality of reli ion. The ar u$ent is ood. But the "oint whi#h #on#erns us now is si$"ly this. The forth+rea#hin ) .uestionin soul #an ne&er be satisfied if it tou#hes only a dead wall in the darkness) if its seekin $eets with the re"ly) 7Fou do not know) and you ne&er #an know) and you $ust not try to know.8 This is a nosti#is$. It is only another way of s"ellin unha""iness. 7(in#e !hristianity is not true)8 wrote 0rnest Cenan) 7nothin interests $e) or a""ears worthy $y attention.8 That is the lo i#al result of losin the knowled e of s"iritual thin s)1a life without real interest) without dee" worth)1a life with a broken s"rin . But su""ose Cenan is $istaken. (u""ose !hristianity is true. Then the first thin that $akes it "re#ious) is that it answers our .uestions) and tells us the thin s that we $ust know in order to be ha""y. !hristianity is a re&ealin reli ion) a tea#hin reli ion) a reli ion whi#h #on&eys to the in.uirin s"irit #ertain reat and "ositi&e solutions of the "roble$s of life. It is not silent) nor a$bi uous) nor in#o$"rehensible in its utteran#e. It re"lies to our .uestions with a knowled e whi#h) thou h li$ited) is definite and suffi#ient. It tells us that this 7order of nature) whi#h #onstitutes the world,s e'"erien#e) is only one "ortion of the total uni&erse.8 That the ruler of both worlds) seen and unseen) is God) a ("irit) and the =ather of our s"irits. That %e is not distant fro$ us nor indifferent to us) but that %e has i&en %is eternal (on Jesus !hrist to be our (a&iour. That %is ("irit is e&er "resent with us to hel" us in our #onfli#ts with e&il) in our efforts H

Joy and Power toward oodness. That %e is $akin all thin s work to ether for ood to those that lo&e %i$. That throu h the sa#rifi#e of !hrist e&ery one who will $ay obtain the for i&eness of sins and e&erlastin "ea#e. That throu h the resurre#tion of !hrist all who lo&e %i$ and their fellow+$en shall obtain the &i#tory o&er death and li&e fore&er. 4ow these are do#trines. ;nd it is 3ust be#ause !hristianity #ontains su#h do#trines that it satisfies the need of $an. 7The first and the $ost essential #ondition of true ha""iness)8 writes Professor !arl %ilty) the e$inent (wiss 3urist) 7is a fir$ faith in the $oral order of the world. What is the ha""y life- It is a life of #ons#ious har$ony with this 5i&ine order of the world) a sense) that is to say) of God,s #o$"anionshi". ;nd wherein is the "rofoundest unha""iness- It is in the sense of re$oteness fro$ God) issuin into in#urable restlessness of heart) and finally into in#a"a#ity to $ake one,s life fruitful or effe#ti&e.8 What shall we say) then) of the "ro"osal to ada"t !hristianity to the needs of the world to+day by eli$inatin or i norin its #hara#teristi# do#trines- Fou $i ht as well "ro"ose to fit a shi" for ser&i#e by takin out its #o$"ass and its #harts and #uttin off its rudder. >ake !hristianity silent in re ard to these reat .uestions of s"iritual e'isten#e) and you destroy its "ower to satisfy the heart. What would the life of !hrist $ean if these dee" truths on whi#h %e rested and fro$ whi#h %e drew %is stren th) were un#ertain or illusory- It would be the $ost "atheti#) $ournful) heartbreakin of all "hanto$s. What #onsolin ) #heerin "ower would be left in the words of Jesus if %is do#trine were blotted out and %is "re#e"t left to stand alone- Try the e'"eri$ent) if it $ay be done without irre&eren#e6 read %is fa$iliar dis#ourses in the shadow of a nosti#is$. ?Blessed are the "oor in s"irit) for theirs is a ho"eless "o&erty. Blessed are the "ure in heart) for they know not whether they shall see God. Blessed are ye when $en shall re&ile you and "erse#ute you) for ye ha&e no "ro$ise of a hea&enly reward.


Joy and Power ?0nter into thy #loset and when thou hast shut the door) kee" silen#e) for thou #anst not tell whether there is One to hear thy &oi#e in se#ret. Take no thou ht for the $orrow) for thou knowest not whether there is a =ather who #areth for thee. ?God is unknown) and they that worshi" %i$ $ust worshi" %i$ in i noran#e and doubt. 4o $an hath as#ended u" into hea&en) neither hath any $an #o$e down fro$ hea&en) for the (on of >an hath ne&er been in hea&en. That whi#h is born of the flesh is flesh) and that whi#h is born of the s"irit is a drea$. >an shall not li&e by bread alone) neither shall he listen for any word fro$ the $outh of God. I "ro#eeded forth and #a$e fro$ darkness) I #a$e of $yself) I know not who sent $e. >y shee" hear $y &oi#e) and I know the$) and they follow $e) but I #an not i&e unto the$ eternal life) for they shall "erish and death shall "lu#k the$ out of $y hand. Let not your heart be troubled* ye belie&e not in God) ye need not belie&e in $e. Eee" $y #o$$and$ents) and I will not "ray for you) and ye shall abide without a !o$forter. In the world ye shall ha&e tribulation) but be of ood #heer) for ye know not whether there is a world to #o$e. I #a$e forth fro$ darkness into the world) and a ain I lea&e the world and return to darkness. Pea#e I lea&e with you. If ye lo&ed $e ye would re3oi#e be#ause I said) I o into darkness) and where I a$ there shall ye be also., Is it #on#ei&able that any sufferin ) sorrowin hu$an soul should be #o$forted and stren thened by su#h a $essa e as this- !ould it "ossibly be #alled a os"el) lad tidin s of reat 3oy to all "eo"le;nd yet what has been o$itted here fro$ the words of !hrist- 4othin but what $en #all do#trines6 the "ersonality of God) the di&inity of !hrist) the ;tone$ent) the "resen#e and "ower of the %oly ("irit) the so&erei nty of the %ea&enly =ather) the truth of the di&ine re&elation) the reality of the hea&enly world) the assuran#e of i$$ortal life. But it is 3ust fro$ these do#trines that the tea#hin of Jesus draws its "e#uliar "ower to #o$fort and ins"ire. They are the rays of li ht whi#h dis"erse the loo$ of un#ertainty. They are the tones of #elestial $usi# whi#h fill the heart of $an with ood #heer.


Joy and Power Let us ne&er i$a ine that we #an stren then !hristianity by lea&in out the reat do#trines whi#h ha&e i&en it life and "ower. =aith is not a $ere $atter of feelin . It is the a##e"tan#e of truth) "ositi&e) un#han in ) re&ealed truth) in re ard to God and the world) !hrist and the soul) duty and i$$ortality. The first a""eal to faith lies in the #learness and &i&idness) the si$"li#ity and 3oy) with whi#h this truth is "resented. There has not been too $u#h "rea#hin of do#trine in this a e. There has been too little. ;nd what there has been) has been too dull and #old and for$al) too &a ue and $isty) too wa&erin and un#ertain. What the world wants and waits for to+day is a stron ) true) &ital "rea#hin of do#trine. The !hur#h $ust reali/e anew the "re#ious &alue of the truths whi#h !hrist has i&en her. (he $ust not #on#eal the$ or #ast the$ away* she $ust brin the$ out into the li ht) "ress the$ ho$e u"on the $inds and hearts of $en. (he $ust si$"lify her state$ent of the$) so that $en #an understand what they $ean. (he $ust not be #ontent with re"eatin the$ in the lan ua e of "ast #enturies. (he $ust translate the$ into the lan ua e of to+day. =irst #entury te'ts will ne&er wear out be#ause they are ins"ired. But se&enteenth #entury ser$ons row obsolete be#ause they are not ins"ired. Te'ts fro$ the Word of God) "rea#hin in the words of li&in $en)1that is what we need. We $ust think about the do#trines of !hristianity $ore earnestly and "rofoundly. We $ust renew our !hristian e&iden#es) as an ar$y fits itself with new wea"ons. The old+fashioned for$ of the 7ar u$ent fro$ desi n in nature8 has one out with the old+fashioned books of s#ien#e whi#h it used. But there is a new and $ore wonderful "roof of God,s "resen#e in the world) 1the ar u$ent fro$ $oral ends in e&olution. 0&ery real ad&an#e of s#ien#e $akes the intelli ent order of the uni&erse $ore subli$ely #lear. 0&ery #entury of hu$an e'"erien#e #onfir$s the 5i&ine #lai$s and adds to the 5i&ine triu$"hs of Jesus !hrist. (o#ial "ro ress has followed to a hair,s breadth the lines of %is os"el* and %e lays %is hand to+day with hea&enly wisdo$ on the so#ial wants that still trouble us) 7the so#ial lies that war" us fro$ the li&in truth.8 !hrist,s &iew of life and the world is as full of sweet reasonableness now as it was in the first #entury. 0&ery $oral ste" that 12

Joy and Power $an has taken u"ward has brou ht a wider) #learer &ision of his need of su#h a reli ion as that whi#h !hrist tea#hes. Let not the !hur#h falter and blush for her do#trines. Let her not turn and o down the hill of knowled e to defend her "osition in the &alley of i noran#e. Let her o u" the hill) wel#o$in e&ery wider outlook) re3oi#in in e&ery new dis#o&ery) atherin fresh e&iden#es of the truths whi#h $an $ust belie&e #on#ernin God and new $oti&es to the duties whi#h God re.uires of $an. But in doin this we $ust "ut the e$"hasis of our "rea#hin to+day where it belon s) where !hrist "uts it) on the do#trines that are $ost i$"ortant to hu$an life and ha""iness. We #an afford to let the fine $eta"hysi#al distin#tions of theolo y rest for a while) and throw all our for#e on the #entral) funda$ental truths whi#h i&e steadiness and #oura e and #heer to the heart of $an. I will not ad$it that it $akes no differen#e to a $an of this a e whether or not he belie&es in the "ersonal God and the 5i&ine !hrist. If he really belie&es) it $akes all the differen#e between s"iritual stren th and s"iritual weakness) between o"ti$is$ and "essi$is$. I will not ad$it that it $akes no differen#e to a learned s#holar or a si$"le labourer to+day whether he a##e"ts or i nores the do#trine of the atone$ent) the do#trine of "ersonal i$$ortality. If he knows that !hrist died for hi$) that there is a future beyond the ra&e) it $akes all the differen#e between des"air and ho"e) between $isery and #onsolation) between the hel"less frailty of a bein that is "uffed out like a #andle) and the 3oyful "ower of an endless life. >y brethren) we $ust work and "ray for a true re&i&al of !hristian do#trine in our a e. We $ust dee"en our own hold u"on the truths whi#h !hrist has tau ht us. We $ust "rea#h the$ $ore si$"ly) $ore #onfidently) $ore reasonably) $ore earnestly. We $ust draw fro$ the$ the ha""iness and the hel") the #o$fort and the ins"iration) that they ha&e to i&e to the souls of $en. But $ost of all) we $ust kee" the$ in #lose and li&in tou#h with the "roble$s of daily duty and e'"erien#e. =or no do#trine) howe&er hi h) howe&er true) #an $ake $en ha""y until it is translated into life.


Joy and Power ii. %ere is the se#ond if) on whi#h the "ower of reli ion to #onfer ha""iness de"ends6 If ye know) ha""y are ye if ye do these thin s. Between the knowin and the doin there is a dee" ulf. Into that abyss the ha""iness of $any a $an sli"s) and is lost. There is no "ea#e) no real and lastin feli#ity for a hu$an life until the ulf is #losed) and the #ontinent of #ondu#t $eets the #ontinent of #reed) ed e to ed e) li" to li") fir$ly 3oined fore&er. It is not a blessin to know the thin s that !hrist tea#hes) and then o on li&in as if they were false or doubtful. It is a trouble) a tor$ent) a se#ret $isery. To know that God is our =ather) and yet to withhold our lo&e and ser&i#e fro$ %i$* to know that !hrist died for us) and yet to deny %i$ and refuse to follow %i$* to know that there is an i$$ortal life) and yet to waste and lose our souls in the "ursuit of sensual "leasure and su#h s$all "ortion of the world as we $ay ho"e to ain) 1surely that is the dee"est of all unha""iness. But the ri ht kind of knowin #arries in its heart the doin of the truth. ;nd the ri ht kind of doin leads to a fuller and ha""ier knowin . 7If any $an will do God,s will)8 de#lares !hrist) 7he shall know of the do#trine.8 Let a $an take the truth of the 5i&ine =atherhood and be in to #onfor$ his life to its $eanin . Let hi$ i&e u" his an'ious worryin s) his $ur$urin s) his #o$"lainin s) and trust hi$self #o$"letely to his =ather,s #are. Let hi$ do his work fro$ day to day as well as he #an and lea&e the results to God. Let hi$ #o$e to his =ather e&ery day and #onfess his faults and ask for hel" and uidan#e. Let hi$ try to obey and "lease God for lo&e,s sake. Let hi$ take refu e fro$ the trials and #onfusions and $isunderstandin s of the world) fro$ the wrath of $en and the strife of ton ues) in the se#ret of his =ather,s "resen#e. (urely if he learns the truth thus) by doin it) he will find ha""iness. Or take the truth of i$$ortality. Let a $an li&e now in the li ht of the knowled e that he is to li&e fore&er. %ow it will dee"en and stren then the $eanin of his e'isten#e) lift hi$ abo&e "etty #ares and a$bitions) and $ake the thin s that are worth while "re#ious to his heartA Let hi$ really set his affe#tions on the s"iritual side of life) let hi$ endure affli#tions "atiently be#ause he knows that they are but for a $o$ent) 19

Joy and Power let hi$ think $ore of the soul than of the body) let hi$ do ood to his fellow+$en in order to $ake the$ sharers of his i$$ortal ho"e) let hi$ "urify his lo&e and friendshi" that they $ay be fit for the hea&enly life. (urely the $an who does these thin s will be ha""y. It will be with hi$ as with La/arus) in Cobert Brownin ,s "oe$) 7The 0"istle of Earshish.8 Others will look at hi$ with wonder and say6 7When#e has the $an the bal$ that bri htens allThis rown $an eyes the world now like a #hild.8 Fes) $y brethren) this is the sure result of followin out the do#trines of !hrist in a#tion) of li&in the truths that %e tea#hes)1a si$"le life) a #hildlike life) a ha""y life. ;nd this also the !hur#h needs to+day) as well as a true re&i&al of do#trine. ; re&i&al of si$"li#ity) a re&i&al of sin#erity) a re&i&al of work6 this will restore unto us the 3oy of sal&ation. ;nd with the 3oy of sal&ation will #o$e a renewal and e'"ansion of "ower. The in#onsisten#y of !hristians is the stron hold of unbelief. The la#k of &ital 3oy in the !hur#h is the #hief #ause of indifferen#e in the world. The feeble ener y) the falterin and relu#tant s"irit) the weariness in well+doin with whi#h too $any belie&ers i$"o&erish and sadden their own hearts) $ake other $en .uestion the reality and &alue of reli ion and turn away fro$ it in #ool ne le#t. What) then) is the duty of the !hur#h- What $ust she do to win the #onfiden#e of the world- What is the best way for her to 7"ro&e her do#trine all di&ine8=irst) she $ust in#rease her labours in the lo&e of $en6 se#ond) she $ust "ra#ti#e the si$"le life) dee"enin her trust in God. (u""ose that a fresh flood of ener y) bra&e) #heerful) 3oyous ener y) should be "oured into all the for$s of !hristian work. (u""ose that =orei n >issions and %o$e >issions should no lon er ha&e to "lead and be for su""ort) but that "lenty of $oney should #o$e flowin in to send out e&ery $issionary that wants to o) and that "lenty of the stron est and best youn $en should dedi#ate their li&es to the $inistry of !hrist) and that e&ery household where %is os"el is


Joy and Power belie&ed should find its hi hest honour and its reatest 3oy in hel"in to e'tend %is kin do$. ;nd then su""ose that the !hristian life) in its daily $anifestation) should #o$e to be $arked and known by si$"li#ity and ha""iness. (u""ose that the followers of Jesus should really es#a"e fro$ bonda e to the e&il s"irits of a&ari#e and lu'ury whi#h infe#t and tor$ent so $u#h of our #o$"li#ated) tan led) artifi#ial) $odern life. (u""ose that instead of in#reasin their wants and their desires) instead of loadin the$sel&es down on life,s 3ourney with so $any ba s and "ar#els and bo'es of su"erfluous lu a e and bri#+a+bra# that they are for#ed to sit down by the roadside and as" for breath) instead of wearin the$sel&es out in the dusty ways of ostentation and &ain show or e$bitterin their hearts be#ause they #an not su##eed in ettin into the weary ra#e of wealth and fashion)1su""ose instead of all this) they should turn to .uiet ways) lowly "leasures) "ure and si$"le 3oys) 7"lain li&in and hi h thinkin .8 (u""ose they should truly find and show their ha""iness in the knowled e that God lo&es the$ and !hrist died for the$ and hea&en is sure) and so set their hearts free to re3oi#e in life,s #o$$on $er#ies) the li ht of the sun) the blue of the sky) the s"lendour of the sea) the "ea#e of the e&erlastin hills) the son of birds) the sweetness of flowers) the wholeso$e sa&our of ood food) the deli hts of a#tion and $otion) the refresh$ent of slee") the #har$ of $usi#) the blessin s of hu$an lo&e and friendshi")1re3oi#e in all these without fear or $is i&in ) be#ause they #o$e fro$ God and be#ause !hrist has san#tified the$ all by %is "resen#e and tou#h. (u""ose) I say) that su#h a re&i&al of the 3oy of li&in in !hrist and workin for !hrist should silently swee" o&er the !hur#h in the Twentieth !entury. What would ha""en- Great would be the "ea#e of her #hildren. Greater still would be their "ower. This is the $essa e whi#h I ha&e to brin to you) $y brethren) in this General ;sse$bly of the Presbyterian !hur#h. Fou $ay wonder that it is not $ore distin#ti&e) $ore e##lesiasti#al) $ore s"e#ially ada"ted to the "e#uliarities of our own deno$ination. Fou $ay think that it is a $essa e whi#h #ould 3ust as well be brou ht to any other !hur#h on any other o##asion. With all $y heart I ho"e that is true. The thin s that I #are for $ost in our !hur#h are not those whi#h di&ide us fro$ 1B

Joy and Power other !hristians but those whi#h unite us to the$. The thin s that I lo&e $ost in !hristianity are those whi#h i&e it "ower to sa&e and satisfy) to #onsole and #heer) to ins"ire and bless hu$an hearts and li&es. The thin that I desire $ost for Presbyterianis$ is that it should "ro&e its $ission and e'tend its influen#e in the world by $akin $en ha""y in the knowin and the doin of the thin s whi#h !hrist tea#hes. The !hur#h that the Twentieth !entury will hear $ost ladly and honour $ost sin#erely will ha&e two $arks. It will be the !hur#h that tea#hes $ost #learly and stron ly the truths that Jesus tau ht. It will be the !hur#h that finds $ost ha""iness in li&in the si$"le life and doin ood in the world.


Joy and Power

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