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joy is little. But they have the same right to believe, and to rejoice in believing. There is the same provision made for the whole family and household of faith. They are interested in the same covenant, have the same promises, and the same faithfulness to make them good. They have perfect security given them, that they may trust and not be afraid. The people who know the joyful sound of a freegrace salvation, have good reason to believe, without doubt or wavering. By such a faith they will see God perfectly reconciled to them, and will behold the light of his countenance shining on them in love. A blessed sight! To see it clearly is glory begun ; to walk in it is glory increasing What is it but heaven, to rejoice all the day long But then it must be IŅ THY NAME, in the incarnate word, in Jehovah Jesus; by faith in whose righteousness. they shall be exalted, as high as a creature can be-being justified freely and fully, they have access into this perfect grace wherein they stand, and they rejoice in the hope of the glory of God: and not only so, but they rejoice in the way to glory, in
tribulations also, knowing that all things are working together for their present, and for their eternal enjoyment of God.
For their encouragement thus to rejoice in the Lord, he has promised them, that the joy which he gives shall not be taken away, which is,
Fifthly, Another great privilege. True joy is the gift of God; is a grace of the Spirit of God. It has God for its author, and God for its object; and it has this prerogative annexed to it, that no one can destroy this gift of grace. The Lord Christ declares, that he will not suffer any creature to take away what he bestows. What a rich cordial was this to his dejected apostles! They were mourning upon account of his leaving them, and were sadly cast down, as men without hope. But he revives their drooping hearts with a promise." I will see you again, and your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no one taketh from you.” This is indeed strong consolation : for it is one of the streams which maketh glad the city of God a stream that never fails-it runs out of the
ocean of free-grace, and none can stop its running back into it. Not as the world giveth give I unto you, says Jesus. The world giveth empty joys ; continueth them by an uncertain tenure; and at last takes away all its gifts, and leaves its deluded votary to suffer the vengeance of eternal fire. Whereas Christ gives what is truly good, solid and lasting. His gifts are without repentance. He is of one mind in continuing, as well as in giving : for his motives are in and of himself, and always the same. His own mere love, his free-grace, and the good pleasure of his own will, dispose him to give and to continue his favours : and his 'one end is his own glory. Therefore he will not take away the joy which he has given, and he will suffer no one to take it away. He secures by his power what he gives by his love. Such is the believer's right to rejoice in the Lord always. His title is indefeasible. God has freely given him in Christ all the good that can make him happy; and he enjoys it, and is happy, so far as he lives by faith. While he goes on from faith to faith, his joys
increase. Growing faith brings him in a richer harvest of joy. And he is commanded still to proceed, until his joy be full; which is a
Sixth privilege, peculiar to joy in God. Other springs fail. They are often dry. And when they run the fullest, he that drinks of their water thirsts the more. But joy in God has a satisfying fulness. The fountain is always full, yea, is always running over ; and all the streams bring happy peace and holy joy. The more a man drinks thereof, the more sober and spiritual he becomes : for whatever flows out of this fountain is grace, sanctifying grace; the more we partake of it we grow more like it. There is in it the divine property of conforming and assimilating us to itself: for it weakens the corruptions of nature, and strengthens the faculties of the new man, and as these grow stronger, they cleave closer to God, and have more fellowship with him. By which means they partake more of his joy. A happy partaker of it declares-" In thy presence is the fulness of joy,” and therefore he prays" Make me full of joy with thy countenance”—the presence of God with me, and his loving countenance shining upon me, is the fullest joy upon earth. And this comes from the grace of the holy Spirit, and is received by faith. Our Lord says to his disciples—“ These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” His end in speaking was to give them good reason to rejoice, and to continue rejoicing, and if they received what he spake with full assurance, as they ought to do, it would produce in them a fulness of joy. And this would be so much to his honour, and to their profit, that he commands them to ask it of the Father in his name—"Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” To the same purpose the apostle John, treating of the person of God Incarnate, through whom we have fellowship with the Father in all the blessings of his love, says, “ These things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.” His design in writing, was to lead them to nearer fellowship with the blessed Trinity, and to stir them up to seek in it