PREACHED AT ST. DUNSTAN'S.
1 Thessalonians v. 16.
We read in the natural story, of some floating islands, that swim and move from place to place; and in them a man may sow in one place, and reap in another: this case is so far ours, as that in another place we have sowed in tears, and by his promise, in whose tears we sowed them, when we handled those two words, Jesus wept, we shall reap in joy: that harvest is not yet; it is reserved to the last resurrection: but the corn is above ground, in the resurrection of our head, the first-fruits of the dead, Christ Jesus, and that being the first visible step of his exaltation, begins our exultation, who in him are to rejoice evermore. The heart knoweth his own bitterness1; he and none but he; others feel it not, retain it not, pity it not; and therefore says the text, A stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy: he shall have a joy which no stranger, not he himself whilst he was a stranger to God, and
to himself, could conceive. If we ask, as Christ's disciples asked of him, Quod signum8? What shall be the sign of thy coming, of this joy in the midst of thy bitterness? Ipsw lachryma Iwtitiw testes, et nuncii3: The tears themselves shall be the sign, the tears shall be ambassadors of joy; a present gladness shall consecrate your sorrow, and tears shall baptize, and give a new name to your passion, for your wormwood shall be manna; even then when it is wormwood, it shall be manna, for, Gaudebitis semper., You shall rejoice evermore.
But our text does more than imply a promise to us, for it lays a precept upon us: it is not, gaudebitis, you shall rejoice, by way of comfort, but it is, gaudete, rejoice, see that you do rejoice, by way of commandment, and that shall be our first part. Cadit sub prwcepto; it hath the nature of a commandment. Angels pass not from extreme to extreme, but by the way between; man passes not from the miseries of this life, to the joys of heaven, but by joy in this life too; for he that feels no joy here, shall find none hereafter. And when we pass from the substance of the precept, to the extent thereof (which will be our second part) from the first word, rejoice, to the other, rejoice always; we shall cleave that into two periods, Gaudete in bonis, Rejoice in your prosperity, and Gaudete in malts, Rejoice in your adversity too. But because it is in sempiternum, that must be in sempiterno, because it is always, it must be in him who is always, yesterday and to-day, and the same for ever, joy in God, joy in the Holy Grhost, which will be another branch in that second part; of which joy, though there be a preparatory, and inchoative participation and possession in this life, yet the comsummation being reserved to our entrance into our master's joy, not only the joy which he gives, that is here, but the joy which he is, that is only there, we shall end in that, beyond which none can go, no not in his thoughts, in some dim contemplation, and in some faint representation of the joys of heaven, and in that contemplation we shall dismiss you.
First then it is presented in the nature of a commandment, and lays an obligation upon all, at all times to procure to ourselves, and to cherish in ourselves, this joy, this rejoicing. What is joy?
"Matt. xxiv. 3. 3 Augustine.
Comparatur ad desiderktm sic ut quies admotum*; As rest is the end of motion, every thing moves therefore that it may rest, so joy is the end of our desires, whatsoever we place our desires, our affections upon, it is therefore, that we may enjoy it; and therefore, Quod est in brutis in parte sensitiva delectatio, in hominibus in parte intellectiva est gaudhim": Beasts and carnal men, who determine all their desires in the sensual parts, come no further than to delight: but men, who are truly men, and carry them to the intellectual part, they, and only they, come to joy. And therefore, says Solomon, It is the joy of the just to do judgment; to have lain still, and done no wrong occasions, is not this joy; joy is not such a rest, as the rest of the earth, that never moved; but as the sun rejoiceth to run his race, and his circuit is unto the end of heaven; so this joy is the rest and testimony of a good conscience, that we have done those things which belong to our calling, that we have moved in our sphere. For, if men of our profession, whose function it is, to attend the service of God, delight ourselves in having gathered much in this world; if a soldier shall have delighted himself, in giving rules of agriculture, or of architecture; if a counsellor of state, who should assist with his counsel upon present emergencies, delight himself in writing books of good counsel for posterity, all this occasions not this joy; because though there have been motion, and though there be rest, yet that is not rest after the motion proper to them. A man that hath been out of his way all the day, may be glad to find a good inn at night; but yet it is not properly joy, because he is never the nearer home. Joy is peace for having done that which we ought to have done: and therefore it is well expressed, Optima conjectura an homo sit in gratia est gaudere"; The best evidence that a man is at peace, and in favour with God, is, that he can rejoice. To try whether I be able by argument and disputation to prove all, that I believe, or to convince the adversary, this is academia animw, the soul's uersity, where some are graduates, and all are not: to try whether I be able to endure martyrdom for my belief, this is gehenna animw, the rack, the torture of the soul, and some are able to hold it out, and all are
4 Aquin. xiise. 28. 3.
not: but to try whether I can rejoice in the peace, which I have with God, this is but catechismus animw, the catechism of the soul, and every man may examine himsolf, and every man must; for it is a commandment, Gaudete semper, Rejoice evermore.
It is, we cannot say the office, but the essence of God to do good; and when he does that, he is said to rejoice: The Lord thy God will make thee plenteous1: (there is his goodness) and he will rejoice again over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers*. The Lord will love thee, tboro is his goodness; and rejoice in thee, and he will rest in his love. Such a joy as is a rest, a complacency in that good which ho hath done, we see is placed in God himself. It is in angels too: their office is to minister to men, (for by nature they are spirits, but by office they are angels) and when they see so good effect of their service, as that a sinner is converted, There is joy in the presence of the angels of God*. Christ himself had a spiritual office and employment, To give light to the blind, and to inflict blindness upon those who thought they saw all. And when that was done, Exultavit in spiritu, in that hour Christ rejoiced in the spirit, and said, / thank thee 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth1*, &c. To have something to do, to do it, and then to rejoice in having done it, to embrace a calling, to perform the duties of that calling, to joy and rest in the peaceful testimony of having done so; this is christianly done, Christ did it; angelically done, angels do it; godly done, God does it. As the bridegroom rejoiceth in his bride, so doth thy God rejoice in theeu. Example, as well as the rule, repeats it to you, Gaudete semper.
But how far may we carry this joy? To what outward declarations? To laughing? St. Basil makes a round answer to a short question. An in uersum ridere non licet1*? May a man laugh in no case? Admodum perspicuum est, It is very evident, that a man may not, because Christ says, Vw vobis, Woe be unto you that laugh; and yet St. Basil in another place18 says (which we are rather to take in explanation, than in contradiction of himself) that that woe of Christ is cast, in obstreperum sonum,
7Deut. xxx. 9. 8 Zeph. iii. 17, 0 Luke xv. 10.
10 Luke x. 21. 11 Isaiah Lxii. 1. i2 Basil q. brevis xxxi.
13 Homil. de'gratiar. actione.
non in sinceram hilaritatem: upon a dissolute and indecent, and immoderate laughing, not upon true inward joy, howsoever outwardly expressed. At the promise of a son, Abraham fell on his face and laughed"; a religious man, and a grave man, one hundred years old, expressed this joy of his heart, by this outward declaration. Hierome's translation reads it, Risit in corde, he laughed within himself, because St. Hierome thought that was a weakness, a declination towards unbelief, to laugh at God's promise, as he thinks Abraham did. But St. Paul is a better witness in his behalf; Against hope he believed in hope"; he was not weak in faith; he staggered not at the promise of God, through unbelief. Quod risit, turn incredulitatis, sed exultationis indicium suit", His laughing was no ebb of faith, but a flood of joy. It is not as St. Hierome takes it, Risit in corde putans celare deum, aperte, ridere non ausus; He kept in his laughing, and durst not laugh out; but as St. Ambrose says well, Risus non irrisio diffidentis, sed exultatio gratulantis; He laughed not in a doubtful scorn of God's promise, but in an overflowing of his own joy: it is well expresssed, and, well concluded, O virum wterno risu vere dignum, et sempiternw jucunditati bene prwparatum", This was good evidence, that he was a man well disposed for the joys of heaven; that he could conceive joy in the temporal blessings of God, and that he thought nothing misbecoming him, that was an outward declaration of this joy. It is a dangerous weakness, to forbear outward declarations of our sense of God's goodness, for fear of misinterpretations; to smother our present thankfulness, for fear that some should say it was a levity to thank God so soon, till God had done the whole work. For God does sometimes leave half his work undone, because he was not thanked for it. When David danced and leaped, and shouted before the ark18; if he laughed too, it misbecame him not. Not to feel joy is an argument against religious tenderness, not to show that joy, is an argument against thankfulness of the heart: that is a stupidity, this is a contempt. A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance". If it be within, it will be without too.
14 Gen. xvii. 17.
15 Rom. iv. 18. 18 2 Sam. vi. 15.
16 Ambrose. 19 Prov. xv. 13.
Except I hear thee say, in thine actions, Gaudeo, I do rejoice, I cannot know that thou hast heard the apostle say, Gaudete.
Joy for God's blessings to us, joy for God's glory to himself, may come ad risum, and further: not only ad ridendum, but ad irridendum, not only to laugh in our own prosperity, but to laugh them to scorn that would have impeached it. They are put both together in God himself, Ridebo, and irridebo, I trill laugh at your calamities, and I will mock when your fear cometh". And this being in that place intended of God, is spoken in the person of Wisdom ; it misbecomes not wisdom and gravity to laugh in God's deliverances, nor to laugh to scorn those that would have blown up God's servants, when it is carried so high as to the kings of the earth, and the rulers that take counsel against the Lord, and against his Anointed**, we may come ad gaudium, to joy in God's goodness, but because their place, and persons are sacred, we leave the ridere and the irridere to God, who says, (ver. 4.) That he will laugh at them, and hold them in derision. But at lower instruments, lower persons may laugh, when they fill the world with the doctrine of killing of kings, and mean that that should animate men against such kings as they call heretics, and then find in experience that this hath wrought only to the killing of kings of their own religion, we lament justly the event, but yet we forbear our ridere and our irridere, at the crossing and the frustrating of their plots and practices. Pharaoh's army was drowned, Et cecinit Moses, Moses sung, Sisera was slain, Et cecinit Deborah, Deborah sung. Thus in the disappointing of God's enemies, God's servants come to outward manifest signs of joy. Not by a libellous and scurril profanation of persons that are sacred, but in fitting psalms and sermons, and prayers, and public writings to the occasion, to proceed to a ridere and irridere, and as St. Augustine reads that place of the Proverbs, Superridere, to laugh God's enemies into a confusion to see their plots so often, so often, so often frustrated. For so far extends Gaudete, Rejoice evermore.
Joy then, and cheerfulness, is sub prwcepto, it hath the nature of a commandment, and so he departs from a commandment that departs, and abandons himself into an inordinate sadness. And
80 Prov. i. 26. "Psalm ii. 2.
therefore David chides his soul, Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul, why art thou disquieted within me"? And though he come after to dispute against this sadness of the soul, which he had let in, Hope yet in God, and yet the Lord will command his loving kindness, and my prayer shall be unto the God of my life, yet he could not put it off, but he imagines that he hears his enemies say, Where is thy God? and when he hath wrestled himself weary, he falls back again in the last verse, to his first faintness, Why art thou cast down, 0 my soul, why art thou disquieted within me? For, as he that taketh away a garment in cold weather, so is he that singeth songs to a heavy heart*3: That heaviness makes him incapable of natural, of moral, of civil, of spiritual comforts, charm the charmer never so wisely. Eli heard that the battle was lost, and that his sons were slain, and admitted so much sorrow for those, that when the last was added, The ark was taken by the enemy, he was too weak for that, and fell down, and brake his neckIt was his daughter-in-law's case too; she overcharged her soul with sadness for her husband's death, and her father's death, and when the report of the ark came, she fell into labour and died; and though the women told her, Fear not, thou hast borne a son, yet she answered not. Though the ark of God, the worship of his name, be at any time transferred from where it was, despair not thou of God's reducing it; for this despairing of others, may bring thee to despair in some accident to thyself: accustom thyself to keep up the consideration of God's mercy at the highest, lodge not a sad suspicion in any public, in any private business, that God's powerful mercy can go but thus far: he that determined God's power and his mercy, and saith, Here it must end, is as much an atheist, as he that denieth it altogether. The key of David openeth and no man shutteth; the spirit of comfort shineth upon us, and would not be blown out. Monastery, and hermitage, and anchorite, and such words of singularity are not synonyma with those plural words Concio, coitus, ecclesia, synagoga et congregatio, in which words God delivereth himself to us. A church is a company, religion is religation, a binding of men together in one manner of worship; and worship is an exterior
service; and that exterior service is the Venite exvltemus, to come and rejoice in the presence of God.
If in any of these ways God cast a cloud upon our former joys, yet to receive good at God's hand, and not to receive evil; to rejoice in the calm, and not in the storm; this is to break at least half of the commandment, which is gaudete semper. And so from the first part, which is the substance which we have passed by these steps, that this rejoicing hath the nature of a commandment, it must be maintained, and that inward joy must be outwardly expressed, even to the disgrace and confusion of God's enemies, and to the upholding of a joyful constancy in ourselves: we pass now to the extent of the commandment, gaudete semper, evermore.
Did God mean that we should rejoice always; when he made six days for labour, and but one for rest? Certainly he did. Six days we are to labour, and to do all that we have to do: and part of that which we have to do, is to rejoice in our labour. Adam in the state of innocency had abundant occasion of continual rejoicing; but yet even in that joyful state he was to labour, to dress and to keep the garden". After the fall, when God made the labour of man more heavy, In sudore vultus, That he should not eat, but in the sweat of his browTM, yet God gave him not that penalty, that occasion of sadness till he had first imprinted the root of true joy, the promise of a Messias; that promise he made before he came to denounce the penalty, first came the ipse conteret, and then in sudore mdtus: upon those words, Thou shalt eat the labour of thy hand", Debuit dicere fructum, non laborem, saith Augustine, David should have said, He shall eat the fruit, not the labour of his hands. Sed ipse labores non sunt sine gaudio, But the very labours, the very afflictions of good men, have joy in them. Si labor potest manducari et jucundari, manducatus fructus laboris qualis erit? And if labour itself, affliction itself, minister joy, what a manner, what a measure of joy is in the full possession thereof in heaven? And as the consideration of the words immediately after the text, hath made more than one of the fathers say, Etiam somnia justorum preces stmt, Even the
85 Gen. ii. 15.
Gen. iii. 19.
87 Psalm cxxviii. 2.
sleep of the righteous is a service to God, and their very dreams are prayers and meditations, so much more properly, may we call the sleep, and the bodily rest, nay, the bodily torments of the righteous, joy, rejoicing. So that neither week-day, nor sabbathday nor night, labour nor rest interrupteth this continual joy: we may, we must rejoice evermore.
Gaudete in bonis, rejoice when God giveth you the good things of this world; first, in temporalibus, when God giveth you the good temporal things of this world. Gaudete in terra, rejoice that God hath placed you in so fertile, in so fruitful a land. Gaudete in pace, rejoice that God hath afforded you peace to till the land. Gaudete de temporibus, rejoice that God giveth good seasons, that the earth may give her increase, and that man may joy in the increase of the earth: and Gaudete de amicitiis, rejoice that God giveth you friendship with such nations, as may take of your superfluities, and return things necessary to you. There is a joy required for temporal things; for he that is not joyful in a benefit, is not thankful. Next to that detestable assertion (as St. Augustine calleth it) That God made any man to damn him, it is the perversest assertion, That God gives man temporal things to ensnare him. Was that God's primary intention in prospering Noah's vineyard, that Noah should be drunken88? God forbid.
Doth God give any man honour or place, Ut glorietur in malo, qui potens est, that his power might be an occasion of mischief and oppression? God forbid. God made light at first; but we know not what that light was: but God gathered all light into the sun, and all the world sees it. God infuses grace and spiritual blessings into a man's heart, and no man sees that, but the spirit that is in that man; but the evidence, the great seal, that he pleads in the eye of the world, is God's temporal blessings. When Assuerus put the royal vesture and ring, and crown upon Mordecai, it was to show that he was in his favour; in the same intention proceeds God too, when he gives riches, or honour, or favour, or command; he would have that soul rejoice in these, as in testimonies of his favour. God loves hilarem datorem, a cheerful giver, but he that is not a cheerful receiver, is a worse natured man, and more dishonours, nay, reproaches his bene
28 Gen. ix. 12.
factor. They then disobey this commandment, of rejoicing in temporal things, that employ not their industry, that use not all good means to attain them. Every man is therefore planted in the world, that he may grow in the world; and as venomous herbs delight in the shade, so a sullen retiring argues a murmuring and venomous disposition; to contemn God's temporal blessings, or to neglect or undervalue those instruments, those persons, by whom God sheds such blessings upon us, is to break that branch of this commandment Gaudete semper, Rejoice evermore; for he does not rejoice in bonis temporalibus. So is it also, as not to seek them before, so not to use them when we have them. When in a fear of growing poor, makes us think God to be poor too, that if we spend this, God can give us no more, when for fear of lacking at our end, we lack all the way, when we abound and yet will pay no debts, not to our own bellies, our own backs, our own respect, and the decency that belongs to our rank, these men so sordid, so penurious, and suspicious of God's providence, break this branch of this commandment too, because they do not rejoice in bonis temporalibus. And as the not-seeker, and the not-user, so the abuser of these temporal blessings is in the same transgression. He that thinks all the world as one jewel, and himself the cabinet, that all was made for him, and he for none, forgets his own office, his stewardship, by which he is enabled and bound to the necessities of others: to collect, he that seeks not, he that denies all to himself, he that denies all but himself, break this branch, for they do not rejoice in bonis temporalibus.
This we must do; but in bonis spiritualibus, in the spiritual good things of this world, much more we call those the spiritual good things of this world, which advance our devotion here, and consequently our salvation hereafter. The ritual and ceremonial, the outward worship of God, the places, the times, the manner of meetings, which are in the disposition of Christian princes, and by their favours of those churches, which are in their government: and not to rejoice in the peaceful exercise of those spiritual helps, not to be glad of them, is a transgression. Now the prophet expresses this rejoicing thus, Venite exultemus, Let us come and rejoice. We must do both. And therefore they who out of
Vol. v. 2 A
a thraldom to another church abstain from these places of these exercises, that do not come, or if they do come, do not rejoice, but though they be here brought by necessity of law, or of observation, yet had rather they were in another chapel, or that another kind of service than in this: and they also who abstain out of imaginary defects in this church, and think they cannot perform David's De profundis, they cannot call upon God out of the depth, except it be in a conventicle in a cellar, nor acknowledge Solomon's Excelsis excelsior*", that God is higher than the highest, except it be in a conventicle in a garret, and when they are here wink at the ornaments, and stop their ears at the music of the church, in which manner she hath always expressed her rejoicing in those helps of devotion; or if there be a third sort who abstain, because they may not be here at so much ease, and so much liberty, as at their own houses, all these are under this transgression. Are they in the king's house at so much liberty as in their own? and is not this the King of kings' house? Or have they seen the king in his own house, use that liberty to cover himself in his ordinary manner of covering, at any part of divine service I Every preacher will look, and justly, to have the congregation uncovered at the reading of his text: and is not the reading of the lesson, at time of prayer, the same word of the same God, to be received with the same reverence? The service of God is one entire thing; and though we celebrate some parts with more, or with less reverence, some kneeling, some standing, yet if we afford it no reverence, we make that no part of God's service. And therefore I must humbly entreat them, who make this choir the place of their devotion, to testify their devotion by more outward reverence there; we know our parts in this place, and we do them; why any stranger should think himself more privileged in this part of God's house, than we, I know not. I presume no man will misinterpret this that I say here now; nor, if this may not prevail, misinterpret the service of our officers, if their continuing in that unreverent manner give our officers occasion to warn them of that personally in the place, whensoever they see them stray into that uncomely negligence. They should not blame me now, they must not blame them then, when they
89 Eccles. v. 8.
call upon them for this reverence in this choir; neither truly can there be any greater injustice, than when they who will not do their duties, blame others for doing theirs.
But that we are bound to a thankful rejoicing in all that falls well to us, in bonis, admits less doubt, and therefore requires less proof: but the semper of out text extends farther, gaudete in malis, we do not rejoice always, except we rejoice in evil days, in all our crosses and calamities. Now, if we be not affected with God's judgments, if we conceive not a sorrow for them, or the cause of them, our sins, God is angry; will he be angry too, if we be not glad of them, if we do not rejoice in them? Can this sorrow and this joy consist together? Very well. The School in the mouth of Aquinas gives instances; If an innocent man be condemned, Simul placet ejus justitia, et displicet afflictioTM, I congratulate his innocency, and I condole his death both at once. So displicet mihi quod peccavi, et placet quod displicet; I am very sorry that I have sinned, but yet I am glad that I am sorry. So that, ipsa tristitia materia gaudii; some sorrow is so far from excluding joy, as that naturally it produces it. St. Augustine hath sealed it with this advice, Semper doleat pwnitens, Let him who hath sinned always lament; but then where is the gaudete semper? He tells us too, Semper gaudeat de dolore, Let him always rejoice, that God hath opened him a way to mercy, by sorrow. Lacrymw seminium quoddam sunt et foenus, quibus increscit gaudium31; Sorrow is our seminary, from whence we are transplanted into a larger orchard, into the dilatation of the heart, joy; Sorrow, says he, seminium est, et foenus est; it is our interest, our use; and if we have sorrow upon sorrow, it is use upon use, it doubles the principal, which is joy, the sooner. Chordw cum distenduntur, it is St. Augustine's musical comparison, when the strings of an instrument are set up, the musical sound is the clearer; if a man's sinew be stretched upon the rack, his joy is not the less perfect. Not that a man must seek out occasion of sorrow; provoke the magistrate by seditious intemperance, and call it zeal; or macerate the body with fastings, or mangle it with whippings, and call that merit; Non ut quadrant materiam quam non habent, sed ut inveniant earn quam nescientes habenf*; This is the way of
30 Aqnin. iii. 84. 31 Basil. 38 Augustine.
joy, not to seek occasions of sorrow, which they have not, but to find out those which they have, and know not; that is, their secret sins, the causes of God's judgments in themselves. To discern that that correction that is upon me, is from God, and not a natural accident, this is a beam of joy, for I see that he would cure me, though by corrosives. To discern that God is not unjust, nor cruel, and therefore it is something in me, and not in him, that brings it to this sharpness, this is a beam of joy too: for I see how to discharge God, and to glorify him, and how to accuse myself; and that is a good degree of repentance.
But to perfect my repentance, Non sufficit dolore de peccatis, sed requiritur gaudium de dolore, It is not enough to come to a sorrow in my sin, that may flow out into despair; but I must come to a joy in my sorrow, for that fixes me upon the application of Christ, and such a joy a man must suscitate and awaken in himself by these steps, in malis temporalibus, in all worldly crosses; else he does not gaudere semper.
No nor except he find this joy, in malis spiritualibus, in spiritual afflictions too. When I fall into new sorrow, after my former joy, relapse into those sins which I have repented (and beloved, the dangerous falling in any man, is to fall backward, he that falls forward, hath his eyes to help him, and his hands to help him, but he that falls backward lacks much) yet even out of these relapses we must find joy too. For when St. James says, Count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations**, as he speaks of all joy, so he intends, or may justly be extended to all temptations, not only temptations, that is, trials, when God proves a man by affliction, where moral constancy is exercised, but even in trial of religious constancy, in temptations to sin, still there is fresh occasion of joy in discerning God's deliverance from the falling into the sin, or from lying in the sin. Ipsa tentatio, sal auimw3', as salt preserves flesh, so temptations preserve the soul: not the sinning, but the discerning that it is, nay that that was a temptation to sin, preserves the soul. And therefore he calls tentationes custodes; he makes even the evil angels, our guardians, our tutelar angels, because by their temptations they bring us up in the fear of God, and in the ways of joy. And therefore though it be a
33 James i. 2. 34 Ambrose.
joyful thing to have overcome a temptation, yet determine not your joy in that; that if that temptation had overcome you, you might have no more joy, but (as Christ says) In this rejoice not, that is, not only in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice that your names are written in heaven". Rejoice not in this, that is, determine not, conclude not your joy in this, that you have overcome that temptation, but rather in this; that God does not forsake you after a sin, nor after a relapse into sin; but manifests your election by continual returning to you: but that this may be the joy of the text, true joy, not a joy that induces presumption, for, that will fail, that it may be semper, it must be in sempiterno, a joy rightly conceived, and l ightly placed. Gaudium in Domino: and that is our next step.
Rejoice in the Lord always, says the apostle; and lest it should admit any interruption, he repeats it, Iterum dico gaudete, Again I say rejoice, but still in the Lord. For, quasi locus quidam, justorum capax est DominusM: though God be in no place, God is the place, in whom all good men are. God is the court of every just king: God is the church of every holy priest: God is the field of every valiant man; and the bed of every sickly man: whatsoever is done in Domino, in the Lord, is done at home in the right place. He that is settled in God, centred in God, Lwtitiw fontem, voluptatis radicem lucratus est". They are all considerable words; lucratus est, he hath purchased something which he did not inherit, he hath acquired something which was not his before, and what \ Fontem lwtitiw; it is joy, else it were nothing: for what is wealth if sickness take away the joy of that? Or what is health, if imprisonment take away the joy of that? Or what is liberty, if poverty take away the joy of that? But he hath joy, and not a cistern but a fountain, the fountain of joy, that rejoices in God: he carries it higher in the other metaphor; he hath radicem voluptatis; a man may have jlores, flowers of joy, and have no fruit, a man may have some fruit, and not enough, but if he have joy in God, he hath radicem voluptatis, if we may dare to translate it so, (and in a spiritual sense we may) it is a voluptuous thing to rejoice in God. In rejoicing in another
Luke x. 20.
thing St. Bernard's harmonious charm will strike upon us, rara hora, brevis mora, they are joys that come seldom, and stay but a little while when they come. Call it joy, to have had that thou lovest, in thine eye, or in thine arms, remember what oaths, what false oaths, it did cost thee before it came to that! And where is that joy now, is there a semper in that? Call it joy to have had him whom thou hatest, in thine hands or under thy feet, what ignoble disguises to that man, what servile observations of some greater, than either you, or he, did that cost you before you brought him into your power? and where is that joy, if a funeral or a bloody conscience benight it? Currus Domini, says David, The chariots of the Lord are twenty thousand, thousands of angelsTM, says our translation; Millia Iwtantium, says the Vulgate; Thousands of them that rejoice. How comes it to be all thing angels and rejoicers? Ne miremur illos Iwtari continuo subjecit, Dominus in illis, St. Augustine saith, to take away all wonder, it is added, The Lord is in the midst of them, and then, be what they will, they must rejoice: for if he be with them they are with him, and he is joy. The name of Isaac signifies joy; and the trial of Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac: Immola Isaac tuum, sacrifice all thy joy in this world, to G-od, et non mactatus sed sanctificatus Isaac tuusTM, thy joy shall not be destroyed, but sanctified, so far from being made none, that it shall be made better, better here, but not better than that hereafter; which is our last step, beyond which there is nothingthat even true joy, rightly placed, is but an inchoative, a preparatory joy in this world. The consummation is for the next; gaudebimus semper.
Sicut Iwtantium omnium habitatio est in te, as St. Hierome reads those words40, speaking of the Christian church here, It is the house of all them, who do as it were rejoice; who come nearest to true joy. And so, when the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion, Facti sumus sicut consolati*1, We were as it were comforted. Quare sicut, says that father, Why is it so modified with that diminution, as it were? Quia hie etiam in Sanctis non perfecta consolatio; Because, says he, in this world, even the
39 Bernard. 41 Psalm exxvi.
Psalm Lxviii. 17.
40 Psalm Lxxxvii. 7
saints themselves have no perfect joy. Where the apostle compares the sorrow and the joy of this world, then the quasi lies upon the sorrow's side; it is bat a half sorrow; Quasi tristes, We are as it were sorrowful, but indeed rejoicing"; but compare the best joy of this world, with the next, and the quasi will fall upon the joy of the world. For though we be sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise", which is the earnest of our inheritance, (and this is the tropic of joy, the farthest that spiritual joy goes, in this zodiac, in this world) yet this carries us no farther, but Ut ex arrabone mstimetur hwreditas"; That by the proportion of the earnest, we might value the whole bargain: for what a bargain would we presume that man to have, that would give twenty thousand pounds for earnest? What is the joy of heaven hereafter, if the earnest of it here, be the seal of the Holy Ghost? God proceeds with us, as we do with other men. Operariis in swculo, cibus in opere, merces in fine datur": In this world, we give labourers meat and drink by the way, but wages at the end of their work. God affords us refreshing here, but joy hereafter. The best seal is the Holy Ghost, and the best matter that the Holy Ghost seals in, is in blood; in the dignity of martyrdom; and even for that, for martyrdom, we have a rule in the apostle, Rejoice inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christs sufferings"1; that as he suffered for you, so you suffer for him: but in what contemplation? That when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be made glad with exceeding joy; not with exceeding joy, till then; for till then, the joys of heaven may be exceeded in the addition of the body. There is the rule, and the example is Christ himself, Who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross; in contemplation of the propterea exaltatus, that therefore he should be exalted above all in heaven. Rejoice and be glad; why? for great is .your reward: but where? in heaven*7. And therefore Ask and you shall receive; pray and you shall have answer: But what answer? That your joy shall be full". It shall be; in heaven. For Quis sic delectat quam ille, qui fecit omnia quw delectant"? In whom can we fully rejoice,
48 2 Cor. vi. 10.
45 Bernard. 47 Matt. v. 12.
43 Eph. i. 14. 44 Hierome.
"1 Pet. iv. 13.
48 John xvi. 24. *' Augustine.
but him, who made all things in which we rejoice by the way, In thy name shall we rejoice all the day50, says David; Si in nomine suo, non tota die. St. Augustine says not that to any particular person, nor any particular calling, but to any man, to every man; any prince, any councillor, any prelate, any general, any discoverer, any that goes in any way of joy, and glory, Si nomine suo, non tota die, If they rejoice in their own names, their own wisdom, their own strength, they shall not rejoice all the day, but they shall be benighted with dark sadness, before their days end; And their sun shall set at noon too, as the prophet Amos speaks. And therefore that shall be Christ's expressing of that joy, at the last day, enter into thy master's joy, and leave the joy of servants (though of good servants) behind thee; for thou shalt have a better joy than that, thy master's joy.
It is time to end; but as long as the glass hath a gasp, as long as I have one, I would breathe in this air, in this perfume, in this breath of heaven, the contemplation of this joy. Blessed is that man, Qui scit jubilationem, says David, that knows the joyful sound": for, Nullo modo beatus, nisi scias unde gaudeas^; For though we be bound to rejoice always, it is not a blessed joy, if we do not know upon what it be grounded: or if it be not upon everlasting blessedness. Comedite amici, says Christ, bibite et inebriamini". Eat and drink, and be filled. Joy in this life, ubi in sudore vescimur, where grief is mingled with joy, is called meat, says St. Bernard, and Christ calls his friends to eat in the first word. Potus in futuro, says he, Joy in the next life, where it passes down without any difficulty, without any opposition, is called drink; and Christ calls his friends to drink; but the overflowing, the ebrietas animw, that is reserved to the last time, when our bodies as well as our souls, shall enter into the participation of it: where, when we shall love every one, as well as ourselves, and so have that joy of our own salvation multiplied by that number, we shall have that joy so many times over, as there shall be souls saved, because we love them as ourselves, how infinitely shall this joy be enlarged in loving God, so far above ourselves, and all them. We have but this to add.
50 Psalm i.xxxix. 16. 51 Psalm Lxxxix. 15.
*l Augustine. 5J Cant. v. 1.
Heaven is called by many precious names; life", simply and absolutely there is no life but that. And kingdom"; simply, absolutely there is no kingdom, that is not subordinate to that. And Sabbatum ex sabbato", A sabbath flowing into a sabbath, a perpetual sabbath: but the name that should enamour us most, is that, that it is satietas gaudiorum; fulness of joy". Fulness that needeth no addition; fulness, that admitteth no leak. And then though in the school we place blessedness, in visione, in the sight of God, yet the first thing that this sight of God shall produce in us (for that shall produce the reformation of the image of God, in us, and it shall produce our glorifying of God) but the first thing that the seeing of God shall produce in us, is joy. The measure of our seeing of God is the measure of joy. See him here in his blessings, and you shall joy in those blessings here; and when you come to see him sicuti est, in his essence, then you shall have this joy in essence, and in fulness; of which, God of his goodness give us such an earnest here, as may bind to us that inheritance hereafter, which his Son'our Saviour Christ Jesus hath purchased for us, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. Amen.