Ussher on Joy

November 25, 2007

There’s a lot to be said for studying someone who you enjoy reading.

I was working through some manuscript sermon material yesterday where Ussher considers Christian joy. He says, ‘I would be a Christian, bycause I would be more merry then another’. Gloomy Puritan? I think not. 

He continues, ‘when we see a Servant alwayes droopinge, wee say hee serves no good master’. So, what is our demeanour as we serve our master? He notes how God consumed the Israelite spies for their evil report. ‘Oh, some say, if thou be strict, and Precise in thy life, and conversation, thou wilt never bee a merry man: Tis false: Tis an evill report upon Religion: the best man is the merriest man. Some ministers thinke it their master peece, to cast men downe: the maine thinge that they have to do, is to bring men to joy. 2.Cor.1.last [= 2 Cor. 1:24], not that we have Dominion over your Faith, but wee are Helpers of your joy’.

The part that struck me was his encouragement that in heaven this joy will be enlarged – our joy now is of the same kind, though not of the same degree. And with a wonderful turn of phrase, ‘here, this joy comes into us: and There in Heaven, we goe into it’.

Hope that cheers up your Monday morning.

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