Rejoice Always!

The rejoicing which so frequently found expression in the sacred Scriptures was largely inspirational. Many of the prophets and seers of the Old Testament so clearly realized the truth about God and His creation and the perfect state of man, that songs of gladness burst forth spontaneously. The knowledge that man lives in eternity, in a state of perfect spiritual selfhood, unchanging and unchangeable could scarcely fail to bring joy to the heart and praise to the lips. How wonderfully inspired with God's goodness and presence was the psalmist! How his heart rejoiced in contemplation of the "beauty of holiness," of the infinite bounty of Love's rich bestowals! Hear his words: "But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee;" and again, "Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice." Again and again, the "sweet singer of Israel" calls upon God's people to rejoice over His bounty and blessing infinitely bestowed upon all His children. May we not justifiably conclude that this keen sense of the presence of good was the result of the quiet contemplation of the shepherd lad tending his father's flocks?

Paul, notwithstanding numerous and divers hardships, which at times seemed almost to overwhelm him, in a letter to the Christians of Corinth enumerating his tribulations, could describe himself as "sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things." Manifestly, Paul's glimpse of the heavenly state sustained him, even inspiring in him that joy which has its wellspring in the heart of divine Love.

Would not one find a valuable lesson, too, in the example of Christ Jesus, described as the "man of sorrows," to whom the sins of humanity were revealed in a degree unparalleled in human history, yet who, witnessing the heavenly vision, "rejoiced in spirit"? The Revelator, beholding the coming of God's kingdom and the power of His Christ, casting down to destruction the accuser, so visualized the perfect state that he, too, could not refrain from rejoicing. "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them." The reality of being has been revealed to Christian Scientists in a degree that inspires universal joy in their ranks. They are learning indeed that there is no accuser, for Love and Life are man's source and substance. Mrs. Eddy has expressed it in characteristic simplicity and directness. In "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 15), she says, "Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden from the world, but known to God;" and she pertinently adds, "Self—forgetfulness, purity, and affection are constant prayers." As mortals lose their false sense of selfhood in self—forgetfulness, purify thought by purging consciousness of everything unlike good, and learn to love their neighbor as themselves, they will relate themselves to the "altogether lovely," and joy will chase away the fleeting shadows of doubt and fear.

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"The way of holiness"
November 4, 1922

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