"Neither be ye sorry"

When , under the intrepid leadership of Nehemiah, the walls and gates of Jerusalem had been rebuilt, the people gathered together to hear reading from "the book of the law of Moses." Then they were dismissed with the words, "Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah evidently knew that even on that day of rejoicing and triumphant thanksgiving subtle suggestions of sadness might present themselves.

Today, when great objectives have been gained and we may rightfully give thanks to God with unalloyed gladness, does not some disguised error of belief tempt us to feel sorry and cast shadows on what we had thought would be a time of perfect joy? Many persons who easily rise above more obvious temptations to sin indulge the "sorry" thought and gradually acquire a wistful outlook on life which is inconsistent with true Christianity. A specious argument, frequently accepted, is that, even with every reason to feel gratitude and gladness in our own lives, it would be heartless not to feel sorry for those less fortunate. To this it may be answered that unquestionably there is much in human experience which calls for compassion, but this gracious and helpful sentiment is not synonymous with sorrow.

No Retrogression
September 28, 1935

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