Luke 6:21

On the same principle of interpretation as that which applies to the preceding verse (see preceding homily), we conclude that our Master is referring to those who hunger after righteousness, who are affected by a keen spiritual appetite. These are in a state of earnest religious inquiry; they are like the young man who ran eagerly and anxiously to "know what he must do to inherit eternal life" (Luke 18:18). In other words, they are earnestly desirous of gaining the favour and also the likeness of God; of being such that God will not condemn them as guilty, but count them as righteous; such also that they will in a very serious sense be righteous even as he is righteous, be "partakers of his holiness." Now, wherein consists the blessedness of this spiritual condition?

I. SEEKING GOD IS THE ONLY HONEST AND RIGHT THING TO DO. Those who believe of God what most men do believe - that he is the Author of their being and the Source of all their blessings, that he is more nearly and importantly related to them than any human being can be, that they owe everything they are and have to him - are most strongly and sacredly bound to seek his favour. To be blind when he is beckoning, deaf when he is calling, insensible when he lays his hand upon them, - this is to be wholly, sadly, shamefully in the wrong.

II. SEEKING GOD IS THE LOFTY AND NOBLE THING. To seek God, to hunger and thirst after him and his righteousness, is the true heritage of our manhood; it is that which, incalculably more than anything else, lifts us up to a high and noble level. Not to be a-hungred and athirst after the living God is to be forfeiting the very best portion for which our Creator called us into existence.

III. SEEKING GOD IS THE ONE SATISFYING THING. 'Blessed are ye that hunger: for ye shall be filled;' and those who hunger after that which is lesser and lower are not filled. No earthly joy fills the soul; it leaves it still craving.

1. Not even the purer joys of earth fill the soul; not even beholding the beauties and glories of creation; "the eye is not satisfied with seeing" these. Not even listening to the sweetest melodies that can be heard; "the ear is not satisfied with hearing" them.

2. Much less with the grosser delights - making money, wielding power, receiving homage, indulging in bodily gratifications; certainly the tongue is not satisfied with tasting, and "he that loveth silver is not satisfied with silver" (Ecclesiastes 5:10). But:

3. The love of God, the possession of the friendship of Jesus Christ, the spending of our days and our powers in the holy, elevating service of a Divine Redeemer, - this is that which fills the heart with a restful and abiding joy, and which brightens the life with a light that does not fade.

"These are the joys which satisfy
And sanctify the mind." These are the joys which last; which live when the passions of youth have been burnt out, when the ambitions of manhood are dead, when life is lived through and death is waiting for its own; the-joys which, as all else grows dim and worthless, become more and more precious still. "Blessed are they that hunger thus: for they shall be filled. - C.

Blessed are ye that hunger now; for ye shall be fllled.
Consider how much is conveyed in this figure.

1. Hunger and thirst are real things. We need no argument to prove this; we have all felt them for ourselves, even though it may have been in a very slight degree. Ay, how real they are He who spake of them well knew, for had He not but now ended His long fast of forty days in the wilderness?

2. They are active feelings that will assert themselves. The poor man may know his poverty, and yet be so accustomed to it as to have no wish to escape from it. The sick man may be too ill to want to get better, his only wish being to be let alone and die in peace. But hunger and thirst tell of a want within, a reaching after that without which they cannot be stilled.

3. They are intense, overpowering, and gain the mastery over the man, making him act contrary to the instincts of reason. What stories we have heard or read of the terrible extremities to which hunger or thirst have reduced men. Maddened by the desire of drink, they have drunk salt water, plunged into the sea to put an end to their sufferings, or drawn lots which should die to save the rest alive. Driven by gnawings of hunger, men have faced disgrace, and stooped to steal rather than suffer any longer.

4. They are universal, for they are felt by rich as well as poor; they are inseparable from our being, constituted as we are; they are God-implanted instincts.

5. They are lifelong. The man dying of thirst, able no longer to speak, opens his poor parched mouth, or looks his longing with his fevered eyes. The man perishing for lack of food holds out his thin, emaciated hands, and without a word begs for bread. But we need not to be told that Jesus is not speaking of bodily hunger, any more than of bodily poverty or bodily mourning. Just as the poverty He tells of may exist in the midst of the abundance of riches, and just as the mourning which He recommends may be found where eyes have never shed a tear, so hunger and thirst may be where there is plenty of food and drink. For every man is a sort of living sacrament. He has an outward and visible part — his body; but he has, too, an inward and spiritual part. And there is a close analogy between them. They have each similar feelings, desires, longings. And so the spirit of a man has its hunger and thirst. And this spiritual hunger and thirst are real things, are they not? They are active, asserting themselves, refusing to be ignored; they are intense, soul-agonizing, bringing, when unsatisfied, anguish and torment; they are universal, found in men of every age, and circumstance; they are life-long, with the man still as the breath of life quits his body.

(C. J. Ridgeway, M. A.)

The metaphor here chosen by our Saviour is the best and fittest that can be conceived to express a strong, powerful, active principle; for hunger is one of the strongest principles we know — it is an importunate desire, never satisfied till it obtains the means of gratification. The feeling of thirst is, perhaps, still stronger; for it is sufficient to absorb every other feeling, every other thought, and to confine the attention to the most immediate means of removing the distressing pain. For the same reason, that those who were not rich were in a favourable state to embrace Christianity, the hungry, who are also poor, would be in a similar situation; for, by embracing Christianity, all their nobler desires would be gratified.

(J. Thomson, D. D.)

First, We shall open what this righteousness of Jesus Christ is which the saints do hunger and thirst after. Secondly, We shall show what their hunger and thirst is; the working of their hearts in their hungering and thirsting after this righteousness. Thirdly, What a desirable object this righteousness is; what there is in this righteousness that makes the saints so desire after it. Fourthly, Those that do thus desire after it are blessed. They are blessed for the present. Fifthly, That they certainly shall be filled with this righteousness.

I. For the first, What this righteousness is that now we are speaking of. It is the righteousness which is for justification.

II. Now the second thing that is to be opened, it is the work of the soul in the hungering and thirsting after this righteousness.

1. The soul doth clearly apprehend and is thoroughly convinced that it hath need of a righteousness to enable it to stand before the holy and righteous God. That is the first thing that raises this hunger and thirst.

2. The soul comes to be convinced of the insufficiency and imperfection of its own righteousness.

3. The soul comes to see that there is another righteousness beyond its own.

4. The soul likewise must be enlightened in the way of the gospel's making over this righteousness to the creature.Then mark how the soul puts forth itself in the hungering and thirsting after this righteousness.

1. In the first place, It doth feel it, it gets an assurance of it, it feels a mighty pain for the want of it; as you know in hunger and thirst there is a very great pain in the body till nature be supplied.

2. All other things whatsoever that you can tender unto a man that wants bread or drink, that is ready to perish for want of those things, tender what you will they are all nothing to him — he regards them as nothing, there is no savour in anything; come and bring him bags of gold or silver, it is bread that he must have; come and bring him brave suits of satin and velvet, what is that if he be ready to perish for want of bread?

3. As all things are nothing to him till this comes, so in hunger and thirst there is a might, strong desire, such a strong desire as the body is ready to faint if the desire be not satisfied, even to faint and die. So it is with the soul here; if I have not this righteousness I die, I faint and die — yea, I die eternally.

4. There are strong endeavours after it; that must needs be in hunger and thirst. We use to say that hunger will break through stone walls; there is no work accounted difficult to a man to get bread.

5. One that hungers and thirsts, his desires are resolute; there is power, and endeavours, and they are resolute; he doth not stand upon conditions, to indent this or that way, but let the endeavours be what they will be, and indeed this is the work of grace in the heart where a hypocrite fails.

6. Which is very observable: The soul is unsatisfied in this hunger and thirst till this righteousness doth come. A child that doth but play with his meat, or whose belly is full, may be crying after something that he sees, but you may put off a child with a rattle when his belly is full; but if he be thoroughly a-hungry, then offer him what rattles you will, yet he must have his hunger satisfied if he be hungry indeed: and so it is with the soul.

(J. Burroughs.)

J. Burroughs. .
It is a good sign of a thriving Christian; not only of a living Christian, but of a thriving Christian. As you find it by experience in the body, when a man or woman begins to have a good appetite to their meat, to be hungry, we say, then they mend. A man that begins to have a stomach, to be hungry, and to taste his beer, he begins now to thrive: so it is with the soul. Thou hast not that growth that thy soul desires, but hast thou a stomach to thy meat, canst thou taste thy drink, canst thou taste the waters of life, canst thou say, These are sweet, oh that I might have more, I am athirst and desire after more? When thou comest to the Word, thou gettest some milk to nourish thee, and thou hungerest after more. It is an argument that thou art in a thriving condition, it is sign of health, that thy soul is hale, that thou hast not those distempers and corruptions that other men have.

(J. Burroughs. .)

J. Burroughs. .
Your desires and God's meet. There is nothing in the world that God doth more freely bestow than righteousness.

(J. Burroughs. .)

J. Burroughs. ., J. Burroughs. .
If God will fill vacuities in nature, and will hear the ravens when they cry unto Him, will He not fill the emptiness of thy soul? God hath so ordered things in nature that there shall be no vacuity. Philosophers say "that the world will sooner fall to nothing than there should be the least emptiness in the world," but it must be filled with something or other. Now hath the Lord so appointed that there must not be the least vacuity in nature, but there must be something to fill it, surely the Lord will not suffer a vacuity in an immortal soul; but He hath something to fill that soul of thine that is empty for the present, and the Scripture tells us that the Lord fills every living thing with His blessing, and shall not a soul that hungers after righteousness, and the image of God, and the grace of the Spirit of God, shall it not be satisfied?

(J. Burroughs. .)There are many that desire, but their desires are cold and lazy desires, such as shall never do them good; and therefore false desires they may be known by these characters:

1. Their desires are false who satisfy themselves with ignorant desires. Hath God enlightened your hearts to see the excellency of grace, that is more precious than rubies, of more worth than the gold of Ophir? If it come not from these grounds they are but false desires. Many have a false appetite.

2. Such desires are false who satisfy themselves with foolish desires. Will we not account that man a foolish man that shall desire food — Oh that I find something to eat! oh that I had bread or meat! — but will not seek for it, will not take pains to get it?

3. When men's desires are absurd, such desires are false. They desire grace, and yet live in that which is quite contrary to grace.

4. Such as satisfy themselves in cold and weak desires, whose desires are turned all into wishings and wouldings; they could wish that they had grace, and oh that they had righteousness, oh that they were delivered from wrath to come I but they are not so peremptory upon it as to conclude, I must have it or I die. Now these desires they come to nothing, they will not grow up.

5. When men's desires are conditional. Conditional desires are false desires; that is thus, they would have grace and holiness so far as might stand with such and such ends, and to carry on such and such designs of their own — as to keep their estates and their liberty, their ease and credit in the world.

6. When men's desires are fleeting and unconstant desires, they have desires in some good moods, and in some pangs of conscience when the terrors of God are upon their spirits. But such desires as these they are hypocritical; they desire grace merely to serve their own turn, to stop the mouth of conscience, and not for grace sake.

7. When their desires are lazy desires, such are false desires; they are not willing to take pains for what they do desire.

(J. Burroughs. .)

Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
It sounds a paradox l We are wont to regard mourning and tears as evil things that come of sorrow and suffering. But here we are told of a mourning that, coming from some hidden source, flows on until it pours itself into the ocean of everlasting consolation. What can it mean? Certainly not that God really likes us to be always sad. The world of seen things around us, so bright, so beautiful, tells a very different tale. And yet methinks it tells us, too, that tears and blessings have to do with one another. Nature has its storms and rain; it has the bleak winds of spring, the thunder-clouds of summer, the falling leaves of autumn, the cold, dark days of winter, and we know now that this sad side of things is not the evidence of the existence of angry deities who dwell in the unseen, but that under the overruling hand of a wise and loving God there is in these things a blessing brought to us, and to the world in which we live. Ah, yes, it is true. Continual laughter is not profitable. There are times when laughter is unseasonable. Even the world pronounces those happy who can weep. Too much ease, and pleasure, and happiness, as the world counts happiness, wean the spirit away from Him in whom alone true blessedness can be found. There is need of sorrow to bring us back to Him (Psalm 119:67). God chastens to bless. His punishments are always corrective, never vindictive. Test by this touchstone all that men say of God's dealings with mankind. Ay, answer with it the troubled promptings of your own conscience in the hour of trial and mourning.

(C. J. Ridgeway, M. A.)

This is expressed in the same proverbial form as the two preceding beatitudes; and in proverbs, it is to be observed, that one example is selected to represent a class, or one feature to suggest a whole character. Thus, as weeping is generally accompanied with a serious frame of mind, or is the external symptom of sorrow, so it was probably employed to represent such a state (see Ecclesiastes 7:2, 3). Never did any teacher present religion to the world with an aspect so forbidding as it is done by our Saviour in this passage. The Jews expected that the reign of the Messiah would be distinguished by wealth, grandeur, and joy. Our Saviour, therefore, took an early opportunity of undeceiving them, by showing them that those who possessed few or none of the good things of this world were much better fitted to be subjects in that kingdom, and even to exercise authority, than those who were favoured in a high degree with opulence and plenty.

(J. Thomson, D. D.)

It is obvious that this blessing cannot apply to every kind of weeping; for there are tears shed for reasons altogether earthly, and there is a sorrow of the world that worketh death. But on all who weep as the disciples of Christ, or for the sake of Christ, or because of any penitential or truly Christian feeling, on all such this blessing rests. All such "shall laugh," that is, shall greatly rejoice.

(James Foote, M. A.)

He bade them even rejoice; not merely be resigned, but jubilant, and here He struck that keynote of resounding triumph and exhilaration which remains to this day the most original and characteristic sign of the Christian life. Inextinguishable joy in the dungeon — at the stake — amidst ruin and physical pain and loss; that is Christianity. The Stoic bears; the Epicurean submits; the Christian alone exults — "sorrowful, and yet always rejoicing."

(H. R. Haweis, M. A.)

For the first, I may expound the point and the text both under one. You see the proposition what it is, every good mourner is in a happy condition. Here let us consider a little the terms to explicate them. Who is the party in speech? "Blessed is the mourner," saith Christ, in Matthew; "Blessed," saith He, in Luke 6:21, "are the weepers." Both these, mourning and weeping, are fruits of the same tree and root. There is a carnal mourning, when a man mourns for the presence of goodness, and for the absence of sin, because he is restrained, and cannot be so bad as he would be. There is a natural mourning, when a man mourns upon natural motives, when natural losses and crosses are upon him. There is a spiritual mourning, when a man mourns in a spiritual manner, for spiritual things, upon spiritual motives, as afterwards we shall show; when he mourns, because good things that are spiritually good are so far from him, and spiritual ills are so near to him. This is the mourner that Christ here speaks of, and this is the mourning that hath the blessing. Other mourning may occasion this through God's blessing, and may give some overture to this mourning, but the blessing belongs to the spiritual mourner and the spiritual mourning. "Blessed are the mourners, for they shall be comforted." This reason will not hold in all kind of mourning and all kind of comfort. It is no good argument to say, Blessed is the man that is in pain, for he shall be refreshed and relieved; blessed is the man that is hungry, for he shall be fed and have his wants supplied. But yet this argument holds good, "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted"; namely, with God's comforts, with the comforts of the Spirit, with the comforts of the Word, the comforts of heaven. The comforts of God are beyond all the miseries and sorrows that a man can endure in this life; and though he do mourn and weep for them, yet notwithstanding, the comforts, the wages, will so far exceed all his sorrows that he is happy in this. He cannot buy spiritual comforts too dear, he cannot have them upon hard terms possibly. Yea, further, spiritual mourning carries comfort with it, besides the harvest of comfort that abides the mourner afterwards. There are first-fruits of comfort here to be reaped, so it is that the more a man mourns spiritually, the more he rejoiceth; the more his sorrow is, the more his comfort is.

1. He that mourns spiritually hath a good judgment, and therefore is happy. Spiritual affection it argues a spiritual judgment and understanding. For the affections work according as they receive information. A creature that is led by fancy hath brutish affections; a man that is guided with matter of reason hath rational affections, as we term them; but a man that hath his mind enlightened and sanctified hath holy affections.

2. It argues a good heart too.(1) A tender and soft heart. For a stone cannot mourn, only the fleshy heart it is that can bleed.(2) As his heart is tender, so also it is sound. It is a healthful soul and a healthful temper, as I may speak, that he hath. For mourning proceeds out of love and hatred; out of agreement, if it be a spiritual mourning, with that which is good, and out of a contrariety and opposition between us and that which is bad. And this is a right constitution and temper of soul, that makes a man happy.

3. As he is happy in the cause, so he will be happy in the effect, too, of his godly mourning. For godly sorrow and mourning brings forth blessed fruits and effects; the apostle in 2 Corinthians 7:10, seq., delivers divers of them, as there you see.(1) This is one thing in spiritual mourning; it secures and excludes a man from carnal and hellish mourning; yea, this orders him and saves him harmless from all other griefs. The more a man can mourn for his sins, the less he will mourn for other matters. So that this mourning prevents a great deal of unprofitable mourning. When a man bleeds unseasonably and unsatiably, the way to divert it is to open a vein and to let him blood elsewhere, and so you save the man. If he weep in a holy and spiritual manner, he shall be secured and preserved from poisonful and hurtful tears.(2) This is another happy effect of godly mourning, that spiritual and godly mourning alway doth a man good and never any hurt. Worldly sorrow, saith the apostle, causeth death. The more a man dies this way, the more he lives; the more he weeps, the more he laughs; and the more he can weep over Jesus Christ, the more lightsome and gladsome his heart is, and the more comfortably he spends his time.(3) This spiritual and godly sorrow and mourning is a sorrow never to be repented of, as the apostle there implies. All other sorrow a man must unsorrow again.(4) Spiritual mourning works repentance, saith the apostle: that is to say, it works reformation and amendment; it sets a man further from his sin, and brings him nearer to God, and nearer to goodness.

4. He is happy in regard of the event and issue of his mourning, because all shall end well with him, and all his tears shall one day be wiped away, and joy and gladness shall come in place; yea, he is happy in this, that spiritual mourning it is always accompanied with joy: that is a happy estate that tends to happiness.Use

1. If it be a happy man that mourns aright, we have reason, first, to bewail our unhappiness; unhappy time and unhappy men may we well say, touching ourselves, that vary so much from the mind and prescription of our blessed Saviour. "Blessed," saith our Saviour Christ, "are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted." "Woe to you," saith He, "that now laugh." We, on the other side, say, Woe to them that here mourn; happy are they that can here laugh and be merry. And as we vary in our judgment from our Saviour, so much more we vary in our practice from His direction and counsel. God saith, "Humble yourselves that you may be exalted." We on the other side say, Exalt ourselves, and we shall not be humbled. God saith, Throw down yourselves; we say, Secure ourselves. God saith, Afflict yourselves, and then you shall have comfort. The Lord saith, Let your laughter be turned into mourning, that so you may laugh. We on the other say, Let our mourning be turned into laughter, that so we may not mourn. And therefore when any grief, natural or spiritual, begins to breed or to grow on us, presently we betake ourselves to company, to sports and exercises, that may drown the noise of conscience, that may put out of our minds motives to spiritual grief and sorrow, and that may provoke us to carnal, or at the best to natural mirth and rejoicing. We think many times carnal sorrow, which in truth is but poison, will do us good, a great deal of ease; and when men have crossed us, and disappointed us, or dealt unkindly with us, we think we will go and weep it out; and when we have cried and blubbered a while, we think that we give ease to our souls, and content to our hearts. But when we come to spiritual mourning, which only is comfortable mourning, we think that undoes us. Many a man thinks he forfeits all his joy, all his peace, all his liberty, all his happiness, and he shall never see a merry day again in this world if he gives way to mourning for sin, to sound repentance, to works of humiliation, and examination of his own heart and ways.Use

2. Well, in the next place, we have another use, to take Christ's direction for comfort. Who would, who can be without it? Life is death without comfort. Every man's aim is to lead a comfortable life. Mark the way that Christ chalks out: "Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted."

1. We must first show you how spiritual mourning differs, and is discerned from other mourning.

2. How it is gotten.

3. How it is exercised.

1. For the first of this: Spiritual mourning is known by the objects. Such as the object is, such is the faculty. Spiritual mourning hath spiritual objects, either materially or formally, as they speak in schools. This spiritual mourning is busied about spiritual goods and spiritual ills. We will instance in this first. For, first, if a man would know whether his sorrow be spiritual sorrow or no, let him see how he mourns for the absence of spiritual good things, how he mourns for the absence of God, the chief good. That is spiritual sorrow, when a man mourns because he hath lost God in his graces, in his communion, and in his comforts. Now, in the next place, how shall a man do to get this spiritual mourning? First, He must labour to have a heart capable of grief and sorrow that is spiritual, a tender and soft heart. He must see that he have a disposition to holy mourning, able and inclinable so to do, when just opportunity and occasion is offered. Now how shall a man get this tender heart? Why surely he must go to God in His means and ordinances, who hath promised, as you heard, in the covenant, to take "the stone out of our hearts, and to give us soft and fleshy hearts."

1. Consider of a method that he must use; and then —

2. Of motives to stir him up thereunto.

1. For method.(1) He must have respect to the time, that he do not let his heart lie fallow too long. Jeremiah 4:3, it is said, "Plough up your fallow ground." Ground, if it lie long unploughed, will require much pains to rear it and fetch it up, but if it be oft done, it will be the easier. To this end a man should every day be exercised in the duty of a godly mourning, every night reckon for the passage of that day, and say with thyself, What sin have I committed? What have I done?(2) For the time, a man must be sure to take God's time. When God calls on him, when God gives them the heart, and is ready to close and to join with him, then take the advantage, set upon godly mourning. So when the nature of grief is stirred by the occasion of the Word, then take the advantage of this, seize upon this for the king's use; set upon sorrow whilst it is there, turn it into the right stream, into the right channel; turn it for sin, weep for sin, and not for outward losses and crosses. Thus much for the time.

2. There is another thing to be done for the order, and that is this, that a man must be sure to give over carnal mirth and carnal mourning, if he will mourn spiritually. His carnal laughter must be turned into mourning, as James speaks (James 4:9); and his carnal mirth must be turned into spiritual mourning, too, or else he will never come to spiritual mourning. The motives are many. He that will mourn must look to these. Now, in particular, consider these motives.

1. It is needful for us to mourn.

2. It is seasonable for us to mourn.

3. It is profitable. And —

4. It is comfortable.

1. It is needful to mourn in a spiritual manner. Whosoever hath sin must mourn.

2. As it is needful, so also it is very Seasonable. The very time tends that way, as it were; the season is the time of weeping; the Church of God weeps abroad. For sin is now grown to a fulness, to a ripeness.

3. As it is seasonable, so it is profitable: for godly mourning it never hurts, it always helps. Carnal sorrow leaves a man worse than it finds him. It makes him more sick and weak than it finds him. Spiritual sorrow leaves him better.

4. It is very comfortable. It doth wondrously refresh a man. We pass, therefore, from the doctrine here delivered, "Blessed are the mourners," and come to the reason of it, "for they shall be comforted." Let us join these together, and see how they do depend.The point will be thus much —

1. That spiritual mourning it ends in spiritual mirth. He that can mourn spiritually and holily, he shall undoubtedly and certainly be comforted. Holy tears, they are the seeds of holy joy. For the clearing of it further, let us know that we have good security for it,

1. The promise of God: and then —

2. The experience of God's people. The best proofs that may be.First, the Lord undertakes in His promise two things touching our comforts.

1. That all our godly sorrow shall end in true comfort. The next is —

2. That all our godly mournings are attended and accompanied with comfort for the present.

1. For the first of these, you know the promise, sorrow and weeping shall fly away, and joy and gladness shall come in place (Isaiah 35., last verse), which place will refer you to many more. God hath made a succession of these things, as of day and night. His children's day begins in the night and in darkness, and ends in the day. God hath promised it shall be so; God hath appointed Christ, and fitted Him, and enabled Him to this word, that so it may be. God will take off the garment of mourning, and put on the garment of gladness in due time.

2. To this promise of God let us add the experience of God's people.If all this suffice not, let us consider of these reasons, and then we shall see that it is but reason that we should do so.

1. The first reason is drawn from the nature of sorrow and mourning. Sorrow is a kind of an imperfect thing, as it were. It is not made for itself, but for a higher and for a further end, to do service to something else, as it fares with all those that we call the declining affections. Hatred is servant to love; fear doth service to confidence; so likewise doth sorrow to joy. For God hath not appointed sorrow for sorrow's sake, but to make way for joy and true comfort. The physician doth not make a man sick for sickness' sake, but for health's sake. But now the joy of a Christian man, a spiritual joy, it is a safe joy. It hurts no man, but doth a man good; it settles a man's mind, it strengthens his thoughts, it perfects his wits and understanding. It makes him to have a sound judgment; it makes for the health of his body; it makes for the preservation of his life; it doth a man good every way. There is no provocation in it, there is no danger in it. Thirdly, as a Christian's joy is best in that respect, that it is the safest, so in this, that it is the surest joy. For this joy is an everlasting joy. The righteous, then, hath the start of the wicked for matter of comfort and joy. He hath a more solid, a more safe and sure joy, a more sweet joy, a more reasonable joy a great deal than the other hath. As he is beyond him in his joy, so, in the next place, he is beyond him in his sorrow too. Our life must have comfort and sorrow. It is compounded of sweet and sour. As the year is compounded of winter and summer, and the day of day and night, so every man's life is made up of these two. He hath some fair and some foul days, some joy and some sorrow. Now, as the righteous is beyond the wicked in his joy and comfort, so is he beyond him in his sorrow. First, his sorrow is far better; it is a more gainful, a more comfortable sorrow than others' is. They are beyond the sorrows of the wicked in all the causes and in all the circumstances of them.(1) The sorrow of the righteous proceeds from a better spring and fountain than the sorrow of the wicked. The sorrow of the godly comes from a sound mind, from a pure heart, from an inside that is purified from hypocrisy, from self-love, from private respects. Whereas, on the other side, the sorrow of the wicked comes from distemper of brain, from an utter mistake. Again, his sorrow comes from distemper of heart, from pride, from passion, from cursedness of heart and spirit, that he cannot stoop.(2) The sorrow of the righteous, as it hath a better spring, so it is busied and taken up about better objects, about better matters. A wicked man howls and cries, and takes on many times for a trifle, for a bauble; yea, many times, because he is disappointed and crossed in his lusts, in his base sins. The child of God finds himself somewhat else to do than to weep and to cry, and take on for trifles and vanities. He looks up to God, and is sorry he hath displeased Him.(3) The sorrow of the righteous is better than sorrow of the wicked in regard of the manner of their mourning. For the mourning of the righteous is a composed kind of sorrow. He mourns in silence; he weeps to the Lord; he carries it with judgment and discretion. His sorrow is a moderated sorrow; he holds it within banks and bounds. Whereas the sorrow of the wicked is a tempestuous, a boisterous, a furious kind of mourning and lamenting. He knows no mean. It is without hope.(4) Last of all, they differ much in the end and upshot of their mourning. Godly sorrow, it doth a man good. It humbles him, as we said. It drives him from all purpose, from all practice of sin; it makes him resolute against sin. This sorrow of the wicked, it hath not so good an issue. There is great difference when a woman breeds a disease and when she breeds a child. Well, then, to shut up this first reason, for information — upon which we have stood the longer, because carnal judgment will not credit this point — it is clear, the righteous man in prosperity is better than the wicked, and in adversity better. Whence he hath occasion to rejoice. A surgeon doth not lance and sear men because he would put them to pain, but because he would give them ease. The Lord of heaven delights not in wounding and grieving of His children; but therefore He calls them to sorrow, that so they might come to comfort.

2. The second reason may be drawn from the nature of this spiritual comfort and joy that we speak of. For spiritual joy is very strong: "The joy of the Lord is your strength " (Nehemiah 8:10). A strong thing is spiritual joy, and therefore it will overmatch, and overcome, and drink up, as it were, all our sorrows and fears in due time, as the sun overcomes the darkness of the night, and the fogginess of the mist in the morning.

3. A third reason may be drawn from the cause of our spiritual mourning and spiritual joy; for these are fruits that grow both from the same root. Spiritual joy and spiritual mourning, they come from the same fountain, from the same Spirit. The same Spirit, it causeth us to weep over Him whom we have pierced, and it causeth us also to rejoice in the Lord whom we have pierced: "The fruit of the Spirit is joy," saith the apostle (Galatians 5:22). The same Spirit manageth and guideth both the one and the other. Carnal passions and affections they oppose one another, they fight one with another, because they are carried on headlong, without any guide or order at all. But spiritual affections they are subordinate and subservient one to another; the one labours to further and to advance another. Thus the more a man joys, the more he grieves; and the more he grieves, the more he joys. Joy melts the heart, and gives it a kindly thaw; grief, on the other side, it easeth the heart, and makes it cheerful and light-some.

4. Lastly, a reason may be drawn from the effects of godly mourning. If they be considered, it will be cleared, that he that mourns spiritually shall end in comfort at the last; for this spiritual mourning, what will it do? First, it takes off the power and strength of corruption. It weakens sin, it pricks the bladder of pride, and lets out our corruption. Spiritual mourning it takes down a man, it humbles him; and an humble heart is always a cheerful heart, so far as it is humbled. Spiritual mourning, again, makes way for prayer. For spiritual mourning sends a man to God. It causeth him to utter himself in petition, in confession, and complaints to his Father; to pour out himself to the bosom of his God in speeches, in sighs, and tears, in lamenting one way or other. All this tends to comfort. The more a man prays, the more he hath comfort. "Pray," saith Christ, "that your joy may be full" (John 16:24). Now, the more a man mourns spiritually, the more he prays; and therefore the more he is filled with true joy. Again, this spiritual mourning, it is a wondrous help of faith. It is a hopeful mourning; it helps a man's faith in the promises touching remission of sins. Now, the more a man's faith and hope is furthered, the more his joy is furthered. Still, the apostle speaks that they should rejoice in believing. Now, the more he mourns, the more reason he hath to believe that that furthers his faith; and therefore it advanceth his joy and comfort. This point, then, being thus cleared, let us a little make some use of it to ourselves. The use is threefold.

1. Here is one use of information touching others. Who is the happiest man in the world? And for the deciding of this question we must not go with it to Solon, to Plato, or to the philosophers, but come to a judge, the Lord Jesus. And what saith He to the point? Blessed and happy, saith He, are they that mourn. His reason is, " for they shall be comforted." So that here, then, is the trial of a man's state that is blessed. So that that man, then, that hath the best sorrow and the best joy, that man, then, is the happiest man. Now the Christian man is this man.(1) In many respects, this joy is a more solid joy than the joy of the wicked. The wicked man rejoiceth in face, but not in heart. This joy is rather in show than in substance. His joy is not rooted in himself.

3. wicked man hath no matter of comfort within himself, but his comforts they hang upon outward things. His comfort sometimes lies in the bottom of a pot; sometimes it lies in the bottom of a dish; sometimes in the heels of a horse; sometimes in the wings of a bird; sometimes in some base lust, or in some such filthy sin. Here lies the comfort of a wicked man; but now the comfort of the godly is not so. The joy of the righteous, it is a massy and a substantial joy. His afflictions indeed are light and momentary, but then his joy is everlasting, as I shall show anon. It is a joy that hath substance in it. The joy of the wicked, at the best, it is but a little glazed, it is but gilt over, but it is naught within; but the joy of the righteous it is a golden joy, it is beaten gold, it is massy and substantial and precious. As we said before, the root of his joy he hath it in himself, he hath matter of comfort in himself. There is faith and grace, there is truth. Nay, it is not rooted in himself only, but the root of it is in heaven, in his Head, in Christ.(2) The joy of the righteous, as it is a more solid, so it is a more safe joy than the joy of the wicked. A carnal joy is many times prejudicial to a man in his safety, therefore we may safely conclude the godliest man is the happiest man.

2. Now the next use is to the godly. First, a word of exhortation, and then a word of consolation. Stop up, my brethren, all the passages, dam them up if you can, that make way for worldly sorrow and for carnal grief, for this will come but too fast upon you; but, on the other side, pluck up the floodgates, and open all the passages, and give all the way to spiritual mourning and to godly tears.(1) Labour to mourn after spiritual things and spiritual persons.(2) Again, Is it so, that the Lord withdraws Himself in His ordinances, that we hear not the voice of His word, that we see not-our signs? "There is not a prophet among us to tell us how long" (Psalm 74:9); let us then set ourselves to mourn, as the Church in that psalm. "Lord, we see not our signs."(3) Is it so, again, that in our mourning, we see the Church of God, those sorrowful-spirited men, that they are distressed and afflicted? Let us weep for these too.(4) Is it so, that the Church of God is foiled at any time by the adversaries? Let us take on, as Joshua did, "rend your garments, and cast down ourselves before the Lord, and say, What shall we say, when Israel shall turn their backs and fly before their enemies?" (Joshua 7:8).(5) In short, is the Church of God in heaviness and lamentation? Oh, but how shall I know that my mourning is spiritual mourning? I suspect it much this way. And why? First of all, my sorrow begins in the flesh; I never mourned, I never went to God in prayer and fasting, or any exercise of religion, till God tamed me and took me down with crosses and afflictions; then when He laid load on me, I went to it, and not before. Well, my brethren, thus it may be: thy sorrow may begin in the flesh; but, if it end in the Spirit, all is well. Ay, but, will some say, my sorrow is more for outward things than for spiritual matters. ( grieve when I am sick, but it is for pain more than for sin. I mourn when I am poor, but it is because I am poor in purse, because I am poor in state, rather than in regard of my spiritual wants; and so for other matters too. My brethren, this is easily granted. There is no floor here but there is chaff as well as wheat with it. There is no precious mine here so rich but there is some dross as well as good gold, as well as good metal. So it is with a Christian. There is a mixture of flesh and spirit. And if it be so, it is spiritual sorrow, that thou canst shed some tears, vent some sighs and groans to God in spiritual respects, for spiritual losses, for spiritual evils. Here is matter of comfort, there is so much spiritual comfort, so much spiritual joy belongs to thee. But how shall I know that my mourning is spiritual mourning, when I cannot mourn for sin? I have abundance of tears for losses, and for crosses, and unkindnesses; but I am dry, and barren, and tearless, when it comes to matter of sin and offence, and trespass against God. Is this well, that a man should have tears at command for outward losses and crosses, and not shed a tear in prayer, and in repentance for sin? No, my brethren, it is not well; but how shall we do to amend this? Surely, even go to God and confess how it is; complain of thyself, and desire Him to amend it; and, if we condemn ourselves, God is ready to receive us. Ay, but the children of God are more plentiful in tears for sin than for outward things. Ay, in what sense? Not in regard of the bulk, but in regard of the worth, in regard of the value of their tears. One tear spent for sin is worth rivers of tears for outward matters. Further, it will be said, How shall I know my sorrow to be spiritual sorrow? I answer in a word —

1. Look to the object, that it be universal, So in spiritual things: he that is spiritually sorry he mourns for the want of goodness wheresoever he seeth it, be it in himself or in other men, nay, be it in his enemies.

2. Our sorrow will be spiritual and holy if it be accompanied with prayer; for holy mourning makes way for prayer.

3. Again, it is spiritual sorrow, when it is accompanied with thankfulness. A carnal man, when he is pinched and twinged, and knows not which way to turn himself, he will be glad to cry, when he sees there is no other refuge in the world, but either he must cry or sink. But a man that is a spiritual mourner, he will be thankful as well as prayerful.

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

1. There is a foolish mourning, in which men and women are not blessed — that is, they mourn they know not for what.

2. A natural mourning; when there is a mourning merely because nature is pinched, and some evil hath befallen it, and you go no further. This hath not a blessedness in it.

3. A worldly mourning; worldly sorrow causes death; to mourn for the loss of worldly things as the great and the chief loss of all. This is not blessed, it causeth death; and —

4. An envious mourning; when men mourn and are grieved for the good of others. Surely this is not blessed, but cursed.

5. And there is, further, a devilish mourning; when men and women mourn that they cannot have opportunity to satisfy their lusts.

6. And lastly, there is a hellish, desperate mourning; when men and women mourn in despair. This is hellish, and not blessed. These mourners are not blessed. And then all those that mourn in a gracious way. You will say, When doth one mourn in a gracious way and manner? Now, the ground of the blessedness ariseth, first, from the mourning itself; secondly, from the promise.Surely it is a blessed thing to be such a mourner.

1. Because that the lower our hearts are in our subjection to God in this mournful condition, the higher are our respects to God that brings us into this condition.

2. A mourning condition, when it is ordered by grace, it is a means of much good in the soul; it is that that takes away the rankness in the hearts of men. As weeds grow very rank in summer time, now in the winter the frost nips the weeds and keeps them under; but if it be a long frost it kills them.

3. It is that that delivers from many temptations. You think that jollity and bravery is the only happy life, but know there are a great many more temptations in that life than in a mournful condition.

4. They are blessed that are in a mournful condition, because God hath chosen for them that mourning condition in the most seasonable time. You know when a man is sick, then bitter things are more seasonable than sweet. Now we are all sickly poor creatures, and it is a great mercy of God in this time of our lives to choose for us a mournful condition — bitter things rather than sweet and luscious things.

5. And then especially here in this text, because they shall be comforted; it is but to make the comforts sweeter unto thee when they do come. You know that when a man would build a structure, a stately building, the stones that he intends principally to build withal are hacked and hewn, that so they may be comely and fit for his building; but as for other stones, they are not regarded as those that are thus polished which he intends to lay.So it is an argument that the Lord hath great things for thee, great comforts for thee; He is now preparing thee in this thy mournful condition for great comforts.

1. They shall be comforted. When? Why, they shall be comforted when the wicked shall be sorrowful (Isaiah 65:13).

2. And then, you shall be comforted; there is a time when the Lord will communicate unto you the choicest of His mercies. Now the Lord communicates Himself, but in a very small and little way in comparison to what He doth intend. And this comfort that the mourners shall have, shall be, first, a pure comfort. We have something that is sweet, but there is a great deal of mixture with our sweet. And then they are spiritual comforts. Their comforts shall come more firstly in their souls, and so they shall have comfort to their bodies by way of the eradiation, as I may so say, of the comfort that they shall have to their souls.

3. Divine comforts they are that they shall have — that is, all comfort is from God one wet or other, but from God more immediately. Here we have our comforts at second or third or fourth hand, but now there shall be comfort that shall be from God more immediately. And such comforts as are from the very nature of God Himself — that is, such comfort as God is comforted in, such joy as God joys in, and God joys with them in 2:4. It is a full comfort, "Ask and you shall have, that your joy may be full."

5. And then it shall be a strong comfort (Hebrews 6:18).

6. An eternal consolation; so yon have it in 2 Thessalonians 2:16; in 2 Timothy 2:11. As we read concerning Egypt, as there were more venomous creatures there than in other countries, so there was in no country more antidotes to cure them than in theirs. So, though religion may bring sorrow and trouble, yet there is nothing brings more cure and more help.

(J. Burroughs.)

1. If thy mourning be gracious, thy very tears and sorrows is a great deal better than the wine of the men of the world; thy tears are more sweet and pleasing to God than the mirth of wicked men can be to them.

2. Consider this for thy comfort, it may be, if thou hadst not been a-mourning thou wouldst have been a-sinning, thou wouldst have been a-doing that whereby thou wouldst have darkened the glory of God.

3. Consider that all thy sorrows are measured out by God, who is thy Father; thou dost not lie at the dispose of wicked men to mourn how much they will, or when they will, but thou art at the dispose of God, who is thy Father.

4. Consider for thy comfort that Christ was a man of sorrows, and in thy sorrowing thou art but conformable unto Him; and why shouldst thou think that to be a burden wherein thou art made like to Jesus Christ?

5. Let this be for thy comfort, to consider thou hast an interest in Him that is the God of all consolation; the darkness of thy condition cannot hinder thine interest in God. And then consider that God suffers more by thy sins than thou canst suffer from God's hand in thy afflictions. The darkening of His glory in the least degree is a greater evil than any affliction that thou canst endure; and this should support thy spirit, to consider that God suffers more; and therefore thou shouldst not be unwilling to suffer something, seeing God suffers more than thou canst.

6. If thou wouldst be comforted, consider this: the way that God takes to comfort His saints, though thou hast it not in sense, thou mayest have it in faith; and therefore exercise faith, and fetch it in that way. Set faith on work in the promise, and let that bring out the comfort of the promise. Sense is not the way by which God comforts His people, and if we look for comfort in a sensual way we mistake ourselves; therefore let us labour to fetch in comfort from the exercise of faith. And indeed we should more prize those comforts that come from the exercise of our graces than from any sensible apprehensions.

7. Consider, though it be long before comfort come, yet this is no strange thing that thou art kept without comfort for a while.

8. Consider, that this is the time of mourning, and we know things are seasonable and best in their time. This is a Christian's seed-time. In the world we must have trouble, and through many tribulations we must enter into heaven. We know the husbandman; he is contented to endure storms and hardships in seedtime, with this consideration — the harvest is a-coming. So, though thou now sowest in tears, there is a time of reaping in joy.How we may so order our mourning that it may comfort us. Now for this I would entreat you to take notice of these rules.

1. In your mourning be sure that you keep good thoughts of God. Whatsoever your troubles be, let them not raise tumults and hard thoughts of God.

2. Be sure to take notice of all the mercy thou hast from God in the afflictions thou art in. Let not any affliction drown the mercy thou hast. It is very sad many times to see how one or two afflictions hinders the sight of many mercies that the saints do enjoy. A little thing will hinder the sight of the eye; a penny laid upon the eye will keep it from beholding the sun or the element above; so a little affliction, it darkens and hinders the soul from seeing a multitude of mercies; every little trouble darkens God's mercies.

3. Take heed of a sullen, dogged disposition, either towards God or man in thy sorrows. It is very usual for men in a troubled condition, when they are in sorrow, to add frowardness to mourning; but we should labour to take heed of this as a great evil. Labour for a quiet and meek spirit.

4. Take heed of determining against a comfortable condition in sorrow, that it will never come. Say not that comfort will never come, because thou hast it not for the present.

(J. Burroughs.)

Now, then, such as mourn thus for sin are blessed; for —

1. By this they do much honour God. The sovereignty of God is honoured, and the holiness of God is honoured, and the justice of God is honoured.

2. It is a blessed thing to mourn for sin, because it is an evangelical grace.

3. Surely they are in a blessed condition, for it appears that they come now to have a right judgment. Their judgment is enlightened to understand what is truly good and truly evil, and to have a right temper of spirit.

4. This mourning for sin, it helps against all other mourning, it helps against other sorrows.

5. It is a means to prevent eternal sorrows. Certainly God will have every soul to know what sin means at one time or other.

6. It is that that fits for the grace of God. There is none that taste the sweetness of the grace of God in Christ more than those that are mourners for sin. Now one drop of mercy, how sweet is it; now it is worth more than ten thousand thousand worlds!

7. There is one more, and that is, they are blessed; why? because there are many promises that are made to those that mourn. That is certain — either a man's sin will make an end of his mourning, or a man's mourning will make an end of his sin, one of the two. If so be a man goes on in sin, he will leave off mourning, but if he doth not leave off mourning, he will leave off sinning; for certainly mourning for sin hath a special efficacy in it, it helps against the sin that thou dost mourn for. This bitter aloes that now thou hast is a special means for the helping against those crawling worms that are in thy soul. Hence, in the first place, the use might be very large, what shall become of those that rejoice in sin? And then surely mourning for sin is not melancholy; for one to mourn and be troubled for their sin is not to grow heavy and melancholy. It is the work of the Spirit of God that lays that weight of sin now upon the soul, because the Lord intends that this soul shall be blessed to all eternity. And do not think it a foolish thing for people to be troubled for their sin.

(J. Burroughs.)

Alphaeus, Andrew, Bartholomew, David, James, Jesus, John, Judas, Matthew, Peter, Philip, Simon, Thomas, Zelotes
Galilee, Jerusalem, Judea, Sidon, Tyre
Aloud, Blessed, Filled, Full, Glad, Happy, Hunger, Hungering, Laugh, Satisfied, Weep, Weeping
1. Jesus reproves the Pharisees;
12. chooses apostles;
17. heals the diseased;
20. preaches to his disciples before the people: the beattitudes;
27. Love your Enemy
37. Do not Judge
43. A Tree and Its Fruit
46. The House on the Rock

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Luke 6:21

     4824   famine, spiritual
     5198   weeping
     5341   hunger
     5900   laughter
     5939   satisfaction

Luke 6:20-21

     5450   poverty, spiritual

Luke 6:20-22

     1620   beatitudes, the
     4938   fate, final destiny
     5874   happiness

Luke 6:20-23

     1660   Sermon on the Mount
     5565   suffering, of believers
     8117   discipleship, benefits

Luke 6:20-26

     2318   Christ, as prophet

Laws of the Kingdom
'And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God, 21. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh. 22. Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. 23. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Three Condensed Parables
'And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but perceiveth not the beam that is in thine own eye? 42. Either, how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me pull out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to pull out the mote that is in thy brother's eye. 43. For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions Of Holy Scripture

Our Deserts
LUKE vi. 36-38. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal, it shall be measured to you again. One often hears complaints against this world, and against mankind; one hears it said
Charles Kingsley—The Good News of God

Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity
(From the Gospel for the day) This sermon telleth us of four measures that shall be rendered unto man, and of two grades of a godly life, and how we ought to love our neighbour. Luke vi. 36-42. WE read in the Gospel for this day that our Lord Jesus Christ said: "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Judge not, and ye shall not be judged; condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; give, and it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down,
Susannah Winkworth—The History and Life of the Reverend Doctor John Tauler

The Blessing of Mercy,
(Fourth Sunday after Trinity.) S. LUKE vi. 36. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." "Mercy" is the one great cry of human nature. We dare not ask for justice, we can only plead for mercy. David, after his great sins, could utter nothing but the mournful cry, the model for all penitent sinners, "Have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness." The publican standing afar off, and looking at his faults, and not at his virtues, offers the pattern prayer for all men, "Lord,
H. J. Wilmot-Buxton—The Life of Duty, a Year's Plain Sermons, v. 2

Rash Decisions.
4th Sunday after Trinity. S. Luke vi. 37. "Judge not--condemn not--forgive." INTRODUCTION.--Our Lord here condemns all rash judgments. We know not the motives of other men's actions, and therefore have no right to pass a sweeping condemnation upon them. From our ignorance, we ought to be cautious and merciful in our judgments, and from our own weakness, we should be forgiving to those who have trespassed against us. Rash judgments arise from pride. It is because we are puffed up with a high opinion
S. Baring-Gould—The Village Pulpit, Volume II. Trinity to Advent

The Reward of Obedience.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.' 'Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.'--Matthew, v. 7, 10 11, 12. Mercy cannot get in where mercy goes not out. The outgoing
George MacDonald—Hope of the Gospel

"Be Doers of the Word. "
I want to remind you again that the mission of this little volume is to teach you how to live. The life beyond depends on the life here. Let me emphasize what I have repeatedly said before: to live as we should, we must live by every word of God. To live by every word of God is not only to hear it but also to do it. We have learned that, in order to enter the city of God and eat of the tree of life, we must do his commandments, and also that it is not "every one that sayeth, Lord, Lord, that shall
C. E. Orr—How to Live a Holy Life

The Golden Rule of Life.
"And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them like wise." Luke 6:31. This is a good rule for every-day living. It is known throughout the Christian world as "The Golden Rule." It has great depths. It contains more no doubt than any of us comprehend. But let us study it for a moment. We might divide it into two rules: First, Do good to all; second, Do harm to none. We would that all men should do us good, and we would that none should do us harm. But if we would see the greater depths
C. E. Orr—How to Live a Holy Life

That all Hope and Trust is to be Fixed in God Alone
O Lord, what is my trust which I have in this life, or what is my greatest comfort of all the things which are seen under Heaven? Is it not Thou, O Lord my God, whose mercies are without number? Where hath it been well with me without Thee? Or when could it be evil whilst Thou wert near? I had rather be poor for Thy sake, than rich without Thee. I choose rather to be a pilgrim upon the earth with Thee than without Thee to possess heaven. Where Thou art, there is heaven; and where Thou are not,
Thomas A Kempis—Imitation of Christ

Judged by Fruit
A good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.' (Luke vi. 43, 44.) Jesus Christ, in the few sentences quoted, indicates the true secret or principle of holy living. They show that holy living works from the heart of things--beginning within--to the outside. Many judge their religion the other way about. They take up religious
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service

The Christian Assisted in Examining into his Growth in Grace.
1. The examination important.--2. False marks of growth to be avoided.--3. True marks proposed; such as--increasing love to God.--4. Benevolence to men.--5. Candor of disposition.--6. Meekness under injuries.--7. Serenity amidst the uncertainties of life.--8, 9. Humility,--especially as expressed in evangelical exercises of mind toward Christ end the Holy Spirit.--10. Zeal for the divine honor.--11. Habitual and cheerful willingness to exchange worlds when ever God shall appoint.--12. Conclusion.
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

We Shall not be Curious in the Ranking of the Duties in which Christian Love...
We shall not be curious in the ranking of the duties in which Christian love should exercise itself. All the commandments of the second table are but branches of it: they might be reduced all to the works of righteousness and of mercy. But truly these are interwoven through other. Though mercy uses to be restricted to the showing of compassion upon men in misery, yet there is a righteousness in that mercy, and there is mercy in the most part of the acts of righteousness, as in not judging rashly,
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude which Corresponds to the Gift of Fear
Whether Poverty of Spirit is the Beatitude which Corresponds to the Gift of Fear We proceed to the twelfth article thus: 1. It seems that poverty of spirit is not the beatitude which corresponds to the gift of fear. For it was explained in Art. 7 that fear is the beginning of the spiritual life, whereas poverty of spirit pertains to the perfection of the spiritual life, according to Matt. 19:21: "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor." Hence poverty of spirit does
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Whether the Beatitudes Differ from the virtues and Gifts?
Objection 1: It would seem that the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts. For Augustine (De Serm. Dom. in Monte i, 4) assigns the beatitudes recited by Matthew (v 3, seqq.) to the gifts of the Holy Ghost; and Ambrose in his commentary on Luke 6:20, seqq., ascribes the beatitudes mentioned there, to the four cardinal virtues. Therefore the beatitudes do not differ from the virtues and gifts. Objection 2: Further, there are but two rules of the human will: the reason and the eternal
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Epistle xxxii. To Anastasius, Presbyter .
To Anastasius, Presbyter [1714] . Gregory to Anastasius, &c. That a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth good things (Matth. xii. 35; Luke vi. 45), this thy Charity has shewn, both in thy habitual life and lately also in thy epistle; wherein I find two persons at issue with regard to virtues; that is to say, thyself contending for charity, and another for fear and humility. And, though occupied with many things, though ignorant of the Greek language, I have nevertheless sat
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Of Christian Liberty.
1. Connection of this chapter with the previous one on Justification. A true knowledge of Christian liberty useful and necessary. 1. It purifies the conscience. 2. It checks licentiousness. 3. It maintains the merits of Christ, the truth of the Gospel, and the peace of the soul. 2. This liberty consists of three parts. First, Believers renouncing the righteousness of the law, look only to Christ. Objection. Answer, distinguishing between Legal and Evangelical righteousness. 3. This first part clearly
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

How the Joyful and the Sad are to be Admonished.
Admonition4. Differently to be admonished are the joyful and the sad. That is, before the joyful are to be set the sad things that follow upon punishment; but before the sad the promised glad things of the kingdom. Let the joyful learn by the asperity of threatenings what to be afraid of: let the sad bear what joys of reward they may look forward to. For to the former it is said, Woe unto you that laugh now! For ye shall weep (Luke vi. 25); but the latter hear from the teaching of the same Master,
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

The Present Life as Related to the Future.
LUKE xvi. 25.--"And Abraham said, Son remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented." The parable of Dives and Lazarus is one of the most solemn passages in the whole Revelation of God. In it, our Lord gives very definite statements concerning the condition of those who have departed this life. It makes no practical difference, whether we assume that this was a real occurrence, or only an imaginary
William G.T. Shedd—Sermons to the Natural Man

In the Name of Christ
"Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do. If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it. I have appointed you, that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My Name, He may give it you. Verily, verily I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My Name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. At that day ye shall ask in My Name."--JOHN xiv. 13, 14, xv. 16, xvi. 23, 24, 26. In my name--repeated
Andrew Murray—The Ministry of Intercession

"For as Many as are Led by the Spirit of God, they are the Sons of God. For Ye have not Received the Spirit of Bondage
Rom. viii. s 14, 15.--"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear,", &c. Children do commonly resemble their parents, not only in the outward proportion and feature of their countenances, but also in the disposition and temper of their spirits, and generally they are inclined to imitate the customs and carriage of their parents, so that they sometimes may be accounted the very living images of such persons;
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

In the Bitter Cold of Winter the Trees Stand Bare of Leaves...
1. In the bitter cold of winter the trees stand bare of leaves, and it seems as if their life, too, had departed for ever, yet in the spring time they put forth new leaves and beautiful flowers, and the fruit begins to show itself. So was it with Me in My crucifixion and resurrection, and so it is with my faithful cross-bearers (2 Cor. iv.8-11; vi.4-10). Though they seem to be crushed and dead beneath their cross they still put forth the beautiful flowers and glorious fruits of eternal life which
Sadhu Sundar Singh—At The Master's Feet

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