Proverbs 14:10

The tenth verse suggests to us the serious and solemnizing fact of -

I. THE ELEMENT OF LONELINESS IN HUMAN LIFE. "The heart knoweth its own bitterness," etc. In one aspect our life path is thronged. It is becoming more and more difficult to be alone. Hours that were once sacred to solitude are now invaded by society. And yet it remains true that "in the central depths of our nature we are alone." There is a point at which, as he goes inward, our nearest neighbour, our most intimate friend, must stop; there is a sanctuary of the soul into which no foot intrudes. It is there where we make our ultimate decision for good or evil; it is there where we experience our truest joys and our profoundest griefs; it is there where we live our truest life. We may so crowd our life with duties and with pleasures that we may reduce to its smallest radius this innermost circle; but some time must we spend there, and the great decisive experiences must we there go through. There we taste our very sweetest satisfactions, and there we bear our very heaviest burdens. And no one but the Father of spirits can enter into that secret place of the soul. So true is it that

"Not e'en the dearest heart, and nearest to our own, Knows half the reasons why we smile or sigh." It is well for us to remember that there is more, both of happiness and of sorrow, than we can see; well, that we may not be overburdened with the weight of the manifold and multiplied evils we are facing; well, that we may realize how strong is the reason that, when our cup of prosperity is full, we may have "the heart at leisure from itself, to soothe and sympathize" with those who, beneath a smiling countenance, may carry a very heavy heart. For we have to consider -

II. THE SUPERFICIAL ELEMENT IN MUCH HUMAN GLADNESS. "Even in laughter," etc. A man may smile and smile, and be most melancholy. To wear a smile upon our countenance, or to conclude our sentences with laughter, is often only a mere trick of style, a mere habit of life, cultivated with little difficulty. A true smile, an honest, laugh, that comes not from the lips or from the lungs, but from the heart, is a very acceptable and a very admirable thing. But a false smile and a forced laugh bespeak a double-minded soul and a doubtful character. Surely the angels of God weep almost, as much over the laughter as over the tears of mankind. For beneath its sound they may hear all too much that is hollow and unreal, and not a little that is vain and guilty. But, on the other hand, to smile with the glad and to laugh with the merry is a sympathetic grace not to be despised (Romans 12:15, first clause).

III. THE ISSUE OF FALSE SATISFACTIONS. "The end of that mirth is heaviness." How often is heaviness the end of mirth! All enjoyment that does not carry with it the approval of the conscience, all that is disregardful of the Divine Law, all that is a violation of the laws of our physical or our spiritual nature, must end and does end, sooner or later, in heaviness - in depression of spirit, in decline of power. It is a sorry thing for a man to accustom himself to momentary mirth, to present pleasure at the expense of future joy, of well being in later years.


1. Let the necessary solitariness of life lead us to choose the very best friendships we can form; that we may have those who can go far and often with us into the recesses of our spirit, and accompany us, as far as man can, in the larger and deeper experiences of our life.

2. Let the superficiality of much happiness lead us to inquire of ourselves whether we have planted in our soul the deeper roots of joy; those which will survive every test and trial of life, and which will be in us when we have left time and sense altogether behind us.

3. Let the perilous nature of some gratifications impose on us the duty of a wise watchfulness; that we may banish forever from heart and life all injurious delights which "war against the soul," and rob us of our true heritage here and in the heavenly country. - C.

The heart knoweth his own bitterness; and a stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy.
You cannot completely know your fellow-man. Every man is, in a measure, self-contained. Alone are we born, one by one; alone do we die, one by one. It is not surprising that we must be, in a measure, unknown to others, since we do not even fully know ourselves. There are points of individuality in each man which render him distinct from every other. Men in their highest and deepest conditions are remarkably secretive. The extreme heights and depths lie in darkness. Learn, then, that we may not judge our brethren as though we understood them, and were competent to give a verdict upon them. If we desire to show sympathy to our brethren, let us not dream that this is an easy task. Study the art of sympathy. We all need sympathy, and there is but One who can fully give it to us.

I. THE HEART KNOWS A BITTERNESS PECULIAR TO ITSELF. This is true in a natural, common, and moral sense. Concerning any man this is true. The shoe pinches on every foot, and that foot alone knows where the pinch is felt. Do not intrude into the hidden sorrows of any. Most solemnly this is true concerning the godless man and concerning the awakened man. When the Holy Spirit begins to convince the man of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment, then "the heart knoweth its own bitterness." And concerning the backslider. And concerning the tried believer. But the singularity of his suffering is the dream of the sufferer. Others have seen affliction too. Know thy sorrow well. And remember that the cure for bitterness of heart is to take it to your Lord at once.


1. The joy of pardoned sin.

2. The bliss of vanquished evil.

3. The joy of perfect reconciliation with God.

4. The joy of accepted service.

5. The joy of answered prayer.

6. The joy of peace in the time of trouble.

7. The joy of communion with God.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

The sources of the joy or bitterness of the heart are two.

1. A man's own mind of temper — a man's personal character. Every man is more connected with himself than with any external object. He is constantly a companion to himself in his own thoughts; and what he meets with there must, of all things, contribute most to his happiness or his disquiet. A good conscience, and good temper, prepare, even in the midst of poverty, a continual feast. How sadly the scene is reversed if a man's temper, instead of calmness and self-enjoyment, shall yield him nothing but disquiet and painful agitation. The wounds which the spirit suffers are owing chiefly to three causes: to folly, to passion, or to guilt. The external misfortunes of life, disappointments, poverty, and sickness are nothing in comparison of those inward distresses of mind occasioned by folly, by passion, and by guilt.

2. The connection in which a man stands with some of his fellow-creatures — a man's social feelings. Such causes of sorrow or joy are of an external nature. Having connected us in society by many ties, it is the decree of the Creator that these ties should prove, both during their subsistence and in their dissolution, causes of pleasure or pain immediately, and often deeply affecting the human heart. The most material circumstances of trouble or felicity, next to the state of our own mind and temper, are the sensations and affections which arise from the connections we have from others.The practical improvement to which this doctrine leads:

1. Let it serve to moderate our passion for riches and high situations in the world. It is well known that the eager pursuit of these is the chief incentive to the crimes that fill the world. Then contemplate these things with an impartial eye.

2. Let these observations correct our mistakes, and check our complaints, concerning a supposed promiscuous distribution of happiness in this world. The charge of injustice brought against Providence rests entirely on this ground, that the happiness and misery of men may be estimated by the degree of their external prosperity. This is the delusion under which the multitude have always laboured, but which a just consideration of the invisible springs of happiness that affect the heart is sufficient to correct. Judge not of the real condition of men from what floats merely on the surface of their state.

3. Let us turn our attention to those internal sources of happiness or misery on which so much depends. What is amiss or disordered within, in consequence of folly, passion, or guilt, may be rectified by due care under the assistance of Divine grace.

4. Let us frequently look up to Him who made the human heart, and implore His assistance in the regulation and government of it. The employments of devotion themselves form one of the most powerful means of composing and tranquillising the heart. Devotion opens a sanctuary to which they whose hearts have been most deeply wounded can always fly.

(Hugh Blair, D.D.)

Each man's heart is to himself a solitude, into which he can retire and be alone, indulging his own thoughts without an associate and without a witness. There is a world within which must lie undiscovered by the acutest observer. And we could not make the discovery to others even if we would. It would not be possible to communicate to another all that is within us. It is one of the delights and benefits of friendship that it helps men, in a measure, to open their minds to one another. But this can only be done in part. Every one has his reserve. This is especially true respecting the sorrows and joys of religion. No Christian can find a spirit so perfectly kindred to his own as to be able to comprehend all the sources of his grief or of his gladness. In many a sorrow, and in many a joy, he must be solitary. He could not make a full revelation of himself if he would; he would not if he could. God hath so ordered it that no man can fully reveal to another the secrets of his soul. This truth is of the utmost importance when set beside the other truth, that God "knoweth us altogether." Two practical lessons:

1. If God is thus near to us, nearer than the closest and most intimate friend can be, we ought to feel His nearness, and bear about with us the constant sense of it.

2. If our hearts are in a great measure shut out from our fellow-man, and open only to God, it is in His sympathy that we should seek our happiness.

(G. Bellett.)

I. OF UNREVEALED AND NEGLECTED SORROWS, A LARGE PROPORTION ARISES FROM A STRONG, NATURAL PROPENSITY TO DEJECTION AND MELANCHOLY. As wounds which are occasioned by external violence are more conspicuous, but less dangerous, than the hidden disease which preys upon the vital parts. Some whose circumstances are prosperous are always in the glooms, their feeble mind spreads its malignant tincture over every surrounding prospect. Spectators form their opinions from exterior circumstances, hence they cannot give their sympathy where they cannot observe sufficient cause of misery. Were they ever so much disposed to give it this miserable man would have none of their comfort.

II. THERE IS A CLASS OF MEN WHO MIGHT SUCCEED BETTER IN PROCURING THE SYMPATHY OF THE WORLD COULD THEY BUT TELL THE CAUSE OF THEIR SORROW. Disappointments in a long train have fallen upon the man's head, and the manliness of his spirit is subdued, and he surrenders himself a willing subject to peevishness and despair. Ambition defeated may fret and chagrin the aspiring mind. Affection slighted gives a deep and incurable wound to the man of a feeling heart.

III. THE MAN WHO SECRETLY GRIEVES FOR THE TREACHERY OF A FRIEND HAS EVEN A MORE SERIOUS CLAIM UPON OUR SYMPATHY. Such a man is sure to say, "My bitterness shall be known only to my own heart."

IV. DOMESTIC SOURCES OF DISQUETUDE. These, from motives of delicacy, are secreted from the notice and sympathy of the world.

V. CASES OF PERSONS WHO HAVE CHANGED THEIR STATION IN LIFE, AND CANNOT FIT TO THEIR NEW CONDITIONS. As in imperfectly assorted marriages. What misery is experienced which must be kept in reserve.

VI. THE MAN WHO CARRIES GRIEF IN HIS BOSOM ON ACCOUNT OF CONSCIOUS IMPERFECTION AND INCONSISTENCY OF CHARACTER. He has often resolved upon reformation, made strenuous efforts against temptations, but has failed and relapsed again under the bondage of sin. This has occasioned miserable agitation and perplexity of soul. He mourns in secret that he is not such as his own resolutions prescribe, and the world around him believes him to be. To all earnest persons it is a matter of deep concern to find that a great proportion of secret sorrow falls to the share of those who are most useful, and deserve best from society.

(T. Somerville, D.D.)

Though men live in towns and cities, and in social gatherings, each man is a world to himself. He is as distinct, even from him who is in closest material or mental contact with him, as one orb of heaven is from another.

I. THE HEART HAS HIDDEN DEPTHS OF SORROW. There is bitterness in every heart.

1. There is the bitterness of disappointed love.

2. There is the bitterness of social bereavement — Rachels weeping for their lost children, and Davids for their Absaloms.

3. There is the bitterness of moral remorse. All this is hidden where it is the most deep.The deepest sorrow in the human heart is hidden from others from three causes.

1. The insulating tendency of deep grief. Deep sorrow withdraws from society and seeks some Gethsemane of solitude.

2. The concealing instinct of deep grief. Men parade little sorrows, but conceal great ones. Deep sorrows are mute.

3. The incapacity of one soul to sound the depths of another. There is such a peculiarity in the constitution and circumstances of each soul that one can never fully understand another.

II. THE HEART HAS HIDDEN DEPTHS OF JOY. "A stranger doth not intermeddle with his joy." Though joy is less self-concealing than sorrow, yet it has depths unknown to any but its possessor and its God. The joy that rushed into Abraham's heart when Isaac descended with him from the altar on Moriah; the joy of the father when he pressed his prodigal son to his bosom; the joy of the widow of Nain when her only son raised himself from the bier, and returned to gladden her lowly home; the joy of the broken-hearted woman when she heard Christ say, "Thy sins are all forgiven thee"; such joy has depths that no outward eye could penetrate. The joy of the true Christian is indeed a joy "unspeakable and full of glory." This subject furnishes an argument —

1. For candour amongst men.

2. For piety towards God.Though men know us not, God does.


While the Christian has no promise of exemption from the general sufferings of humanity, he has trials peculiar to the life of faith.

I. THE NATURE OF THE CHRISTIAN'S BITTERNESS OF HEART. It is hazardous to represent the Christian life as a scene of constant sunshine and unaltered joy. This has occasioned much uneasiness and disappointment. The heart that is right with God has much anxiety, disquiet, and sorrow. These are dependent on disposition and temperament.


1. The secret consciousness of guilt.

2. The general infirmity of our intellectual and moral constitution. For instance, that depression of animal spirits to which some of the most regularly constituted minds are often most subject, and which no intellectual energy is at times able to dissipate or surmount.

3. Fears of shortcoming are sometimes the result of that increased spirituality of mind which marks the progress of the Divine life. Whatever be the attainments of the Christian, he has often hours of heaviness and alarm, and is troubled with distressing apprehensions respecting the safety of his state before God. This feeling must, of course, be greatly modified by the temper and circumstances of the believer, and in different individuals may arise from different causes.

(John Johnston.)

1. There is a bitterness and a joy of the heart which may be called more peculiarly its own, because it arises from the temper of the mind, which gives its own tone to circumstances and things in themselves indifferent. There is a marked contrast between the minds of different individuals. Every day is full of events which receive the character of good or evil from the mind of the individual related to them. Then, since so much depends on the cultivation of the mind and heart, let this be your chief concern.

2. The heart alone is conscious of its own feelings. Happiness and misery have no existence but in the conscious breast, and they are in a great measure confined to it. There are some sensations which the heart never attempts to express. There are some which it is our wish and endeavour to express. But how faint is the impression which we can convey to other minds of what is passing in our own. There is but one Being beside ourselves who knows our heart in the joys and sorrows of life. There is but one Being who can enter into our feelings amid the bitterness and joy of death. There is but one Being who can be all in all to our souls, in the changes and chances of this mortal life, and amid the unchanging glories of eternity: "Acquaint thyself with Him; and be at peace."

(George Cole.)

Each mind possesses m its interior mansions a solemn retired apartment peculiarly its own, into which none but himself and the Deity can enter.

(John Foster.)

"If you would seek for God," said a pious man of old, "descend into your own heart."

I. THE IMPERFECT ESTIMATE WHICH WE FORM OF THE REAL STATE OF THE WORLD. One half the world knows not how the other half lives, and certainly one half has no idea of what the other half feels. All have their calamities and sorrows, so that no man has any real occasion for envying his brother. Our afflictions may be divided into those which we suffer from the cruelty of others, those which arise from our own guilt, and those with which Providence, in the general course of His dealings, visits all of us in our turn.

II. THE SIN OF THOSE WHO TRIFLE WITH THE FEELINGS OF AN AFFLICTED HEART. Illustrate from the child who has brought distress on loving parents; the seducer of innocence; the slanderer and tale-bearer.

III. THOSE SORROWS WHICH ARISE FROM A SENSE OF OUR STATE TOWARDS GOD. We live, it is true, in a world of much infidelity and sin, but there are many who have accepted the everlasting gospel as the power of God unto salvation. It must have opened on them a very awful view of the things of this life; and when conscience, awakening them to think upon their duty, points to that holy book from which we shall be judged, they can scarcely fail of looking on their life with terror and dismay.

IV. THE SORROW ARISING FROM THE ORDINARY VISITATIONS OF PROVIDENCE. But our religion carries consolation with its sorrows. This comes from the belief in the Omniscience of God; in the grace of God; in the promise of remission of sins; in the assurance of a general resurrection.

(G. Mathew, M.A.)

Nothing is to be estimated by its effects upon common eyes and common ears.

1. Among the mental dispositions which prevail with the sufferer to smother his secret pangs and bitternesses from public inspection, the first is pride, whether of a pardonable or an improper description. Timidity is not less solicitous than pride to wrap up its griefs from general observation. Prudence and a sense of duty exert a similar influence.

2. When the circumstances of a sufferer are outward and visible, his perception of his calamity may be far more acute than the common observer surmises. And the heart of a man may be wrung with an unusual bitterness in consequence of its unusually delicate sense of religious and moral obligation.Practical improvements:

1. The survey delivers a lecture on resignation and contentment and disproves the notion that there is actually any large inequality in the Divine distribution of good and evil among mankind.

2. The subject suggests an instructive lesson of mutual sympathy and kindness in all the varieties of outward condition. There never has breathed yet one individual in the full enjoyment of pure, unalloyed happiness.

3. Take care that the common and unavoidable uneasiness shall not be aggravated by that self-dissatisfaction which arises from wilful disobedience.

4. Remember that we are passing on to a fairer and more faultless condition of being, where the souls of the pious and penitent shall have their capacity for enjoyment filled up to the brim.

(J. Grant, M.A.)

I. THE BELIEVER'S SORROWS. There are sorrows common to believers and to unbelievers. There are some peculiar to the renewed man. Those are the most alive to sin who are most free from sin. A strong sense of sin is one of the characteristics of the real man of God. Believers are also at times unable to receive the promises. When comfort is offered they cannot avail themselves of it. Sometimes there is great spiritual depression under a sense of the withdrawal of God's favour. But there is nothing more dangerous than to leave the soul in this state of bitterness of heart.

II. THE BELIEVER'S JOYS. What is it in which he finds joy?

1. From the joyful sound of the everlasting gospel.

2. The joy of pardoning grace applied to the soul.

3. The fulness of Divine grace.

4. Communion with God.

(H. M. Villiers, M.A.)

We know each other's appearance, but there for the most part our mutual knowledge ceases. It is possible to live on terms of even close intimacy with a person for many years, and yet to find, by some chance uplifting of a curtain in his life, that he cherished feelings which you never even suspected, suffered pains of which you had seen no trace, or enjoyed pleasures which never came to any outward expression. The bitterness which surges in our brother's heart would probably be unintelligible to us if he revealed it, but he will not reveal it, he cannot. And yet we all hunger for sympathy. No human being needs to be misunderstood, or to suffer under the sense of misunderstanding. Let him turn at once to God. If he cannot tell his bitterness to his fellows, he can tell it to God. No human being need imagine that he is unappreciated; his fellow-men may not want him, but God does. No human being need be without a sharer of his joy. And that is a great consideration, for joy unshared quickly dies, and is from the beginning haunted by a vague sense of a shadow that is falling upon it. In the heart of the Eternal dwells eternal joy. All loveliness, all sweetness, all goodness, all truth, are the objects of His happy contemplation; therefore every really joyful heart has an immediate sympathiser in God, and prayer is quite as much the means by which we share our gladness as the vehicle by which we convey our sorrows to the Divine heart.

(R. F. Horton, D.D.)

Bitterness, Grief, Heart, Intermeddle, Joy, Knoweth, Man's, Share, Shares, Strange, Stranger
1. A wise woman builds her house

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Proverbs 14:9

     6672   grace, in relationships
     8760   fools, characteristics
     8782   mockery
     8816   ridicule, nature of

A Startling Statement
TEXT: "The wicked shall not be unpunished."--Prov. 11:21. There are very many passages of Scripture which ought to be read in connection with this text; as for example, "Fools make a mock at sin" (Proverbs 14:9), for only a fool would. Better trifle with the pestilence and expose one's self to the plague than to discount the blighting effects of sin. And, again, "The soul that sinneth it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). From this clear statement of the word of God there is no escape. Or, again, "Our
J. Wilbur Chapman—And Judas Iscariot

Hollow Laughter, Solid Joy
'Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful; and the end of that mirth is heaviness.'--PROVERBS xiv. 13. 'These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be fulfilled.'--JOHN xv. 11 (R.V.). A poet, who used to be more fashionable than he is now, pronounces 'happiness' to be our being's end and aim. That is not true, except under great limitations and with many explanations. It may be regarded as God's end, but it is ruinous to make it man's aim. It is by no means
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Satisfied from Self
'... A good man shall be satisfied from himself.'--PROVERBS xiv. 14. At first sight this saying strikes one as somewhat unlike the ordinary Scripture tone, and savouring rather of a Stoical self-complacency; but we recall parallel sayings, such as Christ's words, 'The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water'; and the Apostle's, 'Then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone.' We further note that the text has an antithetic parallel in the preceding clause, where the picture is
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Sin the Mocker
'Fools make a mock at sin; but among the righteous there is favour.'--Proverbs xiv, 9. The wisdom of this Book of Proverbs is not simply intellectual, but it has its roots in reverence and obedience to God, and for its accompaniment, righteousness. The wise man is the good man, and the good man is the godly man. And as is wisdom, so its opposite, folly, is not only intellectual feebleness--the bad man is a fool, and the godless is a bad man. The greatest amount of brain-power cultivated to the highest
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

How a Man's Conduct Comes Home to Him
A sermon (No. 1235) delivered on Lord's Day Morning, May 16th, 1875, at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, by C. H. Spurgeon. "The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself."--Proverbs 14:14. A common principle is here laid down and declared to be equally true in reference to two characters, who in other respects are a contrast. Men are affected by the course which they pursue; for good or bad, their own conduct comes home to them.
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

Godly Fear and Its Goodly Consequence
A sermon (No. 1290) delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington, by C. H. Spurgeon. "In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence: and his children shall have a place of refuge."--Proverbs 14:26. In the Book of Proverbs you meet with sentences of pithy wisdom, which to all appearance belong entirely to this world, and pertain to the economy of the life that now is. I do not know whether it is true, but it was said that years ago our friends in Scotland had a little book widely circulated
C.H. Spurgeon—Sermons on Proverbs

"Boast not Thyself of to Morrow, for Thou Knowest not what a Day May Bring Forth. "
Prov. xxvii. 1.--"Boast not thyself of to morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth." As man is naturally given to boasting and gloriation in something (for the heart cannot want some object to rest upon and take complacency in, it is framed with such a capacity of employing other things), so there is a strong inclination in man towards the time to come, he hath an immortal appetite, and an appetite of immortality; and therefore his desires usually stretch farther than the present
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

(Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity.) Proverbs xiv. 23. In all labour there is profit. I fear there are more lessons in the Book of Proverbs than most of us care to learn. There is a lesson in every verse of it, and a shrewd one. Certain I am, that for a practical, business man, who has to do his duty and to make his way in this world, there is no guide so safe as these same Proverbs of Solomon. In this world, I say; for they say little about the world to come. Their doctrine is, that what
Charles Kingsley—Town and Country Sermons

The Backslider in Heart.
Text.--The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways.--Prov. xiv. 14. I CANNOT conclude this course of lectures, without warning converts against backsliding. In discussing this subject, I will state, I. What backsliding in heart is not. II. What backsliding in heart is. III. What are evidences of backsliding in heart. IV. Show what are consequences of backsliding in heart. V. How to recover from this state. I. What backsliding in heart is not. 1. It does not consist in the subsidence
Charles Grandison Finney—Lectures on Revivals of Religion

Have Read the Letter which You in Your Wisdom have Written Me. You Inveigh against Me
I have read the letter which you in your wisdom have written me. You inveigh against me, and, though you once praised me and called me true partner and brother, you now write books to summon me to reply to the charges with which you terrify me. I see that in you are fulfilled the words of Solomon: "In the mouth of the foolish is the rod of contumely," and "A fool receives not the words of prudence, unless you say what is passing in his heart;" and the words of Isaiah: "The fool will speak folly,
Various—Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.

Epistle Lxix. To Brunichild, Queen of the Franks.
To Brunichild, Queen of the Franks. Gregory to Brunichild, &c. Since it is written, Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin maketh peoples miserable (Prov. xiv. 34), a kingdom is then believed to be stable when a fault that is known of is quickly amended. Now it has come to our ears by the report of many, what we cannot mention without exceeding affliction of heart, that certain priests in those parts live so immodestly and wickedly that it is a shame for us to hear of it and lamentable to tell
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

Epistle xxx. To Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria.
To Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria. Gregory to Eulogius, &c. Our common son, the bearer of these presents, when he brought the letters of your Holiness found me sick, and has left me sick; whence it has ensued that the scanty water of my brief epistle has been hardly able to exude to the large fountain of your Blessedness. But it was a heavenly boon that, while in a state of bodily pain, I received the letter of your Holiness to lift me up with joy for the instruction of the heretics of the city
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

The Intercession of Christ
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us! T he Redemption of the soul is precious. Fools make mock of sin (Proverbs 14:9) . But they will not think lightly of it, who duly consider the majesty, authority, and goodness of Him, against whom it is committed; and who are taught, by what God actually has done, what sin rendered necessary to be done, before a sinner could have a well-grounded
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Some Helps to Mourning
Having removed the obstructions, let me in the last place propound some helps to holy mourning. 1 Set David's prospect continually before you. My sin is ever before me' (Psalm 51:3). David, that he might be a mourner, kept his eye full upon sin. See what sin is, and then tell me if there be not enough in it to draw forth tears. I know not what name to give it bad enough. One calls it the devil's excrement. Sin is a complication of all evils. It is the spirits of mischief distilled. Sin dishonours
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

Epistle Xlii. To Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria.
To Eulogius, Patriarch of Alexandria. Gregory to Eulogius, &c. We return great thanks to Almighty God, that in the mouth of the heart a sweet savour of charity is experienced, when that which is written is fulfilled, As cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country (Prov. xxv. 25). For I had previously been greatly disturbed by a letter from Boniface the Chartularius, my responsalis, who dwells in the royal city, saying that your to me most sweet and pleasant Holiness had suffered
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

How the Kindly-Disposed and the Envious are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 11.) Differently to be admonished are the kindly-disposed and the envious. For the kindly-disposed are to be admonished so to rejoice in what is good in others as to desire to have the like as their own; so to praise with affection the deeds of their neighbours as also to multiply them by imitation, lest in this stadium of the present life they assist at the contest of others as eager backers, but inert spectators, and remain without a prize after the contest, in that they toiled not
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

A Believer's Privilege at Death
'For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.' Phil 1:1I. Hope is a Christian's anchor, which he casts within the veil. Rejoicing in hope.' Rom 12:12. A Christian's hope is not in this life, but he hash hope in his death.' Prov 14:42. The best of a saint's comfort begins when his life ends; but the wicked have all their heaven here. Woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.' Luke 6:64. You may make your acquittance, and write Received in full payment.' Son, remember that
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

"And These Things Write we unto You, that Your Joy May be Full. "
1 John i. 4.--"And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." All motions tend to rest and quietness. We see it daily in the motions below, and we believe it also of the circular revolutions of the heavens above, that there is a day coming in which they shall cease, as having performed all they were appointed for. And as it is in things natural, so it is in things rational in a more eminent way. Their desires, affections, and actions, which are the motions and stretches of the soul
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

Spiritual Hunger Shall be Satisfied
They shall be filled. Matthew 5:6 I proceed now to the second part of the text. A promise annexed. They shall be filled'. A Christian fighting with sin is not like one that beats the air' (1 Corinthians 9:26), and his hungering after righteousness is not like one that sucks in only air, Blessed are they that hunger, for they shall be filled.' Those that hunger after righteousness shall be filled. God never bids us seek him in vain' (Isaiah 45:19). Here is an honeycomb dropping into the mouths of
Thomas Watson—The Beatitudes: An Exposition of Matthew 5:1-12

The Royal Marriage Feast.
PART I.--THE WEDDING GUESTS. "And Jesus answered, and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of
William Arnot—The Parables of Our Lord

"Now the God of Hope Fill You with all Joy and Peace in Believing," &C.
Rom. xv. 13.--"Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing," &c. It is usual for the Lord in his word to turn his precepts unto promises, which shows us, that the commandments of God do not so much import an ability in us, or suppose strength to fulfil them, as declare that obligation which lies upon us, and his purpose and intention to accomplish in some, what he requires of all: and therefore we should accordingly convert all his precepts unto prayers, seeing he hath made
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning

How Christ is the Way in General, "I am the Way. "
We come now to speak more particularly to the words; and, first, Of his being a way. Our design being to point at the way of use-making of Christ in all our necessities, straits, and difficulties which are in our way to heaven; and particularly to point out the way how believers should make use of Christ in all their particular exigencies; and so live by faith in him, walk in him, grow up in him, advance and march forward toward glory in him. It will not be amiss to speak of this fulness of Christ
John Brown (of Wamphray)—Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life

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