JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORY
or Jettisoning Unmentionable and Empty of Truth
News 287 The Advertiser, September 22, 2003
As we conclude this volume on Joy Comes in the Morning, it is important to leave two things clear. First, there is the daring touch of infinity, which enlivens the heart of the Christian with a joy out of this world entirely; and secondly, there is the dogged continuance in culture, which celebrates the world's religion, its paths and its procedure, and is doomed.
In The Advertiser, Sept. 22, 2003 we find an article entitled, "Religious tolerance example to the world". Noting the very small but growing number of Buddhists in this land, and Hindus (under 25,000 noted in all, after growth), and the exponents of Islam at another 7446, the writer observes that 'Christianity' fell by 1.1 per cent to 942,890.
Glorying in the 'tolerance' in the field of religion to be found in Australia, the writer notes that "in other countries, these faiths simply could not live together peaceably." Certainly, in many countries formal allegiance to what is called Christianity, often Romanism, no nearer to it than is Buddhism, in this, that both utterly supervene the Bible, and neither allow the biblical Christ the mastery on which He insists (Matthew 23:8-10 cf. SMR pp. 1042ff.), and other religions of human faith, erupt.
Some want this world, like Islam and Romanism (for example, in Unam Sanctam q.v., and in the imposts and impositions levied by the Koran where victory becomes rule and rule becomes ruthless cf. More Marvels ... Ch. 4); some try to make the best of it, like Buddhism (q.v.); some populate it with ancient and traditional gods doing various remarkable things, like Hinduism (q.v.); some - in fact, many - use the Bible as a launching pad for every sort of denial of its doctrines, and yet use the name of Christ (as a divorced wife might illegally try to use the name of her former husband for credit), such as the numerous sects (cf. Things Old and New, Chs. 9 , 10, Appendix , Epilogue).
While however Australia has a genial aspect in this field, in terms of minimal physical violence, and has unusual degrees of sensible peace in its midst, even where some religions try to grasp this world, to which aims they are discouraged in this land, and rightly, there is a heavy negative side to this gracious manner.
It is this. Soon the toleration becomes intolerance, and it is here now, has been for decades, and is growing. It moves from being tolerant of other CULTURES, meaning skin colours, manners, ways of doing various jobs, attitudes to work, mannerisms, social manners and the like. This is undoubtedly good, so long as there is no violence or viciousness to the physical safety of others. Then some bright spark notices that 'culture' is a portmanteau term, and not believing in the actual God, the Creator, he or she considers that religion should be added to this admirable cultural adaptability in the land. Thus, as in this article, you see people of different 'faiths' grouped together, and often in prayer together, in church together, or mixing their 'faiths' together, as if this is a mere extension of the gracious attitude which had gone before.
It is not so. In this case, it implies one of two things.
Firstly, it may imply that God does not exist, and that all we have is a collection of attitudes to whatever it is, and that these, since nobody knows, are of equal value, or certainly are material for wise-hearted and indeed good-natured sharing, rather like drinks which some mix, each adding the favourite of the other! This means that MAN is placed above GOD, that GOD is relegated to obscurity/non-existence or unimportance. That is MORE than good-nature, and LESS than respect.
In such a case, a nation is sacrificing (to the extent these mores prevail) God for man, an unwise bargain. To reduce the cause to one of the effects, the core to one of the peelings, the Creator to one of the creatures, the Saviour to one of the needy is merely an exercise in irrationality (cf. SMR, TMR) and has no more geniality than any other flagrant and outrageous breach of truth for convenience, which is often referred to as lying. That is PRECISELY what I John does in fact call it, when people deny that Christ is the Son of God.
Secondly, if the above case or implication is not the one in view, then it may be this second one, which leads to the bringing of God to the table of culture, so that, if it were possible, He may be dominated rather than nominated, by man. It may imply, then, that even if God exists, it is not so very important HOW He exists, or WHAT He might wish, or WHY He created us, or WHERE He wishes us to go; and that it is not at all comparable with the need to have a common and mutually acceptable way of referring to Him.
This is merely moving a little upstream from the flood of folly in case one, and is allowing a God who can be whatever He wants, so long as He does not want anything which could or would or might conflict with what we want, as we run the place our own way, in terms of our own 'gracious' culture.
PANACEAS AND POWER
In this way, and in either of the above cases indifferently, the affability of an Australian tolerance in the field of social relationships and the ways of different races, becomes the car of the broken sump, which merges various fluids together without design, understanding, knowledge or functionality.
In other words, this is to sacrifice God for convenience, and to enlarge kindness to one another, which is a good thing, since in one sense we are all kin, to insult to God, rebellion against His will, His word and His ways; and often it is to do this in such a style as to EXPECT HIS COMMENDATION because tolerance is so good! Thus you seek to be congratulated, or at least notably and honourably mentioned, because your 'Christian' virtue of love has if not reached the propositional platform, then anyway performed an action of true Christian value in being so accepting of other people.
Not so. God does not want us SO to love other people that the GOD who made all, is discountenanced; or to imagine that in seeking to obey one commandment, about loving one another, the second of the commandments, we should displace the first, to love God with all our hearts and souls and minds and strength! (cf. Matthew 22:37ff.). If you have to keep your head and your feet, in that order, and preserve your feet but lose your head, you are in sad case. Priority is important, and the superior is given that role for a purpose, the truth! If, to put it differently, you so love God that you think it to the point at all, to obey ANY of His commandments, then perhaps you could see that HIS desire for what is foremost, would be relevant.
If your boss tells you not to blow up the office, and to keep your hair in place, then even if you managed to perform the latter successfully, and just happened to fail to prevent the office from being blown up when you had the opportunity to rescue it, the boss is unlikely, quite unlikely to be pleased.
You would be regarded, at best, as a nitwit.
Or again: if GOD matters at all, then it is useless to select what you will, and give it what importance you will, and to reject what you will, and to relegate as you will, and to imagine that this in any way relates to a positive attitude to God.
So does sick religion try to 'ground' itself, when it merely confounds itself.
Australia is indeed moving from truth to convenience in religion, and from God to man, in religion, from theology to humanism, from doctrine of the Bible to the babel of cultural clichés, clinches, cliques and positions. Indeed, even when in Victoria, from memory, over 50 years ago, one was talking professionally to some higher officer in the Education Department (as a 'tent-making' aspect for the support of the Christian Ministry), a conversation like what follows occurred.
Self: I should need to be able to present Christian things, when they arise, as the truth, since they are.
Officer: You mean that you would wish to present them as in your opinion, the truth ?
Self: No, since they are demonstrable, and I receive them also by faith, it would not be fitting to pretend that they are merely in my opinion the truth. My opinion in no sense makes them true; they are true as indefectible, indestructible, solely valid in logic in the field. Of course, I am quite happy to present reason for anything I have to give in teaching, when any subject arises, and if anyone can show that I have transcended that, in your Education Department context, that would be a legitimate ground for dissatisfaction.
This conversation seemed to amaze, even at that time, the Education Department official! The concept that something COULD be true in the field of religion, apparently, required for him something like an awakening before he could even comprehend it!
In this, my present State, I have found a measure of liberty in this regard, but it was brought to confrontation when one Principal took violent objection to the presentation of history in the Middle East situation, where one's method had been to look at the CLAIMS of the various religions (the actual topic and theme of the subject to be taught), and the CONSEQUENCES. To what extent did the text of each religion have claims, and to what extent were they in fact, historically, fulfilled ?
Another teacher or two joined in the fray, which had all the well-known features one has learned to expect when a social crucifixion is getting itself in place. Insults flew, challenges and barbs were sent in the direction of the thinning pate of this teacher. It became necessary to reach for the standards. Is TRUTH in view at all ? Have I in ANY respect FAILED to give evidence for ANY proposition in ANY way presented at ANY time ? and if so, where it the evidence for such a claim! It became necessary to answer the emotional challenge being presented against one, with this logical and procedural return to education!
In the end, an apology was given to the author, but the rage was not little.
It is fondly imagined that it is good form, multi-cultural propriety and sound pedagogy, in religion to know no truth, to present nothing, to disregard evidence, to give pap and philosophy, based on a relativism which assumed itself true, though it dismisses all claim to truth for a basis, and so is merely conventionally self-contradictory. This is because it is EXPEDIENT so to treat of such things.
It is unsound in logic, in pedagogy; it is indoctrination, it is illicit indoctrination because it is also demonstrably irrational, and it is common.
This affability of Australian culture, this marvellous receptivity, therefore, becomes a pond of pollution. Instead of being kindly and peaceable in your attitude to other people, understanding and tolerant of their different ways, you have to deny your God, to make Him irrelevant or a mere component of culture, and so deny Him outright. That, it is not tolerance, but intolerance, OF GOD! That, it is asking for a national case against his land, not from man, but from God. It is asking for the charge of irrationalism, expediency, pragmatism, of unprincipled self-preservation, and such oddities of fallen man.
Moreover, this is just a beginning, though indeed it is quite enough to secure for this land, the end! God is not mocked, let alone for convenience, however much the plan may have appealed to the murderous Caiaphas, in his plotting against Christ, the inconvenient truth. Truth ? Yes His power was so great and His popularity with it, that following the resurrection of Lazarus, an incontestable fact, there would be no stopping the flow of faith to Him, Caiaphas saw (John 11:47ff.). The ONLY way to prevent a political stir with Rome, he imagined, would be to murder Christ, and so he set about it. This is the biblical record. It proved however ANYTHING but the deliverance of the nation of the Jews, which suffered to the uttermost within a generation, MANY of them being crucified by the Romans, who utterly destroyed their city.
Thus, there is the social procedure in reverse. BECAUSE a nation wishes to exclude the ACTUAL God of testimony and evidence (in meta-religion cf. A Spiritual Potpourri, Ch. 15, *1), for pragmatic reasons, thus selling God off no less than did Judas Iscariot, it then USES this atmosphere, this perspective, this prong, probe and pursuit AMONG its people.
Do YOU dare to say that Christ is the actual and true Lord, and that He is the way, the life and the truth, that no one comes to God except by Him, so that all the other religions, most regrettably, are in error (cf. Acts 4:18ff., 5:28ff.), as Peter and John in effect, did ? Then YOU may for that reason be culturally defined as unpeaceable, intolerant, aggressive, immature, emotionally unfit, a danger to society (as Christ Himself was deemed to be!), a focus for misunderstanding, fundamentalist and anything else that lies handy for those who enjoy throwing this sort of stone.
One well remembers a letter from a New Zealand Presbytery, addressed to oneself, on the occasion of one's having INSISTED on the bodily resurrection of Christ, and having made it clear that what is not accepting this, is NOT Christian (it would mean the worship of a different Christ - I Corinthians 15, Luke 24, Galatians 1, II Corinthians 11), and since there is no other than He (John 14:6), it would be idolatry and so forth. Such words had to be given to the 1966 Assembly when one became (to the best of one's knowledge) the ONLY PERSON in the Assembly to have DISSENT recorded for the statement on the resurrection, to the effect that whether the body rose or not, it simply did not matter, matter, matter ...
The Presbytery in due course, then, wrote to me a letter in which I was deemed to be horrible in various ways, such as divisive and whatever else you would be if you really believed anything and insisted on it, as did Peter and John (Acts 4:19ff., 5:29), who were whipped for their pains. My whipping was verbal. After the first letter intimated the grisly horror with which the Presbytery saw fit to honour me, a second arrived, possibly one day later. In this, apology was asked for having omitted some points on which the Presbytery had apparently agreed, which further characterised my person. In this second letter, I was informed that I was ALSO ... and various nice, negative features and foci were added, to round off the abuse of the first letter! It may even be that kind regards followed this edifice of learning!
This illlustrates the point that if even in a body - which had once been a notable Church, a large and imposing denomination, which for convenience or other reasons decided to act in such a way that the faith was denied - intemperate and intolerant, abusive and sick statements could be levelled as by a gun, at one of the members of a Presbytery by the rest (who gave at no time any REASON for their failure in faith): then what might one expect in society at large!
In fact, one might expect the sort of intolerance one found in the High School situation noted above, in which expediency is king, logic has no place, and grounds for assault are not to be found, though the assault occurs anyway. In fairness, one did on that occasion gain an apology, but within months, there came a new Circular to Principals which FORBAD (another issue) the teaching of creation except as a value thing in social studies, and excluded it from science, even as an hypothesis.
This is the case, as far as is known in this State, to this day, despite numerous approaches, never answered with anything at all resembling logic. Much of TMR has been presented to the Government, but it never answers the grounds of protest, the appeal to scientific method, or the request to return to pedagogy from the follies of indoctrination in this field. It just goes right on indoctrinated as is convenient. Indeed, 'convenient' was the very word which was given to one when engaging in tertiary teaching, as a Lecturer in Communications in what is now called a University. It was not convenient that one should present a position which was depicted factually, evidentially and in terms of scientific method as a case for care: some did not like this. It had to stop.
No one could well in integrity abandon truth for convenience, so this tolerant nation had to lose that lecturer in that tertiary education place, so that intolerance and a breach of scientific method, the challenge never answered logically, could proceed with ONE VOICE in ONE WAY, and that the way of culture and dictation for conformity.
These cases merely come to hand, having been experienced; but the results are predictable on the basis of the cultural absorption of God, in a way apparently to be congratulated, while the intolerancemounts towards those
v who do not buy this sale of Christ,
v who do not congratulate this obliteration to irrelevance of reason,
v who lack these erratic desires for survival or some other facet for society, where Christ does not fit.
If His disciples are not to present Him as the truth, and His word as such, so that one cannot even without censure give REASON for such things when the TOPIC requires the subject matter, then this becomes a post-truth society, not merely a post-Christian one, and is becoming the very dregs of the earth.
This is not at all to ignore the fact that blood is not flowing; but then one has never found that making blood flow helps truth, in this land. Less blood makes it harder to think, in general, especially when it is allowed to flow with unaccustomed force from the arteries; and it is hard to see how this would help people seeking the truth, to find it. It is however possible to declare the truth, to present grounds for the truth, and to deal with answers as they come, without losing one's temper or one's life.
Crucifixion was the word used by the Session Clerk of the church in New Zealand of the turn out for the Presbytery's visit to our local church: one would have thought, said he, as Presbytery sought to punish me for my adherence to the word of God, for that was the only issue, that it was a wedding or a crucifixion! He was a medical specialist, and his words had unaccustomed power on that occasion!
It is necessary therefore to realise that the sale of truth for the sake of expediency is a foul in logic, and a pollution of society. If you want praise, then learn to argue and to listen and to consider and to seek the truth at all costs, and not to seek evil on the heads, hands or hearts of those who seek for something different even if they are demonstrably or even lamentably wrong. GOD IS JUDGE! Why not leave it to Him! Hell is painful enough, without adding to it in advance! If someone wilfully and arbitrarily ignores the truth, or refuses to hear it, so be it.
It is God's affair, really, not man's, what becomes of that person. God has said what will become of the person, except he or she repent in such a case (John 3:15-36); but so be it. It is no part of helping repentance, to murder or even harm Since God is love, the concept is to HELP the erring to find the truth, not to cut their throats; and since we are made in God's image, the point is to be kind to our physical kin, to do good to all men, as Paul proclaims. Why not ? Is not the heart of God good ? so why should we not show that goodness to others, however much in error they may be; except of course, if they are intent on murder and such physical things, they need restraint, since this helps no one! Truth however should never be sacrificed for convenience.
JUBILATION AND JOY
Leaving the lassoing of our poor land in this vicious manner, its corralling into improper constraints, let us however look at the inward reality involved. Thus there is a self-congratulation on the part of those who act as if to relativise all religion (cf. SMR Ch. 3 with pp. 376ff.) for the logical errors in this, in some detail), which may produce a sense of good feeling or even superiority in some remote ethical sense. This is not however comparable to Christian JOY! This is something which is correlative to STRENGTH (Nehemiah 8:10).
It proceeds from a PERSONAL BEING, indeed from a Person, Jesus Christ resurrected; it is applied by another Person, the Holy Spirit, sent from the Father and from Christ (John 15:26); and it has a dynamic which is like a waterproofing in the presence of rain, an uplift which resembles a breeze when one is seeking to take off in a weather balloon or in a harness for para-gliding, a thrust which reminds one of the impact of two or three waves, when one is surfing, and they coalesce beautifully just as one is about to launch into ... the deep. It is something that works, that moves one, that thrusts, that has force and imparts a glow of peace or a conduit for motion. It is a truly marvellous thing.
When, in other words, God gives joy in His service, it is no mere emotional response. It is an intensely inter-personal thing, in the domain of love, with its own freshness and refreshing, its quality and its recognisability, as when friends meet and confer together. It is in fact PRECISELY as Peter describes it in I Peter 1:6-9, and since this is an experiential matter for the saints, as well as a doctrinal one from the apostle, the thoughtful reader will want to read this: here then, it is.
"In this you greatly rejoice,
though now for a little while, if need be,
whom having not
seen you love.
"Though now you do not see Him, yet believing,
you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,
receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls."
That is what Peter found, and as you watch his words and deeds when he was under persecutory fire from the priests and authorities in Jerusalem in the first few chapters of Acts (delightful to read in slight paraphrase in J.B. Phillips' rendering), you can sense that Presence and that joy in him. Indeed, we read even that they found it a high honour to be counted worthy to SUFFER FOR CHRIST (Acts 6:41-42, cf. I Peter 4:14).
In this last reference, the apostle points out that if you suffer reproach for the name and sake and service of Christ, as becomes most common these days, then "the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part, He is blasphemed; on your part He is glorified". Such a thing as this, also, is an empirical fact!
One well recalls on one occasion, when persecution and fraud and slander were at a height, and one was testifying freely in seminary, already cast out from official place, that one could not entirely prevent leaping for joy, at the delight in the presence of the Lord, which was conveyed to one's spirit!
God is not only another personal being, and Christ is not only another person, but He is a Person whose life is eternal (I John 1:1-4), and is in fact the expression of eternal life itself, which He can confer (cf. Matthew 11:27ff.), and in which there is a REST which is inexpressibly different from mere cessation from work, or even from the pleasantness of having performed successfully or at any rate satisfactorily, some great task. It is an involvement in a quietus of peace, which has its own loveliness: for it is in effect, the presence of the Lord who IS peaceful, though the storms rage, and who is a refuge, though the animals roar, and the demons cry (Psalm 18:1-2)..
It is just the way that it is. God is like that. It is empirically the case, just as the statements concerning Him, stand up, and are counted; for they WORK and come into EFFECT, each one.
In fact, it is proper for a Christian to rejoice (I Thessalonians 5:16, John 16:22), but if there is one thing which is adverse to such a situation, it is disobedience, plain, simple, silly departure from what God manifestly declares to be His will, whether such a decline be done with casuistical subtlety, shameless meanders of mind, or explicitly. This is an antidote to joy, and an invasion against peace, and should be repented of speedily, removed correctly, so that having fallen, one at once arises and learns from the experience the folly of it (Psalm 51).
Disobedience is a silly shame and shambles, and is to be avoided, and where found, to be left with the same zeal that one would have in departing from the near presence of a 20 foot boa constrictor, hanging happily from some nearby tree.
Similarly, mere drudgery without faith, in a sort of spiritual somnambulation, going through meaningless motions because of tradition or some such thing, heartless or hopeless, this is no way to love God. Look at Malachi and see His view on facades, meretricious mouthings, canny religion! Sacrifices that are blind or crippled, no good: why ? It is because they do not SPEAK a heart which loves but a subversion which uses forms without faith. See Malachi 1:7-8, 12-13. "What a weariness it is!" He mimics the dead who go through their cadaverous religion! (Malachi 1:13). The knowledgeable who sneer (Malachi 1:13) are as close to Him as are children's rockets to the moon!
"My name shall be great among the Gentiles!" God exclaims (Malachi 1:11), "from the rising of the sun, even to its going down";
and it now is so, just as He forecast also in Jeremiah 16:19, who would say,
"Surely our fathers have inherited lies, worthlessness and unprofitable things!"
The Lord asks searchingly, there,
"Will a man make
gods for himself which are no gods ?
All these things He has done; not one is missing.
The Jews have been shown His name indeed, and the Gentiles over all the surface of the earth, now in this phase, now in that of history, in the British Empire, in German missions, in US missions, in missions from Australia, to the islands, to South America, from Canada and yes, now from island to island, they have sought the Lord, sometimes with vast stirrings and many have been the testimonies raised, as in Korea, where churches of hundreds of thousands appear to be known, and where creation is less suppressed than in some of the failing 'Western' lands, who like Israel of old, now seem to be seeking the results of mixing gods, mellowing influences which make multi-cultural 'religion' to be something to be sipped like some mixed drink.
It is not the SOURCE on earth of some religion which makes it acceptable, but its SENDING FROM HEAVEN. To use God to play people is the uttermost of madness. Speaking to Israel in its parallel performance in Malachi 2, God says this:
"For the lips
of the priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his
mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have departed from
the way :
You have caused many to stumble at the law, You have corrupted the covenant..."
Therefore, He says, "I have made you contemptible and base before all the people ..."
And there is no joy in that!
This is precisely what one found in Australia, Canada and New Zealand in large Presbyterian circles, where the word of God was to be suppressed, to be diverted, to be converted; and these are far from those alone who have done this. Now both the Anglicans in Australia (cf. Ch. 2, *1A above) whose Primate in that hierarchical institution has made Christ one of the ways to God despite John 14:6, as if to confer gods at will, and the Uniting Church (cf. The Defining Drama Ch. 4), who will have homosexual pastors, as if I Corinthians 5:9ff., and 6, with I Timothy 1 had never seen the light of day, are most severely compromised. In these ways putting their words in God's mouth, seemingly at will, biblically utterly condemned, they have in such rebelliousness joined the sects in two things: in defilement of the deity of Christ and the authority of His word.
It is as if deity spluttered, or Christ were some offering not good enough, His words not to be trusted, or with the Romanists, His offering were not enough so that it must be repeated (contrary to Hebrews 9, which declares that if it were, then He would often have to suffer: but now it is finished cf. SMR pp. 1032-1088H).
Speaking to the Jews before the final treachery against their own Christ (as a nation, though thousands were disjoined from that, praise God), Malachi says this, which has echoed to its prime targets both Jew and Gentile ever since,
"You have wearied the LORD with your words,
Yet you say:
'In what way have we wearied Him ?'
In that you say,
'Everyone who does evil
Is good in the sight of the LORD,
And He delights in them,'
Or 'Where is the God of justice ?' "
Oh He is there, but patient; He is there, but has His times and timings, as when Christ died, it is all planned. The great falling away as a prelude to His coming, in which many large ecclesiastical institutions are to ‘go’ is upon us, and must be, since His word has prescribed it (cf. II Peter 2:1ff., II Timothy 3, I Timothy 4, II Thessalonians 2:1ff., Matthew 24:24). We who believe can rejoice in this, that though it is grievous in itself, it had to be, now is and is a signal of power of His near return (cf. Answers to Questions Ch. 5), as pollution proliferates, standards fall, rebellions flap their mouths like protest flags and morals fall as if on a space probe, this time below, to see how low you can fall without actual immediate impact.
Provocations, in the patience of God, do not mean instant death, but they sag in the belly of unbelief, and they cause swelling in the sad substitutes for the body of Christ which come from flouting His law and expecting grace to be the answer.
Shall we sin that grace may abound ? asks Paul. Certainly not! (Romans 6:1). Others flagrantly disobey God in His clear words, as if the Old Testament morals and principles did not matter, as if all morals went when Christ came, and expect that such things will please the Lord (starkly contrary to Matthew 5:17-20). Oh the Sunday is a holy day! said one lady, who went straight ahead, apparently in liberated conscience, to set about selling her house on that day.
Have we then become uncreated that we should be Christian ? is not the word clear, AS you were created in this way, SO you will rest in that pattern, one in seven, and the day chosen is that in which the largest of His works were done, the resurrection! (Exodus 20, I Corinthians 16, John 20:1,26)!
Ah that those who read would realise that you cannot PLAY with God! You cannot play the lawyer, the fool or the prince! God is the LORD and it is HIM whom one must serve, follow, relish. YOU are My friends if you do whatsoever I command you! was not a word for sanctioning free thought in place of God, or human pace for divine place, as if the gods of feckless philosophies were some kind of substitute for spirituality (John 15:10-14). There is no joy in worshipping vacuity. There is much joy in worshipping the Prince of peace, whom it is a joy even to know!
There is no joy in betrayal.
Christian joy, then, is more than mere jublilation; it is a realisation of relationship in its intensity of intimacy, when the other One is ... God! It is elemental, inter-personal, and relates to the presence of God as one pursues His paths: for on the way, He is imparting power and peace (Isaiah 35, 64:5). It is an intimation of immortality, an expression of eternal life, a surrounding not with hostile enemies, but with the fellowship of God Himself, whose loveliness transcends the greatest marvels and beauties of nature, as a Creator his work! If His artistry is superb, the Artist is vastly more so! In His presence as a matter of fact, there is fulness of joy!
Psalm 16, immediately after detailing the reality of the physical resurrection of Christ, the prediction which Jesus fulfilled to the uttermost point, declares this:
"Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is
fulness of joy;