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(Cornelius Tyree, "The Moral Power of a Pious Life")
A higher degree of personal piety, will promote
a higher degree of personal happiness.
"Sin and sorrow are bound together by
adamantine chains." Hence man increases
in misery--as he increases in sin. It is upon this
principle that the devil is the most miserable
being in the universe--because he is the most
So, on the other hand, there is an inseparable
connection between holiness and happiness. God
is the most happy being in the universe--because
He is the most holy. And the happiness of His
people is just in proportion as they resemble
Him in righteousness and true holiness.
Heaven is a world of supreme happiness,
because it is a world of supreme holiness.
Hell is a world of supreme misery,
because sin is there fully developed.
God has so ordered it, that our comfort and happiness
in this world can only be found in a pious life. For the
last six thousand years mankind have been happiness
hunters. In all ages and lands the eager query has been,
"Who will show us any good?" But every device has been
a failure! The recorded and unrecorded experience of all
has been, "All is vanity and vexation of spirit!" We can
no more expect to find happiness in the pursuits and
objects of this world--than we may expect to find
luscious grapes growing at the icy North Pole.
But in the likeness and service of Christ, is found
a happiness which is pure, elevating, perennial,
inexhaustible--a happiness that will go with us
in all conditions, all lands, and all worlds!
The great cause of all the sadness and depression
in the followers of Christ, is the small degree of their
piety. The only reason why they are disconsolate,
is because they "follow the Lord afar off." One single
uncrucified, unbemoaned sin--will not only destroy
all pious enjoyment--but open the soul to the devil,
with his whole black train of guilt and misery. It
matters not what this sin is. Any one sin habitually
indulged in, whether it is pride, malice, backbiting,
covetousness, filling the mind with unholy images,
or murmuring under adverse providences--will
exclude from the soul all pious enjoyment.
After all, the great secret of being happy, is
to be holy. He who grows in practical piety has
opened a thousand sources of true bliss.
The "golden fruit of happiness" grows only on the
"tree of holiness". If happiness is sought in any
other way than by being holy--it is sought in vain.
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