“True Christians need never covet the poor joy of worldlings.”
We cannot fall into the insanity of living with such miserable ends and objects as those which are compassed within the short pale of our existence here below. It has become slavery to us; and I bear witness for myself and for you also, that we do not forsake the pleasures of the world because we think that we are denying ourselves. It is no self-denial to us, for they would not please us.
I have gone by a whole line of sties, and seen the pigs feeding greedily; but I never thought that I was denying myself because I did not feed with them. I never wished to have a law passed that the unclean beasts should not have their swill.
No, let them have it, and as much as they can eat; and we say just the same of the pleasures of the carnal man. We do not envy him that which is so great a relish, it is no self-denial to us to go without it; we have come out of that style of living, and we do not want to go back to it.
When the man says that he is perfectly happy and satisfied, we think, “Just so; no doubt you are, and we have seen many a fat bullock in the field look perfectly content.” But Christians have different pleasures, and higher joys; and we cannot be bullocks, we cannot be swine.
We have been brought out of that kind of merely animal life, we have been lifted up into another and a higher style of living; and it is nothing short of a miracle of the divine hand which has brought us right out of it, so that we have done with it for ever, and loathe it, and could not go back to it under any circumstances whatever.
Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The Lord has brought us out of the region of darkness into his marvellous light, and delivered us for ever from the power and dominion of Satan.
~ The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 43, sermon number 2,525, “Joy in place of sorrow.”