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 depraved.
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. This is 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. His is a 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!