Pristine Grace

Prov 15:13, (GILL), A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance,.... Or, a "joyful heart" [c]; that is joyful in the God of its salvation; that rejoices in Christ Jesus; is filled with joy and peace through believing in him, in his person, blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; that has a comfortable view of his justification by his righteousness, of peace and pardon by his blood, of the atonement of his sins by his sacrifice; to whom he has said, "be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee", Mt 9:2; who has peace in him, though tribulation in the world: as such a man's heart must be made glad, this will make his countenance cheerful, or cause him to lift up his head with joy; as it is in natural things, so it is in spiritual ones;

but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken; a man is dejected, his spirits sink, and it is seen in his countenance: there is a great sympathy between the body and mind, the one is much affected by the other; when the heart is full of sorrow, the animal spirits are low, the nerves are loosened, the whole frame, of nature is enfeebled, and the body emaciated; this is often the case through outward troubles [d]: physicians say [e] that grief weakens the strength, and destroys the spirits, more than labour does. "The sorrow of the world worketh death", 2Co 7:10; and sometimes, through spiritual troubles, a sense of sin and guilt of it, a legal sorrow, which produces a legal contrition of spirit; and such "a wounded spirit who can bear?" Pr 18:14. This is the effect of a mere work of the law upon the conscience; and stands opposed to the spiritual joy, and the effects of it, the Gospel brings.

[c] xmv bl "cor gaudens", V. L. Baynus. [d] "Frangit fortia corda dolor", Tibullus, l. 3. Eleg. 2. v. 6. [e] Fernel. Method. Medendi, l. 7. c. 9. p. 54.

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