Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.…
The old Greeks and Romans had their pleasures, their glories, their learning, their art, but theirs was not a happy life. There was always a shadow across their path, a skeleton at their feast. They saw the roses which crowned their heads wither and die; they saw the pale messenger, death, knocking with impartial hand at the doors of rich and poor alike. They knew that they grew older, and nearer the grave, and beyond that they knew nothing. There was no hope. They grew weary of the dance and the wine cup; they looked on their painted walls at Rome, or Pompeii, and felt that they cared for them no longer. They had ceased to believe in their cold, passionless gods of wood and stone, who could give them no help, no comfort; they were "without God in the world." Such was the selfish life of the heathen, without God. No wonder that one day the Roman, who had nothing to live for, nothing to hope for, entered his bath, and opened a vein, and so bled quietly and painlessly to death. This is what a famous Greek poet said about life, that it was best of all not to be born, and the next best thing was to get quit of life as soon as possible. How differently speaks the Christian, "Rejoice in the Lord alway, and again I say rejoice."
(H. J. W. Buxton, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.