The Conjunction of Sin and Mirth
Hosea 2:11
I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

I will also cause all her mirth to cease. Mirth is not happiness. It is but the mimicry of real joy. Happiness is river deep and clear; mirth at best is but a sparkling bubble. There is but little happiness in the world, but there is much mirth, much noisy frolic and hilarious glee. The text speaks of mirth in connection with sinfulness. Israel, who had grown corrupt, had, notwithstanding, much mirth. In relation to the conjunction of sin and mirth we may remark -

I. THAT THE CONJUNCTION IS COMMON. The notes of jollity and fun are heard everywhere through society. At theatres, taverns, divans, and social festivities it flares and rattles. The drunkard has his mirth, the liar his mirth, the debauchee his mirth, the blasphemer his mirth, the sabbath-breaker his mirth. The union of sin and mirth is, alas! very common. We meet it everywhere, in the dance and in the song, in the joke and in the gibe.

II. THAT THE CONJUNCTION IS INCONGRUOUS. Gaiety and laughter in a sinner are most revolting when rightly regarded. The condition of a sinner is one of awful solemnity; a condition upon which God and his holy universe look with deepest seriousness. The sighs of moral anguish and tears of bitter remorse become the sinner. Fun and laughter are more unbeseeming to him than jests and jollities in a dying chamber. "Mirth," says Dr. Young, "at a funeral is scarce more indecent or unnatural than a perpetual flight of gaiety and burst of exultation in a world like this is a world which may seem a paradise to fools, but is a hospital with the wise."

"The ground is hollow in the path of mirth;
Oh! far too daring seems the joy of earth,
So darkly pressed and girdled in by death."

(Mrs. F. Hemana)

III. THAT THE CONJUNCTION IS TEMPORARY. Amos, who was contemporary with Hoses, and like him was a prophet of the ten tribes, describes the conjunction well and indicates the necessity of the separation: "Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; that lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall; that chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music, like David; that drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed."

1. The separation is certain. There is no mirth for the sinner either in moral conviction, death, the judgment-day, or in the scenes of final retribution. "If you will not take away sin from your mirth," says an old writer, "God will take away your mirth from your sin."

2. The separation will be solemn. It is said that Pope Adrian exclaimed when he was dying, "O my soul, where art thou going? Thou shalt never be merry any more." "I will cause all her mirth to cease," says God.

CONCLUSION. Confound not mirth with happiness! The brightest gleams of mirth are but the rays of rushlights; only visible in the dark, and that must go out. Happiness is a quenchless sunbeam; it streams from the eternal Father of lights. Happiness will follow holiness forever; mirth will only, like the ignis fatuus, flare about sin for a short time at most, then go out, and there is pitch darkness. - D.T.

Parallel Verses
KJV: I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her new moons, and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts.

WEB: I will also cause all her celebrations to cease: her feasts, her new moons, her Sabbaths, and all her solemn assemblies.

The Conjunction of Sin and Mirth
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