“To be rid of those fruitless joys”

The following is taken from Augustine’s Confessions as excerpted from John Piper’s The Legacy of Sovereign Joy –from which I was reading before the semester began. The life of Augustine had especial significance and encouragement for me. The following is a true testimony and example of great God-centered spiritual victory in an individual’s life and salvation:
__________________
During all those years [of rebellion], where was my free will? What was the hidden, secret place from which it was summoned in a moment, so that I might bend my neck to your easy yoke . . .? How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose . . ! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. [There’s the key phrase and the key reality for understanding the heart
of Augustinianism.] You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, you who outshine all light, yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts, you who surpass all honor, though not in the eyes of men who see all honor in themselves. . . . O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, and my Salvation.

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