O the joy of having nothing

O the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing
But a living Christ in glory,
And being careful for nothing but His interests down here.
Whom have I in heaven but Thee?
And there is none upon the earth that I desire beside Thee.
O the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing
But a living Christ in glory,
And being careful for nothing but His interests down here.

Abridged version.

Hana Lee









Oh what a joy! That we are nothing! He is everything!

Ana Lara

Storrs, Connecticut, United States

Francis Newman who spent much time with Darby, included this description of Darby in his autobiography.

My second period is characterized, partly by the great ascendancy exercised over me by one powerful mind and still more powerful will partly by the vehement effort which throughout its duration urged me to long after the establishment of Christian fellowship and a purely Biblical Church as a first grade want of Christendom in the world.

After taking my degree I became Fellow of Balliol College; and the next year I accepted an invitation to Ireland, and there became private tutor in the house of one now deceased, whose name I would gladly mention for honor and affection, but I withhold my pen.

A young relative of his—a most remarkable man—rapidly gained and immense sway over me. I shall hence fourth call him “the Irish clergyman” [Darby]. His bodily presence was indeed weak! A fallen cheek, a blood-shot eye… a seldom shaven beard, a shabby suit of clothes and a generally neglected person, drew at first pity, with wonder to see such a figure in a drawing room. It was reported that a person in Limerick offered him a half-penny, mistaking him for a beggar; and if not true, the story was yet while invented. This young man had taken high honors in Dublin University and had studied for the bar, where, under the auspices of his eminent kinsman, he had excellent prospects; but his conscience would not allow him to take a brief, lest he should be selling his talents to defeat justice. With keen logical powers, he had warmth sympathies, solid judgment of character, thoughtful tenderness, and total self abandonment. He before long, took Holy Orders and became an indefatigable curate in the mountains of Wicklow. Every evening he sailed forth to teach in the cabins, and roving far and wide over mountain and amid bogs was seldom brought home before midnight. By such exertions his strengths was undermined. His whole frame might have vied in emaciation with a monk of La Trappe.

Such a phenomenon intensely excited the poor Romanists, who looked on him as a genuine saint of the ancient breed. The stamp of heaven seem to them clear in a frame so wasted by austerity, so superior to worldly pump, and so partaking in all their indulgence. That a dozen such men would have done more to convert all Ireland to Protestantism and the whole apparatus of the Church Establishment was ere long my conviction. He had practically given up all reading except that of the Bible; and no small part of his movement towards me soon took the form of dissuasion from all other voluntary study.

In fact I had myself more and more concentrated my religious reading on this one book; still, I could not help feeling the value of a cultivated mind. Against this, my new eccentric friend directed his keenest attacks. I remember once saying to him, “To desire to be rich is unChristian and absurd; but if I had children, I should wish to be rich enough to secure them a good education. ” He replied: “if I had children, I would as soon see them break stones on the road, as do anything else, if only I could secure to them the Gospel of the grace of God. ” I was unable to say amen, but I admired his unflinching consistency. For the first time in my life I saw a man earnestly turning into reality the principles which others confessed with their lips. That the words of the Bible contained the highest truth accessible to man, truth or not to be taken from or added to, —all confessed: never before had I seen a man so resolved that no word of it should be a dead letter to him. I once said: “But do you really think that no part of the New Testament may have been temporary in its object? For instance, what should we have lost, if Paul had not written the verse, ‘The cloak which I left in Troas bring it with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments’? ” He answered I should certainly have lost something; for that is exactly the verse which saved me from selling my library. No! Every word, is from the Spirit, and is for eternal service. ”

JN Darby and the Brethren. Part B

Nelson Liu

Irvine, CA, United States

O the joy!


Doha, Qatar

Thank You Lord for bringing me into such a deeper experience of You to see that "there is really a joy in having nothing, being nothing and seeing nothing but a living Christ in glory"

Halleluyah! Lord Jesus I still love You. Amen!

Joshua Chang

Walnut, CA, United States

O the joy of having Jesus!!!



O our Beloved... the living Christ in glory on earth and in heaven, we testify, You are, I AM, we hear see know and worship You in Your great Mercy and Love.

Vali Balla


O the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing

But a living Christ in glory.


Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

J. N. Darby wrote this hymn. One of the most impressive things of J. N. Darby's life was that at his old age after serving the Lord his whole life he was heard saying "Lord Jesus, I still love You."

"...he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will manifest Myself to him...If anyone loves me he will keeps My word, and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make an abode with him."


South Korea

This is faith. We are not but God is. We just want to love Him, see Him, and even become Him in life, nature, and expression. We want nothing but Him alone.

O the joy of having nothing, being nothing, and seeing nothing but a living Christ in glory. Hallelujah~~~Amen!!

Recently I read a biography of John Nelson Darby. On the first page he says, "O the joy of having nothing and being nothing, seeing nothing but a living Christ in glory, and being careful for nothing but His interests down here." This was a word spoken in his old age, in which he longed to be nothing, to have nothing, and to care for nothing but to have only Christ and care only for His interests on earth. What a joy this is! Hence, "Be not and He will be; / Wait and He'll all things give." Through the generations there were saints who experienced this. Today we should have this experience even more.