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should you prove recreant to those duties which belong to your higher manhood, if you are able to fulfill those that belong to your lower manhood? I do not blame you for your worldly wisdom-that is good; but I do blame you if, knowing so much of worldly wisdom, you do not apply it to your higher manhood.
May God give you the light, the help and the victory!
PRAYER BEFORE THE SERMON.
OUR Father, we are called by thy voice to confession, and to supplication, and to communion. Not because we are good, but because we need the divine help to make us so; not because we are wise and companionable, but because we are afar off and without grace, and in utter need of all that shall make us associates worthy of thy children, do we draw near to thee. For thou art the Fountain of all Goodness. Thou art the Source of Inspiration; and from thy nature comes the influence by which we rise above the flesh, and seek after things spiritual and divine; and we beseech of thee that thou wilt listen to us; not because of our petition, but out of the great goodness of thy soul. Make us to understand more perfectly than we have understood, how great is the goodness of the Lord towards us. Thou art so great that thou wilt not suffer iniquity upon us, nor let us sink and go the way of the beasts of the field. Thou hast destined us to immortality and to glory, and thou dost chasten us. Thou dost make the world seem often to us, when lured by it, hard and dark, that we may not be idolaters therein. Thou art calling us by a thousand things to thee; and we pray that we may understand the economy of thy providence, and what is the meaning of the things that happen day by day. May we understand the school of the Lord in which we are disciples, and that thou art our Teacher and our Guide; may we submit ourselves to thy righteous will, revealed day by day in thy providence; taking sorrow when sorrow is sent, and disappointments when they come from thy hand, and chastisement when thou dost in love afflict us. Grant, we beseech thee, that we may not forever seek pleasure, and only desire the stimulus of joy. May we know also something of the medicine of sorrow. May we be made strong by experience in adversity. May we know how to be patient, and to endure with long-suffering.
Grant, we pray thee, that we may have such strength in thee-not in our own wisdom or goodness, but in the mercy and the strength
and the inspiration of God—that we may be steadfast, immovablę always abounding in the work of the Lord.
We thank thee for so many kindnesses as thou hast graciously sent upon this congregation; for so many Christian households grouped together here; that so many souls have been enlightened and inspired with the wisdom that is from on high: that so many have found personal access to the Beloved; that so many from day to day live by faith of him who loved them, and gave himself for them.
We pray, O Lord, our God, that more may be won to the blessedness of Christian life; that more may repent of whatever is evil, and turn away heartily from it, and put their faith and trust in the love of God. We pray that we may hear the voice of many inquiring and asking to be guided into truth by thy divine Spirit. We thank thee that there are so many that are reformed, who walked in the crooked ways of iniquity; so many that are instructed, who aforetime sat in darkness and in the region and shadow of death; that so many are free who were bond-slaves to Satan; that so many are seeking those pleasures which endure, who sought from day to day evanescent pleasures.
Accept our thanks, we pray thee, for the truth, for the validity of it, and for the power of God every day; and more and more make thyself manifest. Grant that thy work in the midst of this people may be but begun, and that a great many more may be brought into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We pray that thou wilt be with those who teach and with those who are taught. Be with all that labor, whether in word or in acts of kindness. Spread abroad the beneficent influence of Jesus as manifested in the hearts of thy people here. Spread it abroad everywhere, to all those who need, to all those to whom the Gospel is not preached.
And we pray that thou wilt shed abroad the light of truth upon this great nation. Bring it more perfectly under the influence of truth and justice. Let thy kingdom come in all the world. Let thy delay be cut short, that seems already so long. Bring in Jew and Gentile. Grant that the nations of the earth may not dash against each other; that wars may be unknown and pass away utterly; that ignorance may flee away; that knowledge may prevail; and that there may be that liberty in which shall be the strength of a true manhood. And we pray that that kingdom may come in which dwelleth righteousness, and that all the earth may see thy salvation.
We ask it in the name of Jesus, to whom, with the Father and the Spirit, shall be praises evermore.
PRAYER AND PROVIDENCE.
I propose to make some comments upon the passage of Scripture which I read as a part of the opening servicenamely, the 6th chapter of the gospel according to Matthew, beginning with the 19th versę :
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
I do not like even to seem to contradict the face of Scripture; and yet, as this passage has been largely understood, and is to-day understood, nothing could be more at variance with the teaching of the Scripture elsewhere, and nothing could be more at variance with the history and outflow of Christian morality under the divine economy and providence. If we are to interpret the Sermon upon the Mount without any rudder, without any central virtue which shall throw all these various economic commands into their relative positions, then I know not how we can avoid accepting statements which are contradicted by every step of the world's history since the day of their utterance. The rudder of this passage is in the last part of it, as it is in a ship:
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."
So, then, all these things are the very things we have been told not to seek. Seek the kingdom of God, and you shall have those things which you need, but which you ar told not to seek.
Now, it is very certain that if they are in and of themselves mischievous, it is poor economy to receive then in any
SUNDAY EVENING, May 17, 1874. LESSON: Matt. vi., 19-34 YNS (Plymouth Collection): Nos. 1,309, 901, 1,294.
way. I understand the general teaching of this Sermon on the Mount, in so far as these economic truths are concerned, to be this: that a man is not developed by the external. It is not bodily strength, nor bodily skill, nor accumulation of the ordinary sources of enjoyment-those that feed the ear, and the eye, and the palate, and the different senses-that a man's life consists of. A man's life is within. It consists
of the kingdom of God that is developed within us-of our nobler manhood; and in that nobler manhood we are to dwell; and the things which do not make for that, but which make for the gratification of the body, and for the lower and outward life, do not belong to that kingdom. Any modes of seeking right things which shall act in these directions are reprobated, and are to be set aside.
Now, then, if your end in life is to be rich; if that is the thing which you aspire to; if that is the ambition which inspires you, Christ says to you, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth; do not seek things secular or things expedient from an earthly point of view. They are transitory. They are not sufficient for a man's needs and necessities. He breaks down under any such search as this." He does not say to a man that absolutely he shall not lay up anything. He does not say to a man, "It is wrong to make money." All the way through the teachings of the New Testament, throughout the teachings of the apostles, there is the recognition of property; and Christ himself recognizes it. He dined with rich men, and accepted their hospitality and their alms; and he nowhere rebuked them for being rich. But wherever a man is rich in money, sacrificing for it manhood, or neglecting manhood for it, his riches are such as are reprobated, and justly, too.
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal; for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
Now, if you shall say from this passage (as, if you take it literally, you must) that it is wrong to make money, then you substantially assert the other proposition, that the world would get along without any commerce; but we have speci
mens among the savages in our own forests, and in tropical climes, where men cannot work, or where they are so lazy that they do not want to work, of the outcome of that state in which men are not inspired by enterprise; and we find that those nations that are freest to receive the gospel in its largest form, and to live under its dominion, and to develop manhood most perfectly, are the nations that have had the most thrift, the most industry, the most foresight, the most of those things which seem to be forbidden in this passage.
So far from enterprise and commerce militating against morality, I aver that these are the very methods by which God in his providence educates men-by which he teaches. them foresight and sagacity. Our rising early and toiling late, and being careful in the ordering of our affairs, and becoming masters by the control of material things, and denying self, and practicing forbearance in the present for the sake of benefits in the future, thus living one day for the next, and one year for the next, and enlarging our horizon, and developing intelligence and thrift-through these instrumentalities God is developing morality and character in us. So that though commerce is not the school of spirituality, yet in the lower forms of morality it has been employed from the beginning in the providence of God as a school where men have been developed and educated in certain great primary virtues, or in fundamental honesty.
Therefore this passage does not mean that men are not to lay up treasures. It sets two ideas before them. Here is the manhood which comes from the kingdom of God in you, and which consists of righteousness, truth, justice, love, purity— in short, the royalty of manhood such as Christ inspires. That is one end of life; and making money is the other. These are set up before you. If your prime end of life is laying up treasure you are base indeed; and Christ says, "Lay not up as the chief end of your life treasures that are fugacious, and that will supply only your lower wants; but lay up treasures spiritual. Seek the kingdom of God, and then these other things will come, and will come harmoniously-will come without mischief in the coming and in the use.
"The light of the body is the eye; if, therefore, thine eye be sin