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steady industry, and often hard work to make such a use of capital that it shall yield its increase in blessing to the community.
We are all of us familiar with the spectacle of the miserable millionaire who has treated the great fund entrusted to him as if it were "his own." He has employed it in great gambling speculations, that he might have the unhallowed excitements that have ended in a moral and, perhaps, mental and bodily paralysis. He has used that which was "another man's" for his own aggrandizement and self-indulgence. In pomp, in luxury, perhaps in sinful gratifications that only great means can command, he has blighted and destroyed all that was tender, honourable, and pure. Instead of light, and love, and truth, he has for his own a great curse extracted from his great capital.
There is the opposite picture sometimes to be looked upon. The man who has so wisely and generously used his means that he has blessed thousands, and has himself grown more and more unselfish. He has cultivated the best things in his own spirit and character, whilst he has worked in the use of wealth for the good of others. The town or village in which he lives displays in its thriving population, its contented homes, its salutary surroundings; in its schools, its churches, its public life, the proofs and fruits of his usefulness. How manifestly such a one has obtained "his own" in the use he has made of "that which is another man's."
But it is not given to all of us to find. "our own," or lose "our own," in these larger spheres of duty. It is, however, certain that all of us are determining "our own" by the use we make of "another man's" in the matter of Christian giving. Whether we have less or more of this world's goods, in our response to the calls of charity we affect for good or evil our dispositions and our characters. All that is beautiful in feeling, in sentiment, and in sympathy is fed and increased in this sphere of duty, or in the neglect of it we profane the inner sanctuary of the highest life possible to us. Nothing more certainly determines our characters than our givings, or our withholdings-the measure, the proportion, the spirit, and the motive all affect the issue to ourselves. And God has left us very largely to work out the result for ourselves. He has supplied us with the great principle, but He has not given us minute directions. The Lord is not an income-tax collector. Whether we will give, when and how we are to give, to whom, to what, and the proportion to this or that, we must determine for ourselves. We must be guided by treason and conscience, remembering in it all that these dealings with "that which is another man's" more than anything
else are deciding what shall be "our own" both for time and for eternity.
It is impossible to lay down any mechanical rules applicable alike to all men and to all occasions. Some men ought to give a larger proportion than others, and the same man ought to give a larger proportion at some periods of his life than at other periods. The man who has £1,000 per annum ought to give a larger proportion than the man who has only £1 a week, and the man whose family is already educated and settled in life ought not to be governed by the proportions that were just at an earlier period of his career.
If the great principle laid down in this parable be acted upon, we shall have no lack of support for our Foreign Missionary work. We shall learn to put the great missionary enterprise in its true and proper position. We shall seek our own" of Church life and increase, not in a narrow view of interests and duties that are nearest to us, expending all our sympathy and effort upon local movements only, and thus cultivating selfishness in a modified form in our very endeavours to do good, but with a world-embracing charity we shall enter upon work to supply the needs of others. The larger our outlook the wider our sympathy, and the more certain we are to secure fulness of blessing in our own souls, and fulness of increase in our immediate sphere. The Churches that have considered most the claims of the heathen have ever received most largely that which in character and strength God intends should be their own. In self-seeking Christian communities impoverish themselves; in giving forth their life and energy for the world's redemption they find their true enlargement and their best enrichment. A faithful indicator of the real life and power of any Christian Church is found in the measure of its zeal and love for the cause of Christ in foreign lands. If in this respect it be not faithful in "that which is another man's," who shall give to it "that which is its own "?
And as to financial arrangements, let us look at our support of this and kindred institutions in the light of our Lord's teaching in this parable. The call for money to carry on Christ's work in distant fields is one of the tests-and one of the best tests-of our wisdom and fidelity in the use of "that which is another man's." In no other way can we more surely exchange the carnal things of earth into the currency of the heavenly world. Pounds, shillings, and pence will have no currency there they will have lost their purchasing and commanding power, and will be of no more use than the coin of the realm would be with a savage tribe-but ere we pass hence the treasures of earth may be
exchanged for the true riches, the fleeting things of this world for the enduring wealth of eternity. The mammon of unrighteousness may be so used that at length they shall receive us to the everlasting habitations.
Let us learn habitually to deal with the things of earth in the light of eternity. How soon the reality will burst upon us, and we must lay aside forever the things that are "another man's." Blessed is he who in that all-revealing moment is able to say of earthly possessions, "Let them go, let them go; I never looked upon them as my own, they were ever regarded and used as belonging to another; but out of them I have secured my own, my very own, a portion that is inalienably mine." The everlasting habitations are unfolding, the proofs and fruits of a life of love and sacrifice are being disclosed; the welcome is prepared; they have come already from the East and from the West, from the North and from the South, to receive the faithful steward to the city of his God.-The Methodist Recorder.
BY JOHN G. WHITTIER.
WE may not climb the heavenly steeps
But warm, sweet, tender, even yet
And faith has yet its Olivet,
And love its Galilee.
The healing of the seamless dress
Is by our beds of pain;
We touch Him in life's throng and press,
And we are whole again.
Through Him the first fond prayers are said
Our lips of childhood frame;
The last low whispers of our dead
O Lord and Master of us all,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
THE EPWORTH LEAGUE ITS OPPORTUNITIES
BY E. A. SCHELL, D.D.
THE Epworth League is an organization implying on the part of its members the deepest religious experience and calling for all the Christian activities in which the young people of Methodism may properly engage. Terms, by their very use, limit and circumscribe the ideas they are intended to represent and describe. The name of the young people's society whose oppor-tunities and perils it is here a privilege briefly to discuss is no exception to the rule. The organization is the growth of more than twenty years; the appellation is an apt fancy quickly seized upon as a compromise among diverse names, all in the minds of their proposers expressive of the same idea. If the name seems narrow and denominational it is wholly because one cannot express the growth of twenty years and what is still enlarging in a single term. If its fractional relation to the denominational unit is ill-defined by the words" Epworth League," it is the fault of the term, just as the inability to express one third in decimal form is the fault of our series of notation. The name is but an attempt to picture externally an organization which makes its appeal to the spirit and addresses itself to the hidden seats of character and service.
To have done with the disagreeable part of the subject as soon as possible, let us first consider the perils to which the organization is subjected:
1. There is the danger, common to all organizations, that it will cramp life. To separate a part of the Church and restrict it by a constitution and by-laws is, in the minds of many, like adding a wheel or pulley to already complicated machinery. It may be feared that it will dwarf energy and render some power ineffective. Just as increased friction is inseparable from the thought of a channel to conduct water to a mill-wheel and loss of energy is associated with running an electrical current over the wire of a circuit, so the Church, in maintaining the Epworth League, must take into account the probability of friction and, here and there, of dwarfed powers and unapplied energy. The discriminating mind will at once concede this danger, but will consider it better to liberate a part of the potential energy in a mill-pond by a race than lose it all. Better a diminished electrical energy than no current whatever; so, better the organ
ization of the Methodist young people as a corps or division in the Church than that they remain unused or be divided up into guerrilla bands, each fighting for its own purposes.
2. More real is the peril that the young people may esteem their organization equal or superior to the Church and become impatient of authority. Insubordination is the common sin of new recruits. It is the special failing of youth on the verge of manhood to esteem lightly the advice of age and experience and become inflamed with the ardour of its own opinions. Every parent, as he bends over the face of his babe in the cradle must face the possibility of a thankless child and of some day having his heart-strings torn by a rebellious or disobedient son. Nature has provided the surest guarantee against this in parental and filial affection; and the Methodist Church is protected in the same way. The members of the Epworth League are her children. They were cradled in her arms and protected by her love; and better a thousand times the filial affection these young people feel than outside admonitions that they should be loyal to their Church.
3. A third source of danger is found in the tendency to rely merely upon numbers. A growing chapter roll is a welcome sight; but so far as that may indicate, the Epworth League is only a mere machine. If the League be not a living, glowing organism in every church, with power to communicate spiritual and intellectual life, and be not attended by transformations both in character and opinion, it were better abolished. The only conclusive evidence that the League is a living, spiritual organism must be the communication of its life to others; and the test of its usefulness and permanency will not be the increase or decrease of the chapter roll, but the sum total of enlargement and quickening brought to individuals and churches in the wide circle of Methodism.
The indifference of some pastors and the consequent estrangement of their young people; the drawing of a line of demarcation between the older and younger members of the Church; a lessened attendance at the regular midweek prayer-meeting, occasioned by the establishment of a young people's prayermeeting; the frittering away of energy in a mere hurrah; narrowness and exclusiveness-these are all additional and real perils, but the less dangerous because of the warnings continually uttered against them.
By its numbers, spirit, and religious inheritance the Epworth League is fitted for great enterprises. There are, in the Methodist Episcopal Church, eighty chapters which average over four hun