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carry the Gospel to the perishing nations of the earth."
So God has called us to shine, just as much as Daniel was sent into Babylon to shine. Let no man or woman say that they cannot shine because they have not so much influence as some others may have. What God wants you to do is to use the influence you have. Daniel probably did not have much influence down in Babylon at first, but God soon gave him more, because he was faithful and used what he had.
Remember a small light will do a good deal when it is in a very dark place. You put one little tallow candle in the middle of a large hall, and it will give a good deal of light.
Away out in the prairie regions, when meetings are held at night in the log school-houses, the announcement of the meeting is given out in this way: "A meeting will be held by early candle-light." The first man who comes brings a tallow-dip with him. It is perhaps all he has; but he brings it and sets it on the desk. It does not light the building much; but it is better than none at all. The next man brings his candle; and the next family bring their candles. By the time the house is full, there is plenty of light. So if we all shine a little, there will be a good deal of light. That is what God wants us to do. If we cannot all be lighthouses, any one of us can at any rate be a tallow candle.
A little light will sometimes do a great deal. The city of Chicago was set on fire by a cow kicking over a lamp, and a hundred thousand people were burnt out of house and home. Do not let Satan get the advantage
of you, and make you think that because you cannot do any great thing you cannot do anything at all.
Then we must remember that we are to let our light shine. It does not say, "Make your light shine." You do not have to make light to shine; all you have to do is to let it shine.
I remember hearing of a man at sea who was very sea-sick. If there is a time when a man feels that he cannot do any work for the Lord it is then—in my opinion. While this man was sick he heard that a man had fallen overboard. He was wondering if he could do anything to help to save the man. He laid hold of a light and held it up to the port-hole. The drowning man was saved. When this man got over his attack of sickness he got up on deck one day, and was talking with the man who was rescued. The saved man gave this testimony. He said he had gone down the second time, and was just going down again for the last time, when he put out his hand. Just then, he said, some one held a light at the port-hole, and the light fell on his hand. A man caught him by the hand and pulled him into the lifeboat.
It seemed a small thing to do to hold up the light; yet it saved the man's life. If you cannot do some great thing you can hold the light for some poor, perishing drunkard, who may be won to Christ and delivered from destruction. Let us take the torch of salvation and go into these dark homes, and hold up Christ to the people as the Savior of the world. these perishing masses are to be reached we must lay our lives right alongside theirs, and pray with them and labor for them. I would not give much for a
man's Christianity, if he is saved himself and is not willing to try and save others. It seems to me the basest ingratitude if we do not reach out the hand to others who are down in the same pit from which we were delivered. Who is able to reach and help these drinking men like those who have themselves been slaves to the intoxicating cup? Will you not go out this very day and seek to rescue these men? If we were all to do what we can we should soon empty the drinking saloons.
I remember reading of a blind man who was found sitting at the corner of a street in a great city with a lantern beside him. Some one went up to him and asked what he had the lantern there for, seeing that he was blind, and the light was the same to him as the darkness. The blind man replied: "I have it so that no one may stumble over me.
Dear friends, let us think of that.
Where one man
reads the Bible, a hundred read you and me. That is what Paul meant when he said we were to be living epistles of Christ, known and read of all men. I would not give much for all that can be done by sermons, if we do not preach Christ by our lives. If we do not commend the Gospel to people by our holy walk and conversation, we shall not win them to Christ. Some little act of kindness will perhaps do more to influence them than any number of long sermons.
A vessel was caught in a storm on Lake Erie, and they were trying to make for the harbor of Cleveland. At the entrance of that port they had what are called the upper lights and the lower lights. Away back on the bluffs were the upper lights burning brightly
enough; but when they came near the harbor they could not see the lights showing the entrance to it. The pilot said he thought they had better get back on the lake again. The Captain said he was sure they would go down if they went back, and he urged the pilot to do what he could to gain the harbor. The pilot said there was very little hope of making for the harbor, as he had nothing to guide him as to how he should steer the ship. They tried all they could to get her into the harbor. She rode on the top of the waves, and then into the trough of the sea, and at last they found themselves stranded on the beach, where the vessel was dashed to pieces. Some one had neglected the lower lights and they had gone out.
Let us take warning. God keeps the upper lights burning as brightly as ever, but He has left us down here to keep the lower lights burning. We are to represent Him here, as Christ represents us up yonder. I sometimes think if we had as poor a representative in the courts above as God has down here on earth, we would have a pretty poor chance of heaven. Let us have our loins girt and our lights brightly burning, so that others may see the way and not walk in darkness.
Speaking of a lighthouse reminds me of what I heard about a man in the State of Minnesota, who, some years ago, was caught in a fearful storm. That State is cursed with storms, which come sweeping down so suddenly in the winter time that escape is difficult. The snow will fall and the wind will beat it into the face of the traveler, so that he cannot see two feet ahead. Many a man has been lost on those prairies when he has got caught in one of those storms.
This man was caught and was almost on the point of giving up, when he saw a little light in a log house. He managed to get there, and found a shelter from the fury of the tempest. He is now a wealthy man. As soon as he was able he bought the farm, and built a beautiful house on the spot where the log building stood. On the top of a tower he put a revolving light, and every night when there comes a storm he lights it up in the hope that it may be the means of saving some one else.
That is true gratitude, and that is what God wants us to do. If he has rescued us and brought us up out of the horrible pit, let us be always looking to see if there is not some one else whom we can help to save.
I remember hearing of two men who had charge of a revolving light in a lighthouse on a storm-bound and rocky coast. Somehow the machinery went wrong, and the light did not revolve. They were so afraid that those at sea should mistake it for some other light, that they worked all the night through to keep the light moving round.
Let us keep our lights in the proper place, so that the world may see that the religion of Christ is not a sham but a reality. It is said that in the Grecian sports they had one game where the men ran with lights. They lit a torch at the altar and ran a certain distance; sometimes they were on horseback. If a man came in with his light still burning he had a prize; if his light had gone out he lost the prize.
How many there are who, in their old age, have lost their light and their joy. They were once burning and shining lights in the family, in the Sunday-school and