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envelope, and, in a feigned hand, directed it to his boon companion.

Mr. B- was a man of his own stamp, and received the tract, as his friend had done, with an oath at the Methodistical humbug, which his first impulse was to tear in pieces. "I'll not tear it either," said he to himself. "Prepare to meet thy God" at once arrested his attention, and smote his conscience. The arrow of conviction entered his heart as he read, and he was converted. Almost his first thought was for his ungodly associates. "Have I received such blessed light and truth, and shall I not strive to communicate it to others?" He again folded the tract, and enclosed and directed it to one of his companions in sin. Wonderful to say, the little arrow hit the mark. His friend read. He also was converted; and both are now walking as the Lord's redeemed ones.

In Matthew we read: "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey."

Observe, he gave to every man "according to his several ability." He gave to each servant just the

number of talents that he could take care of and use. Some people complain that they have not more talents; but we have each the number of talents that we can properly employ. If we take good care of what we have, God will give us more. There were eight talents to be distributed among three persons; the master gave to one five; to a second, two; and to another, one. The

man went away; and the servants fully understood that he expected them to improve their talents and trade with them. God is not unreasonable; He does not ask us to do what we cannot do; but He gives us according to our several ability, and He expects us to use the talents we have.

We read: "He that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received on went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money." Notice that the man who had the two talents got exactly the same commendation as the man who had the five. The one who got five doubled them, and his lord said to him: "Well done, good and faithful servant." The one who had two also doubled them, and so had four talents; to him also the lord said: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

If the man who had the one talent had traded with it, he would have received exactly the same approval as the others. But what did he do? He put it into a napkin and buried it. He thought he would take care of it in that way.

What He has

After the lord of these servants had been gone a long while he returned to reckon with them. does he find in the case of the third servant? the one talent; but that is all.


I read of a man who had a thousand dollars. hid it away, thinking he would in that way take care of it, and that when he was an old man he would have something to fall back upon. After keeping the money

for twenty years he took it to a bank and got just one thousand dollars for it. If he had put it at interest, in the usual way, he might have had three times the amount. He made the mistake that a great many people are making to-day throughout Christendom, of not trading with his talents. My experience has been as I have gone about in the world and mingled with professing Christians, that those who find most fault with others are those who themselves have nothing to do. If a person is busy improving the talents that God has given him he will have too much to do to find fault and complain about others.

God has given us many opportunities of serving Him, and He expects that we should use them. People think that their time and property are their own. What saying is more frequent than this? "I have a right to do what I will with my own."

On one occasion a friend was beside the dying bed of a military man who had held an important command in successful Indian wars. He asked if he were afraid to die. He at once said: "I am not.


Why?" He said: "I have never done any harm." The other replied: "If you were going to be tried by a court-martial as an officer and a gentleman, I suppose you would expect an honorable acquittal?" The dying old man lifted himself up, and with an energy which his illness seemed to render impossible, exclaimed, "That I should!"

“But you are not going to a court-martial; you are going to Christ; and when Christ asks you, 'What have you done for me?' what will you say?" His countenance changed, and earnestly gazing on his friend, with

agonized feelings he answered: "Nothing!—I have never done anything for Christ!"

His friend pointed out the awful mistake of habitually living in the sense of our relations one with another, and forgetting our relation to Christ and to God; therefore the error of supposing that doing no harm, or even doing good to those around, will serve as a substitute for living to God. What have you done for Christ? is

the great question.

After some days, he called again on the old man, who said: "Well, sir, what do you think now?" He replied: "Ah! I am a poor sinner." He pointed him to the Savior of sinners; and not long afterward he departed this life as a repentant sinner, resting in Christ. What an awful end would have come to the false peace in which he was found! And yet it is the peace of the multitudes, only to be undeceived at the judgment seat of Christ.

If this world is going to be reached, I am convinced it must be done by men and women of average talent. After all there are comparatively few people in the world who have great talents. Here is a man with one talent; there is another with three; perhaps I may have only half a talent. But if we all go to work and trade with the gifts we have the Lord will prosper us; and we may double or treble our talents. What we need is to be up and about our Master's work, every man building against his own house. The more we use the means and opportunities we have, the more will our ability and our opportunities be increased.

An Eastern allegory runs thus: A merchant, going abroad for a time, gave respectively to two of his friends

two sacks of wheat each, to take care of against his return. Years passed; he came back, and applied for them again. The first took him into a storehouse, and showed them his sacks; but they were mildewed and worthless. The other led him out into the open country, and pointed to field after field of waving corn, the produce of the two sacks given him. Said the merchant: "You have been a faithful friend. Give me

two sacks of that wheat; the rest shall be thine."

I heard a person once say that she wanted assurance. I asked how long she had been a Christian; and she replied she had been one for a number of years. I said: "What are you doing for Christ?" "I do not know that I have the opportunity of doing anything," she replied. I pity the person who professes to be a Christian in this day, and who says he can find no opportunities of doing any work for Christ. I cannot imagine where his lot must be cast. The idea of any one knowing the Lord Jesus Christ in this nineteenth century, and saying he has no opportunities of testifying for Him. Surely no one need look far to find plenty of opportunities for speaking and working for the Master, if he only has the desire to do it. "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." If you cannot do some great thing, you can do some little thing.

A man sent me a tract a little while ago, entitled, “WHAT IS THAT IN THINE HAND?" and I am very thankful he sent it. These words were spoken by God to Moses when He called him to go down to Egypt, and bring the children of Israel out of the house of bondage. You remember how Moses tried to excuse himself. He

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