I present my appeal to the young to accept Christ and to enter upon the life He prescribes, not because they may die soon but because they may live. They need Christ as their Saviour now and they need Him as their guide throughout life. Some complain of the Parable of the Vineyard because the man who began work at the eleventh hour received the same pay as those who toiled all day. Surely, those who complain have not tasted the joys of a Christian life. No one who follows the teachings of Christ will begrudge the reward promised to those who repent at the last moment and are saved. The eleventh-hour Christians are the ones to mourn because they have lost the happiness that they would have found in service during the livelong day.
Young people sometimes postpone becoming Christians on the ground that they want to have a good time for a while longer. Who can be happier than the Christian? Our religion fits into the needs of all of every age. If there are any amusements enjoyed by the world from which members of the church feel it a duty to abstain it is because more wholesome amusements crowd out the objectionable ones. It ought not to be necessary to forbid a Christian to do harmful things; he ought to avoid them because he has no taste for them—because he finds more real pleasure and more enduring satisfaction in the things that are innocent and helpful.
There is another class to which I desire to address myself to-day, namely, those who call themselves more liberal than Christians—who look upon our religion as narrowing in its influence. Christianity is the broadest of creeds because it takes in everything that touches human life, here and hereafter. The Christian life is the most comprehensive life known; it is as deep as the heart; it is as wide as the world; and it is as high as heaven.
Paul, the great Apostle, tells us that Christ came to “bring life and immortality to light”—not immortality alone, but life also, and the word Life comes before the word Immortality.
But we have higher authority even than Paul. Christ, in explaining His mission, said, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” It is to the more abundant life that Christ calls us. He was the master of mathematics, yet He used only addition and multiplication; subtraction has no place in His philosophy.
Let me illustrate, as I see it, the gift that Christ brings to man. Let us suppose that the people living in an agricultural section had, by intelligent cultivation, brought from the soil all that it could yield in material wealth. If a stranger came into the community and announced that the people, by sinking a shaft one hundred feet deep, could find a vein of coal, they would, if they believed the statement true, immediately sink a shaft; and, if they found the coal, they would add it to the wealth that they derived from the surface of the ground. They would be grateful to the person who told them of the additional riches which they possessed but of which they were not aware. They might not think to thank him immediately—they might be too busy acquiring money to express their gratitude. But after the man was dead, if not before, they would pause long enough to erect a monument to testify to their appreciation of the service he had rendered.