III. THE DUTY OF THE CHRISTIAN BUSINESS MAN.
I will read to you once again the words which I have read before, the words of Jesus in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of St. John:
“As He spake these words, many believed on Him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on Him, if ye continue in My word, then are ye My disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered Him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest Thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you. Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house forever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”
I do not know how any man can stand and plead with his brethren for the higher life, that they will enter into and make their own the life of Christ and God, unless he is perpetually conscious that around them with whom he pleads there is the perpetual pleading and the voice of God Himself. Unless a man believes that, everything that he has to say must seem, in the first place, impertinent, and, in the second place, almost absolutely hopeless. Who is man that he shall plead with his fellow-man for the change of a life, for the entrance into a whole new career, for the alteration of a spirit, for the surrounding of himself with a new region in which he has not lived before? But if it be so, that God is pleading with every one of His children to enter into the highest life; if it be so, that God is making His application and His appeal to every soul to know Him, and in Him to know himself, then one may plead with earnestness and plead with great hopefulness before his brethren. And so it is. The great truth of Jesus Christ is that, that God is pleading with every soul, not merely in the words which we hear from one another, not merely in the words which we read from His book, but in every influence of life; and, in those unknown influences which are too subtle for us to understand or perceive, God is forever seeking after the souls of His children.