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that religion can not be brought down to common life!
In conclusion, let me once more urge upon you the great lesson on which we have been insisting Carry religious principle into everyday life. Principle elevates whatever it touches. Facts lose all their littleness to the mind which brings principle and law to bear upon them. The chemist's or geologist's soiled hands are no sign of base work; the coarsest operations of the laboratory, the breaking of stones with a hammer, cease to be mechanical when intellectual thought and principle govern the mind and guide the hands. And religious principle is the noblest of all. Bring it to bear on common actions and coarse cares, and infinitely nobler even than the philosophic or scientific, becomes the Christian life. Live for Christ in common things, and all your work will become priestly work. As in the temple of old, it was holy work to hew wood or mix oil, because it was done for the altarsacrifice or the sacred lamps; so all your coarse and common work will receive a consecration when done for God's glory, by one who is a true priest to His temple.
Carry religion into common life, and your life will be rendered useful as well as noble. There are many men who listen incredulously to the high-toned exhortations of the pulpit; the religious life there depicted is much too seraphic, they think, for this plain and prosaic
world of ours. Show these men that the picture is not a fancy one. Make it a reality. Bring religion down from the clouds. Apply to it the infallible test of experiment; and, by suffusing your daily actions with holy principles, prove that love to God, superiority to worldly pleasure, spirituality, holiness, heavenly-mindedness, are something more than the stock ideas of sermons.
Carry religious principle into common life, and common life will lose its transitoriness. “The world passeth away!” “The things that are seen are temporal.” Soon business with all its cares and anxieties—the whole “unprofitable stir and fever of the world” -will be to us a thing of the past. But religion does something better than sigh and
over the perishableness of earthly things; it finds in them the seed of immor. tality. No work done for Christ perishes. No action that helps to mold the deathless mind of a saint of God is ever lost. Live for Christ in the world, and you carry with you into eternity all of the results of the world's business that are worth the keeping. The river of life sweeps on, but the gold grains it held in solution are left behind deposited in the holy heart. “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” Every other result of our "diligence in business" will soon be gone. You cannot invent any mode of exchange between the visible and invisible worlds, so that the balance at your credit in the one can be transferred, when you migrate from it, to your account in the other. Worldly sharpness, acuteness, versatility, are not the qualities in request in the world to come. The capacious intellect, stored with knowledge, and disciplined into admirable perspicacity, tact, worldly wisdom, by a lifetime devoted to politics or business, is not, by such attainments, fitted to take a higher place among the sons of immortality. The honor, fame, respect, obsequious homage that attend worldly greatness up to the grave's brink, will not follow it one step beyond. These advantages are not to be despised; but if these be all that, by the toil of our hand, or the sweat of our brow, we have gained, the hour is fast coming when we shall discover that we have labored in vain and spent our strength for naught. But while these pass, there are other things that remain. The world's gains and losses may soon cease to affect us, but not the gratitude or the patience, the kindness or the resignation, they drew forth from our hearts. The world's scenes of business may fade on our sight, the noise of its restless pursuits may fall no more upon our ear, when we pass to meet our God; but not one unselfish thought, not one kind and gentle word, not one act of self-sacrificing love done for Jesus' sake, in the midst of our common work, but will have left an indelible impress on the soul which will go out with it to its eternal destiny. So live, then, that this may be the result of your labors. So live that your work, whether in the Church or in the world, may become a discipline for that glorious state of being in which the Church and the world shall become one, —where work shall be worship, and labor shall be rest,—where the worker shall never quit the temple, nor the worshiper the place of work, because there is no temple therein, but the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof."