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bodies, that God should demand one day for the feeding and the clothing of the immortal soul? Our bodies are seven-day clocks, and they need to be wound up, and if they are not wound up they run down into the grave. No man can continuously break the Sabbath and keep his physical and mental health. Ask those aged men and they will tell you they never knew men who continuously broke the Sabbath who did not fail either in mind, body or moral principle. A manufacturer gave this as his experience. He said: "I owned a factory on the Lehigh. Everything prospered. I kept the Sabbath, and everything went on well. But one Sabbath morning I bethought myself of a new shuttle, and I thought I would invent that shuttle before sunset; and I refused all food and drink until I had completed that shuttle. By sundown I had completed it. The next day, Monday, I showed to my workmen and friends this new shuttle. They all congratulated me on my great success. I put that shuttle into play. I enlarged my business; but, sir, that Sunday's work cost me $30,000. From that day everything went wrong. I failed in business, and I lost my mill." Oh, my friends, keep the Lord's day. You may think it old-fogy advice, but I give it to you now: "Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work." A man said that he would prove that all this was a fallacy, and so he said: "I shall raise a Sunday crop.” And he ploughed the field on the Sabbath, and then he put in the seed on the Sabbath and he cultured the ground on the Sabbath. When the harvest was ripe he reaped it on the Sabbath, and he carried it into the mow on the Sabbath, and then he stood out defiant to his Christian neighbors and said: “There, that is my Sunday crop, and it is all garnered.” After awhile a storm came up, and a great darkness, and the lightnings of heaven struck the barn, and away went his Sunday crop!
There is one safeguard that I want to present. I have saved it until the last because I want it to be the more emphatic. The great safeguard for every young man is the Christian religion. Nothing can take the place of it. You may have gracefulness enough to put to the blush Lord Chesterfield, you may have foreign languages dropping from your tongue, you may discuss laws and literature, you may have a pen of unequaled polish and power, you may have so much business tact that you can get the largest salary in a banking house, you may be as sharp as Herod and as strong as Samson, and with as long locks as those which hung Absalom, and yet you have no safety against temptation. Some of you look forward to life with great despondency. I know it. I see it in your faces from time to time. You say: “All the occupations and professions are full, and there's no chance for me. “Oh! young man, cheer up, I will tell you how you can make your fortune. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other things will be added. I know you do not want to be mean in this matter. You will not empty the brimming cup of life, and then pour the dregs on God's altar. To a generous Saviour you will not act like that; you have not the heart to act like that. That is not manly. That is not honorable. That is not brave. Your great want is a new heart, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I tell you so to-day, and the blessed Spirit presses through the solemnities of this hour to put the cup of life to your thirsty lips. Oh! thrust it not back. Mercy presents it—bleeding mercy, long-suffering Mercy. Despise all other friendships, prove recreant to all other bargains, but despise God's love for your dying soul-do not do that. There comes a crisis in a man's life, and the trouble is he does not know it is the crisis. I got a letter this week I thought to have brought it with me to church and read you a portion of it-in which a man says to me:
"I start out now to preach the gospel of righteousness and temperance to the people. Do you remember me? I am the man who appeared at the close of the service when you were worshipping in the chapel after you came from Philadelphia. Do you remember at the close of the service a man coming up to you all a tremble with conviction, and crying out for mercy, and telling you he had a very bad business, and he thought he would change it? That was the turning point in my history. I gave up my bad business. I gave my heart to God, and the desire to serve Him has grown upon me all these years, until now woe is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.”
That Sunday night, in the chapel, now the Lay College, was the turning point in that young man's history. This very Sabbath hour will be the turning point in the history of a hundred young men in this house.
God help I once stood on an anniversary platform with a clergyman who told this marvelous story. He said:
“Thirty years ago two young men started out to attend Park Theater, New York, to see a play which made religion ridiculous and hypocritical. They had been brought up in Christian families. They started for the theater to see that vile play, and their early convictions came back upon them. They felt it was not right to go, but still they went. They came to the door of the theater. One of the young men stopped and started for home, but returned and came up to the door, but had not the courage
to go in. He again started for home, and went home. The other young man went in. He went from one degree of temptation to another. Caught in the whirl of frivolity and sin, he sank lower and lower. He lost his business position. He lost his morals. He lost his soul. He died a dreadful death, not one star of mercy shining on it. I stand before you to-day,” said that minister, to thank God that for twenty years I have been permitted to preach the Gospel. I am the other young man."
Oh! you see that was the turning point--the one went back, the other went on. That great roaring world of New York life will soon break in upon you, young men. Will the wild wave dash out the impressions of this day as an ocean billow dashes letters out of the sand on the beach? You need something better than this world can give you. I beat on your heart and it sounds hollow. You want something great and grand and glorious to fill it, and here is the religion that can do it. God save you!
THE VOICES OF THE STREET.
Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets. Prov.i: 20.
We are all ready to listen to the voices of nature—the voices of the mountain, the voices of the sea, the voices of the storm, the voices of the star. As in some of the cathedrals in Europe, there is an organ at either end of the building, and the one instrument responds musically to the other, so in the great cathedral of nature, day responds to day, and night to night, and flower to flower, and star to star, in the great harmonies of the universe. The spring time is an evangelist in blossoms preaching of God's love; and the winter is a prophet-white bearded—denouncing woe against our sins. We are all ready to listen to the voices of nature; but how few of us learn anything from the voices of the noisy and dusty street. You go to your mechanism, and to your work, and to your merchandise, and you come back again--and often with how different a heart you pass through the streets. Are there no things for us to learn from these pavements over which we pass ? Are there no tufte of truth growing up between these cobblestones ? beaten with the feet of toil, and pain, and pleasure, the slow tread of old age, and the quick step of childhood ? Aye, there are great harvests to be reaped; and this morning I thrust in the sickle because the harvest is ripe. “Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets.”