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The Great Work of Life

The Great Work of Life

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Published by glennpease
BY THE REV. SAMUEL COLEY.


" Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

ECCLESIASTES IX. IO.
BY THE REV. SAMUEL COLEY.


" Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."

ECCLESIASTES IX. IO.

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Published by: glennpease on Jun 20, 2013
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THE GREAT WORK OF LIFEBY THE REV. SAMUEL COLEY." Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."ECCLESIASTES IX. IO.RY many persons sleep away their lives. It is a. greatshame to do that when there are so many blessed thingsto do. It is said that a certain nobleman through sheerennui went to commit suicide, but as he was on his way to theplace where he intended to destroy himself, he saw a weeping child, whose tears, whose lamentations won his attention,and on inquiry he found that she came from a home of sorrow. He went with the child, and removed the sorrowthat he found there by his kind words and by his gifts ; andas he came away he said, "What a fool am I to think of rushing immediately out of a world where so much good can bedone !" It was the hour of a new life to him, the beginningof doing good things. Some persons have slandered dutyby saying that it leads to an apathetic life and to misery ; butthis is not true. And let it never be justly said of any of you.Live while you live. Be thoroughly in earnest about whatyou have to do. It is a truth that it is proper to believe,young people, about the common things of life, that what isworth doing at all is worth doing well. Young people, laythat lesson to heart, and it will keep you out of a world of 26 THE GREAT WORK OF LIFE.mischief, because it will be a fair test to you of what is worthdoing. There are many trivial and foolish things that youwill see others do ; but remember that, while what is worthdoing at all is worth doing well, what is not worth doing well
 
is not worth doing at all. You cannot do everything. Lifemust be a series of choices. Therefore, I say, throw away thetrivial things, and give yourself to the doing of noble things.There is a beautiful old Papistic legend which illustrates animportant truth, but which you must not suppose to be true.It is said that one day a monk was sitting in his cell, whensuddenly he became conscious of a bright angel sitting besidehim ; and sweet was the colloquy which ensued betweenthem. But just as the monk was enjoying it immensely, theconvent bell began to sway to and fro. What an annoyingthing that was ! The bell was calling him to go to the door,where it was his duty to deal out bread to the poor. Hewavered in his mind whether he should go or not ; but discipline ruled him, and up he rose at the swing of the bell, andaway he went and gave to the poor what he had to bestow.Then, with a somewhat sad heart, after some time had passed,having discharged his duty, he retired to his cell, expectingto find that the angel had gone ; but to his surprise he foundthe angel still there, who said to him, " If you hadn t obeyedthe call of duty and left me, I should have left you ; butbecause you have obeyed the call of duty I am here." I don tsuppose, as I said before, that the tale is true ; but it is veryinstructive, for all that. It has a beautiful lesson. When thebell of duty swings, obey it. Your Master didn t stay on themountain top when He took with Him His disciples. Thereare duties to thy father and to thy mother. There are dutiesbelonging to the first table : " Thou shalt love the Lord thyGod." There are duties belonging to the second table :" Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."Young men ! put the nonsense away from you, that Christianity unfits a man for his daily duty. It hallows and elevatesit. Suppose there is in a train a young scapegrace runningTHE GREAT WORK OF LIFE. 2Jaway from home, who hardly knows whither he is going. Is
 
not that scapegrace likely to be less careful and courteousby the way than a youth who loves his home ? The lad whois going home to his mother after twelve months in his firstsituation, how does he feel ? There are not five minutes of the way when his heart does not leap as he thinks of hismother and his sisters, and he is longing for the kiss of welcome; but for all that, that lad can look after his luggage;for all that, that lad can pay the courtesies that are due to afellow-traveller ; and I warrant him, if he loves his mother andsisters, he is likely to do this far more than the young scapegrace I have described. o ! one who is going to heaven,and oft thinks of heaven, may yet, for all that, attend to everyduty of the way; may yet, for all that, and because of that , do allthings right. I do not at all plead religion as an excuse foridleness. If a professedly Christian man gave me lofty looksinstead of good hard honest work, I should not say much to him.He would not have learned the alphabet of what should constitute true religious life. When you have learned that Christianityand the due performance of all duties are not incompatible, youhave learned a good deal; and you have also learned to "offerall your offerings through the ever blessed name " of Christ.You can work for God in daily things, and the Lord willbless you in the midst of them. I quite agree with what wassaid by good old John ewton, that "if a man were but ashoeblack, he should try to be the best in the village." "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." It istrue about common things ; and no man has a right to pleadspirituality in excuse of laziness. Let him be diligent inbusiness, and there is a way of being fervent in spirit, all thetime serving the Lord.I dare say, however, in regard to common things, some of you don t want the spur so much as the check-rein. Some of you young people have fairly got into the stream of life ; andI know I need not say anything to you to urge you in thesematters ; but perhaps even to such it may not be out of place28 THE GREAT WORK OF LIFE.

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