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The Philosophy of Christian Influence.

The Philosophy of Christian Influence.

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Published by glennpease

" For what is your life ? " — James iv. 14.

" For what is your life ? " — James iv. 14.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE PHILOSOPHY OF CHRISTIA IFLUECE.BY WILLIAM JOES, M.D., D.D., LL.D." For what is your life ? " — Jambs iv. 14.There are certain fundamental principiles that lie atthe bottom of every system of truth. There are cer-tain primary laws of thought, affection, and influencefrom which all subordinate laws proceed and with whichthey must agree. There are laws that govern the rela-tions of persons and things that are universal in theirapplication. So far as these affect man in his relationsto God and his fellow-man, they are formulated in onedivine proposition : "o. man liveth to himself."As a subject of moral law, man is not only responsi-ble for his belief and his conduct, but he is responsiblefor his influence over others — responsible up to thefull measure of his ability to influence.This principle is illustrated in the natural world.o atom of matter exists alone; no ray of light, novesicle of air, is found in a state of isolation. Every-thing in the physical world belongs to some systemof which it is a necessary part.The same law is regnant in the moral and intellec-tual world. Every being, from the tallest archangelthat flashes his golden plumage on the glittering airof heaven to the smallest child in the most obscurecorner of the globe in its tiny craft just launched onTHE PHILOSOPHY O? CHklStlAPt IFLUECE. 269the stream of time, belongs to some system of mutualdependencies. o human being comes into this world
without increasing or diminishing the sum total of hu-man happiness in its age, and in every subsequent age,and in eternity.In view of these facts, we ask, " What is your life inits influence ? *'This question involves more than profession, morethan social position. It relates to character, and theinfluence of character on individuals and on society.It will not avail us anything in mitigation of the re-sults if we shut our eyes against these facts, and denythe force of these primary truths. These are funda-mental laws in the philosophy of the divine govern-ment, and are as unchangeable as the eternal God.We may change our relations to them ; but they re-main the same in all ages, and in all lands, and amongall peoples.Christians should study carefully the nature and thelaws of influence. We have watched with intense in-terest and curiosity the expanding ripple set in motionby the falling pebble, and have seen it widen in everydirection until it reached the outer edge of the pool.According to a law of natural philosophy, which says," o two bodies can occupy the same space at the sametime," if a marble, one-fourth of an inch in diameter,were dropped from a child's hand into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it would displace every drop of water in the ocean, and its vibrations would be felt inall seas, and g^ate upon all coasts, and swell against therocky base of all islands, and heave the icebergs of thepolar seas. On the same principle every human beia^^^0 i^ROM tDLiM TO CARM£L.sets in operation influences that continue forever — in-fluences which he can neither arrest nor control. Paine
and Volney, and Rousseau and Hume, set in motioninfluences which naturally increase forever ; and Lutherand Calvin and Wesley started a tidal wave of goodinfluence that is still rising and sweeping toward theshore with ever-increasing power and majesty. Everyrolling year places St. Paul and Moses still higher in thescale of advancing greatness. Less than two hundredyears ago, Wesley began the revival work known asMethodism. He opened afresh to the perishing massesof humanity the fountain of salvation, through faith inJesus Christ. Millions have already slaked their spir-itual thirst in its healing waters; and the combinedforces of earth and hell can never arrest the current of life that now flows through this channel to a lost world.According to the truth of these principles, whetheryou go to heaven or hell you will see the finger-marksof your influence on the characters of those about you.A traveller recently quarried a brick from the ancienttower of Babel. On one side it bore the perfect im-press of a small hand. The boy had put his mark uponthe brick while it was soft and yielding, and it remainedforever. The moulder of the brick is unknown ; thename and history of the carrier have not been written ;but his mark remains upon his work till it shall returnagain to dust.The impressions you make on mind, the finger-printsof your influence which you put on human character,will remain imperishable when the stars shall havegone out in darkness, and "the fashion of this worldshaJl have passed away,"The l>HILOSOt*HV OF" CHklSTlA IFLUECE. 2}^1

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