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All Things Are Yours.

All Things Are Yours.

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Published by glennpease
by NAHOR AUGUSTUS STAPLES.



How could Paul, that feeble, penniless man, matched
against a world of prejudice and power — how could he make
such a triumphant assurance as this to disciples poor and
friendless as himself? How could he encourage them to
forsake all and follow the truth on the strength of such an
assurance? What was the nature of this possession?
What was this claim to man, and wealth, and experience,
and all time ?
by NAHOR AUGUSTUS STAPLES.



How could Paul, that feeble, penniless man, matched
against a world of prejudice and power — how could he make
such a triumphant assurance as this to disciples poor and
friendless as himself? How could he encourage them to
forsake all and follow the truth on the strength of such an
assurance? What was the nature of this possession?
What was this claim to man, and wealth, and experience,
and all time ?

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 21, 2013
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ALL THIGS ARE YOURS.by AHOR AUGUSTUS STAPLES.How could Paul, that feeble, penniless man, matchedagainst a world of prejudice and power — how could he makesuch a triumphant assurance as this to disciples poor andfriendless as himself? How could he encourage them toforsake all and follow the truth on the strength of such anassurance? What was the nature of this possession?What was this claim to man, and wealth, and experience,and all time ? It was clearly not the claim of property.They had no rights of monopoly over the earth and life.There were many men in Corinth who could have showna thousand possessions to the Christian's one. Paul hadlearned to regard every thing as his which could serve him,and he teaches the Corinthians that the great secret of pos-session is to put the soul in such an attitude toward theworld, and life and death, the present and future, that theyshall serve it, and that this is the highest and best owner-ship. Just as a man who places his ship in the right rela-tion toward the winds owns the winds. He could get nomore nor better service from them if he owned them. Thebest uses of all things abide in that to which our title-deedsgive us no possession. The mere fact that we can call athing ours by the law of the land, is no proof that it is oursby the law of the spirit and of life. Indeed, we may beowned by the very things which we possess. I have seenpersons build a great house and fill it with splendid fumi-Digitized byGoogle^
 
174 SELECTIOS.ture and say, " Tliat house is mine ;" when in reality theyand their whole family were slaves to the house. Thehouse owned them. When the carpet said, " Shut theblinds, or I will fade," they would shut them and sit in un-wholesome darkness. When the chairs said, " Cover us allup, or we will catch dust," they would cover them and loseall their beaiity. And so it was ever. The house ownedthem. The most casual comer, who felt his higher natureministered unto by all the beauty and comfort there, ownedthe house more than the owner. To possess any thing isto make that thing of service, and to possess it most truly isto make it yield the highest service. The only reason thatwe try to own a thing is that we may control its service,and thus better secure it. But the moment we fail to com-prehend the true use of that which we own, or fail to secureits legitimate service, it ceases to be ours and it begins topossess us. A man may own a large library of beautifulbooks from which he is not able to derive any real service.He may have bought them to gratify his pride of posses-sion ; and he may have a hired servant who reads them inthe garret after the labors of the day are over, to whom thebooks belong more truly than to the owner.• ow, this is clearly the true relation of each mind towardthe world's great teachers. One never knows how to valuethem rightly until he has felt that his own personality is themost sacred thing which he possesses or can possess ; andthat teachers, no matter how great or good, are nothingbut a mischief the moment they ignore his personality andtake entire possession of him. Yet how many personsthere are who are owned by men; who have no opinionsexcept such as they receive from some favorite Paul, Apol-los, or Cephas ; who dress, and study, and plan, and reciteDigitized
 
by GoogleALL THIGS ARE YOURS. 1 75a creed, not by the law of their own peculiar life, but assome one else does. They are like those parasitic plantswhich have no roots of themselves, but fasten to trees whichhave roots. ow, the true use to be made of other peo-ple's opinions in church, or state, or society, is the usewhich a living tree makes of the elements. Because thetree has life of its own and a destiny of its own, it takesfrom the earth, the air, and the water that which helps itslife. And, although each of the elements is mighty enoughto exterminate the tree, yet, because it has life, it practicallyowns them all. There could be no possible advantage inthe tree's owning the elements, for it gets all from therqthat makes them valuable to it. But when the tree dies,the moment it ceases to exercise the power of convertingall things to its own uses, then all the elements which be-fore served it unite to destroy it, until each gets back whatit gave. So it is with a human soul. So long as a man isalive, and assimilates the social elements to his own nature,they all serve him, and make him better and stronger, or,what is the same thing, they belong to him. The opinionsof others are his food ; but, like all food, they can not be-come a part of his being until he has mastered them. Mo-ses, David, Jesus, Paul, are not his masters, but his servants.So long as he is alive in mind, in heart, in conscience, hewill assimilate from them elements of his own life, and wUlreject those which he can not assimilate, no matter who elsecan assimilate them. But the moment he becomes indiffer-ent and dead in spirit, it will fare with him in the socialworld precisely as it does with the dead tree in the naturalworld; every social element, every church faction, andevCTy state party will attack him and destroy the personal

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