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A Sermon to the Young

A Sermon to the Young

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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 12, 2014
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 A SERMO TO THE YOUG BY THE REV. SAMUEL COLEY. " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." ECCLESIASTES IX. IO. So many persons sleep away their lives. It is a. great shame to do that when there are so many blessed things to do. It is said that a certain nobleman through sheer ennui went to commit suicide, but as he was on his way to the place where he intended to destroy himself, he saw a weep ing 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 sorrow that he found there by his kind words and by his gifts ; and as he came away he said, "What a fool am I to think of rush ing immediately out of a world where so much good can be done !" It was the hour of a new life to him, the beginning of doing good things. Some persons have slandered duty by saying that it leads to an apathetic life and to misery ; but this is not true. And let it never be justly said of any of you. Live while you live. Be thoroughly in earnest about what you have to do. It is a truth that it is proper to believe, young people, about the common things of life, that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well. Young people, lay that 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 worth doing. There are many trivial and foolish things that you will see others do ; but remember that, while what is worth doing at all is worth doing well, what is not worth doing well
 
is not worth doing at all. You cannot do everything. Life must be a series of choices. Therefore, I say, throw away the trivial things, and give yourself to the doing of noble things. There is a beautiful old Papistic legend which illustrates an important truth, but which you must not suppose to be true. It is said that one day a monk was sitting in his cell, when suddenly he became conscious of a bright angel sitting beside him ; and sweet was the colloquy which ensued between them. But just as the monk was enjoying it immensely, the convent bell began to sway to and fro. What an annoying thing that was ! The bell was calling him to go to the door, where it was his duty to deal out bread to the poor. He wavered in his mind whether he should go or not ; but disci pline ruled him, and up he rose at the swing of the bell, and away 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, expecting to find that the angel had gone ; but to his surprise he found the angel still there, who said to him, " If you hadn t obeyed the call of duty and left me, I should have left you ; but because you have obeyed the call of duty I am here." I don t suppose, as I said before, that the tale is true ; but it is very instructive, for all that. It has a beautiful lesson. When the bell of duty swings, obey it. Your Master didn t stay on the mountain top when He took with Him His disciples. There are duties to thy father and to thy mother. There are duties belonging to the first table : " Thou shalt love the Lord thy God." There are duties belonging to the second table : " Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." Young men ! put the nonsense away from you, that Chris tianity unfits a man for his daily duty. It hallows and elevates it. Suppose there is in a train a young scapegrace running THE GREAT WORK OF LIFE. 2J away from home, who hardly knows whither he is going. Is
 
not that scapegrace likely to be less careful and courteous by the way than a youth who loves his home ? The lad who is going home to his mother after twelve months in his first situation, how does he feel ? There are not five minutes of the way when his heart does not leap as he thinks of his mother 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 a fellow-traveller ; and I warrant him, if he loves his mother and sisters, he is likely to do this far more than the young scape grace I have described. o ! one who is going to heaven, and oft thinks of heaven, may yet, for all that, attend to every duty of the way; may yet, for all that, and because of that , do all things right. I do not at all plead religion as an excuse for idleness. If a professedly Christian man gave me lofty looks instead of good hard honest work, I should not say much to him. He would not have learned the alphabet of what should consti tute true religious life. When you have learned that Christianity and the due performance of all duties are not incompatible, you have learned a good deal; and you have also learned to "offer all your offerings through the ever blessed name " of Christ. You can work for God in daily things, and the Lord will bless you in the midst of them. I quite agree with what was said by good old John ewton, that "if a man were but a shoeblack, he should try to be the best in the village." "What soever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." It is true about common things ; and no man has a right to plead spirituality in excuse of laziness. Let him be diligent in business, and there is a way of being fervent in spirit, all the time 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 ; and I know I need not say anything to you to urge you in these matters ; but perhaps even to such it may not be out of place 28 THE GREAT WORK OF LIFE.

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