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Conflict Between Duty and Interest.

Conflict Between Duty and Interest.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


2 Chron. xxv. 9. ^nd Amaziah said to the man of God, But
what shall ive do for the hundred talents ivhich I have given
to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The
Lord is able to give thee much more than this.
BY REV. C. SIMEON, M. A.


2 Chron. xxv. 9. ^nd Amaziah said to the man of God, But
what shall ive do for the hundred talents ivhich I have given
to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The
Lord is able to give thee much more than this.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 18, 2014
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COFLICT BETWEE DUTY AD ITEREST. BY REV. C. SIMEO, M. A.2 Chron. xxv. 9. ^nd Amaziah said to the man of God, But what shall ive do for the hundred talents ivhich I have given to the army of Israel? And the man of God answered, The Lord is able to give thee much more than this. IT is humiliating to reflect, that more attention was often paid to the messengers of the Most High by ungodly men under the Jewish dispensation, than is generally paid to them even by the godly in the present day. At one time we read of a whole army stopped and disbanded by one single declaration of a prophet''. At another time, a great national re- formation was effected by the very same means''. In like manner, when Amaziah king of Judah was going with an army of four hundred thousand men against the Edomites, one word from a man of God prevailed on him to dismiss one fourth of their num- ber, because, as being idolaters, they were under the displeasure of the Most High. He was indeed concerned about the subsidy which he had paid them for their assistance : but that only serves to shew more strongly what implicit obedience he was disposed to pay to the commands of God, when he could so easily be induced to sacrifice his temporal interests, and to release from their obligations so large a portion of his army. The difficulty however which he started, and the solution of that difficulty by the Prophet, deserve particular attention. Let us consider, I. The difficulty started — Amaziah had hired one hundred thousand Israel- ites as auxiliaries in this war, and had paid the money for their equipment ; and, when he was re-
 
quired to discharge them, he naturally concluded that he should lose all that he had advanced. Hence he expressed to the Prophet the difficulty that was in his mind. ow, This is a common difficulty in the minds of men — [Circumstances of necessity will sometimes arise, where duty and interest appear to clash with each other. Sometimes they actually exist, as in the instance before us ; and sometimes they are only apprehended as likely to exist. It sometimes hap- pens that a person has been placed by his parents in a line of business where he cannot get a livelihood without continually violating the laws of the land and the dictates of his conscience. What is to be done in such a case ? His property is embarked ; and ' 1 Kin,xii. 21—24. '' 2 Chron. xv. 8—15. 294 3 CHROICLES, XXV, 9. [282. and cannot be disposed of without a considerable loss. And shall that be done ? Shall such a sacrifice be made to God ? It is desirable indeed to maintain a conscience void of offence ; but is it to be done at such an expense ? It sometimes happens also that a person is educated for the Ministry, with certain expectation of preferment: but wlien the time for his ordination arrives, he finds no disposition for the holy employment, no real determination to give himself wholly to the' service of the sanctuary. What then siiall he do ? To go to God with a lie in his right hand, and profess that he is moved by the Holy Ghost to take on himself that sacred function, when he is moved only by the temporal advantages annexed to it, is very painful : and to contract a responsibility for the souls of hundreds and of thousands, when he has scarcely any concern about his own, appears to him a very dangerous step. But what must be done? He has been educated for it: he finds it
 
difficult to turn to any other line: and, above all, the provision designed for him wiil be lost : and how can these difficulties be surmounted? When t!ie evils are in prospect only, their operation is exactly the same. One man feels that it is his duty to become a faithful follower of Christ. But his parents will be offended ; his friends will be alienated : his prospects in life will be destroyed : and how can he endure to make such sacrifices as these ? A few pence he would readily lose ; but the loss of so many talents would be ruinous ; and he knows not how to combat evils of such magni- tude as this.] But the difHculty referred to would be no diffi- culty, if only we viewed things in their true light — [If we should suppose an angel sent down to sojourn for a time on earth, would he find any hesitation whether to prefer his interest or his duty ? or did the Apostle Paul hesitate even when life itself was at stake : " I am ready," says he, " not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the Lord's sake." or should we find any difficulty if we formed a proper estimate of things around us. Should we regard our temporal interests, if we reflected on the extreme emptiness and vanity of every thing here below ? Should we hesitate in our choice of evils, if we con- sidered the impossibility of ever being acknowledged by Christ, without forsaking all, even life itself, for him ? Above all, would we suffer the whole world to stand in competition with Christ, if we considered what wonderful things he has done and suffered for us? Verily, the loss of all things compared with the loss of his favour, would be only as a feather in a scale against a talent of lead; and, like Paul, we should "count all things but loss, that we might win Christ;" and instead of repining at the injuries wstaiocd, should regard them rather as grounds of mutual

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