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The Review

The Review

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D.


I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the Labour
that I had laboured to do." — Eccles. ii. 11.
BY THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D.


I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the Labour
that I had laboured to do." — Eccles. ii. 11.

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Published by: glennpease on Jul 30, 2014
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07/30/2014

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THE REVIEWBY THOMAS GUTHRIE, D.D. I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the Labour that I had laboured to do." — Eccles. ii. 11. Our Lord pronounced the children of this world " wise in their generation and who can doubt that thousands who are lost would, with God's blessing, be saved, did they bring the same prudence, and dili- gence, aud energy to their eternal, as they do to their temporal interests ? But in how many people is con- summate wisdom joined to the greatest folly ! They are wise enough to gain the world, but fools enough to lose their souls. Convince a man that the only way to save his life is to part with his limb, and he does not hesitate an instant between living with one limb and being buried with two. Borne in the operating theatre, pale, yet resolute, he bares the diseased member to the knife. And how well does that bleeding, fainting, groaning sufferer teach us to part with our sins rather than with our Saviour. If life is better than a limb, how much better is heaven than a sin I Two years ago a man was called to decide between preserving his life, and parting with the gains of his lifetime. A. gold-digger, he stood on the deck of a (56) THE REVIEW. 57 ship that, coming from Australian shores, had — as
 
some all but reach heaven — all but reached her har- bour in safety. The exiles had been coasting along their native shores : and to-morrow, husbands would embrace their wives, children their parents, and not a few realize the bright dream of returning to pass the evening of their days in happiness amid the loved scenes of their youth. But as the proverb runs, there is much between the cup and the lip. ight came lowering down ; and with the night a storm that wrecked ship, and hopes, and fortunes, all together. The dawning light but revealed a scene of horror — death staring them in the face. The sea, lashed into fury, ran mountains high ; no boat could live in her. One chance still remained. Pale women, weeping children, feeble and timid men, must die ; but a stout, brave swimmer, with trust in God, and disencumbered of all impediments, might reach the shore, where hun- dreds stood ready to dash into the boiling surf, and, seizing, save him. One man was observed to go be- low. He bound around his waist a heavy belt, filled with gold, the hard gains of his life ; and returned to the deck. One after another, he saw his fellow- passengers leap overboard. After a brief but terrible struggle, head after head went down — sunk by the gold they had fought hard to gain, and were loth to lose. Slowly he was seen to unbuckle his belt. His hopes had been bound up in it. It was to buy him land, and ease, and respect — tne reward of long years of hard and weary exile. What hardships he had endured for it ! The sweat of his brow, the hopes of 3* 58 THE REVIEW.
 
day and the dreams of night, were there. If he paits with it, he is a beggar ; and then if he keeps it, he dies. He poised it in his hand ; balanced it for a awhile ; took a long, sad look at it ; and then with one strong, desperate effort, flung it far out into the roaring sea. Wise man! It sinks with a sullen plunge ; and now he follows it — not to sink, but, dis- encumbered of its weight, to swim ; to beat the bil- lows manfully ; and, riding on the foaming surge, to reach the shore. Well done, brave gold-digger ! Ay, well done, and well chosen ; but if " a man," as the Devil said, who for once spoke God's truth, " will give all that he hath for his life," how much more should he give all he hath for his soul ? Better to part with gold than with God ; to bear the heaviest cross than miss a heavenly crown. Such lessons the children of this world teach the children of " the kingdom ; " and among others, and not the least important lesson, is the duty of self-ex- amination. Was there ever a successful merchant who did not balance his books year by year ? I have noticed, in reading the details of a court of bankruptcy, that fortunes are as surely wrecked by indolence or carelessness, as by wild speculations, or boundless ex- travagance. Here is a trader, bankrupt. Sober, hon- est, industrious, anxious to pay every one their own, not living in splendour at other men's expense, he should have thriven. Yet this honest man has to take a place beside rogues — he, and others, throwing all the blame on fortune ; imputing his misfortunes to the blind goddess, her capricious temper and unsteady THE REVIEW.

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