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, A sermon preached to full blood-Indians at the Cherokee Baptist Association n Indian Territory. It was interpreted by Rev. A. L. Lacie, a native Cherokee preacher. The interpretation into any of these Indian languages requires twice the time of the English. Each sentence must be concisely expressed, in plain simple English, easily understood and easily interpreted. "Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." — Eoni. 12 : 11. THIS text is a practical one. It is for every-day use. The Bible is a wonderful book. It teaches ns how to live in this world and in the world to come. The first part of the text tells Christians that they mnst not be lazy, neither in secular nor religions work. My Cherokee brethren and sisters, I desire to apply this directly to yon. Yon have a good country. Mnch of yonr land is rich. Yon are jealons of yonr right to this land. Yon claim that it is yonrs by treaty, and that yon do not wish to part with it. This is all trne. Bnt yonr possession of this land is not the most valnable thing abont it. Yonr possession will not do yon nor yonr families any good nnless yon nse the land profitably. Yonr families cannot eat it or clothe themselves with it. There are riches in the land that hard labor only will bring ont. Corn and wheat and oats and cotton and a great many other good things are in the land. It mnst be cnltivated to produce these useful fruits. If you secure the largest and best crops, you must not be "slothful in business." All Christian farmers should have larger fields and raise better crops than those who are not Christians. The Bible says that godliness or Christianity is "profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."
And the text is for you also, sisters. You who are Christians should be better housekeepers, wives, miothers, women, because of your Christianity. An old Christian woman among the Kiowas once said : "Before I became a Jesus woman I was lazy and did not keep my tepee clean. Now I work hard all day long. I try to keep everything about me clean. Sometimes when I start to Jesus^ house on Jesus' day I wonder if my sheet is clean, for, you see, I am half blind. But one thing I know : that my heart is clean, because Jesus washed it.'^ A clean heart ought to bring forth the fruits of clean thoughts, a clean body, a clean house, clean children. The Bible says, "A^Tiether therefore ye eat or drinl^, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God." Christians, therefore, should plough and raise stock and keep house for God's glory. This dignifies labor and makes it honorable. The blanket Indian men used to say that it was unmanly for men to work. Since many of them have become Christians they see the folly of their old ways. They now live in houses instead of tepees. They have farms and work hard and raise crops instead of riding around over the prairies. What has made this change ? Christianity. It is a disgrace not to work. Our Lord likes to see his people have good homes. He likes to see those homes well kept, with well-cooked food and well-trained children. And while the Bible teaches us to be industrious and to make all the property we can, it also teaches us to save what we make. After Jesus had fed a great multitude of people he bade his disciples to "gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost." When we have plenty of means we can give more to the Lord's cause. Indian Christians are liberal, but they usually have very little to give. They should be more industrious and saving. Then they will have more to give to their pastors and to all church work. I have often advised my Indian brethren to set aside one-tenth of all they make and save as God's part of their property. I advise you to-day to do this. Take God into partnership in all your work. Try to work as hard as he does. He gives rain and sunshine, health and strength. This is more than you can do, even if you do your best. God is willing for you to have nine parts out of every ten of the profits of your farms and homes.
LABOR A^T) EEWAED. 305 He is wiliiiLg to receive but one part. Is he not wonderfully good and generous ? If you will pay one-tenth of aU you make to the Lord, he will bless you abundantly in your property and in your hearts. But this text not only instructs Christians to be diligent in secular affairs, but in religious work also. The world has no use for a lazy man. God has no use for a lazy Christian. You who are Christians have believed in Jesus. He saved you from your sins and gave you a title to eternal life. That title, like your land, is a valuable possession. But also like your land, the possession of salvation is not the most valuable thing about it. There are rich fruits iu salvation that only hard labor will bring out. Great happiness and joy and peace and many other good things are in Christianity. Of course, you understand that we do not work for G^ to earn salvation. We work because we are saved. Salvation is given freely by Christ. You trusted and believed ui Christ, and he took your sinfulness upon himself and gave to you his righteousness and eternal Kf e. You belong to Christ. ''Ye are not your own, ye are bought with a price, therefore glorify God ia your bodies and in your spirits, which are his.'' Since we belong to God, we are his servants. TVe must work for him. In working for G^d we benefit both ourselves and others. Our hearts are like fields of rich land. When we were converted the Holy Spirit broke up our hearts and sowed good seed therein. With the help of the Holy Spirit we must cultivate this good seed. Intemperance, impurity, and aU other bad, wicked weeds and briars must not be allowed to grow. The harvest that the owner vrants is good thoughts, good words, good works. It will require hard work' on our part to produce this harv^t, but it will repay us well. And our Lord demands that we work for others also. There are unsaved persons in many of your famili^. Many of your neighbors are unsaved. There are whole tribes of your own race iu the W^t who greatly need the gospel. There are millions of people all over the world who know nothing of Jesus.
Dear Cherokee brethren, there is large spiritual work for you to do. Let me beseech vou not to be slothful in this business. In the
306 THE AMEBIC AN" BAPTIST PULPIT. book of Daniel the Bible tells us that "They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever." Do you desire this precious promise? David in the book of Psalms says, "He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." If you desire to take to Jesus in heaven a large harvest of good works and of souls saved by him through you, you mu.st not be slothful about your Lord's business. When a merchant has a great deal of money in a bank he can buy all the goods he needs. There is a rich bank in the Bible for all who desire to work for Jesus. It is in II. Cor. 9:8: "And God' is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to all good works." I trust you will go to this bank every day this year and come to the Association next year with a report of large work done for Christ. I have taken so much time talking about this first part of our text that I must be very brief on the other two parts.
This is the great moving cause that makes a Christian an industrious worker for Jesus. If we have our hearts full of Jesus, we will have our lives full of him. If our hearts are fervent, that is, boiling hot, we shall not be lazy about our Master's business. Have you seen a railway train running on its iron road ? It would not run at all if there was not a great big boiler full of hot water that makes steam, and that steam is strong to make the cars run. Get your hearts full of the Holy Spirit, and he will set your bodies to work. How may we become fervent in spirit? First, by inviting the Holy Spirit into our hearts. And if there are things in our hearts that are offensive to the Holy Spirit, we must help him put them out. You desire the government at Wash-
ington to put intruders out of your nation. Be sure that you put intruders out of your hearts. Second, pray earnestly and frequently and with faith for a fervent spirit. You like to grant good things to your children. God says he is more willing to grant your
LABOR AND REWAED. 307 prayers than you are to bestow good things upon your children. Third, read your Cherokee Testaments constantly. Eead a little every morning and reflect upon it all the day long. The Bible is food and drink to your souls. The Bible and prayer and work will keep up the steam. The book of Eevelation describes the members of the church at Laodicea : "I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot. I would thou wert cold or hot. So, then, because thou art neither cold or hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth." Brethren, I pray you not to get in such a condition as these people. Be active and zealous and fervent in spirit, that God may say, "Well done, good and faithful servants; enter thou into the joys of thy Lord." "'SERVIiSrG THE LOED'^ Some people are very diligent about serving themselves. Some are active in the service of Satan. Christian people are not to serve Satan or themselves. They must serve the Lord, who made and redeemed them. When we serve Satan or ourselves we greatly injure ourselves and everybody else. When we serve our Lord we benefit ourselves, our families, and the world. The service of Christ brings blessings. All other service brings injuries. The Lord is a kind master. He pays the highest and best wages. He pays happiness, peace, and joy on earth and in heaven. Satan is a hard master. His wages are suffering, sorrow, and death forever. "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." I sincerely pray that, like grand old Joshua, you may decide that, "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
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