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But listen hear you not that sound as of the wind? It is the wind. It is a steady wind. It is the Trade. Wind, blowing gently down towards the region of the cedar and the palm, the orange and the myrtle, and all the glory of the sunny South. You need not fear the current after all. You need not travel to the pole. Spread your sails. Invite the blessed gale. Catch the heavenly inspiration; it will carry you safely, happily home to "the better land," in spite of all the currents that are flowing north.

Does this influence of the Spirit of God interfere with our freedom? Not at all; no more than reading a book does it. When we read a book, we give our minds up for the time, so far as the train of our thoughts is concerned, to the author of the book, allowing him to present what he thinks proper for our consideration. And this is just what we do with God's Spirit; we give Him our attention; we allow Him to present His truth to us. We are, of course, powerfully influenced thereby, but not against our will. As soon as a man's will is set against the Spirit, He leaves. All He does is in accordance with our nature. He never forces anything upon us; He simply shows us things that we should not have seen without Him.

He opens His heavenly treasure before us. Christ and shows them unto us.

to.

celestial hand, and sets the He takes of the things of

In all this He undoubtedly obtains a powerful influence over our minds, but no more than He is entitled We still remain susceptible of other and lower influences. We still feel the power over us of the society in which we live, and especially of the men of genius whose books we read. We feel as keenly as ever the force of those difficulties which the many able opponents of Christianity have to present. We cannot read their

books without feeling the spell of their power over us; but we are not quite at their mercy, as many are. We can look at all they show us, for our minds reason in the same way, and the mysteries of life are around us as they are around them. But then we have things before our minds which they have not. "We have received the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God." And powerful as is the influence which these great men have over us, and legitimate as it is that they should have it, on account of their genius, there is a still more powerful influence over us, that of God, to whom it is surely as reasonable and proper to listen as to the most gifted of men. This influence

which is over us from above is a steadying influence amid the currents and eddies, not to speak of the shallows and breakers, of life. While men of genius are ever making new departures, and ever contradicting one another, and even themselves, the testimony of the Heavenly Spirit is the same from age to age. Cannot we sing the Psalms of David, and Asaph, and the sons of Korah, as if they were written yesterday? We can read the prophets of old, and find them in no wise behind the prophets of the day. We can take the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, and of His apostles, as texts to preach on from year to year, from generation to generation, from century to century, and find that they are no nearer being worn out than when they were first uttered or written. We find that while science and philosophy have been continually changing, while theology, psychology, and ontology, and all the "ologies," (all, that is, which comes under the

* Theology, however, does not alter nearly so much as other sciences. It never shifts its centre, as astronomy has had to do. The Sun of Righteousness has been its centre from the beginning, and will be without end. See Rev. i. 8.

domain of the human Xoyos or reason), have been flowing here and eddying there, and changing so much from age to age, that their very identity seems almost lost at times, -man's spiritual experience has been always the same. May we not appeal to our hymnology as a proof? There are hymns in our possession from all the centuries, and the same spirit breathes through them all. Take, for instance, a hymn of the eleventh century, the very darkest that we know; we despise the philosophy of that century, we look with pity upon its science, we cannot sympathise even with its theology, but we can sing its hymns. Here is one of them :—

“Come, Holy Ghost, in love;
Shed on us, from above,

Thine own bright ray;

Divinely good Thou art ;
Thy sacred gifts impart,
To gladden each sad heart;
Oh, come to-day!

Come, tenderest Friend, and best,
Our most delightful Guest,

With soothing power;

Rest which the weary know,
Shade 'mid the noontide glow,

Peace when deep griefs o'erflow;
Cheer us this hour.

Exalt our low desires;

Extinguish passion's fires;
Heal every wound

Our stubborn spirits bend;

Our icy coldness end;

Our devious steps attend,

While heavenward bound.

Come, Light serene and still,

Our inmost bosoms fill,

Dwell in each breast:

We know no dawn but Thine;
Send forth Thy beams divine,
On our dark souls to shine,
And make us blest.

Come, all the faithful bless;
Let all who Christ confess
His praise employ:

Give virtue's rich reward;
Victorious death accord,

And, with our glorious Lord,
Eternal joy."

And not only have we such utterances, expressive of the heart's devotion, from all the centuries, but throughout them all, wherever the Gospel has been preached, the experience of those who have received it has been substantially the same.

The history of Christianity affords abundant evidence that the Saviour's promise has been fulfilled, that there has been, and still is, among us a Heavenly Guide, not misleading and changeful like the spirit of the age, representing "the collective wisdom (or folly ?) of mankind," but trustworthy and changeless, leading those who trust Him into all truth, which it is necessary for them to know in order to life, and peace, and deathless hope.

XIV.

THE SOUL OF BUSINESS; OR, THE LAW OF CHRIST AS APPLIED TO TRADE AND COMMERCE.

IS

S it possible to be at once a thorough business man and a thorough Christian? Is it possible in these times to live a business life that shall be Christian in its spirit as well as in its conduct? Can the law of Christ be written in the heart of it, as an inspiration within, according to the New Testament idea? Or must it suffice to hedge it in from without by the restraints of a law, which takes the form, "Thou shalt not?" Is it enough never to deviate by a hair's-breadth from the path of rectitude, or is something more required than this mere negative virtue ?

The writer of these pages believes that questions of this kind present real difficulty to many earnest men of business; and it is in the hope of contributing in some small measure to their solution that he ventures respectfully to ask the attention of Christians engaged in business to the considerations which follow, bearing on the ethics of commerce, from what seems to him the Christian point of view.

The law of Christ is more than mere morality. A law of righteousness it is; and so far it is coincident with the universally accepted code of morals. But over and above the law of righteousness there rises another law, which is

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