CAIRD

RELIGION IN COMMON LIFE


BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE

John Caird was born at Greenock, Scotland, in 1820. He attained great popularity as a preacher in Edinburgh. In 1862 he was called to Park Church, Glasgow, and in 1873 became Principal of Glasgow University. The sermon given here was preached before the Queen in 1855, and, printed by her command, attained an amazing circulation. Dr. Caird's deep and earnest thought was clothed almost invariably in clear and beautiful language. He had many gifts as a pulpit speaker. His voice was full and deep-toned, his manner gracious and sympathetic, and his gestures, tho infrequent, were always significant and graceful. He died in 1898.

Lewis O. Brastow, D. D.


CAIRD

1820-1898

RELIGION IN COMMON LIFE

Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.—Romans xii., 11.

When a man is learning to be a Christian, it matters not what his particular work in life may be; the work he does is but the copy-line set to him; the main thing to be considered is that he learn to live well. The form is nothing, the execution is everything. It is true, indeed, that prayer, holy reading, meditation, the solemnities and services of the Church, are necessary to religion, and that these can be practised only apart from the work of secular life. But it is to be remembered that all such holy exercises do not terminate in themselves. They are but steps in the ladder to heaven, good only as they help us to climb. They are the irrigation and enriching of the spiritual soil—worse than useless if the crop become not more abundant. They are, in short, but means to an end—good, only in so far as they help us to be good and to do good—to glorify God and do good to man; and that end can perhaps best be attained by him whose life is a busy one, whose avocations bear him daily into contact with his fellows, into the intercourse of society, into the heart of the world. No man can be a thorough proficient in navigation who has never been at sea, tho he may learn the theory of it at home. No man can become a soldier by studying books on military tactics in his closet: he must in actual service acquire those habits of coolness, courage, discipline, address, rapid combination, without which the most learned in the theory of strategy or engineering will be but a schoolboy soldier after all. And, in the same way, a man in solitude and study may become a most learned theologian, or may train himself into the timid, effeminate piety of what is technically called "the righteous life." But never, in the highest and holiest sense, can he become a religious man, until he has acquired those habits of daily self-denial, of resistance to temptation, of kindness, gentleness, humility, sympathy, active beneficence, which are to be acquired only in daily contact with mankind. Tell us not, then, that the man of business, the bustling tradesman, the toil-worn laborer, has little or no time to attend to religion. As well tell us that the pilot, amid the winds and storms, has no leisure to attend to navigation—or the general, on the field of battle, to the art of war! Where will he attend to it? Religion is not a perpetual moping over good books—religion is not even prayer, praise, holy ordinances; these are necessary to religion—no man can be religious without them. But religion, I repeat, is, mainly and chiefly, the glorifying God amid the duties and trials of the world,—the guiding our course amid the adverse winds and currents of temptation, by the starlight of duty and the compass of divine truth,—the bearing us manfully, wisely, courageously, for the honor of Christ, our great Leader, in the conflict of life. Away then with the notion that ministers and devotees may be religious, but that a religious and holy life is impracticable in the rough and busy world! Nay rather, believe me, that is the proper scene, the peculiar and appropriate field for religion,—the place in which to prove that piety is not a dream of Sundays and solitary hours; that it can bear the light of day; that it can wear well amid the rough jostlings, the hard struggles, the coarse contacts of common life,—the place, in one word, to prove how possible it is for a man to be at once "not slothful in business," and "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."

Another consideration, which I shall adduce in support of the assertion that it is not impossible to blend religion with the business of common life, is this: that religion consists, not so much in doing spiritual or sacred acts, as in doing secular acts from a sacred or religious motive.

There is a very common tendency in our minds to classify actions according to their outward form, rather than according to the spirit or motive which pervades them. Literature is sometimes arbitrarily divided into "sacred" and "profane" literature, history into "sacred" and "profane" history,—in which classification the term "profane" is applied, not to what is bad or unholy, but to everything that is not technically sacred or religious—to all literature that does not treat of religious doctrines and duties, and to all history save church history. And we are very apt to apply the same principle to actions. Thus in many pious minds there is a tendency to regard all the actions of common life as so much, by an unfortunate necessity, lost to religion. Prayer, the reading of the Bible and devotional books, public worship—and buying, selling, digging, sowing, bartering, money-making, are separated into two distinct, and almost hostile, categories. The religious heart and sympathies are thrown entirely into the former, and the latter are barely tolerated as a bondage incident to our fallen state, but almost of necessity tending to turn aside the heart from God.

But what God has cleansed, why should we call common or unclean? The tendency in question, tho founded on right feeling, is surely a mistaken one. For it is to be remembered that moral qualities reside not in actions, but in the agent who performs them, and that it is the spirit or motive from which we do any work that constitutes it base or noble, worldly or spiritual, secular or sacred. The actions of an automaton may be outwardly the same as those of a moral agent, but who attributes to them goodness or badness? A musical instrument may discourse sacred melodies better than the holiest lips can sing them, but who thinks of commending it for its piety? It is the same with actions as with places. Just as no spot or scene on earth is in itself more or less holy than another, but the presence of a holy heart may hallow—or a base one desecrate—any place where it dwells; so with actions. Many actions, materially great and noble, may yet, because of the spirit that prompts and pervades them, be really ignoble and mean; and, on the other hand, many actions externally mean and lowly, may, because of the state of his heart who does them, be truly exalted and honorable. It is possible to fill the highest station on earth, and go through the actions pertaining to it in a spirit that degrades all its dignities, and renders all its high and courtly doings essentially sordid and vulgar. And it is no mere sentimentality to say that there may dwell in a lowly mechanic's or household servant's breast a spirit that dignifies the coarsest toils and "renders drudgery divine." Herod of old was a slave, tho he sat upon a throne; but who will say that the work of that carpenter's shop at Nazareth was not noble and kingly work indeed!

A life spent amidst holy things may be intensely secular; a life, the most of which is passed in the thick and throng of the world, may be holy and divine. A minister, for instance, preaching, praying, ever speaking holy words and performing sacred acts, may be all the while doing actions no more holy than those of the printer who prints Bibles, or of the bookseller who sells them; for, in both cases alike, the whole affair may be nothing more than a trade. Nay, the comparison tells worse for the former, for the secular trade is innocent and commendable, but the trade which traffics and tampers with holy things is, beneath all its mock solemnity, "earthly, sensual, devilish."

So, to adduce one other example, the public worship of God is holy work: no man can be living a holy life who neglects it. But the public worship of God may be—and with multitudes who frequent our churches is—degraded into work most worldly, most distasteful to the great Object of our homage. He "to whom all hearts be open, all desires known," discerns how many of you have come hither to-day from the earnest desire to hold communion with the Father of Spirits, to open your hearts to Him, to unburden yourselves in His loving presence of the cares and crosses that have been pressing hard upon you through the past week, and by common prayer and praise, and the hearing of His holy Word, to gain fresh incentive and energy for the prosecution of His work in the world; and how many, on the other hand, from no better motive, perhaps, than curiosity or old habit, or regard to decency and respectability, or the mere desire to get rid of yourselves, and pass a vacant hour that would hang heavy on your hands. And who can doubt that, where such motives as these prevail, to the piercing, unerring inspection of Him whom outwardly we seem to reverence, not the market-place, the exchange, the counting-room appears a place more intensely secular—not the most reckless and riotous festivity, a scene of more unhallowed levity, than is presented by the house of prayer?

But, on the other hand, carry holy principles with you into the world, and the world will become hallowed by their presence. A Christ-like spirit will Christianize everything it touches. A meek heart, in which the altar-fire of love to God is burning, will lay hold of the commonest, rudest things in life, and transmute them, like coarse fuel at the touch of fire, into a pure and holy flame. Religion in the soul will make all the work and toil of life—its gains and losses, friendships, rivalries, competitions—its manifold incidents and events—the means of religious advancement. Marble or coarse clay, it matters not much with which of these the artist works, the touch of genius transforms the coarser material into beauty, and lends to the finer a value it never had before. Lofty or lowly, rude or refined, as our earthly work may be, it will become to a holy mind only the material for something infinitely nobler than all the creations of genius—a pure and godlike life. To spiritualize what is material, to Christianize what is secular—this is the noble achievement of Christian principle. If you are a sincere Christian, it will be your great desire, by God's grace, to bring every gift, talent, occupation of life, every word you speak, every action you do, under the control of Christian motive. Your conversation may not always—nay, may seldom, save with intimate friends—consist of formally religious words; you may perhaps shrink from the introduction of religious topics in general society; but it demands a less amount of Christian effort occasionally to speak religious words, than to infuse the spirit of religion into all our words; and if the whole tenor of your common talk be pervaded by a spirit of piety, gentleness, earnestness, sincerity, it will be Christian conversation not the less. If God has endowed you with intellectual gifts, it may be well if you directly devote them to His service in the religious instruction; but a man may be a Christian thinker and writer as much when giving to science, or history, or biography, or poetry, a Christian tone and spirit, as when composing sermons or writing hymns. To promote the cause of Christ directly, by furthering every religious and missionary enterprise at home and abroad, is undoubtedly your duty; but remember that your duty terminates not when you have done all this, for you may promote Christ's cause even still more effectually when in your daily demeanor—in the family, in society, in your business transactions, in all your common intercourse with the world—you are diffusing the influence of Christian principle around you by the silent eloquence of a holy life. Rise superior, in Christ's strength, to all equivocal practises and advantages in trade; shrink from every approach to meanness or dishonesty; let your eye, fixed on a reward before which earthly wealth grows dim, beam with honor; let the thought of God make you self-restrained, temperate, watchful over speech and conduct; let the abiding sense of Christ's redeeming love to you make you gentle, self-denying, kind, and loving to all around you;—then indeed will your secular life become spiritualized, whilst, at the same time, your spiritual life will grow more fervent; then not only will your prayers become more devout, but when the knee bends not, and the lip is silent, the life in its heavenward tone will "pray without ceasing;" then from amidst the roar and din of earthly toil the ear of God will hear the sweetest anthems rising; then, finally, will your daily experience prove that it is no high and unattainable elevation of virtue, but a simple and natural thing, to which the text points, when it bids us to be both "diligent in business" and "fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."

As a last illustration of the possibility of blending religion with the business of common life, let me call your attention to what may be described as the mind's power of acting on latent principles.

In order to live a religious life in the world, every action must be governed by religious motives. But in making this assertion, it is not by any means implied that in all the familiar actions of our daily life religion must form a direct and conscious object of thought. To be always thinking of God, and Christ, and eternity amidst our worldly work, and, however busy, eager, interested we may be in the special business before us, to have religious ideas, doctrines, beliefs, present to the mind,—this is simply impossible. The mind can no more consciously think of heaven and earth at the same moment than the body can be in heaven and earth at the same moment. Moreover there are few kinds of work in the world that, to be done well, must not be done heartily, many that require, in order to excellence, the whole condensed force and energy of the highest mind.

But tho it be true that we can not, in our worldly work, be always consciously thinking of religion, yet it is also true that unconsciously, we may be acting under its ever-present control. As there are laws and powers in the natural world of which, without thinking of them, we are ever availing ourselves,—as I do not think of gravitation when I move my limbs, or of atmospheric laws when, by means of them, I breathe, so in the routine of daily work, tho comparatively seldom do I think of them, I may yet be constantly swayed by the motives, sustained by the principles, living, breathing, acting in the invisible atmosphere of true religion. There are under-currents in the ocean which act independently of the movements of the waters on the surface; far down too in its hidden depths there is a region where, even tho the storm be raging on the upper waves, perpetual calmness and stillness reign. So there may be an under-current beneath the surface-movements of your life—there may dwell in the secret depths of your being the abiding peace of God, the repose of a holy mind, even tho, all the while, the restless stir and commotion of worldly business may mark your outer history.

And, in order to see this, it is to be remembered, that many of the thoughts and motives that most powerfully impel and govern us in the common actions of life, are latent thoughts and motives. Have you not often experienced that curious law—a law, perhaps, contrived by God with an express view to this its highest application—by which a secret thought or feeling may lie brooding in your mind, quite apart from the particular work in which you happen to be employed? Have you never, for instance, while reading aloud, carried along with you in your reading the secret impression of the presence of the listener—an impression that kept pace with all the mind's activity in the special work of reading; nay, have you not sometimes felt the mind, while prosecuting without interruption the work of reading, yet at the same time carrying on some other train of reflection apart altogether from that suggested by the book? Here is obviously a particular "business" in which you were "diligent," yet another and different thought to which the "spirit" turned. Or, think of the work in which I am this moment occupied. Amidst all the mental exertions of the public speaker—underneath the outward workings of his mind, so to speak, there is the latent thought of the presence of auditory. Perhaps no species of exertion requires greater concentration of thought or undividedness of attention than this: and yet, amidst all the subtle processes of intellect,—the excogitation or recollection of ideas,—the selection, right ordering and enunciation of words, there never quits his mind for one moment the idea of the presence of the listening throng. Like a secret atmosphere, it surrounds and bathes his spirit as he goes on with the external work. And have not you too, my friends, an Auditor—it may be a "great cloud of witnesses,"—but at least one all-glorious Witness and Listener ever present, ever watchful, as the discourse of life proceeds? Why then, in this case too, while the outward business is diligently prosecuted, may there not be on your spirit a latent and constant impression of that awful inspection? What worldly work so absorbing as to leave no room in a believer's spirit for the hallowing thought of that glorious Presence ever near? Do not say that you do not see God—that the presence of the divine Auditor is not forced upon your senses as that of the human auditory on the speaker. For the same process goes on in the secret meditations as in the public addresses of the preacher—the same latent reference to those who shall listen to his words dwells in his mind when in his solitary retirement he thinks and writes, as when he speaks in their immediate presence. And surely if the thought of an earthly auditory—of human minds and hearts that shall respond to his thoughts and words can intertwine itself with all the activities of a man's mind, and flash back inspiration on his soul, at least as potent and as penetrating may the thought be, or Him, the great Lord of heaven and earth, who not only sees and knows us now, but before whose awful presence, in the last great congregation, we shall stand forth to recount and answer for our every thought and deed.

Or, to take but one other example, have we not all felt that the thought of anticipated happiness may blend itself with the work of our business hours? The laborer's evening release from toil, the schoolboy's coming holiday, or the hard-wrought business-man's approaching season of relaxation—the expected return of a long-absent and much-loved friend—is not the thought of these, or similar joyous events, one which often intermingles with, without interrupting, our common work? When a father goes forth to his "labor till the evening," perhaps often, very often, in the thick of his toils, the thought of home may start up to cheer him. The smile that is to welcome him, as he crosses his lowly threshold when the work of the day is over, the glad faces, and merry voices, and sweet caresses of little ones, as they shall gather round him in the quiet evening hours—the thought of all this may dwell, a latent joy, a hidden motive, deep down in his heart of hearts, may come rushing in a sweet solace at every pause of exertion, and act like a secret oil to smooth the wheels of labor. And so, in the other cases I have named, even when our outward activities are the most strenuous, even when every energy of mind and body is full strung for work, the anticipation of coming happiness may never be absent from our minds. The heart has a secret treasury, where our hopes and joys are often garnered—too precious to be parted with even for a moment.

And why may not the highest of all hopes and joys possess the same all-pervading influence? Have we, if our religion be real, no anticipation of happiness in the glorious future? Is there no "rest that remaineth for the people of God," no home and loving heart awaiting us when the toils of our hurried day of life are ended? What is earthly rest or relaxation, what that release from toil after which we so often sigh, but the faint shadow of the saint's everlasting rest—the repose of eternal purity—the calm of a spirit in which, not the tension of labor only, but the strain of the moral strife with sin, has ceased—the rest of the soul in God! What visions of earthly bliss can ever—if our Christian faith be not a form—compare with "the glory soon to be revealed"—what joy of earthly reunion with the rapture of the hour when the heavens shall yield our absent Lord to our embrace, to be parted from us no more for ever! And if all this be not a dream and a fancy, but most sober truth, what is there to except this joyful hope from that law to which, in all other deep joys, our minds are subject? Why may we not, in this case too, think often, amidst our worldly work, of the Home to which we are going, of the true and loving heart that beats for us, and of the sweet and joyous welcome that awaits us there? And even when we make them not, of set purpose, the subject of our thoughts, is there not enough of grandeur in the objects of a believer's hope to pervade his spirit at all times with a calm and reverential joy? Do not think all this strange, fanatical, impossible. If it do seem so, it can only be because your heart is in the earthly hopes, but not in the higher and holier hopes—because love to Christ is still to you but a name—because you can give more ardor of thought to the anticipation of a coming holiday than to the hope of heaven and glory everlasting. No, my friends! the strange thing is, not that amidst the world's work we should be able to think of our Home, but that we should ever be able to forget it; and the stranger, sadder still, that while the little day of life is passing,—morning—noontide—evening,—each stage more rapid than the last, while to many the shadows are already fast lengthening, and the declining sun warns them that "the night is at hand, wherein no man can work," there should be those amongst us whose whole thoughts are absorbed in the business of the world, and to whom the reflection never occurs that soon they must go out into eternity—without a friend—without a home!

Such, then, is the true idea of the Christian life—a life not of periodic observances, or of occasional fervors, or even of splendid acts of heroism and self-devotion, but of quiet, constant, unobtrusive earnestness, amidst the commonplace work of the world. This is the life to which Christ calls us. Is it yours? Have you entered upon it, or are you now willing to enter upon it? It is not, I admit, an imposing or an easy one. There is nothing in it to dazzle, much in its hardness and plainness to deter the irresolute. The life of a follower of Christ demands not, indeed, in our day, the courage of the hero or the martyr, the fortitude that braves outward dangers and sufferings, and flinches not from persecution and death. But with the age of persecution the difficulties of the Christian life have not passed away. In maintaining, in the unambitious routine of humble duties, a spirit of Christian cheerfulness and contentment—in preserving the fervor of piety amidst unexciting cares and wearing anxieties—in the perpetual reference to lofty ends amidst lowly toils—there may be evinced a faith as strong as that of a man who dies with the song of martyrdom on his lips. It is a great thing to love Christ so dearly as to be "ready to be bound and to die" for Him; but it is often a thing not less great to be ready to take up our daily cross, and to live for Him.

But be the difficulties of a Christian life in the world what they may, they need not discourage us. Whatever the work to which our Master calls us, He offers us a strength commensurate with our needs. No man who wishes to serve Christ will ever fail for lack of heavenly aid. And it will be no valid excuse for an ungodly life that it is difficult to keep alive the flame of piety in the world, if Christ be ready to supply the fuel.

To all, then, who really wish to lead such a life, let me suggest that the first thing to be done—that without which all other efforts are worse than vain—is heartily to devote themselves to God through Christ Jesus. Much as has been said of the infusion of religious principle and motive into our worldly work, there is a preliminary advice of greater importance still—that we be religious. Life comes before growth. The soldier must enlist before he can serve. In vain are directions how to keep the fire ever burning on the altar, if first it be not kindled. No religion can be genuine, no goodness can be constant or lasting, that springs not, as its primary source, from faith in Jesus Christ. To know Christ as my Savior—to come with all my guilt and weakness to Him in whom trembling penitence never fails to find a friend—to cast myself at His feet in whom all that is sublime in divine holiness is softened, though not obscured, by all that is beautiful in human tenderness—and, believing in that love stronger than death which, for me, and such as me, drained the cup of untold sorrows, and bore without murmur the bitter curse of sin, to trust my soul for time and eternity into His hands—this is the beginning of true religion. And it is the reverential love with which the believer must ever look to Him to whom he owes so much, that constitutes the mainspring of the religion of daily life. Selfishness may prompt to a formal religion, natural susceptibility may give rise to a fitful one, but for a life of constant fervent piety, amidst the world's cares and toils, no motive is sufficient save one—self-devoted love to Christ.

But again, if you would lead a Christian life in the world, let me remind you that that life must be continued as well as begun with Christ. You must learn to look to Him not merely as your Savior from guilt, but as the Friend of your secret life, the chosen Companion of your solitary hours, the Depositary of all the deeper thoughts and feelings of your soul. You can not live for Him in the world unless you live much with Him, apart from the world. In spiritual as in secular things, the deepest and strongest characters need much solitude to form them. Even earthly greatness, much more moral and spiritual greatness, is never attained but as the result of much that is concealed from the world—of many a lonely and meditative hour. Thoughtfulness, self-knowledge, self-control, a chastened wisdom and piety, are the fruit of habitual meditation and prayer. In these exercises heaven is brought near, and our exaggerated estimate of earthly things corrected. By these our spiritual energies, shattered and worn by the friction of worldly work, are repaired. In the recurring seasons of devotion the cares and anxieties of worldly business cease to vex us; exhausted with its toils, we have, in daily communion with God, "meat to eat which the world knoweth not of;" and even when its calamities and losses fall upon us, and our portion of worldly good may be withdrawn, we may be able to show, like those holy ones of old at the heathen court, by the fair serene countenance of the spirit, that we have something better than the world's pulse to feed upon.

But, further, in availing yourself of this divine resource amidst the daily exigencies of life, why should you wait always for the periodic season and the formal attitude of prayer? The heavens are not open to the believer's call only at intervals. The grace of God's Holy Spirit falls not like the fertilizing shower, only now and then; or like the dew on the earth's face, only at morning and night. At all times on the uplifted face of the believer's spirit the gracious element is ready to descend. Pray always; pray without ceasing. When difficulties arise, delay not to seek and obtain at once the succor you need. Swifter than by the subtle electric agent is thought borne from earth to heaven. The Great Spirit on high is in constant sympathy with the believing spirit beneath, and in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the thrill of aspiration flashes from the heart of man to God. Whenever anything vexes you—whenever, from the rude and selfish ways of men, any trials of temper cross your path—when your spirits are ruffled, or your Christian forbearance put to the test, be this your instant resource! Haste away, if only for a moment, to the serene and peace-breathing presence of Jesus, and you will not fail to return with a spirit soothed and calmed. Or when the impure and low-minded surround you—when, in the path of duty, the high tone of your Christian purity is apt to suffer from baser contacts, oh, what a relief to lift the heart to Christ!—to rise on the wings of faith—even for one instant to breathe the air of that region where the Infinite Purity dwells, and then return with a mind steeled against temptation, ready to recoil, with the instinctive abhorrence of a spirit that has been beside the throne, from all that is impure and vile. Say not, then, with such aid at your command, that religion can not be brought down to common life!

In conclusion, let me once more urge upon you the great lesson on which we have been insisting. Carry religious principle into everyday life. Principle elevates whatever it touches. Facts lose all their littleness to the mind which brings principle and law to bear upon them. The chemist's or geologist's soiled hands are no sign of base work; the coarsest operations of the laboratory, the breaking of stones with a hammer, cease to be mechanical when intellectual thought and principle govern the mind and guide the hands. And religious principle is the noblest of all. Bring it to bear on common actions and coarse cares, and infinitely nobler even than the philosophic or scientific, becomes the Christian life. Live for Christ in common things, and all your work will become priestly work. As in the temple of old, it was holy work to hew wood or mix oil, because it was done for the altar-sacrifice or the sacred lamps; so all your coarse and common work will receive a consecration when done for God's glory, by one who is a true priest to His temple.

Carry religion into common life, and your life will be rendered useful as well as noble. There are many men who listen incredulously to the high-toned exhortations of the pulpit; the religious life there depicted is much too seraphic, they think, for this plain and prosaic world of ours. Show these men that the picture is not a fancy one. Make it a reality. Bring religion down from the clouds. Apply to it the infallible test of experiment; and, by suffusing your daily actions with holy principles, prove that love to God, superiority to worldly pleasure, spirituality, holiness, heavenly-mindedness, are something more than the stock ideas of sermons.

Carry religious principle into common life, and common life will lose its transitoriness. "The world passeth away!" "The things that are seen are temporal." Soon business with all its cares and anxieties—the whole "unprofitable stir and fever of the world"—will be to us a thing of the past. But religion does something better than sigh and muse over the perishableness of earthly things; it finds in them the seed of immortality. No work done for Christ perishes. No action that helps to mold the deathless mind of a saint of God is ever lost. Live for Christ in the world, and you carry with you into eternity all of the results of the world's business that are worth the keeping. The river of life sweeps on, but the gold grains it held in solution are left behind deposited in the holy heart. "The world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." Every other result of our "diligence in business" will soon be gone. You cannot invent any mode of exchange between the visible and invisible worlds, so that the balance at your credit in the one can be transferred, when you migrate from it, to your account in the other. Worldly sharpness, acuteness, versatility, are not the qualities in request in the world to come. The capacious intellect, stored with knowledge, and disciplined into admirable perspicacity, tact, worldly wisdom, by a lifetime devoted to politics or business, is not, by such attainments, fitted to take a higher place among the sons of immortality. The honor, fame, respect, obsequious homage that attend worldly greatness up to the grave's brink, will not follow it one step beyond. These advantages are not to be despised; but if these be all that, by the toil of our hand, or the sweat of our brow, we have gained, the hour is fast coming when we shall discover that we have labored in vain and spent our strength for naught. But while these pass, there are other things that remain. The world's gains and losses may soon cease to affect us, but not the gratitude or the patience, the kindness or the resignation, they drew forth from our hearts. The world's scenes of business may fade on our sight, the noise of its restless pursuits may fall no more upon our ear, when we pass to meet our God; but not one unselfish thought, not one kind and gentle word, not one act of self-sacrificing love done for Jesus' sake, in the midst of our common work, but will have left an indelible impress on the soul which will go out with it to its eternal destiny. So live, then, that this may be the result of your labors. So live that your work, whether in the Church or in the world, may become a discipline for that glorious state of being in which the Church and the world shall become one,—where work shall be worship, and labor shall be rest,—where the worker shall never quit the temple, nor the worshiper the place of work, because "there is no temple therein, but the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple thereof."