Friday, September 25, 2009

A warning to those who live for gain

Is not the life of millions clear, transparent selfishness? “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed?” This is the grand object of human research. The religion of the multitude is, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain.” Gain is the world’s summum bonum, the chief of all mortal good, the main chance, the prime object, the barometer of success in life, the one thing needful, the heart’s delight. And yet, O worldlings, who succeed in getting gain, and are esteemed to be shrewd and prudent, Jesus Christ calls you fools, and he is no thrower about of hard terms where they are not deserved.

“Thou fool,” said he, and why? Because the man’s soul would be required of him; and then whose would those things be which he had gathered together? Ah! ye who have been prosperous all your days, and made money, and risen in the world, and gathered a competence, and lived to gather wealth, if this be the one thing ye care about, tremble and expect your doom. O ye careless ones, do you dream that you were made to live for yourselves? Was this the object of
your Maker that you should live to gather gold for yourselves and for your children? Did he send you into this world merely that you might scrape together yellow clay? Has your Maker no claim upon you?

From a sermon entitled "The Shrill Trumpet of Admonition," delivered July 21, 1867. Image by Shirl under Creative Commons License.

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