Pulpit Commentary Homiletics
I. THE ANCIENT FAME OF TYRO. Consecrated to Melkarth, the principal god of the city, the temple on the island, the supposed site of the ancient city, is said by Arrian to have been the most ancient within the memory of man. Ezekiel speaks of Tyre as "in the midst of the seas" (Ezekiel 27:25, 26). The Tyrians were closely connected with the Zidonians, those famous "hewers of timber" (1 Kings 5:6). And perhaps the Zidonians of Homer ('Ii.,' 6:290; 23. 743; 'Od.,' 4:841; 17:424) include the Tyrians. Besides their renown ha forest-craft, they were skilful workers in brass and copper. In Solomon's time there was close intercourse between Hebrews and Tyrians, the former exchanging their corn and oil for the cedar-wood and precious metals of the latter (1 Kings 9:11-14, 26-25; 10:22). The denunciation of the prophets against Tyre begin from the time when the Tyrians and the Phoenicians began to buy Hebrew captives and sell them-to the Greeks: "The children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the GreciaJoel 3:6; cf. Amos 1:9, 10). A great commercial people, they planted Carthage, and became possessed of Cyprus. We find one Luliya (or Elulaeus) named in Josephus ('Ant.' 9:14. 2) as ruling over Tyre during this prosperous period; he seems to have been, in fact, king also of Zidon and suzerain of Phoenicia. He ned before Sennacherib to Cyprus ('Records of the Past,' 7:61). It is in the light of such relations - Phoenicia trembling before the advance of Assyria and warned by the fate of Babylonia - that we must read the prophecy or oracle.
II. THE RUMOR OF ILL. We see in this picture the trading-ships of the Phoenicians returning from their distant colonies in. Spain on the Baetis (or Guadalquivir)... Their last landing-place on the way home is Cyprus, the land of Chittim (or Citium). And here the news meets them that their harbor and their home is desolate. And a mighty howl arises from the fleet, while the dwellers on the Phoenician coast are dumb with grief. Egypt also is implicated in the fate of Tyre. In the description by Ezekiel of the wealth of Tyre, we read, "Fine linen with broidered work from Egypt was that which thou spreadest forth to be thy sail" (Ezekiel 27:7). So here the" seed of Sihor" (the Nile) is on the ocean-highway, their trade being car, led on for them by the Phoenicians. The Phoenician coast was the "barn for the corn of the Nile," and they distributed it to the nations. And now Phoenicia is addressed through Zidon, the ancient ancestral city. The city was thought of in antiquity as feminine - sometimes as a daughter, sometimes as a mother. So Tyrian coins bear the legend, "Of Tyre, mother of the Zidoniaes" The rocky stronghold of the sea speaks, and complains that she is like a barren woman; for the war has robbed her of her young men and maidens. In effect she says, "I am destroyed; my wealth and resources gone, my commerce annihilated, I cease to plant cities and colonies, and to nourish and foster them by my trade." Tyre, a daughter of the sea, is denied by her own mother. As Tyre was an outpost of Egypt against the Assyrians, she, too, is "sore pained" at the sad tidings.
III. THE LAMENTATION OVER TYRE. The prophet advises the people to migrate to their Spanish colonies; for the capital can no longer shelter them. From later times we have a picture of a scene similar to that now passing before his mind's eye. When Alexander the Great besieged Tyre they at first laughed at the king and the mound which he built, "as if he thought to vanquish Poseidon," god of the sea; afterwards, as it grew surprisingly, they sent their children, wives, and old people to Carthage" (Diod., 17:41). And the LXX. says that they fled thither on this occasion.
1. Luxury and pride ashamed. The prophet looks in vision upon a heap of ruins; it is like the corpse of a once beautiful and proud woman. Once she was the "joyous city, that dwelt carelessly" (Zephaniah 2:15), and felt herself to be without a rival. She boasted of her antiquity. The Tyrians told Herodotus (in the fifth century B.C.) that their city had already been founded two thousand three hundred years (Zephaniah 2:44). Her traders, like those of Venice in the Middle Ages, had been reckoned the equals of princes and kings (Jeremiah 25:22). But greed, arrogance, oppressive conduct towards other nations, had brought her low.
2. The judgment of God. The hand of Jehovah must be traced and felt in all this. He brings the haughty low, that the meek and despised may be raised. Beauty, which has itself associations of sacredness to the imagination, is not beautiful when it gilds and glorifies infamy. Then Jehovah desecrates it, and. brings disgrace upon the grace and honor of the merely worldly great. "Whoever is the instrument, yet the overthrow of wicked, proud, and vicious cities and nations is to be traced to the God who rules in the empires and kingdoms of the earth; and he often selects the most distinguished and important cities and men to make them examples to others, and to show the ease with which he can bring all down to the earth." The dispersion of the people is strongly contrasted with their own belief in their rooted and immemorial origin in the soil of Phoenicia.
IV. EMANCIPATION OF THE TYRIAN COLONIES. Harshly treated, perhaps, they take the first opportunity of throwing off the yoke of the mother-city. Especially Tartessus is mentioned. She may now freely and unhindered overflow the land, even as, in the time of the inundation, Nile's waters overspread Egypt (Amos 8:8; Amos 9:5). There is no "girdle;" perhaps no bridle in the hand of Tyre any longer to restrain her colony's defiant independence. For all the kingdoms that border upon the sea, especially Phoenicia and Syria, have been convulsed with alarm, as Jehovah's hand was stretched out, and the order was given to destroy the strong places of Canaan. Then, under the favorite figure of the woman, the city appears no longer an inviolate maiden, but dishonored and defiled. Cyprus will afford no refuge for the fugitives, for she will be rejoicing at deliverance from the Phoenician yoke, and will not welcome them; or the "long arm" of the Assyrian will reach them there. No power, however well founded and far-extending, can endure against the fiat of the Almighty. It might seem impossible that a city so celebrated and so powerful, so well defended and fortified, and associated with many allies and confederates, should be destroyed and overturned; but "all that appears permanent in the worm stands or falls according to the will of God, and there is no need of the instruments of war for overturning the best fortified place, but the mere expression of the will of God is enough" (Calvin). Warning from the fate of the Kasdim. We know little about this people, who are, perhaps, used to denote Babylon in general, conquered by Sargon. This land has been turned into a desert and haunt of wild beasts. The battering-engines of the Assyrians have reduced their forts to ruin. All around denotes the impending ruin to Tyro.
V. THE RESTORATION OF TYRE. At the end of "seventy years," probably put for a long period, it appears that commerce will revive, "but only as the handmaid of religion." This is the main truth to be dwelt on, and the obscurity of the passage must be left to the exegetes. Recurring to the city under the image of the woman - now a ringing-woman - the prophet looks forward to the time when there will be the mirth of restored prosperity in the seats of Tyro. "When it begins again to make love to all the world, it will get rich again from the profit acquired by this worldly intercourse. Wealth will no longer be stored up and capitalized as formerly, but tributes and presents will be given to Israel, and thus help to sustain in abundance and clothe in stately dress the nation which dwelt before Jehovah, i.e. whose true dwelling-place was in the temple before the presence of God (Psalm 27:4; Psalm 84:5)" (Delitzsch). In Christian times there was a Church at Tyre, visited by St. Paul (Acts 21:3, 4), and so its trade was connected with the spread of the gospel.
1. God mingles compassion with his chastisements of cities, peoples, and individuals. If so towards the wicked, how much more towards the children of his adoption and love! Restoration, revivals of prosperity, are from him who, as the proverb says, "never smites with both hands."
2. There is a selfish and corrupt and a true and generous spirit in trade. A time is contemplated when riches will be no longer absorbed by a few enormous capitalists, but be diffused for the common good. The narrow-minded in trade is the sign of the narrow heart; the best traders are those whom love to their kind has taught to unite personal interest with the general good. The accumulation of immense wealth can hardly be the object of a Christian ambition. Let us hasten, by prayer, by teaching, by example, the time when wealth shall not be treasured nor laid up -
"No more shall rest in mounded heaps, 3. Commerce and Christianity should go hand-in-hand. Our sailors and our merchants should be the best pioneers of the gospel, and our missionaries the most enlightened friends of commerce and civilization. So may our "Happy sails...
3. Commerce and Christianity should go hand-in-hand. Our sailors and our merchants should be the best pioneers of the gospel, and our missionaries the most enlightened friends of commerce and civilization. So may our
I. ITS CERTAINTY.
1. The duration of time is no guarantee against its coming; Tyre was a "joyous city, whose antiquity was of ancient days" (ver. 7), but judgment would fall upon her in God's chosen time. Both men and nations are apt to think that long continuance in comfort is a sufficient pledge that it will never be disturbed; duration begets a false sense of security. If men could only see things as they are, they would perceive that the true argument is exactly opposite to that in which they indulge; for the longer a man has been living in unvisited transgression, the longer has penalty been due, and the sooner may he confidently expect retribution to arrive.
2. Ordinary defenses are of no avail against it. The commerce and consequent wealth of Tyre (vers. 2, 3), her replenishments, from Zidon, and her enrichments from Egypt would not save her; nor would the high station to which she had mounted, nor the social position of her sons; it was nothing to the righteous Lord that she was esteemed a "crowning city" (ver. 8), and that her merchants were princes. No defenses that we can raise will avert God's judgment when the hour is ripe for sentence to be executed. Wealth cannot buy off retribution, nor can rank interpose its influence to avert it; science cannot teach us how to elude it; and the arm of affection is impotent to shield us from its blow. There is no barrier man can raise which is not swept down in a moment when God arises to judgment.
II. ITS FULNESS AND EFFICACY.
1. It silences. (Ver. 2.) It brings the curses, the clamors, the revilings, the slanderous accusations, the shameful innuendoes of ungodliness and of malignity to a disgraceful end. "God strikes a silence through them all."
2. It scatters, it dissolves. (Vers. 6, 7, 10.) It sends the children of iniquity, of vice, of crime, to "the four corners of the earth;" it disperses them over sea and land. The bands of sin are broken up, and its guilty members are scattered far and wide.
3. It humiliates. (Ver. 12.) The virgin-daughter of Zidon should be humbled; God's judgments bring to the dust of humiliation those who have held their head high and treated others with indignity.
4. It pursues. (Ver. 12.) "There also shalt thou have no rest." The penalty of a man's sin finds him out whithersoever he may go to escape it. Jonah "flees from the presence of the Lord;" but whither shall a man flee from his presence, or from the blow of his chastisements? No change of, skies, of scenes, of society, of occupations, will shut out accusing recollections from the soul, or shield from the uncompleted corrections of the Divine hand. The serious and repeated violation of the "greater commandments" of God is attended with penalties which pursue the soul from place to place, and from period to period, in all the journey of our life.
5. It incapacitates. (Ver. 4.) Tyre should lose her power to found colonies and to sustain cities; she would be reduced to helplessness and incapacity. This is the fate of those whom God's judgment overtakes. What they once did with pride and joy they can do no longer, though they put forth all their remaining powers; there is "no strength in their right hand." The energies of the mind, the vigor of the soul, the craft of the hand, - all is gone.
III. ITS REMOTE EFFECTS. When Tyre fell, the ships of Tarshish would have occasion to lament (vers. 1, 14), Zidon would have to be ashamed of her daughter (ver. 4), and Egypt would be sorely pained (ver. 5). Far across sea and land, and a long way down the coming and departing years, reach the sad consequences of guilt. The wisest moralist cannot point to the place where these will not be found, nor the cleverest calculator tell the time when these will not he felt.
IV. ITS DIVINE MEANING. "The Lord of hosts hath purposed it, to stain the pride of all glory," etc. (ver. 9). God sends punishment because it is due; because, in the exercise of his righteousness, sin must be marked with the signs of his deep displeasure; but he sends such penalties as he does send in order to compel his subjects to see and to feel that the glory of man can be scattered in a moment, and that over all his magnificence the shadow of death will be thrown whensoever the hand of Divine judgment is uplifted. God's visitations are man's opportunities; then may he learn and feel - as otherwise he never would - that his only wisdom is in instant abandonment of every evil way, and immediate return, in penitence and faith, to a forgiving and restoring Savior. - C.
use other nations, and so to neglect their responsibilities to them. To this danger commercial England is now exposed. Very much of the talk of the day goes on the assumption that the whole world was made for the sake of England. We are being constantly reminded of our individuality, and of the precise mission of the individual; we may be profitably reminded that there is an individuality of nations, and that each nation has its separate mission and responsibility. Dr. Arnold illustrates this when he says, "There are three peoples of God's election - Rome, Athens, and Jerusalem; two for things temporal, and one for things eternal. Yet even in things eternal they were allowed to minister. Greek cultivation and Roman polity prepared men for Christianity." "God appears to have communicated all religious knowledge to mankind through the Jewish people, and all intellectual civilization through the Greeks." As a distinctively commercial city, we may observe -
I. THE MISSION OF TYRE IN CIVILIZATION. The refinement of human society comes about by the operation of the laws of association and emulation, just as does the refinement of the individual and the family. It is by seeing the things others possess, and the ways others take, that we are incited to personal, family, and social improvements. Families that shut themselves up from society keep their boorish manners. Nations isolated by natural situation civilize very slowly. Exactly what happens to the young men through Continental travel happens to a nation when it reaches out to other lands the hand of commerce. In neither case is the result wholly good, but a large share of goodness is in it, because intellectual growth and moral advancement always go along with the material advantages of civilization.
II. THE MISSION OF TYRE IN THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE RACE. The scattering of the nations over the earth; the development of special race-types; the separations made by antagonistic interests and aggrandizing individuals, all tend to the destruction of the sense of mutual brotherhood. And just this commercial nations revive, by bringing plainly to view how the prosperity of one nation depends on the prosperity of another, and how the well-being of the whole race-family can alone be secured by universal freedom, peace, and kindly helpfulness. Tennyson reminds of this in the lines -
"Knit land to land, and blowing heavenward... III. ITS MISSION IN THE DEMAND OF HUMANITY FOR WORK. It is singular that man's idea of bliss should have become "idleness." The end set before a man in this life is that he shall no longer have need for work. Yet work is man's good - the Divine idea in his creation; the Divine agency for his culture; and the inexpressibly sad thing to say about any man, here or yonder, is that he does not work. And commerce, by constantly creating new demands and enriching our stores of raw material, makes work. All hindrances to commerce, such as taxation and war, injure the nations by putting limitations on work. Universal peace would mean a healthy activity throughout the world. Every man using his ability in the service of his fellow, and getting, as his return, the service of his fellow to him. But there are evils attending the spread of commerce. Especially such as follow the undue share of wealth possessed by individuals. Shelley speaks of it thus - "Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
III. ITS MISSION IN THE DEMAND OF HUMANITY FOR WORK. It is singular that man's idea of bliss should have become "idleness." The end set before a man in this life is that he shall no longer have need for work. Yet work is man's good - the Divine idea in his creation; the Divine agency for his culture; and the inexpressibly sad thing to say about any man, here or yonder, is that he does not work. And commerce, by constantly creating new demands and enriching our stores of raw material, makes work. All hindrances to commerce, such as taxation and war, injure the nations by putting limitations on work. Universal peace would mean a healthy activity throughout the world. Every man using his ability in the service of his fellow, and getting, as his return, the service of his fellow to him. But there are evils attending the spread of commerce. Especially such as follow the undue share of wealth possessed by individuals. Shelley speaks of it thus -
"Commerce has set the mark of selfishness,
I. THAT THIS MUTUAL DEPENDENCE TENDS TO CHECK THE WAR-SPIRIT. The people of the nations never want war. They may be roused to a fever-heat of passion, and so be driven into war; but the long experience of the ages proves that, whoever gets good out of war, the people always suffer. Classes of society want war; but only for the maintenance of selfish interests. The evil of war is seen in its shutting the markets of the world. Such is England's dependence on foreign corn, and so nearly does it consume its stores in the face of the new harvest, that six months' war would threaten famine. All classes, except those who trade in war and war material, pray and strive for universal peace. Man's true interests support the Christian principles.
II. THAT THIS MUTUAL DEPENDENCE ENRICHES ALL SECTIONS. God has ordered his world so that nobody shall be "sufficient to himself." And the more a man seems to have, the more dependent he becomes, because of the increase of his wants. The most independent man is the ignorant laborer, who can lie anywhere and eat anything; the least independent, the wealthy man who has encouraged ten thousand needless wants and luxuries. God puts the abundance of one thing in one land, and of another thing in another. And the exchange of commodities enriches all. The world is one body, "and if one member suffer, all the members suffer with it." The interest of one nation is the interest of all. God is the God and Father of all. - R.T.
I. ALL LANDS HAVE THEIR RIVERS. Think of the Tiber, the Tigris, the Thames, the Rhone, the Rhine, the Nile, the Niger. Cities rise on their banks which are, like Tyre, populous and prosperous. The harvest is vast indeed. Ships which are freighted with necessaries and luxuries, with the works of art, the spoils of the sea, and the produce of far-away lauds, all come up the river. What wonder that the river should become a type of the blessings of the gospel - that the prophet should tell us "living waters shall flow out of Jerusalem!"
II. THE HARVESTS ARE MANIFOLD. We are so accustomed to think of the golden sheaves of the corn-fields when we mention the rivers, that we are liable to forget how indebted we are to the broad estuaries which bear on their bosom the wealth of many nations. How manifold, too, are our harvests under the gospel! Where that comes philanthropy lives, and social purity flows, and justice is sacred in its rivers of righteousness, and salvation comes, delivering us from sensuality and sin. Harvests? Surely the Christian should notice how wide and vast the gospel waters are.
III. THEIR DRYING UP IS DEATH. We cannot live without rain and rivers. Cattle perish. Verdure withers. Man himself dies. No wealth can purchase what God gives so plentifully. "Hath the rain a Father?" Oh yes. Not a mere Creator, but a Father; for it is rich in evidences of his universal care and love. God gives "the former and the latter rain," and all through the ages the rivers flow into the sea. So God's truth remains! The living water flows, and the voice is still heard, "He, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." - W.M.S.
Joshua 19:29); nothing of that mighty metropolis which baffled the proud Nebuchadnezzar and all his power for thirteen years, until every head in his army was bald, and every shoulder peeled in the hard service against Tyrus (Ezekiel 29:18); nothing in this wretched roadstead and. empty markets to remind one of the times when merry mariners did sing in her markets; no visible trace of those towering ramparts which so long resisted the efforts of the great Alexander; - all have vanished like a troubled dream. As she now is and has long been, Tyre is God's witness; but great, powerful, and populous, she would be the infidel's boast." The point to be illustrated is that God will be sure to deal with individuals and with nations, for the humbling and crushing of pride. He will do so because -
I. PRIDE INVOLVES PERIL TO A MAN'S OWN CHARACTER. There can be no healthy growth where it is present. The passive virtues, which are so specially commended in Christianity, cannot dwell with pride, which is so closely allied with satisfaction in self and the despising of others. Pride is a worm at the loot of the tree of character.
II. PRIDE DESTROYS THE COMFORTABLENESS OF A MAN'S RELATIONS WITH HIS FELLOW-MEN. The proud man tries to keep away from his fellows. And his fellows are glad enough to keep away from him. It is inconceivably miserable for a "man to be placed alone in the midst of the earth."
III. PRIDE SPOILS A MAN'S RELATIONS WITH GOD. They are founded on the proper humility of the submissive and dependent creature. For man the universal law is, "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time," or else you certainly must, as Tyre, be humbled. - R.T.
the place where God's judgments are resting. The judgment was on the Tyrians, and it affected Tyre only for their sakes. So to escape from Tyre could not result in getting away from the afflicting and humbling hand of God. This may be efficiently illustrated from the story of Jonah, who hurried from the upland districts of Palestine to take ship at Joppa, flee across the great sea, and get away from the presence of the Lord. He could not. God holdeth "the winds in his fists, and the waters in the hollow of his hand," and can send these to execute his judgments. And still it is a fixed idea of men, out of which they need to be driven, that they can get free of their disabilities, and of Divine judgment as correction of sin, by changing their circumstances, or going from one place to another. Never. God deals with theft, and only in a secondary sense with their circumstances. As long as we sin we come into the Divine judgment. If we suffer, and yet the evil is not cured, the Divine judgments must continue. "For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still." And sometimes the freedom we have sought by changing our place is changed to an even more humiliating form of chastisement, as the Tyrians endured worse things in their escape than if they had remained at home. However we flee from troubles, we can never flee from ourselves, and never rice from God. - R.T.
I. WE CANNOT DEVOTE TO GOD'S SERVICE ANYTHING WE HAVE NOT HONORABLY GAINED. It may be said that the text, taken with its context (see ver. 17), does not sustain this thought; that, indeed, it points in the opposite direction. But in addition to such explicit prohibitions as that in Deuteronomy 23:18, we have the whole strain and spirit of the Law of God. It is the glory of that Law that it so states, establishes, guards, enforces, emphasizes, the purity of the Divine Lawgiver that if any solitary passage like this one seems to sanction that which is inconsistent with it, we are quite sure that, either in its rendering or in our interpretation of it, there must be a mistake. Everything was done that could be done to separate the people of God from the impurities and iniquities into which other nations had fallen, and into the sanction of which they had pressed even their religious rites. We may be uncertain about many things in Scripture, but we are quite sure of this, that no smallest countenance is meant to be given in any single part of it to the devotion of ill-earned gain to the service of the holy God (see Acts 19:18, 19). Not only such "hire" as seems to be hinted at here, but all revenue that is obtained by unworthy, unprincipled, unconscientious means must be wholly unfit for an offering on the altar of God.
II. THAT WE HAVE NO RIGHT TO WITHHOLD FROM GOD'S SERVICE THE RESOURCES WE CAN CONTROL. They are not to be "treasured or laid up." To keep them back for use at some future time, to hold them in reserve for some possible emergency, is:
1. Disobedient. God plainly and repeatedly requires of us that we should put out our "talents" in his service and in that of our fellow-men; and all the resources we may have at our disposal of every kind are talents committed to our charge.
2. Distrustful. It indicates a lack of faith in the readiness of God to provide for our returning wants, and to meet our necessities as they arise.
3. Selfish and unsympathizing. It is the action of one who has no heart to feel the strong and pressing claims of ignorance, sorrow, and degradation on our pity and our help.
III. THAT WE SHOULD DEVOTE SOME GOOD PART OF OUR SUBSTANCE TO THE MAINTENANCE OF PUBLIC WORSHIP. "For them that dwell before the Lord," etc.
1. All our possessions are to be gained, held, and used religiously; they are to be "holiness to the Lord."
2. Much of what we have at our disposal should be spent in the furtherance of philanthropy: in the cause of education; in the restoration of the sick and suffering; in the reclamation of the fallen; in the help and rehabilitation of the unfortunate, etc.
3. Some of our "means" we should apply specially to the maintenance of Christian worship and of the Christian ministry. It is, indeed, possible to give handsomely toward the erection of sacred structures, and, in so doing, to be ministering to our own importance; men may be magnifying themselves when they propose and pretend to be honoring God. But, on the other hand, we render true, acceptable, and lasting service when we give freely - and in such a way as to encourage similar generosity in others - towards the worship of God, towards the publication of redeeming truth at home or abroad, towards the support of those who employ all their time and expend all their strength in the noble work of saving men and training them for the kingdom of heaven. - C.
Matthew 15:21); St. Paul found disciples there (Acts 21:3-6); and it early became a Christian bishopric. The prophecy would be accomplished if the Christians of Tyre sent girls to Jerusalem; as such gifts would be regarded as representative of the "merchandise." Dean Plumptre says, "Interpreted religiously, the prophet sees the admission of proselytes to the worship of Israel in the future, as he had seen it probably in the days of Hezekiah (Psalm 87:4). Interpreted politically, the words point to a return to the old alliance between Judah and Tyre in the days of Solomon (1 Kings 5:1-12), and to the gifts which that alliance involved (Psalm 45:12)." The Tyrians and Zidonians contributed to the erection of the second temple (Ezra 3:7). Commerce. as having regard to purely worldly interests, is called "harlotry." "Large marts of commerce are often compared to harlots seeking many lovers, that is, they court merchants, and admit any one for the sake of gain." Commerce is the handmaid of religion when she is -
I. THE AGENT FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS. In the sense of uprightness and fairness between man and man. Religion is the chief support of practical rightness, truth to word and promise, fair taking of samples, honest wages, reasonable profits, and doing the best for those who buy of us and those who sell to us. But religion is glad of the help of all good business principles, and all good business customs. Religion is strengthened by the sense of honor that is found in commercial men. Honest commerce helps on the work which religion would do in the world.
II. THE AGENT FOR CHARITY. In the sense of gentle consideration for others, and helpfulness to all who are in distress. The tendency of commerce is towards selfishness, but when touched by the spirit of religion it is sensitive to the needs of the poor, who are always multiplied by advancing civilization. Religion inspires workers among the poor and suffering and disabled. Commerce is noble when, acting as handmaid to religion, it supports the workers with its wealth, helping the hungry and the outcast to "sufficiency for eating, and to durable clothing." - R.T.