in gold and silver, bronze and iron--craftsmen beyond number. Now begin the work, and may the LORD be with you."
I. MAN'S NATURE IS ACTIVE. We are made, not only to think and to feel, but to do. The contemplative man, if his contemplations have no influence upon his life, is justly despised. "In all labour there is profit." "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
II. THE DEMANDS OF HUMAN EXISTENCE ARE FOR ACTION. The world in which we find ourselves corresponds to the nature with which we are endowed. In every position of life there is a loud call for activity. Without exertion and labour no good can be accomplished.
III. THE SUMMONS OF TRUE RELIGION IS TO ACTIVITY. The sloth of men may sometimes misinterpret religion; may endeavour to persuade them that all they need is to believe the truth, and to feel deeply when religious truth is addressed to them. But the Scriptures give no countenance to such errors, but teach us to "show our faith by our works," and so prove the sincerity of our love.
IV. THE EXAMPLE OF CHRIST IS AN EXAMPLE OF ACTIVITY. He both did the will of his Father and taught men to do likewise. This was his meat and drink; of this he never wearied. "He wrought the works of him that sent him while it was day."
V. THE BLESSING OF GOD MAY BE EXPECTED TO REST UPON SANCTIFIED ACTIVITY. The Holy Spirit of God alike inspires, directs, and prospers the labours of his people. - T.
I. The SPHERE of Christian service.
I. EVERY GOOD MAN HAS AN IMPORTANT WORK TO DO IN HIS DAY AND GENERATION.
Arise therefore, and be doing, and the Lord be with thee.
I. THE PAST. Upon the life and conscience of Solomon were concentrated the considerations and responsibilities which arise out of —
1. The relations of the family covenant. Solomon was a sou of promise.
2. The influence of parental example.
3. The Divine faithfulness.
II. THE PRESENT. From the present several motives and ., encouragements are drawn.
1. Problems have been solved, paths of duty have been made clear, and avenues of effort and usefulness have been opened up.
2. The present was made rich in material which had been prepared and laid up in the past.
3. These preparations brought within the reach of Solomon opportunities such as had been enjoyed by no one before him. The preparation of means and material create opportunities. Providence has created for every Christian greater spiritual opportunities than Solomon enjoyed, and the responsibilities arising out of these opportunities are solemn and urgent.
4. All these motives, arguments, and considerations, drawn from the past and present, unite in a resistless appeal for action: "Arise and be doing."
III. THE CHARGE HAS RESPECT TO THE FUTURE.
1. Encouragement in his undertaking. Solomon had the promise of the Divine presence and blessing.
2. He was also encouraged in his undertaking by the fact that in the accomplishment of it the desires, hopes, and prayers of pious ancestors would be fulfilled.
3. By thus fulfilling the pious desires of godly ancestors, Solomon set in operation spiritual agencies which carry down to future ages blessings in ever widening streams of diffusive beneficence.Application:
1. In our work we use materials and agencies which have been prepared by kings, prophets, apostles, and martyrs. All the achievements and improvements of modern science and civilisation are available in Christian work.
2. In the kingdom of God them is a place and a sphere for talents and service of all kinds.
(S. J. Wilson, D. D.)
1. We have much to do for ourselves in the cultivation of our own minds, the improvement of our hearts, and the faithful application of our various talents.
2. We have much to do for the conversion of others.
3. We have much to do for God.
II. IT BEHOVES US TO ADDRESS OURSELVES TO THIS WORK WITH ACTIVITY, ZEAL, AND ENERGY.
1. Reason dictates this.
2. Gratitude impels it.
3. The brevity of life calls for this.
4. The solemn account we shall have to give should further stimulate us to zeal, activity, and energy.
5. The example of Christ tells us to "Arise and be doing."
III. WHEN OCCUPYING OUR TALENTS IN THE EXERCISE OF OUR BEST EFFORTS WE MAY CONFIDENTLY LOOK FOR THE PRESENCE AND BLESSING OF GOD. "And the Lord be with thee." This might be rendered, "The Lord shall be with thee."
1. There is a general presence of God with His people, which they enjoy in common with all mankind.
2. There is an especial presence of God with His people, which is the promise of His covenant.Reflections: This subject will —
1. Reprove the idler.
2. Admonish those who are attempting to work without due dependence upon God.
3. Heaven is a place of ceaseless activity.
II. The MANNER of Christian service.
1. Be ready and on the look-out for something to do.
2. Let us find something to do.
3. When you've finished one job, set about another. "Be doing."
III. The VOWER of Christian service. "The Lord with thee."
1. His presence will quicken our energy.
2. Will lighten our labour.
(R. S. Latimer.)
(T. C. Cuyler.)
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