The Use of the Spirit
Mark 4:21-25
And he said to them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

I. THE FACULTIES OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT COMPARED TO LIGHT. We may take any division of them we please: intellectual, emotional, volitional; head, heart, hand; - the comparison holds good.

1. Light is cheering, so is intellect; sound reasoning, bright fancy, lambent wit, genial humor, sound knowledge.

2. With light goes heat. The sound head is generally associated with the large heart. Carlyle said that a great heart was the foundation of talent.

3. Light promotes morality, purity, progress; dispels the thoughts and deeds of darkness. Great is the blessing of the presence and action of the man of high principle in the home, the Church, the court, the senate, the judgment seat.

4. It is revealing. The beauties of nature exist not for us in the darkness. Nor can we see the wonders of God in the spiritual or ideal world without the light shed by the genius of the scientific man, the moralist, the philosopher, and the poet.


1. If not used they are hardly possessed. They dwindle and become enfeebled in disuse. "To him that hath shall be given," etc. this lies the important differences between man and man. The seeming stupid becomes bright by patient friction with difficulty, while the idle clever man rusts and blunts his edge.

"If our virtues go not forth from us, 'tis all
As one as though we had them not."

2. God is an exact creditor, he starts us in life with a certain fixed capital of energy; just such and such a sum or number of talents. The rest is our part. The increase may be indefinite, in this world and worlds to come. He "lends not the smallest scruple of his excellence, but, like a thrifty creditor, demands both thanks and use." Let life be the grateful repayment of the spiritual loan. If we do not "pay our way" we shall suffer for it.

"Wouldst thou seal up the avenues of ill?
Pay every debt as if God wrote the bill."

3. In the long run, success or failure, prosperity or ruin, is the reaction of our own deeds. We reap as we sow. A Nemesis presides over all our works. "If you serve, or fancy you serve, an ungrateful master, serve him the more. Put God in your debt. Every stroke shall be repaid. The longer the payment is withholden, the better for you; for compound interest on compound interest is the rate and usage of this exchequer." "The benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, penny for penny, to somebody. Beware of too much good staying in your hand. It will fast corrupt and breed worms. Pay it away quickly in some sort." - J.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he said unto them, Is a candle brought to be put under a bushel, or under a bed? and not to be set on a candlestick?

WEB: He said to them, "Is the lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Isn't it put on a stand?

The Extension of the Kingdom
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