But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine…
It is a noble sight to see a man, moved simply by religious considerations, departing from customs sanctioned by society; going against the tide of opinion and practice; foregoing worldly profits; deaf to the pleas that satisfy the multitude, meekly asserting a spiritual independence; silently rebuking the sinfulness and servility of the times; only careful of acquitting himself to God, and realising his ideal of moral integrity. He is like a spring in an arid desert. He is like a star shining brightly amid dark clouds. Our subject is, "The Christian in commerce." The Christian tradesman must assume the attitude of Nehemiah. His principles must take the form of reform and opposition. Consider —
I. WHAT CHRISTIANITY REQUIRES OF A MAN IN HIS DEAINGS WITH HIS FELLOW-MEN.
1. The most rigid adherence to the principles of moral integrity in commerce.
(1) Truth. This is the basis of all intercourse; society would be impossible without it. Truth is a most comprehensive virtue. It takes in far more than the literal statement of the fact. It condemns —
(a) All positive misrepresentations.
(b) All the arts by which one thing is palmed off for another.
(c) All deficient scales and measures.
(d) All pretences, when unfounded, of special bargains, etc.
(e) All promises which cannot be or are not meant to be kept.And on the part of the purchaser it condemns all pretences —
(a) That what is wanted is not wanted.
(b) That it has been purchased more cheaply elsewhere.
(c) That it is very inferior to what it really is. "It is naught, it is naught, saith the buyer, but when he is gone his way he boasteth."(2) Honesty. This involves the meeting of all equitable claims, the fulfilment of all engagements voluntarily undertaken or assumed, the most rigid respect for the rights of property.
2. The exercise of love and kindness in commerce. This will preserve from exclusive dealing, etc.
3. That a man should preserve his soul in peace and patience in commerce.
4. That commerce should be consecrated and elevated by the spirit of holiness.
II. WHY THIS CONDUCT IS NECESSARY IN COMMERCE.
1. Commerce is a most important part of our life.
2. Commerce is a most influential part of our life.
3. Commercial holiness is imperatively required by the character and temper of the times,
(A. G. Morris.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But the former governors that had been before me were chargeable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, beside forty shekels of silver; yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, because of the fear of God.
WEB: But the former governors who were before me were supported by the people, and took bread and wine from them, besides forty shekels of silver; yes, even their servants ruled over the people: but I didn't do so, because of the fear of God.