The Lord has intrusted to human beings capabilities of talent and influence; he has intrusted to men an abundance of money, not to be lavishly spent in selfish ways, for the gratification of unholy desires, but for the performance of their part in the great work of redemption. He has intrusted riches to the wealthy in order that they may bless humanity, by relieving the wants of the suffering and needy. This is the work that has been committed to them, and in doing this work they are not to feel that they have done some wonderful thing. Many endow some large institution, or give large sums to the church, and fail to relieve the distress of the suffering poor right about their doors. But the rich are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to help those who are in trying circumstances, those who are wrestling with all their power to keep themselves and their families from the pauper's home.  

     God does not mean that the misery which we see about us in the poverty of the masses, shall exist. He does not intend that one shall have all the luxuries of life, and that others shall cry for bread. All the means intrusted to men over and above what is required to supply their own necessities, is intrusted to them for the blessing of humanity. If those whom God has made stewards, love God, they will love those who are formed in his image. Stewards of this character will not give with a patronizing air, as though they had done something for which they should be praised and honored; but they will realize that they are but trading on their Lord's goods, and that in the judgment they will have to give an account of the way in which they have employed their Lord's capital. They will understand that they are laborers together with God.  

     Jesus, the world's Redeemer, laid off his royal crown, laid aside his kingly robe, clothed his divinity with humanity, and left his high command. He was adored and worshiped by the angelic hosts, and yet for our sake he became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. He came to give us, not the perishable treasure of houses and land and gold, but that which is enduring and imperishable, even eternal riches. Will men then refuse to be laborers together with God? Will they refuse to take their part in the work of redeeming lost humanity? In every large city there are men, women, and children who do not receive as much consideration as do the beasts. In England I saw poor children who were clad in dirty rags, who were half starved, whose countenances were stamped with vice and degradation. People live in damp, dark cellars reeking with filth, and children are born and brought up in these vile holes of misery. From earliest infancy through life, they see nothing but that which is unlovely, degraded, and vile. There is no view of nature's loveliness to attract the eye, and they hear the name of God only in oaths of horrible profanity. In places of this kind children are left to come up as they may. They are moulded and fashioned by the low precepts and wretched examples of those around them. Disagreeable surroundings greet their sight, impure words fall upon their ears, and the fumes of liquor and tobacco fill their atmosphere. Brought up in immoral degradation, it is no wonder that they turn out to be thieves, beggars, and murderers.    

     They subsist upon insufficient food, of a character unfit for the human stomach, and from these abodes of misery, piteous cries are sent up to heaven by those who know not how to pray. At the same time that this dreadful wretchedness is in existence, those to whom God has intrusted means are adding farm to farm, building house to house, and mansion to mansion, and even providing palaces for their dogs, and hiring servants to care for them. Dogs are fed and cared for in a luxurious way, while human beings are left in destitution, misery, crime, disease, and death.    

     Is it a wonder that our Lord exclaims, "How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God"? Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, became poor for our sake. He penetrated into the very inner circles of life. He sought to call the attention of men to the fact that, while they were devoting themselves to their busy activities, they were neglecting their eternal interests. He sought to impress upon them the fact that God had given them endowments of talent, means, and influence to be improved and increased, that they might grow in efficiency, and be better able to be laborers together with God.    

     God has made human beings his almoners and agents, to distribute the benefits of his providence. They are to use wisely his intrusted talent of means, as well as the endowment of his grace in other directions. Men are required to engage with heavenly intelligences in restoring, reshaping the human character. The rich are to help the poor. It is not according to God's plan that the rich should give to the rich. It is the oppressed, the downtrodden, the discouraged, the hungry, the naked, the suffering poor, whom Jesus says "ye have always with you." We need to take closer views of eternity, and by doing this we shall not be unfitted for our work in this world; we shall not be disqualified for taking a Christlike part in the affairs of society.    

     The gospel of Christ is not only to be believed, but it is to be acted upon. We are to be doers of the word; and in doing or not doing according to the instruction of Christ, we are deciding our eternal destiny for life or death. God does not desire fitful service, emotional spasms of religion. We are to act from principle, to have a firm, abiding trust in Christ. If Christ is formed within, the hope of glory, it will be made manifest in the development of our character and actions; for there will appear the likeness of Christ in our life. We shall represent the Father and the Son to the world. The command is given, "Work while it is day; for the night cometh, in which no man can work." 

ST, July 30, 1894