"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures In heaven, when neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."
Last night, you remember, our subject was heaven, and we were trying to find out who were there; and I want to take the subject right up where I left off. And I call your attention to the 6th chapAt of Matthew and 19th verse, where you will find these words: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." Now, if we are living as the Lord would have us live, our treasures are laid up in heaven, and not laid up on the earth; and I think we would be saved from a great many painful hours, and a great deal of trouble, if we would just obey that portion of scripture, and lay up our treasures in heaven, and not upon the earth. It is just as much a command that we lay up our treasures in heaven, and not upon the earth, as it is that we shall not steal. God tells us plainly: "Lav not up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust doth not corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." It is a command.
Now, it don't take long to tell where a man's treasure is; it don't take long to find out where a man's heart is. You talk with a manfive minutes, and if he has got his heart upon any one object, you can find it out, if that is your aim. And now, if you want to find oat where a man's treasure is, it won't take you long to find that oat either; For you know that the Bible tells us: "Whore your treasure is, there shall your heart be also." And the reason we have so many earthly-minded people, and so few people of heavenly minds is, because the many have their whole hearts set upon earthly pleasures and objects, and the few have their treasures laid up in heaven. If your treasure is here, you will all the time be disappointed and in trouble and trial, when the Lord has (old you plainly to lay up your treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, nor thieves break through and steal. Now, you talk with a man a few minute*, and you soon find out where his heart is. Talk about money; and if he loves money, and is making money and longing for more, how
his eye will light up; and if he is fond of politics, and you refer to that, his whole face kindles up, for you have touched his heart and the subject dearest to him. If it is pleasure, or if it is passion, speak about it and he is interested at once. But the child of God, who has got his treasures up yonder, when you talk about heaven you will see his heart is there; and if a man's heart is in heaven, it is not an effort for him to talk about it at all. He cannot help it. And if our affections are set on things above and not on this earth, it will be easy for us to live for God. Now here is the command: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures on earth, but lay up your treasures in heaven."
Now, my friends, ask yourselves the question, Where is your treasure? Or, in other words, Where is your heart? When you find out that, then you will find out where your treasure is. In the 10th chapter of Hebrews, 13th verse, are these words: "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded to them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country." Then in the 10th verse of that same chapter, speaking of Abraham, it says: "For he looked for a city which hath foundations; whose builder and maker is God." The moment Abraham caught sight of that city, he proclaimed himself a pilgrim and a stranger. The well-watered plains of Sodom had no temptation for him. He declared plainly that he saw another country—a better country. He had turned his heart from this fleeting world, and Sodom with all its temptations didn't tempt him. He had got something better. He had his eye fixed upon a city that should endure when Sodom should have been swept away, and he had got his eye fixed upon that city to lay up treasure there. How poor a man is, no matter how much he has got laid up in this world, if he has not got his treasure laid up in heaven! A couple of friends of mine in the war called upon one of our great Illinois farmers to get him to give some money for the soldiers, and during their stay there he took them upon the cupola, of his house, and told them to look over yonder, just as far as their eye could reach, over that beautiful rolling prairie, and they said, "That is very nice;" and it was all his. Then he took them up another cupola and said: "Look at that farm, and that, and that;" and these were farms all stocked, aud improved and fenced; and they said, "That is very nice," and then he showed them horses, cattle, and sheep-yards, and told them, "That is all mine." He showed them the town where he lived, which had been named for him, a great hall and building lots, and those were all his; and, said he, "I came out West a poor boy, without a farthing, and I am worth all this." But when he got through my friend said: "How much have you got up yonder?" and the old man's countenance fell, for he knew very well what that meant. "What have you got there in the other world?" "Well," he says, "I have not got anything there." "Why," says my friend, "what a mistake! A man of your intelligence and forethought and judgment, to amass all this wealth; and now, drawing to your grave, you will have to leave it all. You cannot take a farthing with you; but you must die beggared and a pauper;" and the tears rolled down his cheeks as he said, "It does look foolish." But a few months after he died, as he had lived, and his property passed to others. And we see people here in New York, accumulating money as if it is all there is to live for, and leave it, many of them to their children, to make the way down to hell easy for those children. One generation accumulates wealth for the next to squander it, and to ruin soul and body.
A great many people are wondering why they don't grow in grace; why they don't have more spiritual power. The question is very easily answered. You have got your treasure down here. It is not necessary for a man to have money to have his treasure down here. He may have his heart on pleasure; he may make an idol of his children; and that is the reason that they don't grow in grace. If we would only just be wise and do as God tells us, we would mount up, as it were, on wings, and would get nearer to heaven every day. We would get heavenly-minded in our conversation, and have less trouble than now. And so, my friends, let us just ask ourselves today, Where is our treasure? Is it on earth, or in heaven? What are we doing? What is the aim of our lives? Are we just living to accumulate money, or to get a position in the world for our children? Or, are we trying to secure those treasures which we can safely lay up in heaven, becoming rich toward God?
I have known men who have been up in balloons; and they have told me that when they want to rise higher, they just throw out some of the sand with which they ballast the balloon. Now, I believe one reason why so many people are earthly-minded and have so little of the spirit of heaven is, that they have got too much ballast, in the shape of love for earthly joys and gains; and what you want is to throw out some of the sand, and you will rise higher. I heard of a man, the other day, who said he did not know what to do with his money. It was a burden to him to take care of it. I could not help but think how quick I could tell him what to do with it. I could tell him where to invest it, where it would bring an eternal profit. I hope to live to see the day when men will be an anxious to make investments for the Lord as for themselves; and a man won't then be putting so much money in railroad shares, and so much in banking stocks, and so much in a mine in the mountain; but he will put it in good security, where it will bring good returns for the Lord. That is the kind of investment I think we ought to live for. A friend of mine said that he was in Liverpool, some time ago, and
there was a vessel coming into the harbor. It sailed right up the Mersey under full sail; and a little while after another vessel came in towed by a tug, and sunken to the level of the water. He wondered it did not sink; and he went down to the water's edge and saw that they got it into the harbor with a great deal of difficulty, and he inquired and found that it was loaded with lumber. It had such material on board that it could not sink, and it had sprung a-leak and had got water-logged. My friends, I think there are a good many of God's people that have got water-logged; and it takes all the strength of the church to look after those Christians that are water-logged, and so water-logged that they cannot go forth and do good to others—help the unfortunate, and lift up the poor drunkard, —because they don't know whether they are saved themselves. The fact is they are off with the world, mingling with the world; acting, speaking, as though in the world, and they don't know whether they are saved themselves.
I believe, if we are God's people, we must be separate from th» world. I think before this world is ever reformed, the people of God must be set apart from the world. There never will be a trua reformation in the world until God's people are separate, until we are liberated here below. Who would want to live in the sinful world? These smoking, chewing, drinking, horse-racing, dancing, card-playing Christians never will reform this world. We have got to come out and be separate from the world, and have our hearts set on things above, and not so much on the things of this earth. If we are willing to live the lives of Christians, we have got to live them, not as if we were of the world. Suppose that when we bad sent our brothers and fathers and sons away to fight the battles of the war, they had chosen, after they had got away off down South hundreds of miles from home, they had chosen to remain there; and had chosen to leave forever the wives and sisters and daughters they had left behind in the North, and to make homes for themselves there among the enemy. But, instead of that, were they not always anxious that the war should be over, and looking eagerly forward to the time when they should come back home? That is the way with Christians in this world. We are strangers and pilgrims here, in this world. It is not home to us. We are citizens of another and a finer country. A man was asked the other day, "Well, how is the world getting on?" He replied: "I do not know. I haven't been in the world for several years." He was living in another country, taken out of the old place and transplanted into the new. If things do not come to satisfy us down here, let us not be complaining. Let us remember that we are on a pilgrimage, that we are citizens of another country, and that we are to have all we want when we get home. I was on board the train from Chicago to Cairo one day, &nd there were two ladies sitting in the seat behind me who were
talking together, and I could not help hearing the conversation. I learned that they were strangers when they started from Chicago, but on the way, before they came to Cairo, they got quite well acquainted. One was going to New Orleans, and one was going to Cairo. Before they got to Cairo, the Cairo lady said to the NewOrleans lady: "I wish you would get off at Cairo. I enjoy your company, and 1 would like very much to have you spend a few days at my home." The New Orleans lady said: "I would like to do so; but I have packed all my things in my trunk, and they have all gone on ahead to New Orleans. So I have not any clothes with me good enough to visit and go into society in. I have nothing except what I have on;" and she added, "and you know this dress is good enough to travel in." That is what I think of the journey of this world. A very little is good enough for us to travel in. We are all travelers, and this is good enough for traveling. We have raiment and mansions up there, waiting for us. Let us have our hearts and affections set on things above, and not on things on the earth. In Hebrews, 4th chapter and 9th verse, it says, "There remaineth therefore a rest for the people of God." Not on earth; it does not say on earth.
There is another great mistake that a good many people are making at the present time. They have an idea that the church is a place of rest. Instead of going there to work for God, they go there to rest. "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." We will rest when we go home. We will have all eternity to rest in. We do not want to talk about rest here. I hope the time will come, and I believe it will come, when they will ask this question of all who are candidates for membership in the church: "What work do you expect to do?" And if they are going into the church to rest, they will be told that we have enough of suoh members now; and if we could only get them out, and get some others in who will go to work in earnest, it would be a good thing for all. We should understand that we come into the church to work. All that seems to constitute a Christian in these days is to unite with the church; and then, after they have joined it, every one in the church roust wait on them—the minister, the laymen, all the members, must go and call on them, aud if they do not do this, they go to some other church; and the quicker they do it the better. "There remaineth a rest for the people of God." The idea of our talking about rest here, where Christ has been cast out, where they have taken the life of God's own Son. Why should we want to stay in the enemy's country at rest and peace? As long as it is the enemy's country, let us not dream of rest. We will rest by and by, when Jesus comes. Let us not talk about rest now. I heard of a man, the other day, that got tired and discouraged and homesick. He wanted to go home. He did not see his work blessed at it used to be, and one night as he went to bed he wished himself dead; and going to sleep in that state
of mind, it was not unnatural for him to dream the dream that he
did. He dreamed that he died and was taken away to the eternal
oity. When he first got there, as he walked up and down the golden
itreets of heaven, looking upon the celestial city, he met two friends
whom he had known on earth. All at once, as they_ walked together,
they noticed that every one was looking in a certain direction. He
looked and saw some one coming up the street in a golden chariot.
He saw that he looked different from the rest of the redeemed who
had come there from earth; and as he came nearer, he saw that it
was the blessed Lord and Savior. When the chariot came sweeping
up to where they were, the Savior got out of the chariot and asked
his companions to get into the chariot, and then asked him to walk
with him. The Savior then took him to the battlements of heaven,
«nd said, "What do you see?" He answered, "I see the dark world
that I have just come from." "What else?" he was then asked.
He looked further and replied, "I think I see men going over into
the bottomless pit." "What else?" "I hear the wail coming up
from these," he said. The Savior asked: "Will you stay here and
enjoy these mansions with me, or will you go back to earth and tell
those poor erring mortals about me?" Here he awoke from hia sleep,
and he said he has never since wished himself dead. He wants to
live as long as he can, to proclaim to the last the Savior's life and
death to a lost world.
We have not long to work. Let us work without ceasing. Work, *>ork, Wobk! The first word that Paul ever heard from the Son of God was, "That I must be about my Father's business." Shall the servant be above his master? Shall we become careless of our Master's work down here? Oh, let us begin to-night, and let it be the work of each one here this very week to bring some souls to Christ. A young man who lay dying was heard by his watching mother to moan the words, "Los£ lost, lost!" She went to him and said: "Why, my son, why do you say, Lost, lost, lost? It is not possible tiatyou have lost your hope in Christ?" "No, mother; not that." "Then what do you mean by those words—lost, lost?" "Mother, I was thinking how I have lost my life; how I have wasted my twenty-four years. I have done nothing; I have lost a life!" And the young man died regretting that he had lost a lifetime, which was given him in which to work for Christ Jesus. If God should summon us to-day, would we be ready to go to our account? Would we not have to say our life had been a failure, because we had not done the work that he had for us to do? We will rest, by and by. The wicked shall cease from troubling, by and by. The weary shall be at rest, by and by. We will not talk about rest here. We shall have enough, we shall have all eternity for rest. I want to call your attention next to the fact that our reward is iu heaven, and not here. God's people make the great mistake of looking for a reward down here. They are still looking for a reward down here. Let us remember that the reward is beyond. I have noticed that that is the case with almost every one of God's people— they look for reward down here. God does not propose to reward his children here. He is to reward them up yonder. We are to work here. When we are done he will say: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." You will then have a seat at his . right hand. JThe reward will be great, he says. If God calls the reward great, -what kind of a reward will it be? If the great God says so, won't it be a wonderful reward? Instead of looking for reward and honor here, let us look beyond for it. See what Paul says to Timothy, "For there will be for me a crown." He did not look for his crown here.
When I read the life of Paul, it makes me ashamed of the Christianity of the present day. Talk about what we have suffered! Talk about what we have done! I think it would do every member of the church good to spend six months reading the life of Paul, and to see what he had to go through. He had been beaten four times, and received thirty-nine stripes upon the bare back. If one of us should get even one stripe now, how many volumes would be written on the martyrdom? What a whine there would be! It was nothing for Paul to be beaten with thirty-nine stripes. Did any one say to Paul: "You have been beaten already four times before, and now they are going to bring that scourge upon your back as many times again perhaps; had you not better go off down to Europe, and rest for six months until this persecution dies out?" The appeal would pass him by unheeded. "I have but one aim, one thing to hope for. I press toward the mark of my high calling in Christ Jesus." These earthly afflictions, what were they? He never complained of them. Instead of giving up his opinions and his hope, he was willing to stand his stripes and his miseries, again and again. And it waa no trifling matter, these beatings he received. Yet he received them all, and would not deny the faith that the mercy and power of God had wrought in him. If you allow me the expression, the devil had his match when he got hold of Paul. Not all he could do would give him the upper hand of Paul, and separate him from the love of God. He had his reward in view; and he always, scorning what the world could do to him, pressed toward that reward. He knew that all his sufferings here would be wiped away, and joy and peace be his when he wore the crown for which he had so bravely foughtAnd how many are working for these crowns at the present day? How much would they suffer now for a like reward that awaited this mighty warrior? His enemies one time took him out and stoned him like the martyr Stephen. Think of the torment he experienced, the pain that he must have suffered, as these stones were burled at him. So great was the anger of those who were thus around him
that they left him for dead, when they got through with him. See
his head all swollen up; see the bruises upon his body and his limbs;
Bee the ugly scars and the gaping wounds that he carried. He was
hardly brought to life again; and for a long time thereafter you could
see him with his injured head and black eye on the corners of the
streets, and yet not frightened by any means, but preaching the
glorious gospel of his God and master Jesus Christ. He went to
Corinth, was not afraid, but preached there for eighteen months; and
in all his ministrations, and in all this, he had to rely upon himself.
He had no influential committee to meet him on his arrival at the
station, and conduct him to a fine hotel, and make all arrangements
about his expenses. There was no station in those days; when he
did arrive, he came unannounced and on foot. And instead of a
splendid hotel to go to, his first care was to go himself, walk around
all the streets and find cheap lodgings, in some alley, where he could
go after he had left off preaching for the day to made tents, to which
trade he had been brought up. And then, after all his preaching,
and all his labors, what reward did he receive? Well, there was a
sort of a committee, and they said they would pay him off. Did
they give him some testimonial and a large sum in money then?
What they did do instead of presenting him with, say, a thousand
dollars in gold. This committee that I speak of took him down to a
cross street and gave him thirty-nine stripes. That is the way they
paid him off. That was the way they treated this mighty fighter, a
preacher that turned the world upside down.
Talk about Alexander making the World tremble at the tread of his armies! Talk about Napoleon shaking the world to its centre, when the powers knew he had gathered his army round about him! Why these have all passed away; but the words of Paul, of the despised tent-maker, make the world tremble even to this day. He talks about being in peril among robbers. Well, what did the robbers find on him? No money, no jewelry—nothing. What treasures he had, he had placed them above their reach, he had but them in heaven, where thieves do not break through or steal. The robbers got nothing from him, though he was richer than any man is at the present day. Not a man who has lived since Paul is richer than he was. Three times, again he says, he suffered shipwreck; also a day and a night he was in the deep. He had been subjected to perils by 'water, to perils of robbers, to perils brought about by his own countrymen. Besides these, he experienced perils of the wilderness; perils among false brethren—ah! that must have been the hardest. He was weary, he was in pain; but none of these things meved him. Thank God the apostle was a warrior; and would to God the church had a thousand like him at the present day. Nothing was able to battle him down. Not even the newspaper of the
day, if they had one, pitching into him every day, would have caused him a moment's thought. It might have called him a poor, deluded man, might have said to him, "Oh, you poor fool." For none of these things did he care. He looked above and beyond them. He knew there was a glorious reward awaiting him.
And so the mighty warrior went on to fight for his Master. But at last he had to flee; and to escape, he was let down the walls in a basket. He goes to fight elsewhere. Driven out of one place, he does not despair; and that is the spirit that we want to-day. He was always willing to receive the stripes and the torments,, and to Buifer everything the world could heap upon him for the cause of Christ. His enemies again gave him thirty-nine stripes. Well, he was used to it. His back had not perhaps got well before he received this punishment. After they got through with him, they cast him and Silas into prison. No sooner had they got in, instead of being frightened at what they had received, they began to worship the God for whom they had suffered. Paul says to Silas: "Come, Silas, let us praise God and have prayers." And they opened their worship by singing, perhaps, the 46th Psalm. After that they had prayers, and called upon God for his protection. And as soon as they had said "Amen," their God responded to their cries of help, and the whole prison shook, and there was a great commotion. Yes, that was a queer place to sing^ praises in—a prison; and it was just after he had received the stripes. Why, I dare say if Mr. Saakey should have only one stripe upon his naked back, he would not feel much like singing! But this man had received thirty-nine. He was as much at nome with his God in prison, as he was out of it He could praise him as well behind bolts and bars as he could in the synagogue. He knew what his reward would be. He knew that the grave would be his immediate reward; but he had faith in the great hereafter; he had a crown and a reward that would not pass away. Yes, do you think that God would let him suffer like that without rewarding him? If we suffer persecution for Christ's sake, great will be our reward. Paul's sufferings were the cause of the conversion of the Philippian jailor. I suppose he was the first convert in Europe.
Look at him again in Rome. The time had come for his departure; Nero had signed the order for his execution, and he is being taken out to be beheaded. Ask him now, at this moment, when death is but a little way off, if he is sorry that he has suffered for the Son of God. Ask him if he would like to recant to save his head. I can imagine how he would look if you should ask him such a question as that. They are going to take him two miles out of the city to the place of execution. He walks with a steady, unfaltering step. He wavers not, nor looks aside. His gaze is fixed upon the reward of his high calling in Christ Jesus. And he writes to his friend
Timothy, "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown." You could not shake him in his faith. Thank God, at this dread moment, he kept his word with Jesus. He had never preached any fatae doctrine. He had only preached Christ crucified, and had manfully fought under his banner like a faithful soldier, to this, the end of his life. "Good-by," you can imagine him saying to Timothy; "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown, and I am going to win it.'' As he walked through the streets of Rome, I tell you Rome never had such a conqueror. Not all her mighty men of war, nor all her generals ind statesmen and orators, had risen to the supreme height that Paul had reached at this moment. He was going to receive a prize that would ecliose all the trophies of war, and wit, and learning. But at last he approaches the fatal spot. He is placed in the position that he had to take; the executioner makes him ready, and at the given signal the blow descends, his head comes off, and his spirit is lifted into the golden chariot, and is borne to the pearly gates of heaven. As he approaches the celestial portals, the battlements of heaven aire crowded with the saints that Paul by his preaching had sent before him. Ah! how they welcome him. He is borne on toward the great white throne to receive his reward. The bells of heaven are set a-ringing, and hosannas are chanted by the choir of paradise. - He comes near the throne, and he hears the great voice saying: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." and the saints now gather around him, and greet, and bear witness for him to the Master he had so faithfully served. One would say: "That sermon that you preached to the Galatians wrought a change of heart in me, and I have been chosen to take my place among- the elect." Another would say, "That lecture that you deli /ered at Thessalonica converted me." Another: "Paul, that appeal that you made at Corinth touched my wicked soul; I began to worship the Jesus whom you preached, and here I am among the angels. Oh, what a reward was that. Was it not worth all the cares, troubles, anxieties, sufferings, torments, and death he had gone through? Men murmur at the little crosses they have to endure here; but they forget that if they be faithful the Lord will reward them by-and-by.
One more thought before I close. What is it that occasions so much joy in heaven? Suppose some great discovery had been made in this country; it would throw the whole nation into excitement. If it should turn out that some great mines had been discovered, whose riches had never been equaled; that it rewarded all those that went to it with an independent fortune in a few months, what intense excitement would be created all through the land! Yet this would not be noticed in heaven. What would, then, create joy in that place? Why, if that little girl down there would only give her heart to Jesus to-day, all heaven would sing and shout. "There is joy," it is written, "over one sinner that repenteth." The idea that
that little boy or girl could cause joy in heaven, and create an excitement there! For every sinner that repents there is joy in heaven. Just look at the 15th chapter of Luke: "When he found the sheep, he called his friends in." I have tried to make out what friends are there referred to. Were they the angels? No; I don't think they were the angels. I can imagine, and I think the idea is a legitimate one, that these friends are the redeemed ones that knew us, and loved us, and prayed for us on earth. These are the people whose names Christ is writing in the book of life. It might be that an entry would be made that down at the Hippodrome, on March 10, at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, these redeemed ones first turned their hearts to me. Some beloved mother is up there, it may be, ami is looking down on her child, and is praying that her child may have a clean heart and seek the Lord. Perhaps some little, loving child is looking over the battlements to see its father or mother here repent and give their souls to God. When I was in the great Exhibition Building in Dublin, I said that perhaps a mother was praying near the Throne for a certain young lady in the audience, and asked her if she would not come to Jesus. A short time afterward 1 received the following letter: "Dear Sir, on Wednesday, when you were speaking of heaven, you said that 'it might be that at this moment a mother was looking down from paradise and praying for the salvation of her child who is here.' You apparently looked at the spot where my child was seated. My heart said, 'That is my child, and that is her mother.' Tears sprang to my eyes, and I bowed my head and prayed that the Lord would show his way to my darling child. 'Lord, save my child,' I cried. I was then anxious to the close of the meeting. When I reached her she was bathed in tears, and she arose and put her arms around my neck and kissed me; and on the way to the inquiry-room she told me that it had been the same remark about a mother looking down from heaven that had found its way to her heart." I remember that time, when a beautiful young lady was led to the inquiry-room, leaning on the arm of her father. "What can I do to be saved?" she said. And afterward she became a zealous worker for the Lord. The letter was written by her father, who is a clergymen.
Shall these lectures close without one deciding to make heaven his home? Will there be no young man start for heaven to-day— no person, no father, no mother, that will repent and turn to God? I pray that many will accept salvation. Shall we not all pray that he will save every soul in this assembly? Would it be asking too much? Let us who are saved pray that God will rescue every lost •oul here; and as we pray let us bow the head and lift up our heart! —and may Christ the God hear us, and hearing save!