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turns the exchange into a gambling-house, just so far as it forgets its obligations to the Most High, and its responsibleness to eternity.

Is there a business-man, of whatever religious repute in his sectarian or theological circle, with his name standing however high on the roll of believers or saints, who yet regards his religion like his Sunday garment, as a thing to be left out of his shop or counting-room, lest it be soiled there in the rough hands of the world? There will be a littleness and disingenuousness in that man's secular proceedings, exposing him, if not, alas! the religion he professes, to contempt.

Religion is not so dainty about herself as this subscriber of her creeds, and observer of her forms, is about her. She is ready to

She is ready to go, with the whole power and splendor of her celestial presence, into the commonest scenes, for the adjustment of the humblest matters. This separation of religion and business is no fiction, or supposed case for the sake of argument and moving appeal. I have known one in the very heat of religious enthusiasm, and with the most sacred names upon his lips, defraud a poor woman in the performance of a stipulated service, without seeming to imagine there was any inconsistency.

“I am told,” said one friend to another, during the stress of a strong religious excitement, “ that you have become a convert.” His respondent eagerly acknowledged the fact. 66 Glad I am to learn the certainty of this " was the rejoinder. "Suppose, then, we place Jesus Christ between us here, and make a settlement now of our small accounts." “Oh! busi,

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ness is business, and religion is religion!” Does not this little circumstance, whose recital may occasion a smile, speak volumes of the gravest meaning that the pulpit, in its most solemn moods, can utter? The earnest convert was under a mistake, however honest. Jesus Christ would not have disdained to sit between them, and there expound to them the precepts of justice and brotherly kindness. No: he who "sat thus on the well," and talked with the woman of Samaria, he who let fall some of his sublimest teachings in a fishing boat or by the way. side, would — how willingly! — have seated himself by their desk, or leaned over their counter, and, when he saw truth and equity prevail between them, would have rejoiced in spirit over the fulfilment of the mission on which he came from heaven to earth.

We make a great mistake, brethren, in this matter, if we imagine that our Saviour wishes we should install him or his religion in a high and solemn place to render formal tributes of respect, such as are rendered to earthly princes and mighty men, on set days, for famous achievements. He asks not ovations and triumphs at our hands, like those which ancient nations gave to successful heroes. Oh! no: the most humble and quiet daily service under his holy laws, in the ordinary transactions of life, he will accept as of more worth than great processions under his banner, than splendid architectural displays in his temples, or than imposing celebrations of manifold rites to his honor.

I entreat you to come to an understanding of this matter of the extent of religion's claims over you.

Is it to give her a seventh day and a sanctuary, and certain specified ordinances; while the rest of time and space

and conduct runs into the domain of business, and is to be governed by the laws of business, by a morality of the world's own contriving, which the preacher goes out of his place when he undertakes to criticize? Is it even so, my brethren? Is religion to be regarded as a thing of state and ceremony, drawn out periodically from the sequestration which, like the pompous retirement of an Oriental monarch, she for the most part maintains, and led forth in sincere solemn pageant for a few restricted hours of sentimental regard, and then sent back again into a vacancy like the six days' emptiness of this pulpit and these pews; leaving the main current of human energies through the live-long week, the busy conflict of human wills as they struggle and writhe together, and the hive-like murmur of earthly actions that rises up from the ground for ever into the ear of the Almighty, untouched and unregulated ?

Undoubtedly, these special excitements of religious feeling, these appointed offerings of praise, we must have; or the heated crowd of men would grow savage in selfishness, and rabid with every evil passion. But the reason of these regular exercises is, not that we are thus to make and finish a certain sacrifice, pay an exactly calculated tribute to God beyond which he has no claim, but rather to obtain strength and encouragement, from the contemplation of eternal truth, for a divinely beautiful performance of every great and every small action, with unswerying fidelity to our Witness and Judge. I grieve to confess, that it is in part the religionist's own fault that religion and business have been so injuriously dissociated ; time and eternity, the higher world and this lower world, having been too often by him arrayed against each other as of course deadly antagonists, either gaining any advantage only at the expense of the other; whereas, in fact, this passing world, in the busiest pressure of its affairs and in the endlessness of its wearisome details, is, and is ordained of God to be, the best possible discipline and preparation for all the glory and blessedness that shall be revealed. It is ordained, beyond these immediate objects of accumulation and earthly pleasure, by its education of the intellectual and moral faculties, to send a power and a joy into ages and regions far away from these toil-trodden fields of mortality.

No matter how much outward respect is gained for religion, — no matter how many festival-days are rescued for her out of the calendar, no matter how magnified and majestic her rites may be made, it is a radically wrong principle to separate her province from the province of business; and the world never can be Christianized, so long as this separation is speculatively and practically made. You may enlarge the peculiar sphere of religion as much as you please ; you may greatly multiply religious meetings, and thrust the public assembly, as we sometimes see it, into the morning and evening of every day; you may place a religious sentinel, as it were, at every turn of the labyrinthine circles of sale and bargain into which men plunge; you may break in upon men's thoughts, as often as you choose, with the summons to some set function of piety, the call to some appointed season of worship,- it will not all suffice to establish the sway of the gospel, until men's minds are made as religious in their business, in the intellectual operations and moral purposes involved in the simplest transactions in which they are engaged, -just as really religious and faithful to God in these as they are in the decent and orderly exercises of the sanctuary. And till you are as devout in “things earthly” as you are in “ things heavenly," on the common floor of the world as in the aisles of the consecrated temple, - formality, mockery, and hypocrisy will continue to seat themselves in the house of God and at the table of the Lord; for what are formality and mockery and hypocrisy but the exact measure of the interval between a man's profession and his practice ? Until business, the serious avocations of men and women, their merchandise, their profession in life, their working for a livelihood, their household cares, - until these are Christianized, the great river of their meditations and desires will run into sin and selfishness; and all the specialties of religion, however solidly established and however sacredly observed, will be but little obstacles thrown into the bed of the mighty stream over which for ever it tumbles and foams.

The very nature of religion proves the justness of this position. What is religion ? Not merely a round of acknowledgments that we sustain relations to the Maker of all; not mere confessing of his great

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