Profit and loss
“What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Suggested Further Reading:
Spiritually man is a great trader—he is trading for his own welfare; he is trading for time and for eternity; he keeps two shops: one shop is kept by an apprentice of his, a rough unseemly hand, of clayey mould, called the body; the other business, which is an infinitely more vast concern, is kept by one that is called “the soul” a spiritual being, who does not traffic upon little things, but who deals with hell or heaven, and trades with the mighty realities of eternity.
Now, a merchant would be very unwise who should pay all attention to some small off-hand shop of his, and take no account whatever of a large establishment.
And he would, indeed, be negligent, who should very carefully jot down every trifle of the expenditure of his own household, but should never think of reckoning the expenses of some vast concern that may be hanging on his hands.
But the most of men are just as foolish—they estimate the profits (as they conceive them to be) which are gained in that small corner shop called the body, but they too seldom reckon up the awful loss which is brought about by a negligence of the soul’s concerns in the great matters of eternity.
Let me beseech you, my brethren, while you are not careless of the body, as, indeed, you ought not to be, seeing that it is, in the case of believers, the temple of the Holy Spirit, to take more especial care of your souls.
Decorate the tenement, but do not suffer the inhabitant to die of starvation; do not paint the ship while you are letting the crew perish for want of stores on board.
Look to your soul, as well as to your body; to the life, as well as to that by which you live.
We can be so bodily minded that we are no heavenly use
(1 Timothy 4:8 gives the right balance).
Sermon no. 92
7 July (Preached 6 July 1856)
not in its fashion and manner, but in the truth which it contains.