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That means that at once there is a relation of mutual trusteeship between employer and employed. It matters very much to you what that man over whom you have power is doing with the rest of his time, when he has passed from your sight. It matters very much what opportunity you give him of leading the right life and the highest. It matters a great deal what ideal you are setting before him. He is either better or worse because of what he knows of you. This is business, the highest business, for which the countinghouse is just the opportunity.

Sometimes employers tell me that it is very difficult to discover a man of character, that they are perfectly willing to pay for character when they can find it, but that the lack of conscientiousness is positively appalling. This, I am compelled to believe, is true. Good servants are rare entity. A man cannot be trusted, as a rule, behind your back; when you find a man who can, it is worth your while to pay him, so you tell me, as much as you can possibly afford out of your profits. On the other hand, young men sometimes tell us that, no matter what they do for their master, he just regards them as a chattel, as a means to dividends, and nothing more. Thank God, all employers are not like it; but if there are any they are sinning against God. No man is a chattel; no, not even if he be an unworthy

a servant. You have some responsibility towards him, and only when that responsibility is carried to the point where service for him becomes a menace and an injustice to what you owe to other people are you justified in severing the relationship between you twe. A man matters because a man is a soul. Sometimes those who are in your power are treated as if they had no soul. A young fellow tells me about his cheerless life, his loneliness in the great city, the hardness it engenders, the cynicism which steals over him, because he feels that he just fills a niche for a little time in a business office, and by-and-bye he is liable to be thrust out at the caprice of a man who has power to say Come” and “ Go." Again, we are told that from the employee is required service which no conscientious man ought ever to render. One of the false maxims of our business life is that trade lies are necessary. If society requires trade lies, and is built upon them, so much the worse for society. We are wrong all round, and we are losing all round. If it be true, as I am told, that to gain c footing in a new district you have to bribe your way inch by inch with the subordinates in this institution or that, there is something against which a conscientious man should protest with all his might. I am told the employer will sometimes require from his subordinate that the lie be told without a blush and the purchaser deceived because he is ready to deceive in his turn. It will be a bad day for England when that becomes general-pray God it never may! Only the day before yesterday one young fellow asked me an opinion as to his proper course of action. He said: “I am in the antique trade; it sometimes happens that we have to offer for sale to a collector an article which appears perfectly genuine. If a collector did not ask for it, I would sell it for a small sum and say what it was; but if a collector asks for it I am compelled by my master's commands to ask ten times its value.. I must do it, or I must go. Now, what would you tell me to do?" It is all very well for a preacher to sit in his armchair and look noble and spiritual and highly moral, and give an opinion which amounts to a command. But I will confess that I hesitated when I heard what were that young man's responsibilities and his chances of a new situation; but only for a moment. There are no two ways about a thing like that. That is a lie that you are asked to tell, a bad lie, a lie by which you intend to exploit the person who is dealing with you, a lie which he believes to be the truth; a lie which, though your employer be the principal gainer, and upon him rests the principal responsibility, reacts upon you. Come out of that business; let it go. I would say to you, in the simple words which you heard in your childhood and many a time sang in the Sundayschool:

“ Courage, brother, do not stumble,

Though thy path be dark as night ;
There's a star to guide the humble-

Trust in God and do the right.”

Then they tell me that it often happens in trade that the man who has set before him the Christian ideal finds himself in danger of ruin. He cannot compete with the men who don't allow conscience to stand in their way. Not many miles from this spot I know one such instance-a man who tried to act squarely every day, and at the beginning of the day resolved that there should be no lies told, not even by silence; he would offer for a fair price that which would bring him a fair profit. The result, he tells me, is that his business has been gradually going down. If that is so, I pity the man who alone—and he must be alone

-makes such a fight. But I would like to tell anybody like him that is here not to think that you are necessarily going to fail; for in some cases, at least, I have known the precise opposite—a brave man and a good has come out on top. When men knew that his word was as good as his bond, that his Christian character was to be relied upon, and was not lip testimony, they trusted and stood by him. So that there is even here a spiritual dividend for him who will do justly and love mercy and walk humbly with God. But if there were not, let it be just the same.

Go straight in your relations with men, live as before the face of God, and if He lets you down, ask Him why it is, and our Father, who seeth in secret, will reward thee openly. For all is not yet. You may have to be contented with a little in this world; this world is only a corner of the real one, and, by-and-bye, you will see to the full the meaning of the discipline through which you have been called to pass.

Again, there is a compromise with conscience in our use of our leisure time. Some young fellows have told me that they will have nothing to do with religious people, and they are not going to promise themselves to any religious organisation; for, they say, it is impossible to be other than a hypocrite if you join a religious society and then try to live as the times demand. But, young man, you are a hypocrite already. If you have seen the highest and refused to obey, what are you but a hypocrite ? You do not stand in the least higher than the man who has joined a religious society, in the hope that God may enable him to redeem the time. Leisure time, as it is called, is frequently employed for orgies. One serious danger of the hour is that which is so often referred to as to have become commonplace—the craze for excitement in one

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form or another—the stage, the football field, and worse. There is nothing wrong, intrinsically, about healthy recreation, but when it has ceased to be the servant and become the master, woe to you. Rudyard Kipling was severely criticised for talking about the “muddied oafs” at the goal. It may have been vigorous language unpoetically expressed, but there is some danger lest the craze even for athleticism and I stop there should drive out every higher idea from the minds of its victims. The whole conversation of some young fellows is football, or cricket, or the turf. So soon as excitement of that kind lays grip upon a man's mind, in some way it seems to act upon his conscience. It is but a step to the gambling-table and the drinking-hell, for these things flourish in the atmosphere I have described.

But, more than that, we have the idle rich around us. Perhaps it does not become us, as members of the middle class, to tell the higher grade what it ought to do, but sometimes is filled with misgiving when one hears and reads of the condition of English Society to-day. Such a case as that of Lady Granville Gordon-whom God pity! -reveals a condition of rottenness against which every Christian man in every grade of society ought to set his face with intensity. It matters much to us who love our country. I am told there are Society women who live the lives of pigs in their country houses. How many there may be God only knows. But what a life it must be! Surely there is something of responsibility resting upon us for a clear witness against a state of things which threatens ruin to our country, just as it brought ruin to Imperial Rome. We cannot


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