Thus read the will of Patrick Henry: "This is all the inheritance I can give to my dear family. The religion of Christ will give them one which will make them rich indeed."
On the grave of a man whose life had been an ornament to his country and a benefit to his fellow men was this epitaph: "My wealth consists not in the abundance of my possessions, but in the fewness of my wants." This man evidently had not been unmindful of the words of our Lord, that "a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth" (Luke 12:15).
A tax collector one day came to a poor minister in order to assess the value of his property and to determine the amount of his taxes.
"I am a rich man," said the minister.
The official quickly sharpened his pencil and asked intently, "Well, what do you own?"
The pastor replied, "I am the possessor of a Saviour who earned for me everlasting life and who has prepared a place for me in the Eternal City."
"I have a brave, pious wife, and Solomon says, `Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies."'
"Healthy and obedient children."
"A merry heart which enables me to pass through life joyfully."
"That is all," replied the minister.
The official closed his book, took his hat and said, "You are indeed a rich man, sir, but your property is not subject to taxation."—The King's Business.
These words are found in connection with the parable of the rich fool, whose folly illustrates that of every person who "layeth up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."
There are four classes of people when it conies to the matter of possessions. (1) Those who are rich in this world's goods and poor toward God. (2) Those who are poor in this world and rich toward God. (3) Others are poor in both this world and the next. (4) Some have considerable amount of this world's goods, but because they hold them with a loose hand they are rich in the next world, too. But this latter class are not very numerous. Only a few can possess much of the materials of earth without attaching their hearts here, too. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."—Roy L. Hollenback, in Gospel Herald.
A man once visited Robert Hall to make exception to some statement which the preacher had made in his sermon. It was evident that the man was in the grip and bondage of the love of money. When Hall had gauged the man's character he took a half-sovereign out of his pocket, and, opening the Bible, pointed to the word "God." "Can you see that?" said Robert Hall. "Certainly," replied the man. Then the preacher took the half-sovereign and placed it over the word. "Can you see it now?" he asked. The man immediately understood the symbol, and through it was led into the light. Gold hid God. Money blocked the vision. Love of money shut out the face of the Father.—The Sunday Circle.
James W—, British financier and reputed millionaire, who had owned a yacht and racing stud, entertained royalty, and had made as much as three million dollars in one day, died by his own hand, practically a ruined man.
Before he brought his life to a close he wrote a letter which was published in the British press, and laid bare the truth without any false coloring, of what this world really is.
He had tasted all that this life could give and now records his verdict in the truest sermon ever preached by mortal man. Hear what he says:
"On the last day of my life, before my eyes, my brain unwinds the film of the past. In quick succession episode after episode unwinds, and I can now judge that life today is nothing but a caldron of greed, lust, and power. Gone are the nice feelings and contentment, and in their place is a roaring hectic existence."
He draws aside the curtain and shows us the world in its true character. "I have known," he says, "to have all you desire and to have thousands waiting to eat out of your hand. From this it must be agreed," he adds, "that I am entitled to an opinion on life."—Gospel Herald.
The great Agassiz was devoting time and talent to a poorly paid but absorbing line of scientific study, when he received a message from a college president offering him what seemed a munificent sum to come and deliver a course of lectures on Natural History. His characteristic reply was rather startling, but might well be stamped on the hearts of all God's stewards: "I cannot afford to waste time making money."—Courtesy Moody Monthly.
Many years ago 'John Somethingorother, a gold prospector, at last believed himself rich. But he was starving amid the shifting dunes of Death Valley, Cal. On a scrap of paper John scribbled, "Died rich." Then hugging a small bowler of mica, whose pyrites, resembling gold, apparently had deceived him, John passed away. Recently a party of motor tourists discovered the skeleton. An old miner's pick lay nearby. A rusty watch was also found—but was not running.—Pathfinder.
G. F. Watts' famous picture illustrating "For he had great possessions" is familiar to everyone. The artist gave this account of the rich young ruler: "I am doing a man's back—little else but his back—to explain, 'He went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.' Fancy a man turning his back on Christ rather than give away his goods. They say his back looks sorry. I don't know. It is what I meant to express."—Quiver.