lower, sensuous nature of man, but he is an instrument
in the hands of God, to smooth the way, and break
the paths for the blessings and promises which bring
peace and joy in time and eternity. With this con-
sciousness, he transacts his business cheerfully. It
becomes a consecrated work to him. He no longer en-
vies the clergyman whose office is confined to purely
spiritual things. Like him, he is a servant of the Lord,
and desires that all should receive the blessing, even to
the ends of the earth."
"Now," remarked Mander, "I understand better
what you said some time ago, that you respected the
efforts of mankind only as they serve to advance the
cause of truth."
"But," objected Oswald, "are not large commercial
towns precisely the places in which there is the most
complete estrangement from spiritual things ? Does
not the striving for wealth and profit, most surely divert
us from the search after true riches ?"
"All great cities are alike in this respect," said Hold.
"But irreligion is by no means the natural consequence
of commerce. During the middle ages, the great com-
mercial cities — remember Augsburg, with its noble fam-
ilies, Fugger and Welser — were richer in piety, virtue,
and honor, than many other towns, whose renown rested
on their being the seat of a bishop, or a royal residence.
Return to your former calling. In the midst of corrup-
tion, be a witness for the kingdom of God. Be in your
mind and life the pattern of a merchant who knows
that his real treasure is in heaven, who, wakeful and
active in his business, ennobles it by the consciousness
of his higher vocation. Even among scoffers be not