Drawing a Comparison
When I was in California I went into a Sunday-school and asked:
"Have you got some one who can write a plain hand?"
We got up the blackboard, and the lesson upon it proved to be the text, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven."
I said, "Suppose we write upon that board some of the earthly treasures? We will begin with 'gold.' "
The teacher readily put down "gold," and they all comprehended it, for all had run to that country in hope of finding it.
"Well, we will put down 'houses' next and then 'land.' Next we will put down 'fast horses.' "
They all understood what fast horses were—they knew a good deal more about fast horses than they knew about the kingdom of God. Some of them, I think, actually made fast horses serve as gods.
"Next we will put down 'tobacco.' " The teacher seemed to shrink at this. "Put it down," said I; "many a man thinks more of tobacco than he does of God. Well, then we will put down 'rum.' "
He objected to this—didn't like to put it down at all.
"Down with it! Many a man will sell his reputation, his home, his wife, his children, everything he has, for rum. It is the god of some men. Many here are ready to sell their present and their eternal welfare for it. Put it down," and down it went.
"Now," said I, "suppose we put down some of the heavenly treasures. Put down 'Jesus' to head the list, then 'heaven,' then 'River of Life,' then 'Crown of Glory', " and went on until the column was filled, and then just drew a line and showed the heavenly and the earthly things in contrast.
My friends, they could not stand comparison. If a man does that, he cannot but see the superiority of the heavenly over the earthly treasures.
It turned out that this teacher was not a Christian. He had gone to California on the usual hunt—gold; and when he saw the two columns placed side by side, the excellence of the one over the other was irresistible, and he was the first soul God gave me on that Pacific coast. He accepted Christ, and that man came to the station when I was coming away and blessed me for coming to that place.