Col. 3:23.---' Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.'

'WHATSOEVER YE DO.'---This great word 'whatsoever' covers all the ground of human effort, and claims it all for God. Work may be drudgery, or delight. That does not always depend on the KIND of work, but on the spirit in which it is done.

The very best that is in us is a duty that we owe to God's purposes in the world; is a duty we owe our brothers, who are fighting a sore battle, and who have a right to demand that nothing of ours should fail them in a pinch. But it is a duty that we also owe to ourselves. We believe that God actually cares for good work of all sorts, that He verily delights in it, and for its own sake. We are told by the historians of art that the early religious sculptors would put no imperfect work out of their hands, even when it was so placed that it could not be seen. When questioned why the concealed parts should be so exquisitely made, they said that the eyes of the angels were there. They loved their work for their own thought of it, not for the praise of men, or for its price in the market.

'WHATSOEVER YE DO, DO IT HEARTILY.'---These words were never better illustrated than in the life of the man who penned them. There was an enthusiasm and a concentration about Paul which have won the admiration of all time. 'One thing I do, forgetting the things that are behind, I press towards the mark,' says the Apostle; and whatsoever he did, he did it heartily, as unto the Lord who loved him so. It gives a wonderful power to these words, and changes their mandate with redoubled urgency, when we remember who the writer was. Men have brought many charges against Paul, but his bitterest enemy has never charged him with half-heartedness. There is a glow and fervor in the man that marks in an instant the Divine enthusiast. Others might waver, Paul battled to his goal. And had we seen him working at his tentmaking, in the late night when the city was asleep, we would doubtless have found him plying the tentmaker's needle and singing, as in the prison at Philippi, with the very heartiness and zeal that filled his preaching. Whenever we think of an enthusiastic crowd, we think of uproar and wild excitement. And in the life of congregated thousands, touched into unity by some great emotion, there seems to be some call for loud expression. But the intense purpose of the whole-hearted man is never noisy. The noisiest are generally shallow. There is a certain silence, as an under-purpose, whenever a man is working heartily.

Whole-heartedness, then is not a noisy virtue. So let us be on our guard against its counterfeits. But, if it be not noisy, it is one condition of the best success. How often have we heard the expression, "he did not put HIMSELF into it,' to account for failure. Could we trace the history of failure we should find that for want of heart. To concentrate, as all the Apostles did; to have the resolute enthusiasm of Jesus, THAT spirit has something congenial to success in it.

What is it about the virtue of whole-heartedness? It is one of the conditions of the truest happiness. There comes a certain joy, a certain zest and a buoyancy of spirit, when whatsoever we do is done heartily, as to the Lord. When we are half-hearted, the hours have leaden feet. We become fretful, easily provoked. But when, subduing feeling, we turn with our whole energy of soul to grapple with our duty or with our cross, it is wonderful how under the long shadows we hear unexpectedly a sound of music. To be half-hearted is to be half-happy. It is to live in a lack-luster kind of way. And so it is to live in an un-Christlike way, it is to know little of the joy of Jesus. Was not the joy of Jesus Christ linked, far down, with His whole-hearted service? He never could have spoken of His joy but for His unswerving fidelity to God. And when at last upon the Cross there rang out the loud, glad cry. 'It is finished,' there was joy in it because the stupendous work of saving men had been carried through to its triumph and its crown.

The more heartily we do our duty, the more we feel we are doing it for God. It is one of the secrets for bringing heaven near us, for feeling the Infinite with us and within us, to be whole-hearted in the present task. Thinkers have often noted this strange fact: that great entusiasims tend to become religious. Let a man be mastered by any great idea, and sooner or later he will find the shadow of God on it. But that is true not of great enthusiasms alone; it holds of whole-heartedness in every sphere. When Luther said, "to labor is to pray," we may be sure that he did not mean that work could ever take the place of prayer. He knew too well the value of the quiet hour with God ever to think that toil could take its place. But just as in earnest prayer we are led into the presence and glory of the King, so in our earnest and whole-hearted toil we are led into a peace and strength without which no man shall see the Lord. It is in that sense that to labor is to pray. And the loss of all half-hearted men and women is this, that above the fret and weariness of things they catch no glimpse of the eternal purpose, nor of the love, nor of the joy of God.

God Himself is the Great Artificer. When we remember the thoroughness of the Creator's workmanship; when we think of the consummate genius and care that He lavished on the tiniest weed; when we recall the age-long discipline that was preparing the world for Jesus Christ; we feel that the heart of God is in His work. And unless our heart is in our work we must be out of touch with the Creator, the master-builder, the thorough and perfect workman. And a half-hearted servant cannot have any kinship with a whole-hearted Lord.

'Whatsoever yea do, it heartily, AS TO THE LORD.'---Paul lays his hand on the real secret of all the large enthusiasms. He centers his appeal upon a person. Had he been writing in some quiet academy, the text might have read like this, 'Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, for that is the road to nobility of character.' But it was for the great world he wrote. And he knew that nothing abstract, nothing cold, would ever inspire the enthusiasm of thousands. A cause must be concentrated in some powerful name, it must live in the flesh and blood of personality, if the hearts of the many are ever to be stirred, and the lives of the many are ever to be won. So Paul, with the true instinct of universal genius, gathered all abstract arguments for zeal into the living argument of Jesus. The secret of all noble living lies in fellowship with Jesus Christ.

In Christ, timothy. maranatha