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Spiritual Blindnes.

VOU who have been here during the week have heard me

speaking on the fourth chapter of Luke and eighteenth verse. I spoke on the first three clauses of that verse, and we have now come to the next clause, in which He tells us that He came to give sight to the blind-for the recovery of sight to the blind. Paul tells us, in his Epistle to the Corinthians, fourth chapter and third verse: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." "If the gospel be hid ;" "In whom the God of this world hath blinded." Now you may see this world is just one large blind asylum-it is full of blind people. Last Wednesday night I tried to tell you that the world was full of broken hearts; last night I tried to tell you that the world was full of captives, bound hand and foot in sin, and tonight I tell you that it is full of blind people. Not only blind people, but they are bound and broken-hearted. You might say that that nearly all those in the world come under three heads. Now just look at the contrast between Satan and Christ. Satan breaks men's hearts. But Christ binds them up; Satan binds the people of this earth hand and foot, but Christ breaks the fetters and sets them free; Satan makes us blind, but Christ opens our eyes. He came to do to this, and just see how He was received. He went into that synagogue at Nazareth and preached this glorious gospel, and commenced by telling them that the spirit of the Lord was upon Him, and went on to tell them that He had come to save them; and what did they do? They thrust Him out of the city, and took Him to the brow of the hill, and would have hurled Him into hell if they could. And men have been as bitter toward the gospel all along these eighteen hundred years. Why, some men would tear the preacher of it limb from limb if it wasn't for the law. Then we find when He goes to Bethany, and raising up the mother of Martha and Mary and binding up broken hearts as he went along and preaching mercy, and they want to kill Him. We find Him in the third chapter of Mark setting the captive free. Here we find a man possessed of demons, whom no one could cure, set at liberty by

the Son of Man, and in the healing because they lost a few swine they told Him to depart from their coasts. Then we find Him just a few days before His death, almost on His way to Calvary, giving sight to that blind man. And for all this they take Him to that mount and nail Him to a cross. Oh, what blindness!


We are told that there are 3,000,000 people in the world who are called blind. Every one calls them blind because they haven't their natural sight. But do you ever think how many are spiritually blind in this world? Why, if there are 3,000,000 people in the world who have not their natural sight, how many do you suppose are spiritually blind? We sympathize with those who have lost their sight. Nothing appeals to our sympathy so readily. I believe I could raise thousands of dollars among you by telling you about some blind one who is suffering for the necessaries of life through their affliction. How many of you wouldn't put your hand in your pockets and give liberally? How it moves our compassion-how it moves our hearts as we see the blind men, women, or children in the streets. How your heart goes out to those poor unfortunates. I was at a meeting in London when I was there, and I heard a man speaking with wonder, but power and earnestness. "Who is that man ?" I asked, my curiosity being excited. "Why, that is Dr. ――. He is blind." I felt some interest in this man, and at the close of the meeting I sought an interview, and he told me that he had been stricken blind when very young. His mother took him to a doctor, and asked him about his sight. "You must give up all hope," the doctor said. "Your boy is blind, and will be forever." "What, do you think my boy will never see?" asked his mother. "Never again." The mother took her boy to her bosom and cried, "Oh, my boy, who will take care of you when I am gone-who will look to you!" forgetting the faithfulness of that God she had learned him to love. He became a servant of the Lord, and was permitted to print the Bible in twelve different languages, printed in raised letters, so that all the blind people could read the Scriptures themselves. He had a congregation, my friends, of 3,000,000 people, and I think that blind man was one of the happiest beings in all London. He was naturally blind, but he had eyes to his soul, and could see a bright eternity in the future. He had built his foundation upon the living God. We pity those who have not their natural sight; but how you should pity yourself if you are spiritually blind. If we could get all the blind, spiritually, in this city! You talk about those great political meetings, they would be nothing to the crowd you would collect. Why, just look at all the men in this city who are blind, and many of them are

in the churches.

This has been the trouble with men always. Christ couldn't get men to understand they were blind; He couldn't even get His disciples to open their eyes until after He went up to heaven. And then they received the spiritual truth. How many are the professed children of God we read of in the Book of Revelation?

I think to-night I might pick up some of the different classes who are blind. I am somewhat acquainted with the rich men of this city, and I don't think it would take long to prove that the leading men of this city are blind-blind to their own interests. Take a man just spending all his strength and energies to get money. He is money blind. He is so blind in his pursuit that he cannot see the God of heaven. Money is his God. His cry is continually "Money, money," and it is the cry of many here in Chicago. They don't care about God, don't care about salvation, don't heed their eternal condition so long as they get money, money, money. And a great many of them have got it. But how lean their souls are. God has given them the desire of their heart, but He has given them leanness of soul. I heard of a man who had accumulated great wealth, and death came upon him suddenly and he realized, as the saying is, that "there was no bank in the shroud," that he couldn't take anything away with him; we may have all the money on earth, but we must leave it behind us. He called a lawyer in and commenced to will away his property before he went away. His little girl couldn't understand exactly where he was going, and she said, "Father, have you got a home in that land you are going to ?" The arrow went down to his soul. "Got a home there?" The rich man had hurled away God, and neglected to secure a home there for the sake of his money, and he found it was now too late. He was money mad, and he was money blind. It wouldn't be right for me to give names, but I could tell you a good many here in Chicago who are going on in this way-just spending all their lives in accumulation of what they cannot take with them. This is going on while how many poor people are suffering for the necessaries of life. These men don't know they are blind-money is their god.

There is another class who don't care so much for money. We might call them business blind. It is business, business, business with them all the time. In the morning they haven't time to worship. They must attend to business; must get down to the store. Down they run, and haven't time to get home to dinner. They mustn't let anyone get ahead of them; and they get home late at night and their families have gone to bed. They scarcely ever see their children. It is all busi

ness with them. A man told me not long ago, "I must attend to my business. That is my first consideration, and see that none gets ahead of me." That is his god. I don't care if he is an elder or a deacon in the church. That is his god. The god of business has blinded him. Look at the merchant prince who died the other day. Men called him a clever, shrewd man. Call that shrewdness-to pile up wealth for a lifetime and leave no record behind so that we know he has gone to heaven? He rose above men in his business; he devoted his whole soul to it, and the world called him a power among men; the world called him great. But let the Son of God write his obituary; let Him put an epitaph on his tombstone, and it would be, "Thou fool." Man says, I must attend to business first;" God says, "Seek first the kingdom of God." I don't care what your business may be; it may be honorable, legitimate, and all that, and you think you must attend to it first; bear in mind that God tells every man to seek His kingdom first.


There is another class of people who are blind. They don't care so much about riches, they are not very ambitious to become rich, they don't spend their lives in business matters. They are politically blind. They are mad over politics; they are bound up in the subject. There will be a great many broken hearts in a week hence. They have got their favourite candidate to attend to and they cannot find time to worship God. How little prayer there has been about the election. There has been a good deal of work, but how much praying has been done? We want prayer to go up all over our land that high and honest men may rule over us. But they are so excited over this election that they have no time to pray to the God of heaven. They are politically blind. How many men within our recollection who have set their hearts upon the presidential chair have gone down to the grave with disappointment? They were poor, blind men, and the world called them great. Oh, how foolish; how blind. They didn't seek God; they only sought one thing-greatness-position and office. They were great, brilliant, clever men, but when they were summoned into the presence of their God, what a wreck. Men so brilliant might have wielded an influence for the Soh of God that would have lived in the hearts of the people for generations to come, and the streams of their goodness might have flowed long after they went to heaven. But they lived for the world and their works went to dust.

But a great number of people don't care for business or politics, they only want a little money so as to get pleasure. How many men have been blinded by pleasure. A lady told

me in the inquiry-room she would like to become a Christian, but there was a ball coming on, and she didn't want to become a Christian until after the ball. The ball was worth more to her than the kingdom of God. For this ball she would put off the kingdom of God until it was over, forgetting that death might come to her in the meantime, and usher her into the presence of God. How blind she was, and many are just like her. The kingdom of God is offered to them without money and without price, and yet for a few days of pleasure they forfeit heaven and everything dear to their eternity. I was talking to a lady who, with tears running down her cheeks upon my speaking to her, said: "The fact is, if I become a Christian I have to give up all pleasure. I cannot go to the theatre; I cannot read any novels; I cannot play cards. I have nothing else to do." Oh, what blindness! Look at the pleasure of being taken into the Lord's vineyard, and the joy and luxury of working for Him and leading souls to Christ. And people with their eyes wide open would rather bend down to the god of pleasure than become Christians.

Then there is the god of fashion. How many women just devote their lives to it. They want to see the last bonnet, the last cloak, the last dress. They can't think of anything else. Said a lady to me, “I am always thinking of fashion; it don't matter if I get down on my knees to pray, I am always thinking of a new dress. You may laugh at this, but it's true. Pleasure in the ball-room and fashion is the God of a great many people. Oh, that we may lift our eyes to something nobler. Suppose you don't have so many dresses, and give something to the poor, you will have something then which will give you joy and comfort that will last you always. I pity the man or woman who lives for the day like the butterfly-those whose minds are fixed upon fashion and pleasure, and have no time to look to their perishing soul. A good many people don't know they are hid. Look at that young man. You call him a fast young man. He has got a salary of a $1,000, and it costs him $3,000 to live. Where does he get the money? Where does it come from? His father cannot give it him, because he is poor. His employer begins to get suspicious. "I only give him $1,000 a year, and he is living at the rate of $3,000." By and by he looks into his account book and finds it overdrawn. Thus he is ruined-character blasted. Oh, how many are of this stamp in Chicago! It is only a question of time. How many young men have we got just living beyond their income -taking money out of their employer's drawer. They say, "Well, I am going to the theatre to-night, and I will just take a dollar; will put it back next week." But when next week

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