MATT. v. 16. “Let
your light so shine before men, that they may see your good
works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
CHRIST, the Light of the world, says to His followers, “Ye
are the light of the world.” There is no real discrepancy
between the two statements : the city is lit by lamps and
yet it is the gas that lightens it.
I. There is first the positive injunction that Christians
are to do everything in their power to secure that their
light shall shine as brightly as possible. This is to be
1. By the position we take up. A lamp on the floor
will not send out its rays so widely as if it were suspended
from the ceiling. The Christian should connect himself
with the Church, let his light shine by joining the company
of those who confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus.
2. By the character which we form. Character is the
most important thing in the world. There is no eloquence
so powerful as a good man’s life.
3. By the exertions we make for the conversion of our
fellow men. By these we benefit ourselves; let a man tie
up his hand so that it becomes motionless, and by and
by it will become withered and powerless like the limb
of an Indian devotee.
II. Look at the negative side of this injunction. We
should remove everything that tends either to obscure or
to hide our light, or which so affects it as to make it
suggestive of ourselves rather than of God.
1. We should get rid of the undue reserve by which
multitudes are characterized.
2. We must keep ourselves clear from all practical in-
3. We should avoid all self display. The best style in
writing is that which gives the thought with such transpar-
ency that the reader sees nothing else; and that is the
noblest Christian character which shows the most of Christ
W. M. Taylor, D.D.