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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody

LI THE LAW OF INCREASING RETURNS

Matthew xxv.14-30.

The parable of the talents adds to its doctrine of responsibility a second teaching. It is its doctrine of interest; the return to be looked for from investment in the spiritual life. The economists have a law which they call the law of diminishing returns; but Jesus calls attention to the converse of that principle, -- the law of increasing and accelerated returns. We see this principle on a great scale in the world of money. Money has a self-propagating quality. It breeds money. If you should ask a very rich man how he accumulated his fortune he would tell you that the first savings involved great thrift and wisdom or great good luck, but that after a while his wealth flowed in upon him almost in spite of himself. He began to get money, and the more he got the more easily he got more. Now this law, says Jesus, which is so obvious in the business world, is true in a much deeper way of the {128} spiritual life. Knowledge, power, faith, all grow by investment. Use of the little makes it much; hoarding what you have leaves it unfruitful. Do you want to know more? Well, put what you now know to use. Invest it, and as you seem to spend it, it increases, and you have found the way to the riches of wisdom. Do you want faith? Well, use what faith you have. Try the working hypothesis of living by faith. Our ancestors in New England trading used to send out on their ships what they called a |venture.| They took the risks of business. There is a similar venture of faith, which says: |Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief.| He who sends the venture of his faith over the ocean of his life may look for a rich cargo in return. To the faithful in the few things the many things are revealed. That is the law of increasing returns.

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