BUSINESS IS BUSINESS.
The Lev. J. Upton Davis has been giving a course of lectures on Sunday evenings in Dunedin. The church was crowded to excess on Sunday week, and the preacher took for his text 1 Theas. iv., 2. The following is a portion of the lecture ; Christ never censured the honest occupations of men. He Himself had wrought at the gates, windows, and ploughs needed by His neighbors at Nazareth. Matthew was a custom-house officer; John was joint proprietor of a fleet of fishing smacks ; Paul was proud to support himself b} 7 weaving haircloth. Christ never forbade money-getting ; He taught that the labourer was worthy of his hire. But as became the doctrine of one who would make man perfect by controlling his whole life, He counted money but moans to an end, and business but a part of life. And the double charge we make against the men who adopt “ Business is business” as their sole motto, is that they ignore the social, domestic, and personal relations of business itself, and wholly exclude the claims of religion. Were this done solely at the cost of the delinquents alone, they might be left to their own folly ; but it is done to the injury of commerce at largo, the deterioration of families, the stunting of their own growth, and the damage of religion. By getting and by spending they lay waste their powers. “ Business is Business.” Even in its widest sense this axiom, touching society, home, self-confidence, and wealth, does not cover all our relations. The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath; so business was made for man, not man for business. You must not sink your manhood in its pursuit, its objects, and occupations. This is often done to tiro neglect of the highest interests of a man ; his relations to his Father in Heaven and the future beyond the grave. Religion is religion. We are told in one of those inimitable stories of Eastern life, which abound in the words of Jesus, how a feast was made, friends were invited, but at the time they all with one accord began to make excuse. W hat were the excuses the invited guests urged for their refusal 1 • “ Business is Business.” For one said, “ I have bought a yoke of oxen and go to prove them.” He was making money. Another said, “ I have bought a section and am going to look at it.” He was investing his money. A third said, “I have married' a wife and cannot come.” Well, he was spending his money. Is not that story true to-day ! The feast is in the home of Divine Love; its pleasures are in the friendships of a Heavenly Father ; and yet the getting, saving, and spending of money keep men from the marriage supper of the Lamb. “Business is Business,” hustles out of life “ Religion is Religion.” The truest manhood is -not with those whose investments are large, whose transactions are world-wide, and whose wealth is enormous. It is with those who, whatever their business and their gains, love God supremely and their neighbors as themselves.
THE RAILWAY COMMISSION. • If the Ashburton district is forgotten in the report of the Railway Commission, it will not be because the district’s representative men failed to impress our wants upon the Royal Commissioners. For fully two hours on Saturday afternoon a deputation was closeted with.the members of the Commission, and all the grievances Ashburton has against the railway were exhaustively stated, and the most effective remedies suggested. John Grigg, Esq., introduced the ' deputation, and went into the business in hand without any parley. Ho pointed out the disadvantages under which the town and district labor from the insufficient station accommodation at Ashburton, and was not sparing-of its other demerits that have been so long patent to the residents’ eyes. He drew attention to the miserable waiting-room for ladies, its proximity to the adjoining erections, and the very bad position these occupied, and also their disagreeable condition. He referred to the limited siding room, remarking upon the fact that a great number of trains wore at the station at one time, causing a traffic and a crowd for whose requirements the place was far from adequate. In this connection he touched upon an accident that occurred some time ago, when two trains shunting at the station came into collision. Then the dangerous crossings were placed before the Commission, and particularly the fact that at one especially a large store obstructed the view of foot passengers, and not infrequently a train was absolutely af the crossing before the pedestrian was aware of it, simp'y because the view of the line was shut out for a considerable distance. For another crossing, nearer the station, a pile of coal according to its size was an equally successful obstruction, and several narrow escapes had taken place ; but more particularly were the children passing and ro-passing to school endangered. He urged that the fencing of the lino was a very"needful thing for the safety of the lieges. Regarding the Ashburton Bridge he°made a very practical suggestion namely, that the gates should be transferred from the bridge itself to the entrance to the approaches. This would prevent much awkwardness that occurs at present. A man, driving say a dray loaded with wood, gets up the approach almost to the gate. A train is and by ihe hard and fast regulations of the bridge the gates are shut and he cannot enter upon the structure. He has no choice but to either stand where he is until the train passes, or “ back ” down, for turning is impossible. The danger of standing upon such a narrow approach, where turning is impossible, while a train is passing within four or live feet of a perhaps young horse, strange to locomotives, is apparent, and could bo altogether avoided if the gates were removed to the bottom of the approaches. Then it was shown that the grain merchants wore wholly at the mercy of the railway, as no provision was made for taking tally of the sacks received, and grain lost in transit must be borne by the sender. One merchant had offered to pay the wages of a clerk to do this tallying if the railway would supply the officer, but the authorities declined, and things remain as they were. The cost of the Canterbury line, as compared with southern lines, was referred to, and the injustice of a uniform rate being charged over the costly lines and the inexpensive ones. A suggestion was made that, during the slack season, when the rolling stock was not in much demand, a low tariff should be charged for such bulky goods as potatoes, chaff, etc., which would possibly bo an inducement to working men to grow patches of root crops, while it might also give an impetus to chaff-cutting. For chaff a market existed on the West Coast, but it was .supplied from Melbourne at a lower rate •than it could be supplied for here, owing to the costliness of carriage. Evidence was given before the Commission on all these subjects as well as upon matters connected with the Mount Somers railway. On the latter, wo fancy a good case was made out for the extension of the line to the coal pit mouth, which would reduce the price of coal in this township to £1 per ton. The value of the stone quarry was also dwelt upon, and the reduction that would take place upon its product were the cost of carriage reduced by the introduction of a railway lino. The mode of conveying grain was also commented upon. Grain trucks wore despatched in the season with no covering whatever, and in the event of rain, damage resulted to the grain. As many as seventy grain laden trucks had been one day seen that were wholly unprotected from the rain that was falling. This evil was all the greater that grain was now shipped direct from the trucks and not previously stored, so that there was no opportunity for counteracting the bad effects of wet, before the wheat was sent on board, and as a consequence a bad sample was sure to be sent Home. Mr. F. B. Passmore appeared before the Commission and gave information regarding the Methven and Rakaia railway, urging its further extension to join the proposed route of the Oxford and Terauka line, which extension would bring within railway reach a very large circuit of agricultural land. The Commission promised to give every consideration to the recommendations of the deputation.
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