"Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold."
"The silver and the gold is Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts." Yes, every coin we have is literally our "Lord's money." Simple belief of this fact is the stepping-stone to full consecration of what He has given us, whether much or little.
"Then you mean to say we are never to spend anything on ourselves?" Not so. . . . We are to spend what is really needful on ourselves, because it is our charge to do so; but not for ourselves, because we are not our own but our Master's. He who knoweth our frame knows its need of rest and medicine, food and clothing; and the procuring of these for our own entrusted bodies should be done just as much "for Jesus" as the greater pleasure of procuring them for some one else. Therefore there need be no quibbling over the assertion that consecration is not real and complete while we are looking upon a single shilling as our own to do what we like with. Also the principle is exactly the same, whether we are spending pence or pounds; it is our Lord's money, and must not be spent without reference to Him.
When we have asked Him to take, and continually trust Him to keep, our money, "shopping" becomes a different thing. We look up to our Lord for guidance to lay out His money prudently and rightly, and as He would have us lay it out. The gift or garment is selected consciously under His eye, and with conscious reference to Him as our own dear Master, for whose sake we shall give it, or in whose service we shall wear it, and whose own silver or gold we shall pay for it, and then it is all right. . . .
It may be self-denial to us to turn away from something within reach of our purse which it would be very convenient or pleasant to possess. But if the Master lifted the veil, and revealed Himself standing at our side, and let us hear His audible voice asking us to reserve the price of it for His treasury, should we talk about self-denial then? Should we not be utterly ashamed to think of it? or rather, should we, for one instant, think about self or self-denial at all? Would it not be an unimaginable joy to do what He asked us to do with that money? But as long as His own unchangeable promise stands written in His word for us, "Lo, I am with you alway," we may be sure that He is with us, and that His eye is as certainly on our opened or half-opened purse as it was on the treasury, when He sat over against it and saw the two mites cast in. So let us do our shopping as "seeing Him who is invisible." . . .
There is no bondage in consecration. The two things are opposites, and cannot co-exist, much less mingle. We should suspect our consecration, and come afresh to our great Counsellor about it directly [if] we have any sense of bondage. As long as we have an unacknowledged feeling of fidget about our account book, and a smothered wondering what and how much we "ought" to give, and a hushed-up wishing the thing had not been put quite so strongly before us, depend upon it we have not said unreservedly, "Take my silver and my gold." And how can the Lord keep what He has not been sincerely asked to take? Ah! if we had stood at the foot of the cross, and watched the tremendous payment of our redemption with the precious blood of Christ; if we had seen that awful price told out, drop by drop, from His own dear patient brow and torn hands and feet, till it was ALL paid, and the central word of eternity was uttered, "It is finished!" should we not have been ready to say, "Not a mite will I withhold!"—From "Kept for the Master's Use."
From The Evangelisation of the World: A Missionary Band... 2nd ed. London: Morgan & Scott, [1885?].
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