the Fourth Week of Lent
Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Select a large box and place in it as many cannon-balls as it will hold, it is after a fashion full, but it will hold more if smaller matters be found. Bring a quantity of marbles, very ,amy of these may be packed in the spaces between the larger globes; the box is full now, but only full in a sense, will contain more yet. There are interstices in abundance, .to which you may shake a considerable quantity of small shot, and now the chest is filled beyond all question, but yet there is room. You cannot put in another shot or marble, much less another cannon-ball, but you will find that several pounds of sand will slide down between the larger materials, and even then between the granules of sand, if you empty yonder jug there will be space for all the water, and for the same quantity several times repeated. When there is no pace for the great, there may be room for the little; where he little cannot enter, the less can make its way; and where the less is shut out, the least of all may find ample room and verge enough. Now, the diligent preacher may not be able to preach more sermons, his engagement book is crowded. He may not be able to offer more public prayers, or to search the word of God more constantly; there is as much time occupied with these things as could well be given to them. Still there must be stray moments, occasional intervals and snatches, which might hold a vast amount of little usefulnesses in the course of months and years. What a wealth of minor good, as we may think it to be, might be shaken down into the interstices of ten years' work, which might prove to be as precious in result, by the grace of God, as the greater works of the same period.. Little fishes are sweet, and these little works might possess in blessing what they lacked in bulk.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Diligence'. Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/​dictionaries/​eng/​fff/​d/diligence.html. 1870.