John 6:12-13
When they were filled, he said to his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.…

There are certain matters in society that may be called fragments, certain customs that stand isolated and yet are very closely connected with religion.

I. HUMANITY TO ANIMALS. All animals must live, and are entitled to consideration. They have rights of their own.

1. The insect world. Why should we destroy a spider for killing a fly when we organize shambles for the sake of slaughtering the animals on which we live? There are many insects that we are not obliged to preserve, but which we need not go out of our way to destroy wholesale. They have just one day of existence, and it is a pity to abridge it.

2. Those animals that stand nearest man have been comparatively left to his passions or selfishness. It is not right that they should be transported and slaughtered without the least care for their suffering.

3. The wholesale destruction of birds for the personal adornment of ladies is not only inhuman but is wasteful. The development of insects is so enormous that if 'they were not reduced by birds it would be fatal to our wheatfields and gardens.

II. THE LAW OF HUMANITY TOWARDS SUBORDINATES IN INDUSTRY. is more than a fragment, it is half a loaf.

1. The law of sympathy should regulate the law of wages as well as the law of profit. Men have no right to pay their employees at starvation rates, nor in the cheapest currency.

2. Times of payment ought to be considered and wages paid not on Saturday, when there is every temptation to spend them in the public house, but on Monday.

3. Ought not a portion of every man's wages to be secured to his wife, as his partner and the family provider, by the state?

4. According to the spirit of the gospel whoever employs men becomes responsible, as God's overseer, for their morals and instruction and happiness. We are our brothers' keepers, particularly where for our profit they are led into circumstances of such severe temptation as exist in large houses of business.

5. When young women are compelled to stand all the day it is time the law, in the interest of future generations, stepped in.

(H. W. Beecher.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

WEB: When they were filled, he said to his disciples, "Gather up the broken pieces which are left over, that nothing be lost."

Divine Avoidance of Waste
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