A Self-Denying Gift
Luke 3:10-14
And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?…

People wondered why George Briggs, Governor of Massachusetts, wore a cravat but no collar. "Oh," they said, "it is an absurd eccentricity," and they said, "he does that just to show himself off." Ah! no. That was not the character of George Briggs, Governor of Massachusetts, as I might intimate by a little incident which occurred at Pittsfield, Mass., just after a meeting of the American Board of Foreign Missions. My brother was walking on one side of the Governor, and on the other side of the Governor was a missionary who had just returned from India. The day was cold, and the Governor looked at the missionary and said, "Why, my friend, you don't seem to have an overcoat." "No," said the missionary, "I haven't been able to purchase an overcoat since I came to the country." Then the Governor took off his great cloak and threw it around the missionary and said, "I can stand this climate better than you can." Governor Briggs did not do anything just to show off. This was the history of the cravat without any collar. For many years before he had been talking with an inebriate, trying to persuade him to give up the habit of drinking, and he said to the inebriate, "Your habit is entirely unnecessary." "Ah!" replied the inebriate, "we do a great many things that are not necessary. It isn't necessary that you should have that collar." "Well," said Briggs, "I will never wear a collar again if you will stop drinking." "Agreed," said the other. They joined hands in a pledge that they kept for twenty years, kept until death. That is magnificent. That is gospel, practical gospel, worthy of George Briggs, worthy of you. Self-denial for others. Subtraction from our advantage that there may be an addition to somebody else's advantage.

(Dr. Talmage.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

WEB: The multitudes asked him, "What then must we do?"

Unfruitful Trees Cut Down
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