And now, if that is the case, how honorable all men become as objects of our zeal! “Honor all men,” says the Apostle—a text I do not hear quoted half so often as that other, “Honor the king.” Do not forget the last, but take equal care of the first. There is, because of its spiritual and immortal nature, a dignity about the soul of the meanest man—which no degree of poverty or degradation can altogether take away. The harlot in the streets—how few will care for her! But, O you tender hearts,as you look on the poor fallen one, say, “Since your soul was precious in my sight as an immortal spirit, you have been no longer despised and trampled on, but I have loved you as my Savior loved you, and for His sake I esteem your soul as an honorable, priceless thing.”
Do not think of the thousands in prison today as though they were just so much filth to be gotten rid of. Do not think, above all, of the great mass of the needy and destitute classes of society as though they were a mere encumbrance of the common man, the mere rubbish to be swept away and laid in heaps in the workhouse or on foreign shores. No, they are precious. As precious is their soul as yours. Think of them in that respect—and honor the immortal spark that is in them—the manhood that God has been pleased to create. Honor that, and as you honor it, love it—and prove your love by praying that God will save it, by using every instrument within your power to recover it from its ruin—and to bring it back to the great God to whom it belongs.