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conceits, and controuling our peevish humours; untos E R M. a perfect submission of our understanding, and relig- XII. nation of our will to whatever God teacheth or prescribeth; to a firm resolution of adhering to that profeffion, which exacteth of us so much pains, and exposeth us to so many troubles.
Charity is also a laborious exercise of many good works; and he that will practise it, must in divers ways labour hardly; he must labour in voiding from his soul many dispositions deeply radicated therein by nature, opinion, and custom; envy, frowardness, stubbornness, perverse and vain selfishness; from whence wrath, revenge, spite, and malice do spring forth. He must labour in effectual performance of all good offices, and in catching all occasions of do- Gal
. vi. 10. ing good; he must exert that xómov ayónns, that la- Heb. vi. 13; bour of love, whereof St. Paul doth speak; he must Eph. iv. 28. (as that holy apostle directeth, not only in precept, but by his own practice) work with his own hands, that he may supply the wants of his neighbour.
Hope itself (which one would think, when grounded well, should be a no less eafy than pleasant duty) 'Axdur. doth need much labour to preserve it safe, straight, and stable, among the many waves and billows of 1 Thes.i. 3: temptation assaying to shake and subvert it ; whence Heb. x. 36. a patience of hope is recommended to us ; and we so 'Erdeinous Sas often are exhorted to hold it fast, to keep it sure, Heb. iii. 6, firm, and unshaken to the end.
Temperance also surely demandeth no small pains *; it being no slight business to check our greedy appetites, to thun the enticements of pleasure, to escape the snares of company and example, to support the ill will and reproaches of those zealots and bigots for vice, who cannot tolerate any nonconformity to their extravagancies; but, as St. Peter doth express it,
Acts xx. 35.
Hub. X. 23• Heb. vi. 19.
14. * 2 Pet. i. 10.
* Πάντες εξ ενός σόματος ύμνύσιν ως καλόν μεν η σωφροσύνη, τι και διKasocúm, youretor név Too xai érítovor. Plat. de Rep. 2.
SER M. think it strange, if others do not run with them to the same xi. excess of riot, Speaking ill of them for it.
What should I speak of meekness, of patience, of i Pct. iv. 4. humility, of contentedness? Is it not manifest how la
borious those virtues are, and what pains are necessary in the obtaining, in the exercise of them ? what pains, I say, they require in the voidance of fond conceits, in the suppression of froward humours, in the quelling fierce passions, in the brooking grievous crosses and adversities, in the bearing heinous injuries and affronts ?
Thus doth all virtue require much industry, and it therefore necessarily must itself be a great virtue, which is the mother, the nurse, the guardian of all virtues ; yea, which indeed is an ingredient and constitutive part of every virtue; for if virtue were easily obtainable or practicable without a good measure of pains, how could it be virtue? what excellency could it have, what praise could it claim, what reward could it expect? God hath indeed made the best things not easily obtainable, hath set them high out of our reach, to exercise our industry in getting them, that we might raise up ourselves to them, that being obtained, they may the more deserve our esteem, and his reward.
Lastly, the sovereign good, the last scope of our actions, the top and sum of our desires, happiness itself, or eternal life in perfect rest, joy, and glory; although
it be the supreme gift of God, and special boon of Rom. vi. divine grace (rò de xaproua Tă Ozē, But, faith St. Paul, Eph. ii. S.
the gift of God's grace is eternal life); yet it also by God
himself is declared to be the result and reward of inPhil. ii. 12. dustry ; for we are commanded to work out our salva2 Pet. i. 10. tion with fear and trembling, and to give diligence in
making our calling and election sure, by virtuous prac
tice; and God, faith St. Paul, will render to every 7, 10. vi. man according to his works; to them who, by patient con
tinuance in well doing, seek glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life ; and, in the close of God's book, it
Rom. ï. 6,
Matt, xi. Jam. i. 12. Matt. xxiv. 42. XXV.
is proclaimed, as a truth of greatest moment, and S E R M. special point of God's will, Blesjed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life. It is plainly industry, which climbeth the holy Apoc. xxii. mount ; it is industry, which taketh the kingdom of Heb. xii. heaven by force; it is industry, which fo runneth as zz to obtain the prize, which so fighteth as to receive the 12. crown, which fo watcheth as to secure our everlasting .Cor. ix. interest to us.
Thus do the choicest good things, of which we are capable, spring from industry, or depend upon 13. it ; and no considerable good can be attained with- Luc. xii. out it: thus all the gifts of God are by it conveyed Apoc, iii. 3. to us, or are rendered in effect beneficial to us; for the gifts of nature are but capacities which it improveth; the gifts of fortune or providence are but instruments, which it employeth to our use ; the gifts of
grace are the supports and succours of it, and the very gift of glory is its fruit and recompence.
There are farther several other material considerations and weighty motives to the practice of this duty, which meditation hath suggested to me; but these, in regard to your patience, must suffice at present; the other (together with an application proper to our condition and calling) being reserved to another occasion.
SE R M O N XIII.
Of Industry in general.
Eccles. ix. 10.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy
might. NDUSTRY, which the divine Preacher in this S E R M.
text recommendeth to us, is a virtue of a very XIII. diffusive nature and influence ; stretching itselfthrough all our affairs, and twisting itself with every concern we have ; so that no business can be well managed, no design accomplished, no good obtained without it: it therefore behoveth us to conceive a high opinion of it, and to inure our souls to the practice of it, upon all occasions : in furtherance of which purposes I formerly, not long since, did propound several motives and inducements; and now proceeding on, shall represent divers other considerations serviceable to the same end.
1. We may consider that industry is productive of ease itself, and preventive of trouble : it was no less solidly, than acutely and smartly advised by the philosopher Crates, * Whether, said he, labour be to be
* Ε79' αιρετόν ο πόνος, πόνει είτε φευκτός, πόνει, ίνα μη πονης" δια το μη πόνειν και φεύγείαι πόνος, το δε ένανδία και διώκέλαι. Crates, Ερ. 4.