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SER M. It is no wonder, if they did not work at all, that they
should walk disorderly; or that quite neglecting their
In fine, whoever hath no work at home, will be gadding to seek entertainment abroad, like those gossips of whom St. Paul faith, They learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house ; and not only idle, but tattlers also, and busy bodies, speaking things which they ought
If indeed we consider all the frivolous and petulant discourse, the impertinent chattings, the rash censures, the spiteful detractions which are so rife in the world, and so much poison all conversation, we shall find the main root of them to be a want of industry in men, or of diligent attendance on their own matters; which would so much take up their spirit and time, that they would have little heart or leisure to search into or comment upon other men's actions and concerns.
10. Let us consider that industry is needful in every condition and station, in every calling and way
of life ; in all relations, for our good behaviour, and s Er M. right discharge of our duty in them. Without it we cannot in any state act decently, or usefully, either to the benefit and satisfaction of others, or to our own advantage and comfort.
Are we rich? Then is industry requisite for keeping and securing our wealth, for managing it wisely, for employing it to its proper uses, and best advantages (in the service of God, in beneficence to our neighbour, in advancing public good); so that we may render a good account to him who hath entrusted us with the stewardship thereof: industry is very needful to guard us from the temptations and mischiefs to which wealth doth expose us, that it do not prove a treacherous snare, an ụnwieldy burthen, a destructive poison and plague to us, throwing us into pride and vanity, into luxury, into stupidity, into distracting solicitude, into a base, worldly, and earthly temper of heart, into a profane oblivion of God, and of our own souls.
Are we in conspicuous rank of dignity, or in honour and repute among men? Then is industry requisite to keep us fast in that state, to hold us from tumbling from that pinnacle down into extreme disgrace ; for then all eyes are upon us, strictly observing what we do, and ready to pass censure on our actions ; so that great diligence is necessary to approve ourselves, and shun obloquy. Nothing is more brittle than honour * ; every little thing hitting on it, Ecch x.j. is able to break it, and therefore without exceeding care we cannot preserve it. Nothing is more variable or fickle than the opinions of men (wherein honour confifteth); it is therefore no easy matter to fix or detain them in the same place.
Honour cannot live without food or fuel; it must be nourished by worthy actions; without a continual (upply of them, it will decay, languish, and pine
S E R M. away: industry therefore is required to keep it ; and
no less is neceffary to use it well, in a due subordina-
It is so needful to every condition ; and it is fo for
Is a man a governor, or a superior in any capacity? Then what is he but a public servant doomed to continual labour, hired for the wages of respect and pomp, to wait on his people; in providing for their needs, protecting their safety, preserving their peace and welfare : where is he but on a stage, whereon he cannot well act his part, without vigilant attendance to his charge, and constant activity in performing all the functions thereof? He is engaged in great obligations and necessities of using extreme diligence, both in regard to himself and others. Homer's description of a prince is a good one ; One who hath much people, and many cares committed to him:
*Ω λαοί τ’ επιτετράφαται, και τόσσα μέμηλε. SER M.
XIII. He must watchfully look to his own steps, who is to guide others by his authority and his example. All his actions require special conduct, not only his own credit and interest, but the common welfare depending thereon. He must heedfully advise what to do, he must diligently execute what he resolveth on. He hath the most ticklish things that can be (the rights and interests, the opinions and humours of men) to manage. He hath his own affections to curb and guide, that they be not perverted by any sinister respects, not fwayed by any unjust partiality, not corrupted by flattery or fear. He will find, that to wield power innocently, to brandith the sword of justice discreetly and worthily, for the maintenance of right, and encouragement of virtue, for the suppreffion of injury, and correction of vice, is a matter of no small skill or Night care.
Industry is indeed a quality most proper for perfons of high rank and dignity, or of great power and authority, who have special opportunities to employ it in weighty affairs to great advantage ; whose undertakings being of vast moment, do need answerable efforts to move and guide them. The industry of a mechanic, or a rustic, acting in a low and narrow sphere, can effect no great matter, and therefore itself need not to be great : but the industry of a prince, of a nobleman, of a gentleman, may have a large and potent influence, so as to render a nation, a county, a town, happy, prosperous, glorious, fourishing in peace, in plenty, in virtue ; it therefore for atchieving such purposes need be, and should be proportionably great ; a small power not being able to move a great weight, nor a weak cause to produce a mighty effect. Wherefore Cicero recommending Pompey for a public charge, doth reckon these to be the imperatoriæ virtutes, qualities befitting a prince, or
SER M. general, wherein he did excel *, Labour in business, XII. valour in dangers, industry in acting, nimbleness in per.
- formance, counsel in providing:—And Alexander the Great, reflecting on his friends degenerating into floth and luxury, told them that up it was a most savish thing to luxuriate, and a most royal thing to labour.
And for those who move in a lower orb of subjection or service, I need not shew how needful in. dustry is for them. Who knoweth not that, to be a good subject, doth exact a careful regard to the commands of superiors, and a painful diligence in observing them that to make a good servant, fidelity and diligence must concur? whereof the first doth suppose the låst, it being a part of honesty in a
fervant to be diligent; whence δελε πονηρέ και οκνηρέ, Matt. xxv. O thou wicked and slothful servant, were in the Gospel
well coupled ; and the first epithet was grounded on the second, he being therefore wicked, because he had been Nothful.
Neither can a man be a true friend, or a good neighbour, or anywise a good relative, without industry disposing him to undergo pains in performing good offices, whenever need doth require, or occasion invite.
In fine, it is palpable, that there is no calling of any fort, from the sceptre to the spade, the management whereof with any good success, any credit, any satisfaction, doth not demand much work of the head, or of the hand, or of both.
If wit or wisdom be the head, if honesty be the heart, industry is the right hand of every vocation ; without which the shrewdest insight and the best intention can execute nothing.
* Labor in negotio, fortitudo in periculis, industria in agendo, celeritas in conficiendo, consilium in providendo, &c. Cis. pro lege Manil.
* Δελικώταθόν εςι το τρυφάν, βασιλικώτατον δε το πονεϊ. Ρlut. ίπ Alex. p. 1262.