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i Pet. v, 8.
But there is another industry worse than that, s E R M. when men are very busy in devising and compassing XIV. mischiefs ; an industry whereof the Devil affordeth a great instance ; for the cursed fiend is very diligent, Luke'xxii
. ever watching for occasions to supplant us, ever 3 Cor. ii. plotting methods and means to do harm, ever driving". on his mischievous designs with unwearied activity; going to and fro in the earth; running about as a roar- Job i. 7. ing lion, looking for prey, and seeking whom he may devour.
And his wicked brood are commonly like him, being workers of iniquity *, o mounpoi, painful men, o Psal. vi. 8. navžgyos, men that will do all things ; who will spare no pains, nor leave any stone unturned, for satisfying their lufts, and accomplishing their bad designs.
So indeed it is, that as no great good, so neither can any great mischief be effected without much pains : and if we consider either the characters or the practices of those, who have been famous mifchief-doers, the pests of mankind and disturbers of the world, we shall find them to have been no sluggards to.
These two sorts of vain and bad industry the Prophet Isaiah seemeth to describe in those words ; They Ifa, lix. 5. hatch cockatrice eggs, and weave the spider's web; of which expressions one may denote mischievous, the other frivolous diligence in contrivance or execution of naughty or vain designs; and to them both that of the Prophet Hofea may be referred ; They have Hof. viii. 7. fown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind; guilt, Ecclus. remorse, and punishment being the consequences of Prov. xxii. both. And of them both common experience doth . afford very frequent and obvious instances, a great part of human life being taken up with them. For,
How assiduously intent and eager may we observe men to be at sports ! How soon will they rise to go
Hof. X. 13.
* 'Egyáras tñs cidoxías. Luke xiii. 27.
S ER M. forth to them! With what constancy and patience
will they toil in them all the day! How indefatigable are they in riding, or running about after a dog or a hawk, to catch a poor beast or silly bird !
How long will men fit poring on their games dispensing with their food and sleep for it!
How long and serious attention will men yield to a wanton play! How many hours will they contentedly fit thereat! What study will men employ on jests and impertinent wit ! How earnest will they be to satisfy their vain curiosity !
How in such cases do men forget what they are doing, that sport 1hould be sport *, not work ; to divert and relax us, not to employ and busy us ; to take off our minds a little, not wholly to take them up ; not to exhaust or tire our spirits, but to refresh and cheer them, that they may become more fit for
grave and serious occupations! Jer. ii, 13.
How painful will others be in bewing them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that will hold no water ; that is, in immoderate pursuit of worldly designs ! How ftudiously will they plod, how restleisly will they trudge, what carking and drudgery will they endure in driving on projects of ambition and avarice! What will not they gladly do or suffer, to get a little preferment, or a little profit ? It was a common practice of old,
and sure the world is not greatly mended since the Pfal. xxxix. Psalmist did thus reflect, Surely every man walketh
in a vain few; furely they are disquieted in vain : be heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who mall gather them.
How many vigilant and stout pursuers are there of sensuality and riotous excess ; such as those of whom the Prophet speaketh, Wo unto them that rise ??p early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
lla. V. II.
Συνείρsσι και οι φιλόκυβοι νύκτας ημέραι, άσιτοι και αποτοι, και ηδοrinis racon trepies.. Lib. Orat. 31. * Τα γαρ όντι παίζοντα δεν παίζει». Ρlut.
vi. 18. iv, 16.
How busy (O shame, O misery! how fiercely busy) s ER M. are some in accomplishing designs of malice and revenge! How intent are some to over-reach, to circumvent, to supplant their neighbour ! How fore pains will some take to seduce, corrupt, or debauch others ! How active will fome be in fowing strifes, in raising factions, in fomenting disorders in the world! How many industrious slaves hath the Devil *, who will spare no pains about any kind of work, which he putteth them to ! How many like those of whom the wise man faith, Their feet run to Prov. i. 16. evil, and are swift in running to mischief : they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their peep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall !
Now with all these labourers we may well expostulate in the words of the Prophet; Wherefore do ye Ifa. Iv. 2. spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not?
Such labours are unworthy of men, much less do they beseem Christians.
It becometh us not as rational creatures to employ the excellent gifts of our nature, and noble faculties of our high-born foul, the forces of our mind, the advantages of our fortune, our precious time, our very care and labour, vainly or unprofitably upon any thing base or mean : being that our reason is capable of atchieving great and worthy things, we much debase it by stooping to regard toys, we do extremely abuse it by working mischief.
Much more doth it misbecome us as Christians (that is, persons devoted to so high a calling, who have so worthy employments assigned to us, to glorious hopes, so rich encouragements proposed to us Eph. i. 18. for our work) to spend our thoughts and endeavours on things impertinent to our great design, or mainly thwarting it.
* 'Εννωνήσομέν τινα ο διάβολος επίταξε, πώς επίπονα, πώς έμίμοχθα, &c. Cbryf. arde. 16. U 3
SE R M.
The proper matter and object of our industry xiv. (those false ones being excluded) is true business; or
that which is incumbent on a man to do, either in way of duty, being required by God, or by dictate of reason, as conducing to some good purpose; fo that in effect it will turn to account, and finally in advantageous return will pay him for his labour of
mind or body; that which the wise man did intend, Ecclef. ix. when he advised, Whatever thy hand findeth to do, do
it with all thy might ; whatever thy hand findeth, that is, whatever by divine appointment (by the command or providence of God), or which, upon rational deliberation, doth occur as matter of our action ; comprising every good purpose and reasonable undertaking incident to us.
But our business, according to the holy Apostle's intent, may be supposed especially to be the work of our calling; to which each man hath a peculiar obligation ; and which therefore is most properly his business, or notred emphatically, the business allotted to him.
Now this business, our calling, is double; our general calling, which is common to us all as Christians, and our particular calling, which peculiarly belongeth to us, as placed in a certain station, either in the church or state. In both which vocations that we are much obliged and concerned to be industrious, shall be now my business to declare.
1. As to our general calling (that sublime, that beavenly, that holy vocation *), in which by divine grace, according to the evangelical dispensation, we are engaged, that necessarily requireth and most highly deserveth from us a great measure of industry; the nature and design of it requireth, the fruit and result of it deserveth our utmost diligence; all sloth is inconsistent with discharging the duties, with en
* 'Haww xañois. Phil. iii. 14. Kaños i reparos. Heb.iii. 1. 'Agía xañois. 2 Tim. i. 9. Eph. i. 18. 2 Theff. i. 11.
1 Tim. vi.
joying the hopes, with obtaining the benefits thereof. s E R M. For,
It is a state of continual work, and is expressed in terms importing abundant, incessant, intense care and pain; for to be indeed Christians, We must work Phil. ii. 12. out our salvation with fear and trembling ; we must by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, and Rom. ii. 7. honour, and immortality. We must walk worthy of the Col. i. 10. Lord, to all well pleasing, being fruitful in every good is work. We must be rich in good works, and filled with Phil
. i. 11. the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ 108, 16.
John xv. 5, the praise and glory of God. We are God's workman- Eph. ii, 10. ship created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God bath before ordained that we should walk in them.
We have a soul to save, and are appointed cis Tripso Thed. v. Toinowy owongías, to make an acquist of salvation.
We have a mind to improve with virtue and wisdom, qualifying us for entrance into heaven, for enjoyment of God's favour, for conversation with angels.
As Christians we are assumed to be servants of 1 Thefli. God, and readmitted into his family, from which for our disoyalty we had been discarded ; 10 that as vi. 22.
Eph. ii. 19. he was our natural Lord, fo he is now such also by special grace; who did make us, who doth maintain us, under whose protection and at whose disposal we subsist; whence we are obliged to be faithfully diligent in his service : we must constantly wait upon him in devotional addresles; we must carefully study to know his pleasure ; we must endeavour exactly to Eph. v. 10. perform his will, and obey his commands; we must Rom. x.i.2. îtrive to advance his glory, to promote his interest, 28. to improve all talents and advantages committed to Matt. xxv. us for those purposes ; we must, as St. Paul ex-1 Cor. xv.
58. presseth it, always abound in the work of the Lord.
We must also look upon ourselves as fervants of Col. iii. 24. Christ our Redeemer ; who by his blood hath pur- 1 Cor. vil: chased us to himself, that we might be zealous of good 23. vi
. 20. works ; performing a service to him, which confift- Tit. ii. 14. eth in a faithful discharge of manifold duties, and