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will he swallow! What affronts and indignities will s E R M. he patiently digest, without desisting from his enter- `xiv. prize!
How will a man, as St. Paul observed, távta éy- 1 Cor. ix. upatever Fær, endure all painful abstinence and conti- 25. nence, in order to the obtaining a corruptible crown, a fading garland of bays, a puff of vain applause!
What diligence will men use to compass the enjoyment of forbidden pleasures ; how watchful in catching opportunities, how eager in quest of them will they be! What difficulties will they undertake, what hazards will they incur, what damages and inconveniences will they sustain, rather than fail of satisfying their desires ! What achings of head and heart; what
of mind, and gripes of conscience; what anxieties of regret and fear will every worker of iniquity undergo ! So faithful friends hath this vain and evil world, so diligent servants hath the accursed lord thereof; careful and laborious will men be to destroy and damn themselves. O that we could be willing to Chry. spend as much care and pains in the service of our årög. e. God! O that we were as true friends of ourselves ! O that we could be as industrious for our salvation! that is, in the business of our general calling : which having considered, let us proceed to the other businefs belonging to us, which is,
II. The business of our particular calling ; that in reference whereto St. Paul doth prescribe, Every man 1 Cor. vii. as the Lord hath called him, so let him walk. Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called ; let him fo abide, as faithfully to prosecute the work, and discharge the duty of it; the doing which otherwhere he termeth apáo cev ta wda, to do our own busi- s Theff. iv. nefs (working with our hands), and enjoineth it in
Eph. iv, 28. position to those two great pests of life, floth and pragmatical curiosity; or the neglect of our own, and meddling with other men's affairs.
This the Apostle nameth our calling, because we
8 Er m. are called or appointed thereto by divine Providence; xiv. for he supposeth and taketh it for granted, that to
each man in this world God hath assigned a certain station, unto which peculiar action is suited ; in
which station he biddeth him quietly to abide, till Cor. vii. Providence fairly doth translate him, and during
his abode therein diligently to execute the work thereof.
Every man is a member of a double body; of the civil commonwealth, and of the Christian church: in relation to the latter, whereof St. Paul telleth us
(and what he faith by parity of reason may be re1 Cor. xii. ferred likewise to the former), that God hath set the
members every one in the body, as it pleaseth him; and as it is in the natural, so it is in every political and
spiritual body, every member hath its proper use and Rom. xii. function; All members, faith St. Paul, have not try
authe acã give the same office, or the same work and operation ; yet every one hath some work. There
is no member designed to be idle or useless, conEph. iv. 16. ferring no benefit to the whole ; but the whole body,
saith the Apostle, fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying itself in love ; each member doth conspire and co-operate to the strength, nourishment, thriving, and welfare of the whole.
Every man (who continueth a man, in his senses, Miety Prís
. or in any good degree of natural integrity) is by God endowed with competent abilities to discharge some function useful to common good, or at least needful to his own sustenance ; to every one some talent is committed, which in subordination to God's service he may improve, to the benefit of the world, God's temporal, or of the church, God's fpiritual kingdom.
It is plainly necessary, that the greatest part of men should have a determinate work allotted to them, that they may support their life and get their
food, without being injurious, offensive, or burthen- Se R M. some to others ; for their living they must either xiv. follow some trade, or they must shark and filch, or they must beg, or they must starve.
And the rest are obliged to do somewhat conducible to public good, that they may deserve to live; for a drone should not be among the bees, nor hath right to devour the honey. If any man doth pretend, or presume that he hath nothing to do but to eat, to seep, to play, to laugh, to enjoy his ease, his pleasure, his humour, he thereby doth as it were disclaim a reasonable title of living among men, and sharing in the fruits of their industry; he, in St. Paul's judgment, should be debarred of food, for this, faith the holy Apostle, we commanded you, that if any man 2 Thell. iii. would not work, neither should be eat.
Such an one in the body of men, what is he but an unnatural excrescence, fucking nutriment from it, without yielding ornament or use? What is he but a wen deforming and encumbering the body, or a canker infesting and corrupting it.
As no man (at least with decency, convenience, and comfort) can live in the world, without being obliged to divers other men for their help in providing accominodations for him; fo justice and ingenuity, corroborated by divine sanctions, do require of him, that in commutation he, one way or other, should undertake some pains redounding to the benefit of others.
So hath the great Author of order distributed the ranks and offices of men in order to mutual benefit and comfort, that one man should plough, another thresh, another grind, another labour at the forge, another knit or weave, another fail, another trade, another supervise all these, labouring to keep them all in order and peace ; that one should work with his hands and feet, another with his head and tongue ; all conspiring to one common end, the welfare of the whole, and the supply of what is useful to each par
SER M. ticular member ; every man so reciprocally obliging xiv. and being obliged ; the prince being obliged to the
husbandman for his bread, to the weaver for his clothes, to the mason for his palace, to the smith for his sword; those being all obliged to him for his vigilant care in protecting them, for their security in pursuing the work, and enjoying the fruit of their industry.
So every man hath a calling and proper business; whereto that industry is required, I need not much to prove, the thing itself in reason and experience being so clearly evident; for what business can be well dilpatched, what success can be expected to any undertaking, in what calling can any man thrive, without industry? What business is there that will go on of itself, or proceed to any good issue, if we do not carefully look to it, steadily hold it in its course, constantly push and drive it forward ? It is true, as in nature, so in all affairs, Nihil movet non motum, nothing moveth without being moved.
Our own interest should move us to be industrious in our calling, that we may obtain the good effects of being so in a comfortable and creditable sublistence ; that we may not fuffer the damages and wants, the disappointments and disgraces ensuing on Noth : but the chief motive should be from piety and conscience ; for that it is a duty which we owe to God. For God having placed us in our station, he having
apportioned to us our task, we being in transaction Cor. iv. of our business his servants, we do owe to him that
neceffary property of good servants, without which fidelity cannot subsist; for how can he be looked on as a faithful servant, who doth not effectually perform the work charged on him, or diligently execute the orders of his master?
St. Paul doth enjoin servants, that they should in Epbox, all things obey their masters, with conscientious regard
to God, as therein performing service to God, and expecting recompence from him : and of princes he
Col. jji. 22.
Rom. xiii. 6.
faith, that they, in dispensation of justice, enacting s e R M. laws, imposing taxes, and all political administra- xiv. tions, are the ministers of God, Tporxapreçžutes, attending constantly upon this very thing : and if these extremes, the highest and lowest of all vocations, are services of God; if the highest upon that score be tied to so much diligence, then surely all middle places upon the same account of conscience toward God do exact no less.
If he that hath one talent, and he that hath ten, must both improve them for God's interest; then he that hath two, or three, or more, is obliged to the same duty proportionably.
Every one should consider the world as the family of that great Paterfamilias (of whom the whole family in Eph. iii. 15. heaven and earth is named), and himself as an officer or servant therein, by God's will and designation constituted in that employment, into which Providence hath cast him; to confer, in his order and way, somewhat toward a provision for the maintenance of himself, and of his fellow fervants. Of a superior officer our Lord faith, Who is that faithful and wife servant, Matt. xxiv. whom his Lord hath made ruler over his houshold, to give like xii, them their meat in due season? So the greatest men are 42. as stewards, treasurers, comptrollers, or purveyors ; the rest are inferior fervants, in their proper rank and capacity.
And he that with diligence performeth his respective duty (be it high and honourable, or mean and contemptible in outward appearance) will please God, as keeping good order, and as being uteful to his service ; so that, upon the reckoning, God will say to him, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been 1 Cor. xiv. faithful over a few things ; I will make thee ruler over Matt. xxv. many things : enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. But he 21. that doth otherwise (behaving himself carelessly or lluggilhly in his business) will offend God, as committing disorder, and as being unprofitable.
He committeth disorder, according to that of St.