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SER M. Paul; We hear there are some, which walk among you XIV. disorderly, not working at all. His fentence and doom
will be, according to our Lord, O thou wicked and 2 Theff. iii. fiothful servant---Caft the unprofitable servant into utter Matt . xxv. darkness; which words are spoken in relation to one,
who being a flatterer, or sluggard in his calling, did not improve the special talent entrusted with him for God's service.
In fine, if we are conscientiously industrious in our vocation, we shall assuredly find the blessing of God thereon ; and that lie thereby will convey good fuccess, comfort, competent wealth, a fair reputation, all desirable good unto us; for as all these things are promised to industry, so the promise especially doth belong to thât industry, which a man doth exercise in an orderly course of action in his own way; or rather in God's way, wherein divine Providence hath set hiin.
An irregular or impertinent laboriousness, out of a man's calling or sphere; a being diligent in other men's affairs, invading their office (as if a priest will be trading, a layman preaching), may not claim the benefit of those promiles, or the blessings of industry;
but a husbandman, who, with confcientious regard Prox. x. 4. to God, and confidence in him, is painful in tilling
his ground, may expect a good crop; a merchant, who (upon the fame principle, with the like disposie tion) earnestly followeth his trade, may hope for safe voyages and good markets ; a prince carefully mind. ing his affairs may look for peace and prosperity to his country; a scholar studying hard may be well as. sured of getting knowledge, and finding truth; all, who with honest diligence constantly do pursue their business, may confidently and cheerfully hope to reap advantages suitable to it from the favourable blessing of God. So that we have all reason to observe the Apostle's precept, Not to be Nothful in business.
I thould apply this doctrine to our own case, urging its practice by considerations peculiar to our voca
tion; but having already passed the bounds of time, s E R M.' I reserve the doing it to another opportunity. Now the God of peace sanctify you wholly, and make Thell
. v you perfeet in every good work to do his will; working Heb. xii.
you that which is well pleasing in his hight; through 25, our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom for ever be all glory and praise. Amen,
S E R M O N XV.
Of Industry in our particular Calling, as
Rom. xii. 11.
Not Nothful in Business.
mended in this precept, and urged the observance of it in general, at a distance : I now intend more particularly and closely to apply it, in reference to those persons who seem more especially obliged to it, and whose observing it may prove of greatest consequence to public good; the which application may also be most suitable and profitable to this audience: those persons are of two sorts; the one Gentlemen, the other Scholars.
I. The first place, as civility demandeth, we assign to Gentlemen, or persons of eminent rank in the world, well allied, graced with honour, and furnished with wealth; the which fort of persons I conceive in a high degree obliged to exercise industry in business. This at first hearing may seem a little paradoxical and
SER M. strange ; for who have less business than Gentlemen?
who do need less industry than they? He that hath a fair estate, and can live on his means, what hath he to do, what labour or trouble can be exacted of him, what hath he to think on, or trouble his head with, but how to invent recreations and pastimes to divert himself, and spend his waste leisure pleasantly? Why should not he be allowed to enjoy himself, and the benefits, which nature or fortune have freely dispensed to him, as he thinketh best, without offence?
Why may he not say with the rich man in the GofLuke xii. pel, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years ;
take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry? Is it not Ecclef. ii. often said by the wise man, that there is nothing bet34 18. viii. ter under the sun, than that a man should make his foul 10
enjoy good in a cheerful and comfortable fruition of his eltate? According to the passable notion and definition, What is a Gentleman but his pleasure ?
If this be true, if a Gentleman be nothing else but this, then truly he is a sad piece, the most inconsiderable, the most despicable, the most pitiful and wretched creature in the world : if it is his privilege to do nothing, it is his privilege to be most unhappy, and to be so will be his fate, if he live according to it; for he that is of no worth or use, who produceth no beneficial fruit, who perforineth no service to God, or to the world, what title can he have to happiness? What capacity thereof? What reward can he claim? What comfort can he feel? To what' temptations is he exposed! What guilts will he incur !
But in truth it is far otherwise : to suppose that a Gentleman is loose from business, is a great mistake; for indeed no man hath more to do, no man lieth under greater engagements to industry than he.
He is deeply obliged to be continually busy in more ways than other men, who have but one simple calling or occupation allotted to them; and that upon a triple account ; in respect to God, to the world, and to himfelf.