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OF INDUSTRY IN GENERAL.
Eccles. ix. 10.
St. Paul's Epifle refcribed by that
in bufness, or to
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy
might. IN St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, among divers ex- SERM. cellent rules of life, prescribed by that great master, this _
L. is one, T OTONOMO Meri óxingol, Be not Nothful in buhness, or to Rom. xii. business; and in the second Epistle to the Corinthians," among other principal virtues, or : worthy accomplishments, for abounding wherein the Apostle commendeth those Christians, he ranketh all diligence, or industry ex- Mãe ercised in all affairs and duties incumbent on them : this 2 Cor. viii. is that virtue, the practice whereof in this moral precept?. or advice the royal Preacher doth recommend unto us; being indeed an eminent virtue, of very general use, and powerful influence upon the management of all our affairs, or in the conduct of our whole life.
Industry, I say, in general, touching all matters. incident, which our hand findeth to do, that is, which dispensation of Providence doth offer, or which choice of reason embraceth, for employing our active powers of soul and body, the Wise Man doth recommend; and to pressing the observance of his advice (waying all curious remarks either critical or logical upon the words) I shall prefently apply my discourse, proposing divers considerations apt to excite us thereto; only first, let me briefly describe it, for our better apprehension of its true notion and nature.
SERM. By industry we understand a serious and steady applicaL. tion of mind, joined with a vigorous exercise of our active
faculties, in prosecution of any reasonable, honest, useful design, in order to the accomplishment or attainment of some considerable good; as for instance, a merchant is industrious, who continueth intent and active in driving on his trade for acquiring wealth; a soldier is industrious, who is watchful for occasion, and earnest in action toward obtaining the victory; and a fcholar is industrious, who doth affiduously bend his mind to study for getting knowledge.
Industry doth not consist merely in action; for that is incessant in all persons, a oựr mind being a restless thing, never abiding in a total ceffation from thought or from design; being like a ship in the fea, if not steered to fome good purpose by reason, yet tossed by the waves of fancy, or driven by the winds of temptation somewhither. But the direction of our mind to some good end, without roving or flinching, in a straight and steady course, drawing after it our active powers in execution thereof, doth constitute industry; the which therefore usually is attended with labour and pain; for our mind (which naturally, doth affect variety and liberty, being apt to loathe familiar objects, and to be weary of any constraint) is not easily kept in a constant attention to the same thing; and the spirits employed in thought are prone to flutter and fly away, so that it is hard to fix them: and the corporeal instruments of action being strained to a high pitch, or detained in a tone, will soon feel a lassitude somewhat offensive to na ture; whence labour or pain is commonly reckoned an ingredient of industry, and laboriousness is a name fignifying it; upon which account this virtue, as involving labour, deserveth a peculiar commendation; it being then most laudable to follow the dietates of reason, when so doing is attended with difficulty and trouble.
Such in general I conceive to be the nature of industry; to the practice whereof the following confiderations may induce.
A 'H gào yoghe púow inovou tê xovsão Jou Osterròs, ovx ávézetuo sgousīv, špe= apparton. To Sãor tēro isointir i Osòs, &c. Chryf. in Aa. Or: 35.
1. We may consider that industry doth befit the con- SERM. ftitution and frame of our nature ; all the faculties of our L. foul and organs of our body being adapted in a congruity and tendency thereto : our hands are suited for work, our feet for travel, our senses to watch for occasion of pursuing good and eschewing evil, our reason to plod and contrive ways of employing the other parts and powers; all these, I fay, are formed for action; and that not in a loose and gadding way, or in a slack and remiss degree, but in regard to determinate ends, with vigour requisite to attain them; and especially our appetites do prompt to industry, as inclining to things not obtainable without it; according to that aphorifm of the Wise Man, 'Etudujícus óxvmpor � - Prov. xxi. XTELV801 — The depre of the Nothful killeth him, for his 25. hands refuse to labour ; that is, he is apt to desire things which he cannot attain without pains ; and not enduring them, he for want thereof doth feel a deadly smart and anguish : wherefore in not being industrious we defeat the intent of our Maker; we pervert his work and gifts; we forfeit the use and benefit of our faculties; we are bad husbands of nature's stock.
2. In consequence hereto industry doth preserve and perfect our nature, keeping it in good tune and temper, improving and advancing it toward its best state. The labour of our mind in attentive meditation and study doth render it capable and patient of thinking upon any object or occasion, doth polish and refine it by use, doth enlarge it by accession of habits, doth quicken and rouse our fpirits, dilating and diffusing them into their proper channels. The very labour of our body doth keep the organs of action sound and clean, discussing fogs and superfluous humours, opening passages, distributing nourishment, exciting vital heat : barring the use of it, no good constitution of soul or body can subsist; but a foul rust, a dull numbness, a resty listlessness, a heavy unwieldiness must feize on us b; our fpirits will be stifled and choked, our hearts
barring the ; but a forwieldiness
SERM. will grow faint and languid, our parts will flag and decay;
the vigour of our mind and the health of our body will be
3. As we naturally were composed, so by divine appointment we were originally designed for industry; God did not intend that man should live idly, even in his best
state, or should enjoy happiness without taking pains; but Gen. ii. 15. did provide work enough even in Paradise itself ; for the
Lord God, faith the text, took man, and put him into the garden of Eden, to dress it, and to keep it; so that had we continued happy, we must have been ever bufy, by our industry sustaining our life, and securing our pleasure ;
otherwise weeds might have overgrown Paradise, and that Prov. xxiv. of Solomon might have been applicable to Adam; I went
by the field of the Rothful, and by-the vineyard of the man void of understanding; and lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof.
~ Holes (Twas giai-05, 6 Teu¢ay, i + key setva; ; sofa vu@s, a dieu da,i 4 egyžov; rcio üdwg, sò apézov, ñ sè içás ; solos ciòngos, ó xoíuevos, in ó igyazópavos, &c. Chryf. in Aat. Orat. 35.
d Neglectis urenda filix innascitur agris. Hor. Ser. i. 3.
4. By our transgression and fall the necessity of industry SERM. (together with a difficulty of obtaining good, and avoiding L. evil) was increased to us; being ordained both as a just punishment for our offences, and as an expedient remedy of our needs: for thereupon the ground was cursed to bring Gen. iii. 17. forth thorns and thistles to us; and it was our doom pronounced by God's own mouth, In the sweat of thy face Gen. iii. 19. shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground : so that now labour is fatally natural to us; now man, as Job Job v. 7. faith, is born to labour, as the sparks fly upward, (or, as the vulture's chickens foar aloft, according to the Greek interpreters e.)
5. Accordingly our condition and circumstances in the world are so ordered, as to require industry; so that without it we cannot support our life in any comfort or convenience; whence St. Paul's charge upon the Thessalonians, that if any one would not work, neither Mould he eat, 2 Thef. in. is in a manner a general law imposed on mankind by the 10. exigency of our state, according to that of Solomon; The Prov. xix. idle foul shall suffer hunger, and, The Nuggard, who will prov. xx. 4. not plough by reason of the cold, shall beg in harvest, and have nothing.
Of all our many necessities, none can be supplied with-
Pater ipse colendi
• 'AAA? 8,9aewoj ywvẽsai xóm" v&agoon 5 xuoc tonka girewru. LXX. Interp. Now great travail (as the Son of Sirach faith) is created for every man; Carxonic jeszcan ixtisa. Tarti árgárm, &c. Ecclus. xl. 1.) and a heavy yoke is upon the Sons of Adam, &c.