Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

&c.

SERM. copy thereof, and the whole world a glass, wherein we LI. may behold this duty represented to us.

We may easily observe every creature about us incefsantly working toward the end for which it was designed, indefatigably exercising the powers with which it is endued, diligently observing the laws of its creation. Even beings void of reason, of sense, of life itself, do suggest unto us resemblances of industry; they being set in continual action toward the effecting reasonable purposes, conducing to the preservation of their own beings, or to the furtherance of common good.

The heavens do roll about with unwearied motion; the sun and stars do perpetually dart their influences; the earth is ever labouring in the birth and nourishment of plants; the plants are drawing fap, and sprouting out fruits and feeds, to feed us and propagate themselves ; the rivers are running, the seas are tossing, the winds are

blustering, to keep the elements fweet in which we live. Prov. vi. 6, Solomon sendeth us to the ant, and biddeth us to conh

der her ways, which provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Many such instructors we may find in nature; the like industrious providence we may observe in every living creature; we may see this running about, that swimming, another flying in purveyance of its food and support.

If we look up higher to rational and intelligent natures, still more noble and appofite patterns do object themselves to us.

Here below every field, every shop, every street, the hall, the exchange, the court itself (all full of business, and fraught with the fruits of industry) do mind us how necessary industry is to us. · "If we consult history, we shall there find, that the best men have been most industrious; that all great persons, renowned for heroical goodness, (the worthy Patriarchs, the holy Prophets, the blessed Apostles,) were for this most commendable; that, neglecting their private ease, they did undertake difficult enterprises, they did undergo painful labours for the benefit of mankind; they did pass

their days, like St. Paul, év xómovş xad kóze fois, in labours SERM. and toil fome pains, for those purposes.

LI. Our great example, the life of our blessed Lord himself, 2 Cor. xi. what was it but one continual exercise of labour? His 27. mind did ever stand bent in careful attention, studying to A&s x. do good. His body was ever moving in wearisome travel to the same divine intent. · If we yet foar farther in our meditation to the superior regions, we shall there find the blessed inhabitants of heaven, the courtiers and ministers of God, very busy and active; they do vigilantly wait on God's thrones in readiness to receive and to dispatch his commands; they are ever on the wing, and fly about like lightning to do his Psal. ciii. pleasure. They are attentive to our needs, and ever ready 31:12,

"Y xxxiv. 7. to protect, to assist, to relieve us ! Especially, they are di- xci. 11. ligent guardians and fuccourers of good men; officious Heb. i. 14. Spirits, fent forth to minister for the heirs of salvation : so even the seat of perfect rest is no place of idleness.

Yea, God himself, although immovably and infinitely happy, is yet immensely careful, and everlastingly busy: he rested once from that great work of creation; but yet Gen. ii. 2. My Father, faith our Lord, worketh ftill; and he never John v. 17. will rest from his works of providence and of grace. His Pfal. caxi. eyes continue watchful over the world, and his hands 3. caxvii. 1.

"Zech. iv. stretched out in upholding it. He hath a singular regard 10. to every creature, supplying the needs of each, and satisfying the depres of allt,

Psal. cxlv.

c. 15, 16. · And shall we alone be idle, while all things are so (Prov.v. busy? Shall we keep our hands in our bosom, or stretch 27: »V. 3: ourselves on our beds of laziness, while all the world is. about us is hard at work in pursuing the designs of its cen. creation? Shall we be wanting to ourselves, while so Jer. xxxi. many things labour for our benefit? Shall not such a *8.) cloud of examples stir us to some industry? Not to comply with so universal a practice, to cross all the world, to

Chron. vi. 9.

en. Xxxi.

• Σώ δε θρόνω πυρόεντι παρεσάσιν πολύμοχθοι
"Agysão.

- Orph.
"O tú bone omnipotens, qui fic curas unumquemque noftrum tanquam
folum cures, et sic omnes tanquam fingulos. Aug. Conf. iv. 11.

SERM. disagree with every creature, is it not very monstrous Ll.. and extravagant?

I should close all this discourse with that, at which, in pitching on this subject, I chiefly did aim, an application exhortatory to ourselves, urging the practice of this virtue by considerations peculiar to us as scholars, and derived from the nature of our calling. But the doing this requiring a larger discourse than the time now will allow, I shall reserve to another occasion; adding only one confideration more.

13. Lastly, if we consider, we shall find the root and source of all the inconveniences, the mischiefs, the wants of which we are so apt to complain, to be our sloth; and that there is hardly any of them, which commonly we might not 'easily prevent or remove by industry. Why is any man a beggar, why contemptible, why ignorant, why vicious, why miserable? Why, but for this one reason, becaufe he is slothful; because he will not labour to rid himself of those evils ? What could we want, if we would but take the pains to seek it, either by our industry, or by our devotion? For where the first will not do, the se

cond cannot fail to procure any good thing from him, Jarz. i. 5. who giveth to all men liberally, and hath promised to

fupply the defect of our ability by his free bounty; so

that if we join these two industries (industrious action, and Ainois lveg- industrious prayer) there is nothing in the world so good, Jam. v. 16. or so great, of which, if we are capable, we may not alIlgoorapté- suredly become masters : and even for industry itself, efpeemais je cially in the performance of all our duties toward God, Rom. xii. let us industriously pray: even so, The God of peace fanc

iv. 2. tify us wholly, and make us perfect in every good work to 1 Theff. v. đo his will, working in us that which is wellpleasing in Heb. xiii. his hght; through our blessed Saviour Jesus Christ, to whom

for ever be all glory and praise. Amen.

12. Col.

23.

21.

SERMON LII.

OF INDUSTRY IN OUR GENERAL CALLING,

AS CHRISTIANS.

Rom. xii. 11.

Not Nothful in busness.a

INDUSTRY is a very eminent virtue, being an ingre- SERM. dient, or the parent, of all other virtues, of constant use LII. upon all occasions, and having influence upon all our affairs.

For it is in our nature framed; all our powers of soul and body being fitted for it, tending to it, requiring it for their preservation and perfection.

We were designed for it in our first happy state; and upon our lapse thence were farther doomed to it, as the sole remedy of our needs and the inconveniences to which we became exposed. For,

Without it we cannot well sustain or secure our life in the enjoyment of any comfort or convenience; we must. work to earn our food, our clothing, our shelter; and to supply every indigency of accommodations, which our nature doth crave.

To it. God hath annexed the best and most desirable rewards; success to our undertakings, wealth; honour; wisdom, virtue, salvation; all which, as they flow from God's bounty, and depend on his blessing; fo from them

* Tým credñi pin oxyngai. Solicitudine non pigri. Vulg.

SERM. they are usually conveyed to us through our industry, as LII. the ordinary channel and instrument of attaining them.

It is requisite to us, even for procuring ease, and preventing a necessity of immoderate labour.

It is in itself sweet and satisfactory; as freeing our mind from distraction, and wrecking irresolution; as feeding us with good hope, and yielding a foretaste of its good fruits.

It furnisheth us with courage to attempt, and resolution to achieve things needful, worthy of us, and profitable to us.

It is attended with a good conscience, and cheerful reflections, of having well spent our time, and employed our, talents to good advantage.

It sweeteneth our enjoyments, and seasoneth our attainments with a delightful relish.

It is the guard of innocence, and barreth out temptations to vice, to wantonness, to vain curiosity, and pragmaticalness. .

It argueth an ingenuous and generous disposition of foul; aspiring to worthy things, and pursuing them in the fairest way; disdaining to enjoy the common benefits, or the fruits of other men's labour, without deserving them from the world, and requiting it for them. .

It is necessary for every condition and station, for every calling, for every relation; no man without it being able to deport himself well in any state, to manage any business, to discharge any sort of duty. .. "To it the world is indebted for all the culture, which advanceth it above rude and fordid barbarism; for whatever in common life is stately, or comely, or useful, industry hath contrived it, industry hath composed and framed it.

It is recommended to us by all sort of patterns confiderable; for all nature is continually busy and active in tendency toward its proper designs ; heaven and earth do work in incessant motion; every living creature is employed in progging for its fustenance; the blessed spirits are always on the wing in dispatching the commands of

« AnteriorContinuar »