Imágenes de páginas

SERM. them; it is the fruit and reward of such actions, which LIII.

are not performed with ease.

External respect and a semblance of honour, for the sake of public order, may be due to an exterior rank or title: but to pay this, is not to honour the person, but his title; because it is supposed, that men of real worth and use do bear it; or left, by refusing it to one, the whole order may seem disrespected: but yet true honour, or mental esteem, is not due upon such accounts ; nor is it possible to render it unto any person, who doth not by worthy qualities and good deeds appear to merit it.

Nor can a Gentleman without industry uphold his real interests against the attempts of envy, of treachery, of flattery, of fycophantry, of avarice, to which his condition is obnoxious : to preserve his wealth and estate, which are the supports of his quality, he must endure care and pains; otherwise he will by greedy harpies and crafty lurchers be rifled or cozened of his substance ; it will of itself go to wreck, and be embezzled by negligence.

He cannot without industry guard his personal welfare from manifold inconveniences, molestations, and mischiefs ; idleness itself will be very troublesome and irksome to him. His time will lie upon his hands, as a pertering incumbrance. His mind will be infested with various distractions and distempers; vain and fad thoughts, foul lusts, and unquiet passions will spring up therein, as weeds in a neglected foil. His body will languish and become destitute of health, of vigour, of activity, for want of due exercife. All the mischiefs, which naturally do spring from sloth and stupidity, will seize upon him.

4. Thus, upon various accounts, a Gentleman is engaged to business, and concerned to exercise industry therein: we may add, that indeed the very nature of gentility, or the true notion of a Gentleman, doth imply so much.

For what, I pray, is a Gentleman, what properties hath he, what qualities are characteristical or peculiar to him, whereby he is distinguished from others, and raised above SERM, the vulgar? Are they not especially two, courage and L . courtesy? which he that wanteth is not otherwise than equivocally a Gentleman, as an image or a carcase is a mań; without which, gentility in a conspicuous degree is no more than a vain show, or an empty name : and these plainly do involve industry, do exclude nothfulness; for courage doth prompt boldly to undertake, and resolutely to dispatch great enterprizes and employments of difficulty : it is not seen in a flaunting garb, or strutting deportment; not in hectorly, ruffian-like swaggering or huffing; not in high looks or big words; bút in stout and gallant deeds, employing vigour of mind and heart to achieve them: how can a man otherwise approve himself for courageous, than by signalizing himself in such a way? · And for courtesy, how otherwise can it be well difplayed than in fedulous activity for the good of men ? It surely doth not consist in modifh forms of address, or complimental expressions, or hollow professions, commonly void of meaning, or of sincerity ; but in real performances of beneficence, when occasion doth invite, and in waiting for opportunities to do good; the which practice is accompanied with some care and pain, adding a price to it; for an easy courtesy is therefore small, because easy, and may be deemed to proceed rather from ordinary humanity, than from gentle difpofition; so that, in fine, he alone doth appear truly a Gentleman, who hath the heart to undergo hard tasks for public good, and willingly taketh pains to oblige his neighbours and friends.

5. The work indeed of Gentlemen is not so gross, but it may be as smart and painful, as any other. For all hard work is not manual; there are other instruments of raction beside the plough, the spade, the hammer, the shuttle: nor doth every work produce sweat, and visible tiring of body: the head may work hard in contrivance of good designs; the tongue may be very active in difpenfing advice, persuasion, comfort, and edification in virtue ; a man may beftir himself in going about to do good: these

. SERM. are works employing the cleanly industry of a GentleLIII.


6. In such works it was, that the truest and greatest pattern of gentility that ever was, did employ himself. Who was that? Even our Lord himself; for he had no particular trade or profession: no man can be more loose from any engagement to the world than he was; no man had less need of business or pains-taking than he ; for he had a vast estate, being heir of all things, all the world being at his disposal; yea, infinitely more, it being in his power with a word to create whatever he would to serve his need, or satisfy his pleasure; omnipotency being his treasure and supply; he had a retinue of angels to

wait on him, and minister to him; whatever fufficiency · Ifa. liii. 11. any man can fancy to himself to difpenfe with his taking

pains, that had he in a far higher degree: yet did he find work for himself, and continually was employed in performing service to God, and imparting benefits to men; nor was ever industry exercised upon earth comparable to his.

Gentlemen therefore would do well to make him the pattern of their life, to whose industry they must be beholden for their falvation : in order whereto we recommend them to his grace.




Rom. xii. 11.

Not Nothful in busness.

I PROCEED to the other sort of persons, whom we did SERM. propound, namely,

LIV. II. Scholars; and that on them particularly great engagements do lie to be industrious, is most evident from various confiderations.

The nature and design of this calling doth suppose industry; the matter and extent of it doth require industry; the worth of it doth highly deserve industry. We are in special gratitude to God, in charity to men, in due regard to ourselves, bound unto it.

1. First, I say, the nature and design of our calling doth suppose industry: There is, faith the divine Preacher, Eccles, ii. a man whose labour is in wisdom, in knowledge, and in 21. equity. Such men are Scholars; so that we are indeed no Scholars, but absurd ufurpers of the name, if we are not laborious; for what is a Scholar, but one who retireth his person, and avocateth his mind from other occupations, and worldly entertainments, that he may ogorá. Zaiv, vacare ftudiis, employ his mind and leisure on study and learning, in the search of truth, the quest of know-'H copies ledge, the improvement of his reason. Wherefore and ATINS idle scholar, a lazy student, a sluggish man of learning, is ozoans.

Ecclef. nonsense.

Xxxviii. 24.


SERM. What is learning, but a diligent attendance to instrucLIV. tion of masters, skilled in any knowledge, and conveying

their notions to us in word or writing?

What is study, but an earnest, fteady, persevering application of mind to some matter, on which we fix our

thoughts, with intent to see through it? What in SoloAov. ii. 2. mon's language are these scholastic occupations, but in

clining the ear, and applying our heart to understanding ? than which commonly there is nothing more laborious, more straining nature, and more tiring our fpirits; whence it is well compared to the most painful exercises of body and soul.

The Wise Man, advising men to seek wisdom, the which is the proper design of our calling, doth intimate that work to be like digging in the mines for silver, and like searching all about for concealed treasure; than

which there can hardly be any more difficult and painful Prov. ii. 4, task: If, saith he, thou seekesi her as filver, and searchest

for her as for hid treasures, then shalt thou understand.Otherwhere he compareth the same work to affiduous

watching and waiting, like that of a guard or a client, Prov. viii. which are the greatest instances of diligence; Blessed, 34.

faith he, (or Wisdom by him saith, Blessed) is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

Wherefore, if we will approve ourselves to be what we are called, and what we pretend to be; if we will avoid being impostors, assuming a name not due to us, we must not be slothful. Farther,

2. The matter and extent of our business doth require industry from us: the matter of it, which is truth and knowledge; the extent, which is very large and comprehensive, taking in all truth, all knowledge, worthy our study, and useful for the designs of it.

Our business is to find truth; the which, even in matters of high importance, is not easily to be discovered ; being as a vein of filver, encompassed with earth and mixed with dross, deeply laid in the obscurity of things, wrapt up in false appearances, entangled with objections,

« AnteriorContinuar »