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^,;'sirmoN x. y:;*

ijoir x. • On Occupation.

^ Gen. xlvi. $1.

.b; . .. What is your occupation t

j( CTlVlTY is the life of nature. The "f^~ planets rolling in their orbits, the earth revolving on her axis; the atmosphere purified by winds, the ocean by tides; the vapours rising from the ground and returning in freshening showers, exhaled from the sea, and poured again by rivers into its , bosom, proclaim the universal law. Turn to animated existence. See the air, the land, and the waters in commotion with countless tribes eagerly engaged in attack, in defence, in the construction, of habitations,, in the chafe of prey, in employment suited to their sphere and conducive tO:theHr happiness. Is man born an


exception to the general rule? While the whole creation toils. around'him, is he to ilumber in iupinenese ?.. Man is born to labour. For labour, man while yet innocent was formed. The Lord God took the tnan^ and put him into the Garden of JEden, to dress it and to keep ii. To that exertion which was ordained to be a source of unmitigated delight; painful contention and overwhelming fatigue, when man apostatised from his God, were saperadded. In the sweat os thy face shalt thou eat bread. By toil must thy daily food heHpurchased. To toil must thou look as the instrument of security, of accbmmodatiori, of comfort, of improvement. Such was tneIJ"(Secree. And are none exempted? None1. To'Adarh\ as virtually including the whole'hiimah, race, of whom he was to'be the progenitors was the mandate issued. Of bread, as the representative of earthly acquisitions amorig which it is pre-eminently necessary, did the mandate speak. On every individual' labour is enjoined, Through labour is every blessing to be sought.

In the early ages of the world employments now consined to the lowest classes were deemed not unbecoming persons of tnes most elevated rank. The wearisome O 3 cares

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cares of agficcftiureV 'and'the humble offices of domestic life, occupied princes and kings. Thu's speaks the voice of profane History: and thus, even on a subject of compiaifiitfcvely .small importance, bears testimony,

"unsuspicious because incidental, to the ve^ racity and inspiration of the Sacred Re^

H&ftrds. Of the wealth of the Patriarchs flocks and herds formed a distinguished branch: and to the superintendence.. of Upcks and herds was their daily solicitude

'"devoted. Abraham, who was veryriSh'in 'cuttles in filver and in gold; Abraham,

-whose household was so numerous, that he lifid already produced in arms on a critical

^ijecafldn three hundred and eighteen os bis trained servants born in his own house; wheh he beheld three travellers approaching him as he fat in the door of his tent in the heat of the day, dispatched not an attendant with offers of hospitality, but ran himself to invite them to pause and refresti themselves; and hastening to the hero", with his own hands selected the calf For their entertainment. His grandson. Jacob

"is now gone down with his family into

Egypt. Joseph, the ruler of the land under

Pharaoh, foreseeing that the king, ©.Whom

his brethren are about to be prefeate'dv will

i '". . . question

_l^Twhich they have been habituated,; directs
^be,Bn„i for a special reason subjoined to .the
, general obligation of veracity, to state the
jpith^ija its amplest extent. 'When Pharaoh
Jhall call you, and Jhall say; What, if your
vtyupation? Ye Jhall say; 'Thy servants'
^ff.Pide hath been about cattle from our youth
'^e^en until now, both <we .and <ilfo ear father^
.Jhat ye may dwell in the land of Gq/he/t, •>
31),r Though Pharaoh, when he invited the
brethren of his favour-ed minister ,,out,-of
uCJaoaan, had sent to them this express mes-.
ji^ge; Regard not your fluff'; sar,i\th&.gQzd
'of all the land of Egypt is yours :, though,
,vafter their arrival, he said to Joseph, The
Land of Egypt is before thee; in the befi of
.the land make thy father and -brethren,to
dwell: the idea that they had hitherto dwelt,
or were henceforth to dwell, in idleness,,en-
tered not the mind of the king.. Oa.their
introduction he enquired of them, according
;#>, the reasonable expectation of Joseph;
What is your occupation? On their reply.;
Thy servants arc Jhepherds, both we and
4I/0 our fathers,. he assigned to them the
land of Goshen, as suited by its singular
fertility for the pasturage, of their flock*
which they had conducted from Canaan;
O 4 and

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and having thus provided them with the means of continuing their antecedent em* ployment, he added, in his conference with Joseph; .f thou knoweji any men of a&'roity among them, make them rulers over my cattle. li-.\j\..t%

From every individual in his dominions fcfld from each according to his vocation, Pharaoh looked for stedfast and diligent exertion* Krom every individual among us, as throughout His boundless empire, the supreme Lord of all demands habitual labour in the daily employment of the talents ^entrusted to our management. .In. die emblematical language of the parable, the Son of God cries to every one of his professed servants; Occupy till I come. Lot us then, in the first place, contemplate the motives under the guidance of which we aee, each of us, to labour: secondly, some of the general lines of human labour, with their attendant temptations: and thirdly, the principal benefits immediately resulting from Occupation.

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f I. Whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God (a). Behold the universal motive of a; Christian S Health and strength, whether

^ {a) I Cor. x. 1I. .


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