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itself to the interests of eternity*,oc'JG,ftte welfare of the soul yields to the accomxnd* dation of the body. The man is absorbed ia .the cares' of the hour. Toiling;'for daily subsistence, he labours not for Ahb bread of life. Isany man would not naorky neither Jhould he eat. We command and m^ hort by the Lord Jesus, that with quiet ttefi they work, and cat their own bread. .'' Iteyour own business, and work with your ownhands if). Yet labour not primarily' sot* the meat •which ptrisloeth, but for that meat which endurelh unto everlasting Use, which the Son os man Jhall give unto you: forMm bath God the Father sealed (g). &y& The next leading branch of labourite that which, exercising the faculties of the mind more extensively than the powers of the animal frame, may be denominated mental. To this: branch may be. referred^ among other ramifications of active..lifers some of the ornamental arts, many of^hor researches of science, the duties of-liberal' professions, the functions of lucrative officer Over persons dedicated to pursuits of this description, no less than over those who" are sunk in manual toil, impends-the dangetf

(/) 2 Tlxess. iii. i0. i2. i Thess. iv. j iT
{g) John, vi. 27.


of becoming the flave3 of a worldly spirit, of panting for things temporal and forgettingthings eternal. Among the temptations by which, if not exclusively assailed, they are more severely or more conspicuously encountered, are the thirst for splendid distinctions, and the pride of intellect tual attainments. All fiejh is grafs; and all the glory of man as the sower of grafs. The grafs withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: but the word of the Lord en* dureth for ever. .f any man think that he' knoweth any thing; he knoweth nothing, yet as he ought to know. The Lord giveth 'wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knom>ledg&. and understanding. He layeth up fund wisdom for the righteous (h). r'. ..i'v -»dr In each of the classes which have beeslf. Boticed, the general stimulus to labour 4s? tfce desire .of gain; in the former ne'ariy unmixed,.in the latter occasionally btendedP. wich'eagerness for elevation. . There ig"£ t&ird iclatss in the middle and the higher. 'waite* of society, whose labour is ostensibly: j^tfre spontaneous;' a, class consisting of tfeoft persons, whom wealth or competence. relieves from the necessity of profitable,

(J) 1 P«t. I. 44. "15. I Cor. vlii. 2. ' Br<?v. ii. & 7. 1* toil.

toil. Are you of this description, and do you conceive yourself privileged to be idle? If the supreme Benefactor has said to you, as Pharaoh said to the brethren of Joseph j The good of all the land is yours: if, as Pharaoh planted them in Goshen, in the best of this favoured land God bos made you to dwell: of j you He also .demands, as Pharaoh demanded of the objects of his bounty; What is your occupation f On you, no less than on your brethren, every day urges its title to employment. On you, no less than on your brethren, rest the general obligations of life. On you, in proportion as you are exonerated from inferior talks, the general obligations of life press with augmented claims* The neighbour, the friend, the son, the brother, the husband, the father, the master, is called upon to behold in his comparative leisure. new ties to the assiduous performance of his duties. In his comparative leisure the landlord is summoned to recognise new motives for directing the administration of the property with which Heaven has entrusted him to the good of his dependents, and the diffusive encouragement of knowledge and piety. To you, in a special measure, are confided the execution of


Various functions of magistracy; trie ma.i nagement of local concerns and institutions; and the discharge of many public trusts connected with the superintendence of the revenue arid the civil and military welfare of the community. In some of the occupations appertaining to men of your class pride often seeks its gratification; and the ensnaring influence of interest, immediate or remote, is powerfully felt. The temptation however to which you are peculiarly obnoxious is, partly because your labour seems voluntary, partly because it is not unfrequently gratuitous, to applaud yourselves as nobly and needlessly relinquishing a portion of your time and ease for the benefit of others, and as laying up merit with God and man by works of supererogation. Merit! Shall they who have received the most from God, labour for Him the least? Shall they who have the largest opportunities, the amplest leisure, for looking on the things of others, for advancing the general and individual welfare of their fellow-creatures, labour for them the least? Works of supererogation! To him that knowetb to do good, and doeth it not; to him it is Jin (/).

{') James, iv. i7.

Vol.. IT, P Occupy Qccupy till I come t i^ the universal mandate of your LorcJ. And what was his e^r simple \ Christ pleased not himself [&) ; lived not to his own indulgence. Was not his life a continued scene of spontaneous extreme and most disinterested labour? Do you grudge disinterested labour, and profess to follow his steps ? Are you so blind to the demerits of your best performances as to demand reward not of grace, but of 'debt? When ye shall have done all, fay; we are unprofitable servants: we have done that, and that only, which was our duty to do (/).

III. Consider briefly some of the benefits resulting to the individual from Occupation; and you will confess that, if God enjoined labour as a judgement, he enjoined it also in mercy.

Labour, in the first place, not only is .the medium of acquisition .; but naturally tends to improvement. Whether the body is to be strengthened or the mind to be cultivated j whether subsistence or knowledge is sought i whether the necessaries or the accommodations of life are at stake; whether our own interest or that of others

(i) Rom. xv. 3. (/) Luke, xvii. io.


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