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will be infested with various distractions and distempers; vain and sad thoughts, foul lusts, and unquiet passions will spring up therein, as weeds in a neglected soil. His body will languish and become destitute of health, of vigor, of activity, for want of due exercise. All the mischiefs, which naturally do spring from sloth and stupidity, will seize on him.
4. Thus, on 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 the vulgar? Are they not especially two, courage and courtesy ? which he that wanteth is not otherwise than equivocally a gentleman, as an image or a carcass is a man; 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 slothfulness; 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; but in stout and gallant deeds, employing vigor of mind and heart to achieve them : how can a man otherwise approve himself for courageous, than by signalising himself in such a way?
And for courtesy, how otherwise can it be well displayed than in sedulous activity for the good of men ? It surely doth not consist in modish 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 disposition ; 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 neighbors 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 action 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 dispensing advice, persuasion, comfort, and edification in virtue; a man may bestir himself in going about to do good: these are works employing the cleanly industry of a gentleman.
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 lie 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 painstaking 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 un him and minister to him ; whatever sufficiency any man can fancy to himself to dispense 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 on 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 salvation : in order whereto we recommend them to his grace.
SUMMARY OF SERMON LIV.
ROMANS, CHAP. XII. - VERSE 11.
II. The other sort of persons considered, namely, scholars; on whom great engagements lie to be industrious, for various
1. The nature and design of their calling supposes industry. There is, says the preacher, a man whose labor is in wisdom, in knowlege, and in equity. Such men are scholars; so that he is an usurper of the name who is not laborious ; an idle scholar, or a lazy student is nonsense. What is learning, but a diligent attention to instruction ? What is study, but an earnest persevering application of mind to some matter on which we fix our thoughts ? This point enlarged on.
2. The matter and extent of this business requires industry; the matter of it, which is truth and knowlege; the extent, which comprehends all truth and all knowlege worthy of our study, and useful for the designs of it: this topic fully enlarged on.
3. But farther, the excellency and utility, together with the pleasantness of the scholar's vocation, deserving the highest industry, do superadd much obligation thereto. We
e are bound to be diligent by an ingenuous gratitude to God, who has graciously assigned to us a calling so worthy, so comfortable, so delightful to ourselves and useful to others. General advantages of this calling enumerated, such as its design conspiring with the perfection of our nature ; employing us in the most noble operations of the soul; severing us from the vulgar herd; exempting us from dependence on others; qualifying us to do God service, and procuring us his favor;
enabling us to benefit our fellow creatures; exempting us from the factious jars and anxious intrigues of the world ; subjecting us least of all to dangers and disappointments; a calling, the industry used in which is its own recompense; whose business entertains, but never cloys us, always affording plentiful fruit even in this temporal life. And as a learned man cannot be destitute of substance, so he cannot want credit and reputation : it is a calling that fits a man for all conditions and fortunes; one which the wise and experienced Solomon himself preferred above all others.
Such things may be said of it in general; but if we distinctly survey each part of learning, and each object of it, we shall find it yields great emoluments and delights, benefit to our soul, advantage to our life, satisfaction to our mind. These enumerated, and dilated on; as,
The enriching of the mind with ideas; the exercise of it in quest of truth; invention of any kind; the reading of books by which we converse with the wisest men of all ages.
Moreover the very initial studies of tongues and literature are very profitable and necessary. What is, or has been, more useful than rhetoric, or the art of conveying our ideas to others by speech with clearness, force, and elegance, so as to instruct, persuade, and delight them?
What can more pleasantly illuminate the mind than the perusal of history. How delightful and beneficial are the spe- . culations of mathematical science, the contemplation of natural philosophy, the study of ethics, and especially that of theology? The peculiar advantages of this latter dilated on.
So considerable is each part of learning; so profitable are some parts of it. Concluding persuasives to it, and dissuasives from idleness, &c.
OF INDUSTRY IN OUR PARTICULAR CALLING,
ROMANS, CHAP. XII.--VERSE 11.
Not slothful in business.
I PROCEED to the other sort of persons, whom we did propound, namely,
II. Scholars; and that on them particularly great engagements do lie to be industrious, is most evident from various considerations.
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,' saith the divine preacher, ' a man whose labor is in wisdom, in knowlege, and in equity,' Such men are scholars ; so that we are indeed no scholars, but absurd usurpers 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 oxolázev, vocare studiis, employ his mind and leisure on study and learning, in the search of truth, the quest of knowlege, the improvement of his reason. Wherefore an idle scholar, a lazy student, a sluggish man of learning, is non