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what pains, I say, they require in the voidance of SERM.
L. fond conceits, in the suppression of froward humours, in the quelling fierce passions, in the brooking grievous crosses and adversities, in the bearing heinous injuries and affronts ?
Thus doth all virtue require much industry, and it therefore necessarily must itself be a great virtue, which is the mother, the nurse, the guardian of all virtues; yea, which indeed is an ingredient and constitutive part of every virtue ; for if virtue were easily obtainable or practicable without a good measure of pains, how could it be virtue? what excellency could it have, what praise could it claim, what reward could it expect? God hath indeed made the best things not easily obtainable, hath set them high out of our reach, to exercise our industry in getting them, that we might raise up ourselves to them, that being obtained, they may the more deserve our esteem, and his reward.
Lastly, The sovereign good, the last scope of our actions, the top and sum of our desires, happiness itself, or eternal life in perfect rest, joy, and glory; although it be the supreme gift of God, and special boon of divine grace, (rò dè xápoona To Deo, But, Rom. vi.23. saith St. Paul, the gift of God's grace is eternal life;) yet it also by God himself is declared to be the result and reward of industry; for we are commanded to work out our salvation with fear and Phil. ii. 12. trembling, and to give diligence in making our Rom. ii. 6, calling and election sure, by virtuous practice; 72. and God, saith St. Paul, will render to every man according to his works ; to them who, by patient continuance in well doing, seek glory, and honour, and immortality, eternal life ; and, in the close of
Eph. ii. 8.
7, 1o. vi.
24. Jam. i. 12.
42. XXV. 13.
SERM. God's book, it is proclaimed, as a truth of greatest
moment, and special point of God's will, Blessed Rev. xxii. are they that do his commandments, that they may Heb. xii. have right to the tree of life. It is plainly industry, Matt
. xi. which climbeth the holy mount; it is industry, I Cor. ix. which taketh the kingdom of heaven by force ; it is
industry, which so runneth as to obtain the prize, Matt xxiv. which so fighteth as to receive the crown, which so Luke xii." watcheth as to secure our everlasting interest to us. 37. Rev. iii. 3.
Thus do the choicest good things, of which we are capable, spring from industry, or depend upon it; and no considerable good can be attained without it: thus all the gifts of God are by it conveyed to us, or are rendered in effect beneficial to us; for the gifts of nature are but capacities, which it improveth; the gifts of fortune or providence are but instruments, which it employeth to our use; the gifts of grace are the supports and succours of it; and the very gift of glory is its fruit and recompense.
There are further several other material considerations and weighty motives to the practice of this duty, which meditation hath suggested to me: but these, in regard to your patience, must suffice at present; the other (together with an application proper to our condition and calling) being reserved to another occasion.
OF INDUSTRY IN GENERAL.
ECCLES. ix. 10.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with all thy
might. INDUSTRY, which the divine Preacher in this SERM. text recommendeth to us, is a virtue of a very dif
LI. fusive nature and influence; stretching itself through all our affairs, and twisting itself with every concern we have; so that no business can be well managed, no design accomplished, no good obtained without it: it therefore behoveth us to conceive a high opinion of it, and to inure our souls to the practice of it, upon all occasions : in furtherance of which purposes I formerly, not long since, did propound several motives and inducements; and now proceeding on, shall represent divers other considerations serviceable to the same end.
1. We may consider that industry is productive of ease itself, and preventive of trouble: it was no less solidly, than acutely and smartly advised by the philosopher Crates“, Whether, said he, labour be to be chosen, labour ; or whether it be to be eschewed,
2 Είθ' αιρετόν ο πόνος, πόνει: είτε φευκτον, πόνει, ίνα μη πονής: διά γάρ του μη πόνειν ου φεύγεται πόνος, το δε εναντίων και διώκεται. Crates, Ep. 4.
SERM. labour, that thou mayest not labour; for by not
labouring, labour is not escaped, but is rather pursued; and St. Chrysostomb doth upon the same consideration urge industry, because sloth, saith he, is wont to spoil us, and to yield us much pain. No man can cozen nature, escaping the labour to which he was born; but rather attempting it, will delude himself, then finding most, when he shunneth all labour.
Sloth indeed doth affect ease and quiet, but by affecting them doth lose them; it hateth labour and trouble, but by hating them doth incur them ; it is a self-destroying vice, not suffering those who cherish it to be idle, but creating much work, and multiplying pains unto them; engaging them into divers necessities and straits, which they cannot support with ease, and out of which, without extreme trouble, they cannot extricate themselves: of this the Preacher doth afford us a plain instance; By much slothfulness, saith he, the building decayeth, and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. A little care taken at first about repairing the house, would have saved its decay and ruin, and consequently the vast charge and trouble, becoming needful to reedify it : and the like doth happen in most other cases and occurrences of life: idleness commonly doth let slip opportunities and advantages, which cannot with ease be retrieved; it letteth things fall into a bad case, out of which they can hardly be recovered.
The certain consequences of it (disgrace, penury,
Eccles. x. 18.
5 Η αργία διαφθείρειν ημάς είωθε, και πολύν παρέχειν τον πόνον. Chrys. in Joh. Orat. 36.
want of experience, disobliging and losing friends, SERM. with all the like mischiefs) cannot be supported without much disquiet; and they disable a man from redressing the inconveniences into which he is plunged.
But industry, by a little voluntary labour taken in due place and season, doth save much necessary labour afterward, and by moderate care doth prevent intolerable distress; and the fruits of it (wealth, reputation, skill, and dexterity in affairs, friendships, all advantages of fortune) do enable a man to pass his life with great ease, comfort, and delight.
2. Industry doth beget ease, by procuring good habits, and facility of acting things expedient for us to do. By taking pains to-day we shall need less pains to-morrow; and by continuing the exercise, within a while we shall need no pains at all, but perform the most difficult tasks of duty, or of benefit to us, with perfect ease, yea commonly with great pleasure. What sluggish people account hard and irksome (as to rise early, to hold close to study or business, to bear some hardship) will be natural and sweet; as proceeding from another nature, raised in us by use.
Industry doth breed assurance and courage, needful for the undertaking and prosecution of all necessary business, or for the performance of all duties incumbent on us.
No man can quite decline business, or disengage himself from duty, without infinite damage and mischief accruing to himself: but these an industrious man (confiding in this efficacious quality) will set upon with alacrity, and despatch with facility, his diligence voiding obstacles, and smoothing the way