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SERM. good, and willingly taketh pains to oblige his neighLIII.
bours 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 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 ; whatIsa. lii. II. ever sufficiency any man can fancy to himself to dis
pense 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 SERM.
LIII. the pattern of their life, to whose industry they must be beholden for their salvation : in order whereto we recommend them to his grace.
OF INDUSTRY IN OUR PARTICULAR CALL
ING, AS SCHOLARS.
Rom. xii. 11.
Not slothful in business. SERM. I PROCEED to the other sort of persons, whom LIV.
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 callEccles. ii. ing doth suppose industry: There is, saith the di
vine Preacher, a man whose labour is in wisdom, in knowledge, and in equity. Such men 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 oxonášelv, vacare studiis, employ his mind and leisure on study and learning, in the search of truth,
Of Industry in our particular Calling, &c. 229 the quest of knowledge, the improvement of his SERM. Wherefore an idle scholar, a lazy student,
LIV. a sluggish man of learning, is nonsense.
γραμματέως What is learning, but a diligent attendance to in- i, suxaiziq struction of masters, skilled in any knowledge, and becomes.
Xxxviii. 24. conveying their notions to us in word or writing ?
What is study, but an earnest, steady, persevering application of mind to some matter, on which we fix our thoughts, with intent to see through it? What in Solomon's language are these scholastic occupations, but inclining the ear, and applying our heart Prov. ii. 2. to understanding? than which commonly there is nothing more laborious, more straining nature, and more tiring our spirits; 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 task: If, saith he, thou seekest Prov. ii. 4, her as silver, and searchest for her as for hidstreasures, then shalt thou understand.-Otherwhere he compareth the same work to assiduous watching and waiting, like that of a guard or a client, which are the greatest instances of diligence; Blessed, saith he, (or Wisdom by him saith, Blessed) Prov. viii. 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. Further, 2. The matter and extent of our business doth
SERM. require industry from us: the matter of it, which is LIV.
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 silver, encompassed with earth and mixed with dross, deeply laid in the obscurity of things, wrapt up in false appearances, entangled with objections, and perplexed with debates ; being therefore not readily discoverable, especially by minds clouded with prejudices, lusts, passions, partial affections, appetites of honour and interest; whence to descry it requireth the most curious observation and solicitous circumspection that can be; together with great pains in the preparation and purgation of our minds toward the inquiry of it.
Our business is to attain knowledge, not concerning obvious and vulgar matters, but about sublime, abstruse, intricate, and knotty subjects, remote from common observation and sense; to get sure and exact notions about which will try the best forces of our mind with their utmost endeavours; in firmly settling principles, in strictly deducing consequences, in orderly digesting conclusions, in faithfully retaining what we learn by our contemplation and study.
And if to get a competent knowledge about a few things, or to be reasonably skilful in any sort of learning, be difficult, how much industry doth it require to be well seen in many, or to have waded through the vast compass of learning, in no part