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leisure which God has granted him, to the offices of devotion; he should imitate the holy psalmist in his prayers and meditations: he has all the duties of piety, charity, and sobriety to discharge; for the being a gentleman does not exempt him from being a Christian, but, as more talents are committed to him, consequently more employment is required of him: he is God's steward, intrusted with God's substance for the sustenance and supply of God's family; and he that is obliged to purvey for so many, how can he pretend to a writ of ease?
It is easy to show many sorts of business belonging to him; such as to relieve his poorer neighbors by his wealth; to advise the ignorant; succor the weak; reclaim the wicked; encourage the good; to be hospitable and kind to strangers; to maintain peace and prevent strife among his neighbors; to promote the prosperity of his country; to govern well and educate his family; to look to his estate, and keep it from waste; to cultivate his mind with excellent knowlege; to restrain his passions and oppose the vices peculiar to his station; to be careful in forming himself into a right example for others to follow: with these duties allotted him by God, how ought he to be idle?
2. He has also obligations to mankind, demanding industry from him, on the accounts of common humanity, equity, and ingenuousness.
For how can he fairly subsist on the common industry of mankind, without bearing a share thereof? How can he endure to fare sumptuously by the toil of others, without making some competent return? how can he justly claim respect from the world, if he does not conduce to its benefit? If no gentleman be bound to serve the public, then is the whole order a burden and offence; and if any are bound, then all are. It is insufferable pride in any man to conceive himself at liberty to live in ease and sloth, whilst the rest of mankind are subject to continual toil.
3. Moreover a gentleman is bound to be industrious for his own sake: it is a duty which he owes to himself, to his honor, to his interest and welfare. He cannot without industry continue like himself, or maintain a becoming honor and repute; for to be honorable and slothful are things inconsistent: he may perhaps receive external respect and a semblance of honor due to his exterior station or title: but to pay this is to honor the rank, not the man: nor can a gentleman without industry uphold his real interests against the attempts of envy and malevolence, or guard his personal welfare from many inconveniences; but all the mischiefs which naturally spring from sloth and stupidity will soon assail him.
4. To these considerations we may add, that the very nature of gentility implies so much; for what properties has a gentleman, what qualities are peculiar to him, whereby he is distinguished from others? Are they not especially two, courage and courtesy ? and how can courage signalise itself but in great and worthy enterprises? how can courtesy be displayed but in sedulous activity for the good of men?
5. The work indeed of a gentleman is not so gross; but it may be as smart and painful as any other; for all hard work is not manual: there are instruments of action beside the plough and the spade, &c.; and the head may work very hard in contrivance and furtherance of good designs, &c.
6. In such works the truest and greatest pattern of gentility that ever was, did employ himself; even our Lord himself; this topic enlarged on. Conclusion.
OF INDUSTRY IN OUR PARTICULAR CALLING, AS GENTLEMEN.
ROMANS, CHAP. XII.-VERSE 11.
Not slothful in business.
I HAVE largely treated on the duty recommended in this precept, and urged the observance of it in general, at a distance : I now intend more particularly and closely to apply it, in reference to those persons who seem more especially obliged to it, and whose observing it may prove of greatest cousequence to public good; the which application may also be most suitable and profitable to this audience. Those persons are of two sorts; the one gentlemen, the other scholars.
I. The first place, as civility demandeth, we assign to gentlemen, or persons of eminent rank in the world, well allied, graced with honor, and furnished with wealth: the which sort of persons I conceive in a high degree obliged to exercise industry in business.
This at first hearing may seem a little paradoxical and strange; for who have less business than gentlemen? who do need less industry than they? He that hath a fair estate, and can live on his means, what hath he to do, what labor or trouble can be exacted of him, what hath he to think on, or trouble his head with, but how to invent recreations and pastimes to divert himself, and spend his waste leisure pleasantly? Why should not he be allowed to enjoy himself, and the benefits which nature or fortune have freely dispensed to him, as he thinketh
best, without offence? Why may he not say with the rich man in the gospel, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry?' Is it not often said by the wise man, that there is nothing better under the sun, than that a man should make his soul to enjoy good' in a cheerful and comfortable fruition of his estate? According to the passable notion and definition, What is a gentleman but his pleasure?'
If this be true, if a gentleman be nothing else but this, then truly he is a sad piece, the most inconsiderable, the most despicable, the most pitiful and wretched creature in the world : if it is his privilege to do nothing, it is his privilege to be most unhappy; and to be so will be his fate, if he live according to it; for he that is of no worth or use, who produceth no beneficial fruit, who performeth no service to God, or to the world, what title can he have to happiness? What capacity thereof? What reward can he claim? What comfort can he feel? To what temptations is he exposed? What guilts will he incur !
But in truth it is far otherwise to suppose that a gentleman is loose from business is a great mistake; for indeed no man hath more to do, no man lieth under greater engagements to industry than he.
He is deeply obliged to be continually busy in more ways than other men, who have but one simple calling or occupation allotted to them; and that on a triple account; in respect to God, to the world, and to himself.
1. He is first obliged to continual employment in respect to God.
He, out of a grateful regard to divine bounty for the eminency of his station, adorned with dignity and repute, for the plentiful accommodations and comforts of his life, for his exemption from those pinching wants, those meaner cares, those sordid entertainments, and those toilsome drudgeries, to which other men are subject, is bound to be more diligent in God's service, employing all the advantages of his state to the glory of his munificent Benefactor, to whose good providence alone he doth owe them; for who maketh him to differ' from another?
And what hath he that he did not receive from God's free bounty?
In proportion to the bulk of his fortune, his heart should be enlarged with a thankful sense of God's goodness to him; his mouth should ever be filled with acknowlegement and praise; he should always be ready to express his grateful resentment of so great and peculiar obligations.
He should dedicate larger portions of that free leisure which God hath granted to him, in waiting on God, and constant performances of devotion.
He, in frequently reflecting on the particular ample favors of God to him, should imitate the holy psalmist, that illustrious pattern of great and fortunate men; saying after him, with his spirit and disposition of soul; Thou hast brought me to great honor, and comforted me on every side; therefore will I praise thee and thy faithfulness, O God.'
Lord, by thy favor thou hast made my mountain to stand strong Thou hast set my feet in a large room :' Thou preparest a table before me :-Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over;'-to the end that my glory may sing praise unto thee, and not be silent :''The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage; therefore I will bless the Lord.'
In conceiving such meditations, his head and his heart should constantly be employed; as also in contriving ways of declaring and discharging real gratitude; asking himself, What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits?' What shall I render to him, not only as a man, for all the gifts of nature; as a Christian, for all the blessings of grace; but as a gentleman also, for the many advantages of this my condition, beyond so many of my brethren, by special Providence indulged to me?
He hath all the common duties of piety, of charity, of sobriety, to discharge with fidelity; for being a gentleman doth not exempt him from being a Christian, but rather more strictly doth engage him to be such in a higher degree than others; it is an obligation peculiarly incumbent on him, in return for