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fion has been made, and in the fimilar marrative recorded by St. Matthew (b), the Lord according to his difcretion delivers to those of his household certain talents: whofe are those talents? His own. Who are the perfons to whom he commits them? His own fervants. For what purpose does he entrust the talents? That they may be employed. On whofe behalf are the occupiers to employ them? On behalf of their Lord. To whom are they to render an account? To their Lord when he fhall return to inveftigate the transactions of their steward hip. In proportion as every man bath received the gift, and whatever the gift may be, even fo let him minifter the fame, even fo let him feduloufly labour in the employment of the talent, as a good fleward of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, let him fpeak as the oracles of God; let him glorify God by speech conformed to the dictates of His word. If any man minifter, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth whether he labours in a public or in a private capacity, whether he dispenses fpiritual or temporal benefits, whatever be the nature or the fpecific object of his oc
(b) Luke, xix. Matth. xxv.
cupation; let him glorify God by a grateful acknowledgment of the fource whence every talent which he employs, every faculty with which he labours, is derived; and by fuch an application of both as befits one who remembers, that it is required in Stewards that a man be found faithful. If he lets his light fhine before men; be it allowed to shine, that men, by feeing his good works, may be excited to glorify his Father, who is in heaven. Thus, at all times and under every circumftance, let him labour that God, in all things, may be glorified through Jefus Chrift (c). Whatfoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jefus: Ye are bought with a price; not with corruptible things as filver and gold, but with the precious blood of Chrift; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's (d).
But are we not in all things to labour for our individual falvation? Unquestionably. Are we then to labour, it is asked, primarily for our individual falvation, or for the glory of God? Away with the distinction! Produce me a fingle paffage
(c) 1 Cor. iv. 2. (4) Col. iii. 17.
Matth. v. 16.
I Cor. vi. 20.
1 Pet. iv. 11.
from the commencement to the clofe of the Scriptures, in which the glory of God is disjoined from the falvation of man; and then shall your queftion become entitled to confideration. To live unto Chrift is to glorify God. To glorify God through Christ with your body and your spirit, which are His, is the appointed method of attaining the falvation which Chrift has purchased. As a practical believer in Christ Jefus, labour that in all things God may thus be glorified: and you fhall receive the end of your faith; even the falvation of your foul.
II. Advert to the general lines of human labour, and to their attendant temptations.
The most obvious and the most comprehenfive of the divifions of human labour is that which, from the inftrument principally employed, is denominated manual. To men occupied in this branch of exertion belongs, in its literal import, the primeval fentence; In the fweat of thy face fhalt thou eat bread. Under this class are included all the toils of agriculture; and all the ruder arts of life, by which the earth is fubdued, reduced under the do
minion of man, and rendered, as far as is dependent on his induftry, a fecure and comfortable abode. In the profecution of thefe objects the frame advances in robuftnefs, and is inured to patient endurance. The hand is hardened by the fpade, the arm ftrengthened by the hammer. The mind, in the mean time, though neceffarily fummoned into action, and in no respect excluded from its proportion of employ ment, experiences lefs exercife and cultiva tion than the body. Its powers grow torpid; and habit fteps into the place of reflection. Hence, unless the heart in its proclivity to evil be stayed by fupernatural grace, proceed roughness of manners, harshnefs of temper, covetoufnefs, fenfuality, brutish ignorance. How can he get wifdom that holdeth the plow, and that glorieth in the goad; that driveth oxen, and is occupied in their labours; and whofe talk is about bullocks? Every carpenter, and workmafter, the fmith fitting by the anvil, the potter turning the wheel; all their defire is in the work of their craft (e). That ftupid unconcern which extinguishes the defire of mental improvement, not seldom extends
(e) Eccl'us, xxxviii. 25-24
itself to the interefts of eternity. The welfare of the foul yields to the accommodation of the body. The man is abforbed in the cares of the hour. Toiling for daily fubfiftence, he labours not for the bread of life. If any man would not work; neither fhould be eat. We command and exbort by the Lord Jefus, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread. your own business, and work with your own hands (f). Yet labour not primarily for the meat which perisbeth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you for Him hath God the Father fealed (g).
The next leading branch of labour is that which, exercifing the faculties of the mind more extenfively than the powers of
the animal frame, may be denominated mental. To this branch may be referred, among other ramifications of active life, fome of the ornamental arts, many of the researches of science, the duties of liberal profeffions, the functions of lucrative office. Over perfons dedicated to pursuits of this defcription, no lefs than over those who are funk in manual toil, impends the danger
(f) 2 Theff. iii. 1o. 12. 1 Theff. iv. 11.