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to spoil us, and to yield us much pain. No man can cozen SERM. 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 sloth- Eccles. fulness, 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 re-edify 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, want of experience, disobliging and losing friends, 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

SERM. need no pains at all, but perform the most difficult tasks of LI. 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 dispatch with facility, his diligence voiding obstacles, and smoothing the way to him; whenas idleness, finding some difficulties, and fancying more, soon dishearteneth and causeth a man to desist from action, rather choosing to crouch under the burden, than by endeavour to carry it through, to discharge himself thereof: whence as to an industrious man things seeming difficult will prove easy, so to a slothful person the easiest things will appear impossible; according to Solomon's observation; The way, saith he, of a slothful man is an hedge of thorns, but the way of the upright is made plains; whereas a slothful man, being apt to neglect his obligations, is opposed to an upright man, who hath a conscionable regard to them, and is willing to take pains in the discharge of them: so it is declared, that to the one the way is rough and thorny, to the other beaten and expedite.

And again, The slothful man, saith he, doth say, There is a lion without, I shall be slain in the streets; he is very apt to conceit, or to pretend imaginary difficulties and hazards, and thence to be deterred from going about his

chug Prov. xv. 19. Οδοὶ ἀεργῶν ἐςρωμέναι ἀκάνθαις, αἱ δὲ τῶν ἀνδρείων το τριμμέναι,

d Prov. xxii. 13. xxvi. 13. Προφασίζεται, καὶ λέγει ἐκνηρὸς, Λέων ἐν ταῖς ὁδοῖς, ἐν δὲ ταῖς πλατείαις φονευταίο


business, or doing his duty. This consideration St. Chry- SERM. sostom doth propose, exciting to an earnest pursuit of virtue; because, There is, saith he, nothing so easy, which our great sloth doth not represent very grievous and burdensome; nothing so painful and difficult, which diligence and willingness do not show to be very easy e.

3. We may consider that industry will sweeten all our enjoyments, and season them with a grateful relish: for as no man can well enjoy himself, or find sound content in any thing, while business or duty lie unfinished on his hand; so when he hath done his best toward the dispatch of his work, he will then comfortably take his ease, and enjoy his pleasure; then his food doth taste savourily, then his di vertisements and recreations have a lively gustfulness, then his sleep is very sound and pleasant, according to that of Eccles. v. the Preacher, The sleep of a labouring man is sweet.


Τοῦ δούλου.

4. Especially those accommodations prove most delightful, which our industry hath procured to us; we looking on them with a special tenderness of affection, as on the children of our endeavour; we being sensible at what costs of care and pain we did purchase them. If a man getteth wealth by fraud or violence, if he riseth to preferment by flattery, detraction, or any bad arts, he can never taste any good savour, or find sound comfort in them; and from what cometh merely by chance, as there is no commendation due, so much satisfaction will not arise. It is the Wise Man's observation, The slothful man roasteth Prov. xii. not that which he took in hunting, and therefore it cannot be very grateful to him; but, addeth he, the substance of a diligent man is precious; that is, what a man compasseth by honest industry, that he is apt highly to prize; he 1 Cor. ix. triumpheth in it, and (in St. Paul's sense innocently)



• Οὐδὲν οὕτως ἐσὶ ῥᾴδιον, ὁ μὴ σφόδρα βαρὺ καὶ ἐπαχθὲς ὁ πολὺς δείκνυσιν ὄκνος ἡμῶν· ὥσπερ ἐπίπονον καὶ ἡ δυσχερὲς, ὁ μὴ λίαν εὔχολον ἡ σπουδὴ καὶ ἡ προθυμία Chrys. tom. vi. Or. p. 15, 144.

Τὰ μὲν ῥᾴδια τοὺς ἀμελοῦντας φεύγει, τὰ δὲ χαλεπὰ ἐπιμελείαις ἁλίσκεται. Plut. de Educ.

Cui sit conditio dulcis sine pulvere palmæ ? Hor. Ep. i. 1.


SERM. boasteth of it; he feeleth a solid pleasure and a pure complacency terein: the manner of getting it doth more please him than the thing itself; as true hunters do love the sport more than the quarry, and generous warriors more rejoice in the victory than in the spoil; for our soul, as St. Chrysostom discourseth, is more affected with those things, for which it hath laboured; for which reason, addeth he, God hath mixed labours with virtue itself, that he might endear it to us 8. Yea farther,

5. The very exercise of industry immediately in itself is delightful, and hath an innate satisfaction, which tempereth all annoyances, and even ingratiateth the pains going with it.

Prov. xiv. 23.

The reflection upon our having embraced a wise choice, our proceeding in a fair way, our being in chase of a good purpose, doth breed complacence.

To consider that we are spending our time accountably, and improving our talents to good advantage, (to the service of God, the benefit of our neighbour, the bettering of our own state,) is very cheering and comfortable.

And whereas in all labour, as the Wise Man telleth us, there is profit, the foresight of that profit affordeth pleasure, the foretasting the good fruits of our industry is very delicious.

Hope, indeed, doth ever wait on industry: and what is more delightful than hope? This is the incentive, the 12. v. 2. support, the condiment of all honest labour h; in virtue. Heb. ii. 6. whereof the husbandman toileth, the merchant trudgeth,

Rom. xii.

1 Tim. iv.

(Col. i. 5.

the scholar ploddeth, the soldier dareth with alacrity and

2 Cor. iii. courage, not resenting any pains, not regarding any hazards, which attend their undertakings: this, the holy apos


1 Cor. ix. 10.

The very settlement of our mind on fit objects, or its acquiescence in determinate action, conducing to a good end, whereby we are freed of doubt, distraction, and fastidious listlessness, doth minister content.

1 John ui.


1 Pet. i. 3. Tit. ii. 13.)


Περὶ ἐκεῖνα μᾶλλον ἡ ψυχή διακείται, ὑπὲς ὧν ἔκαμε· διὰ τῦτο καὶ πόνες ἀνέμιξεν ἀρετῇ οἰκειῶσαι αὐτῇ ταύτην βυλόμενος. Chrys. in Joh. Orat. 36.

h ipsa operis difficultate lætus spem segetis de labore metitur. Apud Aug. Ep. 142.

tles tell us, did enable them with joy to sustain all their SERM. painful work and hazardous warfare; enjoining us also, as to work with fear, so to rejoice in hope.


In fine, industry doth free us from great displeasure, by redeeming us from the molestations of idleness, which is the most tedious and irksome thing in the world, racking our soul with anxious suspense and perplexing distraction1; starving it for want of satisfactory entertainment, or causing it to feed on its own heart by doleful considerations; infesting it with crowds of frivolous, melancholic, troublesome, stinging thoughts; galling it with a sense of our squandering away precious time, of our slipping fair opportunities, of our not using the abilities and advantages granted us to any profit or fruit: whence St. Chrysostom saith very truly, that there is nothing more unpleasant, more painful, more miserable, than a man that hath nothing to do. Is not this, saith he, worse than ten thousand chains, to hang in suspense, and be continually gaping, looking on those who are presentk? Indeed the strictest imprisonment is far more tolerable, than being under restraint by a lazy humour from profitable employment: this enchaineth a man hand and foot, with more than iron fetters: this is beyond any imprisonment; it is the very entombment of a man, quite Otium est in effect sequestering him from the world, or debarring him vivi homi nis sepulfrom any valuable concerns therein. And if liberty be ovcía tura. avrongayias, a power of doing what one liketh best; then is he, who by his sloth is disabled from doing any thing wherein he can find any reasonable satisfaction, the veriest slave that can be; from which slavery industry freeing us, and disposing us to perform cheerfully whatever is convenient, thereby doeth us a great pleasure. Farther,

6. Let us consider, that industry doth afford a lasting

i Otio qui nescit uti plus habet negotii, &c.

Ennius apud Aget.

Otioso in otio animus nescit quid quidem velit, &c. xix. 10.

* Καὶ τί ἀηδέφεραν γένητ ̓ ἂν ἀνθρώπε ἐδὲν ἔχοντας ποιεῖν; τί μοχθηρότερον ; τα ταλαιπωρότερον; μυρίων καὶ χεῖρον τῦτο δεσμῶν, χασκάσθαι καὶ ευχήνιναι διαπαντὸς ἐπὶ τῆς ἀγορᾶς καθήμενον, ὁρῶντα τὰς παριέντας. Chrys. in Αct. Or. 35.

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