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of them should so employ their God hath so constituted the staté time.
of things, with respect to manThis divine command perfect- kind in the present life, and laid ly coincides with the constitution such commands upon them, and of mankind, and of the world in made such institutions, to subwhich they are placed.
serve the purposes of his glory If God had judged it wise and and their welfare, both here and best, he could have so formed hereafter, as plainly show, that our nature, that we should not some are to spend the principal have needed material food and part of their time in such occuraiment for our subsistence and pations and callings as preclude comfort : or whilst our nature is manual labor, at least in a great such as to render these necessa- | measure. As instances of this, ry, he could, had he seen fit, I might mention those civil rulhave so constituted the world, in ers, whose time must be mostly which he hath fixed our resi or wholly employed in discharge dence, as to furnish us with eve ing the duties of their office ; and ry necessary for our support, some instructors of youth; and comfort and convenience, with gospel-ministers, at least some out any labor or toil on our part. of them. These, of course, But God, all whose works are must be provided for by the las the result of perfect wisdom and bor of others. But no man, be goodness, has so formed our na- | his rank or station what it will, ture and constitution, and the may warrantably spend his time world in which he hath placed in idleness ; but every one is us, that food, and raiment, and bound to a diligent improvement houses are necessary to our sub- of his time and talents in subsersistence and comfort, and that viency to the glory of God, and these cannot be obtained, in a to his own and others' good, in degree sufficient for our support such ways or employments as and comfort, without our own correspond to his proper calling, exertions. Yea, such is the state or state and circumstances in the of things and the situation of the world. larger part of mankind, that in- Perhaps God hath so constitudustry and economy, and perse-ted our nature, and the world in vering diligence in some kind of which he hath placed us, that lalabor, are indispensably necessa- bor should be necessary for our ry to obtain the itquisites of a support and comfort, and accors , comfortable subsistence.
dingly required it of us, to teach This constitution of things, in- us the important lesson, That dependent of the express com- all our capacities, powers and mand of God, plainly argues it faculties ought, in imitation of to be his will, that men should his benevolence, to be employed labor for their support. It may l in doing good ; and that true however be proper to observe, enjoyment and real happiness that whilst it is necessary that consist in and result from the the greater part should employ proper exercise of our faculties a large proportion of their time upon suitable objects, in opposiin labor, working with their tion to an indolent inactivity: hands in cultivating the earth, and also, because the active naor in some other useful business, Iture of man, if he was under no
necessity of laboring for his own , ing, is doing it freely and of support, and had no employment choice, because God requires itassigned him by God, would ex- doing it out of obedience to his pose him to fall into courses, will, in the exercise of a free, which might be hurtful to him-l cheerful subjection to his auself, and to his fellow-creatures. I thority. “ Fear God and keep
From the whole that hath now his commandments : for this is been said, and sufficiently sup- the whole duty of man.” Eccl. ported by the scriptures, it may xii. 13. A proper regard for Elearly appear, that a large ma- God in the heart, expressed by jority of the human race area willing, unreserved obedience not to blame merely because to all his commandments, is the they employ the greater part of whole duty of man. No one their time in working with their performs his duty in laboring to hands, to obtain the things ne- | raise, procure, or furnish, such cessary for the support and com- things as are requisite for the fort of mankind in the present support and comfort of mankind life. This, in itself, is so far in the present life, any further from being wrong or improper, than he acts therein from a prothat it is rendered necessary by per regard to God, and doeth it the divine constitution of our freely and cheerfully in complinature and of the world in which ance with his will-in obedience we are placed, and accordingly to his command. If a man perenjoined by a divine command. forms all the work, which God Therefore, if the generality of requires to be performed by him, laboring people commit sin by a but in doing it has no respect diligent improvement of their for God, no regard to his will time and exertion of their and authority, and doth not strength, in laboring to obtain mean it as an act of obedience to or furnish such things as are ne- his command, but acts entirely cessary for the support and com- from other motives, and merely fort of mankind, it is not be for his own selfish ends; it is cause employing a large part of plain that he, considered as a their time in laboring for such voluntary designing agent, canthings is in its own nature not be said to render the least wrong, or sinful, or forbidden by degree of obedience' to the will God, but on account of their and command of God in all the wrong views, motives and ends labor which he performs, and therein. Hence,
therefore, that he doth not disWith what views and motives charge the duty of laboring enand for what ends men ought to joined by God. For although labor, working with their hands; ) he doeth the things which God and when, in laboring and pro- requires to be done, yet as to secuting their worldly business, obeying the will of God, or they may be said to do their du- keeping his commandments in ty and obey the will of God ; is doing them, he meaneth not so, a very important and interest- | neither doth his heart think so; ing enquiry. In answer to this, but it is in his heart to answer enquiry, it may be observed, his own selfish ends, independ.
1. One thing essential to the ent of any regard to the authoridischarge of our duty in labor- 1 ty, will, or glory of God. Wie | Vol. VI. NO. 11.
When God put Adam in the that we should do it from such garden of Eden to dress it and to motives, and for such ends, as keep it, if he had preserved his are agreeable to the revealed original rectitude, and perse will of God. This indeed is im. vered in perfect love and obedi-plied in laboring from a regard ence, he would have performed to God, and in obedience to his the business intended by dress- will; yet a distinct illustration ing and keeping the garden, out of it may be useful.-If in workof respect to God, from a regard | ing with our hands, and transto his authority, and in obedience | acting our worldly business, we to his revealed will ; and so do act from other motives and for ing, would have performed this other ends, than such as are branch of his duty. . agreeable to the revealed will of
When in consequence of God, and especially, such as are man's disobedience, the ground contrary to it, it is plain that in was cursed for his sake, and the so doing, instead of obeying, we tillage of it rendered hard and really disobey the will of God, difficult, and the will of God however punctually we may plainly revealed, that man should perform such things as in themnow obtain his bread by hard selves considered are proper to and wearisome labor, he ought be done, and even commanded to have willingly submitted to by God. For instance, if God all the fatiguing labor which commands us to labor, working had become requisite, not mere- with our hands the thing which ly as a matter of necessity for is good, that we may have his own subsistence ; but also, wherewith to support ourselves, from a regard and out of obedi- without stealing from or being ence to the will of God, in the burdensome to others, and also exercise of a free, willing sub- to relieve the wants of such as jection to and compliance with stand in need, and we perform his appointment. And so ought the work proper to be done, the posterity of Adam through but in performing it have no all succeeding ages, as long as view to the ends for which God this constitution of things con- requires us to labor, but do it tinues. But however diligent with the chief or sole view to oband industrious any are, yet iftain the means of defraying the their chief end is to obtain the expense of a drunken frolic, or means of subsistence, whilst a re- an obscene debauch, we are so gard to the divine will doth not far from obeying, that we realcome into the account with ly disobey and rebel against them- if they are impelled to God, by laboring from this mo. work by a conviction or feeling tive and with this view. We of its indispensable necessity for discharge our duty, and really their subsistence, and not of obey the divine command in lachoice, out of obedience to the boring no further than we do it. will of God, they neither obey with such views and motives, his will, nor perform their duty, and for such ends, as are agreeby all their diligence and weari- able to the revealed will of some labors.
God.. 2. It is essential to the dis- Our own comfortable support charge of our duty in laboring, lis not excluded from, but com.
prised in the objects or ends for | without defrauding others, or which we ought to labor. But being'unnecessarily burdensome in this, as in all other things, to them. This implies the exwe should have a supreme and Jercise of justice and benevoultimate view to the glory of lence to our neighbors. God. It is written, “ Whether | Another thing is, seeking to ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever | obtain a sufficiency to contribute ye do, do all to the glory of something to those who stand God. 1 Cor. x. 31. 3
in need, and to whose relief, As the sum of what the di support, or comfort, God revine law requires, and of what quires us to contribute as the the gospel is designed and cal- poor, and persons in such emculated to bring us to, as mat- ployments as prevent their la. ter of duty to be performed by boring ; and also, to provide us is to love God with all for the convenient attendance on our heart, and our neighbors as the public worship of God, for ourselves ; so it is the revealed the propagation of the gospel, will or command of God, that and for all those purposes wherein all our conduct we should by the Redeemer's kingdom and have a supreme and ultimate the real welfare of mankind may view to his glory in connection be promoted, and thus to imin with our own and other's real tate the divine beneficence, and good. Therefore, to labor from to act in concert with God, as such views and motives and for subordinate agents under his di. Buch ends as are agreeable to rection and control, or instru. his revealed will, we must do it ments in his hand, in doing with a view to contribute, in the good and diffusing happiness. ways of God's appointment, to Were we heartily disposed to his glory and our own and oth- | labor and do all our own work. er's real benefit, and to obtain with the views, motives and ends the good things of this world, now briefly suggested, it is easy that with them we may do good to see, that working with our in all the ways, in which world hands through the week, instead ly substance may be improved of diverting our thoughts and for the glory of God and the re-turning our hearts away from al benefit of mankind. One God, might rather serve to fix thing implied in such a conduct, them upon him. If we consciis willingly laboring for our own entiously went tu our daily laand one another's support, with bor, as a part of the service a desire and view to give to which God requires of us in the God the glory due to his name, present life, with an habitual disby exercising and expressing a position and sincere desire to free, cheerful compliance with glorify him, by exercising and his will, as manifested in the expressing a becoming regard constitution of our nature and of to his will and submission to his the world, and subjection to his authority and obedience to his authority and obedience to his commands, and sought to obe command, as expressed in his tain the good things of this word. Another thing implied, world for the ends and purposes is laboring to obtain the neces- which have been mentioned, saries of a comfortable support I would it not be easy and natural py?
to fall into a train of thoughts / harder, all from a desire to be and contemplations respecting rich, to obtain great estates, and the glorious character, works, to lay up for themselves treasand ways of God, and the duties ures on the earth, because to we owe to him, to our neigh-their hearts the world and the bors, and to ourselves, and the things of it are the chief good. way to be really useful and hap-Such, it is evident, are far from
doing their duty and obeying the
will of God, by laboring in such REFLECTIONS.
a manner and from such moHow deficient in discharging tives. Hence, their duty in laboring are those How directly contrary to the laboring people, who, though real spirit of the divine comthey work early and late, and di mand for men to labor, and how ligently improve their time to criminal in the sight of God, as the best advantage, in perform well as pernicious to themselves, ing the business of their respec- is their conduct, whose only or tive callings and occupations, do chief and governing motive in it not willingly, bụt by constraint, working hard, and laboring dilis being impelicd to it, not from gently to obtain the good things any regard to God, or any incli- of this world, is, that they may nation or desire to obey and ho-consume them upon their lusts nor him, but merely by the ne. that with them they may feed cessity of it, to keep themselves and gratify the lusts of the body, and their families from suffer- and the pride and vanity of the ing with hunger and coll, or to mind, fulfilling the desires of the provide for their comfortable flesh and of the mind ? Should subsistence ?
| any of the readers of this be conHow evidently inconsistent is scious, that such, or similar hath a prevailing love of this world hitherto been the first spring and and of things which are in it, principal motive of their induswith discharging our duty in try, may they become sensible laboring? How greatly do they | of the importance of repentance deceive themselves, who think and amendment, and be enabled they are yielding obedience to henceforth to act from a nobler. God by working with their hands, principle and to a higher end. and transacting their worldly May they find it in their hearts business with, diligence and eco- and learn how even to eat and nomy, when the love of this drink, and to go about and perworld is the first spring and form their common worldly buprincipal motive of all their in-siness, with a supreme and ul. dustry ? For it is written, “ Love timate view to the glory of God. not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the worid, the love of On the reasonableness of an imthe Father is not in him.”
mediate Repentance, 1 John ii. 15.
(Contin. from page 79, vol. v.) Men may work early and late, and labor hard from day to day, Rev. EDITORS, and from year to year', quite as I HAVE been prevented hard as they ought to, and even from discussing the subject of