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chief provision by which he fulfilleth his fclhly lust. An idle fituant thirktoh that the best place, in which he hall have moft
ease and fulness. An idle Parent will caft all the burdtn of his childrens teaching, upon the Schoolmaster and the Paftor. An idle Miniffer chinkceh himself best, where he may have no more labour, thao what rendeth to his publick applause ; and when tehash the most weakb and bonour, and lialt to do, he takech that to be the flourishing prosperity of the Church.And indeed if our calling were like the souldiers to kill men, and not likes the Surgeons to cure tbem, we might think it is the bed time, when we have Icaft employment,
But the faithful servant will be molt thankful for that fate of life, in which he doth mott good : And as he cakech doing good, to be the furcht way of getting and receiving ; so he takech the good of another as his own; and anothers necessicy is his necellity: He knowcth that he is bc&, who is likelt unto God; and that is he that is the most abundant in love, and doing good; Like the Sun that never reftcth from moving or giving light and heat. The running spring is purc, when thc Aanding water is muddy and corrupt : The cessation of motion quickly mortificth the blood : He shat said as to works of charity, Benet weary of wel doing ; for in due time, you fall reap, if you faint nos, Gsl 6.9. hath said fo too, as to our bodily labour in our common callings in the world, 2 Thef. 3.13.
I know that a servant may be glad of a place where he is not oppressed with unrcasonable labour, and where he hath competent time for the learning of Gods Word: And a poor man may be glad when he is frced from ncceffity of doing chat which is to his hurt : But otherwise no man but a Acthly bruit will with or contrive for a life of idleness.
Obje&. Is it not said, Blessed are the dead, for ibey reff from tbeir labours ? Rev. 14.13. Ans. True : but mark that their works followerbem : And what are the works which follow you ? And note, that it is not work or duty that they shall relt from : (For Ibey reft not crying, Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty c.) But it is only their labours ; thu is, the painful fors of Dark and fuffering, proper to this Ginful life. The blessed in deed are freed in Heavca from this ; because they were not freed fm it on carth, as the ungodly and Nothful forvaat arc.
7. 7. Lastly, Idleness is feen by tbe' work obat is undme, Pro.24.30. The Auggirds Vineyard is overgrown with weeds. If your Pouls be unrenewed, and your affurance of falvation, and cviä dences yet to get, and few the better for you in the world, and you are yct uorcady for death and judgment, you give too fulf a proof of idieness. The diligent woman, Prov. 31. 16, &c. could thew her labours in her treasures, her Vincyard, the cloathing and provisions of her family, &c. fhew yours by the good which you have done in the world, and by the prepara. tion of your souls for a better world. Let every max prove bio own work, Ibat be may bave rejoycing is bimself alone, and not in anorber; Gal. 6. 3, 4. What case are your children in ? Are they caught, or untaught? What cafe is your foul in your fruit mul judge you.
111. The mischiefs of this Sodomitical Idleness, and the tetfons againit it, arc (bricfly) these.
1. It is contrary to tbe adive nature of mans fout; which in a&ivity excccdech the fire it fell. It is as natural for a foul to be adivo, as for a lone or clod of earth to lic Atill. And this aGive nature animateth the passive body, to move it, and use it in it's proper work. And should this heavenly fire be imprifoncd in the body, which it should command and movc? Pfalas 104. 23. Man goetb forrb to bio work and to bis labour till the evening.
2. It is contrary to the common course of nature. Doch the Sun (hine for you as well as for others ? or doth it not? Dɔth all the frame of nature continue in its course (the air, the waters, the summer and winter) for you as well as for others, or not? If not, then you take nor your felves beholden to God for them: And if you have no use for the Sun and other creatures, yoit hayc no us for lifc: for by them you live. But it yea, then what is it that they serve you for? Did Godever frame you so glorious a retinuuc, to attend you only to sleep, and laugh, and play, and to be idle? what is all this for no higher an end or racher do you not by your idleness forfeit life, and all these helps and maintainers of your lives? 3. It is an unthankful reproach and blafphemy again the PPP 2
God of Nature ; ya and againft the Lord your Redeemer; to think that the wisc Almighty God, did makc lo noblc a thing as a soul, and place it in fo curious an engine as the body, where spirits, and blood, and heart, and lungs, are never idle, but in confiant motion; and that he hath appointed us so glorious a recinus as aforesaid, and all this to do nothing with, or worse than nothing? To sleep, and rise, and dress your selves, and talk, and eat, and drink ; to tell men only that you are not dead, left they should mifakc, and bury you alive? what is it but to put a scorn on your Creator and Redeemer, to live as if hc had created and redeemed you for no better and nobler ends than thesc?
You do as it were pray for death, or provoke God to take sway your lives. For if they be good for nothing else but idleness, and beastly pleasures, why should you expe& to have them continued / or at least, why should he not use you as Nobacbado MZzar, and take away your reason, and turn you into beasts, if the lisc and pleasure of a beat be all that you delire ? Could Dot you cat, and drink, and sleep, and play, without an intelIcAual foul? Cannot the birds make their nefts, and brced and feed their young, and fit and fing, without an intellectual nature? Cannot a swinc have his case, and meat, and luft, without reason what should you do with reason for fuch ases?
5. You farw a Aupid Sensless beart, that can live idly, and have so mucb to do; and have so many spurrs to rouse you up: To live continually in the light of God, to have a soul fo ignorant, so unbclicving, so unholy, so unfurnilhed of faith and love, lo unrcady for death, so uncertain of salvation ; nay in such apparcar danger of damnation, and to bc Atill uncertain of living onc day of hour longer ; and yet to live idly in such a casc, as if all were well, and your work were donc,and you had no more to fear or care for: O what a mad, what a dead, what a fortista kind of soul is this! to fcc the graves before your eyes; to fee your neighbours carrycd thither ; to feel the tokens of mortality daily in your selves; to bt called on and warned to prepare, and yet under this to live as if you had nothing to do, but to dhew your selves in the neatcft dress, and as a Peacock, to Spread your plumes for your felves and others to look upon, or
to pamper a caskass for worms and rottenness! O what a deplorable casc is this ! The Lord. pitty you, and awaken your. understandings, and bring you to your wits, and you will chen, wonder at your own Aupidity.
6. Idleness is a fin wbicb is contrary to Gods universal Law: The Law which extended to all times and places. Adam in innocency was to labour : He that had tll things prepared for his fuftenance by God, was yet himself to labour : Hc that was Lord of all the world, and was richer than any of our proud ones whofocver, was yet to dress and keep the garden. Cain was a tiller of land, and Abel was a keeper of cattel, when they were hcirs of all the carth. Noab also was Lord of all the world, and richer than you, and yet he was in Husbandman. Abrabam, Ifaac and Jacob were Princes, and yet kcepers of Iheep and cattle: It is not a barc permission, but a prccept of diligence in the fourth Commandment [Six daies Malt thou labour, and do al tbot tbou bast to do.] Chrift bimself did not live idly, but before his Miniftry shey faid, Mark 6. 3. Is not Ibis ebe Carpenter? And afterward how incessantly was he doing good to mens bodies and souls? And what laborious lives did his Apofles live? See Cor. 6.5.& 11.23. Ads 18. 3. And are you excmpt from the universal Law?
7. Tiw powo a base and fefaly mind. The nobleft natures are the most adive, and the bafet the mof dead and dull
. The carth is not baser than the fire, in a greater degree than an idle foul is bafer than one that is adive, and spendeth themselves in doing good. Methinks your Pride it (ell should keep you from proclaiming such a dead and carthen dispofition,
8. Idleness is of tbe some kind wirb fornication, gluttony, drur. kenness, and other such beaftly fins :. For all' is bur finful Alisha pleafing, or sensuality: The same feshly naturc which draw. cth them to the onc, doth draw you to the other; and they do but gratific their fich in one kind of vice, as you do in another. And it's pitry that Idleness should be in so much less disgrace chantbry. And cruly if you cannot deny your helh it's cafe, I cinnot see if the temptation lay as Atrong that way, hower you should deny it in any of Ibofe lufts; fo that you seem to be vertually fornitasers, gluisons, drunkards, &c. ard rsady, ca commic the acts.
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9. And hereby you strengthen the floth as it is your enemy for the time to come. When you have long used to please is by idleness
, it will get the vidory, and must be pleafed ftill: And then
you are undone for ever, if grace do not yet cause you to overcome it. For if you live after tbe fleshy you shall die : but if by tbe Spirit you mortifie the deeds of the body, you fall live, Rom. 8.13. None are freed from condemnation, nor are members of Chrift, but they tbal walk not after tbe flesh, but after she Spirit, Rom. 8. 1. For tbe carnal mind is camity against God, v.7.
10. Idleness is a fin much aggravated by its continuance. A drunkard is not alwaics drunken, nor a swearer is not alwaics fwcaring, nor a thief is not alwaics Acaling ; but an idle person is almost alwaics idle : whole hours and daics, if not weeks and years together. O what i continual course of lin do Our rich and geacile drones still live in! As if they were afraid to do any thing, which whendcath cometh, they could comfortably be found doing! . 11. And Ombat a time-wafting fin i Idleness! O precious time, how art thou despised by these drowsic despisers of God and of their souls! O what would the despairing souls in Hell givc for fome of that cime which thesc Bedlems prale away, and game and play away, and triflc and fool away, and sleep and loiter away! And what would they give for a litile of it themselves, upon the same terms, when it's gonc, and when wilhing is too late!
12. Idlencís is a felf.contradiding fin : None are fo much afraid of dying as ibe idle (and I do not blame them if they knew all) and yet nonc more caft aw sy sbeir lives: They die voluntarily continually : Hc that lorech the use and benefit of life, doth lose his life is felf: For what is it good for, bue as a means to its ends ? What difference between a man asleep and dead, but only that one is morc in expectation of ulclulness when he awakech ? It is a pitriful light to a man in his wirs, to soc thc Bedlam world afraid of dying, and trembling af eve ry fign of death; and in the mean time forcing as litcle by their lives, as if they were worih no more, than to spend at cards, or dice, or stage-playcs, or drillings, or fcaftings, or ludicrous complements.
13. Tex teace your servants that life wbicb yet you will wat