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the Union of a Body; and without fuch Union there could not be that mutual Relation, that reciprocal Neceffity and Usefulness, that equal Value and Regard, which now there is, from every one to every other Christian. For every other Chriftian is to be confidered, as a part of and Fellow-member with, himfelf, feparated from whom, it is impoffible for the Body to fubfift, in that Capacity.

What then is the Refult of all this, but that, fince All cannot have the fame Place, nor execute the fame Office in the Church and the World; Each should rest fatisfied with the Difpofal of his wife Head, and chearfully take up with that ufe he is framed for? That the Eye fhould be content with Seeing, and the Ear with Hearing; The Hand with Working, and the Foot with Walking; The Unlearned with receiving Inftruction, and the Learned with the Labour of giving it; The Inferiors with Obedience, and the Poor with Induftry; The Lawyer with the Bar; the Divine with his Ministry; the Tradefman with his Shop, and the Husbandman with his Tillage. For, when these go out of their own Way, and Invade the Bufinefs proper to each other; the Union of the Body is broken, and nothing but Disorder and Mischief can poffibly come of it. This pragmatical and envious Spirit, this Ambition and Emulation, is, in truth, the Cause of all that Confufion, which either the Church, or the State, is at any time endanger'd by. And therefore S. Paul hath wifely joined thofe two Exhortations together, that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business. This is what he preffes here; that we would confider our own Gifts, and the Characters we are appointed to, that we would keep to, and contain our felves within, the Bounds thefe have fet us. That we would not take upon us to be wifer, than He that made us, and posted us in this Rank; but, as we are elsewhere dire

1 Theff. v. 12.


I Cor. vii. 17.

&ted, As God bath diftributed to every man, as the Lord hath called every one, fo let him walk, and therein abide with God. One thing however I must interpofe, for the better understanding of that Text last mentioned. It is, that neither muft the Apostle, by commanding Men to abide in their refpective Callings, nor would I, by urging the Duty of Contentedness, as I do, be understood to condemn all Change of a Man's Poft or Employment, as unlawful. Far otherwife. Eor fuch Change, in Some Cafes, may be useful and advifeable, and in Others even abfolutely neceffary. If therefore the Providence of God call us away to another Station, Obedience to that Call is no Argument of our former Difcontent. And this the Providence of God may be fairly supposed to do, as oft as Neceffity forces, or Authority commands, or manifeft Advantage to the Publick perfuades, or many lawful and weighty Circumstances, (fit to balance a difcreet and confcientious Man,) concur to reprefent fuch an Alteration, not only lawful, but highly to be chofen, and commended. But, where Levity and Littleness of Spirit, Ambition, or Greedinefs of Gain, Envy at others, or Uneafinefs with one's own private Condition, are at the bottom of fuch a Change, and the true Motives inducing it; there, to be fure, the Man is blameable, and the Duty of his Membership violated and forgotten. For, where all cannot have a Place high and honourable, eminent and publick, none should fcorn thofe of a lower and laborious Degree; but do his Business gladly there while in it, as well as gladly embrace Eafe and Promotion, when Opportunities offer for them. S. Paul hath left us clear

1 Cor. vii. 21.

enough in this Cafe, Art thou called being a Servant? care not for it: i. e. Let not that trouble thee, perform thy Part honeftly and contentedly. But if thou may't be made free, use it rather. Yet ftill use it with this Temper and Remembrance, that, though


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Liberty be a more commodious, yet Service was as truly a Chriftian State; and thou shalt be esteemed and rewarded, according to thy Care of that Trust and FunЄtion, in which thy prefent Situation in the Body hath engaged thee. And this leads me to the

2. Second Duty inftanced in, Diligence in our partlcular Place and Calling. This is what the Apostle would have us understand, by walking in, by being faithful to, and in the Scripture now before us, by waiting on, our refpective Offices, by not being flothful in bufi-11. nefs, but fervent in fpirit, ferving the Lord. This is the Inference, drawn from every Man's having received fome proper Gift. For, as he argues elsewhere, the manifeftation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. This is the Design of our Bleffed Matt. xxv. Saviour, in his Parable of the Talents: Where the reward of each Servant is proportioned to his Improvements, and He, who hid his Talent in a Napkin, is condemned to utter darkness, for being flothful and unprofitable. This is the plain Confequence of our Fellow-membership in one Body; By referring us to Nature, which, in so vaft a variety of Parts, hath not formed any One merely for Shew, but all for Use: And all too, for fuch uses, as do contribute, not only to their own single Benefit, (considered abstractedly. and either in oppofition to, or apart from the rest) but, fome way or other, to the Common Good of the Whole. Whatever fails in this Point, is not a part, but an Excrefcence, and a Burden; a Wen that loads, or a Canker, that gnaws and eats away the Body. The Effect of which is not Beauty, or Health, or Strength, but a Deformity and a Nuifance, a Weakness and Dif


Thus alfo the Body of Christ, he tells us,
is increafed and edified, by that which every;


I Cor. vii. 17.

iv. 2.

Rom. xii. 7,

1 Cor. xii. 7.

Ephef. iv. 16.


joint fupplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part. No Man performs the Duty of a Chriftian, who fits with his Arms a-crofs, and hath nothing to fhew, for the Time and the Abilities afforded him. The difference of Degrees, and Fortunes in the World, do indeed allow, nay they require, different forts of Employments: But no Man's Life, in any the moft exalted or plentiful Condition, was ever intended to be idle, and wholly unemployed. To eat, and drink, and fleep, and purely to amufe and recreate our felves, are Refreshments, defigned to recruit our Spirits, and fit us for new Business; but are not themselves, nor can they be, the proper Business of any Man living. And, as in our natural Compofition, there never is, or can be, one moment's entire Reft; fo in our Spiritual and Politick one, the lying ftill of any Member is at once a Mischief to it self, and to all about it. And therefore, whatever is, or may be reasonably, expected from us; Whatever are the Duties, which our Education, and Endowments, and manner of Life, have fitted us for, or confined us to; The industrious discharge of Thefe is a Service done to God, An Obedience due to our Common Head, A Care owing to our Selves, and to those that have immediate Dependence upon us, An inftance not meerly of Charity, but even of ftrict Juftice to our Brethren; Who, being One with us, have a right to demand, and are defrauded and really injured, when they do not actually reap, fome Advantage from us.

These Reflections may fuffice, I hope, to make us fenfible, both, that we ought to be employed, and after what manner it becomes us to be fo. To fay, we muft not live like Drones, upon fpoil and prey, and fucking out the fruit of other Men's Sweat and Strength, is to fay no more, than this Apostle did, when directing the Theffalonians, that if any wonld not work, neither should be eat. And

2 Theff. iii.

I cannot forbear remarking by the by, that St. Paul, when calling fuch, diforderly walkers, and bufie-bodies, points at Qualities, that are certain Companions of Idlenefs. For the Mind cannot be abfolutely out of Employment. Vice, and diffolute Principles, tread close upon the heels of Sloth: And, as from not doing good we quickly flide into doing ill; So from not having fome bufinefs of our own to entertain us, we naturally fall into that which no way concerns us; To prying, and meddling, and tattling, and cenfuring, and flandering, and mischief-making. So certain is it, that, even in our Personal Capacity, Business is a good Refuge, and faves us out of harms way. So evident, that in our Publick, it is unavoidably neceffary, because there is no middle State, between helping Society, and hurting it. And the phlegmatick fluggish parts, which add nothing to the Beauty and Strength, are no better than the Excrement and Filth firft, and then the Sores and Scabs, of this Body.

To fay, that no Man ought to fuftain himself by vicious Practices, by Lewdnefs, or Fraud, or Oppreffion, or Discord, or any thing that is of ill Fame, or pernicious Confequence, is no more, than Civil Communities generally agree in. And fome States have had the Wisdom to provide against these, by calling all Perfons, liable to fupicion, ftrictly to account for the Methods, by which They, and their Families were fupported.

But the Laws of the Chriftian Society fay a great deal more. They forbid us to do ill; They forbid us to do nothing; They forbid us to be bufie about that which in effect is nothing; To fquander away our Time in Impertinences; To take pains, that are not like to turn to any account. They enjoin us to make a juft Estimate of our Gifts; To remember the Author, the Dignity, the End of them, and not to trifle away Means and Opportunities, fitted for pro-, ducing

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