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him by the very faculty of They do not see that their No man recognises the
and no attainments different from his own, which is given imagination they despise. The greater includes the less. inability to comprehend him argues the smaller capacity. worth of utility more than the poet: he only desires that the meaning of the term may not come short of its greatness, and exclude the noblest necessities of his fellowcreatures. He is quite as much pleased, for instance, with the facilities for rapid conveyance afforded him by the railroad, as the dullest confiner of its advantages to that single idea, or as the greatest two-idead man who varies that single idea with hugging himself on his "buttons" or his good dinner. But he sees also the beauty of the country through which he passes, of the towns, of the heavens, of the steamengine itself, thundering and fuming along like a magic horse; of the affections that are carrying, perhaps, half the passengers on their journey, nay, of those of the great two-idead man; and, beyond all this, he discerns the incalculable amount of good, and knowledge, and refinement, and mutual consideration, which this wonderful invention is fitted to circulate over the globe, perhaps to the displacement of war itself and certainly to the diffusion of millions of enjoyments.
"And a button-maker, after all, invented it!" cries our friend.
Pardon me it was a nobleman. A button-maker may be a very excellent, and a very poetical man too, and yet not have been the first man visited by a sense of the gigantic powers of the combination of water and fire. It was a nobleman who first thought of this most poetical bit of science. It was a nobleman who first thought of it-a captain who first tried it—and a button-maker who perfected it. And he who put the nobleman on such thoughts was the great philosopher, Bacon, who said that poetry had "something divine in it," and was necessary to the satisfaction of the human mind.
84.-THE INDUSTRY OF A GENTLEMAN.
[ISAAC BARROW, a great mathematician, a learned divine, a man of the most exemplary private life, was born in 1630, and died at the early age of forty-seven. It is stated that he was a negligent boy, and more than commonly addicted to fighting with his schoolfellows. His negligence was probably the result of the quickness of his capacity; at any rate it very readily gave place to the most unwearied industry: his pugnacious habits were soon transformed into an energy that enabled him to accomplish the many great things which distinguished his short life. His disinterestedness was amongst the most remarkable of his characteristics. He resigned his Lucasian professorship at Cambridge to make way for his pupil, Isaac Newton; he resigned his small living, and a prebend of Salisbury Cathedral, when he was appointed Master of Trinity College. In this position his most earnest labours were devoted to the formation of the library of that noble institution. The great object of his life -and it was an object that had the highest reward-was to benefit his fellow-creatures. Barrow's sermons furnish abundant evidence of the comprehensiveness and vigour of his mind.]
"Not slothful in business."-JAMES i. 20.
I have largely treated on the duty recommended in this precept, and urged the observance of it in general, at a distance: I now intend more particularly and closely to apply it in reference to those persons who seem more especially obliged to it, and whose observing it may prove of greatest consequence to public good; the which application may also be most suitable and profitable to this audience. Those persons are of two sorts; the one gentlemen, the other scholars.
I. The first place, as civility demandeth, we assign to gentlemen, or persons of eminent rank in the world, well allied, graced with honour, and furnished with wealth: the which sort of persons I conceive in a high degree obliged to exercise industry
This, at first hearing, may seem a little paradoxical and strange; for who have less business than gentlemen? who do need less industry than they? He that hath a fair estate, and can live on his means, what hath he to do, what labour or trouble can be exacted of him, what hath he to think on, or trouble his head with, but how to invent recreations and pastimes to divert himself, and spend his waste leisure pleasantly? Why should not he be allowed to enjoy himself, and the benefits which nature or fortune have freely dispensed to him, as he thinketh best, without offence? Why may he not say with the rich man in the gospel, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years: take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry ?" Is it not often said by the wise man, that there is "nothing better under the sun, than that a man should make his soul to enjoy good" in a cheerful and comfortable fruition of his estate? According to the passable notion and definition, "What is a gentleman but his pleasure?"
If this be true, if a gentleman be nothing else but this, then truly he is a sad piece, the most inconsiderable, the most despicable, the most pitiful and wretched creature in the world: if it is his privilege to do nothing, it is his privilege to be most unhappy; and to be so will be his fate if he will according to it; for he that is of no worth or use, who produceth no beneficial fruit, who performeth no service to God or to the world, what title can he have to happiness? What capacity thereof? What reward can he claim? What comfort can he feel? To what temptations is he exposed? What guilts will he incur?
But, in truth, it is far otherwise; to suppose that a gentleman is loose from business is a great mistake; for, indeed, no man hath more to do, no man lieth under greater engagements to industry than he.
He is deeply obliged to be continually busy in more ways than other men, who have but one simple calling or occupation allotted to them; and that on a triple account; in respect to God, to the world, and to himself.
1. He is first obliged to continual employment in respect to God.
He, out of a grateful regard to divine bounty for the eminency of his station, adorned with dignity and repute, for the plentiful accommodations and comforts of his life, for his exemption from those pinching wants, those meaner cares, those sordid entertainments, and those toilsome drudgeries, to which other men are subject, is bound to be more diligent in God's service, employing all the advantages of his state to the glory of his munificent Benefactor, to whose good providence alone he doth owe them; for "who maketh him to differ" from another? And what hath he that he did not receive from God's free bounty?
In proportion to the bulk of his fortune, his heart should be enlarged with a thankful sense of God's goodness to him; his mouth should ever be filled with acknowledgments and praise; he should always be ready to express his grateful resentment of so great and peculiar obligations.
He should dedicate larger portions of that free leisure which God hath granted to him, in waiting on God, and constant performances of devotion.
He, in frequently reflecting on the particular ample favours of God to him, should imitate the holy Psalmist, that illustrious pattern of great and fortunate men; saying after him, with his spirit and disposition of soul, "Thou hast brought me to great honour, and comforted me on every side; therefore will I praise thee and thy faithfulness, O God." "Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong:" "Thou hast set my feet in a large room :" "Thou preparest a table before me:" "Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over:" "To the end that my glory may sing praise unto thee, and not be silent:" "The Lord is the portion * Resentment is used by old writers in the sense of strong feeling in general. Its limitation feeling is a modern use of the word.
of mine inheritance, and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage;" therefore I will bless the Lord."
In conceiving such meditations, his head and his heart should constantly be employed; as also in contriving ways of declaring and discharging real gratitude; asking himself, “What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits? What shall I render to him, not only as a man, for all the gifts of nature; as a Christian, for all the blessings of grace; but as a gentleman also, for the many advantages of this my condition, beyond so many of my brethren, by special Providence indulged to me? He hath all the common duties of piety, of charity, of sobriety, to discharge with fidelity; for being a gentleman doth not exempt him from being a Christian, but rather more strictly doth engage him to be such in a higher degree than others; it is an obligation peculiarly incumbent on him, in return for God's peculiar favour, to pay God all due obedience, and to exercise himself in all good works; disobedience being a more heinous crime in him, than in others who have not such encouragements to serve God.
His obedience may be inculcated by those arguments which Joshua and Samuel did use in pressing it on the Israelites: "Only," said Samuel, "fear the Lord, and serve him in truth: for consider how great things God hath done for you.” And, "I have given you," saith God by Joshua, "a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not; and ye dwell in them: of the vineyards and olive-yards which ye planted not, do ye eat. Now, therefore, fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth."
His disobedience may be aggravated, as Nehemiah did that of the Israclites: "They took strong cities and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance; so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat; and delighted themselves in thy great goodness: nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs." "They have not served thee in their kingdom, and in thy great goodness, which thou gavest them; neither turned they from their wicked works."
He particularly is God's steward, intrusted with God's substance for the sustenance and supply of God's family; to relieve his fellow-servants in their need, on seasonable occasions, by hospitality, mercy, and charitable beneficence; according to that intimation of our Lord, "Who is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler of his household, to give them their portion and meat in due season?" And according to those apostolical precepts, "As every one hath received a gift (or special favour), even to minister the same to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God:" and "Charge the rich in this world, that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate." And he that is obliged to purvey for so many, and so to abound in good works, how can he want business? How can he pretend to a writ of ease? Surely that gentleman is very blind, and very barren of invention, who is to seek for work fit for him, or cannot easily discern many employments belonging to him, of great concern and consequence.
It is easy to prompt and show him many businesses, indispensably belonging to him, as such.
It is his business to administer relief to his poor neighbours, in their want and distresses, by his wealth. It is his business to direct and advise the ignorant, to comfort the afflicted, to reclaim the wicked, and encourage the good, by his wisdom. It is his business to protect the weak, to rescue the oppressed, to ease those who groan under heavy burdens, by his power; to be such a gentleman and so employed
as Job was; who, "did not eat his morsel alone, so that the fatherless did not eat thereof;" who "did not withhold the poor from their desire, or cause the eyes of the widow to fail;" who "did not see any perish for want of clothing, or any poor without covering;" who "delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him."
It is his business to be hospitable; kind and helpful to strangers; following those noble gentlemen, Abraham and Lot, who were so ready to invite and entertain strangers with bountiful courtesy.
It is his business to maintain peace, and appease dissensions among his neighbours, interposing his counsel and authority in order thereto : whereto he hath that brave gentleman, Moses, recommended for his pattern.
It is his business to promote the welfare and prosperity of his country with his best endeavours, and by all his interest; in which practice the Sacred History doth propound divers gallant gentlemen (Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Nehemiah, Daniel, Mordecai, and all such renowned patriots) to guide him.
It is his business to govern his family well; to educate his children in piety and virtue; to keep his servants in good order.
It is his business to look to his estate, and to keep it from wasting; that he may sustain the repute of his person and quality with decency; that he may be furnished with ability to do good, may provide well for his family, may be hospitable, may have wherewith to help his brethren; for if, according to St. Paul's injunction, a man should "work with his own hands, that he may have somewhat to impart to him that needeth;" then must he that hath an estate be careful to preserve it, for the same good purpose.
It is his business to cultivate his mind with knowledge, with generous dispositions, with all worthy accomplishments befitting his condition, and qualifying him. for honourable action; so that he may excel, and bear himself above the vulgar level, no less in real inward worth, than in exterior garb; that he be not a gentleman merely in name or show.
It is his business (and that no slight or easy business) to eschew the vices, to check the passions, to withstand the temptations, to which his condition is liable; taking heed that his wealth, honour, and power do not betray him unto pride, insolence, or contempt of his poorer brethren; unto injustice or oppression; unto luxury and riotous excess; unto sloth, stupidity, forgetfulness of God, and irreligious profaneness.
It is a business especially incumbent on him to be careful of his ways, that they may have good influence on others, who are apt to look on him as their guide and pattern.
He should labour and study to be a leader unto virtue, and a notable promoter thereof; directing and exciting men thereto by his exemplary conversation; encouraging them by his countenance and authority; rewarding the goodness of meaner people by his bounty and favour; he should be such a gentleman as Noah, who preached righteousness by his words and works before a profane world.
Such particular affairs hath every person of quality, credit, wealth, and interest, allotted to him by God, and laid on him as duties; the which to discharge faithfully will enough employ a man, and doth require industry, much care, much pains; excluding sloth and negligence: so that it is impossible for a sluggard to be a worthy gentleman, virtuously disposed, a charitable neighbour, a good patriot, a good husband of his estate; anything of that, to which God, by setting him in such a station, doth call him.
Thus is a gentleman obliged to industry in respect of God, who justly doth exact those labours of piety, charity, and all virtue from him. Farther,
2. He hath also obligations to mankind, demanding industry from him, on accounts of common humanity, equity, and ingenuity; for,
How can he fairly subsist on the common industry of mankind, without bearing a share thereof? How can he well satisfy himself to dwell statelily, to feed daintily, to be finely clad, to maintain a pompous retinue, merely on the sweat and toil of others, without himself rendering a compensation, or making some competent returns of care and pain redounding to the good of his neighbour?
How can he justly claim or reasonably expect from the world the respect agreeable to his rank, if he doth not by worthy performances conduce to the benefit of it? Can men be obliged to regard those from whom they receive no good?
If no gentleman be tied to serve the public, or to yield help in sustaining the common burdens, and supplying the needs of mankind, then is the whole order merely a burden, and an offence to the world; a race of drones, a pack of ciphers in the commonwealth, standing for nothing, deserving no consideration or regard: and if any are bound, then all are; for why should the whole burden lie on some, while others are exempted?
It is indeed supposed that all are bound thereto, seeing that all have recompenses publicly allowed to them on such considerations; divers respects and privileges peculiar to the order, grounded on supposition, that they deserve such advantages by conferring notable benefit on the public, the which indeed it were an arrogance to seek and an iniquity to accept for doing nothing.
It is an insufferable pride for any man to pretend or conceit himself to differ so much from his brethren, that he may be allowed to live in ease and sloth, while the rest of mankind are subject to continual toil and trouble. Moreover,
3. A gentleman is bound to be industrious for his own sake; it is a duty which he oweth to himself, to his honour, to his interest, to his welfare. He cannot without industry continue like himself, or maintain the honour and repute becoming his quality and state, or secure himself from contempt and disgrace; for to be honourable and slothful are things inconsistent, seeing honour does not grow, nor can subsist without undertaking worthy designs, constantly pursuing them, and happily achieving them; it is the fruit and reward of such actions which are not performed with ease.
External respect and a semblance of honour, for the sake of public order, may be due to an exterior rank or title: but to pay this, is not to honour the person, but his title; because it is supposed that men of real worth and use do bear it; or lest, by refusing it to one, the whole order may seem disrespected; but yet true honour or mental esteem is not due on such accounts; nor is it possible to render it unto any person who doth not by worthy qualities and good deeds appear to merit it.
Nor can a gentleman without industry uphold his real interests against the attempts of envy, of treachery, of flattery, of sycophantry, of avarice, to which his condition is obnoxious: to preserve his wealth and estate, which are the supports of his quality, he must endure care and pains; otherwise he will by greedy harpies and crafty lurchers be rifled or cozened of his substance; it will of itself go to wreck, and be embezzled by negligence.
He cannot without industry guard his personal welfare from manifold inconveniences, molestations, and mischiefs; idleness itself will be very troublesome and irksome to him. His time will lie on his hands as a pestering incumbrance. His mind will be infested with various distractions and distempers; vain and sad thoughts, foul lusts, and unquiet passions will spring up therein as weeds in a neglected soil. His body will languish and become destitute of health, of vigour, of activity, for want of due exercise. All the mischiefs which naturally do spring from sloth and stupidity will seize on him.