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Life in Earnest.

Life in Earnest.

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Published by glennpease



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Published by: glennpease on Aug 16, 2013
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LIFE I EAREST.LECTURES O CHRISTIA ACTIVITY AD ARDOR.BY REV. JAMES HAMILTO.LECTURE I.IDUSTRY.'ot slothful in business." — Romans xii. 11,Two things are very certain — that wehave all got a work to do, and are all, moreor less, indisposed to do it : in other words,every man has a calling, and most men havea greater or less amount of indolence, whichdisinclines them for the work of that calling.Many men would have liked the gospel allthe better, if it had entirely repealed thesentence, " In the sweat of thy brow shaltthou eat thy bread ;" had it proclaimed afinal emancipation from industry, and turn-23 LIFE I EAREST.ed our world into a merry playground orluxurious dormitory. But this is not whatthe gospel does. It does not abolish la-bor ; it gives it a new and a nobler aspect.The gospel abolishes labor much in thesame way as it abolishes death : it leavesthe thing, but changes its nature. Thegospel sweetens the believer's work : itgives him new motives for performing it.The gospel dignifies toil ; it transforms it
from the drudgery of the workhouse or thepenitentiary to the affectionate offices and joyful services of the fireside and the fam-ily circle. It asks us to do for the sakeof Christ many things which we were oncecompelled to bear as a portion of the curse,and which worldly men perform for selfishand secondary reasons. "Whatsoever yedo in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. Wives, submit yourselvesunto your own husbands, as it is fit in theLord. Children, obey your parents in allthings, for this is well-pleasing unto theLord. Servants, obey in all things yourIDUSTRY. 23masters according to the flesh, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singlenessof heart, fearing God ; and whatsoever yedo, do it heartily as to the Lord and notunto men, knowing that of the Lord yeshall receive the reward of the inheritance,for ye serve the Lord Christ." The gos-pel has not superseded diligence. " Studyto be quiet and to do your own business,and to work with your own hands, as wecommanded you. If any man will not work,neither let him eat." It is mentioned asalmost the climax of sin — " And withalthey learn to be idle, wandering about fromhouse to house ; and not only idle, but tat-tlers also, and busy-bodies, speaking thingsw^iich they ought not ;" as, on the otherhand, the healthy and right-conditionedstate of a soul is — " ot slothful in busi-ness, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
L This precept is violated by those whohave no business at all. By the bounty of God's providence, some are in such a situ-ation, that they do noT, nfT-c o toil for a24 LIFE I EAREST.subsistence ; they go to bed when tneyplease, and get up when they can sleep nolonger, and they do whh themselves what-ever they like ; and though we dare not saythat theirs is the happiest life, it certainly isthe easiest. But it will neither be a lawfullife nor a happy one, unless it have somework in hand, some end in view. Thoseof you who are familiar wuth the shore, mayhave seen attached to the inundated reef acreature — whether a plant or animal youcould scarcely tell — rooted to the rock as aplant might be, and twirhng its long ten-tacula as an animal would do. This plant-animal's life is somewhat monotonous, forit has nothing to do but grow and twirl itsfeelers, float in the tide, or fold itself up onits foot-stalk when that tide has receded, formonths and years together. ow, would itnot be very dismal to be transformed into azoophyte ? Would it not be an awful pun-ishment, wuth your human soul still in you,to be anchored to a rock, able to do nothingbut spin about your arms or fold them upIDUSTRY. 23again, and knowing no variety, except whenthe receding ocean left you in the dayhght,

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