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gard to men in any particular station. Thereis floth in religion, as well as in common life, and the deseription in my text applies to all, without exception, who, however aca tive and induftrious in their fecular employments, neglect the one thing needful, the care of their precious and immortal souls. r.
The laborious mechanic, the busy mer: chant, the painful student, and the bustling ftatéfman, are all fuggards in a spiritual sense, unless they are active in the, love and fervice of the God that made them; and unless the advancement of his glory, and the final enjoyment of his favour, are the ends to which all their pursuits are directed.
Here we are only to sojourn for a short time. Our great Creator hath made us for higher occupations, and better joys, than the prefent world affords us. He hath formed us for the knowledge and enjoyment of himself in an eternal and unchangeable state, and hath instructed us how we may attain this glorious object of our being. And therefore, however busy a man may be for himself, however industrious for his family, however active for the public; yet if all his
views terminate in this present life, he is still a fluggard in the eye of God. For he who labours only for the meat that perifha eth, doth as fatally counteract the end of his creation, as he that fleeps on the bed of floth, or as he thar fatigues himself in purfuing the vain and fugitive pleasures of this world. — I will add, that even those who have chosen the better part, and who seek the kingdom of God and his righteoufnefs in the first place, do often" incur the 'impu tation of fluggishness, by the omission or careless performance of what God hath res quired of them. For, alas! where is the man who doth“ whatsoever his hand findech a to do” in the businefs of religion, « with &t all his might?" Where is the man who < strives," as in an agony (for fo the oric ginal word imports) * tò enter in at the « Arait gáte ?" or who " gives all diligence u to make his calling and election fure." We fee much activity in the pursuits of the world; but a very fmall portion of it, indeed; in that pursuit which most requires and deserves it. I may therefore venture to affirm, tha: there is not one in this assembly to whom my text is not addressed in one view or another. And therefore, without questioning the propriety of the description, let us go on, as was proposed,.
Secondly, To consider the counsel or advice which the wise man hath given us : “ Go to the ant, thou fluggard; confider “ her ways, and be wise : which having no “ guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her “ meat in the summer, and gathereth her “ food in the harvest.”
He directs us to a creature, indeed, of the most diminutive fize and appearance, but whose fagacity and unremitting activity strike the eye of every beholder. The ant instructeth us, not by speech, but by actions : and therefore we are called upon ss to consider her ways;" how she is employed, and for what ends she is active : not merely that we may gratify our curiofity, or even extend our knowledge of the natural world; but that we may become wiser and better. The wisdom we learn from the ant, is the wisdom of living well :
the wisdom of acting suitably to our su-
ift is, a foresight and fagacity in making
vious seasons have been passed in floth, in idleness, or in folly ; when the body languishes under poverty and wretchedness ; or when the mind, unfurnished with knowledge, and virtue, and faith, and devotion, sojourns in a crazy tabernacle, tottering to the dust? _ A
2d lesson to be learned from the conduct of the ant, is activity and diligence. The ant never intermits her labours as long as the season lafts. In fummer, when the weather is hotteft, at sultry noon as well as in the cool of the morning and of the evening, this busy creature is continually in motion, either seeking her food abroad, or disposing it in her cells at home. Nay, her labours end not with the day, but, as naturalists have observed, she often takes the benefit of the moon,, and plies her work with a surprising alacrity. Happy were it for man, that he as faithfully employed that
precious time which is given him, either to · render himself useful in this world, or to
prepare for eternity. Then would he not be seen encroaching on the day by floth,