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ment, which may prepare the labourer for the most cheerful and delighted attention to his work.

But, on the other hand, if there are thus servants who think too little of their task, and who either, under the influence of this spirit, altogether neglect its duties, or discharge them in a slothful and careless manner, so there are others who imagine themselves to occupy a far more important and infuential place in the vineyard, than they actually fill-and who, under the influence of this feeling, are constantly aiming at the production of results beyond their sphere, and which the wise ordinations of the Master alone can bring to their accomplishment.-Such persons are like those workmen who leave their appointed place, because they presumptuously fancy that they know better than their Master what will be for the good of his vineyard, or because they at least think that they can better further his schemes by aiming at general results, than by a zealous occupancy of the sphere in which they have been appointed to labour.— And this, at certain times, and in the case of certain descriptions of persons, is an error not less observable, or detrimental to the forwarding of the entire scheme, than the negligence or faint-heartedness to which we have previously alluded.—For how common is it to see persons who have become aware

how much good they may do as servants of the Master, and how much they are bound to use all their zeal in his service, yet mistaking the manner in which this good can be best done by them and instead of seeking to keep their own hearts and homes in a more excellent style, busying themselves rather with the interests of all who are around them and never satisfied that they are in their proper place, so long as any object of great and general moment is in the view of their minds ? Such persons are represented by those presumptuous workmen who love rather to oversee the entire plan of the vineyard, than to do well their own part in it—and the result of their presumption universally is, that they become at once dissatisfied and “unprofitable servants.”

Some even carry this presumption and error to a more extravagant length—and, overlooking all present interests, as not worthy of their regard, are only satisfied when they are busied in anticipating the invisible things which are yet to be revealedor amusing themselves with conjectures as to the final results which the great Master intends to bring forth—but which are altogether beyond the anticipation of men—and known only to him to whom all things are open, from the beginning un

have been common

to the end-and throughout all the connections of things temporal with things heavenly and eternal.

The sum of the whole is—that there are two opposite errors which prevail among mankind, and influence the conduct of different sets of persons, respecting the actual duty assigned them in lifeand the mode in which they can best co-operate with the purposes of the Master of the household.

On the one hand, the great multitude of mankind—and especially in times of quiet and orderof their places and to believe, that whatever may be their assiduity, they are not in a condition, by the very place which Providence has assigned them, to give any effectual advancement to his purposes-and under this fallacy, they have at all times been apt to become remiss in their exertions--or at least to address themselves to their toils with no animating sense of the good which they may accomplish -and of the beauty and productiveness which, by a due occupancy of their place, they may add to the entire scheme which Divine Wisdom is conducting.

On the other hand, there have always been persons, who have formed extravagant notions of the good which they are in a condition to effect—and who, equally with the former, become unprofit

able servants, not because they want animation for their toils, but because they go out of their place, and spend all their zeal, rather in vague conjectures as to the good that might be achieved, than in a hearty application to the precise work which, for the production of the joint result, they have been appointed to perform.

But, in opposition to both of these kinds of persons, the true and useful labourer is, the person who knows the place which the Master has assigned him—who devotes himself with all his assiduity to its duties--and who, at the same time, instead of being satisfied with a mere perfunctory or slavish fulfilment of his task, is anxious that it may be done in the most excellent style, and who, for this purpose, calls habitually all the best sentiments and feelings of his nature into exercise, in the fulfilment of his work.





“ A being darkly wise.".

It may perhaps strike some persons, that, however distinctly or pleasingly the preceding observations point out the duty which men have to perform, considered merely as a multitude of unconnected individuals, they do not, however, appear at first sight, so satisfactorily applicable to the part assigned them, as members of a social and political community—who are bound together by a common tie, and who have it as their duty, consequently, not merely to regard their private and separate welfare, but the general interests of the entire association which they constitute.

But that, even in this view, the preceding remarks are applicable and satisfactory in the high

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