Growth and Experience
1. WHAT general command has God given concerning labor?
days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work." Ex. 20:9.
2. Instead of
living upon the earnings of others, what instruction is given?
"Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working
with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him
that needeth." Eph.4:28.
3. What general rule does Paul lay down upon this subject?
when we were with you, this we commanded you,
that if any would not work, neither should he eat." 2 Thess. 3:10.
4. In what language does he condemn idleness?
"For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly,
working not at all, but are busybodies. Now them that are such we
command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they
work, and eat their own bread." Verses 11,12.
5. What example did the apostle himself set in this matter?
we eat any man's bread for naught; but wrought
with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable
to any of you." Verse 8.
6. What labor was appointed man in consequence of the fall?
sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return
unto the ground." Gen. 3:19.
NOTE.-A life of laborious and perpetual
toil, in a world cursed with weeds, thorns, and thistles, was appointed
to man in consequence of the entrance of sin. This was a part of the
curse. And yet even this was appointed in love, and, under existing
circumstances, is a blessing in disguise. It was a discipline rendered necessary because of
sin, to place a check upon the indulgence of
appetite and passion, to develop habits of industry and self-control,
and to teach lessons on overcoming evil. Were not man called to
labor thus, his sins and miseries would be multiplied many fold.
7. What are some of the results of industry?
"He that tilleth his land
shall have plenty of bread." Prov. 28:19. "The hand of the diligent
maketh rich." Prov. 10:4. "The soul of the diligent shall be
fat." Prov. 13:4.
8. What results from slackness and indolence in business?
poor that dealeth with a slack hand." Prov.
10:4. "The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing." Prov. 13:4.
9. What does Solomon say concerning diligence in business?
thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might."
Eccl. 9:10. "Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and
look well to thy herds." Prov. 27:23. "He that gathereth in summer is
a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth
shame." Prov. 10:5.
NOTE.-"The way to wealth, if you desire it, is as plain as the way to market. It depends chiefly on two words- industry and frugality; that
is, waste neither time nor money, but make the best of both.
Without industry and frugality nothing will do; and with them everything."-
10. What does Solomon say of the industrious woman?
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the
bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her
husband also, and he praiseth her." Prov. 31:27,28.
11. What has Paul said of the professed Christian who does not provide
for his own family?
"But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own
house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." 1 Tim.
12. What picture has Solomon given of the slothful man?
"I went by the
field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of
the man void of understanding; and, lo, it was all grown over
with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone
wall thereof was broken down." Prov. 24:30,31.
NOTES.-"An indolent man draweth his breath, but does not live."-
"The parent who does not teach his child a trade, teaches him to be a
thief."- Brahmanic Proverb.
"When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers therefore are the
founders of human civilization."- Daniel Webster .
"If a man be indolent, the best discipline to which he can be subjected
is to suffer the evils of penury."-
"Nothing can be done with a man who will not work. We have in our scheme
of government no room for the man who does not wish to pay his way
through life by what he does. . . . Capacity for work is absolutely
necessary, and no man can be said to live in the true sense of the word
if he does not work."-
"Luck is waiting for something to turn up. Labor, with keen eyes and
strong will, will turn up something. Luck whines. Labor whistles. Luck
relies on chances. Labor, on character. Luck slips down to indigence.
Labor strides upward to independence. Luck lies in bed, and wishes the
postman would bring him news of a legacy. Labor turns out at six
o'clock, and with busy pen or ringing hammer lays the foundation of a
13. In spiritual matters, what is also necessary?
"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and
to virtue knowledge. . . . Give diligence to make your calling and election
sure." 2 Peter 1:5-10.
NOTE.-In temporal matters the difference between a prosperous
man and a sluggard lies principally in the improvement of opportunities.
One grasps these, while the other is too indolent to do so. In the
gaining of eternal life this same principle applies. God has placed
salvation within the reach of all. None need be lost. Christ died for
all, but all will not be saved, for some do not care enough for eternal
life diligently to lay hold of it.
NEAT be your farm; 'tis long confessed
The neatest farmer is the best;
Each bog and marsh industrious drain,
Nor let vile balks deform the
Nor bushes on your headland grow,
Nor briers a sloven culture
Neat be your barns, your houses sweet;
Your paths be clean, your dooryards neat;
No moss the sheltering roof
No wooden panes the windows cloud;
No sink drains should above ground flow,
Nor weeds with rankling poison
But flowers expand, and fruit-trees bloom,
And fragrant shrubs exhale perfume.
Neatly enclose your garden round;
Smooth, enrich, and clear the ground;
For if to taste and profit you
Beauty and use you always should combine.
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