lives in fuch a way, or follows fuch a Course of Life, as cannot be fuppofed to be of God's Diftribution.

The first of these Points is the Suppofition or Foundation upon which the Text proceeds.

The fecond is that which is directly intended in it.

The third is a neceffary Confequence from it.

I. God has made various Diftributions unto Mankind; or, the Distribution of Mankind into various Conditions and Functions is from God. As God hath' diftributed to every Man, Jo let him walk. It is God who hath diftributed. As he is the Parent of Mankind, fo he is the Author of that Variety of Gifts and Faculties, of Powers and Abilities, of Tempers and Fitneffes, which are to be feen among them: And alfo of all thofe feveral Ranks, Degrees, and Stations, of all those several Callings, and Functions, and Employments, which muft neceffarily arife from that Variety. All Men are not made alike, nor framed with the fame Inclinations, nor qualified for the fame Employments, nor fitted for the fame Circumstances. And as various as are the Talents and Genius's of Mankind, no lefs various is the outward Lot and Condition into which they are difpofed.


And, in truth, the Neceffities of Mankind in this World do abfolutely require all this Variety. Without this Multitude of Diftributions, and Degrees, and Callings, neither publick Societies could be maintained, nor the Good of particular Perfons in any tolerable way attained or fecured. This Truth St. Paul hath most elegantly set forth in the firft Epiftle to the Corinthians, chap. 12. where he compares the Society of Chriftians to a national Body. There he fhews, that as in the natural Body there are many Members, and all thofe Members have not the fame Dignity and Honour, nor the fame Ufe and Office, and yet every Member, even the meaneft, hath its particular Use, by which it doth real Service to the Body; nay, so useful it is, that the Body cannot be without it: So it is in every Commonwealth or Body-politick, whether Ecclefiaftical or Civil. There is a Neceffity both in the Church and in the State, that there fhould be Variety of Functions, and Degrees, and Conditions. There must be fome to govern, and fome to be governed. There must be fome more confpicuous, and fome more obfcure. Some for bodily Labour, others for Contemplation. Some whose Gifts lie this way, and others whofe Talents lie the other way. And yet there is not one of thefe, but in his Degree and Station either is, or may be, as ufeful as any who belong to the Society; fo that the 1 Cor, 12.





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Eye cannot fay to the Hand, I have no need thee; nor again, the Head to the Feet, I v. 22. have no need of you. Nay more, thofe Members of the Body which feem to be most feeble and difhonourable, are yet very necefJary.

I fpeak not this to difcourage any Man's Endeavours to advance himself and his Condition in any lawful way., No: as any Man hath Parts, or Friends, or Opportunities, he may do what he can to better his Fortunes, and may leave one Employment to follow another. But this I fay, no Man ought to be discontent with that prefent Condition that by Providence he is caft into. For if he be a good Man, it is certainly beft for him, and when it ceaseth to be fo, God will take care that he shall be put into another.

The Inferences which I make from this Point are these two following:

1. That all Men, in what Calling or Station foever they are placed, ought to be well pleased with them, fince they come from God: God hath diftributed them unto them. It is both foolish and finful for any Man to be in the leaft difpleased, that he is not in fuch defireable Circumftances as he fancies fome others about him to be. Others live cafily, and fare delicioufly, but he is forced to earn his living with the Sweat of his Brow, and that but a hard one too : This Man hath the Talents of Knowledge


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and Learning, but he hath no Abilities of that Kind. Several of his Neighbours have mighty advantageous, thriving Employments, but his is a dull and mean one. He is forced to be a Servant and live under the Command of others, whereas others can difpose of themselves and their Time as they think fit. Ifay, how unequal foever these Kinds of Dealings and Difpenfations feem to be, yet, coming from God, and being fo neceffary in the World, they ought to be very well taken by those who are in them. God had no Unkindness to me in placing me in this Station rather than another, but really dealt with me in that way which was both more fit for me, and wherein, if I be not wanting to my Truft, I may do a great deal of Service to my Generation. I was not made for a Statefman or a Magiftrate, or to be Great and Noble. In these ways I might, perhaps, have undone my felf, and done Hurt to the Publick instead of Good: But in that poor mean Lot I am placed, I am fecure, and may do as much Service to Mankind in my Way, as the greatest of them can do in theirs. Every Calling that is a lawful Calling, every Condition that comes to me by Providence, be it never fo hard, or uneafy, or contempti ble, yet is of God, and ordained for great and good Ends: And a Man ought no more to be diffatisfied with it, or take it unkindly that God has difpofed him into it, than VOL. V.




the Foot, in the natural Body, ought to be difpleafed that it is not made the Hand; or than the Hand ought to be that it is not made the Head.

2. The fecond Inference I make from this Point, is, that fince there are Varieties of Callings and Varieties of Gifts and Distributions in order to the fitting Men for these Callings, every Man in the Choice of an Employment or Way of Living for himself, or those under his Charge, ought to have great Regard to thofe natural Gifts and Diftributions which God hath bestow'd upon him or them. Every one may be ferviceable to God and his Country; but not all in every way; but fome in one way, and fome in another. Here therefore lies our great Skill and Prudence, to chufe fitly for ourfelves. And here lies the great Duty of those who have the Care of Youth, to place them in fuch Circumftances as beft agree with their natural Temper and Talents. It is a ridiculous Thing to train up him to Learning who hath an Averfion for a Book; or to put him to a Trade or an active Life, that is made for Study and Retirement. The Genius, and Difpofition, and Capacity of every one is principally to be attended to, and the Education to be fuited to them, and then a Calling to be chofen which fuits with both, and no worldly Confiderations ought to divert us from this Proceeding. It is not a juftifiable Motive to defign a


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