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1. WHAT general command has God given concerning labor?
"Six 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."
3. What general rule does Paul lay down upon this subject?
"For even 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."
5. What example did the apostle himself set in this matter?
"Neither did 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?
"In the 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 manyfold.
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 made fat." Prov. 13:4.
8. What results from slackness and indolence in business?
"He becometh 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?
"Whatsoever 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."- Benjamin Franklin.
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
"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. 5:8.
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."- Cicero.
"The parent who does not teach his child a trade, teaches him to be a thief."- Brahmanic
"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."- Wayland.
"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."- Theodore Roosevelt.
"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 competence."- Cobden.
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
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