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Industry is truly the fervant's intereft, as well as the master's; for fuch as have ferved with industry and diligence, are secure of better credit and more fuccefs in their after-life. This ap→ plication of mind and body, which they have long exercised, will not forfake them, but be raifed by the confideration that the fruits will be gathered by themselves at the last. The means of thriving and fucceeding in business, is not only to wish and defire, but to be industrious in it; for the defire of thriving can only put us upon industry and labour, the means neceffary to that end; but they may know this, without obtaining it: whereas the men that are induftrious want not the defire, and find they are already in the right way of fucceed+ ing.
By this we may account, why many fervants, when they become mafters, fucceed ill, notwithstanding their defires of thriving; because they have not industry, and cannot take those pains, that are truly neceffary in their station. Skill and good husbandry will not do without great industry in our feveral ways, which will not come, when called for, but must be laid up before by ufe; and experience teaches, that the better fervants are to their masters, the better they will fucceed when they manage their own affairs: and these qualifications are attained by ufe; when the mind is fufceptible of impreffions, and pliable, and the limbs will bend to their work; this is the time of making industry and labour easy to And all the care they take, and the pains they are at, is truly their own at the laft; all the fkill and understanding they get is a treasure for themselves, laid up till they have the greateft need.
It is both deceitful and unjust of a fervant, who is remifs in his master's concerns, whether his master is deceived, believing his business well done; or knowing it not done, when he might reafonably expect and require it: because servants are to be as good husbands for their mafters, as they can with innocence and juftice to their neighbour. The intention of all masters in entertaining fervants, is to affift them in their affairs; they cannot do all things themselves, therefore they truft others to do what is wanting: they cannot always be at home or abroad, where their business may
require attendance; therefore they entertain others, to fupply thofe defects. Which ends are not answered, where industry, faithfulness, and honesty, are wanting on the fervant's part. The absence of the mafter is not supplied, where the fervant does not act, as the mafter would, if he were present; and the master stays at home to his lofs, if his fervant abroad be falfe in any shape.
In like manner, no fervant is to be unjust in behalf of his mafter, nor to impose upon the ignorance or want of skill of those he deals with; he must no more recommend himself to his master's favour by over-reaching others, than he must be unfaithful to those he ferves. His duty is to be as useful as he can, not dishonest. And it is the master's duty to discountenance fuch proceedings in the fervant, as he would be afhamed of himself; becaufe fuch a toleration would encourage injuftice in another, and make it his own act and deed in the fight of God. The fervant's duty is to do all the good he can, and therefore no mischief at all. Therefore, all waste and unneceffary profufion is so much damage to the master, and confequently to be avoided; because it is fo much injury done to those who should be profited by their fervice. They must then, in the absence of their mafters, behave as carefully, frugally, and induftrioufly, as they would in their prefence; for, to be frugal and industrious in their master's fight, and in abfence to be profufe, and idle, is not only eye-fervice and hypocrify, but falfhood and dishonesty; and doing their mafters mischief, while they believe they are well affifted.
I wish servants were as much aware of this as they should. Many think it well if they do not directly defraud their mafters of their money, or fubftance; whereas there is little difference betwixt a profufe wafte of their master's goods or time, and defrauding them of fome thing feloniously. Do not their mafters pay for their profufion? Which if it be unreasonable, does not want much of robbery. It may be some fordid spirits will not make fuch allowance to fervants as is reasonable; if so, it is better to forfake fuch service, than act against their master's command: for, their ill treatment is no excuse for waste and profufion.
But of all thefts, the worst is breach of trust. From violence and fraud men guard with their weapons and wits; but neither of these fort of robbers have engaged to ferve you faithfully, or to do you no injury, and therefore you depend not on them; if they steal from you they are violent and unjust, but not falfe and treacherous: whereas fervants, having given their faith to be just and honeft, are trufted by masters; and therefore, all their thefts are alfo treacherous, aggravated by the truft that is reposed in them by those they serve. Their villany is greater than that of others, who though they steal more, have not bound themselves as fervants do, to be honest, and to fecure their masters to the best of their abilities from others, and are the more confided in on that account: and this is the reason of the law which makes it treason for a fervant to kill his master during his fervitude.
Nothing is fo neceffary to a fervant, as the reputation of being just and honeft; nothing is more certain to undo them than a bad fame, and the fufpicion of falfe dealing with their masters: and therefore, they should be honeft for their own interest: so when a fervant steals, he undermines the ground he stands upon; he thinks he is only taking fomething from his master, whilst he is taking away from himself the means of his own fubfiftence. They have nothing to depend upon but the hopes of lying concealed, and that their thefts will never be discovered; which hopes are yet so often difappointed, that very few, who have for any time been guilty of this practice, do escape being found out, which ruins their character; whereas, the reputation of fervants is fo valuable, that many masters will not charge them downright with that fin, who yet are well enough affured that they are guilty: others have I cause to suspect, but for prudential reasons will not accuse: and others fee it, but would not irritate too far, and make their fervants defperate by the publication; hoping that they will reform.
VI. Therefore, fervants are deceived if they think that all are ignorant, who are filent; and that they are un- A caution fufpected; because not charged with dishonesty. for fervants. This is the rule that hired fervants may measure their safety by; but indulgence and forbearance would not e
be difcreetly used by mafters with refpect to them, who are fo moveable and fugitive, as to be always wandering from place to place; who ought not to be borne with for a moment in their wicked devices; but they are proper enough with refpect to fervants of a better rank, who are tied by covenants for a term of time.
It may be these reasons may not be received; let How deter- fuch fervants confider that whether this discovery red from in- be made to men or no, they are open to the eye of God; and their conscience will be always burdened by their falfe practices, because the torment of guilt arises from a man's own confcience, and the fear of punishment from God's being witness, as he is to be the avenger of our fecret crimes. The fruits of injuftice may gratify fome vain longing for the present; but when that is over, the mind is immediately difquieted at what is paft; afraid of fhame and difcovery, and knows that fact must be repented of, before it can be pardoned: which is much more uneafy than the denial of those defires could have been. When the mind is burthened with the remembrance of guilt, and lives under reproaches of conscience, for defrauding one who deferved no fuch ufage, we must be under greater trouble than we poffibly should, had we wanted that fatisfaction which was purchased by thofe villanies. A false fervant drives a fad bargain, when for fo little profit, he gives away the peace and quiet of his foul. As other good performances do, fo good fervice repays itself in a great measure; it carries it's reward with it; raifes them above their fortune, and gives them reputation, that makes amends for the meannefs of their ftation. Servants, by faithfulness and honefty, gain more credit, than by industry and labour; because people expect a bleffing should attend them; they think that God is interested in their favour and behalf.
It is true, the state of fervitude is accounted the meanest and the most miferable of all others; but yet it is to be made easy: fervants have more of the labours of life, but they have lefs of the cares; their bodies are more fatigued and exercised, but their minds are lefs perplexed. They are only concerned in one matter, to do what
lies before them, whilft others have a world of things to cumber their minds. Their whole care is to their mafters; whereas, it may be, their masters must court and humour all they deal with. They generally have themselves alone to provide for; their masters have wives, children, and relations: fcarcity or dearness affects them not; if publick mischiefs oppress a nation, they feel little of them, tho' even the government should be changed. Their contribution to the support of the publick is very trifling; they pay no taxes, lofe no gainful employments, fuffer not by the malice, or infolence of parties, undergo no calumny or flander, they are less distressed, suffer lefs hardships than those who live in a higher station.
VII. The state of fervitude is neceffary by the appointment of the wife Creator: the world cannot be governed and maintained without it; and it is their lot to be inftrumental to the publick good in that ftate of life. This is no token of God's difpleasure: for he is willing they should amend that fortune by industry and care; and bleffes them with abilities and natural faculties to furmount their condition. I fay, this is no fign of his displeasure, that they are born or become fervants; for, he in no wife forbids them to use honeft means Not thro' his difpleato make themselves free as foon as they can; only fure, he commands them to behave as becomes their condition, with fubmiffion and humility, with obedience, diligence, and industry, with truth and justice, faithfulness and honesty; which will make their condition easy, and cause them to be well served by others, when they by fuch means arrive to a higher station.
It is not poffible for all men to be great or poffeffed of places: all men cannot be rich; governors and mafters, or great traders, or remarkable in any faculty: but all But by his men may be honest, virtuous, and religious; all
men may live in God's favour in this world, and be happy in the other: all men cannot have houses or lands, eftates and honours, but all may have their everlasting dwellings, houses not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Therefore it is a comfortable confideration for fervants, that however defpicable their condition appears in the fight of men; that in Q3 God's
Servitude is of God's appointment.