Cotton Mather A Christian At His Calling (1701) Every Christian ordinarily should have a calling. That
is to say, there should be some special business, and some settled business,
wherein a Christian should for the most part spend the most of his time;
and this, that so he may glorify God...
There is a variety of callings in the world; even as there
are various objects, about which the callings of men are conversant, and
various designs unto which the callings of men are intended. Some callings,
are more immediately, to serve the souls of our neighbors; and some their
safety and some their defense; and some their bodies; and some their estates;
and some their delights. But it is not lawful for a Christian ordinarily
to live without some calling or another, until infirmities have unhappily
disabled him. Indeed a man cannot live without the help of other men. But
how can a man reasonably look for the help of other men, if he be not in
some calling helpful to other men?...
A Christian should have it contrived, that his calling
be agreeable, as well as allowable. It is a wonderful inconvenience for
a man to have a calling that wonít agree with him. See to it, O parents,
that when you choose callings for your children, you wisely consult their
capacities, and their inclinations; lest you ruin them...
It is the singular favor of God, unto a man, that he can
attend his occupation with contentment and satisfaction. That one man has
a spirit formed and fitted for one occupation, and another man for another,
this is from the operation that God, who forms the spirit of man within
him... Count not your business to be your burden or your blemish. Let not
a proud heart make you ashamed of that business wherein you may be a blessing.
For my part, I canít see an honest man hard at work in the way of his occupation,
be it never so [insignificant] (and thoí perhaps driving of a wheel barrow)
[without finding] my heart sensibly touched with respect for such man.
It is possible, you may think, that you may see others in some greater
and richer business; and you may think that you might be, yourselves greater
and richer, if you were in some other business. Yea, but has not the God
of heaven cast you into that business, which now takes you up?