The Ordinance of Labour

This is just another addition to my archives on the subject of vocation:

“That Adam’s labour consisted in dressing the garden and keeping it informs us that it was highly worthy of man’s dignity as created after the divine image to be employed in so mundane a task. This is eloquent warning against the impiety of despising and judging unworthy of our dignity the tasks which we call menial. And one cannot but suspect that the widespread tendency to take flight from agricultural and related pursuits springs from an underestimate of the dignity of manual toil and oftentimes reflects an unwholesome ambition which is the fruit of impiety. There is warrant for the judgment that economics, culture, morality, and piety have suffered grave havoc by failure to appreciate the nobility of manual labour. Multitudes of men and women, if they had thought in terms of this principle and had been taught in the home, in the church, and in the school to think in these terms, would have been saved from the catastrophe of economic, moral, and religious ruin because they would have been preserved from the vain ambition of pursuing vocations for which they were not equipped and which, on sober and enlightened reflection, they would not have sought” (John Murray, Principles of Conduct, pp. 35-36).

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