The Buddha's Way of Virtue, by W.D.C Wagiswara and K.J. Saunders, , at sacred-texts.com
Zeal or earnestness (appamādo) plays an important part in Buddhist Ethics. The way is steep, therefore let the wayfarer play the man.
Zeal may be displayed either in strenuous mind-culture or in deeds of piety—these are the equivalents of "Faith" and "Works" in the Buddhist system.
21. Zeal is the way to Nirvāna. Sloth is the day of death. The zealous die not: the slothful are as it were dead.
22. The wise who know the power of zeal delight in it, rejoicing in the lot of the noble.
23. These wise ones by meditation and reflection, by constant effort reach Nirvāna, highest freedom.
24. Great grows the glory of him who is zealous in meditation, whose actions are pure and deliberate, whose life is calm and righteous and full of vigour.
25. By strenuous effort, by self-control, by
temperance, let the wise man make for himself an island which the flood cannot overwhelm.
26. Fools in their folly give themselves to sloth: the wise man guards his vigour as his greatest possession.
27. Give not yourselves over to sloth, and to dalliance with delights: he who meditates with earnestness attains great joy.
28. When the wise one puts off sloth for zeal, ascending the high tower of wisdom he gazes sorrowless upon the sorrowing crowd below! Wise himself, he looks upon the fools as one upon a mountain-peak gazing upon the dwellers in the valley.
29. Zealous amidst the slothful, vigilant among the sleepers, go the prudent, as a racehorse outstrips a hack.
30. By zeal did Sakra reach supremacy among the gods. Men praise zeal; but sloth is always blamed.
31. A Bhikkhu who delights in zeal, looking askance at sloth, moves onwards like a fire, burning the greater and the lesser bonds.
32. A Bhikkhu who delights in zeal, looking askance at sloth, cannot be brought low, but is near to Nirvāna. *
25:* Better, perhaps, "in the very presence of Nirvāna"