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often poizing them : in like manner the people of God, that they may know the strength and truth of their graces, ought frequently to be weighing their principles, lives, and conversations, in the balance of the sanctụary. If this were done, I am afraid that, on many fair professors, Tekel might be written, “ Thou art weighed in the balances, and are “ found wanting.” Dan. v. 27.
A man cannot approach with safety a hive of bees in the swarming season, without being equipped with a suitable dress, to defend him against their venomous stings: So no believer need think to be in safety while surrounded by the world, the deyil, and the flesh, without having on a dress of defence, even the Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. xiii. 14, and the whole armour of God. Eph. vi. 13. The benefit of such a dress the royal Psalmist declareth he experienced, when speaking of his enemies, saying, “ They, compassed me “ about like bees, they are quenched as the “ fire of thorns ; for in the name of the Lord “ I will destroy them.” Psal. cxviii. 12.
O that I may be thus arrayed and accoutered, so that in the name of the Lord I
may destroy and root out those swarms of idle and wicked thoughts, that continually, as it were, like bees, encompass my heart, and so overcome my spiritual foes.
In windy weather bees are very irritable, and apt to sting any person who approaches near their hive; but, in doing so, they often do more harm to themselves than those on whom they inflict the venemous smart ; as they frequently thereby lose their stings, for which they are discarded the hive, and treated as members unfit for society : The same it is with respect to many men, when pride bloweth up the passion of anger: 0 how ready are they then to resent injuries ; never considering that thereby they often hurt themselves most ; for without timely repentance, their unlawful anger will bring down the wrath of the Almighty upon themselves, and debar them of the peaceful society above.
O that I and all men'may then cheerfully
submit to the teaching of Him,
" who taught as never man taught,” and hath said, “ Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in “ heart.” Matt. xi. 29. 6. This is my com“ mandment, that ye love one another as “ I have loved you.” John, xv. 12. " He “ that ruleth his spirit,” said Solomon, “ is “ better than he that taketh a city.” Prov. xiv. 32.
O that men would show their courage and valour this way, and not in hasty and angry passions at one another : be this my study and constant care, well knowing what evils hasty anger hath done to many of the people of God themselves. Did it not exclude the meek Moses from entering into the land of promise ? make Jonah insolently justify his unwarrantable passion to his Maker? and Paul and Barnabas part from one another? Num. xx. 10.-.-12. Deut. iii. 25, 26. Psal. cvi. 32, 33. Jon. iv. 8, 9. Acts, xv. 39.
How seasonable then is that admonition, “ Cease from anger, and forsake wrath ; fret “not thyself in any wise to do evil.” Psal.
Xxxvii. 8. This passion was implanted in man for a noble purpose, even to show his żeal for the glory of his Maker, in ardently testifying against sin : but, 'O! how much is it abused, when used in a sinful manner! then, instead of glorifying God, we dishonour him with his own gift : '“ Be ye angry, " and sin not :” “ Let not the sun go down
upon your wrath, neither give place to the “ devil,” saith the apostle, Eph. iv. 26, 27. And, indeed, being angry at any thing but sin, is an inviting the devil to take possession of our hearts, and what pleaseth him well.
May I therefore, for the future, keep a stricter watch over my spirit than I have done in times past, knowing that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. James, 'i. 28. 6. The discretion of
a man deferreth his anger, and it is his
glory to pass over a transgression.” Prov. · xix. 11.
These insects in their society are not without a kind of monarchical government; for
there is only one female in every hive, which naturalists denominate the queen. She is not only remarkakle for fecundity, being the breeder of all the workers, but maintains a superiority over the whole, being more grave in her deportment, seldomer seen, and armed differently from the rest. It is she that gives them the signal when to swarm, when to cluster, and where to hive.
Say now, my soul, doth not the wisdom of the Creator greatly appear in the economy of these feeble insects? In subordinating the workers to the dominion of the queen bee, and in enduing her with superiority over them ? And no less conspicuous is the wisdom of God in the management of men, in subordinating some under the supremacy
of others. If this had not been the case, all had been anarchy and confusion : It is therefore of absolute necessity, in this imperfect state of things, that there should be power and authority, and superiors as well as inferiors, that the great chain of human society may hang as it were by links in uniformity together, and the greatest as well as