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him not; and, in this case, fometimes withstands thee. Say not, my horse stumbles, and therefore I smite him: but consider that, whilst You ride, your Horse goes a-foot: and a fixed stone or hillock, a sharp flint, or a pinched and uneasy shoe might cause even Yourself to stumble if you were to travel on foot; and you would think it hard to be chastised for an involuntary or forced trip. Do not then unto others as you would be unwilling should be done unto you. Say not, my horse starts, and therefore I smite him; and I correct him, because he is timorous: but consider that You have your passions, as well as your Horfe. Else, why the blood in thy face ? or, why thy paleness of coun
tenance on these occasions ? The passion of anger, or the passion of fear, do then predominate in thyself. Learn first to subdue the sudden emotions of thine own passions, and then endeavor to correct his fears. I will grant, if you please, that his passion of fear may be foolish ; but so is your passion of anger: and your folly is greater than his, if what you sometimes say is true,-that a Man has more Reason than a Horse. You have reason, and use it not ; your Horse has no reason, therefore he cannot use it. Your Horsel has not reason to conquer his fears, whilft You have both reason and power to subdue your own passion. Your horse offends and cannot help it; You offend, and
| may help it. I leave it to your
own judgment to determine, whether You or your Horse deserves most to be corrected. In short, to smite your horse because he stumbles or starts, is irrationality and weakness. And, if you will not allow your boasted reason to correct the fear of your horse by gentleness, forbeárance, or skilful management; but think to overcome his fears by whip, fpur, and barbarity, you expose yourself to the just and severe correction of the Angel, who withstands thee, because thy way is perverse before him * And instances are not uncommon, when his just anger is fo provoked at the cruelty of Man in this case, that though he doth not
* Num. xxii. 32. *
open the mouth of the beast to reprove his rider, (as he once did, and which there is no occasion to do a second time), yet he appoints the injured beast to plead his own cause another way, in being the instrument of punishment, and sometimes the executioner of death, without allowing a moment's leisure to make the short confession of Balaam, I HAVE SINNED. The inference is: obvious, that to lose life by the prancing or unruliness of a horse, excited thereto by barbarity, because he may have started or stumbled, is to die in an Act of SIN.
We are told by the prophet MICAH, that when Balaam, who .
R . had
had finned, in thus passionately smiting the Afs, was afterwards consulted by Balak the King of Moab (at whose request he had undertaken this journey) how he might know the righteousness of the LORD ; that is, how he might recommend himself to, and best please Jehovah the God of Israel, whose power he was now sensible of, and whose favor he desired to obtain ; Balaam gives this instruction unto the King, -He hath Mewed thee, O Man, what is Good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to. love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God. Micah vi. 8.
In this advice to the King, Balaam seems to allude to the three great duties of Justice,