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Animals Become Teachers of Men

Animals Become Teachers of Men

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY ROBERT WALKER


Proverbs vi. 6, 7, 8.

Go to the Ant, than Sluggard; consider her icays and
be wise: which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
•provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her
food in the harvest.
BY ROBERT WALKER


Proverbs vi. 6, 7, 8.

Go to the Ant, than Sluggard; consider her icays and
be wise: which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler,
•provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her
food in the harvest.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 24, 2013
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AIMALS BECOME TEACHERS OF MEBY ROBERT WALKER Proverbs vi. 6, 7, 8.Go to the Ant, than Sluggard; consider her icays andbe wise: which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler,•provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth herfood in the harvest.MA was created with more understanding than thebeasts of the earlh: But our minds are so debased byour apostacy from God, that the meanest creatures maybecome our teachers. And accordingly, the Spirit of SERMO XLl, 93God, in the Scriptures, doth frequently send us to learnour duty from the example of the beasts of the field, andof the fowls of heaven. Thus, ingratitude is reproved bythe example of those animals which are accounted themost stupid and untractable, (Isaiah i. 3.) " The oxknoweth his owner, and tlie ass his master's crib; butIsrael doth not know, my people doth not consider."An inattention to the conduct of divine Providence, anda neglect of the proper seasons of activity, are in likemanner condemned by the example of the fowls of hea-ven. '^ The stork knoweth her appointed times, and theturtle, and the crane, and the swallow, observe the timesof their coming; but my People (saith God) know notthe judgment of the Lord," Jerem. viii. 7' To cure usof excessive carefulness and anxiety, our Saviour sendsus to " consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap;they have neither storehouse nor barn; yet God fcedeth
 
them : How much more," saith he, '^ are ye better thanthe fowls?" Luke xii. 24. And in my text, to cure usof negligence and sloth, Solomon sends us to a creatureof the smallest size, but of most wonderful activity. " Goto the ant, thou sluggard ; consider her ways, and bewise: which, having no guide, overseer, or ruler, pro-videth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her foodin the harvest."In discoursing of these words, I will,ist, Consider the character of the person v^'hom thewise man here addresses. And,2dly, The counsel or advice wliich he gives him; andwill then conclude with a practical improvement of thesubject.I BEGI with the character of the person to whom thisadvice is addressed. "• Go to the ant," saith Solomon,"thou sluggard:" and the character of the sluggard is9% SERMO XLI.so minutely described in this book, and in the book of Ecclesiastes, that any of us may soon be acquaintedwith it.Sclomon observes in general, that sloth casteth intoa deep sleep ; and he represents the sluggard in thisstate in the verses immediately following my text.When it is said to him, " How long wilt thou sleep,O sluggard? when wilt thou arise out of thy sleep?"Instead of being affected with the just reproach, hebegs earnestly for farther indulgence, " Yet a littlesleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands tosleep.'"* " As the door turneth upon its hinges, so doththe slothful man upon his bed." At length, when sleep
 
itself hath become wearisome, and he hath risen fromliis bed, he hath changed his situation only to give anew indulgence to his sloth. " He hideth his hand inliis bosom," and will not so much as " bring it to hismouth again." He spends his time in fruitless wishes:The soul of the sluggard " desireth and hath not." To-morrow is always a day of labour, to-day is alwaysspent in idleness : And thus " the desire of the slothfulkilleth him, because his hands refuse to labour." He isdiscouraged by the least opposition : *' The way of theslothful man is as a hedge of thorns." Every difficultyfurnisheth him with an excuse for his idleness : " Thesluggard will not plough by reason of the cold." ay,rather than want an excuse, he creates imaginary dan-gers to himself: He saith, " There is a lion without, Ishall be slain in the streets." At length, ^' By muchslothfulness the building decays, and through the idle-ness of the hands the house droppeth through." — " Hisfield and his vineyard are grown over with thorns : net-tles cover the face thereof; and the stone-wall is brokendown." Thusj " Poverty cometh upon him like oneSERMO XLI. 90 jhat travaileth, and his want as an armed man, till drow-siness at last clothes him with rags."Such is the picture which Solomon draws of the slug-gard ; and the features are so strongly marked, that thereis no room to doubt that it was drawn from the life.Whether there are persons in the present state of so-ciety to whom all the parts of this character agree, is aquestion which every man will answer to himself, eitherfrom his knowledge or experience. The charge is in-deed so complex, that it might be difficult perhaps toprove it in its full extent against any one individual.

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