it is easy to a dead body to rot, or pleasing to a leper to rub his sores. But to a reasonable creature, in a state of purity, with all his powers uncorrupted, it would indeed be an unpleasing, a hard, a difficult thing, to take that course which is so easy and so delightful to you : as it is hard and painful for a living man to suffer the mortification of his limbs, or for a healthy man to make himself sore. If it be hard, in one sense, to live a life of holiness, it is cer- tainly hard, in another sense, to live a life of sin ; namely, to run against conscience, against reason, against honour, against interest, against all the strong and endearing obli- gations you are under to God, to mankind, and to your- selves : or, in the words of my text, " It is hard for you to kick against the pricks." This is a proverb, in use among various nations, which has received a sanction from heaven in this text. It is used by Pindar, Euripides, and jEschylus, among the Greeks, and by Terence among the Latins : and from the sense in which they use it, we are helped to understand it. " To kick against the pricks," is an allusion to a lazy or unruly plough-horse, or ox, that when pricked with a goad, (an instrument used in ploughing, in sundry places, instead of a whip,) refuses to go on, and spurns and kicks against the goad, and so wounds himself, and not the driver. In such circumstances, it is much harder to kick against the goads, and resist, than to go on : if he goes on, he need not fear the goad; but his resistance only hurts himself. It is to this that the phrase alludes ; and it signifies a re- sistance injurious to the person that makes it, when it would be both easy and advantageous to obey. Hence we may learn the precise sense in which it is used by the mouth of Christ, in this pungent address to Saul the persecutor, whom we now know under the higher name of Paul the apostle.