Page images


Go forth, O my soul, like the industrious Bee, to thy work and to thy labour, until the evening of thy day upon the earth. Take the wings of the morning, and fly quickly into that garden of God, the church of the redeemed; visit continually the assemblies of the faithful, those flowers whose unfading beauty graces the inheritance of the beloved, and whose sweetness diffuses around them a savour of life unto life. There feed among the lilies of paradise, which shine invested with the righteousness of saints, and towering above the earth, keep their garments unspotted from the dust of corruption. Fly amongst them day by day, and familiarize them all to thy acquaintance. Pass not by them hastily, nor be content to gaze only upon their beauties: but settle and fix thy meditations on them, until thou hast extracted the spirit and the life that is in their writings and their examples, the nourishment of wisdom, and the sweetness of consolation. These flowers, it is true, spring from the same earth, the same influences of heaven nourish and support them; but various are their

[ocr errors]

colours, and their virtues are diverse. To one is given knowledge, to another meekness, to another humility, to another charity, by the same spirit. Each has its use, and its beauty, and he who would make honey must suck virtue from all. But above 1 all, forget not evermore to dwell on the contemplation of him who grew from the virgin stem of Jesse ; for in him are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and of his fulness have all others received. He is the true rose of Sharon, red in the day of his passion, opening his beauties as the morning, in the midst of a crown of thorns, made perfect through suffering. He is the lily planted in the humble vale, and from thence ascending up towards heaven, having his garments white as the light, which admits no stain to sully its virgin purity, and passeth through all things undefiled. Fly daily to him, and delight thyself in meditation on his life and death. From him and the other sweet flowers of his planting when thou hast drawn matter for instruction in righteousness, return home and deposit these treasures in the cells of thy understanding and affections, thy head and thy heart, that thou mayest become a land flowing with honey, a land wherein dwell the righteousness of Jesus,

and the comforts of the holy one. And when thou hast thus laid up within thee the words of eternal life, be a faithful dispenser to others of the manifold grace of God, and let thy tongue be a channel. to convey it from thy heart into those of thy brethren, distilling it in such proportions as every one is able to receive it: so that the heavenly bridegroom may seal thee to salvation with this gracious testimony--Thy lips, O my spouse, drop as the honey-comb, honey and milk are under thy tongue; sweet and healing as the one, innocent and nourishing as the other, are all thy communications.

And to encourage thee to be thus liberal to others of what he has freely given thee, thy dear Lord has told thee that what thou givest to the least of thy brethren, he takes as given to him. And as, when risen from the dead, he accepted, at the hands of his disciples, a piece of an honey-comb, so in the person of his members, risen from the death of sin through the power of his resurrection, he expects from his disciples, and more especially from his ministers, a portion of that word which is declared by the holy Psalmist to be sweeter than honey and the honey-comb. And in this respect he is graciously pleased to say, that he does himself feed upon it for so it is written-I am come into


my garden, my sister, my spouse, I have eaten my honey-comb with my honey.-These lessons of heavenly wisdom, O my soul, mayest thou learn from that petty insect, of which the son of Sirach saith-The bee is little among such as fly, but her fruit is the chief of sweet things.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »