« PredošláPokračovať »
ardent aspirations of soul after God: If thy presence go not with me, carry us not up hence. I beseech thee, shew me thy glory, Exod. xxxiii. 15...18.
“ What zeal for the glory of God! Witness the tables of the law broken in pieces at the sight of a people who bad rendered themselves unworthy of receiving marks so tender of the love of God. Witness that rigorous order issued to the sons of Levi: Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor, Exod. xxxii. 27. Witness his answer to Joshua, when he expressed an apprehension lest the prophetic gifts bestowed on Eldad and Medad should eclipse the glory of bis master: Enviest thou for my sake, would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his Spirit upon them, Numb. xi. 29.
“What perseverance! Witness those exhortations; and that sacred song, with which he concluded his ministrations and his life.
“But where was perfect virtue ever to be found? Moses too had his infirmities. In a life so long, how. ever, and so peculiarly circumstanced, who is chargeable with faults so slight and so few ? His very errors seem to partake of the nature of virtue. The darker shades of his character become perceptible from the contrast they form with a whole life so bright and luminous. That he should shrink back, at first, from the proposal of an embassy to the king of Egypt; that he should neglect, for a season, from certain do. mestie considerations, the circumcision of a child; that he should be slow of belief respecting the disposition of a righteous God to extract water miraculously from the rock, to supply the wants of a murmuring generation; that he should strike the rock a second time, rather from indignation against the rebels, than from distrust of the God in whom compassions flow...
These undoubtedly are blemishes, nay, offences which God might punish with death, were he strict to mark iniquity; but, when human infirmity is taken into the account, they are faults that excite pity rather than indignation.
“ Should any part of the elogium we have pronounced on Moses seein exaggerated, we shall add, to all the bonorable traits under which we have represented him, one infinitely more glorious still, traced by the hand of God himself, who best knows how to appreciate merit and distribute praise, and which exalts our prophet far above all human panegyric: There arose not u prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord know face to face : in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the lund of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, und to all his lund, und in all that mighty hund, and in all the great lerror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel."
This truly great man died in the year of the world two thousand five hundred and fifty-three; and before the birth of Jesus Christ one thousand four hundred and fifty-one; eight hundred and ninety-seven years after the food; and before the building of Soloinon's temple four bundred and forty; in the fortieth year from the Exodus, or departure of Israel from Egypt ; and of bis own age the one hundred and twentieth. Before his death, he uttered a clear and distinct prediction of the Messiah, which, in " the fullness of time,” was exactly accomplished; and he appeared in person on Mount Tabor to lay all his glory and honor at the feet of the Saviour of the world. We shall have finished our plau), after we have suggested a few reflections on this prediction of Moses, and on this his appearance in company with Elias, to do homage to the Son of God....“the Author and Finisher of our faith." To him “ be glory and dominion forever and ever Amen."
The Lord thy God zvill raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me ; unto him ye shall heurken. According to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeh, in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this greut fire any more that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, Thuhure well spoken that which they hare spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall commund him. For Moses truly suid unto the fathers, 4 prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear in all things ivhatsorrer he shail say unto you.... Deut. xujj. 15.... 18. Acrs lii. 23.
the frame and course of nature, who does not per
ceive evident marks of wisdom in design, order in execution, energy in operation? All is plan, systém, harmony. Every thing bespeaks a Being provident, omnipotent, unremittingly attentive : whose works, indeed, intinitely exceed our comprehension ; but which by their beauty, simplicity and usefulness, fill the mind with wonder and delight, while their variety, lustre, magnificence and immensity astonish and overwhelm. The government of the world, it is equally evident, is
the result of contrivance; it evinces a constant, superintending care. Event arises out of eveni, link runs into livk What to the first glance appeared an assemblage of' scattered fragments, is found, on a more careful and attentive inspection, to be a regular, beautiful, well-proportioned fabric, a “ body fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part.
It must be pleasing to every serious mind to observe in the work of redemption a similar uniformity of design, progress and execution. We tind pairiarchs, prophets, apostles, remote from, unknown to one another, at different ages, in different regions, declaring the same purpose, promoting the same plan, aiming at the same end. This affords a presumption, at least, that he who made, uplolds and governs the universe, is likewise the Author of salvation; in all whose works and ways a noble and important end is obviously kept in view; and that end pursued and attained by means the wisest and the best. The Mosaic and Christian are not separate, unconnected, independent dispen-ations, but corresponding and harmonious members of the same great building of God. Nature and grace bave one source, one date; they proceed in a parallel direction, they are hastening to one common consummation. Or, to speak more properly, the system of external nature and the scheme of redemption are the well-adjusted, the harmonized parts of the one great plan of eternal Providence, which contains the whole purpose of the glorious Creator concerning man....his first formation, his present state and character, and his final destination.
Turn up the inspired volume at whatever page you will, and you have a person, or an event, or a service, or a prediction unfolding, in ore form or another, the merciful “ purpose of Him who worketh all things alter the counsel of his own will, that we should be to the
praise of his glory." Transport yourself in thought to whatever period of the world you will, and you still find the gospel preached; whether in the sacrifice of righteous Abel, the translation of Enoch, the ark of Noah, the promise made to Abraham, the predictions of dying Jacob; from the seat of Moses, the throne of David, the dungeon of Jeremiah. They all speak an uniform language, all give wirness to the same person, all disclose their own peculiar portion of the gospel treasure, tor the illumination of an ignorant, the reformation of a corrupted, the salvation of a perishing world.
The writings of Moses exhibit a singular display of this grand combined plan. He traces nature up to her birth, and instructs is “ how the heavens and earth rose out of chaos." He conducts us through the mazes of the moral governmeut of the Greai-Supreme, and there too unfolds wild uproar reduced to order, and “the wrath of man working the righteousness of God." He draws aside the curtains of the night, and “the day springs from on high" dawns on fallen humanity. He attends us through the morning of that bright day, and, constrained ai length to retire, leaves behind him the assurance, that “the fulness of the time" would come, that “the morning light” would advance with growing splendor unto “ the perfect day.” He presents to our astonished eyes the vast, the complicated, the beautiful machine; wheel within wheel put in motion, preserving from age to age its steady majestic tenor, with native unwearied, undiminished force ; refering us still to its divine AUTHOR, who made and upholds all “ by the word of his power,” and for whose
pleasure they are and were created.”
Moses, not only in what he wrote, but in wbat he was and acted, illustriously displayed the grace of God in the redemption of the world. Not only did he write and testify concerning the great Deliverer, but his person, his character, his offices, were a prefiguration of