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ileges pertaining to it. In this we behold the character of the convinced, penitent sinner, condemned of his own conscience, stripped of every plea of self-righteousness, alarmed with the terrors of “the wrath to come," encoura aged by the declarations of the mercy of God in Christ, apprehending "salvation in no other," perceiving no way to escape.but this, he flees “ for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before him," even to “ Him who is mighty to save;" to that “ blood, which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel ;" to “ the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world :" saying, in the words of the psalmist,“ O Lord, thou art my refuge ; return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” “In Jehovah alone have I righteousness and strength ;" " he also is become my salvation."
The safety of the manslayer depended, not on having arrived at, but on remaining in the city of his refuge. To leave it prematurely was as fatal as to be overtaken on the way that led to it. The grace of the gospel, in like manner, is extended, not to him who, convinced of sin, and trembling with apprehension of judgement to come, has fled for refuge, to the great Propitiation for sin, but to him who abideth in Christ. As there is a “ believing to the saving of the soul; so there is a “ drawing back unto perdition :” and “no man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Hence the solemo injunction and warning of Christ himself, “ Abide in me, and I in you—if a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered : and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.” “ He that endureth unto the end, the same shall be saved." The great Apostle and High Priest of our profession lives forever, there is therefore " no more going out.” “In returning and rest shall we be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength."
-The sanctuary provided and opened, equally for the distressed Israelite and "the stranger," is a happy prefiguration of the indiscriminating mercy, the unlimited extension of the gospel salvation. “In Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off, are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middie wall of partition between us." He " came and preached peace to you which were far off, and to them which were nigh; and through him, we both have an aecess by one Spirit unto the Father.” The gospel of Christ is “ the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, and also lo the Greek.” It announces “ glory, honour and peace to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile.” “For there is no respect of persons with God.” Blessed dispensation, which hath abolished all invidious distinctions ! " where there is neither Greek, nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free, but Christ is all, and in all !" Who art thou then, Oman, who “ judgest thy brother ? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother ?" He is a man like thyself, a criminal as thou art; for hinn also Christ died, and for his admission, as for thine, the door of mercy stands open, the city of refuge strengthens its walls, expands its gates. . I conclude with suggesting a few hints, which will serve to evince the glorious superiority of the object prefigured, over the figure ; of “the very image of the things," above the shadow of good things to come.” The institution under review was a provision for one particular species of offence and distress, and for a case which could occur but in rarer instances. Indeed the whole history of Israel furnishes not a single one. But the provisions of the “ better covenant-established upon better promises,” extend to every species, and to every instance of guilt and misery. They are made not only for the heedless and the unfortunate, the weak and the helpless, but for the stouthearted and presumptuous, for deliberate offenders and backsliding children,
for the very chief of sinners. Whatever, O man, be thy peculiar "weight, and the sin that doth more easily beset thee;" whatever “ the plague of thine heart," or the error of thy life, behold " help laid for thee on One mighty to save." “ Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." Hear, and accept his kind invitation, “ Come to me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Look to me, and be saved, all the ends of the earth." “ Him that cometh I will in no wise cast out.” The cities of Israel served as a temporary reprieve from a sentence of death, which, though the hand of the “ avenger" was restrained, the hand of nature was speedily to execute. The manslayer might be overtaken by it, in the very city of his refuge. But the believer's security under the gospel never fails, never terminates. He is “ passed from death unto life ;" he “ shall never perish." “ There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." ** Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth: who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again." "I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand; my Father which gave them me is greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." Under the law, the death of the high priest, the final era of release to the manslayer, was an event entirely casual, often distant, always uncertain. Under the gospel, that death, which is the sinner's deliverance, the soal's ransom, is an event forever present, perpetually producirg its effect. Christ, « by one offering, hath perfected forever them that are sanctified." « This man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood."
“ We ought, therefore, to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we let them slip.” For if the intentional murderer was to be dragged from God's altar, to suffer the punishment of his crime; and if the manslayer, who despised and neglected his refuge, fell a just sacrifice to the resentment of "the avenger of blood," and to his own presumption and neglect of the merciful ordinance of God; “how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?" "He that despised Moses's law died without mercy, under two or three witnesses : of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace ?" “ For if we sin wilfully, after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgement, and fiery indignation, which shall devour the advercaries. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."'* “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”+ “Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” “Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings; behold we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation looked for from the hills, and from the multitude of mountains : truly in the Lord our God is the salvation of Israel."S
* Hab. x. 28, 29, 26, 27, 31.
+ Isai. Iv. 6,7.
12 Cor. vi. 2.
Jer. ii. 22, 23.
HISTORY OF MOSES.
DEUTERONOMY 1. 3.
And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that
Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in coiamandıent unto them.
" Where is that thrift, that avarice of time,
YOUNG BEHOLD this honourable thrist, this glorious avarice, exemplified in that most amiable and excellent of mankind, Moses, the man of God, who has condescended to be so long our instructer and our guide. He is now in the last month of his earthly existence; he is ready to be offered up; the time of his departure is at hand,” and an illustrious justance his last days exhibits of how much may be done in a little time. Within the compass of that month, that little month, all the words of this book were spoken in the ears of all Israel, and were committed to writing. The decree, the irreversible decree had gone forth, he knew that he must die; he therefore sets himself to redeem the time, seeing his days are now few, not one of them shall be spent in
The tide which carried him along to the world of spirits, is bastening to finish our course, to add us to the number of those who were, but are no more. Another month, a little month, must close our review of the life and writings of Moses. A still shorter period may close our worldly career; and when we part, it is to meet no more, till “the dead, small and great, stand before God." Let us then seize the moments as they fly, and redeem our time. Let us drink into the spirit of Moses, and learn of him how to live, and how to die.
We see here a man living cheerfully, living usefully to the last. Two different and indeed opposite feelings are apt to betray men into the same practical error, that of mispending their time, and neglecting their opportunities -the confidence of living long on the one hand-the near prospect of death on the other. What we imagine it is in our power to do when we please, we are in great danger of never doing at all; and we feel the remorse of occasion forever lost, ere we are well awake from the dream of a season continually at our disposal ; and it is but too common, when thus overtaken, disconcerted and confused, to give up our work in despair. Having much to do, and the time being short, we sit down and lament our folly, and do nothing. Presumption betrays us to-day, diffidence and despondency destroy us to-morrow.
But in the last weeks of Moses's life we discover nothing of the indecent
hury of a man conscious of neglect, and eager to repair it. He neither runs nor loiters; but walks with the steadiness and dignity of one whose strength is as his day; who has a labour prescribed, and ability to perform it. Iu his youth we have a pattern of generosity, and public spirit, and courage, and greatness of mind; in his manhood, of wisdom, of diligence, of perseverance, of fidelity; and now in his old age, of calmness, of devotion, of superiority to the world, of heavenly mindedness.
Observe the excellency of his spirit, at this period, a little more particularly. He set a proper value upon life. He desired its continuance, with the feelings natural to a man, he prized it as the gift of God, as the precious season of acting for God, of observing and improving the ways of his providence, of doing good to men, of preparation tor eternity. He prayed for its prolongation, without fearing its end; and he thereby reproves that rashness which exposes life to unnecessary danger, that intemperance which wastes and shortens, that indolence and listlessness which dissipate it; and that vice and impiety which clothe death with terror.
In Moses we have a bright example of genuine patriotism. That most respectable quality appeared in him early, and shone most conspicuously at the last. “When he was come to years, he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter : choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."* For Israel's sake he was willing to encounter a thousand dangers, to endure a thousand hardships. For them be braved the wrath of a king, sacrificed his ease, consented to be blotted out of God's book. For them he laboured, fasted, prayed ; in their service was his life spent, and his dying breath was poured out in pronouncing blessings upon them. If it went well with Israel, no matter what became of bimself. Their unkindness and ingratitude excited no resentment in his breast. When they rebelled he was grieved, when they were threatened he trembled, when they suffered he bled, when they were healed he rejoiced. O bow his temper and conduct reprove that pride, which perpetually aims at aggrandizing itself, which must have every thing bend and yield to it which is ready to sacrifice thousands to its own humour or advantage; that selfishness which grasps all, sets every thing to sale and refuses to be ashamed.
The generosity and disinterestedness of Moses eminently adorned the close of his life. He was a father, and had all the feelings of that tender relation. It was natural for him to wish and expect that his sons should be distinguished after his death, should be the heirs of his honour, should succeed to his authority. An ordinary man would have been disposed to employ the power wbich he possessed to build up, to enrich, to ennoble his own family : but the will of God was declared. Joshua was the choice of Heaven; Joshua, his servant, one of another family, another tribe. In the appointment Moses rejoices, he adopts Joshua as his son, as his associate; sees him rise with complacency, puts his honour upon him: and thereby exposes to shame that littleness of soul wbich enviously represses rising merit, that vice of age which can discern nothing wise and good in the young ; that tenaciousness of power which would communicate no advantage with another.
What anxiety does the good man discover that Israel should act wisely, and go on prosperously after his death! There is no end to his admonitions and instructions. By word, by writing, by insinuation, by authority, in the spirit of meekness, of love, of parental care, he cautions, he warns, he remonstrates. Men naturally love to be missed, to be inquired after, to be longed for; but it was the delight of Moses in his departing moments, that his place was already supplied, that the congregation would not miss their leader, that Joshua should happily accomplish what he had happily begun. Selfish men enjoy the prospect of the disorder and mischief which their departure may occasion. Moses foresaw the revolt of Israel after his decease, and it was the grief and bitterness of his heart.
* Heb. xi. 24, 26.
In Moses we have an instructive instance of that continuance in well-doing, that perseverance unto the end, which finds a duty for every day, for every hour; which accounts nothing done so long as any thing remains to be done, which cheerfully spends and is spent for the service of God, and the good of mankind. Age is ready to put in its claim, when honour is expected, and advantage to be reaped ; and is as ready to plead its exemption when service is required, danger is to be encountered, and hardship undergone. But while Moses discovers the utmost readiness to share with another the emolument and the respect of his office, the trouble and fatigue of it he with equal cheerfulness undertakes and supports to the very last.
In the whole of his temper and conduct, we have an ensample which at once admonishes, reproves and encourages us. May we not, after considering the noble and excellent spirit he discovered through the course and at the close of life, contemplate the probable state of his mind in reviewing the past and surveying the prospect before him: both affording unspeakable comfort, but neither wholly exempted from pain.
*Pleasant it must have been to reflect, 1. On his miraculous preservation in infancy. “ To what dangers was I then exposed ? Doomed to perish by the sword from my mother's womb. Concealed by fond parents for three mouths at the peril of their life, as well as my own. Committed at length to the merciless streann, a prey to manifold death-the roaring 'tide, hunger, the monsters of the river, contending which should destroy me. But I was precious in the sight of God. No plague came nigh me; no evil befel me. The daughter of the tyrant saved me from the rage of the tyrant. The house of Pharaoh became my sanctuary. The munificence of a princess recompensed the offices of maternal tenderness. I knew not then to whom I was indebted for protection, from what source my comforts flowed : let age and consciousness acknowledge with wonder and gratitude the benefits conferred on infant helplessness and infirmity; let my dying breath utter his praise, who preserved me from perishing as soon as I began to breathe.
2. May we not suppose the holy man of God, by an easy transition, passing on to meditate on deliverance from still greater danger, danger that threatened his inoral life-the snares of a court ? " Flattered and caressed as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, brought up in all the learning of the Egyptians, having all the treasures in Egypt at my command, at an age when the passions, which war against the soul, are all afloat—what risk did I run of forgetting myself, of forgetting my people, of forgetting my God? But the grace of the Most High prevented me. I endured as seeing him who is invisible. I refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. I was not ashamed to be known for a son of Israel. I went out to see the burdens of my brethren, I had compassion on them, and comforted them; not fearing the wrath of a king, I smote him that did the wrong, and saved the oppressed. I chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season. I esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt. To God I committed myself; and my virtue, my religion, my honour, my inward peace were preserved."
3. What satisfaction must it have yielded Moses in reviewing his life, to reflect on his having been made the honoured instrument, in the hand of Providence, for effecting the deliverance of an oppressed people ? " I found Israel labouring, groaning, expiring in the furnace. I beheld the tears of