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15 Joshua, and to give him greater authority. And the LORD ap
peared in the tabernacle in a pillar of a cloud : and the pillar of the cloud stood over the door of the tabernacle ; the cloud, which was usually over the tabernacle, came down and stood at
the door. 16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Behold thou shalt sleep
(in the Hebrew, lie down) with thy fathers ; which intimates , that he should awake, and rise again ; and this people will rise up and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land, whither they go (to be] among them, the Canaanites that
were estranged from God and his people, and will forsake me 17 and break my covenant which I have made with them. Then
my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, when they have thus broken their marriage covenant with me ; and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God [is] not among us? So it was
upon every revolt, God withdrew his protection, and delivered 18 them to their enemies, And I will surely hide my face in that
day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that 19 they are turned unto other gods. Now therefore write ye
this song for you, (recorded in the next chapter,) and teach it the children of Israel :* put it in their mouthș, that this song may be a witness for me against the children of Israel ; a wit, ness of my kindness, in giving them so many blessings ; of my
patience, in bearing so long with them; and, of my justice, in 20 punishing such an ungrateful and perverse people. For when
I shall have brought them into the land which I sware unto their fathers, that floweth with milk and honey ; and they shall have eaten and filled themselves, and waxen fat; then
will they turn unto other gods, and serve them, and provoke 21 me, and break my covenant. And it shall come to pass, when
many evils and troubles are befallen them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness ; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed ; they shall have sad occasion to remember it, when they feel the dreadful calamities mentioned in it ; for I know their imagination, their proneness to idolatry,
and backsliding, which they go about, even now, before I have 22 brought them into the land which I sware. And Moses there
fore, by divine inspiration, wrote this song the same day, and
taught it the children of Israel. 23 And he, that is, Jehovah, gave Joshua the son of Nun a
charge, and said, Be strong and of a good courage : for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware
• This was the ancient way of instruction : ancient lawgivers delivered their laws in verse, and occasioned them to be sung at their festivals,
. unto them : and I will be with thee; how bad soever they are, 24 or may be, I will be with thee, and give thee succe88. And it
came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the 25 words of this law in a book, until they were finished, That
Moses commanded the Levites which bare the ark of the cov. enant of the LORD, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee; or, by the side of the ark, with Aaron's rod, and the manna ; that is, in some chest that was set by it ; for there was nothing in the ark, but the two tables of the law, 1 Kings viii. 9. This was the
book that was found, 2 Kings xxii. 1. 2 Chronicles xxxiv. 27 14. For I know thy rebellion, and thy stiff neck : behold,
while I am yet alive with you this day, ye have been rebellious against the LORD ; and how much more after my death?
He mentions nothing of their rebellions against him, these were 28 forgiven and forgotten ; but only those against God. Gather
unto me all the elders of your tribes, and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears, and call heaven and earth to record against them ; that I may deliver the song to them, and that they may distribute it to the several tribes and families and that all the world may witness how ungrateful and wicked
they will be, if they revolt after so much has been done for them. 29 But he did this with a bleeding heart, For, he adds, I know that
after my death ye will utterly corrupt (yourselves,] and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you ; and evil will befall you in the latter days ; because ye will do evil in the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands. It was a melancholy thing for Moses to leave them with such a prospect, to see no better effect of his
labours ; but he had done his duty ; God would remember and 30 reward him, and the guilt" would be theirs. And Moses then
spake in the ears of all the congregation of Israel the words of this song, until they were ended.
1. T HE promise of God's presence and assistance, is suf
1 ficient encouragement for us to undertake the hardest work, and to encounter the greatest difficulties. This encouraged the Israelites to march toward Canaan, and this encouraged Joshua to lead them, although the people were perverse, though the service was difficult, and though coming after a man so eminent as Moses. The promise, I will never leave thee, I will never forsake thee, is applied to all christians, Heb. xiii. 5. Depend therefore on the care and power of God ; let us boldly say, The Lord is my helper ; and fear no danger in the way of duty. God will be with us in our spiritual combats. Let us not reason with flesh and blood, nor say, How shall I overcome unruly appetites, or principalities and powers? If we seek him, he will assist us. and so we shall be more than conquerors. Be strong then, and of a good courage ; for greater is he that is with you, than those which are against you.
2. The public reading of God's law, is a very important and useful service : Moses read it in the synagogue every sabbath day, especially every sabbatical year. So should the christian oracles be read ; this was the custom of the primitive churches, and is proper to be retained to this day. It is doing public honour to God's word, conveys useful instruction to children, and to those who cannot read, or but very little ; and things are more strongly impressed on the mind, which are done in a solemn assembly. How much reason is there to be thankful that we have a written law ! It reaches to all nations, and even to places where no living preacher ever came. It is good to hear it read in public ; let us not look upon it as a matter of form, but seriously attend to it; be doers of the word, and not hearers only.
3. All the methods of religious instruction that we have received, will be witnesses against us if we prove rebellious. Put this song into their mouths, that it may be a witness for me against thie children of Israel. v. 19. This was the charge to Israel ; the law written, read, or sung, were all witnesses against Israel's disobedience, and aggravated their guilt. The reason holds equally strong with regard to ourselves. We have the word, sacraments, and prayer; the word read, expounded, or preached ; and prayer in public or private : all which will be witnesses against us, if we continue ignorant, impenitent, and disobedient ; all will be witnesses for God, that he has not been wanting on his part; and all will make our condemnation the more intolerable.
4. Let us learn from the whole chapter, that it is the duty of aged and dying saints to do all they can to promote religion. Moses chargeth Joshua and Israel again and again; now, when he was going to his fathers. Aged christians have but a little time to live, their faculties are impaired, their hands are weakened ; but still they may be serviceable. Let them charge their families, and successors to serve God, to be strong. Let them recommend religion to them, and encourage them to serve the Lord ; set before them good and evil. If your prospects are but melancholy, as, Moses' was concerning Israel, still do your duty. Exhort, reprove, rebuke ; bear testimony to the truth and comforts of religion ; that your exhortations may be a witness against those of your descendants and relations that forsake God, and be witnesses for you at his bar, that you were faithful. Thus David, when he was old and grayheaded, showed God's strength to that generation, and his poruer, righteousness, and goods ness, to those that were to come after him.
CHAP. XXXII. 1-25..
Moses' song, which sets forth the perfections of God ; his special
goodness to his peopbe ; their ingratitude and apostacy.; and God's displeasure and vengeance. The Jews call this song the epitome of the whole pentateuch. It contains a very useful and constant admonition to Israel. The first three verses are the preface to it. M IVE ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear,
U ( earth, the words of my mouth. He calls on the whole creation to attend, and witness the truth of what he said, 2 and the perverseness of Israel if they forsook God. My doc
trine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers
upon the grass ; or rather, let it do so; let it become profitable 3 to mollify and make you fruitful : Because I will publish the
name of the LORD, celebrate his attributes, and publish his glorious excellency : ascribe ye greatness unto our God ; do you
also own and acknowledge them, and attend with diligence and 4 reverence. [He is] the Rock, a firm, everlasting refuge ; his
work [is] perfect, his works of creation and providence : for all · his ways [are] judgment : a God of truth, and without ini· quity, just and right [is] he ; righteous in whatsoever he doeth;
his dealings with his people have been exactly just and holy, in 5 the highest degree of perfection. They have corrupted them
selves, their spot [is] not (the spot] of his children : [they are) a perverse and crooked generation; they are an untoward
generation, that walk contrary to God in all their ways; they did · not behave like God's children. He then expostulates with them; 6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise ?
[Is] not he thy Father [that] hath bought thee, delivered thee from Egyptian slavery ? hath he not made thee, and established thee, formed thee into a people, given thee good laws,
and often confirmed his grace toward thee? ý Remember the days of old, consider the years of many gene
rations : ask thy father, and he will show thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee ; consult ancient records, advise with old. men who have seen God's wonders in Egypt ; ask Caleb and Joshua, and the Levites, and they will tell thee. When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel ; he thought of them when he divided the earth among the sons of Noah, when he scattered the nations into various parts of the earth, and gave those that were to inhabit Canaan so large a share, as might be
fully sufficient for his own numerous people, when they came to 9 possess it. For the Lord's portion [is] his people ; Jacob [is] Vol. II.
the lot of his inheritance; they are his special care, his peculiar 10 people, and have distinguished firivileges. He found him in a
desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness ; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye; he found him in a filace destitute of convenience and comfort, amidst the howling of birds and beasts of prey'; he conducted hin from place to place, and gave him good laws ; protected him from danger, in the kindest manner, as a man takes care of his eye, the
tenderest and most useful part : and this he illustrates by a most il beautiful image ; As an eagle stirreth up her nest, fluttereth
over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; as an eagle forces her young ones
fiom the nest, teaching them how to fly, and carries them on her 12 wings when they are in danger ; (So) the Lord alone did lead
him, and (there was) no strange god with him ; with such
tenderness and care did the Lord deliver them out of Egyfit, 13 and carry them to Canaan. He made him ride on the high
places of the earth, that he might eat the increase of the fields, subdue the mountainous places and strong holds of their enemies, and possess a land far excelling others for all commodities ; and he made him to suck honey out of the rock, and oil out of
the flinty rock, pleasant, delicious fruits of trees growing upon 14 rocky ground ; Butter of kine, and milk of sheep, with fat of
lambs, and rams of the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the fat of kidneys of wheat ; and thou didst drink the pure blood of the grape; they had abundance of the finest cattle, the largest
wheat, and richest wines. 15 But Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked ; Israel, who had the
vision of God, and a clear revelation, grew proud, and, like a fat beast, kicked against the ground ; thou art waxen fat, thou art grown thick, thou art covered (with fatness ;] then he forsook God (which] made him, and lightly esteemed the Rock of his salvation ; they forsook God who was so kind to them ; abhorred
their Creator, contemned his laws, grew insolent and rebellious.; 16 and those light thoughts of God begat idolatry. They provoked
him to jealousy with strange (gods) with abominations pro17 voked they him to anger. They sacrificed unto devils, to
demons, the souls of deftarted men, or evil spirits, not to God ; to gods whom they knew not, to new (gods that] came newly up, whom your fathers feared not ; or, which were not. God;
such as the golden calf, Baal, or Molech ; new invented gods, 18 who never gave them any good thing. Of the Rock [that] be
gat thee, thy strong and almighty God, thou art unmindful, and
hast forgotten God that formed thee, thy Maker and benefactor. 19 And when the Lord saw [it,] he abhorred (them,] because
of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters ; they dis
covered the ingratitude and rebellion of a wicked child, to a kind, 20 indulgent parent. And he said, I will hide my face fron