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the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."* “ Fear not, O Israel, the Lord is thy keeper : the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil; he shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going-out, and thy coming-in, from this time forth, and even forevermore."
lied by the dispensations of grace. The cloudy
pillar is a manifestation of Deity, suited to a Iness state. In heaven, a God of love is light, ut “ any darkness at all.” In hell, a God of cable wrath is perpetual darkness, without one flight. On earth, a God of justice and mercy kness and light, in succeslive order and perfect ony. In heaven, he is a flame that irradiates, s and quickens ; in hell, a fire still consuming, - to be extinguilhed; on earth, fire in a cloud, y flowing in a spacious channel, judgment re-ed. Men can only discover that of God which
plcased to reveal to them. Whether he is pleal- turn his dark or bright side to us, we are sta
equally at a distance from him. To be fenfif our own darkness is to be partakers of his
llous light. All that the brightest noon of hureason can discover is, that it is ignorance and when placed in comparison with the wisdom of
* Psal. lxxxiv. 11.
+ Pfal. cxxi. 5-8.
cht not this wonderful pillar prefigure to the it church the person and office of the Redeemthe world? Behold the divine essence wrapped and closely united to, a veil of flesh and blood. d Deity raising our nature to incorruptibility lory “in CHRIST, the first-fruits; and afterin all that are Christ's, at his coming." Do t perceive in it, humanity bringing down the nature to our bearing and perception ; “ the goten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, 29 hin to us.” “ The word made flesh” inS the ignorant, cheering the disconfolate, dithe wanderer, refreshing the weary; guiding king, guarding our sleeping moments ; “2 r of our flesh and blood, that he may be a merch-Priest :” declared the Son of God with men adoring and submitting; the powers of ica and discomfited : the triumph of heaven e “ The Lord our God is a fun and shield:
the wandarding our deeper he may be a with
I of our nens declared the Son be powers of
History of Moses.
EXODUS xiv. 21, 22. And Moses stretched out his hand over the fea; and the
Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground : and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
IN the little benefits which men confer upon each other, it generally happens that some untoward circumstance insinuates itself, and occasions, to one of the parties at least, mortification, disappointment or disgust; for nothing human is perfect. A gracious action is frequently resented as an injury, from the ungracious manner in which it is performed. I am charmed with both the matter of that kindness shewn me, and the affectionate disposition which prompted it; but alas, it arrived an hour too late! Another prevented my wishes ; and I prized not the blessing, because I was not instructed in its value by feeling the want of it. This favour done me is very great ; but it is not precisely the thing I looked for; or, it is so clogged with some unpleasant condition, that I would rather be without it: it affords me present relief, but will it not involve me in greater difficulties hereafter ? Had I failed in my expectations from this quarter, I should easily have gained my end by
History of Moses.
at the in
IXODUS xiv. 21, 22. Llis ftretched out his hand over the sea; and the rit caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all at night, and made the sta dry land, and the waters Ti divided. And the children of Israel went into - midst of the sea upon the dry ground : and the Wh. Es wire a wall unto them on their right hand, and on ir left. The little benefits which men confer upon each , it generally happens that some untoward cira ance insinuates itself, and occasions, to one of arties at least, mortification, disappointment of t; for nothing human is perfect. A gracious
is frequently resented as an injury, from the cious manner in which it is performed. I am · ed with both the matter of that kindness shewn nd the affectionate disposition which prompted it alas, it arrived an hour too late! Another ted my wishes ; and I prized not the blelling, 2 I was not instructed in its value by feeling nt of it. This favour done me is very great ; is not precisely the thing I looked for; or, it ogged with some unpleasant condition, that I raiher be without it: it affords me present reit will it not involve me in greater difficulties ar ? Had I failed in my expectations from arter, I should easily have gained my end by
applying to another friend. In a word, there is a perpetual fomething, in the friendly communications of men, which continually mars the worth of what is given and received. And no wonder, if we consider that favours are not always granted from affection, nor accepted with gratitude. But the bounties of Heaven possess every quality that can enhance their value, and endear their Author to a sensible heart. Infinitely valuable in themselves, they flow from love. The “good and perfect gifts, which come down from the Father of lights,” are given“ liberally, and without upbraiding. Exactly what we need, they come precisely at the moment when we want them most, or when they are most beneficial to us. Worthy of God to bestow, they cannot be unworthy of us to receive. Were he to withhold his gracious aid, in vain should we look for relief from any other quarter. Productive of present fatisfaction and joy, his benefits involve us in no future distress, shame or remorse. Serviceable to the body, they are at the same time improving to the mind. Important and interesting for time, they have an influence upon eternity.
The gracious interpositions of Jehovah, in behalf of his chosen people, have this peculiar recommendation to our attention, as to that people's grateful obfervation and acknowledgment--that they were not in the usual course of things; they were the fruits of the constant and unremitting care of a special provia dence; they were the suspension or alteration of the established laws of nature; they were the operation of a mighty hand and an out-stretched arm, sensibly controlling the winds, the waves and the clouds'; and fubduing the most ungovernable elements to its purpose. Other parents are endued with transitory affections and attachments, suited to the transitory na'ture of the trust committed to them. The hen tends her unfledged brood with the vigilance of a dragon and the boldness of a lion. But maternal tenderness and anxiety diminish and expire with the occasion of
them, namely, the weakness and inexperience of her young ones. When the son is become a man, paternal care relaxes, and parental authority is at an end. But, as the authority of our heavenly Father never ceases, so his bowels of compassion are never restrain. ed; his vigilance is never lulled to rest, his care never suspended ; because his offspring is, to the last, impotent, improvident, imperfect.
In vain had Ifrael, by a series of miracles unparalleled in the annals of mankind, been rescued from Egyptian oppression, had not the same almighty arm which delivered them at first, continued to protect and support them. The strength of Egypt, broken as it was, had been sufficient to force them back. The wilderness itself had been fatal to them, without a foe. · How easily are the greatest deliverances forgotten; how soon are the most awful appearances familiarized to the mind! The very first threatening of danger effaces from the memory of these Israelites all impression of the powerful wonders which had just passed before them, and eclipses the glory of that cloud which, at that very inftant, presented itself to their eyes, and overshadowed their heads. But, let not felf-Hattery impofe upon us, as if we were more faithful and obedient than they were. It is the mere deception of vanity and felf-love to suppose, that " if one were to arise from the dead, we would be persuaded ;" that if we saw a miracle wrought, we would believe; that if we heard Christ teach in our streets, we would “ forsake all and follow him.” The man, whom the usual appearances of nature do not move, would soon become insensible to more uncommon phenomena. For, extraordinary things frequently repeated, are extraordinary no longer, and consequently foon lose their force. If the daily miracles of God's mercy and loving-kindness fail to convince men, what reason is there to hope, that mere exertions of power would produce a happier effect ? If Chrit, speaking by his word and ministering servants,
divide, then, when
amely, the weakness and inexperience of her ones. When the son is become a man, pater.
relaxes, and parental authority is at an end. s the authority of our heavenly Father never
fo his bowels of compassion are never restrainhis vigilance is never lulled to rest, his care suspended; because his offspring is, to the lalt, int, improvident, imperfect. -ain had Israel, by a series of miracles unparal
in the annals of mankind, been rescued from cian oppression, had not the fame almighty arm
delivered them at first, continued to protect pport them. The strength of Egypt, broken was, had been sufficient to force them back. vilderness itself had been fatal to them, without
How easily are the greatest deliverances for1 ; how foon are the most awful appearances Farized to the mind! The very first threatening
ger effaces from the memory of these Israelites Ipression of the powerful wonders which had afled before them, and eclipses the glory of that
which, at that very inftant, presented itself to eves, and overshadowed their heads. But, let If-Hattery impofe upon us, as if we were more il and obedient than they were. It is the mere tion of vanity and self-love to suppose, that “jf cre to arise from the dead, we would be pero 1;" that if we saw a miracle wrought, we would 2 ; that if we heard Christ teach in our streets, uld " forsake all and follow him.” The man, the usual appearances of nature do not move,
foon become insensible to more uncommon nena. For, extraordinary things frequently d, are extraordinary no longer, and conle
soon lose their force. If the daily miracles of mercy and loving-kindness fail to convince hat reason is there to hope, that mere exer. f power would produce a happier effect? If fpeaking by his word and ministering servants,
be treated with neglect, is it likely that his perfon would be held in veneration ? If men “ hear not Mo. ses and the prophets, neither will they be perfuaded though one rose from the dead."* Is it not notorious, that Christ's personal ministrations were slighted, his miracles vilified, his character traduced ?
Whose conduct is the more absurd and criminal, that of Pharaoh, in pursuing after and attempting to bring back a people who had been a snare and a curse to himself and his kingdom ; or that of Israel, in trembling at the approach of an enemy, whom God had so often subdued under them? Frail nature looks only to the creature; to surrounding mountains, opposing floods, persecuting foes : hence terror, confusion and astonishment. But faith eyes the pillar, the residence of divine majesty, and then mountains sink, feas divide, the chariot and horseman are overthrown. Every passion, when it becomes predominant, renders us filly and unreasonable ; and none more so than fear. In danger and distress it is natural, but it is foolish, to impute to another the evils which we fear or feel. It seems to be an alleviation of our own misery, if we can contrive to shift the blame of it upon the shoulders of our neighbour. Hence Moses is loaded with the imputation of a deliberate design of involving his nation in this dire dilemma, between Pharaoh and the Red Sea, and of felling them to the foe. A high and responsible situation is far from being an enviable one. If things go well, the conductor of the undertaking receives but a divid. ed, a mutilated praise. If an enterprise fail, the whole blame of the miscarriage is imputed to him. The aftonished multitude dare not directly attack God himfelf. No: the cloudy pillar hangs over their heads, ready to burst, in thunder and fire, on the man who presumed to aim his shafts so high. But their impiety seeks the pitiful shelter of a fubterfuge; they murmur against Mofes, because they imagine they can do it
with * Luke xvi. 31.
Every Prilly ananger and nant, fo than Foolith,,