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of clay; but rather that, on being liberated from all mixture with body, pure and entire, it enters upon its true intellectual existence. At death, any one may discover what becomes of the material part of our frame: all finks into that from which it arose, every thing is refolved into its first principle; the foul alone is apparent neither while it is with us, nor when it departs. What so much resembles death as fleep? Now the powers of the mind, in fleep, loudly proclaim their own divinity; free and unfettered, the foul plunges into futurity, afcends its native fky. Hence we may conclude how enlarged thofe powers will be, when undepreffed, unreftrained by the chains of flesh. Since these things are fo, confider and reverence mè as a tutelary deity. But, granting that the mind were to expire with the body, nevertheless, out of reverence to the immortal Gods, who fupport and direct this fair fabric of nature, pioufly, affectionately cherish the memory of your affectionate father." The The great Roman orator puts these words into the mouth of Cato, in addreffing his young friends Scipio and Lælius. "Thofe excellent men, your fathers, who were fo dear to me in life, I confider as still alive; and indeed, as now enjoying a state of being which alone deferves to be dignified with the name of life. For as long as we are shut up in this dungeon of fenfe, we have to toil through the painful and neceffary drudgery of life, and to accomplish the laborious task of an hireling. The celeftial fpirit is, as it were, depreffed, degraded from its native feat, and plunged into the mire of this world, a ftate repugnant to its divine nature and eternal duration." And again, "Nobody fhall ever perfuade me, Scipio, that your father Paullus, and your two grandfathers, Paullus and Africanus, and many other eminent men whom it is unneceffary to mention, would have attempted and acheived fo many fplendid actions, which were to extend their influence to pofterity, had they not clearly difcerned that they had an intereft in, and a connexion with the ages of futurity,
futurity, and with generations yet unborn. Can you imagine, that I may talk a little of myfelf, after the manner of old men, can you imagine, that I would have submitted to fo many painful toils, by night and by day, in the forum, in the fenate, in the field, had I apprehended that my existence, and my reputation, were to terminate with my life? Were this the cafe, would it not have been much better to dofe away in indolence an infignificant and useless life? But, I do not know how, the foul, inceffantly exerting its native vigour, ftill fprung eagerly forward into ages yet to come, and feized them as its own.
"I feel myself transported with delight at the thought of again feeing and joining your fathers, whom on earth I highly respected and dearly loved; and, borne on the wings of hope and defire, I am speeding my flight to mingle in the honoured fociety, not of thofe only whom on earth I knew, and with whom I have converfed; but of those alfo of whom I have heard and read, and the history of whose lives I myself have written, for the inftruction of mankind. Í have the confolation of reflecting, that I have not lived wholly in vain and I quit my ftation in life without regret, as the way-faring man, whofe face is towards home, bids farewell to the inn where he had ftopped for a little refreshment on his way. O glorious day, when
I fhall be admitted into the divine affembly of the wife and good! When I fhall make an eternal escape from this fink of corruption, and the din of folly! When amidst the happy throng of the immortals, I fhall find thee alfo my fon, my Cato, beft, moft amiable of men! On thy afhes, I beftowed the honours of the tomb. Ah! why did not mine rather receive them from thy hand! But your fpirit, I know it, has never forfaken me; but cafting back many a longing, lingering look to your afflicted father, has removed to that region of purity and peace whither you were confident I fhould fhortly follow you. And I feel, I feel our feparation cannot be of long continuance.
"If, indulging myself in this fond hope, my young friends, I am under the power of delufion, it is a fweet, it is an innocent delufion. I will hold it faft and never let it go, while I live. I defpife the fneer of the witling, who would attempt to laugh me out of my immortality. Suppofe him in the right, and myself under a mistake, he fhall not have the power to infult me, nor fhall I have the mortification of feeling his fcorn, when we are both gone to the land of everlasting forgetfulness.”
How pleafing the thought, my dear chriftian friends, I again repeat it, how pleafing the thought, that the honeft propenfities of nature, the faireft conclufions of unaffifted reafon, and the most ardent breathings of truth and virtue, are here in unifon with the clearest and most explicit declarations of the holy fcriptures!
But the facred Dove foars into a region which na, ture and reason never could have explored. Revelation, to the immortality of the foul, has added the refurrection of the body. And, "wherefore should it be thought a thing incredible that God fhould raife the dead?" The Spirit fays to "thefe dry bones, Live.” "We believe that Jefus died and rofe again." What a fure ground of hope, that "them alfo who fleep in Jefus, God will bring with him!" Delightful reflection! Who would be fo unjust to God, and fo unkind to himself, as to part with it? How it fmooths the rugged path of life, how it tempers the bitterness of affliction, how it diffipates the horrors of the grave! One child fleeps in the duft, the diameter of the globe feparates me from another, but the word of life, “I AM the God of thy feed," refcues that one from corruption, and puts the other in my embrace. Time dwindles into a point, the earth melts away, "the trumpet founds," "the dead arife incorruptible." Behold all things are made new! "New heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." "Arife, let us go hence," and "fit down with Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God."
History of Moses.
HEBREWS Xi, 24-27.
By faith Mofes, when he was come to years, refused to be called the fon of Pharaoh's daughter; choofing rather to fuffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of fin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Chrift greater riches than the treasures of Egypt : for he had refpect unto the recompenfe of the reward. By faith he forfook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as feeing him who is invifible.
THE hiftory of mankind contains many a lamenta
ble detail of the fad reverfes to which human affairs are liable; of the affluent, by unforeseen, unavoidable calamity, tumbled into indigence; of greatnefs in eclipfe; of the mighty fallen; of princes dethroned, banifhed, put to death. In fome inftances of this fort, we fee the unhappy fufferers making a virtue of neceflity, and bearing their misfortunes with a certain degree of patience and magnanimity; but in general, fudden and great diftrefs either fours or de. preffes the fpirit, and men fubmit to the will of Providence with fo ill a grace, that it is evident they are not under the power of religion, and that they flee not for confolation to the profpects of immortality.
We are this evening to contemplate one of those rare examples of true greatnefs of mind, which made a voluntary facrifice of the most enviable fituation, and the most flattering profpects, which human life
admits of; and that at an age when the heart is most devoted to the purfuit of pleasure, most susceptible of the allurements of ambition. It is the fingular instance of Mofes, the prophet and legiflator of Ifrael, who, brought up from infancy in a court, inftructed in all the learning of the Egyptians, treated as the heir of empire, and encouraged to afpire to all that the heart naturally covets, and that Providence bestows, on the most favoured of mankind; at the age of forty cheerfully refigned all these advantages, and preferred the life of a slave with his brethren, and of a fhepherd in the land of Midian, among strangers, to all the luxury and splendour belonging to the fon of Pharaoh's daughter, to all the dazzling hopes of royalty or of power next to majesty.
Scripture, in its own admirably concife method, dispatches the hiftory of this great man's life, from his infancy to his fortieth year, in a few fhort words, namely, "and Mofes was learned in all the wifdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds: "* as not deeming information concerning attainments in human fcience, or feats of martial prowefs, worthy of the knowledge of pofterity, compared to the triumphs of his faith, the generous workings of his public fpirit, and the noble ardour of fervent piety.
Philo and Jofephus, however, and other Jewish writers, have taken upon them to fill up this interval of time, by a fanciful, fabulous, unfupported account of the earlier years of Mofes; which we fhould perhaps be difpofed, in part, to retail for your amufement, if not for your inftruction, had not the Spirit of God fupplied us with well authenticated memoirs of a more advanced period of his life. In the perufal of which, with ferious meditation upon them, we fhall, I trust, find pleasure and profit blended together.
Taking infpiration then for our guide, we divide the hiftory of Mofes into three periods of equal dura
*Acts vii. 22.