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And he said, I beseech thee, shew mc-thy glory. THE greater progress any one has made in science, the deeper must be his conviction of his own ignorance and imperfection ; and the higher our attainments in religion, the stronger is the impression of our infinite distance from God. A little knowledge puffeth up ; but modesty and humility are the constant attendants on profound wisdom. Thoughtless men make light of the name, the house, the day of God; but angels cover their faces with their wings,” when they approach his awful presence. Human friendship admits of freedom and familiarity; but while the great Jehovah condescends to “ dwell with man upon earth, even with him who is of a contrite and humble spirit ;” he permits us not to forget, that he is “the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy.” Are we elevated, as on eagle's wings, up to the eternal throne ? It is only that we may feel the hand which supports our flight, and discern our own darkness by that
light which is inaccessible and full of glory.“ Abraham, the friend of God, in the highest intimacy of that honourable character, loses not for a moment the sense of his distance and dependence; “Behold now
I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes." * "Olet not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but this once." A voice from heaven reaches his cars, faying, “ Fear not, Abram : I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”'t And that instant we behold him prostrate, with his face to the ground. Moses, the friend of God, to whom Jehovah revealed more of himself than to any other man, is still but in the outer court of the habitation where God dwells. What he knows has only created a thirst før knowledge ; what he has seen has but inspired an earnest desire of seeing more and more; and after communications fo ample, and communion fo sweet, this is still his desire, this his request, “ Lord, few me thy glory.”
From the reiterated rebellions and provocations of Ifrael, this good has resulted New, endearing, encouraging discoveries have been made of the divine nature, perfections and will. Mankind, to the latest generations, have been instructed to revere that justice which “ will by no means clear the guilty," and to triumph in that mercy which “ forgiveth iniquity, transgression and fin.” The revolt of the people cemented and improved the union between God and their leader.
Joshua, the son of Nun, who was destined to make so distinguished a figure, and to act a part so conspicuous and important in the history of Israel, is represented as trained up from his youth in the service of Moses, and in communion with God. We find him in the mount with his master when he went to receive the written law, while the multitude below were polluting themselves with idols. We find him entering with his master into the tabernacle, when it was removed out of the camp, and the glory of the Lord overshadowed it; and there he remained, while Mofes returned to confer with the people. Early habits of acquaintance with God, and employment in his service, are youth's best fecurity and preservative against fin, and the surest foundation of honour and usefulness, of distinction and comfort in advanced
his * Gen. xviii. 27.
+ Gen. xv. 1.
age. A man muft be formed to command by obeying.
Joshua, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle." * What a fevere reproof of that fpirit of profligacy and diffipation, that criminal love of pleafure and coldnefs to intellectual attainments, that rreligion and profanity which characterize youth in general ?
It is pleafing to look forward to this good man's farter end, and to observe a career of glory supported and adorned by piety; a youth of serioufness, fidelity and ufefulness, ripening into an advanced life of reputation and usefulness; declining into an old age of tranquillity, vigour and joy; and closing in the wellgrounded hope of immortality. Joshua was trained for the camp, in the tabernacle and on the mount, and was prepared to be the great general and statesman, by learning first to be the humble faint and faithful min. ister.
The chara&ters of Moses and of Joshua delightfully illustrate and embellish each other. Moses knew from the beginning that this young man was to be his fucceffor in office; was to finish the work which he had begun; was to have the glory of conquering Canaan, ånd of establishing Ifrael there, according to the prom- . ifes. An ordinary mind would have marked the progress of this growing rival with jealousy; would have attempted to obstruct his advancement; would have repined at the preference given him, to the neglect of his own family. But every selfish, every domestic consideration gives way to the rising merits of Joshua, and to the choice and appointment of Heaven. It tvas equally natural, on the other hand, for a young man like jofhua, who knew that he was destined to rule, to surpass his master, to reach the highest summit of human grandeur ; it was natural for such an one
* Verse is.
to become impatient of authority, to be weary of reftraint, to be eager to bring himself forward, and make himself conspicuous : but the fon of Nun discovers true magnanimity in cheerfully yielding the fubjection becoming an inferior; in obferving Mofes and learning of him ; in patiently waiting for the time and manner which Providence should choose of exalting him to honour. Moses treats him, and speaks of him, as of a favourite son, rising into eminence and distinction; he behaves to Moses as to a beloved parent, crowned with years and honour, which he hopes to see him long enjoy. Thefe are leffons not taught in the school of the world, where natural affection, decency and discretion are daily facrificed on the altar of pride, felfishness, avarice and ambition.
Mofes has, by importunity, prevailed that the usual fymbol of the divine prefence fhould continue to lead and protect Ifrael, by the way in which they went to the promised land. In answer to the prayer of faith it is thus promised, “My presence shall go
with thee, and I will give thee rest."* His Spirit is now therefore tranquillized with respect to the people of his charge. God is yet again " for them, and who can be against them?” But his personal acquaintance with God seems only beginning. As if he had seen nothing of the divine glory in the bush at Horeb, which burned, but was not consumed ; as if the awful glories of Sinai had been nothing : as if God had not spoken to him in the tabernacle of the congregation, face to face, “as a man to his friend ;" he continues to entreat, “ Lord, fhew me thy glory!” My friends, if you can rest satisfied with what
know of God, it is a melancholy proof that you know him not. Eternity is too short, the capacity of an angel too limited, " to find out the Almighty unto perfection.”
What a field of discovery does the vast frame of NATURE present! Supposing, O man, thy duration sufficiently extended, thy understanding fufficiently en
larged, larged, and opportunity afforded thee, equal to thy utmost wish, when couldelt thou have made a complete furvey of the little globe wherein we dwell; when couldest thou have explored the innumerable secret wonders of the hoary deep; when examined the precious contents of the everlasting hills; when discovered the nature and properties of air and fire? Supporing the mighty task performed ; supposing the untried regions of the air, the untrodden paths of the sea, the deep and the high places of the carth rendered accessible to thy approach, laid fully open to thy view, and lo, the race of knowledge is but beginning. Behold another orb at hand, presenting a new world of wonders : an orb poffessing an inconceivably greater extent than our earth, containing an infinitely greater variety of objects, answering a much nobler end in the scale of being; and after that, another; and another still, in endless succession. Suppose the whole planetary fyftem, in order, to have passed under review, the mind rests not there; the wonders of divine power and wisdom end not then ; the soul wings its way to other systems, lighted by other funs, and finds itself but entering on the glorious career.
* Verse 14.
Were the whole expanse of nature explored, the MORAL government of God over all these spheres and all that they contain, expands the same valt field afresh to the astonished eye, and invites to ä fecond excursion. When that is performed, REDEEMING LOVE, ALMIGHTY GRACE display the ample theatre a third time, and lead us by the hand through the “nations of them that are saved,” and point out the fucceflive triumphs of sovereign goodness. As if it were possible to see an end of all this glorious perfection, fcripture announces the dissolution of all these things, as a space too small for the soul to expatiate in, as an object too mean for its contemplation ; and promises a new and more glorious fystem of things, suited to its endless duration and exalted powers,
new heav. ens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousnefs."