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sustain the faith of Abraham by promises made under the star-lighted firmament and under the glowing blushes of the dawn. Surely such communion was a rich compensation for the abandonment of Uz of the Chaldees, when his heart burned withiu him as he listened to the accents of Deity floating on the midnight sky.
But the “reward” was for ever unfolding its fulness. When Abraham was dead it still hovered as the cloud of glory over his descendants, and shed an efulgent ligbt upon their history. How transcendently has the promise been fulfilled made to Abraham in sight of the glowing and spangled heaven alive with constellations from one side to the other—"So shall thy seed be.” Numerous as the stars they have been, and luminaries of all the earth have they been also. The chief lights of mankind have been and still are the sons of Abraham Legislators, historians, poets, prophets, apostles-these stars of the Hebrew heaven still shine down upon this valley of the shadow of death the heralds of immortality. And, chief of all, flames in the forehead of the East that Morning Star, who has grown into a Sun of Righteousness, and turned our night to day.
The “reward "accompanied Abraham when he died into the world of spirits. His spirit was at rest in a region far from Macpelah, but it was in a state so calm and so holy that “ Abraham's bosom" became the name of the paradise of souls. Toither went the souls of the just, through all succeeding ages, until the hour when Jesus himseif “descended into Hade.” And Abraham saw his day” and was “glad.” Resting there in the bosom of his God, he awaited that resurrection from the dead, in the faith of which he died, and through the faith of which he had been called to offer up Isaac a willing sacrifice to Him “who only hath immortality.” For “ he looked for a city that hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." God had “ prepared for him a city" in the sky, and hence was “not ashamed to be called his God.” Utterly inconceivable it would be that Abraham should have travelled to Egypt, where thoughts of the life to come and of an eternal blessedness filled all ininds, and formed the theme of painters, sculptor musicians throughout the whole valley of the Nile, and have been distinguished there as the only man whose views were restricted to the visibiz horizon, the only man who had no hope beyond. And this man, forsooth the truest worshipper (f the living God-of the Great Inhabitant of Eternity
so that, as some would have us believe, God, who inspired these dreams of an endless future into the hearts of Egyptians and Hindoos, reared Abraham's faith by a steady refusal to grant him a glimpse of the invisible glories. Nay, verily, “He had respect to the recompense of the rewart. The Inhabitant of Eternity would have been ashamed to have been called his God unless he had provided for him a home in heaven. A God who could not or would not give him that had no title to the name. But this Eterna Being would have been degraded by owning hiniself the God of a sinful at
shortlived creature such as man, if his hopes were limited by time. Her :- the Maker of animals, but not their “God” We cannot even conceived
the Holy and Everlas ing Being calling himself the “God” of insects and earid worms, of moles and bats, or of men who resemble them, A Gou mean
even more than a Father. And He would have been ashamed to be called te "God of Abraham" unless he had made a suitableand godlike provision for him in the realms of glory. It was towards this goal that Abraham looked, and it is towards this blessed hope that all things are moving. The very oyjoyments of heaven are spoken of as baving Abraham among the chief personages to share in them. “ They shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God.'
How great those enjoyments will be, and through what an unsearchable eternity they will endure, no tongue can tell. The greatness of the Gospel blessings, however, need not “stagger” us; since it is not so much our
aliications which are consulted in the bestowment as the Divine majesty. "Of Him are all things.” God would be ashamed to be called their God (neas he wronght on a scale of wondrous mercy and power answerable to the infinity of the Nature whence redemption springs. If it were not that God took all the measures of redemption from Himself and not from us, it would seem to Him only like revealing Himself as the God of a world of faded leaves, or to a momentary vanishing swarm of fire-flies. But the greatness of the Divine mercy magnifies the objects of His grace, and the “ seed of Abraham" is destined to inherit the glory of its God.
He could well afford to be a stranger and a sojourner on earth, for whom was reserved so rich an appanage as Paradise itself. He could well endure to "dwell in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacoh” under the heats or rigours if the Syrian sky, who was destined to dwell with God Himself for ever unles that starlighted canopy of the everlasting heavens, which He will * stretch forth as a tent to dwell in,” in the immeasurable journey down the
* to come. And even so may we, who are of the same faith, and whose 'Ts are lifted up to the same grand realities that loom, vast and glorious, tagund this world of shadows, well afford to submit ourselves patiently to 134 changes and the chances of this mortal life, “knowing that if this earthly Les use of our tent be dissolved we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens."
THE DEATH OF MOSES.
BY THE EDITOR. *8) Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word i the Lord. And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor : ** 10 man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day.”—Deut. xxxiv. 5–6.
Og all the grand heroic men who, ) in harmony with the dignity of his hug six thousand years, have walked office-an office that was conferred is is earth and taken part in its affairs, 1
upon him amidst the grandest maniLifre are few who for greatness and festations by Jehovah himself. ReSvaness combined can be compared ferring to the way in which he is men
ferring to the way in which A MOSES. Moses was the mediator / tioned in the Bible, we find him ever of the Old Covenant, just as Christ spoken of by his successors in the
Lord is the mediator of the New ; service of God with profound affection his whole life and character was 1 and respect. In the passage quoted
above, he is called, with an obviously | he died. “Moses the servant of the special significance, “ Moses the ser- | Lord died there in the land of Moab, vant of God;” in other parts of the according to the word of the Lord." Old Testament he is honoured with It is not, however, with the incidents the same or a similar designation ; of his life, but with his death, that and if we turn to the New Testament we have to do now. But, in order to writings, we find that it was he who, 1 understand the significance of his death,
ch and Elijah, was deputed we must go back somewhat. We to be present at the Transfiguration of begin, then, with the first month of the Lord; while in the Book of the Reve- ! the fortieth year from the Exodus. In lation we are told that, in heaven, that month we find the Israelites at those who “have gotten the victory Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin. over the beast, and over his image, which they had left thirty-seven year and over the number of his name, and before. But how much had happened to who stand on the sea of glass, having them during that thirty-seven years! thò harps of God, sing the song of How often and how grievously had Moses the servant of God, and the song they sinned against God! How much of the Lamb.” (Rev. xv. 3.) The had they suffered on account of their incidents of Moses's life are of the most transgressions! It is probable that of wonderful character. We all remem the thousands who, thirty-seven years ber-how should we forget it?-the since, had walked that wilderness, but story of his birth. We remember how few were now left to visit it again. he grew up to be “learned in all the But the discipline of those weary years wisdom of the Egyptians, mighty in had not overcome their rebellious diswords and deeds." We remember position. Again, as thirty-seven years how, “ when he was come to years, he before, they found themselves in want refused to be called the son of of water. Again, as thirty-seven years Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather before, they “gathered themselves to suffer affliction with the people of together against Moses and agains: God than to enjoy the pleasures of Aaron.” It was at this moment that sin for a season.” Then we have his Moses committed the one sin of his retirement into the mountains and into life. The account of it will be found the desert. There the Lord appeared in the twentieth chapter of the Book to him in the burning bush. There he of Numbers. (Read Numb. xx. 6-12 was taught, as all great men must be, | What was the precise nature of Moses by the discipline of solitude. From | sin it is not easy to say. It would be the desert he returned to the Court of useless to trouble ourselves with the Pharaoh. His “mighty words and many speculations on the subject deeds” in the presence of Pharaoh are which have been made by learned and part of the story of our childhood. 1 unlearned expositors. Evidently, his Next we see him by the shore of the sin was a sin of unbelief. “ Because not Red Sea. We wonderingly watch him, believed me not." It was an omission to and the people with him, pass through sanctify, or glorify, the Lord. “ To stret the Red Sea as it had been dry land. tify meinthe eyes of the children of Israel On the other side of the Red Sea, we It found its expression, partly at least, find him at once the Leader, the Law in unadvised or angry speech. "Be giver, the Judge, the Prophet, the cause they provoked his spirit, so that King of the People. There he talked spuke unadvisedly with his lips.” (Psalm with God. There God spake to him cvi. 33.) Probably the sin included face to face. There for forty years he the three elements, of unbelief, proled the people by a way that they knew | sumption, and impatience. Moses was not to the land that the Lord their one of the greatest heroes of faith, bu God had promised them. There at for once his faith wavered : he was on last, at the very entrance to that land of the humblest of men, but for our
be presumed: he was “ very meek,” | mission of her brothers -- that we are told, “above all the men on the sister who had sung that glorious fire of the earth," but for once he was song of triumph on the shore of the angry and impatient, and spoke and Red Sea-that sister was now called aced unworthily of his sacred office. away. Only a few weeks have passed, Whatever was the nature of Moses's and Aaron also is removed. Amidst air, it met with a speedy punishment. circumstances almost as singular as "And the Lord spake unto Moses and those attending the departure of Moses Aaron, Because ve believed me not, to himself, Aaron, the high priest, was Sanctify me in the eyes of the children “ gathered unto his people.” And of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring now the aged warrior, bereft thus of this congregation into the land which his beloved ones, pursued his own I have given them.” (Numb. xx. 12.) | way to the grave. Not that even How terrible this punishment was it now he neglected a single duty, or 15 wisy to understand. If there was was in the smallest degree neglectful ode prospect that had sustained Moses of the trust committed to his charge. during the wanderings of forty years, Still he led the people as aforetime; still it was the prospect of bringing the he fought their enemies for them; still people into that pleasant land,” that he interceded with God successfully on ** land flowing with milk and honey." their behalf. But henceforth his way There at last his weary feet would find was solitary. The friends of his youth rest. There he would be recognised were gone. The hopes of his life were as the hero-the conqueror. There the disappointed. Brave, grand old man ! people who had so often doubted him As he marches on to that “valley in would find that he had led them all the land of Moab," does he not remind along by a right way. To have died in us of another Grand One, who, when the wilderness would scarcely have long centuries had elapsed, “set himbeen hard. Often, when the people self steadfastly to go to Jerusalem"? rebelled against his authority, his Only a few months have now to heart must have sunk within him, and pass, and the work of Moses is le must have said, as so many be finished. The Israelites have made fore and since have done, “Let their last encampment on the eastern me die and not live!" But now, side of the Jordan. There, in the Then he had brought the people desert plains of Moab, the wanderings thus far-now, when he had borne | of the forty years were over; there, with them 80 long - now, when before their delighted vision, lay the the mountains of the Promised Land mountains and the plains of the Prowere rising before him-now, to die mised Land; there, at last, the com0, this must have been terrible to mand came to Moses—“ Get thee up lesh and blood ! No wonder that he into this mount, and die in the should have “besought the Lord at mount whither thou goest up." that time, I pray thee, let me go over, (Deut. xxxii. 48–50.) It is not and see the good land that is beyond difficult to follow Moses as he obeys Jorian, that goodly mountain, and the Divine command. He has sung Lebanon.” (Deut. iv. 25.)
his last songs--those songs that still It was just now that his heart was ring through the centuries—and he made sorer by the death of his sister has given the people his last warning Miriam. That sister who, as a young and blessing Now he ascends. As girl, had watched over his cradle, and he ascends, he perhaps hears from behad aided in his deliverance -- that low the chant of the Ninetieth Psalm.* sister who had shared in the sacred " Amidst the tears of the people, the The writer would like to venture very respectfully the suggestion, whether the Ninetieth
was not written, not by Moses, but as a Funeral Hymn for Moses after his departure. cua thought, if it be true, gives a new and beautiful significance to the Psalm.
women beating their breasts, and the , have been in the eye of Moses,—9710 children giving way to uncontrolled | beautiful because it was not to be an wailing,” he at length disappears. | land ! Beautiful it would be, whethe Higher and yet higher now he pursnes | in its morning brightness, its merida his solitary way. “Not strange to his glory, or its sunset's glow! And bom feet, though forty years unknown, the much Moses saw in that vision, beste roughness of the bare mountain path, that which was visible to the moras he climbs from ledge to ledge of tal eye, we cannot tell. Peria Abarim : not strange to his aged eyes it was revealed to him, by th the scattered clusters of the mountain Lord who spoke to him, what eren herbage, and the broken shadows of would hereafter happen at Bethlehen the cliffs, indented far across the perhaps he was told how on Hermo silence of uninhabited ravines." * It the mount of the Transfiguration, I was amidst scenes such as these that would meet the Lord again ; perhs in his youth he had so often led his he was told, even before that meet flocks. It was from scenes such as | of the Decease that should be ace" these that he had been torn to do his plished one day at Jerusalem. WClife-work. Now, amidst similar scenes, | ther he saw all this or not, si “the weary hands that had been so may be assured that he had another long stayed up against the armies of vision. As the sun set, and the dark Amalets, lean again upon the shepherd's ness fell, upon the Canaan he might staff, and fold themselves for the “ see but not go thither," another alu shepherd's prayer, the shepherd's a better Canaan burst upon his ve F.. sluinber.” + “As he ascends, the view As the waters of the Jordan becan opons before him. “The Lord,” wo lost in the twilight, he saw mon are told, “showed him all the land.” clearly " the river of the water of life It was the peak dedicated to Nebo on which runs through the Paradise 0 which he stood. Beneath him lay the God;" as the mountains hid their gTHT tents of Israel ready for the march; | foreheads in the darkness, the moli and over against them, distinctly of God rose before his enraptura visible in its grove of Palm-trees, the gaze; as the chant of wailing and o stately Jericho, key of the Land of sorrow ceased from the valley below Promise. The Dead Sea lay waveless him, his ears opened to the song a before him; beyond it the whole range triumph of the * ten thousand time of the mountains of Palestine; tho ten thousand and thousands of thou hazy recesses spoke of quiet valleys sands" who are before the throna between the hills; and amidst the “ So Moses, the servant of the Lord hills, seen distinctly in the dim dis died there in the land of Moab actance, were Hermon, the mount of the cording to the word of the Lord. AL Transfiguration, Bethlehem, on its nar he buried him in a valley in the leli row ridge, and the invincible fortress | of Moab, over against Bethpeor; bul of Jebus. And this was the Promised no man knoweth of his sepulchre u. Land! This was that “ goodly land," this day.' that “land flowing with milk and honey!” This was the land promised There are some reflections naturally to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to suggested by this narrative, which ar? their seed! This was the land to too important to be altogether omitted, which for five hundred years the 1. The first reflection is the very Israelites had been looking forward, obvious one of the exceeding sinjulined and towards which for forty years they | of sin. I might indeed say that the had been struggling along their weary | first reflection is that of the universalky way! How beautiful the land must l of sin. I believe it is true that there * Josephus.