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causing any terror to those who heard him; but his words were not, in the least degree, of less importance because spoken in that nature; for awful would be the doom of all who disregarded them.
There were now five books of the Scriptures; how great the knowledge of true religion the perusal of them would convey to the minds of devout readers! They would learn the character of God, the nature of sin, their own spiritual condition; and, as the way of a sinner's acceptance with a God of holiness was of the first importance, they found it revealed in every possible manner —by means that were simple and distinct, sublime and costly. These writings were greatly prized by that generation, and by countless multitudes since. "For whatsoever things are written aforetime, were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope."
As the pious Israelites read of Joseph, the wise and loving brother; of their Aaron, who lived for their sakes to plead their cause with God; their Moses, their divinely taught lawgiver and magnanimous ruler, loaded with heavenly honours, yet the meekest man upon earth— when they reflected on the bright examples of their lives —the great services they had rendered to their generation, and mourned to think they would be seen on earth no more; they would recollect their promised Messiah— that infinitely greater than the excellencies of all these would be found in him—that he would never die; or rather, he would only for a short time be numbered with the dead, and that he was already near them in his ordinances.
At this time the words of the apostle were applicable to Israel in" their fullest sense, "To whom pertain the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises" (Rom. ix. 4).
MESSIAH TYPIFIED BY EMINENT CHARACTERS, AND REVEALED IN
Joshua.—josh. After the death of Moses, we come next
to destroy men's lives, but to save them—no weapon, nothing to injure was ever seen in his hands, yet would he have more frequent conflicts, mightier foes, more protracted contests, than any other being in the whole universe of God. In every age, wicked men, and the hosts of Satan, would be endeavouring to put down his cause and authority. Under the banner of Joshua, the captain of Israel, its armies went forth and conquered; they executed the destruction threatened upon the guilty nations. Previous to the first assault, Joshua stood before Jericho viewing its position; and, whilst engaged in prayer, he lifted up his eyes and beheld a man with a sword drawn in his hand. Joshua, not intimidated, approached, and said, "Art thou for us, or for our adversaries?" The man replied, "Nay, as Prince of the host of the Lord am I now come." Joshua immediately prostrated himself before him, worshipped, and expressed his submission to his authority. The man received the worship, and commanded him to loose his shoe from off his foot, for the place whereon he stood was holy—rendered so by his visible presence there. He then directed Joshua how he was to act in besieging Jericho (Josh. vi. 2-5). This is another instance of the assumption of the human form by him who is often called the Angel-Jehovah, or "Messenger of the covenant," and, in this place, the Lord. Moses was required to give the same expression of reverence when he appeared to him in a flame of fire in the bush.
It was he who gave Joshua wisdom, strength, and courage. It was he who defended the armies of Israel; and whilst Joshua visibly commanded them, it was the Prince of the host of the Lord whose power was above alL
After the destruction of Jericho, the men of Beth-el and Ai came out against Israel. Joshua drew not his hand back until he had utterly exterminated them. Again, five kings combined to desolate a city that had made a league with Israel; Joshua marched all night, came suddenly upon them—they fled at his approach; he pursued, he spake to the Lord—then to the sun and to the moon in the presence of Israel; "so the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day," whilst they continued to destroy their enemies. That was a remarkable day in the history of the sun and moon; it was the only time the Lord hearkened to the voice of a man so as to alter his laws regarding their motions in their orbits; but he did so to aid Israel, and obtain for them the victory.
He persevered in besieging city after city, and slaying the inhabitants, by the command of God; for their iniquities were full, and they only received their righteous doom, dreadful as that doom was. He who created and preserved them could no longer endure their evil deeds; living in hatred to one another, worshipping the mcst degrading idols, vain and cruel in all their ways: of the country they inhabited, he said, "The land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, md the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants" (lev. xviii. 25).
Undeterred by the numerous victories the captain of Israel had already gained, a number of kings made another confederacy to oppose his progress; they went cut and all their hosts—much people, even as the sand tlat is upon the sea-shore in multitude, with very many horses and chariots. The Lord delivered them into his hand; they fled, he pursued until none were left remaining. His triumphs were now complete. He took the whole land, and gave it for an inheritance to Israel.
Messiah's conflicts still continue, and are of a spiritual nature—between light and darkness—sin and righteousness—between love of God and enmity to him. They have not been visible as the combats of hostile nations; the devastations of the enemy were often unheeded by the mortal