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life. And confinement is still confinement, eth him will slay him : his multiplied crimes though in a place of safety, a city of refuge: cry out of the ground for vengeance upon his and ignorance and uncertainty respecting head—while eternal, inflexible justice, like the termination of our misery, are bitter in- " the avenger of blood,” pursues him to the gredients in the cup of affliction. “It may death. To flee from, or endure the wrath of outlast life," sad thought! “or consume the an offended God, is equally impossible. All best and most valuable portion of my days. nature is up in arms against him; he is beUnhappy that I am, to have introduced come a terror to himself; the king of terrors mourning into my neighbour's family, and aims his fatal dart, and hell follows after. desolated my own. Though I feel not the The • refuge” provided by the statute for pangs of remorse, my heart is torn with those the unhappy man who had destroyed his broof regret; and blood, though shed without a ther, and troubled his own soul, prefigures crime, is a burden too heavy for me to bear." | the remedy prescribed by infinite wisdoin for
The last regulation on record respecting the recovery of a lost, perishing world—that this subject, was a permission to the hapless dispensation of Divine Providence in which manslayer 10 “return into the land of his " mercy and truth are met together, rightpossession," on the death of the high priest. eousness and peace have kissed each other." The reason of this ordinance does not appear; Fear not, guilty creature, there is hope conbut it contains a circumstance very affecting cerning thee: thou shalt not die. The God to the prisoner himself, and affecting to all whom thou hast offended, even he, “hath found Israel. His release from confinement could out a ransom;" he hath“ laid help on One be purchased only by death, the death of who is mighty to save, even to the uttermost, another; and that not of an ordinary citizen, them who come unto God through him.” Cease but of the most dignified and respectable from the anxious inquiry, “ Who shall ascend character in the republic. The weight of into heaven, to bring Christ down from above ? blood innocently shed, was at length to be Who shall descend into the deep, to bring up removed; but how? Not by the demise of Christ again from the dead ?" “ The word him who shed it, but of "the high priest is nigh thee,” and in this word the Lord which should be in those days.” And may brings near his righteousness,” and his salwe not suppose a refugee of sensibility look- vation. The name of JEHOVAH is as a strong ing forward to this event with the mixed tower, whoso runneth into it is safe. Proemotions of hope and sorrow? The very phets, apostles, evangelists, with one accord, cause of his enlargement makes it to partake point to the sanctuary, saying, “ This is the of the nature of a punishment. He dare way, walk ye in it.” “ Turn ye to the strong hardly wish for liberty, for it involved guilt hold, ye prisoners of hope.” Here is “ deeper than what already lay upon his head; highway”—" the wayfaring men, though deliberate devising the death of his neigh- fools, shall not err therein." The Saviour bour, and taking pleasure in it.
himself proclaims, “ Look to me, and be Now, if guiltless homicide subjected the saved.”. Him that cometh unto me, I will perpetrator of it to such accumulated danger, in no wise cast out." anxiety, and distress, how atrocious in the The very act of flying from " the avenger sight of God must wilful murder be? And of blood," argued a consciousness of crimihow sacred, in the sight of man, ought to be nality, and an apprehension of danger; and the life of his brother, and every thing rela- the course directed to a city of refuge, inditing to its preservation and comfort, his health, cated knowledge of its appointment, and his peace, his reputation ? To attack him in of the privileges pertaining to it. In this we any of these respects, is to level a blow at his behold the character of the convinced, penihead, or, where he feels more sensibly still, tent sinner, condemned of his own conscience, at his heart
stripped of every plea of self-righteousness, Let us review this last of the Mosaic in- alarmed with the terrors of the "wrath to stitutions, and mark its reference to a clearer come,” encouraged by the declarations of the and more explicit dispensation : for it is too mercy of God in Christ, apprehending“ salvaevidently“ a shadow of good things to come.” tion in no other," perceiving no way to es
The flying “ manslayer" is an affecting cape but this, he flees " for refuge to lay hold representation of what every man is by na- of the hope set before him," even to · Him ture and by wicked works ; an unhappy crea- who is mighty to save;" to that “ blood ture, who has offended against his brother, which speaketh better things than the blood violated the laws of society, broken his own of Abel;" to " the Lamb of God, who taketh peace of mind, and trampled on the divine away the sin of the world :" saying, in the authority, not only accidentally and uninten- words of the psalmist, “ () Lord, thou art my tionally, but deliberately, presumptuously. refuge; return unto thy rest, O my soul, for His conscience, “ like the troubled sea," can- the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee." not rest. What he feels is dreadful, what he " In Jehovah alone have I righteousness and fears is infinitely worse. With trembling strength;" " he also is become my salvation.” Cain, he apprehends that every one who meet-! The safety of the manslayer depended, not
on having arrived at, but on remaining in the furnishes not a single one. But the provisions city of his refuge. To leave it prematurely of the “ better covenant-established upon was as fatal as to be overtaken on the way better promises," extend to every species, that led to it. The grace of the gospel, in and to every instance of guilt and misery. like manner, is extended, not to him who, They are made not only for the heedless and convinced of sin, and trembling with appre- the unfortunate, the weak and the helpless, hension of judgment to come, has fled for re- but for the stout-hearted and presumptuous, fuge, to the great Propitiation for sin, but to for deliberate offenders and backsliding chilhim who abideth in Christ. As there is a dren, for the very chief of sinners. What “ believing to the saving of the soul ;" so there ever, Oman, be thy peculiar “ weight, and is a " drawing back unto perdition:" and the sin that doth more easily beset thee;" “no man having put his hand to the plough, whatever “ the plague of thine heart," or the and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of error of thy life, behold " help laid for thee God.” Hence the solemn injunction and on One mighty to save.” “Behold the Lamb warning of Christ himself
, “ Abide in me, of God, that taketh away the sin of the world." and I in you—if a man abide not in me, he is Hear, and accept his kind invitation, “ Come cast forth as a branch, and is withered : and to me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and I will give you rest.” “ Look to me, and and they are burned.” “ He that endureth be saved, all the ends of the earth.” “ Him unto the end, the same shall be saved." The that cometh I will in no wise cast out." The great Apostle and High Priest of our profes- cities of Israel served as a temporary reprieve sion lives for ever; there is therefore “no from a sentence of death, which, though the more going out." “ In returning and rest hand of the " avenger" was restrained, the shall we be saved, in quietness and confidence hand of nature was speedily to execute. The shall be our strength.”
manslayer might be overtaken by it in the The sanctuary provided and opened, equally very city of his refuge. But the believer's for the distressed Israelite and “ the stran- seeurity under the gospel never fails, never ger," is a happy prefiguration of the indiscri- terminates. He is “ passed from death unto minating mercy, the unlimited extension of life;" he “ shall never perish.” “ There is the gospel salvation. “ In Christ Jesus, ye no condemnation to them that are in Christ who sometimes were far off, are made nigh Jesus.” “ Who shall lay any thing to the by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, charge of God's elect? It is God that justiwho hath made both one, and hath broken fieth : who is he that condemneth? It is down the middle wall of partition between Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen us.” He “ came and preached peace to you again." " I give unto them eternal life, and which were far off
, and to them which were they shall never perish, neither shall any nigh; and through him, we both have an access pluck them out of my hand; my Father, by one Spirit unto the Father.” The gospel which gave them me, is greater than all, of Christ is “ the power of God unto salvation, and none is able to pluck them out of my to every one that believeth, to the Jew first, Father's hand.” Under the law, the death and also to the Greek.” It announces “glory, of the high priest, the final era of release to honour, and peace to every man that worketh the manslayer, was an event entirely casual, good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile." often distant, always uncertain. Under the * For there is no respect of persons with God.” gospel, that death, which is the sinner's de Blessed dispensation, which hath abolished liverance, the soul's ransom, is an event for all invidious distinctions! “ where there is ever present, perpetually producing its effect. neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor un-Christ,“ by one offering, hath perfected for circumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bond nor ever them that are sanctified." This man, free, but Christ is all, and in all !" Who art because he continueth ever, hath an unthou then, O man, who " judgest thy brother changeable priesthood.” or why dost thou set at nought thy brother ?" “We ought, therefore, to give the more He is a man like thyself, a criminal as thou earnest heed to the things which we have art; for him also Christ died, and for his ad- heard, lest at any time we let them slip." mission, as for thine, the door of mercy stands For if the intentional murderer was to be open, the city of refuge strengthens its walls, dragged from God's altar, to suffer the poexpands its gates.
nishment of his crime; and if the manslayer, I conclude with suggesting a few hints, who despised and neglected his refuge, fell which will serve to evince the glorious superi- a just sacrifice to the resentment of the ority of the object prefigured, over the figure; avenger of blood,” and to his own presumpof “the very image of the things," above tion and neglect of the merciful ordinance " the shadow of good things to come.” The of God; “ low shall we escape, if we ne institution under review was a provision for glect so great salvation ?":
He that de one particular species of offence and distress, spised Moses's law died without mercy, under and for a case which could occur but in rarer two or three witnesses: of how much sorer instances. Indeed the whole history of Israel punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought
worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unof God, and hath counted the blood of the righteous man his thoughts: and let him covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the upon him, and to our God, for he will abundSpirit of grace ?" " For if we sin wilfully, antly pardon."* “ Behold, now is the acafter that we have received the knowledge cepted time; behold, now is the day of of the truth, there remaineth no more sacri- salvation.”+, “Return, ye backsliding chilfice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for dren, and I will heal your backslidings; of judgment, and fiery indignation, which behold we come unto thee, for thou art the shall devour the adversaries. It is a fearful Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation thing to fall into the hands of the living looked for from the hills, and from the multi
ye the Lord while he may tude of mountains : truly in the Lord our be found, call ye upon him while he is near. God is the salvation of Israel." I * Heb. x. 28, 29. 26, 27. 31.
* Isai. Iv. 6, 7.
| 2 Cor. vi. 2. Jer. iii. N, 23.
HISTORY OF MOSES.
And it came to pass in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that
Moses spake unto the children of Israel, according unto all that the Lord had given him in commandment unto them.-DEUTERONOMY i. 3.
“Where is that thrift, that avarice of time,
O glorious avarice! thought of death inspires ?"-YOUNG. Behold this honourable thrift, this glori-, indeed opposite feelings are apt to betray ous avarice, exemplified in that most amiable men into the same practical error, that of and excellent of mankind, Moses, the man mispending their time, and neglecting their of God, who has condescended to be so long opportunities--the confidence of living long our instructor and our guide. He is now in on the one hand—the near prospect of death the last month of his earthly existence; he on the other. What we imagine it is in our is “ ready to be offered up; the time of his power to do when we please, we are in great departure is at hand,” and an illustrious in- danger of never doing at all; and we feel stance his last days exhibits of how much the remorse of occasion for ever lost, ere may be done in a little time. Within the we are well awake from the dream of a seacompass of that month, that little month, all son continually at our disposal ; and it is but the words of this book were spoken in the too common, when thus overtaken, disconears of all Israel, and were committed to certed, and confused, to give up our work in writing. The decree, the irreversible de- despair. Having much to do, and the time cree had gone forth, he knew that he must being short, we sit down and lament our folly, die; he therefore sets himself to redeem the and do nothing. Presumption betrays us totime, seeing his days are now few, not one day, diffidence and despondency destroy us of them shall be spent in vain.
to-morrow. The tide which carried him along to the But in the last weeks of Moses's life we world of spirits, is hastening to finish our discover nothing of the indecent hurry of a course, to add us to the number of those who man conscious of neglect, and eager to repair were, but are no more. Another month, a it. He neither runs nor loiters; but walks little month, must close our review of the with the steadiness and dignity of one whose life and writings of Moses. A still shorter strength is as his day; who has a labour period may close our worldly career; and prescribed, and ability to perform it. In his when we part, it is to meet no more, till youth we have a pattern of generosity, and " the dead, small and great, stand before public spirit, and courage, and greatness of God." Let us then seize the moments as mind; in his manhood, of wisdom, of dilithey fly, and redeem our time. Let us drink gence, of perseverance, of fidelity; and now into the spirit of Moses, and learn of him in his old age, of calmness, of devotion, of how to live, and how to die.
superiority to the world, of heavenly mindedWe see here a man living cheerfully, liv- ness. ing usefully to the last. Two different and Observe the excellency of his spirit, at
this period, a little more particularly. He wise and good in the young; that tenacious set a proper value upon life. He desired its ness of power which would communicate no continuance, with the feelings natural to a advantage with another. man, he prized it as the gift of God, as the What anxiety does the good man discover precious season of acting for God, of observ- that Israel should act wisely, and go on prosing and improving the ways of his provi- perously after his death! I'here is no end to dence, of doing good to men, of preparation his admonitions and instructions. By word, for eternity. He prayed for its prolongation, by writing, by insinuation, by authority, in without fearing its end; and he thereby re- the spirit of meekness, of love, of parental proves that rashness which exposes life to care, he cautions, he warns, he remonstrates. unnecessary danger, that intemperance which Men naturally love to be missed, to be inquirwastes and shortens, that indolence and list- eď after, to be longed for; but it was the delessness which dissipate it; and that vice and light of Moses in his departing moments, that impiety which clothe death with terror. his place was already supplied, that the con
In Moses we have a bright example of gregation would not miss their leader, that genuine patriotism. That most respectable Joshua should happily accomplish what he quality appeared in him early, and shone had happily begun. Selfish men enjoy the most conspicuously at the last. " When he prospect of the disorder and mischief which was come to years, he refused to be called their departure may occasion. Moses forethe son of Pharaoh's daughter: choosing ra- saw the revolt of Israel after his decease, ther to suffer affliction with the people of and it was the grief and bitterness of his God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a heart. season."* For Israel's sake he was willing In Moses we have an instructive instance to encounter a thousand dangers, to endure of that continuance in well-doing, that per: a thousand hardships. For them he braved severance unto the end, which finds a duty the wrath of a king, sacrificed his ease, con- for every day, for every hour; which accounts sented to be blotted out of God's book. For nothing done so long as any thing remains to them he laboured, fasted, prayed; in their be done, which cheerfully spends and is spent service was his life spent, and his dying for the service of God, and the good of manbreath was poured out in pronouncing bless- kind. Age is ready to put in its claim, when ings upon them. If it went well with Israel, honour is expected, and advantage to be reap no matter what became of himself. Their ed; and is as ready to plead its exemption unkindness and ingratitude excited no re- when service is required, danger is to be ensentment in his breast. When they rebelled countered, and hardship undergone. But he was grieved, when they were threatened he while Moses discovers the utmost readiness trembled, when they suffered he bled, when to share with another the emolument and they were healed he rejoiced. O how his the respect of his office, the trouble and fatemper and conduct reprove that pride, which tigue of it he with equal cheerfulness anderperpetually aims at aggrandizing itself
, which takes and supports to the very last. must have every thing bend and yield to it, In the whole of his temper and conduct, which is ready to sacrifice thousands to its we have an ensample which at once admoown humour or advantage; that selfishness nishes, reproves, and encourages aus. May which grasps all, sets every thing to sale, we not, after considering the noble and exand refuses to be ashamed.
cellent spirit he discovered through the The generosity and disinterestedness of course and at the close of life, contemplate Moses eminently adorned the close of his the probable state of his mind in reviewing life. He was a father, and had all the feel the past, and surveying the prospect before ings of that tender relation. It was natural him: both affording unspeakable comfort, bot for him to wish and expect that his sons neither wholly exempted from pain. should be distinguished after his death, Pleasant it must have been to reflect, I. should be the heirs of his honour, should On his miraculous preservation in infancy. succeed to his authority. An ordinary man " To what dangers was I then exposed ! would have been disposed to employ the Doomed to perish by the sword from my mopower which he possessed to build up, to en- ther's womb. Concealed by fond parents for rich, to ennoble his own family: but the will three months at the peril of their life, as well of God was declared. Joshua was the choice as my own. Committed at length to the of Heaven; Joshua, his servant, one of ano- merciless stream, a prey to manifold deathther family, another tribe. In the appoint- the roaring tide, hunger, the monsters of the ment Moses rejoices, he adopts Joshua as his river, contending which should destroy me. son, as his associate; sees him rise with com- But I was precious in the sight of God. No placency, puts his honour upon him: and plague came nigh me; no evil befel me. thereby exposes to shame that littleness of The daughter of the tyrant saved me from soul which enviously represses rising merit
, the rage of the tyrant. The house of Phathat vice of age which can discern nothing raoh became my sanctuary. The munifi* Heb. xi. 24, 25.
cence of a princess recompensed the offices
of maternal tenderness. I knew not then to, to its source; to ascend from son to father, whom I was indebted for protection, from up to the general parent of the human race; what source my comforts flowed : let age and to rescue trom oblivion the ages beyond the consciousness acknowledge with wonder and flood, and to rescue departeù worth from the gratitude the benefits conferred on infant darkness of the grave. By me these venerahelplessness and infirmity; let my dying ble men, though dead, speak and instruct the breath utter his praise, who preserved me from world. By me the being and perfections, perishing as soon as I began to breathe." the works and ways, the laws and designs
2. May we not suppose the holy man of of the great Supreme stand unfolded; the God, by an easy transition, passing on to me- plan and progress of his providence, the sysdilate on deliverance from still greater dan- tem of nature, the dispensation of grace. To ger, danger that threatened his moral life my writings shall ages and generations rethe snares of a court? “Flattered and ca- sort for the knowledge of events past, and ressed as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, for the promises and predictions of greater brought up in all the learning of the Egyp- events yet to come. T'he Spirit of the LORD tians, having all the treasures in Egypt, at spake by me, and his word was in my tongue, my command, at an age when the passions, and the word of the LORD endureth
for ever. which war against the soul, are all afloat 5. What delight must it have afforded, in what risk did I run of forgetting myself
, of reviewing the past, to revive the memory of forgetting my people, of forgetting my God! communion with God, of exalted intercourse But the grace of the Most High prevented with the Father of spirits! “Blessed retireme I endured as seeing him who is invisible. ment from the noise of the world and the I refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's strife of tongues; solitude infinitely more daughter. I was not ashamed to be known delicious than all society! Wilderness of for a son of Israel. I went out to see the Horeb, school of wisdom, scene of calm and burdens of my brethren, I had compassion on unmixed joy, in thee I learned to commune them, and comforted them; not fearing the with my own heart, forgot the sensual, unwrath of a king, I smote him that did the satisfying delights of Egypt, observed the wrong, and saved the oppressed. I chose glories of nature, contemplated the wonders rather to suffer affliction with the people of of Providence, enjoyed the visions of the God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a Almighty! Happy days, when I tended the season. I esteemed the reproach of Christ flocks of Jethro, obeyed the dictates of inspigreater riches than the treasures in Egypt. ration, and conversed with my heavenly To Ged I committed myself; and my virtue, Father, as a man with his friend! I saw him my religion, my honour, my inward peace in flaming yet unconsuming fire, I heard his were preserved.”
voice from the midst of the burning bush, my 3. What satisfaction must it have yielded feet stood upon holy ground. And thou, Moses in reviewing his life, to reflect on his sacred summit of Sinai, where the Most having been made the honoured instrument, High imparted to me the counsels of his in the hand of Providence, for effecting the will; supernaturally sustained the feeble, deliverance of an oppressed people? "I mortal frame; irradiated my soul with the found Israel labouring, groaning, expiring communications of his love, and my counin the furnace. I beheld the tears of them tenance with beams of light; how can I forget that were oppressed, and they had no com- thee, and the forty hallowed days past on forter; and on the side of their oppressors thee, in converse more sublime than ever there was power, but they had no comforter. before fell to the lot of humanity! To thee, Their cry reached heaven. He who made sacred structure, reared according to the them had mercy upon them. He was pleased pattern showed me in the mount, to thee I to choose me out of all the myriads of Israel, look in rapturous recollection! Thou wert to bring them out of the land of Egypt, out of my refuge in the hour of danger. In thee the house of bondage. He taught my stain the assurances of divine favour and support, mering tongue to speak plainly. He said to compensated, extinguished the unkindness my fearful heart, Be strong. He armed me of man. How often hast thou been to me a with his potent rod; and subjected the pow- heaven upon earth." ers of nature to my command. The oppressor But a retrospective view of life must have was crushed in his turn, and the oppressed presented to Moses many objects painful went out free, full, and triumphant. And to and humiliating; and bitter recollections me, even unto me, it was given to conduct must have mingled themselves with the this great, difficult, dangerous, glorious en- sweet. The repeated defections of a stiffterprise; and Heaven crowned it with suc-necked and gainsaying people, whom no
kindness could melt, no threatenings deter, 4. How pleasing to reflect that the Spirit no promise animate, no calamity subdue: a of God had employed him to communicate so people who had requited the care of Heaven much valuable knowledge to mankind ! “To with reiterated, unprovoked rebellions; and me was this grace given, to trace nature up his own labours of love, with hatred, insult,