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but we face to face.
Their's was the
day-spring; our's the full radiance of the noon-day. Still it was the same; differing only in degree of evidence, assurance, and completion. It was the shoot of that tree which was to cover all nations with the shadow of its branches: the rise of that "river, the streams whereof should make glad the city of God." The reproach of Christ was, therefore, the reproach to be endured for the profession of the true faith, as it was then revealed; for walking in the commandments of God, as they were then made known; for looking forward to the redemption that was to come; and for abiding in expectation of the reward held out to all who live godly in this present world, instead of indulging their fleshly and carnal lusts.
Now let us consider what this narrative exhibits, and what instruction we may derive from it. It presents to us a man, snatched in infancy from impending and, apparently, inevitable destruction; brought
1 Psalm xlvi. 4.
up in a voluptuous court, as the adopted son of Pharaoh's daughter; trained from childhood to behold oppression and violence, to witness vice unchecked, passions unrestrained, tyranny uncontrolled; habituated to the view of idolatry and superstition in all their grossness; yet hearing nothing from the great, the noble, or the wise, with whom he conversed, which denoted either reproof or disapprobation. Encompassed by all the seductions of wealth, ambition, and pleasure; endowed with learning to make himself distinguished even among the Egyptians; and, certainly, not deficient in genius to make that learning available; still, holding fast his integrity, amidst every thing calculated to wrest it from him; preserving a conscience pure and unstained, where all tended to debase and pollute it; turning with affection to his brethren in their state of galling servitude; cherishing in secret the faith and principles of his fathers; and, at last, cheerfully giving up all those worldly advantages, so precious in the eyes of men,
"choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season."
And what was the motive for this singular choice? By what power was he impelled? By what influence was he induced to make this sacrifice? The apostle declares it to be the power of faith. By faith Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." The same faith "in things not seen as yet," that led Noah to "prepare an ark to the saving of his house." The same faith that induced Abraham, at the call of God, to quit his country and his kindred without hesitation or regret," not knowing whither he went;" but "sojourning in the land of promise as in a strange country." The same faith which, in after times, enabled the prophets and apostles to "subdue kingdoms, work righteousness, stop the mouths of lions, quench the violence of fire; to endure cruel mockings and scourg
ings, bonds and imprisonment;" to brave death itself in its most fearful forms of terror. The same faith burned in his bosom, and impelled him to this resolve. He knew the promises of God made unto his fathers, and he believed them. He knew the duties requisite to insure a participation in those promises, and he hesitated not to comply with them. not knowledge only-it was not belief only-but it was the practical application of that knowledge, the actual exertion of that belief. "He had respect unto the recompense of the reward."
The promises of God made unto the fathers of the Jewish nation were temporal in their immediate design, but eternal in their typical application. The land of Canaan was an emblem of the heavenly country: the repose there to be obtained -of the happiness of the just made perfect the abundance there to be poured out-of the fulness of joy and the pleasures which are at the right hand of God for evermore. And we can have little doubt,
that the patriarchs so understood them, if not fully, at least partially; that they had some faint notion, some glimmering conception, that better things were designed by these outward signs, than the signs themselves, which were at best only earthly and perishable.
Of the accomplishment of the temporal promises there was not at that time much probability; indeed, there was little in them to influence a man already in possession of the riches of Egypt; we must, therefore, conclude that Moses was chiefly influenced by those which are eternal. He saw the rewards of the righteousobscurely, but he was persuaded of them -afar off, but he embraced them-imperfectly, but he doubted them not. And what power but that of faith could have been sufficient to produce an effect so wonderful? What power but that
of faith could overbalance all the enchantments of Egypt? It must have been more than a worldly recompense which he had in view; for no change could bring greater worldly prosperity