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These undoubtedly are blemishes, nay, offences which God might punish with death, were he strict to mark iniquity; but, when human infirmity is taken into the account, they are faults that excite pity rather then indignation.
“Should any part of the eulogium we have pronounced on Moses seem exaggerated, we shall add, to all the honourable traits under which we have represented him, one infinitely more glorious still, traced by the hand of God himself, who best knows how to appreciate merit and distribute praise, and which axalts our prophet far above all human panegyric: There arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the knew face to face, in all the signs and the wonders which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, and in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses showed in the sight of all Israel.”
This truly great man died in the year of the world two thousand five hundred and fifty-three; and before the birth of Jesus Christ one thousand four hun. dred and fifty-one; eight hundred and ninety-seven years after the flood; and before the building of So. lomon's temple four hundred and forty; in the forti. eth year from the Exodus, or departure of Israel from Egypt; and of his own age the one hundred and twentieth. Before his death, he uttered a clear and distinct prediction of the Messiah, which, in the ful. ness of time,” was exactly accomplished; and he appeared in person on mount Tabor to lay all his glory and honour at the feet of the Saviour of the world. We shall have finished our plan, after we have suggested a few reflections on this prediction of Moses, and on this his appearance, in company with Elias, to do homage to the Son of God16 the Author and Fi. nisher of our faith.” To Him“ be glory and dominion for ever and ever.
HISTORY OF MOSES.
The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him ye shall hearken. According to all that thout desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, neither let me see this great fire any more that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them alt that I shall command him. For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.—DEUT. xviii. 15-18. Acts iii, 22.
IN the frame and course of nature, who does not perceive evident marks of wisdom in design, order in execution, energy in operation? All is plan, system, harmony. Every thing bespeaks a Being provident, omnipotent, unremittingly attentive: whose works, indeed, infinitely exceed our comprehension; but which by their beauty, simplicity and usefulness, fill the mind with wonder and delight, while their variety, lustre, magnificence and immensity astonish and overwhelm. The government of the world, it is equally evident, is the result of contrivance; it evinces a constant, superintending care. Event arises out of event, link runs into link. What to the first glance appeared an assemblage of scattered fragments, is found, on a more careful and attentive inspection, to bę a regular, beautiful, well proportioned fabric, a “ body fitly joined together, and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part.
It must be pleasing to every serious mind to observe in the work of redemption a similar uniformity of design, progress and execution.
We find patriarchs, prophets, apostles, remote from, unknown to one another, at different ages, in different regions, declaring the same purpose, promoting the same plan, aiming at the same end. This affords a presumption, at least, that he who made, upholds and governs the universe, is likewise the Author of salvation; in all whose works and ways a noble and important end is obviously kept in view; and that end pursued and attained by means the wisest and the best. The Mosaic and Christian are not separate, unconnected, independent dispensations, but corresponding and harmonious members of the same great building of God. Nature and grace have one source, one date; they proceed in a parallel direction, they are hastening to one common consummation. Or, to speak more properly, the system of external nature and the scheme of redemption are the well-adjusted, the harmonized parts of the one great plan of the eternal Providence, which contains the whole purpose of the glorious CREATOR concerning man-his first formation, his present state and character, and his final destination.
Turn up the inspired volume at whatever page you will, and you have a person, or an event, or a service, or a prediction unfolding, in one form or another, the merciful “purpose of Him who worketh all things
after the counsel of his own will, that we should be to the praise of his glory.” Transport yourself in thought to whatever period of the world you will, and you still find the gospel preached; whether in the sacrifice of righteous Abel, the translation of Enoch, the ark of Noah, the promise made to Abraham, the predictions 'of dying Jacob; from the seat of Moses, the throne of David, the dungeon of Jeremiah.
They all speak uniform language, all give witness to the same person, all disclose their own peculiar portion of the gospel treasure, for the illumination of an ignorant, the reformation of a corrupted, the salvation of a perishing world.
The writings of Moses exhibit a singular display of this grand combined plan. He traces nature up to her birth, and instructs us “how the heavens and earth rose out of chaos.” He conducts us through the mazes of the moral government of the Great Supreme, and there too unfolds wild uproar reduced to order, and “the wrath of man working the righteousness of God.” He draws aside the curtains of the night, and “the day-spring from on high” dawns on fallen humanity. He attends us through the morning of that bright day, and, constrained at length to retire, leaves behind him the assurance, that “the fulness of the time" would come, that “the morning light” would advance with growing splendour unto the perfect day.” He presents to our astonished eyes the vast, the complicated, the beautiful machine; wheel within wħeel put in motion, preserving from age to age its steady majestic tenour, with native, unweared, undiminished force; referring us still to its divine Author, who made and upholds all “by the word of his power,” and for whose “ pleasure they are and were created."
Moses, not only in what he wrote, but in what he was and acted, illustriously displayed the grace of God in the redemption of the world. Not only did he
write and testify concerning the great Deliverer, but his person, his character, his offices, were a prefiguration of “ Him who was to come,” and to whom " all the prophets give witness."
The prediction which has been read, and the pointed application made of it by the apostles to their divine Master, constitute the proof of what we have just advanced. Moses, under the direction of the spirit of prophecy, raises the expectation of mankind to the appearance of a prophet, like, indeed, but far superior to himself; and the apostles point with the finger to Jesus of Nazareth, saying, “ We have found him of whom Moses, in the law, and the prophets did write."
A limited creature of threescore years and ten, is lost in the contemplation of a period of fifteen hundred and eleven years, for such was the distance of this prophecy from its accomplishment. The short-lived creature loses sight of it, feels his interest in it but small, is at little pains to transmit the knowledge of it to those who shall come after him; the next generation it is neglected, overlooked, forgotten; or, if observed and recollected, is misunderstood, misapplied. But during every instant of the extended period, the eternal eye has been watching over it; in solemn șilence attending its progress, triumphing over both neglect and opposition; and a slumbering world is rous. ed at length to see and to acknowledge the truth and faithfulness, the power, wisdom and grace of the Most High.
The day of Moses, then, in the eye of God, runs down to that of Christ; as his, in return, ascends to the earliest of the promises and predictions, illuminating, quickening, confirming; fulfilling all that is written. Placed at whatever point of the system of nature, whether on our own planet or on any other, to the north, or to the south; in summer or winter, the eye is still attracted to the common centre of all, the great