« السابقةمتابعة »
In Three Volumes, Post 8vo., gilt lettered, Price £1 5s. 6d.; or, each Volume, 8s. 6d.,
THE PROVINCIAL LETTERS OF PASCAL;
With an "Essay on Pascal, considered as a Writer and Moralist," by M. VILLEMAIN, Peer of France,
Newly Translated from the French. With Memoir, Notes, and Appendix.
THE MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS OF PASCAL;
Consisting of Letters, Essays, Conversations, and Miscellaneous Thoughts. (The greater part heretofore
Newly Translated from the French Edition of M. P. Faugère. With Introduction and Notes.
THE THOUGHTS ON RELIGION, AND EVIDENCES OF
(Newly Translated and arranged, with large additions from Original MSS. ;) from the French of
LONGMAN, BROWN, GREEN, & LONGMANS.
THE BURNING BUSH.
THIS chapter presents to us Moses in exile in the country of Midian, whither he had fled from the dangers that threatened him in Egypt. He was forty years old when he left Egypt, and since then forty more years had passed, so that he was eighty years old at the time this chapter opens. But he was not, properly speaking, an old man; for men seem still to have been longer lived than they in a few more generations became: and Moses himself lived forty years more; and at the end of that period, that is, at the age of 120 years, -it is said of him, "that his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated."
At the end of the forty years in Midian, we find him in the same situation as at the beginning.
Ver. 1, 2. He kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the Priest, or Chief of Midian, to whom he had at the first attached himself, and whose daughter Zipporah he had married. This person, called Jethro, is doubtless the same who was previously named as Reuel, (Exodus ii. 18,) and elsewhere Raguel. (Numbers x. 29.) Moses assuredly considered himself established for life in this position, and little thought of the trials and triumphs awaiting him. But one time he led his flocks to the pastures to be found in the watered valleys and green dells of the Sinai mountains, finally coming "to the mountain of God, even to Horeb." Height is sometimes denoted by this phrase,- -as "mountains of God," for lofty mountains, and "cedars of God," for lofty cedars; but here it denotes, by anticipation, the sacred character which the mountain afterwards acquired from the memorable events that took place thereon. Here his attention was drawn to a marvellous appearance. He saw a bush on fire, which was not of itself an extraordinary circumstance in the dry season. But as he looked on, he beheld with amazement, that VOL. I.
although the flame continued to burn fiercely, the bush remained uninjured. He knew not that the Angel of the Lord—the Lord himself—was there.
Ver. 3-6. Moses turned aside to observe this great sight; but he was warned from too near an approach, by a Voice from out the bush, calling him by his name, and warning him to take his shoe, or rather sandal, from his feet, for the place whereon he stood was holy ground. This direction is founded on the very ancient, and still subsisting Eastern custom, of uncovering the feet, instead of the head, (as we do,) in token of reverence or respect. The Voice delayed not to disclose the ground on which this mark of homage was demanded, declaring that He who spoke was no other than the God of his renowned forefathers. At that word Moses was afraid, and hid his face. This would have been natural at all times; but it was especially so now, seeing that however comparatively frequent this had been of old, a very long time had passed since any such personal intercourse with the Deity had been afforded. No instance of the kind is recorded as having taken place since God was pleased to speak to Jacob to encourage him to go down to Egypt. But now, after the lapse of two hundred years, God again condescends to appear, and to converse with
"That shepherd who in Horeb kept his flock," to encourage him to go back to the same country, in order to bring out of it His people afflicted by the Egyptians.
Ver. 7-12. This the Lord declared to be his object. He had seen the afflictions of his people; He had heard the cries they had poured forth under the lash of their taskmasters; He had compassionately known their sorrows. Indeed, this he had always seen, this he had always heard, this he had always known; but the set time was come, and He is ready to make this apparent to them,-to evince his love, his care, his compassion for