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fpent for the fervice of God, and the good of mankind. Age is ready to put in its claim, when honour is expected, and advantage to be reaped; and is as ready to plead its exemption when fervice is required, danger is to be encountered, and hardship undergone. But while Mofes difcovers the utmost readinefs to share with another the emolument and the refpect of his office, the trouble and fatigue of it he with equal cheerfulness undertakes and fupports to the very last.
In the whole of his temper and conduct, we have an enfample which at once admonishes, reproves and encourages us. May we not, after confidering the noble and excellent fpirit he discovered through the courfe and at the clofe of life, contemplate the proba ble state of his mind in reviewing the paft, and furveying the prospect before him: both affording unfpeakable comfort, but neither wholly exempted from pain.
Pleasant it must have been to reflect, 1. On his miraculous prefervation in infancy. "To what dangers was I then expofed? Doomed to perifh by the fword from my mother's womb. Concealed by fond pa rents for three months at the peril of their life, as well as my own. Committed at length to the merci. less stream, a prey to manifold death-the roaring tide, hunger, the monsters of the river, contending which fhould deftroy me. But I was precious in the fight of God. No plague came nigh me; no evil befel me. The daughter of the tyrant faved me from the rage of the tyrant. The house of Pharaoh became my fanctuary. The munificence of a princess recompenfed the offices of maternal tenderness. I knew not then to whom I was indebted for protection, from what fource my comforts flowed: let age and consciousness acknowledge with wonder and gratitude the benefits conferred on infant helplessnefs and infirmity; let my dying breath utter his praise, who preferved me from perishing as foon as I began to breathe."
2. May we not fuppofe the holy man of God, by an eafy tranfition, paffing on to meditate on deliver ance from still greater danger, danger that threatened his moral life the fnares of a court? "Flattered and careffed as the fon of Pharaoh's daughter, brought up in all the learning of the Egyptians, having all the treasures in Egypt at my command, at an age when the paffions, which war against the foul, are all afloat-what risk did I run of forgetting myself, of forgetting my people, of forgetting my God? But the grace of the Moft High prevented me. I endured as feeing him who is invifible. I refufed to be called the fon of Pharaoh's daughter. I was not afhamed to be known for a fon of Ifrael. I went out to fee the burdens of my brethren, I had compaffion on them, and comforted them; not fearing the wrath of a king, I fmote him that did the wrong, and faved the oppreffed. I chofe rather to fuffer afflic tion with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of fin for a feafon. I esteemed the reproach of Chrift greater Fiches than the treasures in Egypt. To God I committed myself; and my virtue, my religion, my honour, my inward peace were preferved."
3. What fatisfaction muft it have yielded Mofes in reviewing his life, to reflect on his having been made the honoured inftrument, in the hand of Providence, for effecting the deliverance of an oppreffed people? "I found Ifrael labouring, groaning, expiring in the furnace. I beheld the tears of them that were oppreffed, and they had no comforter; and on the fide of their oppreffors there was power, but they had no comforter. Their cry reached heaven. He who made them had mercy upon them. He was pleafed to choose me out of all the myriads of Ifrael, to bring them out of the land of Egypt, out of the boufe of bondage. He taught my ftammering tongue to speak plainly. He faid to my fearful heart, Be ftrong. He armed me with his potent rod; and fubjected the powers of nature to my command. The oppreffor was crushed in his turn, and the oppreffed went out free, full and triumphant.
And to me, even unto me, it was given to conduct this great, difficult, dangerous, glorious enterprise; and Heaven crowned it with fuccefs."
4. How pleafing to reflect that the Spirit of God had employed him to communicate so much valuable knowledge to mankind! "To me was this grace given, to trace nature up to its fource; to afcend from fon to father, up to the general parent of the human race; to refcue from oblivion the ages beyond the flood, and to rescue departed worth from the darknefs of the grave. By me these venerable men, though dead, fpeak and inftruct the world. By me the being and perfections, the works and ways, the laws and defigns of the great Supreme ftand unfolded; the plan and progrefs of his providence, the fyftem of nature, the difpenfation of grace. To my writings fhall ages and generations refort for the knowledge of events paft, and for the promises and predictions of greater events yet to come. The Spirit of the LORD pake by me, and his word was in my tongue, and the word of the LORD endureth forever."
5. What delight muft it have afforded, in reviewing the past, to revive the memory of communion with God, of exalted intercourfe with the Father of fpirits! "Bleffed retirement from the noife of the world and the ftrife of tongues; folitude infinitely more delicious than all fociety! Wilderness of Horeb, fchool of wifdom, fcene of calmn and unmixed joy, in thee I learned to commune with my own heart, forgot the fenfual, unfatisfying delights of Egypt, obferved the glories of nature, contemplated the wonders of providence, enjoyed the vifions of the Almighty! Happy days, when I tended the flocks of Jethro, obeyed the dictates of infpiration, and converfed with my heavenly Father, as a man with his friend! I faw him in flaming yet unconfuming fire, I heard his voice from the midft of the burning bufh, my feet ftood upon holy ground. And thou, facred fummit of Sinai, where the Moft High imparted to me the counfels of
his will; fupernaturally fuftained the feeble, mortal frame; irradiated my foul with the communications of his love, and my countenance with beams of light; how can I forget thee, and the forty hallowed days paffed on thee, in converfe more fublime than ever before fell to the lot of humanity! To thee, facred ftructure, reared according to the pattern fhewed me in the mount, to thee I look in rapturous recollection! Thou wert my refuge in the hour of danger. In thee the affurances of divine favour and fupport, compenfated, extinguifhed the unkindness of man. How often haft thou been to me a heaven upon earth!"
-But a retrospective view of life must have prefented to Mofes many objects painful and humiliating; and bitter recollections must have mingled themselves with the fweet. The repeated defections of a stiffnecked and gainfaying people, whom no kindness could melt, no threatenings deter, no promise animate, no calamity fubdue: a people who had requited the care of Heaven with reiterated, unprovoked rebellions; and his own labours of love, with hatred, infult and ingratitude. Painful it must have been to think, that he had furvived a whole people, endeared to him by every strong, by every tender tie that he had been gradually dying for forty years together, in a condemned, devoted race, which melted away before his eyes in the wilderness: that with his own hand he had ftripped Aaron his brother of his pontifical garments, and clofed his eyes. Painful to reflect on his own errors and imperfections-his criminal neglect of God's covenant, which had nearly coft him his life: his finful delay and reluctance to accept the divine commiffion appointing him the deliverer of Ifrael; the hastiness of his fpirit in defacing the work of God, by dafhing the tables of the law to the ground, and breaking them in pieces; the impatience of his temper, the unadvifedness of his lips, the unguardednefs of his conduct, at the waters of ftrife, which drew down difpleasure on his head, and irreversibly doomed
doomed it to death. This uneafy retrofpect would naturally lead to profpects as uneafy and diftreffingThe time of bis departure is at band; the body must speedily be diffolved, and the dust return to the earth as it was. Againft his admiffion Canaan is fenced as with a wall of fire, and a distant glimpse must supply the room of poffeffion, and another muft finifh his work. Besides the natural horror of death, there was mingled in that bitter cup a particular fenfe of perfonal offence and fatherly displeasure as inflicting it. Ifrael too, he forefaw, would after his decease revolt more and more, and call down the judgments of Heaven, and forfeit the promised inheritance-and this was to him the bitterness of death.
But by what brighter profpects was this gloom re lieved, and the darkness of the valley of the fhadow of death illuminated! He faw the promise of God haftening to its accomplishment. The "land flowing with milk and honey" was fully in view. The time, the fet time was now come; and what powers of nature could prevent the purpose of Heaven from taking effect? "O Lord, thou art faithful and true; Do now as thou haft faid." Lord, now letteft thou thy fervant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have feen thy falvation. I have fought a good fight, I have finifhed my courfe, I have kept the faith. My mafter is difmiffing me from painful fervice; I shall reft from my labours; I fhall receive the crown. I am paffing from the imperfect, interrupted communion of an earthly fanctuary, to the pure, exalted, uninterrupted, everlasting communications of the heavenly state. I fhall fee God as he is. I fhall be changed into the fame image. I fhall be ever with the Lord. I fhall fhine in his likeness. I fhall be added, united to the affembly of the faithful; to the venerable men of whom I wrote, to Abel the first martyr to the truth, to Enoch, who walked with God, to Noah, the preacher of right eousness, to Abraham, who believed, and was called the friend of God, to Joseph, whose bones are now at length