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to rest in the land of promife, to Aaron, my brother, by nature, by affection, in offence, in hope. With the natural eye I behold the fertile plains of an earthly Canaan: but by the eye of faith I defcry another country, that is an heavenly; watered with the pure river of the water of life, where grow the trees of life, whofe leaves are for the healing of the nations: where there is no more death. My brethren, I die, but God will furely vifit you. There fhall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre fhall rife out of Ifrael, and unto him fhall the gathering of the people be. The LORD thy God will raise up unto thee a Prophet, from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him fhall ye hearken. In the LORD fhall all the feed of Ifrael be justified, and shall glory. In Abraham's feed fhall all the nations of the earth be bleffed. Mortality is fwallowed up of life; O death, where is thy fting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory."
"Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his." Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright for the end of that man is peace."
DEUTERONOMY xxxi. 1-3.
And Mofes went and fpake these words unto all Ifrael, And he faid unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day: I can no more go out and come in': alfa the Lord bath faid unto me, Thou shalt not go over this fordan. The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy thefe nations from before thee, and thou shalt poffefs them and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath faid.
THE laft words and the last actions of eminent men are remembered, repeated, recorded with a mournful pleasure. We liften with peculiar attention to those lips, which are to fpeak to us no more: and the man, and the words, which we neglected, while there was a profpect of their continuing longer with us, we prize, we cleave to, and wifh to retain, when they are about to be taken away from us. Indeed we discover the value of nothing, till we are threatened with, or feel the want of it; and we awake to a fenfe of the happiness which we have poffeffed, by the bitter reflection that it is gone from us forever.
Farewel addreffes ferve to roufe both the fpcaker and the hearers. He is led to weigh well thofe words which he is to have no future opportunity of altering
or amending. His eyes, his voice, his turn of thought, his expreffion, all will be influenced by the folemnity of his fituation; and what he feels, he will certainly communicate to others. Wherefore is not every addrefs confidered in this light; as a laft, farewel, dying fpeech? It may be fo in truth; and if it were known to be fo, would our attention be fo distracted, our fpirit fo carelefs; would our language be thus cold, our zeal thus languid ? Attend, my dear friends, and fellow mortals. This is, beyond all controversy, to fome of us the laft opportunity of the kind. The found of this voice fhall never again meet all those ears in one place. It may be forever filenced; each of them may be forever closed; and the ordinary tide of human affairs must certainly scatter, this night, perfons who are never more to re-affemble, till that day when the whole human race fhall be gathered together in one great multitude.
We are come hither to ponder thy dying words, Q Mofes, and to gird up our loins, and follow thee.
This whole book may be confidered as a series of powerful, pathetic and tender addreffes, delivered at different times, within the compass of the last month of his life, by Mofes to Ifrael, in the near and certain profpect of diffolution. Art has attempted to divide it into fo many feveral diftin&t heads, or branches, forming together a complete body of inftruction, wonderfully adapted to the occafion, and powerfully enforced upon the minds of the hearers by the death of their teacher, which immediately followed.
The first great branch, is a fuccinct and animated, hiftorical detail of the conduct of the Divine Providence towards them and their fathers, during the last forty years, commencing with their departure out of Horeb, and containing an account of their fucceffive movements and encampings. A recapitulation of the recent events of their own lives, and of what had befallen their immediate predeceffors, was obviously calculated to excite emotions fuitable to their present condition.
condition. A complete generation of men had melted away before their eyes under the divine difpleasure ! Every removal, every encampment was marked by the death of multitudes, who had fallen not by the fword of the enemy, but were cut off by the flaming fword of divine justice, and were not fuffered to enter into the land promised to their fathers, "because of unbelief."
They faw in this at once the mercy and faithfulness, the juftice and feverity of God. Ifrael was ftill preferved, but every fingle offender had died the death. The covenant made with Abraham and his feed ftood firm, though they were threatened with utter extermination in Egypt, and were actually exterminated in the wildernefs. The poffeffion of Canaan was made fure to that chofen race, but not one of the murmurers at Kadeshbarnea was permitted to furvive the threatened destruction. By an example that came fo clofely home to the breaft and bofom of every man, all were admonifhed of the abfolute fecurity, and infallible fuccefs of trufting in God, and of following the leadings of his providence; all were warned of the guilt and danger of difobedience and distrust.
We fee in this the reason why fo great a proportion of the facred oracles are delivered in the form of hiftory. A fact makes its way directly to the heart, is eafily remembered, and readily applied. It requires depth of understanding and clofenefs of attention to comprehend a doctrine, and to draw the proper infer. ences from it; but "the wayfaring man, though a fool," can difcern the meaning, and feels the force of a plain tale of truth, and the recollection of yesterday becomes a leffon of conduct for to day.
2dly. This valedictory addrefs of Mofes confifts of a recapitulation of the laws moral, ceremonial, political and military, which he had already delivered to them in the name of God. On this account, the divifion of the Pentateuch under confideration, has obmined the name of Mifchna Thora, tranflated by the Seventy;
Seventy; Deuteronomy, that is, the fecond law, or a repetition of the law. The men were dead who heard the voice of God speaking these tremendous words from Sinai. The men of the prefent generation were unborn, or but emerging from childhood, when that fiery difpenfation was given: but its obligation was eternal and unchangeable, Providence therefore directed it to be rehearfed aloud in the ears of the generation following, by the voice of a dying man, and to be by him left recorded in lafting characters, for the inftruction of every future age. What was local and temporary of this difpenfation has paffed away: what was immutable and univerfal, remains in all its force and importance; and fhall continue, though heaven and earth were diffolved.
There is one law which Mofes, in the profpect of death, preffes with peculiar earneftnefs, as he knew it to be of fpecial importance, and was but too well acquainted with the violent, the almost irresistible propenfity of his auditory to infringe it-the law which prohibited and profcribed idolatry, that crime of com. plex enormity, against which the voice of the Eternal had uttered fo many thunders, and which had brought on Ifrael fo many grievous plagues. Nothing can be more energetical than the expreffions he employs to expofe the guilt and danger of this offence against God; nothing more dreadful than the judgments which he denounces against those who should contract it them. felves, or prefume to decoy others into that odious practice. He leaves them deftitute of every thing like a pretext for following the nations in this impiety and abfurdity, by calling to the recollection of thofe who were witneffes of the awful fcene, and urging upon the confciences of thofe who were fince born, "that there was no manner of fimilitude on the day that the Lord fpake unto you in Horeb, out of the midst of the fire;" that therefore to pretend to imitate what nev er was seen, what cannot be feen, was at once ridicu
* Deut. xiv. 15,