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secrecy, vigilance, and circumspection, ad- not by working a miracle, but by the seasonmonishes us ever to connect the diligent use able, simple, and natural disposition of second of all lawful and appointed means, with trust causes, operating to one and the same end, in and dependence upon Heaven, as we wish without any design, consciousness, or concert to arrive safely and certainly at the end pro- of their own. And, be it ever remembered, posed. In them, as in a glass, we see confi- that the wise, gracious, almighty Ruler of dence without presumption, diligence, zeal, the world, pleases not himself, nor amuses and attention, free from incredulity; we see his creatures, by a profuse, ostentatious exProvidence firmly, undauntedly resorted to, hibition of wonders, but by an intelligent, with the consciousness of having done their dexterous management of ordinary things. utmost to help themselves. Without this He carries on his righteous government not trust and this consciousness, yielding their according to new and surprising laws, but by joint support, what must the wretched mo- the surprising, unaccountable, unexpected ther have been, compelled at length, by dire methods in which he executes the laws which necessity, to expose the son of her womb on he has established from the beginning. the face of the Nile, in a basket of rushes ? Let us dwell a little on the minuter cir
I love to see a perseverance of exertion cumstances of the case before us: as they that leaves nothing undone which is possible serve to illustrate a subject of all others the to be done; and a faith that holds out as long most comfortable and tranquillizing to a race as hope exists. Why not cast the whole bur- of beings, beyond measure wretched and piden on Providence ? Is not he who preserved tiable, if there be not a God who rules in the child floating in an ark of bulrushes, able wisdom and in loving kindness all the affairs to save him naked in the stream, or even in of men. We are first led to the bumble the jaws of the hungry crocodile? If an ark cottage of Amram, and mingle in the tender must be prepared, is it also necessary to em- solicitudes of an obscure family, in one of the ploy all this curious attention in daubing it most common situations of human life. From with slime and with pitch, to prevent the ad- thence, we step immediately to the palace, to mission of the water? What, leave nothing attend the humorous caprices and pleasures to him who has marked the infant for his of a princess. Jochebed, the wife of Amram, own, and solemnly charged himself with his and Termuthis, the daughter of Pharaoh ! safety? Yes; after we have done our all, What can they have in common with one much, every thing depends on the goodness another, excepting those particulars in which of Heaven. But the careful mother did well all mankind resemble all mankind: and yet when she pitched every seam and chink of Providence brings them together, gives them the frail vehicle as attentively as if its pre- a mutual concern, a mutual charge, a mutual cious deposit had been to owe its preservation interest. By how many accidents might this solely to that care and diligence. “Cast all most fortunate coincidence have been preyour care upon him; for he careth for you.'
."* vented? A day, an hour earlier or later, in Mark it well, it is our care, not our work, the active care of the one, and the contingent which we are encouraged to cast upon that amusement of the other, and the parties conGod who careth for us, and who hath said, cerned had never met. The slightest alter* I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." ation in the setting in of the wind or the
Mark yet again the diligent use of means, tide ; the particular temperature of the fleetand the interpositions of Providence; how ing air, or the more variable temperature of they tally with, unite, strengthen, and sup- a female mind, apt to be corrupted by unport each other. The anxious mother does bounded gratification and indulgence, unacnot yet think she has done enough. Miriam customed to contradiction, governed by whim, her daughter must go, and, at a distance, following no guide but inclination, and occuwatch the event. And here ends the province pied only with the object of the moment: the of human sagacity, foresight, and industry; operation of all, or any one of these, might and here begins the interposition of providen- have defeated the design. But these and a tial care. The mother has done her part. thousand such like contingencies, unstable as “The rushes, the slime, and the pitch,” were water, and changeable as the wind, subdued her prudent and necessary preparation. And by the hand of Omnipotence, acquire the sothe great God has at the same time been lidity of the rock, and the steadfastness of the preparing his materials, and arranging his poles of heaven. The mother could not part instruments: the heart of a king's daughter, with her child a moment sooner, durst not the power of Egypt, the flux of the current; retain him a moment longer. The princess the concurrence of circumstances too fine for could betake herself to no other amusement the human eye to discern, too complex for or employment, could pitch upon no other human understanding to unravel, and too hour of the day, could resort to no other part mighty for created power to control. of the river, could divert her attention to no
Wc pointed to the interposition of Heaven; other object; the tide could not run, nor the but, we beseech you to observe, it interposed wind blow in any other direction, nor with * i Per. v. 7.
greater or less rapidity. Moses was not safer
when king in Jeshurun, encompassed with the shortest and safest road to the attainment the thousands of Israel, was not safer in the of our just and reasonable desires. What a mount with God, is not safer within the ada- blessed change! The mother of Moses is mantine walls of the New-Jerusalem than permitted to do that for princely hire, and Moses in the flags, Moses at the mercy of under royal protection, which she would the waves, of the monsters of the Nile, and have purchased with her life the privilege of men more merciless than wild beasts. of doing for nothing, could she have done it What power threatened the life of Moses? with safety to her child. Moses finds shelter The king of Egypt. What power preserved in the house of Pharaoh, from the wrath of it? The king of Egypt's daughter. What the king; and he who was destined to be the were the steps which led to his elevation ? plague of Egypt, and the deliverer of Israel, Those which foreboded his destruction. What is trained to power, wisdom, and consequence, circumstances forwarded the accomplishment by the Egyptian Magi, and the favour of her of the oracle? Those which attempted to who was next the throne. defeat it. Could all this have been the work But, the Providence which saved him of man? No; it must have proceeded from amidst so many perils, is pleased to record " the Lord of Hosts, who is wonderful in and perpetuate the memory of his delivercounsel and excellent in working." “ Who ance in his name. It was customary to name doth according to his will in the army of hea- the child on the day of circumcision, the ven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: eighth from its birth. Perhaps the anxiety and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, and distress of their situation might have what doest thou?"**
broken in upon some of the ceremonies The usual train of common events led practised upon that occasion; or, if a name Pharaoh's daughter to the river side ; the had been given him by his parents, he has -ark in which little Moses was laid happened not thought proper to hand it down to posto catch her eye; curiosity prompted her to terity. It being his own design and the examine its contents, and pity at the sight will of God, that he should be known to all touched her heart. If there be an object in generations by the appellation which Phanature more interesting and affecting than raoh's daughter gave to the babe whom she another, it was that which now presented saved from perishing; Moses, “ drawn out," itself to this great lady's eye. A beautiful because," said she, “ I drew him out of the infant, of three months old, deserted by its water." own parents, exposed to ten thousand dan The Jewish writers take delight (and who gers, and expressing by the tender testimony can blame them ?) in expatiating on the exof tears, its sense of that misery of which it traordinary accomplishments, external and had not yet acquired the consciousness. mental, natural and acquired, of their great * Behold the babe wept.” Pity is a native lawgiver. They ascribe to him the most plant in a noble heart. The story told itself. perfect symmetry of features, uncommon The situation in which the child was found height of stature, a noble, commanding deexplained the cruel occasion. The sacra- meanour, the most engaging sweetness of ment he carried engraven on his flesh, de disposition, the most winning address and clared to whom he belonged. Compassion eloquence, the most undaunted courage, the was fortunately connected with power, and most profound erudition. Indeed, the sinProvidence wisely balanced one thing with gular beauty of his person is hinted in no another, the jealousy and severity of the obscure terms in many places of scripture, father, with the tenderness and generosity and the additional lustre which it afterwards of the daughter.
acquired by intercourse with Heaven, lustre Josephus, with whom Moses is justly a which remained unimpaired to the latest old favourite object, has recorded many little age, convey to us a very high idea of his exparticulars relating to this part of his history, ternal appearance.
But he stands in no And, anong others, that when the child was need of the pen of a Philo or a Josephus to applied to the breasts of several successive make his panegyric. His own actions and Egyptian nurses, he turned from them with writings are his noblest monument; and will signs of much disgust and aversion, and that live to instruct, delight, and bless mankind, this encouraged his sister Miriam, who was as long as good sense and good taste, virtue, anxiously attending the event, and observed patriotism, and religion exist, and are held in the eager concern of the princess about her estimation in the world. little foundling, to propose a nurse of her The parallel between the Jewish and the own nation, and thereby artfully introduced Christian legislators is so striking, and supthe mother herself to the tender office of ported by so many scripture authorities, that suckling her own child. Whatever be in he who runs may read it. Previous to the this, one useful lesson is taught us, on better birth of Moses, the Israelitish state was reanthority than that of Josephus, namely, that duced to the lowest ebb of distress and deperseverance in difficult and painful duty is spondency; the birth of Christ found a lost • Dan. iv. 35.
world sunk into the most deplorable currup
tien, guilt, and misery. Of the appearance Heaven, had fallen victims to the jealousy of Moses there was a general expectation and apprehensions of two bloody and ambi over all the land of Egypt. Christ, “the tious princes. Moses escaped the hands of desire of all nations," was earnestly looked Pharaoh by falling into those of his daughfor by “all who waited for the consolation ter. Christ avoided the cruelty of Herod by of Israel," who searched the scriptures, and retiring for a while into Egypt. All history observed the appearances of the times; and agrees in representing Moses as a person of by infallible signs was his approach an- extraordinary grace, wisdom, and comeliness; nounced to mankind. The deliverer of the and of whom is the prophet speaking, when seed of Jacob was no foreign potentate, with he says, “ Thou art fairer than the children a strong hand and stretched out arm, but a of men: grace is poured into thy lips; therechild of their own nation. And who is the fore God hath blessed thee for ever."* Moses Saviour of perishing sinners ? "Verily he was brought up in all the learning of the took not on him the nature of angels: but he Egyptians Christ was anointed with the took on him the seed of Abraham. Where- Spirit without measure. Moses stands dis fore in all things it beloved him to be made tinguished by a name which commemorates like unto his brethren, that he might be a a temporal deliverance.
Christ by two merciful and faithful High Priest, in things names, descriptive of his high and important pertaining to God, to make reconciliation office, “ Jesus," the Saviour, and of the manfor the sins of the people.' “As the chil- ner in which he was set apart to it, “ Christ," dren are partakers of flesh and blood, he the anointed of God. Moses began not to also himself took part of the same, that exist till the day that his mother Jochebed through death he 'might destroy him that bare him in Egypt, but Christ says of himhad the power of death, that is, the devil.”+ self, “ Before Abraham was, I am.” Moses The extraordinary circumstances attending from the beginning was faithful as a servant · the birth of Moses were ascertained to the to Him who appointed him; but “Christ as world, and transmitted to posterity, by means a son over his own house; for in all things of an edict of the king of Egypt. The birth he must have the pre-eminence.” Now to of Christ, in like manner, as to time, place, God in Christ be ascribed, by all nations, and and situation was marked out for the know-generations of men upon earth, and by every ledge of mankind by a decree of Cæsar, the angel in heaven, kingdom, power, and glory emperor of Rome.
Both the one and the for ever. Amen. other, but for the special interposition of * Heb. ii. 16, 17.
† Heb. ii. 14.
Psalm. Ilv. 2
Then came to him certain of the Sadducees (which deny that there is any resurrection) and they asked him,
saying, Master, Moses wrote unto us, if any man's brother die, having a wife, and he die without chil. dren, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. And the second took her to wife, and he died childless. And the third took her; and in like manner the seven also. And they lefi no chil. dren, and died. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection, whose wife of them is
she? for seven had her 10 wife. And Jesus answering, said unto them, The children of this world | marry, and are given in marriage: but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and
the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage. Neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrec, tion. Now that the dead are raised, even Moses showed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.-LUKE XX. 27–38.
ONE of the most obvious and natural con- flect upon the deprivation of comfort which solations of reason, under the loss of those we have sustained; but we wipe the tears of whom we dearly loved, and one of the most sorrow from our eyes, when we consider that abundant consolations furnished by religion, our loss is their unspeakable gain. “Rachel is the belief that our departed friends are, at weeping for her children," refuses to be comweir death, disposed of infinitely to their ad- forted so long as she thinks they are not;" vantage. We weep and mourn while we re- but her soul is tranquillized and comforted
when her eyes, in faith, look within the veil, nions. Heinously offended at the neglect of and behold them softly and securely repos- washing of hands previous to eating, they ing in the bosom of their Father and God. It were wicked enough to establish, by a law is an humbling and a mortifying employment of their own, neglect of, unkindness, and disto visit churchyards, to step from grave to obedience to parents; thus, according to the grave, to recall the memory, while we tram- just censure which our Lord passed upon ple upon the ashes of the young, the beauti- them, “straining out a gnat, and swallowing ful, the wise, and the good; but we find im- a camel.” mediate relief, we rise into joy, we tread The Sadducees, on the other hand, the among the stars, when aided by religion, we strong spirits of the age, disdaining the retransport ourselves in thought to those bless- straints imposed on mankind by a written ed regions where all the faithful live, and law, thought fit to become a law unto themreign, and rejoice; where "they that be wise selves. They left the austerities of a strict shine as the brightness of the firmament, and religion and morality to vulgar minds; and they that turn many to righteousness as the that they might procure peace to themselves stars for ever and ever. 17* Distance is then in the enjoyment of those sinful pleasures to swallowed up and lost, and we mingle in the which they were addicted, they denied the noble employments and pure delights of the existence of spirit, the immortality of the blessed immortals who encircle the throne soul, and a future state of retribution. They of God.
alleged that the law was silent on those It is astonishing to think, that there should points, and that this silence was a sufficient have been men disposed willingly to deprive reason for rejecting the belief of them. They themselves of this glorious source of comfort; went farther, and contended, that were such men ready to resign the high prerogative of doctrines contained in the law, they ought their birthright, and by a species of humility not to be admitted, because they implied a strange and unnatural, spontaneously degrad- contradiction, or at least involved such a ing themselves to the level of the brutes that number of difficulties as it was impossible perish. And yet there have been, in truth, satisfactorily to solve. The chief of those such men in every age. But it is no wonder difficulties they propose to our blessed Sato find those who satisfy themselves with the viour, in the passage which I have read; and pursuits and enjoyments of a mere beastly they do this, not in the spirit of docility and nature while they live, contented to lie down diffidence to have it removed, but in the pride with the beasts in death, to arise no more. of their hearts, vainly taking for granted that They first make it their interest that there it was insurmountable. should be no hereafter, and then they fondly My principal intention in leading your persuade themselves that there shall be none. thoughts to this subject, at this time, is the
Error of every kind, both in faith and mo occasion which it afforded to the great rals, prevailed in the extreme at the period Teacher who came from God, of discoursing when, and in the country where, the Saviour on a theme nearly connected with the deof the world appeared for our redemption.- sign of these Lectures; and of disclosing to The nation of the Jews was divided, in re us sundry important particulars, respecting spect of moral and religious sentiment, into the venerable men whose lives we have been two great sects or parties, who both pretend-studying, and those which we are still to exed to found their opinions upon the authority amine; and respecting that world in which of the inspired books, which were held in we, together with them, have a concern so universal estimation among them; and par- deeply, because eternally interesting. To ticularly the writings of Moses. But they these we shall be led by making a few curdrew conclusions directly opposite, from the sory remarks on the preceding conversation same facts and doctrines; and both deviated, which took place between Christ and the in the grossest manner, from the spirit and Sadducees. And this shall serve as an Introdesign of that precious record which they duction to the farther continuation of a both affected to hold in the highest venera- Course of Lectures on the history of the tion.
memorable persons and events presented to The Pharisees, earnestly contending for us in the holy scriptures of both the Old and the strict observance of the law, confined New Testaments. their attention to its minuter and less import The Sadducees insidiously begin their atant objects, and paid " the tithe of mint, tack by professing the highest respect for and anise, and cummin,” but omitted the the authority of Moses and of his writings: weightier matters of the law, judgment, mer- “ Master, Moses wrote unto us." The most cy, and faith :” and, raising oral tradition to pernicious designs, the most malevolent purthe rank and dignity of scripture, found a poses, are frequently found to clothe thempretence for dispensing with the plainest and selves in smiles; often while mischief lies most essential obligations of morality, when brooding in men's hearts, "their words are these contradicted their interests and opi- smoother than oil.” The father of lies him
self can have recourse to truth, if it be likely
* Dan. xii. 3.
to serve his turn; and the enemy of all good- | upon earth, are to subsist in the kingdom of ness will condescend to quote that scripture heaven. But the supposition is founded in which he hates, if it can help him to an ar- ignorance and falsehood; and, the moment it gument for the occasion. With this affected is denied, the mighty argument built upon it deference for Moses, the Sadducees are aim- falls to the ground. “ In the resurrection," ing at the total subversion of every moral says Christ," they neither marry, nor are and religious principle, by weakening one given in marriage, but are as the angels of of the strongest motives to virtue, and under. God in heaven." mining the surest foundation of hope and joy In these words, the condition of men in the to man. They allege, that obedience to the world to come, is described, first, negatively, law might eventually lead to much confusion " they neither marry, nor are given in marand disorder: and they suppose a situation, riage.” The power which created the heafor none such eyer existed, in which compli- vens and the earth, and all the host of them, ance with the revealed will of God in this might undoubtedly, had it pleased him, have world would infallibly lead to discord and created the whole human race at once, as distress in that which is to come. In this we easily as he formed the first of men, Adam, have an example of a very common case; and as easily as he rears up one generation that of men straining their eyes to contem- of men after another, in the course of his plate objects at a great distance, or totally providence. But, thinking it meet to people out of sight, and wilfully neglecting or over the earth by multiplying mankind gradually looking those which are immediately before upon it, diference of sex, and the institution them: troubling themselves about effects and of marriage, were the means which he was consequences of which they are ignorant, pleased to employ. In the resurrection, the and over which they have no power, while number of the redeemed being complete at they are regardless of obvious truth and com- once, that difference, and that institution, manded duty, though these are their imme- being unnecessary, shall be done away. Our diate business and concern. The Sadducees, Saviour adds, "neither can they die any in order to cloak their licentiousness and in- more.” Death, too, enters into the plan of fidelity, affect solicitude about the regularity Providence for the government of this world. and peace of a future state, which in words Men must be removed, to make room for they denied, if they did not from the heart men. But because this sphere is narrow and disbelieve.
contracted, and unable to contain and support I make but one remark more before I pro- the increasing multitudes of many generaceed to our Lord's reply. Eagerness and tions, is the Lord's hand shortened, that he anxiety to bring forward and to establish an cannot expand a more spacious firmament, opinion, betray an inward doubt or disbelief and compact a more spacious globe, to conof it-Truth is not ever proclaiming itself tain, at once, the countless nations of them from the house tops, is not forward to obtrude that are saved ? O how greatly do men err; itself upon every occasion, but is satisfied not knowing the power of God! Death is no with maintaining and defending itself when part of the plan of Providence for the governassaulted; but falsehood is eternally striving ment of that world of bliss. In our Father's to conceal or strengthen its conscious weak- house above there are many mansions; there ness by a parade of words, and a show of rea- is bread enough, and to spare; there is room son. The zeal of the Sadducees to explode for all, provision for all: the father need not and run down the doctrine of the resurrec- to die, to give space to the son, nor the motion, plainly betrays a secret dread and be-ther to spare, that the child may have enough. lief of it.
For they are “as the angels of God," says Our Lord, in his answer, points out directly our Lord, according to Matthew, “ equal to the source of all error and infidelity, “ye do the angels,” says our evangelist, err, not knowing the scriptures, and the the children of God.” power of God.” Not knowing the scriptures, This describes their happiness positively. ye suppose a doctrine is not in them, because Men on earth “ see in a glass darkly; know ye have not found it there: because ye have in part, prophesy in part,” are encompassed wilfully shut your own eyes, ye vainly ima- with infirmity; but the “angels in heaven" gine there is no light in the sun; and take excel in strength, stand before the throne of upon you to affirm there is none. Not know-God, serve him day and night in his temple, ing the power of God, you call that impossi- without wearying, see face to face, “ know ble which you cannot do, deem that absurd as they are known.” Their number is comwhich you do not comprehend, and pronounce pleted, their intercourse is pure and perfect, that false which you wish to be so. The without the means of increase, and union whole force of the objection to the truth of which exist here below. the resurrection, goes upon the supposition, Having thus reproved their ignorance and that the future world is to be exactly con- presumption, respecting the “power of God,' stituted as the present; that the relations our Lord proceeds to expose their ignoraner and distinctions which subsist among men respecting the scriptures," and produces a
" and are