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felicity of every rational being is founded ously trusted his Sabbath day's entertainment upon union with, and a sense of his constant to the manna of that day, must fast for his and entire dependence on his Creator. folly.
Thirdly. No fulness and no excellency / Fifthly. Observe the care of Providence 'of created comforts will produce real happi- to preserve among this highly favoured peoness to rational beings without the aid of re- ple a constant sense of their equality. All ligion. During the abode of Israel in Egypt, had their constant supply; every one was the observance of the Sabbath had been entitled to his fair proportion; and no good greatly neglected, if not altogether disused. purpose did it answer to grasp at a double The religious principle of course must have portion. For the hand which miraculously been much weakened, if not wholly destroy- rained down this heavenly bread, miracued. There was nothing done, then, till this lously modified it to every one's use. matter was re-established. For there can be who gathered much had nothing over, and no good government but what is founded he that gathered little had no lack.” Now upon religion; and religion cannot long exist if we attend to the conduct of Providence to in any degree of either fervour or purity, this day, and in every state of the world, we where no attention is paid to the Lord's day. shall find the same equality of distribution Providence, therefore, employed a certain still going on. A man has just what he uses method to point out that day to Israel, and and no more. With a chest full of gold, he to enforce the observance of it. On that has a desire to eat but twice or thrice a day day no manna fell. But to compensate the at most. With a thousand suits of apparel failure, a double quantity was given the day in his wardrobe, he can use but one at a before; and the manna of that day, contrary time. His neighbour, therefore, who has to its usual custom, retained its sweetness but one dinner, and one coat at once, is, during the sabbath: it neither melted away, upon the whole, just as rich as he. Beyond nor became putrid. But, alas ! long disuse what nature requires, reason approves, and had so much diminished public respect for the Almighty crowns with his blessing, all the ordinance, that a discipline of forty years is childish and fantastical. “There is that is scarcely sufficient to restore it to its an- scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is cient dignity and estimation. The restraints that withholdeth more than is meet, but it of religion are no encroachments on human tendeth to poverty.'
."* If this were felt and liberty. "The sabbath was made for man,'
," understood as it ought, we should see less a season of rest for his body; a season of eagerness, rapacity, and selfishness in one contemplation for his mind. It was intended part of mankind, and less unthankfulness and to be his comfort, as a citizen of this world; discontent in another. and his condition as a candidate for another Sixthly. Mark the danger of giving way country, that is, an heavenly, is closely con- to a light, wanton, fanciful disposition. Even nected with it. Can the great God be ho- manna pleased not long. An imagination noured by our resting from the usual employ-filled with the luxurious dainties of Egypt, ments of life for a seventh part of our time? soon spurned at it, as “light bread." There Surely not: but God is honoured and glori- is no end to wishing and desiring. Unadulfied, when man is made wise, good, and terated nature craves but little, and is not happy.
difficult to please.
But once give the reins | Fourthly. The folly and perverseness of to fancy, and the wealth of Cræsus, the mag. men exhibit a melancholy contrast to the nificence of Solomon, the elegance of Luculwisdom and goodness of God. The promise lus, and the luxury of Heliogabalus, will soon of the Almighty gave full assurance of a stink and be despised. Men ate angels' food, daily, certain, stated supply. But either and loathed it. Of what importance then through mistrust at one time they attempt to must it be, to check in ourselves, and to rehoard up to-morrow's provision from the su- press in those whose virtue and happiness are perabundance of to-day; or, through impiety entrusted to our care, the first workings of a at another, they violate the divine appoint- wild and fantastical appetite. Children canment, by going out to gather on that day not be too simply clothed and fed. Solicit when they were expressly assured they the palate by delicacies, and you kindle a fire needed to expect none. Thus we are always in the imagination to which no wealth can doing too little or too much: impatiently and administer a sufficient supply of fuel, which impetuously outrunning Providence, or "slug- no reason can keep within bounds, which will gishly and carelessly lagging behind. And certainly produce a thousand real evils, and what do we get to ourselves, in either case, render the possession of the real felicities of but disappointment and dishonour ? The life tasteless and insipid. Teach young ones man who diffidently laboured to accumulate to value themselves on dress and appearance, for five days of the week, when he looks and you undermine the fabric of their true upor his store, finds he has been treasuring consequence. In proportion as you lead up to himself nothing but stench and putre- them to derive their importance from the faction; and the Israelite who presumptu
* Prov. xi. 24.
adorning of their bodies, you strip and expose but that with a grateful heart I first acknowtheir minds.
ledge the great goodness of Almighty God, Seventhly. The same Power which cor- who has graciously lent health and strength rupted the manna on the second day, and which for carrying on this undertaking thus far. If preserved it from corruption every seventh any savour of divine things has been felt, or day, commanded a small portion to be laid up, communicated; if scripture truth has, to any, for a memorial to future generations; and for been set in a new or an agreeable light; if a that purpose miraculously kept it in its ori- taste for sacred reading and meditation has ginal state of sweetness and perfection. In been conveyed;
if the connexion between the this we see the absolute subjection of all Old and New Testament has been pointed things to the will of God. They grow and out, and impressed upon any heart; and, if decay, they continue and pass away, they live the young in particular have been induced, and perish just as he will. "I know that by any thing said in this place, to think for thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house themselves, and to compare spiritual things appointed for all living.” “And, 1 kr.ow that with spiritual;—the Lecturer has gained his my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand end, and is already in possession of his reat the latter day upon the earth. And though ward. The praise he cheerfully renders to after
my skin worms destroy this body, yet in Him to whom it belongs. my flesh shall I see God.” No power nor To you, my very dear friends, my thanks skill can redeem the body from the power of are in the next place unquestionably due, and the grave; the arm of an archangel is unable are rendered with unfeigned gratitude. Your to confine it there.
patient attendance and candid attention, durFinally. The manna from heaven is like- ing seven months together, I shall ever conwise an image of better things to come. The sider as a proof of attachment the most flatbread of angels could not confer immortality tering and the most encouraging. Why on those who did eat it: but “the true bread should I conceal my feelings on the occasion? which came down from heaven," communi. I engaged in this undertaking, at first with cates eternal life to all who partake of it. But fear and trembling; I proceeded with solicithe words of our Saviour himself will best tude; but I conclude with heartfelt satisfacexplain this subject. “Jesus sa ith unto them, tion; because the countenance I have met I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me with encourages me to hope that my labours shall never hunger, and he that believeth on may have been doing some good. If there me shall never thirst. Verily, verily, I say be one circumstance which gives me pain, it unto you, he that believeth on me hath ever- is the excess of that liberality and approbalasting life. I am that bread of life. Your tion which has so far overrated and overpaid fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and my endeavours to convey to you useful and are dead. This is the bread which cometh pleasing instruction. In return, all I can do, down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof is to wish and pray that
your and not die. I am the living bread which be returned a thousand-fold into your bosoms, came down from heaven. If any eat of this in temporal, spiritual, and heavenly blessings. bread, he shall live forever; and the bread And now, my beloved brethren, farewell. To which I will give is my flesh, which I will the grace of God I commend you all : even, give for the life of the world. The Jews, " to Him that is able to keep you from falling, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, and to present you faultless before the preHow can this man give us his flesh to eat? sence of his glory with exceeding joy; even Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I to the only wise God our Saviour.”* That say unto you, except ye eat the flesh and drink we shall never all meet again in an earthly the blood of the Son of Man, ye have no life temple is certain. For time is hastening to in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh silence the tongue of the preacher, and to my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise close the hearer's ear. But we have everhim up at the last day; for my flesh is meat lasting consolation and good hope, through indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He grace, of meeting together, and of worshipthat eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, ping in that temple, which has no need of dwelleth in me, and I in him.” “As the li- the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; ving Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall addresses from the pulpit were retained in the publica.
tion. But the Lectures of a season not corresponding live by me. This is the bread which came exactly to the usual size of a volume, it became at length down from heaven, not as your fathers did a malier of doubt, whether these addresses should be aleat manna, and are dead. He that eateth of and station from the press, or given exactly in the order
together suppressed, modelled into a more proper diction this bread shall live forever."*
and words in which they were delivered. The doubt is Haying thus finished the Course of Lec- sued in resolving upon the last. This Lecture concluded tures proposed for this season,t what remains, ng season commenced with that which follows. Per
haps it was unnecessary to say so much, in explanation • John vi. 47, &c.
of a matter so little important as the conclusion of ono † For the reason assigned, when thege discourses were discourse and the introduction to another. frat submitted to the public eye, soine of the occasional
* Jude 24, 25.
for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the shall be no night there."* Let us, therefore, Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations " be steadfast, unmoveable, always abound of them which are saved shall walk in the ing in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as 'ight of it; and the kings of the earth do bring we know that our labour is not in vain in the their glory and honour into it. And the gates Lord.”+ of it shall not be shut at all by day; for there * Rev. xi. 23-25. 1 1 Cor. xv. 58.
HISTORY OF MOSES.
And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their
journies, according io the commandment of the Lord, and pitched in Rephidim; and there was no water for the people to drink. Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink And Moses said unto them, Why chide you with me? Wherefore do ye tempt the Lord ?' And the Lord said unto Moses, Go on before ihe people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel and thy rod, wherewith thou 'smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go. Behold I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb: and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shal! come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.—Exodus xvii. 1, 2. 5, 6.
The reconciliation of interrupted friend But chiefly thee, O Spirit! thee only, we ship is one of the chief delights of human life. adore, The extatic pleasure of meeting again, after
-" Who didst inspire long absence, persons whom we dearly love, That shepherd who first laught the chosen seed, obliterates in a moment the pain of separa
In the beginning, how the heavens and earth
Rose out of chaos." tion: and one hour of sweet communication compensates the languor, solicitude, and Whatever wisdom we may have learned, gloom of many years. After an interval of whatever pleasure we may have enjoyed, five months, I return, to converse with Moses, whatever comfort we possess, whatever hope and to talk of him to you, with the satisfac- we feel-all
, all is of thee, pure, eternal, tion of one who has been upon a long jour- unchanging source of light, and life, and ney, and, returning home, finds again those joy. whom he left, those whom he loves; and Moses, in the passage of his writings finds them such as he wishes them to be. Let which I have now read, is carrying on his own us, my dear friends, with increased ardour, interesting eventful history. At the head of affection, admiration, and gratitude, renew the myriads of Israel, he is now pursuing his our intimacy with the venerable man to march from Egypt to Canaan, following a whom we are indebted for so much rational guide who would not mislead them, and pleasure, and for so much useful instruction. whom they could not mistake; protected by Moses, thou prince of historians, sublimest a power, which, like a wall of fire, bids defiof poets, sagest of legislators, clearest-sight- ance to every threatening foe; and, from ed of prophets, most amiable of men! To day to day supplied by a bounty incapable of thee we owe our knowledge of the ages be- being exhausted. All these present and yond the flood! Thou first taughtest to singular advantages, had the sweetness of string the sacred lyre, and to adapt the high hope mingled with them. They had just espraises of God to the enchanting concord of caped from the most humiliating and oppressweet sounds. By thee, king in Jeshurun, sive of all servitude, and they were hastenall succeeding princes have been instructed ing to the inheritance of their fathers; vet how to govern; and lawgivers are formed we find them a people as peevish, irritable, to political wisdom and sagacity. By thee, and difficult to please, as if they had never Jews were led to expect, and Gentiles are known adversity, and as if they had just encouraged to rejoice in MESSIAH, the great issued from the lap of ease and indulgence. prophet, after thy similitude ; by whom alone Today, the bread is dry and stale ; to-morThou art excelled. And by thec, sweetest, row, the water is bitter; the third day, there meekest, gentlest of mankind, the endearing is a scarcity of it. The water is sweetened; charities of private life are most engagingly manna descends; quails fall around their exemplified," and most powerfully recom- camp; but there is till “a cruel something mended.
unpossessed," and all that went before is for.
gotten; all that is in possession becomes in- ably? Who would envy pre-eminence such sipid. Bestow on the ungrateful person as that which Moses enjoyed? Is glory nine hundred and ninety-nine favours, and obtained? He comes in but for a moderate withhold the thousandth, and all you have share. Is blame incurred, or distress felt? All done for him is lost. The present pressure is imputed to him. To what a severe trial always seenis the heaviest. Mouldy bread was the temper of this meekest of all men and brackish water in the wilderness, are now put! What so provoking as to meet with considered as evils more intolerable than all censure when we are conscious of meriting the rigours of slavery in Egypt.
praise? What so galling as to have the caWhere does this censure fall?': On that | lamities of others charged upon us as crimes; moody, murmuring race, the Jews, and on to be accused as culpable, merely because them only? Alas! it overwhelms ourselves; we have been unfortunate ? Surely the great it bears hard, not upon individuals here and are set in “ slippery places;" and uneasy there, but upon mankind! We expect more must the head lie that wears a crown." from the world than it possibly can bestow; We see Moses flying in the hour of danger, and when we discover its insufficiency, we whither the people ought to have fled in the charge God foolishly; and because we have hour of their affliction. “ He cried unto the not every thing that we wish, we are satisfied Lord.” Religion opens a refuge when every with nothing. Solacing ourselves, like Jonah, other refuge fails: and it administers a remeunder the shadow of a gourd, we fancy it is dy to ills otherwise incurable. I tremble for a perennial shelter. We see not the worm the life of Moses. He trembles for himself. which is gnawing its root! and when it is " They are almost ready to stone me.” The smitten down and withers, we are ready to voice of Jehovah is again heard, and Moses is say, with the sullen, testy prophet, “ We do in safety. But I tremble now, for these murwell to be angry.”
muring, unbelieving, rebellious Israelites : Is But, was the want of water a slight evil? not the thunder of his indignation going to And, is it sinful to complain under the pres- burst out? Is not the fire hastening to consure of calamity like this? And, was this sume? Or, is the earth going to open her the first time Israel had been in distress, and mouth, and swallow them quick up into the found relief? Who was it that sweetened pit? Behold a solemn preparation is making ! the waters of Marah? Who divided the Red But it is an arrangement of love. It is the Sea? Who rained bread from heaven? And, voice of God I hear; but it speaks mercy and who ever mended his condition by murmur- peace. The tremendous rod of God, whereing and discontent? Had God intended to with he bruised and broke Egypt, is again destroy that people, why all this exertion of employed; but not as the instrument of punisha strong hand, and stretched-out arm to de- ment to Israel. It smites, not a sinful people, liver them. God in the failure of our earthly but the finty rock; and it draws forth, not a comforts intends not our mortification and stream of blood from the heart of the offender, ruin, but our wisdom and improvement. He but a stream of water to cool his tongue, and thereby teaches us our dependence; it sum- to restore his fainting soul. Surely, O Lord, mons us to the observation of his providence; "thy ways are not as our ways; for as the and levels, not the hope and joy, but the heavens are higher than the earth, so are thy pride and self-sufficiency of man.
ways higher than our ways, and thy thoughts Water! precious fluid ! infinitely more than our thoughts."* Behold, therefore, valuable than the blood of the grape, than the goodness and severity of God: on them rivulets of oil, or honey from the rock; re- which fell, severity; but towards thee, goodfreshed, sustained every moment by thee, we ness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherare every moment wasting, neglecting, for- wise thou also shalt be cut off.”+ Astonishing getting thee. We prize thee not, because instance of the power and sovereignty of the of thy rich abundance; and, because thou Most High! The same rod which smote the enterest into every other mean of food and river, and it became blood, smites the rock, comfort, thy importance is unobserved, thy and it becomes streams of water. Who is to benefits forgotten. May I never know thy be feared, who is to be trusted, but the God value from the want of thee.
who can do these great things ? “ There was no water for the people to How honourable had it been for Israel, to drink.” Wherefore the people did chide have had this stage of their marching through with “ Moses, and said, Give us water that the wilderness, distinguished by a name we may drink. And Moses said unto them, which betokened and commemorated their Why chide you with me! Wherefore do ye faithfulness, obedience, and submission. Intempt the Lord ?" If in their calmest moments stead of this, the names Massah and Meribah, men are often incapable of reasoning justly, must transmit to all generations the memory and distinguishing accurately, is it any won- of temptation, chiding, and strife. Happily der to find them, in the very tide and whirl- the monuments of human frailty, foily, and wind of passion, acting foolishly and unreason
* Isa. Iv. 8, 9.
i Ron. ri. 22
guilt, are also the monuments of the divine pa- 1 month; and the leaves of the tree are for the tience, forbearance, and tender mercy. “But healing of the nations. And there shall be no the law had only a shadow of good things to more curse: but the throne of God and of the come.” Where Moses leaves us, Isaiah takes Lamb shall be in it: and his servants shall us by the hand, and leads us on our way, serve him, and they shall see his face: and pointing to Him whom all prophesy revealed, his name shall be in their foreheads. And and
saying, “Behold a King shall reign in there shall be no night there; and they need righteousness, and princes shall rule in judg- no candle, neither light of the sun; for the ment. And a man shall be as an hiding place Lord God giveth them light: and they shall from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; reign for ever and ever."* as rivers of water in a dry place; as the shadow In the recapitulation of this wonderful of a great rock in a weary land."'* And the history in the book of Numbers, an interestapostle of the Gentiles conducts our weary, ing and important circumstance is recorded, wandering steps from the rock in Horeb to which in Exodus is suppressed; and which the rock Christ, from whence issues the we must here insert, that we may view the mighty "river, which makes glad the city of event complete in all its parts, and that we our God;" and which affords, not a transitory, may feel it in all its force. The miracle of temporary refreshment, but a perpetual, never extracting water from the rock, which proved failing supply. “Moreover, brethren, I would so salutary to the people, became fatal to not that ye should be ignorant, how thatall our Moses himself
. And this he, with his native fathers were under the cloud, and all passed candour and simplicity, thus relates : “ And through the sea ; and were all baptized unto Moses took the rod from before the Lord, as Moses in the cloud, and in the sea; and did he commanded him. And Moses and Aaron all eat the same spiritual meat, and did all gathered the congregation together before drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, of that spiritual rock which followed them, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of and that rock was Christ.”| The words of this rock? And Moses lifted up his hand, and the apostle insinuate, that the stream which with his rod he smote the rock twice; and issued from the rock in the wilderness con- the water came out abundantly, and the continued to flow, and accompanied their progress gregation drank, and their beasts also. And through the desert during the remainder of the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Betheir long pilgrimage, till, being arrived at cause ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the land of promise, a land watered with the the eyes of the children of Israel; therefore dew of heaven, and the abundance of the ye shall not bring this congregation into the rivers, a miraculous supply being unneces- land which I have given them."For the sary, was withdrawn.
illustration and improvement of which, we Thus was the gospel preached to them of beg your attention to the following remarks. old time. The solid rock became, as it were Observe, first, The credit which is due to moveable; “and followed them" wheresoever the sacred writers in general, and to Moses they went. The adamant was melted into a in particular, for their fidelity and integrity pool for their refreshment. Blessed type of in relating those particulars of their temper Him who in his own person accommodated and conduct which are the object of censure the immutability of the divine nature to the and condemnation, as well as those which necessity and the relief of human misery! merit applause. Indeed they do both with Blessed type of that stream of blood flowing the same “simplicity and godly sincerity.” from the Lamb slain from the foundation of They never appear solicitous to celebrate the world, and“ which taketh away the sins their own praise, and if glory may redound of the world!" Blessed type of that “consola- to God, and edification to men, they honestly tion that is in Christ Jesus” for the weary and publish their own shame. Unlike the geneheavy laden, for the guilty and the wretch- rality of mankind, who are perpetually catched, for the faint and dying! Blessed type ing at opportunities to introduce their dear of that precious stream which has flowed in selves, that they may be valued and admired: every age, and is flowing to every nation and and, with equal anxiety, drawing a veil over people under heaven; and which never leaves their errors and imperfections. But these the path of the Zion-traveller, till, through holy men delivered not their testimony “ acthe midst of Jordan, he stands on the delight- cording to the will of man,” nor in the spirit ful shore of the Canaan that is above, where of the world; but, spake as they were moved it becomes “a pure river of water of life, clear by the Holy Ghost.” And, with candid as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of judges, this candour of theirs will be deemed God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the no slight argument of their veracity in genestreet of it, and on either side of the river, ral, and no slender proof of the credibility of there is the tree of life, which bears twelve the scripture history. manner of fruits, and yieldeth her fruit every Secondly, Remark the mixture of frailty * Isa. xxxii. 1, 2 f 1 Cor. £ 1, &c.
* Rev. xxii. 1&c † Numb. xx. 0, &c.