صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

perhaps, oppressive sense of the approaching scene settles on his heart. At length, the hand of Jehovah, probably some cloudy medium, covers the cleft. The insufferable brightness passes. The cloud is withdrawn, and

a

Let us attempt no further description of the scene. Rather let us join this favored man of God, in the homage he pays, as he bows and worships. Let us unite in the devout and lofty gratitude, which, we may well suppose, bursts from his lips, as he hears—hears for himself; hears for sinning Israel; hears for us, and all mankind—the proclamation so full of goodness and salvation: “ The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious,” &c. "I will make my goodness to pass before thee,” said God. That goodness was love embodied; and, as it passed, it shone in all its native glory, too effulgent for the eye of Moses, except that he saw it retiring.

Thus was Moses prëeminently favored. Thus he beheld

“ similitude of the Lord,” Numb. 12:6-8; some such view as Elijah had, in after times, near that very spot; some such view as the disciples also enjoyed, in still later days, when Jesus was transfigured before them, and in the presence of Moses and Elijah.

But few of the children of God have been so honored and blessed as was Moses and these other servants of Jesus. The same necessity, perhaps, does not exist for such manifestations in their case, nor are they prepared for them. But there have been many who have enjoyed seasons of delightful, and even rapturous communion with Christ; whose visions of his glory have been ravishing and absorbing; and which, if they have not caused their face to shine, as did that of Moses, have spread moral beauty and loveliness through the soul. Such manifestations some children of God enjoy, while on their journey; and even brighter manifestations, as they draw towards its close. Why should

they not? Why should not Jesus reveal himself to them? They love him purely and ardently. Why should he not bring them into his banqueting-house, and open to them his heart of love? Why, when just entering the Celestial City, should he not come to them? Why not part the vail, and let them look in upon that glorious city, where God shines in one unclouded day, and which is so soon to be their eternal residence? I have seen some such death-beds, where the soul was filled with "joy unspeakable, and full of glory," when it exultingly exclaimed:

Jesus ! the vision of thy face

Hath overpowering charms;
Scarce shall I feel death's cold embrace,

With Christ within my arms.

Then, while ye hear my heartstrings break,

How sweet my minutes roll!
A mortal paleness on my cheek,

But glory in my soul !

Oh! how little do men of the world know of the glory of Jesus, or of the joy of communion with him! I wish they could see him as he is sometimes seen by his children ; I wish they could realize the bliss which his love imparts. The brightest objects of earth would then fade, and the most intoxicating cup of pleasure would then be easily relinquished. They would not wonder at the holy ecstasy of a dying Payson, nor at the “wonderful glory” seen by a departing Evarts.

NUMBERS.

PRAYER ON REMOVING THE ARK FROM IIOREB.

And they departed from the mount of the Lord three days' journey: and the ark

of the covenant of the Lord went before them in the three days' journey to search out a resting-place for them. And the cloud of the Lord was upon them by day, when they went out of the camp. And it came to pass, when the ark set forward, that Moses said, Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered; and let them that hate thee flee before thee. And when it rested, he said, Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel.-Numb. x. 33–36.

The Israelites had abode in the wilderness of Sinai, near the base of Horeb, about a year, 10:11,12. Deut. 1:6. But now, by divine direction, they were to renew their journey towards Canaan. Accordingly, the needful preparations were made; the tents were struck and folded; the tabernacle was taken down, and carefully packed for removal. The several tribes were arranged in their divinely designated order; the trumpets sounded an alarm,"

," and they left “the mount of the Lord,”—a spot long likely to be remembered by them as the place where they had seen the glory of Jehovah ; where they had heard his voice; where they had received his law; where they had entered into covenant with him; and where, to their long and deep sorrow, they had been guilty of the most shameful ingratitude and provoking idolatry.

The “ark of the covenant” went before, being borne on the shoulders of the Levites, who, in their journeyings, were divinely directed to search out suitable places in the desert, on which the tribes were to encamp. The removal of the ark, each morning, was preceded by a solemn prayer; and their coming in, or halting at evening, was sanctified in like

The form of morning prayer was: Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered : and let them that hate thee, flee before thee." They were now in a desolate region. but marching towards an enemy's country. It was

manner.

66 Rise up,

right, therefore, thus to pray, as they were daily exposed to sudden attacks from rapacious hordes, (Ex. 17:8,) and needed to be reminded that all their hope was in that arm, which had brought them up from the house of bondage. At evening the forin varied : “Return, O Lord, unto the many thousands of Israel ;" i.e. return them to their rest again after this fatigue.

It is a pleasant reflection, suggested by this historical incident, that God goes before, and accompanies his believing people, in their journey through this world, to their rest above. And he provides, and points out suitable restingplaces by the way, so that each one may, at least, occasionally say with the Psalmist : “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures;

he leadeth me beside the still waters.” The way

in which the Israelites were conducted to Canaan was chiefly a desert—so is the way to the Canaan above. But every desert has its oases; its verdant spots, where the traveler may repose : and, though these may be far distant from each other, with gloomy intervals between, yet, how refreshing, when, at length, he reaches a place where he may repose, and slake his thirst.

So with the spiritual traveler to the land of Beulah. Long marches, and distressing conflicts may await him; he may sigh for rest, as the tired dove longs for her window; or, as the parched hart

Pants for a cooling stream at hand,
And he must drink, or die-

Yet, let him not despond. That divine shepherd, who conducts him, will enable him to surmount every obstacle which obstructs his way, or which serves to diminish his strength.

But it is, perhaps, more to our purpose, to remind our readers, that the example of Moses and his people, in invoking the blessing of God morning and evening, while on their journey, should be imitated by them, when in similar circumstances. As we set forth in the morning, either commencing

us ?

or prosecuting a journey, how know we what may betide

How many circumstances may transpire, any one of which may thwart our plans, interrupt our journey, involve us in danger, and even “finish our course.” Do we go in our own vehicle ? the horse attached may take fright, and dash us down some fatal precipice. Do we embark on board some steamer ? some sudden and fatal explosion may, in a moment, send us to the bar of God; or, the fire may kindle, and leave us only the awful alternative—the devouring flames or a watery grave. Or, are we borne by some railroad car ? a single pin loosened may whirl us from the track; or a single spike disengaged may send the frightful, death-dealing "snake's-head” through our bodies, terminating life with a single groan.

Ere I set out on a journey, I would hie to my closet, and, with special care, commend my all to God. I would go from the footstool, saying:

My feet shall never slide,

Nor fall in fatal snares,
Since God, my guard and guide,

Defends me from my fears.

Or, if it seems better to my Heavenly Father, that, while absent from home-absent from “ wife and children dear," I should meet death, by some sudden and unexpected incident, I would have provided therefor; remembering how truly, solemnly, it has been said, that

a moment we may wish, When worlds want wealth to buy.

I would prepare for such an emergency, and have had my prayer laid up before the throne of God, that He, with whom there is no surprise, may save me in a moment of such danger; or, if otherwise, and I die—he may, in answer to my prayer, “receive me to glory."

Nor should we fail, when we have gone out, and come in

« السابقةمتابعة »