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this affecting exhortation, would ensure the grátitude of his people and their observance of his statutes.
MRS. M. Their esteem for Moses, and their perfect conviction of the divine origin of his laws, did secure a nominal attachment to them. But the essence of the requisitions consisted in the consecration of the whole heart, and all the sanctions of the law ;-its threatenings and its promises, he knew, would not be proof against the dete, riorating power of an intercourse with heathens of the worst possible character. But that they might be without excuse, he persisted in providing expedients to counteract its fascinations. He wrote a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, and directed them to teach it to their children. He bade them to erect a pillar of stones, when they should come into the promised land, and engrave on it “the law," that it might be always in the view of the passenger. And to impress their memories and imaginations, being aware of their fondness for symbols, he commanded them to divide the congregation formally, and place them on the two mounts Ebal and Gerizzim; Simeon and Levi, Judah and Issachar, Joseph and Benjamin, on the latter; and Reu. ben, Asher and Gad, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali, on the former; whilst the Levites rehearsed in their hearing, the blessings that awaited their inflexible allegiance, and the curses that would be the infallible punishment of their apostacy. And lastly, he delivered the “ book of the law," to the priests, and commanded them to keep it in the “ side of the ark” of the Covenant, and read the whole every seventh year to the assembled tribes, at the feast of tabernacles.
CATHERINE. What do you mean by the book of the law ?
Mrs. M. The five books of Moses, both singly and collectively, are spoken of in the scriptures under that title. They are also called “ the books of Moses," and sometimes are designated merely by his name, as, for instance, “ they have Moses and the prophets."
Having finished his address to the people, he pronounced a prophetic blessing on each tribe, and gave a parting charge to Joshua, in the presence of all Israel, assuring him, both for his and their encouragement, that the Lord of hosts would conduct them across the Jordan to the land he had given to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
He then left them, and ascended alone a ridge of mountains that lay near the border of Moab, and from Pisgah, the summit, he was indulged with an extensive prospect of the land he had earnestly desired to enter. The stream of Jordan flowed at his feet; the lakes of Cinnereth and Asphaltite, and the stately cedars of Lebanon, on the north; and the spreading palm trees of the south, were at once in his view. He beheld the cities and the fields, which his brethren were to possess; but their faces he saw no more
-for there he died-and in a valley not far distant, it is said, “ the Lord buried him;" and no man has ever discovered his sepulchre ! (B. C. 1471.)
CATHERINE. That is a very extraordinary fact. Why was he not buried with funeral honours like other celebrated men? It would have gratified the people who had received so many invaluable services from him, to have paid this last tribute to his worth. MRS. M.
He who recorded the death and secret burial of Moses, has barely related the fact, without one word of -comment-a fact so very remarkable, that the curiosity of the reader is irresistibly impelled to look for a reason,
which is supposed to be discovered in the high veneration of Israel for their great legislator. Had they known the place of his interment, they would have held it sacred, and have transgressed the bounds of allowable respect for his remains.
CATHERINE. Is this account of Moses's death in the book of Deuteronomy-a book of his own writing?
MRS. M. It is in the last chapter of that book; and some have not scrupled to believe was prophetically written by himself, as many other prophecies are found in the Pentateuch. But we are not driven to this conclusion by the absence of every other mode of explanation. The last chapter of Deuteronomy was most probably composed by Joshua, the writer of the following book, and injudiciously placed with the writings of Moses, by those who arranged the sacred canon, because it concludes his story.
But if the bereaved congregation were not permitted to weep over the grave of their inestimable benefactor, they were allowed to remain inactive in their encampment thirty days, indulging their sorrow, although they were in sight of their ultimate object. Their affliction was deep and sincere, and embittered by the reproachful conviction, that hut for their own insupportable provocations, they might still have enjoyed his society, and profited by his wisdom. For although he was an hundred and twenty years old, he possessed all his faculties in their native strength. “ His eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.”
For many years after his death, his people adhered faithfully to bis precepts, and, through all their revolutions, they continue to revere his authority. While the world endures, he will remain the greatest of historians and prophets. His writings are his most expressive eulogy. They
reflect the wise and upright man, and the loyal servant of his Master. His style is plain and perspicuous, such as the importance of his subject demanded; yet interspersed with the most beautiful and sublime strains of poetry, where they could be used with propriety. His prophetic ode in the thirty-first chapter of Deuteronomy is said, by an elegant and learned writer on Hebrew poetry, to be “ singularly magnificent, and scarcely to be paralleled from all the choicest treasures of the muses.” As a prophet, he has this testimony to his transcendent dignity-that there arose in Israel not one like him, “ whom the Lord knew face to face.” His whole ceremonial law is a prophecy of that divine Teacher, who he predicted should come, in these remarkable words : -" The Lord your God will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me: unto him ye shall hearken."
From the midst of the brethren of Moses, the descendants of Israel, the Lord our God has raised up unto us a Prophet, “ in whom he is well pleased ;" and happy are we if we hearken unto him.
MRS. M. The incident with which the Book of Joshua -the subject of our ensuing conversation-commences, exemplifies a consoling truth, presented every day to our observation that the evils to which we are inevitably subjected in this life, are ever accompanied by circumstances which mitigate their severity_and sometimes even produce results the most beneficial. The loss of a friend with whom we have passed many years in delightful intercourse, is an affliction so common, that almost every heart can tell its bitterness. If his wisdom has illumined our path-if his power and his zeal have promoted our interest—we feel that a right hand is cut off; but if many failures in our own duty to this friend, cloud the recollection of past pleasure-now too late to make any reparation-what is there left to complete our humiliating regret? To embitter the sorrow of the Israelites for the death of their illustrious legislator, the history of whose virtues was bat the history of their own ingratitude-all these distressing reflections were combined, yet the sad event brought with it a cheering consolation. The voice of their immutable Protector reminded them that the last remaining obstacle to their entrance into the promised land was now remo
moved; “ Moses