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only did it retain its sweetness; at all others, "it bred worms and stank." No one was to seek it on the sabbath day. The offenders in either of these cases were severely punished. And, finally, "an omer full of the manna" was miraculously preserved untainted, that succeeding generations might see the bread wherewith their fathers had been fed in the wilderness.
On this interesting narrative, I remark—
1. A power of working miracles was given to Moses. But, as in the case of the apostles, this power was to be used to confirm the divine mission; to be exercised with a constant reference to Him who bestowed it; and to be exclusively applied to accomplish the end for which it was given. That end, humanly speaking, could not have been attained without such extraordinary means; and the means, the exercise of them, and the end, were all worthy of Him who gave, directed, and contemplated them.
2. A strong proof of the truth of the Mosaic writings is deriveable from the impartiality of the writer; witness the difference between him and Josephus, who assents to the general truth of the lawgiver's statements; but, nevertheless, in every case where he differs, tries to palliate what is blameable; to emblazon what is simple. What he says concerning the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, which he compares to the passage of Alexander the Great over the sea of Pamphylia, is unworthy of notice. The Egyptian writers acknowledge it was miraculous.
3. As to the political character of Moses, it is evident he was a patriot-see, in proof, Exodus xxxii, 10, 11, 31, 32. His firmness and his wisdom were alike manifested throughout his public life. His prudence
was equal to his dexterity; and his success was as remarkable as either.
Thus much concerning the early life of the lawgiver; his political intercourse with the Egyptian king; his conduct of the Hebrews into the wilderness; and of his character, down to the last-mentioned period. But Moses sustained a much higher character still. He was the legate of God to man. He was admitted to the celestial colloquy. He was honoured to hold converse with his Maker, and to witness a partial display of his glory. Of which, hereafter.
"And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam; and they both came forth. And he said, Hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all my house. With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold," Num. xii, 5-8.
THE fact of divine and immediate communication to man is incontrovertibly established. It rests on the same authority with the book of revelation. And from that book we are not at liberty to make a selection of the probable and improbable, the possible and impossible. It is in the nature of a revelation to involve many things which, to us, are very mysterious. From the verses just read, it appears the usual mode of divine communication was by dreams; of which
we have many examples; and by visions, as in the case of Balaam: see Num. xxiv, 15, 16. Thus inspiration was conveyed by representations made to the eye; and hence, of old time a prophet was called a seer, or one who beholds supernatural things.
But to Moses God spake "mouth to mouth;" not obscurely, but in explicit terms. Nay more, he beheld a similitude of the glory of Jehovah. That glory itself, in all its fulness, could not be seen by an eye of flesh; but a glorious similitude, such as was worthy of the object it represented, and yet not overpowering to mortality, was afforded to this man of God. In all these things he was greatly and pre-eminently distinguished; and thereby was well fitted to be a striking type of Christ.
I do not intend to enter, at any length, into the history of Moses, subsequent to the period of the passage through the Red Sea, as connected with that of the children of Israel, in the wilderness. The greater part of the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is occupied with the moral and Levitical law; and with large commentaries upon them. What chiefly concerns us is the decalogue, with its appendages. The Levitical institutions have ceased; Christ, the end to which they pointed, having come in the flesh. It were, notwithstanding, a subject of interesting and useful reflection, to examine the account which is given of the tabernacle and all its apartments; the furniture which belonged to its outer courts; the altar of incense and offerings; of the daily and yearly sacrifices; the free-will offerings; and those which were presented on the great feasts, of which there were four annually; of the very expressive manner in which these services were to be performed; of the lamp which burned for
ever before the place of the testimony and went not out, day nor night; of the laver of brass; and the candlestick of seven branches; and farther to accompany the historian into the holy of holies, through the veil which was seven-fold; and there, in the place of thick darkness, where God was veiled from mortal eye, to behold the ark and mercy seat; where stood on the latter the two golden cherubim, with faces bending downward, as desiring to look into the mysteries of God incarnate; and with expanded wings overshadowing the sacred spot-and where were deposited, within the former, the rod of Aaron which budded; the pot of manna; and the two tables of stone on which the finger of God had written the ten commandments. On this subject I might enlarge; but must dismiss it with this remark : that the whole of the ceremonial service addressed
itself powerfully to the senses. Man was not yet prepared for that fuller display of God which was, in after ages, to be vouchsafed unto him. But now, God is to be approached spiritually, with "incense and a pure offering." He is a Spirit, and requires of them who worship him to do it "in spirit and in truth."
Before the Israelites arrived at Sinai, two events occurred. The first was a battle with the Amalekites, in which Israel prevailed, under the conduct of Joshua, (who is now first mentioned, and who already showed himself a soldier of promise,) but chiefly through the intercession of Moses. The other event was the arrival at the camp of Jethro the father-in-law of Moses, with his wife and children. By this person Moses was advised to alter his mode of trying cases, by appointing arbitrators from among the people, who should decide in all ordinary cases; and that he himself should only take cognizance of more difficult matters, or such as
should be brought, by appeal, before him. After this arrangement, Jethro parted with Moses; but afterward, on more mature reflection, returned to him again.
The murmuring of the people for want of water, and the gracious supply vouchsafed unto them; Israel's sin and punishment, in the matter of the golden calf; the iniquity of Nadab and Abihu; the sedition of Miriam and Aaron; the continued discontent of the people; the rebellion of Korah, and the jealousy against Aaron; the provocation with which the meek Moses provoked the Lord at the waters of Meribah, and for which he was punished by being prevented from entering into Canaan; the account of the fiery serpents; and of Balak and Balaam; must all be passed over without comment. Their meaning, and the lessons they are calculated to teach, are equally obvious.
In the third month from the time of Israel's leaving Egypt they arrived at Sinai, in the wilderness. Moses ascended the mountain, and received a command that the people should spend three days in preparation for the awful appearance of God on the mount. We can easily picture to ourselves, in a measure, the feelings of awe and solemnity which these preparations would inspire; more especially when the whole mount was fenced around, and with which they would wait the dawning of the third morn. That morning was ushered in by thunder and lightning, and the voice of the trumpet, exceeding loud. Local situation has great influence upon us. One remarks, that we feel ourselves more lonely in a desert, though in the company of hundreds, than in a cultivated country, though alone. A retired place tends to awaken awful emotions. How solemn must this storm have been, in such a place! How terrible the scene, when, on lifting up