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BEFORE CHRIST

1451.

BEFORE CHRIST

1451.

19. 32, &c.

1. o Numb. 23.

22. Ps. 92. 10. + Heb. an unicorn.

11. Ps. 44. 5.

6.

14, 15.

e ch. 8. 9.

• Isai. 2. 3.

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& ch. 32. 15.

17 His glory is like the fied with favour, and full

n firstling of his bullock, and with the blessing of the Chron. 5. his horns are like othe LORD : possess thou the - See Josh.

horns of + unicorns : with west and the south.
them Phe shall push the 24 And of Asher he

people together to the ends said, Let Asher be blessed Gen. 49. 20. p 1 Kings 22. of the earth : and 9 they with children ; let him be

are the ten thousands of acceptable to his brethren, « Gen. 48. 19. Ephraim, and they are the and let him a dip his foot - See Job 29.

thousands of Manasseh. in oil.

18 [ And of Zebulun he 25 || Thy shoes shall be Or, Under * Gen. 49, 13, said, " Rejoice, Zebulun, in iron and brass ; and as shall be iron.

thy going out; and, Issa- thy days, 80 shall thy
char, in thy tents. strength be.

19 They shall . call the 26 There is ' none like 'Exod. 15. people unto the mountain; unto the God of 8 Jeshurun, Ps. 86. 8. there they shall offer sa- who rideth upon

the Jer. 10.6. crifices of righteousness : heaven in thy help, and in Ps.68.4, 33, for they shall suck of the his excellency on the sky. Hab. 3. 8. abundance of the seas, and 27 The eternal God is of treasures hid in the thy i refuge, and underneath · Ps. 90. 1. sand.

are the everlasting arms : 20 And of Gad he and k he shall thrust out *ch. 9. 3, 4, said, Blessed be he that the enemy from before

enlargeth Gad : he dwell- thee; and shall say, De1 Chron. 12. eth as a lion, and teareth stroy them.

the arm with the crown of 28 1 Israel then shall Numb. 23. the head,

dwell in safety alone : m the Jer. 23. 6. & 21 And he provided fountain of Jacob shall be

mch. 8.7, 8. the first part for himself, upon a land of corn and because there, in a portion wine ; also his heavens " Gen. 27. 28.

of the lawgiver, was he shall drop down dew. + Heb. cieled. f seated ; and y he came 29 • Happy art thou, O • Ps. 114. 15.

with the heads of the peo- Israel : P who is like unto p 2 Sam. 7.
ple, he executed the justice thee, O people saved by
of the Lord, and his judg- the Lord, 9 the shield of ° Ps. 115. 9,
ments with Israel.

thy help, and who is the
22 And of Dan he sword of thy excellency !"2 Sam. 22.

said, Dan is a lion's whelp : and thine enemies " || shall Ps. 18. 44. & Josh. 19.47. 2 he shall leap from Bashan. be found liars unto thee;

23 1 And of Naphtali and thou shalt tread upon • Gen. 49.21. he said, O Naphtali, 3 satis-their high places.

5.

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See Josh, 13. 10, &c.

8, &c.

9.

33 16.

* Numb. 32.

16, 17, &c.

y Josh. 4. 12.

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PRAYER.-LET US PRAY, that no false theories of philosophy withdraw us

from the conviction of the presence and influence of the Holy Spirit of God upon the understanding, the reason, the will, and the affections of the human mind. That we ever seek our spiritual blessings from the divine and omnipresent power of the Holy Spirit, which Christ promised to His Church and its members. That we ever possess spiritually the blessings which were granted

temporally to the twelve tribes separately; and that we obtain the better blessings which He pronounced on the Church of Israel generally. That the eternal God be our refuge. That we be separated from the follies and sins of the world, and be guided in safety by God's grace and power to the better and

heavenly Canaan. O ALMIGHTY God, Creator of the souls of men, Father of the spirits of all flesh, who hast implanted within the souls of all, the understanding which receives the impressions of the objects of thought, the reason which contemplates them, and the will which grieves or hates, or hopes or fears, and which forms the inward happiness, or the inward misery, of the souls Thou hast made; we thank Thee for the promise which Thou hast given us by Thy Son our Lord, whom Thou didst exalt with great glory into Thy kingdom in heaven, of the presence of Thy Holy Spirit to abide with us for ever. We plead Thy promise. We

We pray for the Holy Comfort. We implore Thy grace and favour that Thou wouldst grant us Thy Holy Spirit, to derive all our happiness from the power and influence of that Comforter of the souls of men. Grant us, we pray Thee, by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, so that our understandings be rightly directed, and our reason be rightly employed, devoted, and dedicated to the subjects which are alone worthy of the attention of a dying man, with an immortal soul. Grant us by the same Spirit evermore so to rejoice in His holy comfort, that our will be conformed to the will of God, that our affections be set upon heavenly, and not upon earthly things ; that our principal grief be that we love God so little ; that our hatred be directed against the sins that Thou hast forbidden; that our hopes be, the confidence and assurance of Thy favour ; that our fears be, lest we offend our God, and resist, and grieve, and quench, the influences of His Holy Spirit within us. So bless us, we pray Thee, with the peace of God which comes from Thee alone, that our whole body, and soul, and spirit

, with the understanding, the reason, the will, and the affections, be entirely sanctified and blessed by the peace and the happiness which descend from heaven. Ever may we seek for all our true, and spiritual inward felicity from God, and from God alone. Drive far from us, we pray Thee, all the false philosophy, by whatever name it be called, by whatever arguments it be defended, by whatever supporters it be upheld, which teaches us to hope for mental happiness, and to obtain spiritual delight, and peace, and satisfaction from any source which shall be independent of the influence of the invisible Spirit of God upon the soul and its powers. Let no man take our crown. Let no man spoil us through any philosophy, or any science, falsely so called. Never let us forsake the only fountain of the living waters of spiritual inward satisfaction, to hew out for ourselves the broken cisterns which can hold no water, to refresh the contrite, penitent, and believing spirit. We thank Thee for the knowledge of the blessings which Thy servant in the olden time, under the influence of the Holy Spirit

, which had guided him in safety through the wilderness to Canaan, pronounced upon the tribes of his people.' We pray Thee to bestow upon our souls the spiritual and the better blessings which can be given to us by the power of the same Holy Spirit alone, and not by any human philosophy. May the words of the blessings pronounced by Thy servant upon the tribes of his brethren assist and guide our humble supplications at this moment to Thee, the ever-present Fountain of peace to our souls. Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our forefathers; but as the sin of Reuben was not so visited upon

his children that his tribe should cease from among their brethren; so let us live before Thee as a part of Thy Universal Church; and not die the second death

of apostasy, and sorrow, and despair. Give us the blessing of Judah. Hear our voice of prayer, and bring us to Thy Church in heaven. Ever may we lift up our hands in prayer to Thee. Be thou our help against all the enemies of our souls. May the blessing of Levi be ours. May the light of our knowledge, and the perfections of our spirit, come down from the Holy One, whom we have too often tempted by our sins in the wilderness through which we are passing to our heavenly Canaan. May the blessing of Benjamin be ours. May we be found among the beloved of the Lord, and dwell in peace and safety under the protection of the Lord our God all the day long, and all our life long. Give us the blessing of Joseph. Feed us with food convenient for us. If it be Thy will, grant us the prosperity which might increase our power to be useful. But above all the precious things of earth, grant us the precious things of heaven. May grace, mercy, and peace be with

us. Give us the blessings of Zebulun and of Issachar, that both in our goings out, and in our comings in, abroad and at home, we may offer the sacrifices of righteousness, and put our trust in the Lord. May the blessings of Gad and of Dan be ours, that we be valiant for the truth, clothed with the whole armour of God, and victorious over all the sins within us, which call forth the justice and judgments of the 'Lord. May the blessings of Naphtali and of Asher be ours; that we be satisfied with Thy favour, full of Thy blessings, acceptable to our brethren, and find our strength from heaven proportioned to our temptations, our dangers, and our fears. O eternal God, be Thou our refuge. O protect us by Thy power. Thrust out the spiritual enemy from our soul. Destroy all evil within us. Separate us from the sins, the follies, and the degradations of the world. Tread down Satan under our feet. And after this life is ended, receive our souls into that true Promised Land, the inheritance of Thy people, the Canaan of rest, and peace, and perfectness

We ask all in the name and in the words of Thy Son our Lord and Saviour.

Our Father, &c.
The

grace of our Lord, &c.

for ever.

SECTION CLXXI. DEUTERONOMY XXXIV.

Title.-As a flower, breaking forth from the bud in the midst of summer, finds

itself in the presence of the glorious sun, the blue sky, and the green earth, all of which were there before, so the Christian soul, bursting from the prison of the body, will find itself in the manifested presence of God, of Christ, and of the state of souls departed. The death of Moses, his continued existence, his appearance at the Transfiguration of our Lord, and the subject of his conversation there. The character of Moses. The gathering of the spirits of the

members of the Universal Church in the invisible world. INTRODUCTION.-I have come to the conclusion of my delightful task. We are to contemplate in this Section the death of Moses.

“ In God's own hand he left the breath

That God's own Spirit gave :
His was the noblest road to death,

And his the sweetest grave;" says, or sings, on the subject of the death of Moses one of the most devotional of

our poets of the last century. One of the contemporaries of Dr. Watts, Bishop Warburton, endeavoured to prove that the Divine legation of Moses was to be demonstrated from the omission of the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments from the Law which the inspired legislator was commanded to give to the people. And it is certain that neither is the happiness of heaven promised, nor the misery of hell threatened, in the Pentateuch. This, however, is most certain, that whether the people of Israel believed in the immortality of the soul or not, they must have believed in the existence of an invisible state in which the spirits of the righteous were gathered to their people. Bishop Warburton, indeed, endeavours to prove that the expression “to be gathered to his people," denotes only “to die, and to be buried." He has, however, omitted to observe the refutation of his conclusion which is apparently implied in the Book of Job (ch. xxvii. 19), where Job, describing the death of the irreligious and rich man, tells us that he shall " lie down," that is, he shall die and be buried, but he "shall not be gathered ;” that is, his spirit shall not be united to the spirits of the just. Neither did the bishop remember the Twenty-sixth Psalm, “gather not my soul with the sinners';" that is, “Let not my soul, after the death of the body, be united with the souls of the unrighteous in their place or portion.” Even, therefore, though the theory of Bishop Warburton, that the omission of all mention of a future state, was a proof of the Divine origin of the Mosaic Law because God declared the visible punishment of sin, or the visible reward of obedience in the present life, it will by no means follow that the people of Israel did not believe that when the body died the soul continued to exist ; that, when the faintings of death were over, and the consciousness of the mere mortal existence, as we at present live, ceased, when the senses, the organs of present consciousness, ceased, another mode of consciousness, incomprehensible, though certain, immediately began. This is not the time to argue a question of such extent, which has given rise to so many, and so learned and elaborate discussions. I therefore pass by the various arguments on which my conclusion rests, to express my persuasion that the Church of God, in all ages, from the very beginning of the creation of man in Paradise, to the day of the death of Moses, and from thence to the present, having been accustomed to receive communications at sundry times and in divers manners from the Divine Being who was sometimes personally manifested from the invisible world, and sometimes spake by an audible voice of more than human influence from the same invisible world, always uniformly believed in the certain existence of another world; and also that they generally believed and hoped that the thinking principle within them should continue, they knew not how, to exist when the body died. I cannot, I will not believe, that when the Lord God of Israel spake to Moses from the invisible state, and said, “Go up to mount Nebo, and die,” Moses believed that his consciousness was to cease for ever, and that his soul was to live no longer. The Lord, the tutelar God of Israel, who had guided the people through the wilderness, and who fifteen hundred years after

I "Gather not,” per ovvanoléops, LXX.

was about to return to the earth as the incarnate Son of God, bade the dying prophet survey, by the exercise of miraculous power, the large extent, the length and breadth of the Holy Land, from Dan in the extreme north, to Zoar in the south, from Gilead, near the place where he stood, across the country of Ephraim and the future possession of Judah, to the coast of the Mediterranean?. “This is the land,” He said, “which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, to give them.” That land was only the earnest of a better inheritance, to be given to the spiritual Israel. Moses was about to die ; and the next thing that we read of Moses after his death is this, that when Christ was upon earth, after He had declared to the twelve that some of their number should see the Son of Man in His glory, He went up with His three disciples, Peter, James, and John, into an high mountain, there they beheld Him in that glory in which He should be hereafter universally manifested. He was transfigured before them. He was metamorphosed in some utterly unknown and most incomprehensi ble manner from the human being which He had seemed to them to be, into something which was evidently superhuman. “He was transfigured," or “ metamorphosed, before them,” says St. Matthew and St. Mark, or His form became different or otherwise than it had been,” says St. Luke'. The spirit of Moses appeared from the invisible future state in which its immortality had begun, and was manifested to the chosen disciples in company with their Divine Master. And when the spirit of Moses, the inspired giver of the Law, was thus seen in company with Christ, the common God of the one spiritual Israel, the superseder of the ritual and ceremonial Law, what was the subject of their conversation ? Moses had led the people by one literal Exodus out of Egypt. Christ was about to lead the spiritual Israel by another Exodus out of another Egypt; and the subject of the conversation between Moses, the giver of the Law, Elijah, the restorer of the Law, and Christ, the fulfiller and superseder of the Law, related to that better Exodus which Christ should accomplish at Jerusalem. This took place fifteen hundred years after the death of Moses. It is related to us as a specimen, or an instance, of the subjects of conversation among the spirits of believers in their immortality. And Moses was commanded to go up, to survey the land, and to die, and then,—what then? Can dare

we, shall we imagine that he whose spirit had so long communed with God, whose spirit we behold when the veil between the two worlds of the visible and invisible state is partially rent asunder, and whose spirit is found to be conversing with the Messiah about the true Exodus of that Messiah,–

-can we imagine him to be consigned to sleep in the grave, to be given to the oblivion of soul, as his body was given to corruption, till the very day wben he appeared on the mount to talk with Christ respecting the perfected redemption of mankind? Others may believe the notion : I will never believe it. “Absent from the body, present with the Lord.” I believe, and will believe, that as soon as the faintings of death are over, as soon as the present mysterious connexion between mental

we,

Deut. xxxiv. 1-3. 3 Hengstenberg on the Genuineness of the Pentateuch, vol. ii. 461.

• Dr. Townson on the Difference between the Narratives of the Evangelists.

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