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gards, but fuch as are worthy of a prophet, a hero, a patriot, and, what is fuperior to all, the friend of God. "And Mofes befought the Lord his God, and faid, Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou haft brought forth out of the land of Egypt, with great power and with a mighty hand. Wherefore fhould the Egyptians fpeak, and fay, For mischief did he bring them out, to flay them in the mountains, and to confume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Ifaac and Ifrael thy fervants, to whom thou fwareft by thine own felf, and faidft unto them, I will multiply your feed as the ftars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your feed, and they fhall inherit it forever." The holy man of God is concerned not only that the Judge of all the earth fhould do right, but that the divine conduct fhould ftand vindicated in the eyes of the heathen. He proposes to himself the fame end which Jehovah himself has in view in all that he does the glory of his great name. Hẹ nobly prefers the fulfilling of the ancient covenant with his venerable ancestors, Abraham, Ifaac and Jacob, to the establishment of a new covenant with himfelf and his feed. He is willing to decrease, willing that his family continue obfcure, that his head be laid low, provided the Lord be magnified, and Ifrael faved. This is a greatnefs of mind which religion alone could infpire. Like a true fon of Ifrael, he wrestles and makes fupplication; and as a prince he too has power with God, and prevails, if not to prevent every expreffion of difpleasure, at leaft to prevent the execution of the general doom. Having obtained this great point, he defcends with hafte from the mount, bearing in his hand the most precious work of art that kill ever executed. Who does not fhudder at the thought of its having been deftroyed?"And Mofes turned and went down from
the mount, and the two tables of the teftimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their fides; on the one fide and on the other were they written. And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables." But why fhould we regret that a piece of curious workmanship, in dumb matter, was deftroyed? That lofs foon might be and foon was repaired. Alas! we behold a more fhocking fpectacle every day—a race of thoughtless wretches deliberately, prefumptuoufly defacing God's image, deftroying his fignature, engraved "not on tables of ftone, but on the fleshly tables of the heart;" inflicting on themselves a lofs never to be repaired, not in a fit of holy zeal, but in a paroxyfm of diabolical frenzy.
Mofes might deftroy the tablets, but the fpirit of the writing he could not difannul. When all fenfible monuments are diffolved, the law maintains its adamantine folidity, its uncontaminated purity, its unpliant fteadiness, its unbending dignity. The tablets were written on both fides, within and without. Ev ery fragment therefore had fome part of the law and teftimony written upon it. Thus, in every particle of the human frame, there are felf-evident traces of the finger of God-the understanding, the heart, the confcience, the memory; fhivers indeed, mutilated, defaced, but capable of being repaired and united.
But I find it impoffible to collect into one efficient point of view the fequel of this eventful hiftory, within the limits of one difcourfe. Here therefore we fet up another refting place, and from it take a curfory view of the ground over which we have trav elled.
I. What a melancholy view prefents itfelf, of the corruption, the degeneracy and degradation of human nature. Behold a people loft to every noble, generous, manly principle: reftrained by no law, awed by no threatning, fufceptible of no endearment, influenced
* Verfes 15, 16,
fluenced by neither shame nor gratitude; boldly overleaping the bounds of reafon and religion-and in that people behold "the carnal mind, which is enmity against God: which is not fubject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." Behold "the wickednefs of man, how great it is in the earth; and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart, how it is only evil continually." Think not, however, O man, that thou art furveying a diftant profpect, or travelling through a foreign land. Think not that these Israelites are finners above all the men of the earth. When thou haft thoroughly fearched and known thyfelf, no account of human frailty will appear exaggerated. They framed and worshipped a golden image. How many myriads hourly bend the knee to the fame idol, changed only a little in form! See the temple of mammon, how it is crowded. His votaries, fee how much in earnest they are in their devotions. Early and late the incenfe afcends. Neither Jewish nor Christian fabbath interrupts their attendance or cools their ardour; while truth, and justice, and mercy, and the love of God are offered a perpetual facrifice to the infatiate demon, who never fays, "It is enough." Nor think that gold is the only deity which men adore. On fearching into thy own bofom, fome lurking imp, of different form, complexion and texture will be found; hid in close difguife, unknown indeed of men; but to the eye of God and confcience clearly confeffed. Down with it; it is thy difhonour, and threatens thy ruin.
II. Rejoice with trembling, while you contemplate the affecting prospect which opens of the severity and mercy of the great God-the feverity, which by the hand of Levi cut off three thoufand of the offenders, in the heat of their offence; which threatened to exterminate the whole race, and which, in "the day of vifitation, vifited their fin upon them"-the mercy which relented, which pitied and fpared the guilty, which liftened to the voice of interceffion, and accept
ed the atonement. Thou thyself, O finner, art a monument of both the one and the other. Thy life is forfeited to juftice; thou art daily enduring the punishment of thy tranfgreffions; thou ftandeft continually exposed to feverer ills than any thou hast yet felt and far beyond what fear itself can figure. Yet mercy fuffers thee to live; there is hope concerning thee: the glad tidings of falvation are in thine ears; "Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the fins of the world!" "Behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of falvation!" "Wherefore, let my counfel be acceptable unto thee, and break off thy fins by righteoufnefs, and thine iniquities by fhewing mercy to the poor; it may be" more than "a lengthening of thy tranquillity," it may prevent eternal mif
III. Behold a greater than Mofes is here an Interceffor more compaffionate, more earnest, more powerful: a Prince with God" who ever prevails; a propitiation ever meritorious and fuccessful; "blood that cleanseth from all fin." "If any man fin, wę have an Advocate with the Father, Jefus Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for our fins: and not for ours only, but also for the fins of the whole world."* "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and fupplications, with ftrong crying and tears, unto him that was able to fave him from death, and was heard in that he feared. Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he fuffered and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal falvation unto all them that obey him."+ "Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, left at any time we fhould let them flip. For if the word fpoken by angels was ftedfaft, and every tranfgreffion and difobedience received a just recompenfe of reward; how fhall we escape if we neglect fo great falvation, which at the first began to be spoken
* 1 John ii, 1, 2.
† Hẹb. v. 7, 9.
by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him?”*
IV. Let us look forward to "that great and notable day of the Lord," when the law which was deliv ered audibly from Sinai, which Moses with a rash, inconfiderate hand could break in pieces, but was una ble to repair, fhall be restored in all its purity and perfection; fhall be engraved on every heart, and become legible to every eye: when the hidden glory of the legal difpenfation fhall be unveiled, and the greater glory of the GOSPEL difplayed: when the divine image hall be again impreffed on the foul of man, in all its beauty and exactnefs-and, we ourselves, degraded and loft as we are, fhall "be raised together, and made to fit together in heavenly places in Chrift Jefus"-and "beholding with open face as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, shall be changed into the fame image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord." "Beloved, now are we the fons of God, and it doth not yet appear, what we fhall be: but we know, that when he shall appear, we fhall be like him, for we fhall fee him as he is."
Heb. ii. 1, 2, 3.