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cloud, and in a pillar of fire by night. Now if thou shalt kill all this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of thee will speak, saying, Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness. And now, I beseech thee, let the power of my Lord be great, according as thou hast spoken, saying, the Lord is long-suffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.”

These entreaties prevailed, so far as to prevent the immediate cutting off of the Israelites by some signal judgment.



I have pardoned them," said the Lord, cording to thy word. But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt, and in the wilderness, have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice. Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it but my servant Caleb, because he had



another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it. To-morrow turn you, and get you into the wilderness by the way of the Red Sea."

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Say unto them,

Moses and Aaron were then directed to let the children of Israel know these purposes of God; to tell them that he had heard their murmurings, and would do unto them according to their own words, Would God when they so wickedly cried out; we had died in this wilderness." As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you: your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me, doubtless ye shall not come into the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land which despised."



To this it was added, that their children should wander in the wilderness forty years, on account of the transgressions of their fathers; and that after the number of the days in which they had searched the land, each day for a year, the Israelites should bear their iniquities. They would thus learn, by

their own sad experience, that having so often broken the covenant, the promises of God, (so far as they were concerned,) would not be carried into effect, but his just judgments fall heavily upon them. "I the Lord have said, I will surely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there they shall die."

This was a fearful expression of the displeasure of God against the peculiar sins of the Israelites,unbelief and murmuring against him! For these sins they were cut off from admission into the land of promise. They could not enter in because of unbelief."

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A heavenly Canaan, a blessed land of rest in the presence of God, with all who are redeemed through the blood of Christ, is offered to those who believe in him. His sincere followers are approaching it daily. They may be on its very borders. The close of a short and uncertain life, will introduce them to its unspeakable joys! Let them wait, in cheerful expectation, for the coming of their Lord, and be ready to go up and take possession of the promised inheritance.

Are you ready, my young friend? Forget not the exhortation of the apostle;-"Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. Exhort one another daily while it is called to-day, lest


any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it."


Many of the Israelites destroyed, while attacking the
Canaanites. They turn back into the wilderness.

Although the great body of the Israelites escaped, at this time, the judgment of God in their immediate destruction; a signal example was made of the ten spies, who, by their false reports, had led the people to murmur against him. They were struck dead on the spot; an awful exhibition of divine justice to the thousands that witnessed it, and of the guilt of those who, by treachery and deceit, had violated the momentous trust which was reposed in them. Joshua and Caleb, on the contrary, lived long afterwards to enjoy the divine favor, and be conspicuous among their countrymen;

striking illustrations of the wisdom of exercising an unshaken confidence in God, and of adhering to the principles of truth and righteousness.

It must have been a season of dismay and sad ness throughout the camp of the Israelites. Wo are told, that when Moses made known to them the denunciations of Jehovah, they mourned greatly Alas there is too much reason to fear, that with most of them, it was a sorrow which was not accompanied with any true humiliation before God for their sins, or purposes of future obedience!

They hoped, however, that their mourning might avail to appease the displeasure of Jehovah, and produce a change of his sentence against them. Early the ensuing morning, they came to Moses, and acknowledging that they had sinned against the Lord, said, "We will go up and fight according to all that the Lord our God commanded us." They girded on their weapons, and ascending the mountain which they would have to pass on their way, declared themselves ready to go on, and meet the enemies that might oppose them.

But the decree of the Almighty had gone forth, and was not to be reversed. Besides, it was a most presumptuous step on their part, thus to move forward without any divine direction to that effect. They were proceeding, too, in opposition to the express declaration of God, that they should never enter the promised land, and in violation of his or

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