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those who have devoted themselves in holy faith to the service of true religion, denied themselves, and lived to the glory of their redeeming God. The delusion may continue to deepen and enlarge around such a man: it may even withstand that influence of truth which a dying hour usually produces : and he may depart, having whispered “Peace, peace to his soul, when there is no peace.” But darkness flies not before the risen sun so speedily and so surely, as error and self-deceit will be scattered by the effulgence of that light which shall issue from the great throne set up in judgment. Many shall say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I say unto them, I never knew you ; depart from me ye that work iniquity. “From all such evil and mischief; from all the crafts and assaults of the devil; from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation, Good Lord deliver
(1.) The testimony which wicked men are obliged to render in favour of true religion, and of the blessedness of those who possess it demands our serious consideration. Balaam stands by the side of the King of Moab, with an offer of every reward that Balak can bestow if he will curse Israel. He turns his face towards the eous, and let
wilderness ; he sees the goodly array of the people, the tabernacle of the Lord among them, and the magnificent pillar of the cloud spread over them, as the shield of an Almighty defence. He looks forward through coming generations, and sees their victories over the enemies of the Most High.
Struck with a deep conviction of their superior mercies, he exclaims, in the full language of sincerity, as the contrast bursts upon him, “Let me die the death of the right
last end be like his.” Even thus are transgressors checked for a moment by the voice of conscience, and forced to compare their situation with that of the servants of God, and to say, How goodly are thy tents O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! Perhaps that offender never lived who has not occasionally sighed to partake the mercies and blessings of the righteous. Does the felicity of the good part they have chosen come home to any of your minds, at this moment? Give it room, and cherish it in your hearts, until it lead you to the throne of grace through the Saviour, to supplicate for a similar interest in the goodness and the love of God. Bless me, even me also, O my Father.
(2.) We may learn from this instructive history, the impregnable safety of those who truly love and serve God. Of such the Is
raelites were at this moment a type. They sat still in their tents, in perfect ease and security; not even suspecting the mischief which Balak and Balaam plotted against them ; but which the Almighty threw back upon the inventors. The Most High fought for Israel. The victory was gained, before they knew their danger; and their salvation was of the Lord. “ Who shall harm
be followers of that which is good ?” The angel of the Lord encampeth around them that fear him, and delivereth them. The enemy cannot do them violence, the son of wickedness cannot approach to hurt them.
Happy is the people that is in such a case, yea happy is that people whose God is the Lord.” Pray with all your heart, that his Spirit may unite you
to himself in the bonds of the everlasting covenant of Jesus Christ. Pray, that ye may have grace to hate all sin, and to serve your heavenly Father with reverence and godly fear. So shall he cover you with his feathers, and under his wings shall you trust; his faithfulness and truth shall be your shield and buckler.
THE REPROOF OF MOSES TO THE TRIBES OF GAD
NUMBERS XXXII, 6, 7.
And Moses said unto the children of Gad, and to the
children of Reuben, Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here? And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel, from going over into the land which the Lord hath given them?
The entire separation of the Israelites from surrounding nations must be ranked among the most remarkable features of the gracious covenant established between them and the Most High. “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth.” But while this broad line of distinction was drawn, which commanded the chosen race to dwell alone, and not to be reckoned among the nations, they were enjoined to cultivate that blessed principle of mutual affection, which would issue in constant reciprocations of good will and beneficence. The whole law proclaims, not only their exclusive consecration to God, but the obligation of every individual to promote the common welfare. The same lineaments are discernible in the covenant made between God and man, through Jesus Christ. They who possess a personal and saving interest in the mercies of redemption, by living faith in the Son of God are “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should shew forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvellous light.” Of the mystical body, so ransomed, and so dedicated, every sincere Christian is a spiritual member ; and the whole is united to the eternal High Priest of our profession, as its glorified head. " Whether then, one member suffer all the members suffer with it, or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it. The eye cannot say to the hand, I have no need of thee; nor again, the head to the feet, I have no need of you." A principle of mutual dependence is made the bond of love throughout the Redeemer's church, under the presiding impulse of adoring gratitude for his salvation.