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unspeakably awful moment, which places the transgressor before the bar of heaven, to abide the sentence of a despised and insulted God, without a Saviour, without an intercessor, without any other companion, than the book of remembrance in which his offences are registered. Be careful for nothing beyond what your heavenly Father sees fit to impart: but in every thing, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God: and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds, through, Christ Jesus.
Hear then, the conclusion of the whole matter. If we be truly wise, we shall rejoice to submit our own will and wants, to that unerring knowledge, and boundless love, which unite to form the impelling principle of every dealing and measure of God towards us.
Have we heretofore thought that dealing harsh and unkind; and required meat, when our Father sent us only manna? O, let us compare his gifts with our returns—his bestowment with our gratitude; and be amazed, that any provision still remains, and is imparted to our demerit and ingratitude. Have we fled from Egypt? Are we treading the mazes of the wilderness heavenward? And do we sometimes feel the rising of a temptation to wish for more than we pos
sess ? Let us not faint or be discouraged. We have not yet received the inheritance. It lies before us, beaming with a glory which shall increasingly and eternally irradiate it: and in the mean time God will make the best possible provision for us by the way. In our Father's house, whither we are journeying,
are journeying, there is bread enough and to spare. That ground is often most abundant in mineral wealth, which appears most barren on the surface :as the poor in this world's good, are often rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom. And surely, the possession of spiritual mercies, and the prospect of everlasting felicity, may well reconcile us to some present privations. “I will not care,” said an eminent prelate, “what I have, whether much or little. If little, my account shall be less ; if more, I shall do the more good, and receive the more glory.” There is one secret which Christian wisdom will always aim to discover. If the condition cannot be raised and improved to the wish; the wish should be subdued to meet and harmonize with the condition. The most effectual mode of attaining this blessed unity between our state and our desires, is to be heavenly minded; to look not at the things which are seen, which are temporal, but at the things
Bishop Hall's Works, Vol. vi. p. 8.
which are not seen, which are eternal. The prudence and salutary caution of a renewed and sanctified spirit will always remember, that a state of great prosperity, is, in its very nature, unfriendly to the exercises of those graces which manifest the life and power of God within us. The full moon alone is eclipsed. Even so the graces of a Christian are dimned, darkened, and endangered, by the fulness of present good : and both the planet and the soul suffer their privation from the same cause,-the interposition of the earth between the former and the natural sun; between the latter and the Sun of righteousness. There is only one infallible rule for the attainment of present content, and the gratification of every wish. Delight thyself in the Lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
THE REPORT OF THE SPIES, AFTER THEIR RETURN
FROM SEARCHING OUT THE LAND OF PROMISE.
NUMBERS XIII. 25.
They returned from searching of the land after forty
The beginning of any line of conduct usually enables an attentive observer to form a just anticipation of the manner in which it will be pursued, and of the issue in which it will terminate, If the first steps be simple and right, the progress will commonly be unexceptionable, and the end prosperous. If, on the other hand, the commencement be unhallowed, the subsequent measyres will probably be equally or increasingly unjustifiable, and the end will be productive of disappointment and sorrow. The march of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan verifies this remarks. They commenced their miraculous journey with discontent, rebellion, and unbelief, which the future stages of their progress called forth in still greater malignity; until the result was their destruction. The commission of the spies to search out, and report upon the character of the promised land, was a link in this mournful process. The Lord spake unto Moses, saying, “Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel.” Did the command then, proceed originally from God? Quite the contrary. It was given in judicial acquiescence with their infidelity and ingratitude. “Behold,” said Moses, (while reviewing this transaction) “ the Lord thy God hath set the land before thee; go up and possess it, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath said unto thee; fear not, neither be discouraged. And ye came near, every one of you, and said, We will send men before us, and they shall search us out the land, and bring us word again, by what way we must go up, and into what cities we must come.” 1 So artfully were their guilty motives concealed, that the saying pleased the unsuspicious mind of Moses well. That injured God however, who knoweth the very secrets of the heart, gave them their wish, and afterwards displayed his wrath by a terrible judgment. They had become wise in their own conceit; their foolish heart was darkened;