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in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, And if thou wilt make me an altar of
and I will bless thee. stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar, that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon.
EVENING. EXODUS Xxxii.
AND when the people saw 1 Take heed and beware, lest if your that Moses delayed to come prayers seem unanswered of God, down out of the mount, the you make to yourself an idol of the people gathered themselves world, and seek your answer there. together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And Aaron said unto them, Break off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, of your sons, and of your daughters, and bring them unto me. And all the people brake off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them unto Aaron. And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. And they rose up 6 Such are the effects of image early on the morrow, and worship. It alike degrades the reaoffered burnt offerings, and son and corrupts the affections. brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: they have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people: now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them and I will make of thee a great nation. "And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath
11 What a glorious encouragement to the Church of Christ, to lift up unwearied hands for her people.
wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out
12 This appeal is a beautiful and affecting instance of united prudence and courage, faith and humility. The Church adopts the spirit of it when she prays blessing of God "for his name and honour's sake."
14 God changeth not. He may be said to repent when men cease to sin. Sin causes his anger. Remove the cause; the effect ceases.
of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty 12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever. 14 And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people. And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand : the tables were written on both their sides: on the one side and on the other were they written. 16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing And when Joshua heard the of God graven upon the tables. noise of the people as they shouted, he said unto Moses, There is a noise of war in the camp. And he said, It is not the voice of them that shout for mastery, neither is it the voice of them that cry for being overcome: but the noise of them that sing do I hear. 19 And it came 19 Never be surprised that the mi to pass, as soon as he came nister is zealous for the honour of his God-the servant for his Master. nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strawed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. And Moses said unto Aaron, What did this people unto thee, that thou hast brought so great a sin upon them? And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief. For they said unto me, Make us gods, which shall go before us: for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. 24 And I said unto them,
16 Mark well this. The word you now hear is the word of the Al
mighty. May it be graven on your
24 Aaron's was a base policy. The Christian ruler rather meets con
tumely from man, than lose the approbation of his own heart, or compromise the honour of his God.
25 When men lose virtue and honour, and the divine protection, they lose that which covereth shame.
Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf. 25 And when Moses saw that the people were naked; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies :) then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. 28 And the children of Levi 28 This awful retribution is recorded did according to the word of for our learning. Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves to day to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day. And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin. "And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin; thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book. Therefore now go,
31 It is true policy in nations, as in individuals, to confess their sin unto God. Moses palliates it not.
32 How affecting, how sublime this pause! What heart fills it not up* !
and if not, blot me, I pray
33 An instructive but gentle rebuke; intimating that no man is to dictate to the Almighty what course He should pursue+.
Behold the true patriot. He had never yielded to the will of the people in their prosperity; yet in their adversity he is ready to devote himself wholly to their service. His swelling heart, full to overflowing-his feelings too deep for utterance he leaves his thoughts to God! So devoted to his people's welfare is he, that rather than they should not share the favour of Jehovah, he offers to resign it for himself. "Blot me out of thy book." Rev. xx. 12.
+ Moses is here reminded, that this just severity towards others is no ground for him to be reckless of his own welfare; nor was it fitting, that his sympathy with the guilty sufferers should disturb his own serenity and peace, as the servant and friend of God.
lead the people unto the place of which I have spoken unto thee: behold, mine Angel shall go before thee: nevertheless in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them. And the LORD plagued the people, because they made the calf, which Aaron made.
St. Mark's Bay.
1 My son, defraud not the
1 How comforting to the poor and helpless to learn, that God so careth for them, that none can honour Him, unless they also kindly regard them.
Add not more trouble to an
heart that is vexed; and defer not to give to him that is in need. Reject not the supplication of the afflicted; neither turn away thy face from a poor man.
7 Be courteous to all men; and to thy superiors give due honour. Such is the conduct taught by the Gospel
Turn not away thine eye from the needy, and give him none occasion to curse thee: for if he curse thee in the bitterness of his soul, his prayer shall be heard of him that made him. Get thyself the love of the congregation, and bow thy head to a great man. Let it not grieve thee to bow give him a friendly answer with meekness. Deliver him that suffereth wrong from the hand of the oppressor; and be not fainthearted when thou sittest in judgment. Be as a father unto the fatherless, and instead of an husband unto their mother: so shalt thou be as the son of the most High, and he shall love thee more than thy mother doth, 11 Wisdom exalteth her children, and layeth hold of them that seek her. He that loveth her loveth life; and they that seek to her early shall be filled with joy. He that holdeth her fast shall inherit glory; and wheresoever she entereth, the Lord will bless. They that serve her shall minister to the Holy One: and them that love her the Lord doth love. Whoso giveth ear unto her shall judge the nations: and he that attendeth unto her shall dwell securely. If a man commit
down thine ear to the poor, and
9 In standing up for the oppressed, there is often required a moral courage, which can be sustained only by remembering that we are acting as unto God, not as unto man.
11 Religion taketh by the hand, as it were, and guideth safely those who seek and will accept her guidance.
himself unto her, he shall inherit her; and his generation shall
hold her in possession. "For at the first she will walk with him by crooked ways, and bring fear and dread upon him, and torment him with her discipline, until she may trust his soul, and try him by her laws. straight way unto him and secrets. 19 But if he go wrong, she will forsake him, and give him over to his own ruin. Observe the opportunity, and beware of evil; and be not ashamed when it concerneth thy soul. For there is a shame that bringeth sin; and there is a shame which is glory and grace. Accept no person against thy soul, and let not the reverence of any man cause thee to fall. And refrain not to speak, when there is occasion to do good, and hide not thy wisdom in her beauty. For by speech wisdom shall be known: and learning by the word of the tongue. In no wise speak against the truth; but be abashed of the error of thy
straight and narrow, but at first 17 The way of religion is not only difficult and irksome; yet the influence and aid of God's Spirit will gradually reconcile all difficulties, and make the rough places plain.
Then will she return the comfort him, and shew him her
19 Wretched they, whom God leaves to the devices of their own hearts! Well may we all pray of God to "take not his Holy Spirit from us."
26 False shame concealeth sin; true shame confesseth and forsaketh it. The attempt to conceal sin from God and our own conscience, is as vain as to try to stop the course of a river. Conscience will set our offences before us, and the Spirit will plague us for them.
the mighty. Strive for the truth unto death, and the Lord shall fight for thee. Be not hasty in thy tongue, and in thy deeds slack and remiss. 30 • Be 30 Be not harsh and tyrannical in not as a lion in thy house, the government of thy family and nor frantick among thy serservants, knowing that thou also hast vants. Let not thine hand a Master in heaven. be stretched out to receive, and shut when thou shouldest repay.
EVENING. ECCLESIASTICUS v.
'SET not thy heart upon thy 1 Lest God say to thee, "thou fool, goods; and say not, I have this night thy soul shall be required enough for my life. Follow of thee." Luke xii. 20. not thine own mind and thy strength, to walk in the ways of thy heart and say not, Who shall controul me for my works? for the Lord will surely re
venge thy pride.
4 Present impunity in sin, though it proves that a merciful God is very