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THE SLAVERY AND DE LIVE RANCE OF ISRAEL IN EGYPT.
== GEN. xv. 13, 14.
And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not their's, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years. And also that nation whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance.
ACT's VII. 35, 36. This Moses whom they refused, saying, Hoho made thee a ruler and a judge 2 the same did God send to be a ruler, and a deliverer, by the hands of the angel which appeared to him in the bush. He brought them cut, after that he had shewed wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.
THERE is a mournful pleasure in recalling the words, and reviewing the feelings, of those who are gone before; and whose lot in this world, like our own, was mingled in almost equal proportions of good and evil. Time has effected changes, by his slow devastations, which speak to the heart; and we cannot hear the voice of years departed, without feeling our attention arrested, and amid the suspension of our employments, giving reverence to the testimony of those, whose wisdom, snatched from that all-destroying hand, remains upon record, for our instruction. We open this volume, and are surrounded by scenes now blotted out from the face of nature: by actors who have performed their parts, and have vanished out of our sight. Here we see Babylon rearing her majestic head, in awful dignity, over the plains extended on every side. We shut the book, and the mighty empire disappears “Babylon the great, is fallen is fallent” Oblivion has spread an impenetrable mist over the spot on which this queen of the nations stood, and we look in vain for some traces of her former greatness. In the Bible we are introduced to Jerusalem in all her glory. We see the tabernacle of God lifting it's hallowed curtains on the summit of Mount Zion. We hear the voice of the “sweet singer of Israel” rising amid the devotions of that dispensation, and his words are chanted to the harmony of a thousand stringed instruments. We withdraw our eyes from the sacred page, and imagination loses her power; the visions which the pleasing enchantress painted before us, vanish; and we see the shadows flit away, with regret. But all is not delusion—the words which we hear—the experience of the persons whose lives we study— the precepts which were given them, and which still remain upon record—are engraven upon our hearts in characters never to be obliterated.
Customs change with years. Yet is man in the present day, what he was in ages that are passed: only he was surrounded by different scenes, he was led by different habits. His peculiar situation, his local circumstances, exist no longer: but he had the same principles common to human nature, the same feelings, the same necessities, the same expectations. Our fathers felt, like ourselves, the pleasures of hope, the anguish of disappointment, the pantings of suspense, the throbbings of joy, the pangs of fear. They lived uncertain of the future. They trembled as they approached the
brink of time. The world which they now in
habit, and the mysteries of which are now laid open to them, was once as secret, and as much an object of the mingled emotions of apprehension and of hope, to them as to us. There
, were moments when their faith was not in lively exercise, and when the fear of death was as powerfully felt in their bosoms as in our own. Then they fled to this word for support, and derived from it the sweetest consolation. Yes— and we are hastening to be what they are. After a few years, we shall join their society. We are floating down the same stream, over which their vessels have already passed: borne along by the same current, we sail between the same winding banks, pass through the same straits, meet with the same rocks and quicksands, and are agitated by the same tempests: but they have safely anchored in the haven, and we are stretching all our canvass to make the same point of destination, that, with them, we may be sheltered from the storm, for ever ! We avail ourselves of the directions which they have left behind them, because in all ages “the “Author and Finisher of our faith” is the same. He will be to future generations, what he was to them, what he is to us. When our posterity shall trample upon our dust, when our very names shall have perished from the record of time, when new faces shall appear on this wide and busy scene of action, the name of God will remain to our children, the same as it appears this night to us, the same as it was an
nounced to Moses from the bush which burned .
with fire and was not consumed—“I AM THAT “I AM " The channels of a man's information are confined to the past and to the present. He travels with a mist perpetually before his eyes: but
when he looks back—the road which he has
already trodden is clearly discernible: no va. pour hovers over it: it is visible in all it's parts, except those very remote portions of it which have dwindled into the obscurity of prolonged perspective. The faithful and impartial record of the inspired pages, causes the earliest periods of time to roll back for the instruction of these latter days. In a moment we feel ourselves transported into the garden of GoD, and hear his voice whispering amid the trees of Paradise in the cool of the day. We accompany the patriarch from his country and his father's house: we traverse with him, conducted by an invisible hand, the land, in the “length thereof, and “in the breadth thereof:” we rest wherever he pitches his tent: we participate his domestic joys and sorrows; and at length we follow him to his long home, and see his body deposited in the grave, there to slumber “until the times “of the restitution of all things.” We are hurried into the camps of the Alexanders and