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nent men whom it is unnecessary to mention, would have attempted and achieved so many splendid actions, which were to extend their influence to posterity, had they not clearly discerned that they had an interest in, and a connexion with the ages of futurity, and with generations yet unborn. Can you imagine, that I may talk a little of myself, after the manner of old men, can you imagine, that I would have submitted to so many painful toils, by night and by day, in the forum, in the senate, in the field, had I apprehended that my existence, and my reputation, were to terminate with my life? Were this the case, would it not have been much better to doze away in indolence an insignificant and useless life? But, I do not know how, the soul, incessantly exerting its native vigour, still sprung eagerly forward into ages yet to come, and seized them as its OWI). “I feel myself transported with delight at the thought of again seeing and joining your fathers, whom on earth I highly respected and dearly loved; and, borne on the wings of hope and desire, I am speeding my flight to mingle in the honoured society, not of those only whom on earth I knew, and with whom I have conversed; but of those also of whom I have heard and read, and the history of whose lives I myself have written, for the instruction of mankind. I have the consolation of reflecting, that I have not lived wholly in vain: and I quit my station in life without regret, as the way-faring man, whose face is towards home, bids farewell to the inn where he had stopped for a little refreshment on his way. ... O glorious day, when I shall be admitted into the divine assembly of the wise and good! When I shall make an eternal escape from this sink of corruption, and the din of folly! When amidst the happy throng of the immortals, I shall find thee also, my son, my Cato, best, most amiable of men! On thy ashes, I bestowed the honours of the tomb. Ah! why did not mine rather receive them from thy hand! But your spirit, I know it, has never forsaken me; but casting back many a longing, lingering look to your afflicted father, has removed to that region of purity and peace whither you were confident I should shortly follow you. And I feel, I feel our separation cannot be of long continuance. “If, indulging myself in this fond hope, my young friends, I am under the power of delusion, it is a sweet, it is an innocent delusion. I will hold it fast and never let it go, while I live. I despise the sneer of the witling, who would attempt to laugh me out of my immortality. Suppose him in the right, and myself under a mistake, he shall not have the power to insult me, nor shall I have the mortification of feeling his scorn, when we are both gone to the land of everlasting forgetfulness.” How pleasing the thought, my dear christian friends, I again repeat it, how pleasing the thought, that the honest propensities of nature, the fairest conclusions of unassisted reason, and the most ardent breathings of truth and virtue, are here in unison with the clearest and most explicit declarations of the holy scriptures! But the sacred Dove soars into a region which nature and reason never could have explored. Revelation, to the immortality of the soul, has added the resurrection of the body. And, “wherefore should it be thought a thing incredible that God should raise the dead?” The Spirit says to “these dry bones, Live.” “We believe that Jesus died and rose again.” What a sure ground of hope, that “them also who sleep in Jesus, God will bring with him!” Delightful reflection! Who would be so unjust to God, and so unkind to himself, as to part with it? How it smooths the rugged path of life, how it tempers the bitterness of affliction, how it dissipates the horrors of the grave! One child sleeps in the dust, the diameter of the globe separates me from another, but the word of life, “I AM the God of thy seed,” rescues that one from corruption, and puts the other in my embrace. Time dwindles into a point, the earth melts away, “the trumpet sounds,” “the dead arise incorruptible.” Behold all things are made new “New heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” “Arise, let us go hence,” and “sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God.”
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the trea. sures of Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.—HEBREws. xi 24–27.
THE history of mankind contains many a lamentable detail of the sad reverses to which human affairs are liable; of the affluent, by unforeseen, unavoidable calamity, tumbled into indigence; of greatness in eclipse; of the mighty fallen; of princes dethroned, banished, put to death. In some instances of this sort, we see the unhappy sufferers making a virtue of necessity, and bearing their misfortunes with a certain degree of patience and magnanimity; but in general, sudden and great distress either sours or depresses the spirit, and men submit to the will of Providence with so ill a grace, that it is evident they are not under the power of religion, and that they flee not for consolation to the prospects of immortality. We are this evening to contemplate one of those rare examples of true greatness of mind, which made a voluntary sacrifice of the most enviable situation, and the most flattering prospects, which human life admits
of; and that at an age when the heart is most devoted to the pursuit of pleasure, most susceptible of the allurements of ambition. It is the singular instance of Moses, the prophet and legislator of Israel, who, brought up from infancy in a court, instructed in all the learning of the Egyptians, treated as the heir of empire, and encouraged to aspire to all that the heart naturally covets, and that Providence bestows, on the most favoured of mankind; at the age of forty cheerfully resigned all these advantages, and preferred the life of a slave with his brethren, and of a shepherd in the land of Midian, among strangers, to all the luxury and splendour belonging to the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, to all the dazzling hopes of royalty or of power next to majesty. Scripture, in its own admirably concise method, dispatches the history of this great man's life, from his infancy to his fortieth year, in a few short words, namely, “and Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds,” Acts vii. 22, as not deeming information concerning attainments in human science, or feats of martial prowess, worthy of the knowledge of posterity, compared to the triumphs of his faith, the generous workings of his public spirit, and the noble ardour of fervent piety. Philo and Josephus, however, and other Jewish writers, have taken upon them to fill up this interval of time, by a fanciful, fabulous, unsupported account of the earlier years of Moses; which we should perhaps be disposed, in part, to retail for your amusement, if not for your instruction, had not the Spirit of God supplied us with well authenticated memoirs of a more advanced period of his life. In the perusal of which, with serious meditation upon them, we shall, I trust, find pleasure and profit blended together. Taking inspiration then for our guide, we divide the history of Moses into three periods of equal dura