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river, in the fruitful country of Bashan, and with an eye of faith looking over to the promised land, and contemplating but this one remove more, and Israel would "enter into that rest appointed for the people of God;" the soul of Moses was on fire as he pondered the vast subject; and it caused him to break out in that fervent prayer, which the Holy Ghost hath recorded for the church's perpetual instruction and delight: "O Lord God! thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand; for what God is there in heaven or in earth that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon." (Deut. iii. 24.) But the Lord
The Lord graciously led him to the top of Pisgah, and shewed him that goodly land, which the Lord had sworn unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto their seed: but the Lord said, "I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes; but thou shalt not go over thither." And then it is added: "So Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there, in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord:" or, as it might have been rendered, and as some have rendered the phrase, "died upon the mouth of the Lord;" that is, he sweetly breathed out his soul into the arms of the Lord. And what a blessed exchange did Moses hereby make! True, indeed, it might have been desirable to nature, that having weathered all the tempests of the forty years sojourning in the wilderness, Moses would have taken part, and felt joy in seeing the felicity of Israel. If there be a cause upon earth to reconcile a child of God to a continuance here below, when once brought by sovereign grace into "fellowship with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ," it is to enjoy the Lord in
his ordinances, and to behold the enjoyment of the Lord's people, in his ordinances; to see the favour the Lord beareth to his people, and the visiting them with his salvation.
One of the Old Testament saints very blessedly expressed this, when he said; "That I may see the good of thy chosen; that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy people; and that I may glory with thine inheritance." (Psalm cvi. 4, 5.) But how desirable soever this may appear: yet the Lord's thoughts are not our thoughts; neither are our ways his ways. Very blessed as it is to see the goings of our God and King in his sanctuary here below; infinitely transcendent is the blessedness when we are brought from the outer court of the Lord's house here on earth, to enter into the inner court in heaven. Paul, felt this, when he said; "having a desire to depart, and be with Christ, which is far better." (Philip. i. 23.)
I pray the reader, not to pass away from this view of the subject, until that he hath first considered the improvement in that spiritual and scriptural sense, which may be made of it. There can be no doubt in relation to the very blessed state in which Moses the man of God stood before God. We are told that "there arose not a prophet since in Israel, like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face." (Deut. xxxiv. 10.) And yet this highly favoured servant of the Lord, could not be indulged with what he so much wished. Hence we learn the importance of studying the Divine Sovereignty in all things. And it is of all subjects the most precious and profitable. For when I see that sovereignty engaged for me in all things; bringing about the purposes, counsel, and will of Jehovah; and when I see that in the exercise of that sovereignty, love and wisdom are combined, and all perfections harmonizing to the Lord's glory and his people's good; I feel an holy
⚫ confidence in the contemplation; and am convinced that however exercised I may be in seemingly thwart-, ing providences, yet the issue must be right. Let those cloudy providences seem to frown as they may: this view of the Lord enables the child of God, to behold behind them an everlasting sun-shine. When this very Aaron had his two sons smitten before his face, for his rebellion against God; the father however pained, held his peace. (Levit. x. 3.) And when Eli received the trembling message from the Lord concerning his children; a sense of divine sovereignty silenced every murmur; "It is the Lord, (said the old man,) let him do what seemeth him good." (1 Sam. iii. 18.) Oh! it is very sweet and blessed, amidst all the dispensations the church is exercised with in the present wilderness state, to "stand still and see the salvation of God." The Lord's providences may appear in a gloomy aspect ; Aaron may be appointed for death in Mount Hor, and Moses in Mount Pisgah; but God was as much their God in death as life. While they lived, they lived to the Lord; and when they died, they died to the Lord "so that whether living or dying, they were still the Lord's." (Rom. xiv. 8.)
And are there not numberless instances of a like nature, which the Lord in his providences is carrying on now to make manifest the riches of his grace to his people? Oh! yes. Every child of God, whom the Lord hath brought out of darkness into light, may find many such in his own history. How oft have I seen in my insignificant life, proofs of the kind! When the Shimeis of the present hour, as to David of old, have come forth to curse me, and have thrown stones and dust at me; while not one of the stones ever wounded me, as we read not that any did him; the Lord hath done by me, as by David, converted their curses into blessings. (2 Sam. xvi. 5-13.) So
that now, from long custom, I am always pleased upon every new attack, and instantly conclude as soon as it takes place, good will follow. Yea, I am wont to say; My Lord is about to bestow some new honour upon me, as I perceive by the railing of the scorner. And so it always proves. Oh! how blessed to be in the daily practical use of that sweet promise: "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee, the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain." (Psalm lxxvi. 10.) So much of their wrath as shall do his people good shall be shewn; the rest shall ferment in their own bosom, to their own evil.
But we must not stop here:-The study of God's sovereignty comes home recommended and endeared to the regenerated child of God, on another account; namely, not only as it concerns the Lord's people, but as ministering to the glory of the Lord himself. Could we enter into suitable apprehensions of the infinite plan of our God in his dispensations; and behold, as God doth, at one view how the various events according to his sovereign appointment, are directed to the accomplishment of all his purposes, counsel, will and pleasure; every event relating to ourselves would then be received by us, when under the sweet constraining influence of grace, as so many parts in the great whole; which are in their very nature indispensable. Like the prophet's vision, which opened before him a vast and complicated machine, wheel within wheel, and which no human eye could unravel; but when the prophet was permitted to behold One, like the Son of Man in the midst, guiding and directing all, the difficulty of the government therein was at once removed. (Ezek. i. 26.) And as in the construction of our bodies, not a nerve, vein, or muscle, could be placed in any other part than what it is, for the benefit of all; so in the dispensations of the Lord in his providences to his
people, not a single event can take place which might have been otherwise arranged, so as to bring about the Lord's purposes in his divine sovereignty, ministering to his own glory, and his people's welfare. Very blessedly the prophet runs this whole doctrine up to its eternal source, when saying: "This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working." (Isaiah xxviii. 29.) Hence the death of Moses in the Mount, and the prohibition to this highly-favoured servant of the Lord, not to go over Jordan, nor tread the earthly Canaan, was among the all things, which while ministering to the Lord's glory, no less was "working together for good to them that love God." Indeed, Moses, as the deliverer of the law to the Israelites, and thereby typically representing the law, could not carry the Lord's people into Canaan. "For the law made nothing pefect; but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh unto God." (Heb. vii. 19.) This belonged to Joshua to accomplish, as a type of our most glorious Christ.
I must not dismiss this part of our subject, without again calling the reader's attention, (and if he be a child of God, earnestly and affectionately recommending him) to the study of the divine sovereignty. The habitual frame of the mind, in the instances of every redeemed and regenerated child of God, to this holy submission, who is conversant with this glorious perfection of our covenant God, will carry him through all the dark paths into which the Lord in his providence sometimes leads his people. The man so taught walks in lowliness of heart toward the Lord during the midnight hour, until the day dawn, and the day star ariseth again before him. It was this which supported the man of Uz, under all his exercises. He knew enough of God, to stay himself