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XXII.

FAITHFULNESS OF MOSES.

My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.

NUMBERS XII. 7.

THESE words were spoken by God in favor of Moses, against Miriam and Aaron, who had spoken against him. In his meekness Moses made no reply to what had been said by his brother and sister. But God suddenly interposed for his vindication and for their chastisement. He declared that Moses was not as common prophets, but had a special office and was as eminent for his faithfulness, as for his office. The words of our text lead us to consider the faithfulness of Moses.

I. We may notice what Moses renounced for the service of God.

1. He renounced worldly sentiments against the most powerful temptations. In the royal family of Egypt, as the son of Pharaoh's daughter and heir to the treasures of that kingdom, he was exposed to the most powerful inducements to choose and pursue the objects of this world for his portion. But he was not influenced by worldly sentiments in his choice and conduct, but by his duty to God.

2. He renounced worldly connections with the most flattering enjoyments. If he would have continued his connections with the royal family of Egypt, he might have received an high degree of worldly enjoyments and been flattered and honored by the highest distinctions this world can afford. But for the service of God he renounced his worldly connections with their flattering prospects.

3. He renounced every worldly interest. With the treasures of Egypt and as it has been supposed, with an apparent heirship to that kingdom, he renounced these

interests for the service of God. Having noticed what Moses renounced for the service of God, II. We

may

mention the conduct of Moses in his service.

1. He publicly joined himself to the people of God in their greatest debasement. When the Hebrews were holden in cruel bondage and subjected to the greatest abuses, he turned from the temptations, enjoyments and interests of Egypt and joined himself to his enslaved brethren.

2. In the service of God he patiently submitted to a constant series of afflictions. The sorrows of his own people in bondage and the judgments, that fell upon Egypt were afflictive and painful to his spirit. But the provocations of Israel in the wilderness and the general destruction of that rebellious generation induced him to say unto God,“ we are consumed by thine anger and by thy wrath we are troubled."

3. Moses subjected himself to the severest reproaches. He must have suffered the contempt and scorn of Egypt, for his refusal to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter. He was blamed and reproached by the children of Israel in their trials, for forty years before his death. Nor has his name and conduct to this day wholly escaped the censures and reproaches of Infidels and scoffers.

4. He persevered in the service of God with peculiar self-denial. For the service of God he made no account of what this world might promise, or threaten, or of what he might suffer, or enjoy. The glory of God and good of his people induced Moses to turn from his own interests to God and to serve him with the highest degree of selfdenial and fidelity.

III. It may be shown why Moses was so faithful in the service of God.

1. He loved God with supreme affection for his supreme glory. His desire and prayer was that he might see the glory of God. By spiritual manifestations, by miraculous communications, by the dispensations of providence and by continual instructions, Moses had the knowledge of God in as great a degree, as was ever given to any mere man on earth. In proportion to his knowledge of God, he loved him for his greatness and goodness and was able and willing to serve him.

2. He cordially approved of the divine purposes. God revealed to Moses the great designs of his wisdom and goodness. By his designs and by his conduct in judg. ments and mercies God gave him a knowledge of his great objects in the wonders of creation and providence. These objects agreed with the infinite perfections of the divine character and manifested the glory of God. The objects and designs of God, Moses would approve with all his heart and desire to promote with all his power.

3. Moses practically confided in the divine promises. True faith in God and his word was the moving principle in the conduct of Moses. Against every forbidding prospect and every painful event he trusted'in God and believed what he had promised respecting his own conduct and designs and the preservation and redemption of his people.

4. Moses sincerely loved the people of God. Notwithstanding the rebellions of the wicked and the imperfections of the righteous among his professed people, Moses was most ardently attached to their real interests. He loved the people of God not merely, nor chiefly on their own account, but for the sake of the divine

purpose

and glory in his people.

5. He disinterestedly respected the eternal rewards, which God will render his faithful servants. The Apostle declares, that Moses “ had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” He had a true faith in the future and endless holiness and happiness and glory of the saints in heaven. Their glory he could not enjoy, nor see with the spirit of selfishness. But the spirit of universal, disinterested and impartial benevolence would prepare him to desire and enjoy the inheritance of the saints in light. And in proportion to his faithfulness in the service of God on earth, would be his future and eternal reward and glory in heaven. From this subject we may derive the following remarks.

1. The religion of the Bible forms the worthiest characters. It presents the highest objects of attention and exertion. It employs the strongest motives.

It secures and sanctions the most exalted services. It produces the wisest and best effects. What are the poets, the orators, the historians, the philosophers of this world, with

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all their talents and honors, when compared with Moses, the man of God and his faithful servant ?

What are the warriors, the statesmen, the merchants, the monarchs of the earth, with all their power and glory, compared with Moses, who was raised from cruel bondage to man to the highest freedom and communion with God? What dignity does the Atheist, the Infidel, or the Errorist of any name, or notion, offer to man for the sentiments, interests, affections, exertions and enjoyments, which the religion of the Bible imparted to Moses?

2. The faithful servants of God may safely confide their character to his decision. Should they be reproached by scoffers, blamed by worldlings, condemned by oppressors, derided by unholy professors of religion, envied by less faithful Christians, be distrusted and opposed by their nearest relatives, be forsaken and forgotten by their kindest helpers ; yet they may say, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” If Satan accuse the faithful servant of God and the world triumph, if his faith begin to fail and unbelief relax his armor and weaken his strength, if God seem to hide himself, or to frown against him, while earth and hell are moved and armed for the battle and begin to shout the victory ; yet in weakness and debasement, under afflictions and reproaches, in the meekness of wisdom, he may be fearless and silent; for the God of Moses is with him. He need have no alarm, but for his stubborn foes and his timid friends. He has a Comforter in his own spirit, He has an advocate in heaven. His Father is the Sovereign of the universe. “ This honor have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

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XIIII.

REMEMBRANCE OF SINFULNESS.

Remember and forget not, how thou provokedest the Lord thy

God to wrath in the wilderness ; from the day that thou didst depart out of the land of Egypt, until ye came to this place, ye have been rebellious against the Lord.

DEUTERONOMY, Ix. 7.

It was the design of God, by his conduct towards his ancient people, to manifest his real character; and, also, to manifest their real character by their conduct towards him. This design he pursued and accomplished, by the wonders of his mercy and of his wrath towards that people in Egypt and in the wilderness. According to the divine purpose, Moses placed before Israel the scenes through which they had passed, that they might make a wise and useful improvement of their trials. For this object he knew it was of the highest importance, that they should review and remember their provocations and rebellions against God. And he desired and labored, by all the means in his power, to produce and maintain in their minds a proper remembrance of their sinfulness. As a remembrance of their sinfulness was highly important for that people, it must be equally important for all other persons. It is therefore now proposed,

I. To show what is necessary that persons may have a proper remembrance of their sinfulness.

1. For this purpose it is necessary, that they should consider the character of God, against whom they have sinned. It was only in view of his character and conduct, as he had shown himself to his ancient people, that they could have a true sight and sense of their sinfulness. And it is only in view of his infinite and eternal perfections, that any person ever has a true knowledge of his own sinful, guilty and hateful conduct,

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