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fittest deputy for God. He, that abode of Moab to his sepulture. Those hands still in the tabernacle of Ohel-moed, as which had taken the law from him, those God's attendant, was fittest to be sent forth eyes that had seen his presence, those lips from him, as his lieutenant. But O the that had conferred so oft with him, that unsearchable counsel of the Almighty ! face that did so shine with the beams of Aged Caleb, and all the princes of Israel, his glory, may not be neglected when the are past over, and Joshua, the servant of soul is gone. He that took charge of his Moses, is chosen to succeed his master. birth, and preservation in the reeds, takes The eye of God is not blinded either with charge of his carriage out of the world. gifts, or with blood, or with beauty, or with The care of God ceaseth not over his own, strength; but as in his eternal elections, so either in death, or after it. How justly in his temporary, “ He will have mercy on do we take care of the comely burials of whom he will."
our friends, when God himself gives us this And well doth Joshua succeed Moses. example! The very acts of God of old were allegories. If the ministry of man had been used in Where the law ends, there the Saviour this grave of Moses, the place might have begins. We may see the land of promise | been known to the Israelites : but God in the law: only Jesus, the Mediator of purposely conceals this treasure, both from the New Testament, can bring us into it. men and devils, that so he might both cross So was he a servant of the law, that he their curiosity, and prevent their supersti. supplies all the defects of the law to us. tion. If God had loved the adoration of He hath taken possession of the promised his servants' reliques, he could never have land for us: he shall carry us from this had a fitter opportunity for this devotion, wilderness to our rest.
than in the body of Moses. It is folly to It is no small happiness to any state, place religion in those things which God when their governors are chosen by wor- | hides on purpose from us: it is not the chiness; and such elections are ever from property of the Almighty to restrain us from God; whereas the intrusions of bribery, good. and unjust favour, or violence, as they 1° Yet that divine hand, which locked up make the commonwealth miserable, so they this treasure, and kept the key of it, brought come from him which is the author of con- it forth afterwards glorious. In the transfusion. Woe be to that state that suffers figuration, this body, which was hid in the it! woe be to that person that works it! | valley of Moab, appeared in the hill of for both of them have sold themselves, the | Tabor, that we may know these bodies of one to servitude, the other to sin.
ours are not lost, but laid up, and shall as I do not hear Moses repine at God's sure be raised in glory, as they are laid choice, and grudge that this sceptre of his down in corruption. “We know that is not hereditary; but he willingly lays when he shall appear we shall also appear hands upon his servant, to consecrate him with him in glory.” for his successor. Joshua was a good man, vet he had some sparks of envy; for when Eldad and Medad prophesied, he stomached it: “ My lord Moses, forbid them." He,
BOOK VIII. that would not abide two of the elders of Israel to prophesy, how would he have CONTEMPLATION I. - OF RAILAB allowed his servant to sit in his throne ? What an example of meekness, besides all JOSHUA was one of those twelve searchers the rest, doth he here see in this last act which were sent to view the land of Ca. of his master, who, without all murmuring, naan; yet now he addresses two spies, for resigns his chair of state to his page? It | a more particular survey. Those twelve is all one, to a gracious heart, whom God were only to inquire of the general condiwill please to advance. Emulation and dis- tion of the people and land; these two to find contentment are the affections of carnal out the best entrance into the next part of minds. Humility goes ever with regenera the country, and into their greatest city. tion; which teaches a man to think, what- | Joshua himself was full of God's spirit, and ever honour be put upon others, I have more had the oracle of God ready for his direc. than I am worthy of.
tion: yet now he goes not to the propitiatory The same God, that, by the hands of for consultation, but to the spies. Except his angels, carried up the soul of Moses to where ordinary means fail us, it is no ap. his glory, doth also, by the hands of his pealing to the immediate help of God; we angels, carry his body down into the valley may not seek to the postern, but where the common gate is shut. It was promised thank is rather to the guest than to the Joshua, that he should lead Israel into the host. But now she knew their purpose; promised land: yet he knew it was unsafe | she knew that thie harbour of them was the to presume. The condition of his provident danger of her own life; and yet she hazards care was included in that assurance of suc this entertainment. Either faith or friend. cess. Heaven is promised to us, but not ship is never tried, but in extremities. to our carelessness, infidelity, disobedience. I To show countenance to the messengers He that hath set this blessed inheritance of God, while the public face of the state before us, presupposes our wisdom, faith, smiles upon them, is but a courtesy of holiness.
course; but to hide our own lives in theirs, Either force or policy is fit to be used when they are persecuted, is an act that unto Canaanites. He that would be happy looks for a reward. These times need not in this spiritual warfare, must know where our favour; we know not what may come. the strength of his enemy lieth; and must | Alas! how likely is it they would shelter frame his guard according to the other's them in danger, which respect them not in assault. It is a great advantage to a Chris. / prosperity! tian to know the fashion of Satan's onsets, All intelligences of state come first to the that he may the more easily compose him. court. It most concerns princes to hearken self to resist. Many a soul hath miscarried | after the affairs of each other. If this poor through the ignorance of his enemy, which inn-holder knew of the sea dried up before had not perished, if it had well known that Israel, and of the discomfiture of Og and the weakness of Satan stands in our faith. Sihon; surely this rumour was stale with
The spies can find no other lodying but the king of Jericho: he had heard it, and Rahab's house. She was a victualler by feared; and yet, instead of sending amprofession, and (as those persons and trades, bassadors for peace, he sends pursuivants by reason of the commonness of entertain. for the spies. The spirit of Rahab melted ment, were amongst the Jews infamous by with that same report, where with the king name and note) she was Rahab the harlot. of Jericho was hardened. All make not I will not think she professed filthiness; one use of the messages of the proceedings only her public trade, through the corrup. of God. tion of those times, hath cast upon her this The king sends to tell her what she name of reproach: yea, rather will I admire knew; she had not hid them, if she had her faith, than make excuses for her calling. not known their errand. I know not How many women in Israel (now Miriam whether first to wonder at the gracious was dead) have given such proofs of their provision of God for the spies, or at the knowledge and faith! How noble is that strong faith which he wrought in the heart confession which she makes of the power of a weak woman. Two strangers, Is. and truth of God! Yea, I see here not raelites, spies (and noted for all these), only a disciple of God but a prophetess. in a foreign, in a hostile land, have a safe Or, if she had once been public, as her harbour provided them even amongst their house was, now she is a chaste and worthy enemies; in Jericho, at the very court-gate, convert; and so approved herself for honest against the proclamation of a king, against and wise behaviour, that she is thought the endeavours of the people. Where can. worthy to be the great grandmother of not the God of heaven either find, or raise David's father: and the holy line of the up friends, to his own causes and servants? Messias is not ashamed to admit her into Who could have hoped for such faith that happy pedigree. The mercy of our in Rahab? which contemned her life for God doth not measure us by what we were the present, that she might save it for the It would be wide with the best of us, if future; neglected her own king and counthe eye of God should look backward to try, for strangers which she never saw; our former estate; there he should see Abra- and more feared the destruction of that ham an idolater; Paul a persecutor; Ma. city, before it knew that it had an adver. nasses a necromancer; Mary Magdalen a sary, than the displeasure of her king, in courtezan; and the best vile enough to be the mortal revenge of that which he would ashamed of himself. Who can despair of have accounted treachery. She brings them mercy, that sees even Rahab fetched into up to the roof of her house, and hides them the blood of Israel, and line of Christ ! with stalks of Alax. That plant, which was
If Rahab had not received these spies, made to hide the body from nakedness and but as unknown passengers, with respect shame, now is used to hide the spies from to their money, and not to their errand, it death. Never could these stalks have been had been no praise : for in such cases, the improved so well with all her housewifery
after they were bruised, as now, before they desert hills, Israel had wanted director were fitted to her wheel : of these she hath for their enterprises. There is nothing more Boven an everlasting web, both of life and expedient for the church, than that some propagation. And now her tongue hides of God's faithful messengers should withthem no less than her hand. Her charity draw themselves, and give way to persecu. was good, her excuse was not good. “Evil tions. Courage, in those that must die, is may not be done, that good may come of not a greater advantage to the gospel, than it:" we may do any thing, but sin, for pro- a prudent retiring of those, which may sur. Inoting a good cause : and, if not in so main | vive, to maintain and propagate it. occasions, how shall God take it, that we It was a just and reasonable transaction are not dainty of falsehoods in trifles ? betwixt them, that her life should be saved
No man will look that these spies could by them which had saved theirs : they owe take any sound sleep in these beds of stalks: no less to her, to whom they were not so it is enough for them that they live, though much guests as prisoners. And now they they rest not. And now, when they hear pass not their promise only, but their oath. Rahab coming up the stairs, doubtless they They were strangers to Rahab, and, for aught looked for an executioner ; but behold, she she knew, might have been godless; yet comes up with a message better than their she dares trust her life upon their oath. So sleep, adding to their protection advice for sacred and in violable hath this bond ever their future safety; whereto she makes been, that a heathen woman thought her. way by a faithful report of God's former self secure upon the oath of an Israelite. Wonders, and the present disposition of her Neither is she more confident of their people ; and by wise capitulations for the oath taken, than they are careful both of life and security of her family. The news taking and performing it. So far are they of God's miraculous proceedings for Israel from desiring to salve up any breach of have made her resolve of their success, promise by equivocation, that they explain and the ruins of Jericho. Then only do all conditions, and would prevent all poswe make a right use of the works of God, sibilities of violation. All Rahab's family when, by his judgments upon others, we must be gathered into her house ; and that are warned to avoid our own. He intends red cord, which was an instrument of their his acts for precedents of justice.
delivery, must be a sign of hers. Behold, The parents and brethren of Rahab take this is the saving colour! the destroying their rest; they are not troubled with the angel sees the door-cheeks of the Israelites fear and care of the success of Israel, but sprinkled with red, and passes them over. securely go with the current of the present 'The warriors of Israel see the window of condition. She watches for them all ; and Rahab dyed with red, and save her family breaks her midnight sleep, to prevent their from the common destruction. If our souls last. One wise and faithful person does have this tincture of the precious blood of well in a house: where all are careless, our Saviour upon our doors or windows, we there is no comfort but in perishing together. are safe. It had been an ill nature in Rahab, if she But if any one of the brethren of Rahab had been content to be saved alone. That shall fly from this red flag, and rove about her love might be a match to her faith, she the city, and not contain himself under covenants for all her family, and so returns that roof which hid the spies, it is in vain life to those of whom she received it. Both for him to tell the avengers that he is Ra. the bond of nature and of grace will draw | hab's brother. That title will not save all ours to the participation of the same him in the street — within doors it will. gond with ourselves.
If we will wander out of the limits that It had been never the better for the God hath set us, we cast ourselves out of spies, if, after this night's lodging, they had his protection. We cannot challenge the been turned out of doors to the hazard of benefit of his gracious preservation, and the way; for so the pursuers had lighted our most precious redemption, when we upon them, and prevented their return with fly out into the bye-ways of our own hearts, their death. Rahab's counsel therefore was not for innocence, but for safety and har. better than her harbour ; which sent them bour. The church is that house of Rahab (no doubt with victuals in their hands) to which is saved, when all Jericho shall beek safety in the mountains, till the heat perish. While we keep us in the lists of that search were past. He that hath thereof, we cannot miscarry through mis. Oven us charge of our lives, will not suffer opinion; but, when once we run out of it, us to cast them upon wilful adventures. I let us look for judgment from God, and Had not these spies hid themselves in those l error in our own judgment.
sage, not for their rest; for the wilderness, CONTEMPLATION II. - JORDAN DIVIDED. not for Canaan. It were as easy for God
to work miracles always; but he knows The two spies returned with news of that custom were the way to make them the victory that should be. I do not hear no miracles. He goes bye-ways but till he them say, The land is unpeopled; or the have brought us into the road, and then people are unfurnished with arms, unskil. he refers us to his ordinary proceedings. ful in the discipline of war; but, « They That Israelite should have been very foolfaint because of us, therefore their land is ish, that would still have said, I will not ours." Either success, or discomfiture, stir till I see the cloud; I will not eat, unbegins ever at the heart. A man's inward less I may have that food of angels. Wheredisposition doth more than presage the fore serves the ark, but for their direction? event. As a man raises up his own heart wherefore serves the wheat of Canaan, but before his fall, and depresses it before his for bread ? So fond is that Christian, that glory; so God raises it up before his exal- | will still depend upon expectation of mitation, and casts it down before his ruin. racles, after the fulness of God's kingdom. It is no otherwise in our spiritual conflicts. | If God bear us in his arms when we are If Satan sees us once faint, he gives him- children, yet when we are well grown, he self the day. There is no way to safety, looks we should go on our feet: it is enough but that our hearts be the last that shall that he upholds us, though he carry us not. yield. That which the heathens attributed He, that hitherto had gone before them to fortune, we may justly to the hand of in the cloud, doth now go before them in God, that he speedeth those that are for the ark; the same guide in two diverse ward. All the ground that we lose, is signs of his presence. The cloud was for given to our adversaries.
Moses', the ark for Joshua's time. The This news is brought but over night ; cloud was fit for Moses; the law offered Joshua is on his way by morning, and pre- us Christ, but enwrapped in many obscu. vents the sun for haste. Delays, whether rities. If he were seen in the clond. he in the business of God or our own, are was heard from the cover of the ark. Why hateful and prejudicial. Many a one loses was it the ark of the testimony, but because the land of promise by lingering. If we it witnessed both his presence and love? neglect God's time, it is just with him to and within it were his word the law, and cross us in ours.
his sacrament the manna. Who can wish Joshua hastens till he has brought Israel a better guide than the God of heaven, in to the verge of the promised land: nothing his word and sacraments? Who can know parts them now but the river of Jordan. the way into the land of promise so well
There he stays a time, that the Israelites as he that owns it? and what means can might feed themselves a while with the better direct us thither than those of his sight of that which they should afterwards institution? enjoy. That which they had been forty That ark, which before was as the heart, years in seeking, may not be seized upon is now as the head: it was in the midst too suddenly. God loves to give us cool3 of Israel, while they camped in the desert; and heats in our desires ; and will so allay now, when the cloud is removed, it is in our joys, that their fruition luurt us not. the front of the army; that, as before they He knows, that as it is in meats, the long depended upon it for life, so now they forbearance whereof causes a surfeit when should for direction. It must go before we come to full feed; so it fares in the them on the shoulders of the sons of Levi: contentments of the mind : therefore he they must follow it, but within sight, not feeds us not with the dish, but with the within breathing. The Levites may not spoon, and will have us neither cloyed nor touch the ark, but only the bars: the Is. famished. If the mercy of God have raelites may not approach nearer than a brought us within sight of heaven, let us thousand paces to it. What awful respects be content to pause a while, and, upon the | doth God require to be given unto the banks of Jordan, fit ourselves for our en- | testimonies of his presence! Uzzah paid trance.
dear, for touching it; the men of Bethshe. Now that Israel is brought to the brim mesh for looking into it. It is a dangerous of Canaan, the cloud is vanished which led thing to be too bold with the ordinances them all the way; and, as soon as they of God. Though the Israelites were sanc. have but crossed Jordan, the manna ceas- tified, yet they might not come near either eth, which nourished them all the way. the mount of Sinai, when the law was deThe cloud and manna were for their ras. | livered, or the ark of the covenant, wherein
the law was written. How fearful shall | Jordan, that flowed with full streams when their estate be, that come with un hallowed Christ went into it to be baptized, now hearts and hands to the word of the gospel, gives way, when the same God must pass and the true manna of the evangelical sa through it in state. Then there was use crament? As we use to say of the court, of his water, now of his sand. I hear no and of fire, so may we of these divine in- news of any rod to strike the waters; the stitutions, - We freeze, if we be far off presence of the ark of the Lord God the from them; and if we be more near than Lord of all the world, is sign enougn to befits us, we burn. Under the law, we these waves, which now, as if a sinew werp might look at Christ aloof; now, under broken, run back to their issues, and dare the gospel, we may come near him: he not so much as wet the feet of the priests calls is to him ; yea, he enters into us. that bore it. “What ailed thee, O sea,
Neither was it only for reverence that that thou fleddest, and thou Jordan, that the ark must be not stumbled at, but waited thou wert driven back? Ye mountains, that on afar; but also for convenience, both of ye leaped like rams, and ye little hills, like sight and passage. Those things that are lambs? The earth trembled at the prenear us, though they be less, fill our eye; sence of the Lord, at the presence of the neither could so many thousand eyes see God of Jacob !" How observant are all the same object upon a level, but by dis. the creatures to the God that made them! tance. It would not content God, that one How glorious a God do we serve, whom Israelite should tell another. Now the ark all the powers of the heavens and elements goes, now it turns, now it stands ; but lie are willingly subject unto, and gladly take would have every one his own witness. that nature which he pleases to give them! What can be so comfortable to a good He could have made Jordan like some solid heart, as to see the pledges of God's pre-payement of crystal, for the Israelites' feet sence and favour: To hear of the loving to have trode upon ; but this work had not kindnesses of God is pleasant ; but to be been so magnificent. Every strong frost hold and feel the evidences of his mercy | congeals the water, in a natural force, is unspeakably delectable. Hence the saints but for the river to stand still, and run on of God, not contenting themselves with heaps, and to be made a liquid wall for the faith, have still prayed for sight and frui- passage of God's people, is for nature to tion, and mourned when they have wanted run out of itself, to do homage to her Creait. What a happy prospect hath God set tor. Now must the Israelites needs think, before us of Christ Jesus crucified for us, how can the Canaanites stand out against and offered unto us!
| us, when the seas and rivers give us way? Ere God will work a miracle before Is. With what joy did they now trample upon rael, they have charge to be sanctified. the dry channel of Jordan, while they There is a holiness required, to make us might see the dry deserts overcome, the either patients or beholders of the great promised land before them, the very waters works of God; how much more, when we so glad of them that they ran back to wel. should be actors in his sacred services ! come them into Canaan! The passages There is more use of sanctification when into our promised land are troublesome we must present something to God, than and perilous, and even at last offer them. when he must do aught to us.
selves to us the main hindrances of our sal. The same power that divided the Red i vation, which, after all our hopes, threaten Sea before Moses, divides Jordan before to defeat us: for what will it avail us to Joshua, that they miglit see the ark no less have passed a wilderness, if the waves of effectual than the cloud; and the hand of Jordan should swallow us up? But the God as present with Joshua to bring them same hand that hath made the way hard, into Canaan, as it was with Moses to bring hath made it sure; he that made the wil. them out of Egypt. The bearers of the derness comfortable, will make Jordan dry. ark had need be faithful; they must first he will master all difficulties for us; and set their foot into the streams of Jordan, those things which we most feared, will he and believe that it will give way; the same make most sovereign and beneficial to us faith that led Peter upon the water, must O God! as we have trusted thee with the carry them into it. There can be no Chris. | beginning, so will we with the finishing of tian without belief in God; but those that our glory! Faithful art thou that hast are near to God in his immediate services, promised, which wilt also do it! must go before others, no less in believing, He that led them about, in forty years' than they do in example.
journey through the wilderness, yet now The waters know their Maker. That leads them the nearest cut to Jericho; he