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LIFE OF JOSHUA.
Joshua eminently qualified for his station. Chosen by God
to be the successor of Moses. Command of God to him to cross the Jordan, and promise of future divine support.
The providence of God is seldom more conspicuous than in the preparation of individuals for the important stations which they are destined to occupy. This was eminently the case with regard to Joshua, the successor of Moses. of the tribe of Ephraim, and the son of Nun, he was in the prime of manhood when the Israelites left Egypt. The wonderful scenes through which they passed at that time, and during the long course of their progress to the borders of the promised land, with the various dealings of God with them, both in the way of mercies and of judgments,-were full of instruction to a reflecting mind. Joshua, undoubtedly, treasured up this instruction in his heart.
He was early treated by Moses in a very confidential manner, and chosen from among the most prominent of his countrymen, for the discharge of peculiar and arduous duties. The band which fought at Rephidim against the Ama lekites, was led forth by Joshua to the field of battle and of triumph. He alone attended Moses, when, leaving the elders at a distance, the latter went up the highest part of Mount Sinai, to receive the tables of the law from the hand of God himself. For six days they were together, before Moses approached still nearer the divine presence in the midst of the cloud. And when he descended, having abode there forty days, it was Joshua who again accompanied him ; while, as they drew nigh the camp, they heard the shout ing of the people, and discovered their idolatry in the worship of the golden calf.
He was one of the spies who were sent from Kadesh-Barnea to explore Canaan. He remained faithful to the trust reposed in him, and was distinguished, together with Caleb, from the rest of their treacherous and unbelieving associates, and from the murmuring Israelites, by the divine assurance that they alone should enter the promised land, of all who were twenty years
age and upwards when they came out of Egypt.
He doubtless, in addition to all the laws and ordinances, the instructions, promises and threatenings, which were communicated by God to the whole body of the people, received, for his personal benefit, many lessons of practical wisdom from the lips of Moses; and, under the influence of such a model, was continually forming his own character.
Thus trained and qualified, in an eminent degree, to become the successor of the illustrious leader of the Israelites, Joshua was chosen by God himself to fill that high office, and was solemnly set apart for it, a few months before Moses was called upon to leave the world. The ceremony took place, by the imposition of the hands of the latter upon the head of Joshua, with the delivery of a charge, in the presence of the high-priest, and of the whole congregation. He was, at the same time, associated with Moses in the government of the people, and thus began to exercise a portion of that authority with which he was soon to be entirely invested.
As the departure of Moses drew near, these two servants of the Lord were summoned to the tabernacle. There the divine presence appeared to them in the pillar of a cloud, and Joshua, in addition to the instructions which were given to Moses, received this memorable charge : "Be strong, and of a good courage ; for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I sware unto them; and I will be with thee.”
Moses, soon after, ascended Mount Nebo, and there yielded up his spirit to Him who gave it.
Joshua now stood alone, the governor and guide of his countrymen. His very name (the import of which is, he shall save, or the salvation of Jehovah) seemed to indicate his character, and to invite their confidence. He was well entitled to it. Venerable in age,-eighty, or it may be, one hundred years having rolled over him,--still vigorous in body and in mind,-matured in judgment by a long course of experience; wise in counsel; enterprising and courageous; accustomed to command; of long-tried fidelity in the service of Jehovah ; looking to him for direction and support, and having the pledge of Omnipotence that he should be sustained, and made successful, in his arduous career; who could be better qualified to consummate the mighty undertaking which his distinguished predecessor had brought so near its completion ?
The thirty days of mourning for Moses had ended. All eyes were turned upon
his successor; and under Joshua as their leader, the hosts of Israel, still encamped near the banks of the Jordan, were impatient to pass it, and enter upon the possession of their promised inheritance. Nor is the fulfillment of their wishes to be long delayed. The eventful crisis approaches. Joshua receives the divine mandate to proceed. “Moses my servant is dead;" he no longer lives to carry the consummation of my great designs into effect;
thou art to do it,"now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness," (the desert of Arabia Petræa on the south,) to “Leba
" on the north; and from “the river Euphrates” on the east, to "the great Sea," (the Mediterranean) on the west, “shall be your coast” —the limits of the extensive country which you shall finally possess.
“There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth,” (it must so rule thy heart, that in all thy conversation and conduct, both private and official, it shall not cease to flow forth from thy lips, habitually and constantly, showing that thou dost own it as thy