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set before us. If we have indeed in heart left the land of iniquity behind us, and are looking back upon it, only with that dread and abhorrence which urges us to an additional swiftness in flight, then are we interested in that covenant, ordered in all things, and sure, which pledges the veracity of a divine engagement, that our Father's good pleasure will give us the kingdom. “A promise is made us of entering into that rest. “Faithful is he who hath called us, who also will do it.” God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it, or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.
Vainly indeed, would the land of Canaan have been assured to Israel, unless the arm of the Lord had guided, his mercy fed, and his omnipotence defended them, in their way through the wilderness. Vainly would the joys of the kingdom above be laid before us, -vainly would the risen Redeemer be gone to prepare a place for us, were we obliged to tread the wilderness of sin alone, and find our way to the rest of heaven by our own wisdom, strength, and virtue. But he who has promised the land, has provided us with the means of reaching it, through all the dangers that beset the way of everlasting life. The word of his salvation directs those who follow its guidance with a cer
tainty as infallible as that by which the marches of Israel were led by the pillar of the cloud and of fire. The bread from heaven is bestowed upon them day by day. “They drink by faith of the rock that follows them; and that rock is Christ." The tabernacle of God is with them; and the Shekinah of his presence rests in their camp. He who has promised eternal blessedness as the end of their pilgrimage, and an everlasting triumph as the accomplishment of their warfare, has made every needful provision for the successful termination of both. Happy are the people that are in such a case! If ours be the walk of faith and self-denial-if eternal things have so fully occupied our hearts, that the love of those mean and perishing enjoyments which earth can give, or of those grovelling cares which earth excites, cannot reign and tyrannize within us, then may we feel, that our weakness is sustained by an Almighty arm, and our languid graces cherished by the Holy Spirit; as the parched earth is refreshed by the former and the latter rain. If we are cleaving to the almighty sufficiency of his grace as our only hope, and living to his glory, with the love of Christ as the constraining impulse of duty, then are we privileged to trust, that he who hath begun a good work in us will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ : -then may we look to be “ kept by the power
God through faith unto salvation :”-then may we commit all our eternal interests, and all our hopes of final salvation to him who gave to St. Paul an experience, in some degree attainable by all that love and serve the Saviour in sincerity ; I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from that love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As a farther inducement to the mind of Hobab, Moses declared the blessings present and future which the Most High had pronounced upon his chosen heritage. “The Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.” He had blessed them, and they should be blessed. It was not enough to assert their coming triumph over the nations of Canaan, and the possession of their inheritance: but as the covenant people of his love, they were assured of his continual presence, and of the exercises of his unwearied goodness. So dear were they in his sight, so intimate their union with himself, that the ungodly seer, who afterwards vainly endeavoured to devote them to ruin, for the wages of iniquity, offered by the king of Moab, was overruled to bless them altogether. “How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed, or how shall I defy whom the Lord hath not defied ? Behold, I have received commandment to bless, and he hath blessed, and I cannot reverse it.” They were regarded as the children of God; and no weapon formed against them prospered. Does Pharoah rage for their destruction? The Red Sea performs its office of vengeance, and overwhelms him and his armies in its depths. Does Amalek seek their overthrow? Moses prays on the mount, Israel contends in the valley, aud Amalek is discomfited. Their feet swell not, their raiment grows not old, there is not one feeble person among their tribes, while they adhere to the Lord, and follow him, like children of obedience. Heaven furnishes them with food; and the rock with water. All their pilgrimage is miracle, all their experience mercy. The Lord hath spoken good concerning them. Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord, the shield of thy help, and who is the sword of thy excellency!
And what hath God said of those, whom the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made free from the law of sin and death? What is their experience of present mercy? what their supports and comforts along the path that leads to the inheritance of the saints in light: My brethren, all the ways of the Lord aré mercy and truth unto them that keep his covenant and his testimonies. They that love the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good. Their inventory of mercy includes the stores of Providence, and the exhaustless riches of the kingdom of grace. All things are your's, whether of the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are your's ; for ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's. If, in the purity and sincerity of Christian devotedness, any of you have resolved not to glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, to be crucified upon it to the world, to become the obedient servants of the Most High-to make his love your present portion, and his promises the resting-place of your soul's hope. If, feeling that you are not your own, you desire to glorify him in your body and in your spirit, which are his, let me ask,—and I do it without fear of an unsatisfactory answer, whether you cannot give in your testimony to the truth of the declaration, that the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel? If, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, ye be not “of them who draw back into perdition ; but of them who believe, to the saving of the soul,” it shall be well with you ; well in life, well in death, well in eternity; for surely I know that it shall be well with them that fear God. Can it be otherwise, consistently with the character