תמונות בעמוד

the cause of God needs the support of learning, he has it at his command. When he intends to humble the pride of learning, he may permit the learned to use their efforts to pull down the walls of his house, and can build them by men, on whom he confers gifts by nature, without the culture of education. Many of the most learned theologians are mere cumberers of the ground. Many of the most effectual workmen in raising the walls of the temple are mighty men of God, stored wholly with mental cul. ture. This, however, does not imply that learning is useless. It is the gift of God as well as natural abilities; and there are things which without it cannot be done. No mental powers, without learning, could enable a man to translate the Scriptures; and no man can have the most authoritative source of evidence of the meaning of Scripture, who cannot reason from the original. Yet the most successful builders in Zion may be utterly unqualified as translators.



As the Lord qualified men to perform the work of the tabernacle, so his Providence ordered it that the people were ready to contribute every thing necessary for the work.

" And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord's offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service, and for the holy garments. And they came, both men and women, as many as were willing hearted, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings, and tablets, all jewels of gold ; and every man that offered offered an offering of gold unto the Lord. And every man, with whom was found blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and red skins of rams, and badgers' skins, brought them. Every one that did offer an offering of silver and brass brought the Lord's offering: and every man, with whom was found shittim wood for any work of the service, brought it. And all the women that were wise hearted did spin with their hands, and brought that which they had spun, both of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine linen, And all the women whose heart stirred them up in wisdom spun goats' hair. And the rulers brought onyx stones, and stones to be set, for the ephod, and for the breastplate; and spice, and oil for the light, and for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses."

In like manner, when the Lord has work to do, he can furnish workmen or find means. He makes his people willing to expend their substance in his service, as well as he raises up workmen. This is the greatest encouragement to the Lord's people, that he will never desert his cause, or suffer it to fail, when it is his purpose to establish it. The silver and the gold are his, and when his cause needs their aid, he can bring it into the treasury, even by the hand of those who were formerly his greatest enemies. But this does not imply that we may be careless about the Lord's cause, as if it may be wholly left to himself. He works through his people; and even when it is not his purpose to spread his gospel, it is the sin of his people that they neglect efforts to propagate it.



Deut. v.

The Israelites, terrified by the dreadful appearance at Sinai, requested Moses to approach to God in their place, and receive the law for them. In this they were no doubt influenced merely by their own feelings. But it was providentially effected in order to afford a type of the gospel. The true Israelites received God's law, and perfectly fulfil it, not personally by themselves, but in their Mediator Christ, with whom, by a divine constitution, they are one. The terrors of the Lord would destroy them, were they to approach in their own righteousness, or profess to keep the law as a ground of salvation. Not one of them all could look at God in this way,

This great truth is taught us in a figure in this terrible display of the holy and righteous God promulgating his law. “These words the Lord spake unto all your assembly in the mount out of the midst of the fire, of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice: and he added no more. And he wrote them in two tables of stone, and delivered them unto me. And it came to pass, when ye heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, (for the mountain did burn with fire,) that ye came near unto me, even all the heads of your tribes, and your elders ; and ye said, Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die ? for this great fire will consume us : if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire (as we have) and lived ? Go thou near and hear all that the Lord our God shall say : and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it. And the Lord heard the voice of your words, when ye spake unto me; and the Lord said unto me, I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken unto thee : they have well said all that they have spoken.” What was Moses that he should undertake such an office? In himself he was utterly unfit for the

office. Did he not exceedingly fear and tremble? Was he not sinful dust and ashes, as well as the rest of his brethren? God constituted him a type of the great Mediator, and in that light he was acceptable and sufficient, though his brethren had requested him to approach for them, yet their own observation on the occasion implied that none of all the earth could thus approach and live.


Joshua ii.

What a lucky chance! What an instance of providential direction! What brought the spies to the house of Rahab? They came not by invitation. They came not by previous acquaintance, or information with respect to her faith and friendship towards Israel. Among all the houses of Jericho, why did they happen to lodge with Rahab? It has been uselessly, as well as foolishly, attempted to be proved that she had not been an harlot, but the keeper of a house of entertainment. There is no evidence that she kept a house of general entertainment at all. But were this even in evidence, why did the spies happen to lodge in this house, rather than in any other of the same kind ? Rahab was the only believer in Jericho.

Why was there one believer found in Jericho ? The Lord in his Providence had need of Rahab's services. He took out of Jericho just what served his purpose. But could not Jehovah have performed his will without


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