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and solemn urgency, every consideration which the circumstances in which they were placed afforded, to impress upon the minds of the Israelites the duty and advantages of obedience, and the aw. ful consequences of departing from the love and service of Jehovah.
In concluding his earnest appeal, at this time, Moses gives vent to the feelings of his heart in this impassioned language, which we would do well to consider as also addressed to ourselves, by Jehovah, with reference to the proffered blessings of the Gospel of Christ, and the inheritance of the heavenly Canaan.
"I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing : therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live : that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest cleave unto him : for he is thy life, and the length of thy days; that thou mayest dwell in the land which the Lord sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them."
It was not long before the people were again assembled; and Moses meets them for the purpose of making some further communications.
He tells them, that he is now one hundred and twenty years old ; that not being permitted to go with them over Jordan, and the time of his departure out of the world drawing nigh, he can no
longer continue to be their leader and head. Joshua, he adds, is to take his place, and conduct them into the promised land. Jehovah himself will go before them; and give them the victory over the present inhabitants; and the secure possession of their country. With this divine strength to sustain them, he bids them be of good courage ; assuring them that they have no cause of fear, for God will not fail them, nor forsake them.
In view of the whole assembly, Moses, also, calls out Joshua to occupy a conspicuous station near him, and addresses him in these inspiriting words :
and of a good courage; for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee : he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee : fear not, neither be dismayed." How well adapted is such a scene, to prepare Joshua to enter, with resolution and an affectionate trust in God, upon his new and arduous career of duty. How would it serve, also, to inspire the people with respect for one whom their venerable leader, under the divine direction, has thus selected to be his successor, and whom he treats, before them all, with these striking marks of attachment and confidence.
On this occasion, (when could there be a more appropriate one,) Moses delivered to the priests who bore the ark of the covenant, and to all the elders of Israel, copies of the law, which he had himself written, or caused to be written under his immediate direction. It is most probable, that each copy embraced the five books of Moses—the Pentateuch, as it is termed. The number of copies we have no means of ascertaining. One, by the direction of Moses, was to be placed in the side of the ark of the covenant, to be kept there as a witness against the Israelites, should they violate the obligations which it contained. Others, doubtless, were distributed to be used by the proper persons in the instruction of the people, and, not improbably, one for each tribe.
In delivering these memorials of the commands of God and the duties of his people, and of the solemn covenant which had been formed between them, Moses gave this injunction. At the end of every seven years, at the feast of tabernacles, when all Israel should come together to appear before God, they were to be assembled, men, women, and children, and the strangers that were among to hear this law read in their presence that they mind, the divine direction with regard to the few remaining duties which he might have to perform.
A voice from the glorious Majesty meets his ear: Behold, thy days approach that thou must die : call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tabernacle of the congregation, that I may give him a charge."
The summons is instantly obeyed. The divine presence is manifested in the cloudy pillar which stands over the door of the tabernacle. Jehovah addresses Moses, telling him that he shall sleep with his fathers ; shall die, and go to be associated with his pious, deceased ancestors, in the abodes of the righteous beyond the grave. He, also, tells him, that the Israelites will go astray after the gods of the Canaanites, and break the covenant which the Lord had made with them; that his anger will be kindled against them; that he will no longer afford them his protection; and that they will endure the severest tokens of his displeasure.
Moses is also directed to write a sacred song, to be taught the Israelites, and their descendants, as a traditionary memorial of their obligations to God for all his goodness, and of the deserved judgments which will come upon them, in consequence of their transgressions. It is to be committed to me. mory, and sung on certain solemn occasions ; " And it shall come to pass,” such are the words of Jehovah, when
evils and troubles are befallen
them, that this song shall testify against them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed: for I know their imagination which they go about, even now, before I have brought them into the land which I sware.”
How often do the sacred songs, the psalms and hymns, and the portions of Scripture, which pious parents have caused their children to learn in their earlier years, afterwards, as they grow older, testify against their wickedness! Are any such, my young friend, treasured
in your memory ? Have you not known the occasions, when conscience has been awakened by them, and your sinful desires and purposes reproved? Strive not to banish them from your mind. Still love to repeat them, and to dwell on the holy sentiments which they contain. Call up the tender recollections of a kind father's and mother's counsels, which they are adapted to inspire. Your parents speak to you, again, in these memoriuls of their affection. They repeat their gentle exhortations, to lead you in the paths of duty and peace, and their affecting warnings, to guard you against sin and