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knowledge, in all manner of workmanship, "to devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them, and in carving" (or cutting) " of timber, to work in all manner of workmanship.” With Bezaleel was associated, by the divine direction, Aholiab, of the tribe of Dan; " and in the hearts of all that are wise-hearted,” (who have a taste, and talents, for such work,) added the Lord, "I have put wis. dom, that they may make all that I have commanded thee."
We are not to expect, at the present day, any supernatural, divine influence, to give us capacity or skill, in the prosecution of our particular employments. But, on the other hand, how prone we are to forget the providential aid from God which we may hope to receive if we seek it aright. He continually sustains us in the exercise of all our powers, bodily and mental. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. And what an unceasing, and continually increasing, debt of gratitude do we owe him for such blessings. Words cannot describe it! The heart can never sufficiently feel it !
In addition to this, when we consider the innumerable
ways in which, according to what we call the laws of Nature, God can touch and move the springs of thought and of action within us; and what an immense variety of providential occurrences affecting our capacities of mind, and body, and
powers of execution, and influencing our employments and pursuits, he can control, so as to answer his particular designs; we ought to feel more deeply our dependance on him, and more devoutly to implore his constant guidance and aid.
Happy the man who thus sees and feels the hand of God ruling over and directing him, in all his concerns ! " Give me this day my daily bread," is a petition which he offers up, not only for the supply of his bodily wants, and of his spiritual necessities, but for wisdom, and skill, and strength, in his particular occupation; the prosecution of his lawful business; and his other engagements in the way of duty, whatever they may be. I can do all things through Christ strengthening me, is his invigorating principle of life and action. Make it yours, my young friend, and you know not what you can accomplish.
The two tables of stone. The golden calf. Aaron's guilt.
Moses intercedes for the idolatrous Israelites.
While building the tabernacle, the sacred palace of their King, and doing the other arduous work which he directed for his service and worship :
in the midst, too, of their encampment in the wilderness, with its numerous privations and hardships ;-—and feeling the urgent necessity of despatch; may not the Israelites be permitted to labor on the Sabbath ? By no means; and, as if to guard against its profanation under such peculiar circumstances by a special injunction, God renews his commandment for the holy keeping of the day, to Moses, while yet on the mount.
'Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations;
that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you : every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death : for whosoever doch any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.”
The command to keep the Sabbath holy, is still in force. The particular penalty annexed to it under the Mosaic dispensation, is indeed done away. But he who violates it, unless he
repent and reform, must expect to meet the terrible displeasure God! This sacred day is still a sign between God
of of God." These durable records, the very
work manship of Jehovah, contained the ten commandments. What a striking proof of the importance which he attached to the Moral Law, and of the character of permanency which he would thus impress upon
it. While God was communing with his servant on Sinai, and giving him these directions, the object of which was to fulfil the Divine promises, and make the Israelites a peculiar people under the immediate government and protection of the Almighty, they alas ! were grossly violating their engagements, and despising the authority to which they had so lately, in a solemn covenant, pledged their obedience.
The absence of their leader appeared to them long and strange. They thought, or pretended to think, that he would never return.
Was he con sumed in the bright glory which seemed to burn like fire on the summit of the mountain; or had God removed him in some mysterious way from earth to heaven, there to take up his abode ?
Some of them gathered together in a tumultuous manner, and assailed Aaron, who had come down
In doing this, as we are told in the seventh chapter of Acts, it was their wish to go back to Egypt, and abandon, at once, the land of promise, and all the other blessings which God had held out to them as encouragements in the path of duty.
They would willingly forfeit these inestimable privileges; and dare to become idolaters in violation of one of those commands which they had just promised to obey; and expose themselves to the anger of Jehovah !
Aaron, too, the brother of Moses, who had been associated with him, under the immediate direction of the Almighty, from the very commencement of their momentous enterprise, and been addressed by every motive, and proof, and argument, that were needed to establish his faith and confirm his purpose of perseverance, who had just witnessed the terrors of Sinai, and been permitted to see the awfully sublime manifestations of the presence of the only living and true God,—will he yield to these solicitations ? Will he basely and wickedly take a part in the proposed idolatry?
Ah! what is the weak and sinful nature of man when left to itself and the force of temptation! In God alone is our strength of moral resolution and obedience to his will.
Aaron had not the courage to resist the demands of the Israelites. He ordered them to break off the golden ear-rings which their wives, and sons