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thee ? and seek ye the priesthood also ? For which cause both thou and all thy company are gatherea together against the Lord : and what is Aaron, that ye murmur against him ?" He holds his office by the divine appointment. He did not seek it, nor place himself in it. Ye are murmuring not against him, but against God.

At this juncture, Moses sent for Dathan and Abiram, who were probably at some distance, perhaps in the rear of the conspirators, that he might have a more particular conversation with them. He had a special object in view in doing this; it may have been, to find out more accurately the rise and progress of the sedition, or to endeavor to make an impression on their minds, which he could not hope to do while they were in the company their associates. But they sent back a decided and taunting refusal. They accused him of bringing them up out of Egypt, a land, as they termed it, " flowing with milk and honey,” (insultingly applying to it the very epithet which God himself had used to designate the promised land,) to kill them in the wilderness, or if he did not do this, to make himself a prince over them. They charged him with not having fulfilled his promise to bring them into a land flowing with milk and honey, and declared that they had received no inheritance in it And, to crown all, said that he was endeavoring, by his artful and hypocritical management, to blind

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the eyes of the people, that they might not discover nis sinister designs.

On receiving this message, Moses was filled with a strong and just indignation. He immediately offered up an earnest petition, that the Lord would not regard with any favor the offering of such men, or of their companions, and protested that they had no cause of complaint against him, as he had never wronged or injured one of them.

The conspirators then withdrew ; Moses having first repeated his injunction with regard to what they were to do, the ensuing day, and directing Aaron, also, to be present with his censer.

The morrow came. The rebellious band, with their censers and burning incense, stood in the door of the tabernacle, Korah having gathered around it the whole congregation, and instilled into them extensively his own seditious feelings. Moses and Aaron were there, (the latter with the incense burning in his censer,) strong in conscious rectitude, and in the belief that God was on their side, and would sustain them. The hour of trial had arrived; and, while an anxious 'suspense pervaded the assembly, the descending cloud covered the tabernacle, and the effulgent glory of the Lord appeared unto all the congregation. A voice issued from the cloud, addressing Moses and Aaron, "Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment."

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What a terrific denunciation ! Must the stroke of vengeance fall? Is it impossible to avert it? Instantly, Moses and Aaron prostrated themselves upon

their faces, and poured forth this earnest entreaty, O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou bę wroth with all the congregation ?" O the power of the effectual, fervent prayer

of those who trust in God, and whom he loves to answer! Their supplications prevailed, so far as the great body of the people were concerned; but the divine indignation fell heavily upon the instigators and leaders of the intended revolt.

"Speak unto the congregation," said the Lord to Moses," saying, Get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram.” Wherever the tents of these men were pitched, all were speedily to retire from them; and it would seem from this that they had hastened from the tabernacle, and were now in their customary places of residence. Moses went thither, and uttered this fearful warning to all who were near them: part, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked

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All fled in consternation; while Dathan and Abiram, fcould it have been with the spirit of menace ?) came out and stood in the door of their tents, with their wives and children. Korah was not to be seen. " And Moses said, Hereby ye shall

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know that the Lord hath sent me to do all these works; for I have not done them of mine own mind. If these men die the common death of all men, or if they be visited after the visitation of all men; then the Lord hath not sent me. But if the

! ; Lord make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the Lord.”

The words of Moses were but just uttered, when their confirmation followed. The earth opened with a wide and yawning chasm, and swallowed up Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, their tents and families, and all that belonged to them. They uttered piercing shrieks of anguish as they sunk from the sight of the spectators, who fled in dismay still farther from the spot, lest they, too, should be overwhelmed with the same destruction. It seems that the sons of Korah, who were not in his tent, and who doubtless took no part in the rebellion, escaped the awful doom of their father.

The remaining conspirators perished, at the same time, in a manner not less striking and terrific. From the divine glory over the tabernacle there issued devouring streams of fire, and consumed them where they were standing; while Aaron and the rest who were near them experienced not the least injury.

It was a scene of terror not soon to be forgotten. It was an expression of the just indignation of God, to teach those who witnessed it, and us who have the record of it, that the majesty of his government must be sustained by the most signal and fearful punishment of those who hold out in their rebellion against it.

The fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and their companions in the sedition, shows us, beyond all possibility of doubt, that God is not the Being that some suppose him to be, so full of tender compassion that he will not inflict painful sufferings in the future world upon those who, in this, have sinned against him, and die impenitent.

If his great mercy will lead him thus to act, why did he inflict so tremendous a punishment upon Korah, and the other rebels ? Is he pitiful only in the future world ? Shall no prison-house of wo there open wide its doors to receive the unrepenting sinner; and yet the yawning earth swallow up offenders against the divine authority in the Jewish camp? Shall no vengeance of the Almighty pursue his disloyal subjects beyond the grave, and yet the

, flames that proceed from his glorious presence utterly consume the traitors

the Israelites ? No, my young friend, there is no ground for such a soul-destroying delusion. Sad will be the disappointment of those who build upon it their hopes of future safety! God is just, as well as merciful.

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