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and which by God's grace she is so well calculated to fill and to adorn. If women could only truly feel from what the light and grace of the Gospel has preserved them, even in temporal things, it would be impossible that they should not dearly love that Saviour who has done so much for them, both for time and for eternity.

EXPOSITION XL.

NUMBERS Xxxvi. 10-13.

10. Even as the Lord commanded Moses, so did the daughters of Zelophehad;

11. For Mahlah, Tirzah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Noah, the daughters of Zelophehad, were married unto their father's brothers' sons :

12. And they were married into the families of the sons of Manasseh the son of Joseph, and their inheritance remained in the tribe of the family of their father.

13. These are the commandments and the judgments, which the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses unto the children of Israel in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho.

We have here, the conclusion of the matter respecting the daughters of Zelophehad. By the

direction of Jehovah they were restricted to marry within their own tribe, and accordingly selected their first cousins, a degree of relationship, therefore, which it is clear the Almighty has not interdicted, since there were doubtless many others, in the same tribe, with whom these young women might have intermarried, had they so chosen.

From the twenty-sixth chapter to the end of the book at which we have now arrived, the children of Israel were encamped“ in the plains of Moab by Jordan near Jericho,” where we are told that all these commandments and judgments were given. The Israelites were now about, almost immediately, to enter into the promised land; for although the whole book of Deuteronomy intervenes, it contains no single portion of narrative, except the death of Moses. We may, therefore, consider that in concluding the book of Numbers, we have finished the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness. And how painful is the review of it! all may be briefly summed up in a single verse of the psalmist, “ Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, for they have not known my ways.” Although only the first and last years are recorded, we may conclude that they are not unfair specimens of the whole, and if so, what a catalogue of mercies and miracles, on the part of the Almighty, and of acts of disobedience and rebellion, on the part of the Israelites, is laid open to us; how can we be surprised at the result to which the apostle to the Hebrews so plainly refers, when he says, “ So we see that they could not enter in, because of unbelief.”

Most important, then, is it at the close of so instructive a portion of holy writ, to look back upon it, with the earnest, prayerful desire to obtain from it those spiritual lessons for which it was recorded. This appears to have been the object of the apostle to the Hebrews, when, having referred to the solemn and appalling judgments bequeathed to us in this book, he immediately adds, “ Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the Gospel preached as well as unto them ; but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.” In other words, the Israelites were excluded from the land of promise, because they did not believe the testimony which God had borne concerning it. That is, they did not believe that it was indeed that good land which the Almighty had pronounced it, neither did they believe that they could obtain possession of it in the manner which He had appointed. Now let us try and examine ourselves, brethren, whether we are free from these open, and crying sins of the Israelites. Is the word preached, received by faith with us? Do we believe that our promised land is the good, and happy, and blessed place which it has pleased God to describe it to us? Do we simply and readily embrace the method of entering into it which God has revealed. Aiming at no other, looking for no other, desiring no other, but the one, the only way which it has pleased God to lay down. am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me;" are the words of our Lord. Are we content to seek the promised land by this, “ the king's highway," not intermingling with it the bypaths of human invention, but keeping to the plain and simple directions of our God ? “ He that hath the Son," or that believeth on the Son,“ hath lifess and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” There is no perplexity in these directions, “ the wayfaring man though a fool shall not err therein.” The philosopher, the worldly-wise may err, for “ Not many wise men after the flesh are called,”* but the simple-minded, prayerful

66 I

* 1 Cor. i. 26.

in so

follower of God's word shall never err, great, so vital a concern. “ Let us labour, therefore, to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief;" labour prayerfully and painfully, with all our heart, and soul, and mind, and strength, to maintain, by the aid of God's good Spirit, our union with the true and living vine, and to bring forth much fruit; to glorify God in our day and generation, and to be constantly, yea hourly, seeking to acquire a greater degree of conformity to his will, of likeness to his image, and of meetness for his kingdom. So shall our summons hence, come when it may, be an expected and a joyful summons, conveying to us that most gracious invitation,

Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” For “ there remaineth a rest for the people of God," and being reconciled by Christ,“ this God is our God for ever and ever."

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