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Remember, then, that as yours is a religion of motives, in proportion as these are pure, honest, and of good report; or, in other words, as they are suggested, directed, sanctified by the Spirit of God, so will every deed of charity, and every act of beneficence that flows from them, be acceptable in the sight of him whom you serve, and be recorded against that day, when God shall give to every man "according to his works."


Exodus ii. 4-10.

4. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him.

5. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the rider; and her maidens walked along by the river side; and when she saw the ark among the flags, she sent her maid to fetch it.

6. And when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said, This is one of the Hebrews' children.

7. Then said his sister to Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee?

8. And Pharaoh's daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother.

9. And Pharaoh's daughter said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child, and nursed it.

10. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.

How providentially is the whole of this little drama arranged. The mother of Moses places the floating árk among the flags by the side of the river, and

leaves her youthful daughter, Miriam, who must have been at that time quite a child, and therefore less likely to be suspected of having any hand in the plot, to watch the event. The daughter of Pharaoh comes down at the precise moment, and to the precise spot. The child, we have been already told, was "goodly," or beautiful, and, as St. Stephen adds, “exceeding fair," which tended no doubt greatly to conciliate the damsel's affectionate interest in its behalf; while its tears (for what can be more touching than an infant's tears?) appear to have determined the matter in its favour, since the inspired writer immediately adds, that Pharaoh's daughter “had compassion on him,” and resolved at once to adopt him as her own.

Here, again, mark how the providence of God interferes: it was well that an Egyptian should be the instrument to preserve the life of the child: it was well that an Egyptian, capable from her rank and station of having him initiated into all the wisdom” of her country, should be permitted to superintend his education, that he might be eminently qualified, even in worldly gifts, for the important post which he should one day fill: but it was not well that an Egyptian should direct his opening thoughts, and his first lisping words, and his earliest infant prayers: for the taint of idolatry might have so grown with his growth, and strengthened with his strength, as never afterwards to have been wholly eradicated. The providence of God, therefore, provides a better, yea, the best of all nurses, for the infant Moses, even his own dear mother, whom her little daughter naturally calls, and the Egyptian princess as naturally engages. Every line, every word of the transaction, is regulated by God himself. The princess does not, as we should have anticipated, direct the mother to attend her to her palace, and there nurse the child; but

says, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages.” Thus securing for the early years of Moses, a holy and a happy home, void indeed of the luxuries of life, but, by the generosity of Pharaoh's daughter, probably not absolutely without its comforts: a home where the true God was worshipped, and where every thing around the infant would tend to enlist his earliest sympathies, and draw out his first affections, on behalf of his suffering countrymen; effects most important, and yet which could scarcely have been produced amidst the splendours of a palace, although they would come unsought, while witnessing the cruel privations, the bitter bondage, the daily sufferings, of his father the brickmaker, or labourer in the iron furnaces of Pharaoh. It was not, therefore, until Moses was grown, that he appears to have become the inmate of the palace of the Pharaohs, where he remained until he was forty years of age; time amply sufficient to acquire all the wisdom of the Egyptians, though, as it appears, insufficient to obliterate one feeling of piety towards God, or one trace of his ardent love towards his fellow countrymen.

There is nothing more delightful than to be permitted thus as it were, to look into the secret works of the great and wonderful machine, of which the exterior is usually the only portion visible to us, and to view all its different movements, not as mere coincidences, but as the appointed results of infinite wis

dom, and infinite love. It cheers the Christian's heart, and strengthens his hands, thus to behold a Father's mercy influencing and directing the minutest events of his life, and enables him to leave every thing, even the most difficult and the most doubtful, in filial confidence, to him, who doeth all things well, and who having given to us his Son, and in him life eternal, shall with him also freely give us all things.”


Exodus ii. 11-15.

11. And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burthens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.

12. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.

13. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow ?

14. And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, und said, Surely this thing is known.

15. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.

We are indebted to the writings of the New Testament for very important lights upon the most difficult passages of the Old; and upon none more than the portion of Scripture we have just been reading. Had nothing been revealed, except what is here told us, we should have only known that Moses had left the house of Pharaoh's daughter, and gone to Goshen to visit his brethren, and had there acted in a very heroic, but in what, perhaps, might have been deemed a very violent and unjustifiable manner; for have not the Scriptures said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord?” But upon turning to the eleventh chapter of Hebrews, we have a most valuable explanation of the motives which dictated the conduct of the prophet; for we there find it distinctly stated, “ By faith, Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.”

of the reward.” And still farther, we learn from St. Stephen, that Moses, when he smote the Egyptian, “supposed his brethren would have understood how that God by his hand would deliver them; but they understood not." Now it is clear from this, that Moses must himself have received some direct revelation from the Almighty upon the subject, or he would no more have understood, or imagined, so improbable a fact than his brethren. He, therefore, at the age of forty, voluntarily left the house of Pharaoh's daughter, not on a mere visit of curiosity to Goshen, but with a determination to take up his abode among his brethren: he deliberately refused the adoption to wealth and honours, which was offered him at the court of Pharaoh, and at once, and un

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