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giving iniquity, transgression, and sin."
What a constellation of the most blessed and soul-encouraging attributes! Not a word of God's great power, his infinite strength, his appalling sovereignty, is here introduced, but every term that could reassure the timid, comfort the desponding, and raise the drooping and darkened soul to life and light again. When will men learn the character of Him with whom they have to do, not from their own pre-conceived imaginations, not from the distorted representations of others, but from the lips of God himself! The neglect of thus receiving the Almighty's own declaration, produces a large proportion of the misery and wretchedness in the world. Men, guided by their own constitutional tendencies, perhaps deeply tinged with the ascetic or severe, array the character of the Almighty in imaginary terrors, and then fly front the fearful idol which they have themselves set up. But would they only remember that God has said, that He who cannot lie, and cannot change, has said, “I am love;" would they only bear in mind, that there is not an attribute dear to the human heart, which the Almighty has omitted when revealing himself to man, or scarcely one which does not find a place even in the description of himself that we have now been reading-mercy and goodness, truth and forbearance, love and forgiveness, all separately enumerated--surely the first feeling of every heart would be, how can I remain alienated from such a God, or how can I dread the presence, or while desiring to please Him, fear the wrath, or tremble at the harshness of such a parent, or forsake such a Fa
ther? If I have hitherto done so, I will do so no longer; by God's help, “ I will arise and go to my Father;" I shall find nothing in all the universe of creatures, so abundant in goodness, so plenteous in mercy, so attractive in love.
But now observe, how perfectly consistent the most enlarged and tender compassion for sinners is with the most determined punishment of sin. The same Almighty Being immediately adds to this blessed description of his merey; that He is a "jealous God," and that He will by no means clear the guilty,” or (as the last two words, which are in Italics, would perhaps have been better supplied,)“ will by no means clear the wicked,” since all are guilty,” but, thanks to God's grace, all do not remain among the impenitentwicked.” Notwithstanding, therefore, God's tenderness and love, his justice is equally perfect, and He cannot a clear the wicked,” so long as they remain, rejoicing in their wickedness. But listen to his own words, by his prophet Ezekiel: “ Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God, and not that he should return from his ways and live?"* No, surely, all that the Almighty has said, and all that He has done, are sufficient to convince us of this truth, that “ He willeth not the death of a sinner, but that he should turn from his wickedness and live.” Take, therefore, the whole character of the Almighty, as you find it here delivered by his own lips, and see it verified in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; plead to be re
* Ezek. xviii. 23.
conciled through this Saviour, to such a Father, and to be made one through this atoning sacrifice, with such a God. There is no single instance throughout Scripture, of even the" wicked” man acting thus in sincerity and truth, and not finding the pardon, and reconciliation, and peace, for which he seeks, for truly to every penitent sinner coming to Him, in the name and through the merits of his Son, “God is love."
[Here may be read from ver. 15 to ver. 27, inclusive.]
CHAP. xxxiv. 28-35.
28. And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor dr ink water. And he wrote upon the tubles the words of the covenunt, the ten commandments.
29. And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his fuce shone while he talked with him.
30. And when Haron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his fuce shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him.
31. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with
32. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the Lord had spoken with him in mount Sinai.
33. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a dail on his face.
We find Moses here fulfilling the command recorded at the beginning of the chapter, and going up a second time, to remain forty days and forty nights with God in the mount, to receive again the commandments, and to be instructed in all the numberless particulars connected with the formation of the tabernacle and its furniture. A circumstance is mentioned on this occasion, differing so much from any thing that ever occurred in the history of any other of the holy men of old, that it is well worthy of notice. We read that when Moses descended from Mount Sinai, after this long and intimate communion with God,“ the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come nigh him.' No doubt this miraculous effect in his appearance was produced by the Almighty, that it might be an unquestionable evidence in the sight of all the congregation, that Moses had really spent the time with that Being, who could alone have occasioned such a change in his natural appearance, and of which intercourse, since there was no human witness, the stubborn Israelites might otherwise have doubted.
With what a beautiful type does this furnish us of the effect, which close and intimate cominunion with God ought at all times to produce upon the Christian. It is not Moses alone who should bear some outward evidence of the spiritual intercourse in which he was engaged; surely every follower of God should carry back into the world with him, some bright and holy
traces of those blessed moments which he has been
permitted to pass with God; some unkindness uprooted, some temper improved, some harshness softened, some of the tenderer sympathies of life increased, ought to mark every recurrence of secret devotion. The Christian should come forth from his closet, with a heart glowing with love to
every season of holding spiritual intercourse with God. So that, as it was said of the apostles, that from the change which was wrought in them, “All men took knowledge of them that they had been with Jesus,” it might be said of us, after meditating upon God's word, and approaching a throne of grace, and holding close communion with our blessed and glorified Head, that “we all with open face, beholding, as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
But there is yet another little trait mentioned, respecting the change that had taken place in the countenance of Moses, which we would not omịt, as a portion of the type. It is expressly said, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone.' parent to Aaron, it was visible to all the congregation, it was unknown to Moses himself alone, for so supernaturally brilliant were the rays that issued from him, like the sun in its strength, that until he had placed a veil over his face, the people were absolutely unable to approach him, or even to look upon him; and yet so utterly unconscious was Moses of his own superiority to all around him, that he knew not even that his face shone. Again, how lovely a picture of the meek, the humble, the lowly Christian! Shining as a light
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