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fix them, according to his infinite mercy, in cities which they builded not, even in that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God: in vineyards and oliveyards which they planted not, even under the shadow and among the fruits of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
Lastly; God afforded his people, the children of Israel, his special protection; he gave them a prudent and a valiant leader, to conduct them into the goodly heritage which his mercy had provided for them; they were, therefore, on no occasion to be disheartened; nor were they to loiter and sit down in listless indolence and inactivity. The merciful aid and protection of heaven was intended to stimulate their zeal and virtuous exertions. The command was-"Be strong and "of good courage. Pass over this Jordan, and go in "to possess the land, which the Lord your God giveth
you. Five of you shall chase an hundred; and an "hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight; and "your enemies shall fall before you."
Christians enjoy the special assistance and protection of their Father who is in heaven; they have a Leader who has proved himself to be invincible; they have an inheritance provided for them by the mere mercy of God. But, notwithstanding all this merciful provision, strenuous exertions are to be made on their part; certain qualifications are absolutely necessary, before they can be placed in quiet possession of the goodly heritage which the Lord their God has promised to them. Their present state is frequently compared to a warfare: at their baptism, they entered into solemn engagements to fight manfully, under the banner of a
crucified Saviour, against the world, the flesh, and the devil: and, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, the apostle has particularly described the spiritual armour which is to be employed in the arduous conflict. Let us, then, rise, and be active; and while we are fighting the good fight of faith, let us derive consolation and encouragement from God's merciful declarations, by his servant Joshua, to his ancient people-" If the "Lord delight in us, then he will bring us into this "land and give it us. Only rebel not ye against the "Lord, neither fear ye the people of the land; for "their defence is departed from them, and the Lord is "with us; therefore, fear them not."
Having thus laid before you some of the circumstances, in which Joshua, the captain of the host of Israel, was an eminent type of Jesus, the Saviour of the world; I shall now conclude with a few practical inferences from the doctrine which has been inculcated in the preceding parts of this discourse,
And, 1st. Since a Saviour has been provided for fallen man; since it was so particularly declared by the angel, that his name must be called Jesus, because he is to save his people from their sins; let us seriously inquire, Whether we have availed ourselves of this great salvation which is now offered to us? Are we saved from the guilt of sin, by sincere penitence and faith in the Redeemer? Are we saved from its power, by the operations of the Holy Spirit, sanctifying our polluted nature, and causing us to walk in all the ordinances of our holy religion blameless? What strange infatuation would it be, to-neglect this great salvation! to spurn the blessing from us! to answer the gracious invitation of our Lord-" Come unto me,
" and be ye saved," with this presumptuous language, "we are not solicitous to be saved now from the "destroyer sin; nor, in a future state, from misery "and death eternal."
2dly. Let the saviour Joshua take the place of the lawgiver Moses; let the law lead us to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "By the law," says the apostle, "is "the knowledge of sin." Let us, with the deepest humility of heart, compare our defective obedience, with that pure and undefiled law of God, which goes to the regulation of our thoughts, and words, and actions: and, surely, on our bended knees, with hands uplifted in humble supplication, and hearts glowing with gratitude, we shall thank God, for the atoning sacrifice, the Lamb that was slain to take away the sins of the world; we shall bless his holy name, for sending a Messenger from heaven, not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
3dly. Let us ever remember, that the Christian life is a life of activity and diligence. We must do the will of God, before we can reasonably expect to receive his promise. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must give all diligence to make our calling and election sure. The crown of life is promised to those only who persevere to the end in well-doing.
Lastly; in all the toils and dangers of our journey through the wilderness of this world, let us contemplate, with delightful expectations, that rest which is provided for the people of God. Art thou now hungry and thirsty, weary and faint? Rivers of pleasure are before thee; a fulness of joy is at hand. In this
blessed land of promise, sorrow and sighing will be
done away. The oil of gladness will be poured upon the head of God's people; their cup of joy will be full. Loving-kindness and mercy will follow them; and they will dwell in these regions of pure delight for ever and ever.
On the Conduct of Nicodemus.
JOHN iii. 1, 2.
There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: the same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
FROM this passage of sacred Scripture it appears, that the evidence which our Saviour produced of his divine mission proved satisfactory, not only to many of the unprejudiced multitude; but, that it also wrought conviction in the minds of some of the haughty and interested Pharisees. Nicodemus, who was one of them, had been convinced that Jesus was a teacher come from God. A contest was thus excited in his bosom between the dread of censure, and the love of truth: he wished to testify his faith to Jesus himself, but he dreaded the scoffs and reproaches of his unbelieving brethren. He therefore comes privately in the night, and addresses him in the words of the text. What effect our Lord's discourse had upon the mind of this timid, though believing Pharisee, we are not