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the aphorisms, and rest-words which they employed; the dust which covers the abode of their mortality; the daisy and other flowers that luxuriate on the silent tomb; the willow that overshadows it; all these seem to be vocal with the praises of the virtue of the excellent of the earth whose mortal remains lie there. "The memory of the just is blessed," and it is piety, which alone is true virtue, that encircles the names of the good with a halo of heavenly effulgence. The study of the history of the past will, therefore, be interesting and profitable; and I have occasionally introduced a few original sketches, &c., of individuals, which I trust may tend to stimulate the reader to imitate their virtues or to shun their vices, as the case may be.
INFANCY AND EARLY LIFE OF MOSES.
In troublous times an Israelitish woman gave birth to a son. The decree of the King of Egypt had gone forth that "all male children should be destroyed." This poor woman concealed her infant for a short time. Happy as that family was, yet, there was a something which operated like a thick sable mantle to all their enjoyments; it was a gall to all their sweets. They had been accustomed to trials and bereavements, to persecutions and distresses; but, in the midst of these, their religious and mutual confidence supported them. There was a something in their family now, which was, in a very peculiar sense, at once the centre of their present enjoyments, and future hopes; and the source of that unutter
able anguish by which their hearts were riven. They could not look at the beautiful form, and the sweet expression of their infant, full of innocence, free from guile, but the parents turned a sorrowful eye to the river with its innumerable inhabitants, and to the moment when the irreparable breach must be made in their once happy family, when their hairs shall become grey, their flesh gradually decline, and their hearts break. Their darling infant is to be thrown into the river, and become food for the inhabitants of the deep. It may be that some one has informed the King of the concealment of the child by its parents. Necessity, and affection, (which was greatly increased by the present very paiuful and trying circumstances) were the occasion of a little dwelling being made for their sweet boy. It was an ark of bulrushes, daubed over with slime and pitch. The ark ready, the little infant neatly attired, was to be placed by its disconsolate parents, midst the throbbings of the affectionate household into the river Nile. Amram recollects the God of his fathers, that He had heard their cry and now that human nature had exhausted its store of comfort; he reminded his wife of the duty and privilege of presenting their child to God's providential care; beseeching Him to take charge of their offspring whom they were about to place on the water of the beautiful and majestic fiver of Egypt. If ever sincere prayers were offered to the Divine Being, if ever a household heartily joined in it; and kindred responses to "We beseech Thee to hear us good Lord," were re-echoed by
the hosts of heaven; it was then. In their trouble they "Cried unto the Lord." See Ps. 107.-and the faithful covenant-keeping God of believing Abraham heard their prayer:-They then noiselessly and with mingled feelings proceeded to put the ark containing the sacred and immortal treasure into the river, Yes, that ark contained him that was destined to make Pharaoh tremble; give laws to the Jewish people,-perform miracles,-lead the Israelites through the Red Sea, and the Wilderness, on their journey to the land which had been promised to their forefathers.
They saw it float. Prayer was incessantly being made to God. The prayer of faith is heard when proper means are used. His sister watches. Shortly, she perceives a lady of distinction with graceful and easy step walking up and down the banks of the river, accompanied by her attendants. She at length stands over the ark. What a curiously wrought thing is that! What is it? What means it? One of the maids is instructed to fetch it. What a moment! The heart of Miriam throbs, fears rise up; she silently asks; "Will my little brother be dashed against the stones and then relentlessly thrown into the river to perish? God of heaven and earth preserve my brother; make the lady's heart sympathetic and kind-do Thou hear my cry; he is my brother." The lady opens the ark; and a beautiful infant suffused in tears presents itself. The sight affects her much. It is, doubtless, a Hebrew's child. "I should like to adopt this child.” What a heaven
beaming countenance ! The sister steps up, and asks permission to get a nurse for the child; she knows one of the Hebrew women who, she is sure, will bring it up both tenderly and carefully for her. Permission is granted, and Miriam hastens to fetch her mother, to whom the Princess (for this lady was Pharaoh's daughter) confides the babe, saying, "Take this child away and nurse it for me, and I will pay thee thy wages." Ex. ii. 9. How deep and wonderful are the ways of God! How all His attributes are in harmonious operation for the good of His cause and people! He sheds forth light, and peace, and joy into the habitation of suffering and sorrow. He gilds the distant hills with heavenly brightness. He blended the sympathies, inspired the filial affection which distinguished the family of Amram. He imparted the contriving love that made the ark for the infant Moses, He was present, when, with throbbing, breaking hearts, they invoked His providential care. He gave love her wings to fly to Him:—when the ark was floating on the Nile. What comfort aud happiness must those have who can at all times confide all to God! Nor should we lose sight of the fact that, God who blessed the mourning family, took care of them in the subsequent moments of great joy. Exuberance of joy, as well as of grief— has often proved fatal. The whole is beautifully explained in Heb. xi. Acts vii. and in the Gospels. Here, for the present, we must leave Moses. More of him by and by.
The Great Moral Exhibition of all the
The splendour of ancient Greece and Rome, of Egypt and Persia, has passed away; but in their gigantic intellects they hold communion with their kindred spirits of the present. The stately column, the exquisite statuary, the majestic temples, magnificent palaces, towering pyramids, and the flinty records of the past, are fast yielding to the destructive march of ages. In looking at the remains of the past, we are almost forced to the conclusion that ours is but an age of imitation, or expansion of the ideas and notions of anterior days. That which constitutes the social, moral, and intellectual greatness of communities and nations, remains the same unchangeably, and will remain so for ever. That which is strictly moral, neither derives its existence, force, nor beauty from anything sublunary. Like the periodic returns of the seasons, the alternations of day and night; as the varied positions and revolutions of the heavenly bodies present their different phases; like the seed which, deposited in the earth, acted upon by the elementary and combined properties of matters beneath, above, and around it, bursts, and has its fibres and sprouts directed by unerring wisdom and presents the different stages of vegetative life and progress, in due time arrives at maturity; even so has it ever been, is, and ever will be