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but I want food for the soul, I want instruction and exhortation suited to my state and circumstances, I need to be urged to press forward in the way in which I should go. The engagements of kings and the skill of leaders interest me little, and can afford me no real benefit.”—Dost thou thas judge ? Tbou judgest wrong judgment. The faithful servants of God, in all stations and in all ages, are distinguished by the same characteristic features; and the pious prince and the pious cottager may both derive edi fication from the consideration of each other's character. Attend to some of the circumstances in the history of Joshua, and thou wilt be conyinced that instruction in righteousness may be derived from it. Observe, first, that the successor of Moses was appointed to an arduous service. By what rule was he to regulate bis conduct ? Did He who appointed him to the task give him no direction by which he might be preserved in the path of duty ? Read the eighth verse of the first chaptér: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then shalt thou make thy way pros. perous, and then shalt thou have good success." Reader! wert thou to derive no other instruction from reading of Joshua than that contained in this passage, thou wouldest have reason to bless God for giving thee this. The law of the Lord was to be his guide ; in the book of that law was his meditation to be bad. But, is the study of the law of God necessary for the guidance of kings, of leaders only? It is necessary for the direction and support and consolation of all. Happy the country whose governors are guided by this role! Happy the people, whether the rich or the poor, who take heed to
their ways according to thy word, O God!—Reader, thou hast a Bible. Dost thou prize it? Dost thou " read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest it ?" Thou
wilt find in it much, perhaps, that may appear to thee difficult to be understood. But, if thou art a teachable reader of the word of God-if thou makest it thy great object, in reading, to become better in thy life, and to be instructed in every good work, and to increase in the love and service of God, thou wilt find much to refresh and strengthen thy soul. And be assured that, in so doing, either thy course of life will be prosperous, or thy mind will be furnished with such principles as shall enable thee peacefully, if not cheerfully, to bear adversity: -thy path shall be as “ a shining light, shining more and more upto the perfect day *.”
In the foorth chapter we read that the Israelites having, by the powerful help of God, passed over the river Jordan on dry ground, Joshua erected a memorial of the mercy wbich he and his people had experienced, and of the stupendous miracle that had been wrought. Alas! how prone is the heart of man to forget the mercies of God; and how wise as well as how devout is it to adopt methods of keeping them in lively remembrance. Reader! thou art daily and hourly receiving mercy from God. Sometimes a merciful hand has been clearly stretched forth for thy rescue. 0. forget not the Lord, and all his benefits! Grateful remembrance should be written on the heart; “ but better res corded in a book, or on a stone, than neglected or forgotten t."
In several chapters of this book, we bave a paina ful history of long continued and bloody wars; and we may feel disposed to think of Joshua as a cruel and ferocious character; but we must bear in mind that he was specially appointed to lead the Israelites to
• Proverbs iv. 18.
+ See Cottage Bible, with Practical Reflections and short Explanatory Notes, by F. Williams, dedicated by permission to the Bisbop of Salisbury.
the promised land through every obstacle, and that, to the arduous work in which he was engaged, he was distinctly commissioned. He was the appointed instrument, in the hand of God, to punish the sur. rounding nations for their wickedness. Whilst then we reflect with awe on the punishment inflicted on those nations, let us admire the constancy and resolution of Joshua in executing that which was committed to him.—“He left nothing,” it is said, “undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses."Reader! wouldest thou approve thyself before God ? Leave nothing undone of all that is com: manded thee. Strive to fulfil all righteousness. Think not that then only thou offendest God, when thoa committest some positive iniquity, when thou violatest some duty, when thou breakest some commandment. To leave undone the thing that thou oughtest to do, is to sin against God, as surely, though perhaps not so heinously, as to do that which is forbidden thee.-Be then on thy guard." View Joshua as a pattern of obedience, and follow him.
We have now to contemplate the closing year of the life of Josbua. He had become old and stricken in age; and, feeling within himself that he was about to go the way of all the earth, he assembled the Israelites, and earnestly exborted them to adhere to the love and service of God. Reader! do hoary hairs proclaim thy lengthened years? do trembling limbs and wrinkled cheeks forewarn thee that thy end must be near ? “ Set thine house in order.” Rest, for thine eternal security, on the finished work of thy Redeemer; use the influence which thy age and thy experience give thee; exhort all within thy reach, thy wife, thy children, thy friends, thy neighbours, as thou hast opportupity, to cleave unto the Lord their God, and to beware of turning back from his service. It may be
that, ere thou sink est into the tomb, God may, in mercy, make thee an instrument of turning ope unto righteousness.
In the 15th verse of the last chapter of this book, is recorded Joshua's solemn declaration before the tribes, whom he once more assembled, and whom he again exhorted to fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth. “As for me and my house,” he says, “ we will serve the Lord;" a declaration which clearly shows that he was deliberately and fully convinced that true honour and happiness consist in serving God.
Reader! whatever be thy age, or whatever thy station, adopt the resolution of Joshua,-“ choose the service of God,”—be this thy voluntary choice before and above all the pleasures of sin, and all the vanities of the world. ' Hast thou yielded thy' self to other masters? Be persuaded to give them up; and offer thy supplication unto the Most High, that he would graciously strengthen thee with migbt, by his Spirit, to adhere to thy resolve. Shun the persons by whom, and the places in which thou mayest be tempted to forget thy vow, and to break thy engagements. Set up God in thy heart, and in thy house. Pray for and with thy family. Assemble them together, and offer with ihem the voice of prayer and praise. Present thy words, accompanied with the meditations of thy heart, to the God that heareth prayer. Yes, thou wilt find family religion the best bond of domestic peace, the best comfort in domestic afflictions, and the best security for the continuance and increase of domestic happiness; while it will afford thee an important advantage for constant growth in grace, and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Ever, then, say with Joshua," as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Then mayest thou look forward, as he did, with tranquillity and hope to the day of thy departure. Falling asleep in Jesus, thou shalt at length, through #im, awake to a joyful resurrection.
BXTRACT FROM A SERMON ON CONFIRMATION.
(Concluded from p. 394.)
As far as the young people are concerned, I have only now to request that they will weigh seriously the advice which has been given them, and act accordingly. Take it home with you to your chamber, and there “pray to your Father which is in secret, that it may be " so grafted inwardly in your hearts" as to bring forth in your conduct " the fruit of good living.” May Almighty God," who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, shine in your hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” May he give you strength to withstand the wiles and temptations of the devil, and keep you " unspotted from the world.” May He, by his Spirit, keep you steadfast in his service,--and mercifully grant that you may not be “ of them who draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
My brethren, before I conclude, permit me to remind you all in general, that the vows of religion are upon you all that what the young people have been doing in the past week, was done by us several years ago. We have all made precisely the same promises--we all lie under precisely the same obligations--we shall all incur precisely the same perdition if we draw back. All therefore that has