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The Birth and Bravery of Moses.
a*!b THERE WENT A MAN OUT OF THE HOUSE OF LETT, AND TOOK TO WITS A DAUGHTER OT I.KVI.
»VD THE WOMAN CONCEIVED, AND BARE A SON.
HERE are some beautiful and remarkable circumstances concerning the birth of Moses, and they are told (as usual) with all imaginable accuracy and simplicity. The contrivance of concealing him in an ark of bull-rushes, is inconceivably maternal: nor is there less prettines?, in the description of his being found by Pharoah's daughter. This young woman came to bathe herself at the river, and her maidens walked along by the river's fide, and when flue saw the little ark almost float
ing amongst the flags, Ihe had the curiofity to direct her maid to fetch it. Upon her opening the rushy cradle, she saw the babe; and, behold it wept. Oh Heaven, what an incident this, for the heart of a woman! The tear upon its innocent face assailed the human feelings, and subdued them: the virgin had compassion on him: for, she sent him privately to be nursed, defrayed the charge from her own coffer, and adopthim as her own. As his infancy was rendered peculiar by the policy of his mother, and the patronage of the daughter of the very man who had given orders for the destruction of every new-born male; so his youth was distinguished with marks of honour by his own bravery. "And it came *' to pass, in those days, when Moses was "grown, that he went out unto his bre*' thren, and looked on their burthens, and «' he espied 2n Egyptian smiting an He"brew, one os his brethren: and he look"ed this way, and that way, and when he *' saw that there was no man, he slew the "Egyptian and hid him in ihe sand." This record of the lad's courage, fraternal love, and fense of equity, is very artfully introduced, and endears him to us, before he enters upon those important scenes in which Providence afterwards places him. To give additional lustre to his character, we next find him engaged in a second cause of redress and justice; for, finding two men engaged in a fight, he took the side of the weaker party, and boldly reprehended the aggressor. From the reply of this man, however, who alluded to his contest with the Egyptian, he had reason to fear the matter had, by some means, reached the ear of Pharoah : and this brings about another change of his juvenile fortunes. He fled from danger to Midian, and fat himself down by a well. Here, in a little time, his intrepid and honest temper had a fresli opportunity to shew itself, and the graces of his mind again break forth. Ic happened that the seven daughters of the priest of Midian came to the well to water their father's stocks, and that the shepherds came and G 2 drove
drove them away. What, insult a circle of women in their humane employments! How could so sweet and courteous a spirit brook such dafiardy! He instantly rose in their defence, and, in defiance of opposition, provided their flocks with water. And this conduct produced another alteration in our hero's circumstances: for, when the father of the damsels understood what the young man had done, he rebuked his daughters that they so little regarded the rights of hospitality and gratitude, as not to press upon the kind stranger an invitation. "And he said unto them, where "is he? Why is it that ye have left the "man? Call him, that he may eat bread." Moses came and refreshed himself, and so endeared himself in that interview, as to dwell there 5 and, in the end, such was the friendship between them, that he became husband to one of the very daughters whom he had assisted at the well.
It is to be noted here, that in this chapter, which contains the story of his younger years, every historic fact is set down, which mighc recommend Moses to our esteem; and yet that nothing ostentatious, or inconsistent with his time of life, is admitted. And here ceases the narrative of his youthful transactions, the future parts of his story exhibit him in the sublimest station imaginable, enjoying frequent conferences with the God who had respect unto his integrity, and who instituted him the messenger of Providence in the important concerns of Pharoah, and the unfortunate children of Israel.