« 이전계속 »
Death of Moses,
And The Lord Said Unto Moses, Get Thee Up InTo THIS MOUNT Abarim, AND SEE THE LAND WHICH I HAVE OIVF.JJ UNTO THE CHILDREN OF IsKAEt.
AND WHIN THOU HAST SEEN IT, THOU ALSO, SHALT BE GATHERED UNTO THY PEOPLE.
TTOW few are there at this day in the ■*■ •*■ world, whom such a command would not terrify? It is plainly ascertaining the •most aweful moment of mortality: yet the excellent person to whom it was spoken, appears to have received it without the least alarming emotion; and that, not because he was insensible, but because h: had talked with his maker as with a friend, and because he was assured. Being informed of his own death, indeed, he was anxious to sill up the vacancy which he should H 2 have, leave, properly, and therefore for the sake of posterity, petitioned for a successor. In these times, such intelligence, even though it were communicated in a dream, would disorder all the felicity of the day, and the very best of us, would dread the advances of the night, lest the horrid images should again appear: but if, as in this place, the tidings were conveyed by the voice of God himself, although the event .was not to happen for fifty years, the whole scheme of life (however delightfully our imaginations had before coloured it, however bright our expectation, or splendid our circumstances) would be instantly destroyed: The radiance of the morning enwrapt suddenly amidst the gloom of midnight, gives us but a faint simile to express the astonilhment and the anguish, that would, upon such an occasion, seize the soul: Instead of attending to our secular affairs, we should be incapable either of business or pleasure; even interest would want its usual stimulus, the veriest Nigard would forget his unvisited hoard, and at last,
when when the blow was just descending, with a fearful voice, and trembling hand, he would appoint a succejsor; or what is full as probable, his apprehensions would predominate over all ideas of natural justice, or else the strange suggestions of at least a possiblity, that destiny might delay to discharge its promise, would induce him to die amidst the deceits of hope, and leave his unsecured property to the rapacity of law, and the contest of various claimants. Moses, however, is represented as going on, immediately after this, in the great affairs which were allotted to him. Undisturbed by the common terrors of ordinary men, we still find him transmitting the laws of life and eternity, from God to man: He continued, as before, to settle with the sam^ sagacity, the moral, civil and religious system: He was the amanuensis of Providence; and after he had done all the appointed service to society, he died at the age of one hundred and twenty years, in the fullest possession of every faculty; for "his eye was "not dim, nor his natural force abated." H 3 And And yet, as there has not arisen another like Moses, whom God knew face to face; and, as the life of man is, since considerably shortened (insomuch that all the scriptural similes of its brevity are in a moral 'sense unable to give us the precise idea) the concealment of the last hour is a particular indulgence to us: Prescience would distress the most virtuous mind, and in every light we can possibly view this matter, ignorance is bliss, and foreknowledge, would, to all intents and purposes, be-agony.