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2 CHRONICLES, ch. 32–36.
LECTURE 712– 718.
means of grace,
stitutions of God.
to love and to obedience.
pected by the sabbath breaker.
THЕ Book of NEHEMIAН. .
1. 1. Nehemiah prayeth for suc- 732. Of intercession for our coun-
NEHEMIAH, ch. 5–13.
9. 1. A fast is kept; with con-
fession of sin.
9. 22. The Levites conclude their
address to God.
10. 1. A covenant is sealed.
11. 1. A list of those who dwelt in
Jerusalem and in other towns.
12. 1. The priests and Levites.
in our devotions.
742. The force of our evil recol-
743. The sin of robbing God.
744. The happiness of serving God
745. Of remembering God's min-
746. That God works by means.
747. Of prayer for mercy.
748. Of praying to be rewarded by
12. 27. The dedication of the wall.
13. 1. Nehemiah reformeth abuses.
13. 23. Nehemiah denounceth them
that married strange wives.
The Book of Esther.
1. 1. Ahasuerus maketh a feast. 749. Of setting our hearts on
1. 5. The decree against Vashti. 750. The duty of wives to hus-
2. 1. Esther is made queen. 751. God's undeserved care for sin-
Mordecai discovereth treason.
for our sovereigns.
and grants our prayers.
tred in the heart.
versary turned to our honour.
756. The right directions of our
sympathy, and its uses.
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA, l. 1-18.
The Lord exhorleth Joshua; and he exhorteth the people. 1 Now after the death of Moses thou shalt meditate therein day the servant of the Lord it came and night, that thou mayest obto pass, that the LORD spake unto serve to do according to all that Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' is written therein: for then thou minister, saying,
shalt make thy way prosperous, 2 Moses my servant is dead; and then thou shalt have good now therefore arise, go over this success. Jordan, thou, and all this peo- 9 Have not I commanded thee? ple, unto the land which I do Bestrong and of a good courage; give to them, even to the children be not afraid, neither be thou of Israel.
dismayed: for the LORD thy 3 Every place that the sole of God is with thee whithersoever your foot shall tread upon, that thou goest. have I given unto you, as I said
10 Then Joshua commanded unto Moses.
the officers of the people, saying, 4 From the wilderness and this 11 Pass through the host, and Lebanon even unto the great ri- command the people, saying, ver, the river Euphrates, all the Prepare you victuals; for within land of the Hittites, and unto the three days ye shall pass over this great sea toward the going down Jordan, to go in to possess the of the sun, shall be your coast. land, which the LORD
5 There shall not any man be giveth you to possess it. able to stand before thee all the 12 And to the Reubenites, and days of thy life: as I was with to the Gadites, and to half the Moses, so I will be with thee: I tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. saying,
6 Be strong and of a good 13 Remember the word which courage: for unto this people Moses the servant of the Lord shalt thou divide for an inherit- commanded you, saying, The ance the land, which I sware un- Lord your God hath given you to their fathers to give them. rest, and hath given you this land.
7 Only be thou strong and 14 Your wives, your little ones, very courageous, that thou may- and your cattle, shall remain in est observe to do according to all the land which Moses gave you the law, which Moses my servant on this side Jordan; but ye shall commanded thee: turn not from pass before your brethren armed, it to the right hand or to the left, all the mighty men of valour, that thou mayest prosper whi- and help them; thersoever thou goest.
15 Until the Lord have given 8 This book of the law shall your brethren rest, as he hath not depart out of thy mouth; but given you, and they also have pos
PART 111.--0. T.
sessed the land which the LORD 17 According as we hearkened your God giveth them: then ye unto Moses in all things, so will shall return unto the land of your we hearken unto thee: only the possession, and enjoy it, which LORD thy God be with thee, as Moses the Lord's servant gave he was with Moses. you on this side Jordan toward 18 Whosoever he be that doth the sun-rising
rebel against thy commandment, 16 And they answered Joshua, and will not hearken unto thy saying, All that thou command- words in all that thou commandest us we will do, and whitherso- est him, he shall be put to death : ever thou sendest us we will only be strong and of a good cougo.
LECTURE 366. Of our title, help, and way, to the attainment of heaven. The title of the Israelites to the land of Canaan is expressly set forth in the beginning of this book, which relates chiefly to their settlement therein. And that title is no other than the gift of God. “Go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.” And again, “ Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.” God gives, in fulfilment of his promise. God gives in the free exercise of his right. “The earth is the Lord's, and all that therein is : the compass of the world, and they that dwell therein.” Ps. 24. 1.
So is it also in the case of our heavenly inheritance. We can plead no other title than the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord. And indeed what other plea could be so strong? What other claim could be so sure to be right? In many things our Maker has vouchsafed to justify his dealings to his creatures. In many respects the grounds of his proceedings are yet far above out of our sight. But whether it be in the allotment of Canaan, or of heaven, whether it be in giving to the wayward Israelites a land flowing with milk and honey, or whether it be in assigning the joys of eternity to Christians so unworthy as the best of Christians are, still we know of a certainty, from what we know of God's proceedings, and from what we know of God Himself, that whatsoever He orders, in earth, or in heaven, must be holy, and just, and good.
The gift of God was Joshua's warrant for taking possession of the land of Canaan. The help of God was to be the means of his success. But at the same time he was exhorted to be strong, and of a good courage, and very diligent in obeying all the law of the Lord. “ Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage, be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.'
Thus are we also encouraged, in our Christian course, by the covenanted assurance of help from heaven. Whilst at the same time we are charged, that we must nevertheless ourselves be stedfast, and obedient, faithful, and devout. The fact that God “worketh in us both to will and to do, of his good pleasure,” is the very reason urged by St. Paul, for us to work out our own “ salvation with fear and trembling.” Phil. 2. 12. So little do they know what God's good pleasure is, who think that He is pleased to give us grace by way of dispensing with our own exertions ! So fearfully do they dishonour God's everlasting Gospel, who suppose, that by reason of the riches of his mercy in Christ they may safely continue in sin !
Joshua, in obedience to the command of God, bids the people be prepared for entering into Canaan; and especially reminds the Reubenites, and Gadites, and half tribe of Manasseh, of the conditions on which Moses had allowed them to settle in the country east of Jordan. See Num. 20. 29. In their reply they profess their willingness to obey his orders, and they declare that disobedience shall be punished with death; at the same time repeating the words of exhortation with which Joshua had been exhorted by God, and which he had probably reported to them: “ only be strong and of a good courage.” Firmness
, and boldness; these are graces of the atmost importance in attaining to eternal life. These are graces entirely consistent with an humble distrust of our own strength, and a reverential fear of God. Whilst we can scarcely think too meanly of our own unassisted powers, we must have entire confidence in the strength of the Holy Ghost; we must work under the full conviction that we are strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. Whilst we shrink with lively terror from the least risk of sin, and Ay with salutary caution from the most remote approaches of temptation, we must have a good courage when we are tempted, we must resist the tempter without misgiving or doubt that we shall through Christ obtain the victory. As God was with Joshua, so will He be with us. He will not fail us, nor forsake us. Only let us be “strong and of a good courage.”
O God, who hast commanded us in thy word to serve Thee with full purpose of heart, grant that the book of thy law, the volume of thy revealed will, may be ever in our thoughts, and in our hearts; that we may “meditate therein day and night,” and that we may “observe to do according to all that is written therein." For then shall we make our way prosperous ;” and then shall we have “good success.”