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called the daughter of Levi, according to the peculiar language of Scripture, was most probably his grand-daughter, or perhaps his great grand-daughter.—“ And the woman bare a son.' -We may conclude that this was immediately after the edict of Pharaoh; as she had three years previously borne his brother Aaron, who appears to have been in no danger; and seven years before his sister Miriam.“ And when she saw that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months.” But when he could no longer be concealed, or guarded at home, from the cruelty of Pharaoh, she resolved that her child should fall into the hand of God, rather than of man. She committed the infant in sorrow, but in faith' and hope, to the river. “ She took for him an ark of bulrushes, and put the child therein, and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink.”— Still, though cast out, he was not entirely abandoned; “ his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done unto him."
1 Heb. xi. 23.
But a mightier hand than that of maternal love guarded the infant prophet. A kinder eye watched over him than that of sisterly affection. The Lord of heaven and earth, the controller not only of the elements, but even of the unruly wills and inclinations of men, had marked him as his own; and no earthly power could frustrate the determination of the Omnipotent. The daughter of Pharaoh-the child of him who sought his life, was led to the spot, to prevent her parent's cruelty. She saw the child, and had compassion on him, and said, “ This is one of the Hebrews' children."— The desire of preserving this child arose in her mind, and the sister of Moses was at hand to suggest the means.“ Then said his sister unto Pharaoh's daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? and she said, Go. And the maid went and called the child's mother. And she said unto her, Take this child away, and nurse it for me, and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child
and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son."
Such is the brief and simple narrative which we have received concerning the birth of the great Lawgiver, prophet, and leader of Israel ; the inspired historian of the creation, the type of the Messiah, the deliverer of the chosen people of God.
It is not without an object that I have been thus diffuse, in laying before you a subject, with the outlines of which even the youngest, or most ignorant, must be in some degree acquainted. It presents several most important and interesting materials for our reflection; some of which I shall now proceed to consider. And, first : It is a mistake to suppose, that the great designs of the Almighty have at any time been dependent upon a continual exertion of supernatural energy; that the frequent occurrence of those astounding exhibitions of inconceivable might has ever been indispensably necessary for their fulfilment. In reality, if we look through the sacred history, we shall find
that the mightiest purposes of his wisdom, the most stupendous plans of his power, have in a great measure been accomplished by ordinary means—by means in nowise to be distinguished from the natural course of things. In almost every instance he employs human agency to effect his resolves, makes mankind his ministers of justice or of mercy, of vengeance or of grace; and uses these his instruments as rational and accountable beings, and not as mere machines, impelled by the strong spring of irresistible necessity. In few cases, therefore, can it be shown that miracle has been indispensable for the accomplishment of his object. When employed, it has been more as an accessary than as the chief agent, and appears to have been introduced rather for the sake of man himself, in consideration of his natural weakness, to help his infirmity, and to strengthen his faith'. It seems as if,
This is further shown by the cessation of miracles since the promulgation of the Christian dispensation. We do not now need miracles as aids to our faith, and therefore they are not wrought. Yet the
to God himself, these extraordinary exertions of power were unnecessary; that the same hand which formed, the same mind which planned, the same spirit which organized the system of nature, had foreseen and provided for all the various contingencies which might happen; so that every exigence is met, as it occurs, by the mere natural impulses implanted in each individual, and that events require nothing more to controul and direct their course, than the silent invisible influence which pervades all things, and in a particular manner the mind and the soul of man himself.
Still more clearly does it appear that his ordinary providential government is not carried on by isolated acts of power, by stupendous exertions of miraculous energy, controlling the elements of the material and moral world, and opening the treasure house of his omnipotence.
prophecies of Scripture declare, that some of the grandest purposes of the Almighty have still to receive their accomplishment.