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are tidings that come home with power to those who mourn-mourn as we too often must have cause to do at the loss of dear relations and friends." It is but little man can do to comfort his brother under such troubles, we may express our sympathy, we may condole with our brother, and condole in sincerity because we have known ourselves what he suffers, but for true comfort we must turn to God's word. “I would not have you ignorant concerning these that are asleep, that we sorrow not as others which have no hope, for if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also that sleep in Jesus, will God bring with Him."

These are the tidings of Easterhold them fast, and lean for support upon them : learn from them where to look in all times of your tribulation, and in all times of your health," even to that mighty Lord Jesus who has on this day cast off the veil that was spread over all nations, and that swallowed up death in victory

Look to Him, trust in Him, follow Him, keep close to Him, let your songs be of Him, and praise Him. He has gone before us through the grave, and gate of death, He speaks to us to-day from the other side of the flood : “ I am He that liveth, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of hell and of death.

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Second Sunday after Easter.

NUMBERS XX. 16, II. Hear now ye rebels, must we fetch you water out of the rock? and Moses lifted up his hand and smote the rock twice."

And PSALM CVI. 32, 33.

"They angered Him also at the waters of strife s so that He punished Moses for their sakes : because they provoked his spirit: so that te spake unadvisedly with his lips."

We have read to-day the incident here referred to-what Moses did which brought God's punishment upon him. His unadvised hasty speech, as described. The children of Israel had now been thirty-eight years in the wilderness: they had had repeated proofs that God was their guide: again and again too had their life been sustained by miracles; but

no sooner did any fresh trouble arise, than they murmured afresh, "and forgat God their Saviour." On the occasion before us, the complaint was a want of water, “And they chode with Moses and Aaron saying: Why have ye brought us up into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there ? ” They turned back in heart to Egypt“ wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us into this evil place ? It is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates, neither is there any water to drink.”

And note how Moses met it. Heand Aaron, "went from the assembly, unto the door of the Tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell on their faces," that is they approached God in prayer; and their prayer was answered: “The glory of the Lord appeared unto them, and the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Take the rod”-the rod which had proved so potent; the rod wherewith he had smitten the river-"Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock : so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink." This was all he was to do-to speak to the rock before the people, and the rock should give forth its water.

Well, Moses took the rod, and he gathered the


people together, and he then addressed them. “Hear now ye rebels! Must we fetch you water out of this rock ? and Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice; and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank and their beasts also,” — the people's thirst was slaked ; their lives were saved; but in the manner of their deliverance, Moses was at fault. “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, because ye believed Me not, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them." Then adds Moses in his history: “This is the water; (the water of strife,) because the children of Israel strove with the Lord, and He was sanctified in them."

It is a memorable incident in the Jews' history, and it is rich in warning to us at this day. What, you will ask had Moses done, that he should be so sorely punished ? He had failed in his duty towards God: and that in three particulars. First, he had failed in strict obedience; God had bid him "speak to the rock," and he had smitten it, smitten it twice. Secondly, he had shown temper, used hard language, Hear now ye rebels."

Thirdly, he had taken to himself the credit of supplying the Israelites with water. “ Must we fetch water for you out of the rock ? "

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Much indeed may be said in excuse. He was a man sorely tried, by that fickle and complaining people. For years he had borne their murmurings, and been witness of their faithless behaviour. He was not a man given to hard words; of a hot, ang hasty temper. “ The man Moses was very meek,” we are told,—"above all the men which were upon the face of the earth,”—and yet for this one sin against meekness, God's hand was laid heavily upon him : for that short spark of an irritable temper, Moses was shut out from Canaan : He saw it with his eyes afar, but he was not allowed to set foot on it. “Ye shall not bring this congregation, into the land which I have given them.” Moses submitted himself to God's will, but he felt acutely the severity of the sentence. Twice, yea thrice, he besought the Lord to reverse the sentence, to take off the penalty. I pray Thee let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan ; that goodly mountain, and Lebanon." But when God made clear to his servant that this might not be—“Let it suffice thee, speak no more to Me of this matter," Moses with true meekness acquiesced in the divine will. But not the less did he feel the privation, not the less did he allow that he felt it. “I must not go over. I must die in this land : the Lord thy God, He will go over before thee

and Joshua he shall go over as the Lord hath said."


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