James Comper Gray.

The Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 2) online

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rain in Egypt.
Crops depend on
iDundatiunof the
Nile, and arti-
ficial irrigation."
— I/erod. ii. 4;
J>iO(l. i. 41 ; /'liiii/,
Panegyr. c. 30.

6 Kay's Journal.

promises to
the obedient

a Joel ii. L'3;
Zec.x. 1 ; Ja. V.7.
b Ge. viLU; Am.


and as addressing' the general congreg'., this more immediately
concerned Mos. substance, etc., lit. "every living- thing at their
feet," not their goods, but their followers, Nu. xvi. 32.

An appeal to experience. — I. A method of appeal that is safe
only for him who speaks the truth. II. A difficult argument to
answer for those whose experience bears witness to the truth of
the appeal. III. Herein lies, in part, the force of the appeal of
the Gospel. It is thus commended to the human heart and con-

The testimoni/ of experience. — From curiosity, a lawyer entered
a meeting for the relation of Christian experience, and took notes.
But so impressed was he that at the close he arose and said : " My
friends, I hold in my hands the testimony of no less than sixty
persons, who have spoken here this morning, who all testify with
one consent that there is a Divine reality in religion, they having
experienced its power in their own hearts. Many of these
persons I know. Their word would be received in any court of
justice. Lie they would not, I know ; and mistaken they cannot
all be. I have hitherto been sceptical in relation to these matters.
I now tell you that I am fully convinced of the truth, and that I
intend to lead a new life. Will you pray for me ? " ''

8 — 12. (10) wateredst . . foot, referring to mechanical ar-
rangements for irrigation of country fr. Nile." (11) hills, etc.,
Canaan is a high table-land, cut through by the valley of Jordan.
Hilly countries are usually rainy. Highest rainfall in Eng. is
in mountain region of Cumberland. (12) Contrast with flow of
Nile, coming at fixed times, and continuing but 100 days.

Obedience to law gives strength (r. 8). — The text plainly urges
obedience in order to strength. Let us examine this. I. The
obedient are strong in the presence and blessing of Him who
dwells with the obedient. II. The obedient are strong in moral
integrity to reprove sin by example and precept. III. The
obedient are strong in their conviction of the goodness and
wisdom of God. IV. The obedient are strong in the Lord, whose
joy is their strength, for all holy work and welfare. Learn: — The
converse of this is true. Sin is a transgression of law. The
sinful are morally infirm.

Watering with the foot. — The expressions of Moses relative to
the husbandman's practice in Egypt are frequently and forcibly
illustrated by the custom common in our African gardens and
cornfields. Various kinds of beans, peas, melons, potatoes, cabbages,
and other vegetables, are planted in rows or drills ; so that, in
the event of the season proving dry, the husbandman who has a
stream at his command conducts it from drill to drill, stopping
its coarse by turning the earth against it with his foot, and at
the same time opening, with his spade or hoe. a new trench to
receive it. This mode of watering, by conveying a little stream
to the roots of the plants, is very generally practised, and, as it
has been very justly observed, affords one proof among many, in
which the unchanging character of Eastern customs increases
our respect for the accuracy of the sacred Scriptures.*

13—17. (U) his, = its ; old form of Eng., comp. 1 Cor. xv. 38.
first . . latter, « autumn rain, in Sept. or Oct., came for the
sowing : spring rain, in Mar. or Ap., prepared ground for harvest,
(17) shut up, rain is connected with opening of heavens.*

Cap, xi. 18-21.]



A caution against deception. — We notice here— I. An evil anti- 1 ^.c. 1451.
cipation ; that of having the heart deceived. The probability of | „ ^^ ^^^^ ^^^
such deception may be inferred from the deceitf ulneg3 of — 1 . | -n-alk in a mist
Human knowledg-e ; 2. The heart ; 3. Sin ; 4. The world ; 5. The I cannot see well,
devil. II. A caution urged against it: "Take heed to Jour- j ^^^^^ ^J^^concem-
selves" by— 1. Being sensible of your extreme danger : 2. Seeking I and dissimnla-
for the illuminating influences of the Holy Ghost ; 3. The constant | tion s of the
practice of self-examination ; 4. Watching over yourselves. | world, ^the pro-

Slaves ta self. — Alexander could conquer the legions of Persia, j \^^ bifncT them
but he could not conquer his passions, Caesar triumphed in a 'that come to it,
hundred battles, but he fell a victim to the desire of being a jthatthe\maynot
king. Bonaparte vanquished nearly the whole of Europe, but he i estlte*;'^eTen a^S
could not vanquish his own ambition. And in humbler life, 1 raven first of all
nearer home, in our owti every-day affairs, most of us are drawn | Btriketh out the
aside from the path of duty and discretion, because we do not i Po^'^ sheep's eyes
resist some temptation or overcome some prejudice.'' — Self-con-
fidence. — When men, beyond reason, and without regard unto
God's providence, do rely upon themselves and their own abilities,
imagining that, without God's direction and help, by the con-
trivances of their own wit and discretion, by the prevalency of
their own strength and courage, by their industrious care, resolu-
tion and activity, they can compass any design, they can attain
any good, they can arrive at the utmost of their desires, and
become suflSciently happy — then do they manifest self-confidence.'^
— Self-deception. — Many destroy themselves by false lights, who
being wedded to their own opinions, and adoring the chimeras
of their spirit, think themselves full of knowledge, just, and
happy ; that the sun riseth only for them, and that all the rest of
the world is in darkness ; they conceive that they have the fairest
Btars for conductors ; but at the end of their career they find (too
late) that this pretended life was but an ignis fatuus, which led
them to a precipice of eternal flames.*

18—21. (18) sign, etc.. De. vi, 8, Ex, xiii, 16, (21) days . .
earth, Mos. intimates that the cov. made with them was a
perpetual one, conditional, however, on their obedience.'*

Parents the Divinely-appointed teachers of their families.— Con-
sider — I. The light in which we ought to view the family relation.
Note that God contemplates the family as a school, in which the
young immortal minds are to be trained. II. The teachers in
families, and their qualifications : the teachers are to be the
parents, and they must teach the words of God, III. The manner

of the teaching which God has enjoined. IV, The happiness

which will result from faithful teaching.* — The days of /imwwj covers theearth."

vpon earth. — I. When may our days be said to be " as the days of —Spk. Comm. Ps.

heaven upon the earth" ? When— I. We enjoy much of a sense

of the Divine presence, and live in the contemplation of the

glorious perfections of God ; 2. Tlie love of God is shed abroad

in our hearts by the Holy Spirit ; 3. We enjoy a spirit of gratitude

and praise ; 4. We possess brotherly love and enjoy the happiness

that it may not
see the way to
escape." — Ca*»-

c Goodrich.
The question Is
not, how far you
have wandered
in the wrong
path ; but, are
you now willing
to return into the
right one?
d Dr. Barrow,
" No man can
improve in any
company for
which he has not
respect e .ciugh
to be under soma
degree of re-
st aint." — Lord
e N. Caussin.

the word of
God to be

a " The sense is,
keep the cov.
faithfully, and so
your own, and
your children's
days be multi-
plied as long as
the heaven

lixxix. 29.
b M. T. Adam,
vv. 18 — 21. C.
Simeon, M.A.^
Works, ii. 332.
V. 19. T. Arnold,

of fellowship with the saints ; 5, We obtain great victories over|'^'^- "^^'^^ ^^^y.
sin, and have an intense love of purity ; (S. We cheerfully obey i ton. The Pastor's
God's commands ; 7. We frequently meditate on the heavenly | pariinc/ Wish.
state. II. What course should we take in order that our days j Viscount Car-
may be as such? We must-1. Be partakers of vital faith in gJ'^J LT^^^t^^^^JJ
Christ, and be renewed in the spirit of our minds ; 2. Make the of Ireland ia
glory of God our highest aim ; 3. Wean our hearts fro /a earthly 1724, could, ro«




B.C. 1461.

peat, fr. memory,
the whole of the
New Tesrament,
from ihe lirst
chapter of Mat-
thew to the end
of Reve'ation. It
was a-t<iiiishing
tohear hiiuquoie
Tery long pas-
Bages from it,
with as much ac-
curacy as if he
w^re reading a

c Dr. Ryland.

success and

a Lu. vii. 13, 14,

Eeerret not a
golden age that
JB behind. There
is one before, and
it beckons you.
Its rewards are
not fur the idle,
but for the brave
liparts disci-
piiaed to toil

• Tne cause of all
the evils in the
world m<»y be
traced to that
natuial but most
deadly error of
buman indolence
that our business
ia to preserve,
and not to im-
prove. It is thfl
ruin of us all
alike — i n d i ■
viduals, schools,
and nations." —
Dr. A i-nold.

b Ld. Bacon.

blessing- and
cursino- are
B'^'t before

a Jos. \IIi, 30—35.

"Cfer. prob. se-
lected as hill of
bf-nedicrion. bee.
tb(< suuthern-
lUMt Of the two

things ; 4. Watch against grieving the Holy Spirit ; 5. Be per-
petually employed for God, and resign our wills to His."^

Nrfjlrrffiil jyarcnfs.— Dnrmg the first year of my ministry, a
mechanic, whom I had visited, and urged to the great duty of
j family prayer, entered my study, and burst iuto tears. *' You
I remember that girl, sir ? " said he. " She was my only child.
She died suddenly this morning. I hope she has gone to God ;
1 but, if so, she can tell Him, what now breaks my heart, that sha
I never heard a pinyer from her father's lips. Oh that she were
I with me but for one day again I"'' — Come with me and see poor
j Clara ; hear her shriek, '' Father, mother, why didn't you tell me? "
i'-Tell you what, daughter?" asked the agonised father. "Tell
me there was a hell ! " " There is none, Clara ; none for you.
God is merciful : there is no hell ! " " There is, there is ! I feel
it ; I know it ; my feet are stepping into it. I am lost, lost,
and you never told me 1 " So died a beautiful girl of eighteen

22 — 25. (24) every place, etc., within the prescribed limits
of Canaan, wilderness, the Arahah, on the S., Jos. xviii, 19.
Lebanon, mountain range on the N. Euphrates, great river,
their boundary on E., Ge. xv. 18 ; Jos. i. 3. 4. uttermost sea,
the 2Iediterranean, on the W. Full possession gained in time of
^ Sol. (25) fear of you," illus. in time of Joshua, and real reason
i of Israel's success.

} The conditions of 7}ational prosperity. — I. The course of national
j life supposed — 1. Diligent obedience ; 2. Ajffiectionate obedience ;
I 3. Persevering obedience. II. The Divine blessing secured— 1.
j Conquest of enemies ; 2. Security of possession ; 3. Enlargement
jof territory.

Prosjurity and adversity. — The virtue of prosperity is tempe-
I ranee ; the virtue of adversity is fortitude. Prosperity is the
I blessing of the Old Testament ; adversity is the blessing of the
i New, which carrieth the greater benediction and the clearer reve-
j lation of God's favour. Yet even in the Old Testament, if you
listen to David's harp, you shall hear as many hearse-like airs as
j carols ; and the pencil of the Holy Ghost hath laboured more in
1 describing the afflictions of Job than the felicities of Solomon.
j Prosperity is not without many fears and distastes ; and adversity
I is not without comforts and hopes. We see in needleworks and
I embroideries it is more pleasing to have a lively work upon a sad
j and solemn ground than to have a dark and melancholy work
j upon a lightsome ground ; judge, therefore, of the pleasure of
the heart by the pleasure of the eye. Certainly virtue is like
precious odours, most fragant when they are incensed or crushed ;
for prosperity doth best discover vice, but adversity doth best
discover virtue.*

26—32. (20) Gerizim, fr. root, qaraz. to shear or cut off, a
shorn or desert land. A mountain close to Shechem. and opposite
Ehal." CM)) way . . down, or hryond the road of the nrst ; the
other side of the main track fr. Syria and Damascus to Jerus. and
Eg., through Palestine, wh. skirts both E})al and Gerizim. Mos.
disting. fr. track thro" district E. of Jordan. Gilg-al. not as Jos.
iv. I'J, 20. but prob. Jiljilich. four m. fr. Bethel and Shiloh. and
poss. place visited by Elii. and Elish.t' Moreh, .svr Ge. xii. 6,

A home beyond the tide. — 1. Our future possessions — 1. A gra-

Cap. xii. 1-4.]



tuity ; 2. A heritag-e ; 3. A rest from toil ; 4. A land of plenty ;
5. A land of promise. II. The mode of obtaining them. 1. Jor-
dan must be crossed : inevitable ; 2. Jordan will be divided :
triumph/ — The Imid of rest. — If we wish to attain to that land,
of which the earthly Canaan was a type, we must — I. Strive
against and overcome all difficulties : '" pass over Jordan." II.
Believe in the "Word of God, and trust in the Leader appointed by
Him, Take heed to all the commands which He has given us.''

The hcauty of heaven. —A heathen girl who had been instructed
by the missionaries was once looking out on the starlit night,
when she exclaimed, almost in ecstasy, '• How beautiful will
heaven look when we get there if the outside is so fair ! " When
Sir William Herschel examined the nearest fixed star, Sirius, with
his great telescope, the whole heavens about it were lit up with
the splendour of our sky at sunrise. And, when the star fairly
entered the field of view, the brightness was so overpowering, the
astronomer was forced to protect his eye by a coloured glass. It
was calculated that this star equalled fourteen suns like ours ; and
recent discoveries have proved that even this is underrated. If
God has given such splendour to a created object, what must be
the glory of that uncreated Presence before which angels veil
their faces ! " Now we see through a glass darkly, but then face
to face." What must it be to be for ever shut out from that
abode of bliss, and consigned to blackness of darkness for ever I «


t. (1) in tlie land, Mos. now gives injunctions concern-
ing relig. duties suitable to the settled life in Canaan. (.3)
altars, prob. only piles of turf, or small stones, pillars, rude
blocks of coloured stones, groves, lit, idols of wood. No men-
tion is made of temples, prob. none at that early period. (4)
not do so, not, as the idol- worshippers, wilfully order your own
worship. a

lielifjions intoleranee. — I. WTiat it was not. It was not the
persecution or oppression of those who worshipped the true God
according to the light of natural conscience, and in various forms
and modes of religious service. II. What it was. The persistent
putting down of idolatry — 1. As a sin against God ; 2. As issuing
in inj ury to man.

Aneient state of England. — Dr. Plaifere, in a sermon preached
before the university of Cambridge, about the year 1573, says,
" Before the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, no church here
existed, but the temple of an idol ; no priesthood but that of
paganism ; no Gcd, but the sun, the moon, or some hideous
image. In Scotland stood the temple of Mars ; in Cornwall, the
temple of Mercury ; at Bangor, the temple of Minerva ; at
Maiden, the temple of Victoria ; at Bath, the temple of Apollo ;
at Leicester, the temple of Janus ; at York, where St. Peter's now
stands, the temple of I'ellona ; in London, on the site of St. Paul's
cathedral, the temple of Diana ; at Westminster, where the abbey
rears its venerable pile, a temple of Apollo." "\Mio can read such
a statement of facts, well authenticated as thoy are, and consider
what England now is, without acknowled^i^;^- the vast obliga-

B.C. 1451.

hills, the south
beiug the region,
according to Heb.
ideas, of light,
and so of life and
blessing." — Syk.

b 2 K. ii. 1, 2, iv.

38; comp. Ne.xii,

dock. Serm. ii. 179;
C. Swieon, Works,
ii. 335; J.S.Boone,
Serm. 155.

c W. W. Wythe.

d J. L, Davit.

valuable note in
Wordsworth, in
refutation of Co^

e S. S. Timei,

idolatry to
be utterly

r. 1. J. Plvmptrt,
Pop. Com. i. 317.

a2K.xvi,4, xxiii.
13—15; Je. iii. 6.

"The fruits of the
earth do not more
obviously require
labour and culti-
va ion to prepare
them for our u^e
and subsistence,
than our faculties
demand instruc-
tion and regu-
lation, in order to
qualify us to be-
come uprightand
valuable mem-
bers of society,
useful to others,
or happy in our.
s , Ives."— .fiarrow.



[Cap. xii. 5-flt

B.O. 1451.

the place
for sacred

a I K. Tiii. 29; 2
Ch. vii. 13; Pa. J
cxxxiL 13—16. j

6 On signif. of '
DiT. naiiio, see '
F. W. Robertson,
Serm. i. p. 36. i

e Ltt. xvii. 1—7.

dDe. IT. 19— 23;'

Le. Tiii. 31. j

Fig. and Types, I
324. I

V. 8. R. Southgatt, \
Serm. L 172.

vv. 8, 9. Dr. O.

ChanUer, Jewish
Dispens. 73; also
his Plain Serm. ii.

r. 9. H. Blunt,
Serm. 63.

« /. Girpin.

/R. Sankey, if. A.

" When xwe also
remember what
the policy and
practice of all the
kings of Israel
was. viz., to draw
off iheir su^'jects
from the place
where God set 1
His name, and to j
deter them from
going to Judah
and Jerusalem, j
by means of the '
calves of Bethel ,
and of Dan : ... it ,
is not possible |
that Deut., re- 1
quiring every Is- j
raelite to bring
his sacriace to
the place which
the Lord should
choose to set His
name there,
Bhould ever have
been accepted as '
genuine and in- I
Bpi rod if its
genuineness and
inspiration had
not been incon- j

tions under which we are laid to Divine revelation ? What but the
Bible has produced this mighty moral renovation ?

5 — 9. (5) the place, the name is never mentioned by Mos, ;
different places chosen at diff. times ; e.f/. Mizpeh, Shiloh, Jerus."
put his name there,* manifest His Div. presence ; prob. refer,
to Shekinah. Purpose of this setting apart one place was to
secure iniift/, and so preserve pur it f/ of worship." (7) shall eat,
sacrificial feasts accomp. certain offerings, vv. 17, 18.^ (8) as
we do, etc.. the Mos. system, in its completeness, only suited a
settled people ; it could not be fully carried out in desert wan-

Sacred joy. — The matter of this holyioy(». 7) is supplied by — I.
The visible creation. II. The Divine mercies : past, present, and
future. III. Everything which we do — every undertaking in
which we engage, every study which we pursue, and every action
which we perform. IV. Even the trials we are appointed to
undergo.* The imjyerfectioii of the believer's 'earthly blessedness,
I. The terps in which the end of the Israelites' journey la
spoken of. It is called — 1 , A rest ; 2. An inheritance ; 3. A
gift ; denoting the great blessedness, the certainty, and the
freeness attending its offering. II. The proofs that the Chris-
tian has, that he is not yet come to the rest which is reserved
for him. 1. The imperfection and vanity of everything con-
nected with this life : its sorrows, disappointments, and pain ; 2.
The continual attacks to which he is exposed from his enemies ;
3. His very spiritual blessings : they are all adapted — and should
not be undervalued because they are thus adapted — for a state of
imperfection. III. The lessons we may learn from these con-
siderations. Lessons of — 1, Warning : not to fix our habitation
here, much less to look back upon the world we have left ; 2.
Duty : we must always be on the watch, for enemies are nigh ;
we must always look forward to the prize ; 3. Encouragement :
though " ye are not as yet come," yet the day is at hand when you
certainly shall come./

King Alfred and Boethius.— The Rev. J. Bosworth, in his
Saxon Grammar, amongst other extracts from the oldest
Saxon preachers and \\Titers, gives the following conversation
between Boethius and King Alfred :— " I am sometimes very
much disturbed," quoth he. "At what?" I answered. " It is. at
this which thou sayest, that God gives to every one freedom to
do evil as well as good, whichsoever he will ; and thou sayest
also, that God knoweth everything before it happens." " Then,"
quoth he, "I may very easily answer this remark. How would
it look to you, if there were any very powerful king, and he
had no freemen in all his kingdom, but that all were slaves ?"
Then, said I, " It would not seem to me right, nor reasonable, if
servile men only should attend upon him." " Then," quoth he,
" what would be more unnatural than if God in all His kingdom,
had no free creatures under His power ? He gave them the great
gift of freedom. Hence they could do evil as well as good, which-
soever they would. He gave this very fixed gift, and a very
fixed law with that gift, to every man unto this end : — the
freedom is, that man may do what he will ; and the law is, that
He will render to every man according to his works, either in
this world or the future one, — good or evil, whichsoever ha

Cap. xii. 10-16.]



10—12. (11) choice vows, Heb. choice of your vows, prob.
meaning-, voluntary vows. (12) daughters, males only were
commanded to attend the feasts, females might, however, accom-
pany them." no part, etc., De. x. 9.*

T?ie institution of religion. — I. As a recognition of the Divine
protection of the people (r. 10). II. As an acknowledgment of
the Divine proprietor of the land (v. 11). III. As a centre and
source of national rejoicing. Learn — 1. The duty of national
gratitude ; 2. The obligations of human stewardship ; 3. The
privileges of the religious life.

Places of worship. — It is a wise, a salutary, and a laudable pro-
vision of the Church's discipline, that she sets apart, and conse-
crates, by solemn religious rites to God's glory, the places which
she intends for His worship ; and by outward signs of decency
and reverence of majesty and holiness, impresses them with an
appropriate character, which, whilst it redounds to the honour
of God, operates also with no mean or trivial influence on the
minds of His people. Connected with this character, and in some
degree generated by it, together with an awful veneration for
the great Proprietor, a certain secret sense of a serene and holy
pleasure is diffused over the pious and meditative mind, as soon
as the feet cross the threshold which separates the house of God
from common places. We feel with delight that we are on " holy
ground ;" and a still small voice within, as we draw near to
" worship God in the beauty of holiness," answers in the words
of the Apostle at the sight of the " excellent glory," " It is good
for us to be here.""

13 — 16. (15) kill . . gates, while in wilderness every animal
intended for food was slain as a peace-offering at door of tabern.,
its blood was sprinkled, and fat burnt on altar by priests. Mos.
now provides for slaughtering at the houses, lusteth after,
not used in bad sense, according to, etc., in proportion to
means and condition ; this the true principle for ordering life.
unclean . . eat, bee. it is no longer consec. as sacrifice, roe-
buck and hart, animals allowed for food, not for sacrifice, wh.
must be taken fr. domestic creatures belonging to man.

The holy place. — Was to be a place chosen of God — I. As asser-
tive of the Divine right to any and every place. II. As preventive
of tribal jealousy and rivalry. III. As corrective of human
preferences and pride. Learn that under the Gospel — 1. Man
may in any and every place acceptably worship God, Jo. iv. 21 ;
2. Every place, where God's sincere and spiritual worship is
celebrated, is hallowed ground.

Place of the worship of God. — It was formerly, and for hundreds
of years, only in one place where God would be worshipped
(De. xii. 5, v. 13. 14 ; Ex. xxv. 21, 22). Salvation was then
confined to the Jews, and where the ark of the covenant and the
high priest, and the altar, and all the symbols of salvation were
• — there, and there only, would God be worshipped. Thither ' ' the
tribes of the Lord went up," and .when banished from that place,
tliey worshipped " towai-ds it." So Solomon prayed at the dedi-

Online LibraryJames Comper GrayThe Biblical museum : a collection of notes, explanatory, homiletic, and illustrative, on the Holy Scriptures, especially designed for the use of ministers, Bible students, and Sunday school teachers (Volume 2) → online text (page 51 of 66)