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ark of the covenant in the passage over Jordan, goes with them for their guidance and protection. His providence incessantly watches over them. His Spirit is ever ready to instruct, to comfort, and to encourage them. Another Joshua -a Saviour who is Christ the Lord—infinitely superior to him who led the Israelites into Ca. naan-is their Leader to the heavenly inheritance, having purchased it with his own blood.
Who would not put himself under the care of infinite Wisdom and Love? Who would not trust in Jesus who died to redeem us from sin and hell, and be brought by him, at last, to the mansions of eternal rest ?
Does the Divine presence, my young friend, go with you, to guide and bless you? Is Jesus your Saviour ? Is he leading you, in the paths of duty and peace, to the heavenly Canaan ? Questions, these, of deep and affecting import. Answer them faithfully. Your eternal interests are suspended on the reply!
The passage of the Jordan. Stones set up as a memorial,
at Gilgal and in the Jordan.
All things were ready for passing the Jordan; and, the following day, at the command of Joshua, the priests taking up the ark of the cove nant, and bearing it on their shoulders, began to move in solemn procession towards the river. In the meanwhile, Joshua received a divine communication which assured him, that the Lord would, that day, begin to employ him in such a way, as the instrument of miraculous power, and the leader of the Israelites, as to magnify him in their sight. They should regard the authority and honor of his station, and the favor in which he was held by the Almighty, with deeper feel. ings of obedience and respect than they had ever done before, and know that Jehovah was indeed with him, as he had been with Moses.
In conformity with the divine direction, Joshua then ordered the priests who were bearing the ark, as soon as they should come to the brink of the river, to stand still in the water, and wait the result.
His next step was to gather the people around him, as many as could come within the reach of his voice, and address them in the name of Jehovah. "Come hither,” said he," and hear the words of the Lord your God. Hereby ye shall know that the living God is among you, and that he will without fail drive out from before you the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Hivites, and the Perizzites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Jebusites. Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before
into Jordan.-And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon a heap.”
The stream immediately above the ark would suddenly be arrested, and the waters there rising in an accumulating mass, turn back the flowing of the river towards its source, and thus soon leave the bed dry for a sufficient distance below, for the whole body of the Israelites to pass
Considering the depth and rapidity of the cur. rent, and that the Jordan was then overflowing its banks, and inundating a wide extent of country on each side, the miracle would be a stupendous one, and not at all inferior to that which took place at the passage of the Red Sea Joshua, as we have seen, predicted it, with the particularity of some of its minute circumstances, and thus showed the validity of his divine commission, and the high trust which was reposed in him by the Almighty.
The ark, at length, had advanced the prescribed distance, and was now followed by the moving hosts of the Israelites. The priests who bore it approached still nearer the Jordan. They hesitated not, with a firm step, and a believing heart, to march directly forward to the edge of the waters which were yet rolling along in a full and impetuous tide. An equal confidence in the power and truth of Jehovah to accomplish the prediction of Joshua, seems to have pervaded the breasts of the immense multitudes who were pressing on behind them. What a spectacle of a nation's faith! What a moment of intense inte. rest, as the feet of the priests entered the waters of the Jordan, and the prophecy was consummated in the miracle ! The waters which came down from above stood and rose up upon a heap; ...and those that came down toward the sea of the plain, even the salt sea, failed and were cut off: and the people passed over right against Jericho. And the priests that bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm on dry ground, in the midst of Jordan, and all the Israelites passed over on dry ground, until all the people were passed clean over Jordan.”
Such an event in the history of his chosen people, affording as it did to all who witnessed it, an incontestible proof of the truth of their religion, and of the divine communications which had been made to them by Moses and Joshua, God deemed worthy of a standing memorial, to perpetuate its remembrance.
Preparations had already been made for doing this. At the command of Joshua, each tribe had chosen a man, to await his orders when the passage of the Jordan should be completed. It is most probable that these twelve men had, till this time, remained behind the ark, not passing it as the others did, but keeping their position near the eastern bank of the river. They were now directed by Joshua to pass over before the ark into the midst of the bed of the Jordan, and to take from it, each one of them, a stone upon his shoulder, and carry them to the place, afterwards called Gilgal, where the first encampment was made. These stones were erected by Joshua into a conspicuous monument, probably standing on some elevation, to be a perpetual memorial among the Israe.ites of the power and majesty of Jehovah. Their peculiar appearance would lead each suc. ceeding generation to inquire into their origin, and thus they would, for ages to come, both fur