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case, more than two hundred years afterwards. Levi was “ scattered '' throughout all the land, being without any inheritance, and having only certain “cities to dwell in ;” while the Simeonites were “divided” by receiving no distinct portion, but only a district dismembered from the tribe of Judah, with some other lands which they overrun in the mountains of Seir, and in the desert of Gedor. The final accomplishment of this distribution of their inheritance among the Israelites, according to their respective tribes, was owing to the fidelity and inflexible perseverance of Joshua. While they shrunk back, in a timid and unbelieving, a slothful and procrastinating manner, from the achievement of the enterprise, which God had commanded them to prosecute, and in doing which he had promised them his almighty aid, his servant Joshua was true to his trust, and by his zealous obedience, saved his countrymen from the loss to which their own folly and guilt exposed them. Jesus saves his people from the loss of a far richer inheritance. The heavenly Canaan must be won by great self-denial and severe conflicts with hosts of spiritual enemies. The christian, too, often shrinks from this contest, and gives himself up to the ease and self-indulgence to which the world invites him. He is in danger of being satisfied with his past attainments, and is in still greater danger of forgetting that heaven is his home, and of taking up with the portion that this life alone affords him. Jesus must come to his rescue, and rouse him from his stupidity. He speaks to him by his providence, by his Word, and by his Spirit. He admonishes, he reproves, he chastens him. He delivers him from the force of temptation and the wiles of the adversary, and brings him once more to endure hardness in that warfare by which heaven is to be obtained. My young friend, without Christ thou canst do nothing.
CHA PTE R XIV.
Joshua has a portion. Cities of refuge, and those of the Levites. The two and a half tribes return, and build an altar on the other side of the Jordan. An embassy is sent to inquire why this is done.
After the division of the land among the various tribes was completed, Joshua had a particular inheritance assigned him, in accordance with the divine direction. This was undoubtedly done in fulfillment of a promise made at the same time with that which Caleb received, and to testify, as in his case, the approbation of Jehovah for the fidelity of Joshua when acting as a spy to search out the promised land, and make report concerning it. This appears from what Caleb said to Joshua, in preferring his claim for Kirjath-arba. “Thou knowest,” said he, “the things that the Lord said unto Moses, the man of God, concerning me and thee in Kadesh barnea.” The place assigned to Joshua was Timnathserah, a city in mount Ephraim, which became the place of his residence, and where he was asterwards buried. His next step was to appoint the cities of refuge; whither the manslayer who killed any one unawares might flee, and be secure against the avenger of blood. He was to stand at the entering of the gate of the city, and make known the circumstances of the case to the proper officers. They would afford him, after suitable examination, the necessary protection, if he was entitled to it, by admitting him to dwell there in safety, until the death of the high priest. Then he was to undergo another trial before a higher tribunal, and if found innocent, be permitted to return, and live unmolested, in his own city and home.
There were six such cities of refuge; three on each side of the river Jordan, and so located as to be at convenient distances for the benefit of the several tribes. At the same time, also, forty-eight cities, with suitable suburbs, were appointed for the residence of the Levites, and distributed among them by lot. They were, in this way, stationed among the different tribes in all parts of Canaan, to be the instructers of the people in the institutions and ordinances of religion; and by their example and influence to preserve the Israelites against idolatry, and keep alive among them the spirit of obedience to the only true God. Thus the various divisions of the country were completed, and the divine promises most faith. fully fulfilled. “The Lord gave unto Israel all the land which he sware to give unto their fathers; and they possessed it, and dwelt therein. And the Lord gave them rest round about, according to all that he sware unto their fathers: and there stood not a man of all their enemies before them: the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. There failed not aught of any good thing which the Lord had spoken unto the house of Israel; all came to pass.” Man often violates his engagements, or may not have the means of carrying them into effect. But what God promises he will never fail to perform. His truth and omnipotence are both pledged to do it. “Whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe.” The services of the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh, being now no longer necessary, Joshua called them together, in order to grant them permission to return to their families and possessions on the east side of the Jordan. There were forty thousand of them; and they had continued to be faithful and efficient soldiers, during the late wars which the Israelites had carried on in completing the conquest of Canaan. They were doubtless anxious to see once more their wives and children, their relatives and friends, and to settle down in their own territory, and cultivate the arts of peace. After commending their fidelity and obedience, and telling them that the Lord, according to his promise, had given rest unto their brethren, Joshua directed them to return to the land of their possession which Moses had assigned them. "Take diligent heed,” said he, “to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart, and with all your soul.” He then gave them his blessing, reminding them at the same time, of the vast amount of