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by Robert Hawker
IN opening this fourth Book of the writings of Moses, I must again request the pious Reader to call to mind, that Moses wrote of Christ. And if the Holy Ghost shall be graciously pleased to take of the things of Christ, and show them to the Reader, no doubt he will find here, as in the former books of Moses, that he hath testified of Jesus.
The book of Numbers, hath its name from the circumstance of its containing the numbering of the children of Israel. It forms a very interesting volume on that account; in that it carries with it in its bosom, an evidence of the fulfillment of God's promise. The Lord had assured Abraham, that his seed should be as the stars of heaven for multitude, Genesis 15:5 . And here we find the accomplishment.
In respect to the period of time the book of Numbers contains, it is somewhat about thirty-nine years. The history commences in the second month of the second year, after the Israelites left Egypt; and ends in the eleventh month of the fortieth year.
There is a mixture of laws and of history in this book, of which it is composed. The Reader will very easily distinguish the one from the other. But here, as in all other instances, in searching the sacred oracles, it must be God the Holy Ghost, which can alone enable the Reader to discern spiritually, and convey his divine teaching to the mind, so as to make us wise unto salvation, through the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
I only pray, that Holy and Eternal Spirit, under whose inspiration all scripture is written, that he will be both with Writer and Reader, while going through the sacred pages, that we may discover Christ to be the sum and substance of the whole law of Moses, and the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth.
the Fifth Week after Easter