GLIMPSES AD FORETASTES OF THE BETTER LAD.BY THE REV. ISLAY BURS, DUDEE.
" And the Lord spakeunto Moses, saying, Send thou men, that they may search the landOf Canaan, which 1 gave unto the children of Israel : of every tribe of their Fathers shall yesend a man, every one a ruler among them."— umbers xiii, 1, 2, tie., to the end of chapter.
The children of Israel are now on the very confines of the pro-mised land. Encamped at Kadesh-barnea, the last resting placein the desert, they are probably as near the country whither theyare travelling as they possibly can be, without being actually with-in its bounds. Probably from the summits of the neighbouring hillsthey can already descry in the distance the vine-clad hills and shadyvalleys of " the land flowing with milk and honey," and can almostfeel the fragrance of its spicy breezes wafted down into the desert.Their weary journeyings then seem well nigh done, and their hearts,wistfully following their eyes to the blue landscape before them, arealready at home in the land of rest. Yet how far are they, afterall, from the end of their pilgrimage ! How far have they yet to wander,how much to suffer, how much to learn, before they set foot on the wishedfor soil. Even from the confines of Canaan must they turn back to thedesert, and not till nine and thirty summers and winters have passedover them, shall they step down at last into the dry bed of Jordan, andenter in and possess the land !So is it, brethren, with the people of God in their eventful journeythrough grace to glory. At first — in the early days of fresh experienceand warm first love — the believer shoots up like the palm tree, and in alittle time seems almost ripe for glory. His joyful steps, " like hinds'feet," carry him swiftly on, and before he has almost entered on theheavenly pilgrimage, he seems already on the very confines of Canaan.He breathes after heaven. He longs to be with Jesus. Heaven,though still future, seems already begun within him. His peace is as ariver — his joy unspeakable and full of glory. The fountain of lifeeternal gushes up within his heart. It is a very Beulah of holy peace, and130 FREE CHURCH PULPIT.love, and gladness, and the breezes of heaven are around hiin. He is al-ready almost in glory ! — Thus he fondly dreams — but, alas ! it is but adream. He is yet far from home. He is not " meet for the inheri-tance of the saints in light." His experience, joyful and blessed as it is,is yet superficial, in many points deceitful and unreal. His faith, thoughardent and sanguine, is as yet little tried. His joy, so exulting and so full,