TALKS FOR THE TIMES.
their lusts. They had a perfect repugnance to long-
continued effort in any direction—a very noticeable
characteristic in the lives of all people who for many
generations have had no other spur to action, except
the spur of fear. With such people the question
never is, How well can we do this or that piece of
wrork ? but, How soon can we be rid of it ? never,
How shall the end be? but, Where shall the end be?
Consequently, they endeavor to reach ends by the
shortest cut, and secure by trickery and knavery what
might better be secured by honest and patient effort.
As might be expected, then, these Israelites were
fretful, vacillating, despondent, always ready to halt,
ready to whine, to complain, to murmur. Their grat¬
itude for any benefit was only momentary. Hardly
across the Red Sea, we hear them murmuring against
Moses. "Because there were no graves in Egypt,
hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness?
Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us
forth out of Egypt ? Is not this the word that we
did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we
may serve the Egyptians ? For it had been better for
us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in
the wilderness." Not long after that we hear them