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the spirits of the just made perfect, that "great multitude which no man can number 1," shall unite their voices around the throne of God, and say, "Blessing and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."
The hymn is commenced by Moses, joined by six hundred thousand men of Israel, saying, "I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood up
1 Rev. vii. 9.
right as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea. enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them: I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation." And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Moses, and the women of the vast assembly took up the song and answered them verse by verse, saying, Sing ye to the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea."
After the first-born had been destroyed throughout the land of Egypt, on that ever memorable night in which the passover was instituted, Pharaoh and his
people arose in terror, and called hastily for Moses and Aaron, not merely now to permit, but to press and compel their departure." And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men." How are the mighty fallen and the proud of the earth cast down, when the hard and haughty Pharaoh stoops to solicit a blessing from him whom, but a few hours previously, he, had threatened with death! Bitter must have been the humiliation, when he condescended to entreat those, upon whom he had exercised the most despotic cruelty, that, in mercy towards himself, they should depart with their little ones, their flocks and their herds! The Egyptians had endured personal inflictions and plagues: they had witnessed the mighty effects of miraculous power, wielded by the hands of Moses and Aaron : they had seen the fruits of their land destroyed; their houses filled with noisome creatures; their waters turned into blood; the
very air loaded with diseases; yet still
their evil heart was hardened. has now been busy in their dwellings, and with the awful memorials of vengeance and power, in the corpses of their nearest and dearest, before their eyes, they thrust forth the Israelites, and even bribe them to depart. This is a miracle calculated to alarm them in the tenderest point. It is a plague at once the most severe, and the most deserved; as inflicting upon them the same species of evil which they had made their bondmen to suffer, and causing them to feel in their own persons the miseries which without remorse they had inflicted upon others.
Previous to this final act of wrath the Lord had commanded his people to prepare for their journey, and also to borrow from the Egyptians, as it is stated, " jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment." Here we are startled with the difficulty, that such an injunction, directing actions apparently fraudulent and dishonest, could proceed from Him, to whom we dare not attribute evil counsel. Taken literally, it is a command which can scarcely be vin
dicated upon any principle of retaliation or reprisal. But the difficulty vanishes at once, when we find that the word translated, to borrow, signifies properly, to demand. And thus the Israelites, according to the express injunction of Jehovah, demanded jewels of silver and jewels of gold, not fraudulently, as a loan which they had no intention of repaying, but in reality as a right-a remuneration for their services, which the oppressors ought not to have withheld-the purchase money of their departure, which the Egyptians were glad to pay 1.
Scarcely had Israel set out on their journey, when "the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us." The first shock of the calamity over, which had induced him to relent, his repentence ceases, and his heart becomes hard as it was before. The advantage over them, which the road pursued by the Israelites gives him, occurs to 1 See Graves, p. 78.