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idea of the power of God ? He only blows, and he at once overwhelms a numberless multitude of forces. This is the true sublime. Let there be light, and there was light. Can any thing be greater?

The sea covered them. How many ideas are included in four words ! How easy are the words ? But what a crowd of ideas ! It is to this passage we may apply what Pliny says of Timanthus the painter : In omnibus ejus operibus plus intelligitur quàm pingitur ... ut ostendat etiam quce occultat. "In all “his works more is understood than is painted, so " that he shews what he seems to hide.”

Any other writer but Moses would have let his fancy take wing He would have given us a long detail

, and a train of useless ipsipid descriptions; he would have exhausted his subject, or impoverished it, and tired the reader by an empty pomp of words, and a barren abundance. But here God blows, the sea obeys, it pours upon the Egyptians, they are all swallowed up. Was ever description so full, so lively, so strong, as this ! There is no interval between God's blowing, and the dreadful miracle he performs in order to save his people. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sca covered them.

They sank as lead in the mighty waters. Reflect attentively on this last stroke, which assists the imagination, and finishes the picture.

Ver. 11. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, amongst the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? 10. Thou stretchedst out thy right-hand, the curth swallowed them.

To the wonderful relation above-mentioned, succeeds a wonderful expression of praise. The greatness of this miracle required this vivacity of sentiment and gratitude. And how, indeed, could it be possible for the writer not to be transported, and, as it were, out of himself, at the sight of such a wonder? He employs the interrogation, the comparison, the repetition, all which figures are naturally expressive of admiration and rapture.


Glorious in holiness, &c. It is impossible to imitate the lively, concise style of the text, which is composed of three little members, detached from each other, without a copulative, and of which each consists of two or three words short enough, Glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders. It is difficult to render the sense of it, how diffusive soever the version may be made, which besides makes it flat and languid, whereas the Hebrew is full of fire and vivacity.

Ver. 13. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people. thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation, &c.

This, and the four following verses, are a prophetic declaration of the glorious protection which God was to grant his people after having brought them out of Egypt. They abound every where with the strongest and most affecting images. The reader does not know which to admire most ; [c] God's tenderness for his people, whose guide and conductor he himself will be, by preserving them during the whole journey like the apple of his eye, as he declares in another place; and carrying them on his shoulders, as an eagle bears her young ones: or his formidable power, which causing terror and dread to walk be. fore it, freezes, with fear, all such nations as should presume to oppose the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea, and strikes those nations so, that they becoine motionless as a stone : or, lastly, God's wonderful care, to settle them in a fixed and permanent manner in the promised land, or rather to plant them in it: Thou shalt plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance; an emphatic expression, and which alone recals all that the Scriptures observe in so many places, of the care which God had taken to plant this beloved vine; to water it, inclose it with fences, and to multiply and extend its fruitful branches to a great distance.

[-] Deut. xxxii. 10, 11,


Ver. 18, 19. The Lord shall reign for ever and

For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots, and with his horsemen, into the sea; and the Lord brought again the waters of the sea upon them ; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

This concludes the whole song, by which Moses promises God, in the name of all the people, to bear eternally in their minds the signal delivery which God had wrought in their favour.

Possibly this conclusion may appear too simple, when compared to the verses which go before it. But methinks there is as much art in this simplicity as in the rest of the song. And indeed, after Moses had moved and raised the minds of the people by so many great expressions, and violent figures, it was proper, and agreeable to the rules of Rhetoric, to end his song with a plain siinple exposition, not only to unbend the minds of his hearers, but also to give them an idea, without employing figures, turns, or a pomp of words, of the greatness of this miracle, which God had just before wrought in their favour.

The delivery of the Jewish people out of Egypt is the most wonderful prodigy we read of in the Old Testament. God mentions it a thousand times in the Scriptures; he speaks of it, if I may be allowed the expression, with a kind of complacency; he relates it as the most shining proof of the strength of his allpowerful arm. And indeed it is not a single prodigy, but a long series of prodigies, each more wonderful than the other. It was fit that the beauty of a song, which was written to perpetuate the remembrance of this miracle, should equal the greatness of the subject: and it was impossible but this should do so, as the same God, who wrought those wonders, dictated also the song

But what beauty, grandeur, and magnificence, should we discover in it, were we permitted to pierce the mysterious sense which is concealed beneath the veil of this great event? For it must be allowed, that this delivery out of Egypt covers and represents other deliverances. [d] The authority of St. Paul, that of all tradition, and the prayers of the church, oblige us to consider it as a type of the freedom which the Christian obtains by the waters of baptism, and his delivery from the yoke of the prince of this world. The Revelations mention another use of this delivery, by shewing those, who have overcome the beast, holding the harps of God in their hands, and singing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, [e] Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, &c.

Now as the Scriptures declare, that the wonders of the second deliverance will surpass infinitely those of the first, and will entirely blot out the remembrance of it; we may believe, that the beauties of the spiritual sense of this song would quite eclipse those of the historical sense.

But I am far from being able to display these wonders, and indeed that does not suit the design of this work, wherein my view was to form the taste of youth in matters of Eloquence. This explication of Moses's song may conduce more to that end than any thing else, and I believed therefore, that it would be agreeable to the public. The author's modesty had buried it, as it were, in obscurity; and therefore the reader will not be displeased, to find it published by his scholar, as a testiinony of the gratitude he owes to so excellent a master. He not only bore this character with regard to me, but likewise that of a father, having always loved me as a son. Mr. Hersan took the utmost care of me whilst I was under his tuition, designing me, even at that time, for his successor; and indeed I was so in the second class, in Rhetoric, and in the Royal College. I may assert without flattery, that no man was ever more capable than this gentleman, to point out and illustrate the beautiful passages in authors, or to raise an emula

[d] Cor. xi. 10.

[e] Rev. xv. 3.

tion in youth. The funeral oration of the chancellor Le Tellier, which Mr. Hersan delivered in the Sorbonne, and which is the only piece of his in prose which he suffered to be printed, is sufficient to shew the exquisite delicacy of his taste: and his verses which are published may be considered as so many standards in their kind. But then he was much more valuable for his virtues, than for his genius. Goodness, simplicity, [f] modesty, disinterestedness, a contempt for riches, a generosity carried almost to excess, such were his qualities. He made no other advantage of the entire confidence which a powerful [g] minister reposed in him, than to do good to others.

others. As soon as I was chosen principal of the college of Beauvais, he devoted for my sake, and from his love to the public, two thousand crowns, to be laid out in such repairs and embellishments as were wanting there. But the last years of his life, though spent in obscurity and retirement, have obscured all the rest. He withdrew to Compiegne his native place. There, secluded from company, wholly employed in the study of the Scriptures, which had always been his delight; meditating perpetually on [1] death and eternity, he devoted himself entirely to the service of the poor children of the city. Tie built a school for their use,

He and it is perhaps the finest in the kingdom, and left a stipend for a master. He himself taught thein very often, and generally had some of them at his table. He clothed several of them; distributed rewards from time to time among them, in order to encourage them to study; and his greatest consolation was, to think, that after his death, those children would offer up the same prayer for him, that the famous Gerson, when he condescended to teach school in Lyons, had desired, by his last will, of those he had taught: My


[f] He would never suffer him- the extracts he had made on this self to be elected rector (principal) subject, intitled, Edifying Meditaof the university

tions upon Death, taken from the [8) Mr. de Louvois.

words of Scripture, and of the fathers. [b] He published a collection of


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