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THE ELEVENTH AND LAST OF public and triumphant nianner. THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT. He consulted their ease and [Continued from Page 6.]
convenience, as well as had a Exod. xiv. 27, 28.
further end in view, in not conAnd Moses stretched forth his hand au
ducting them the nearest way to over the sea ; and the sea re
Canaan. By the nearest route Caturned to his strength when the
naan was not far distant; the whole morning appeared ; and the
way was by dry land, and through Egyptians fled against it; and
the country of the Philistines. He the Lord overthrew the Egyp
would not lead them that way, to tians in the midst of the sea.
discourage them by immediate war And the waters returned and
with the Philistines, who would opcovered the chariots and the pose
pose their passage. He does not horsemen, and all the hosts of pl
put new wine into old bottles, nor Pharaoh that came into the sea
call new converts to the hardest after them ; there remained not
services and the sharpest trials at
their first setting out to the hea. so much as one of them.
venly Canaan, lest they should be The destruction of the first- discouraged. The way by which born, all in one night, had dis- he was pleased to lead Israel was tressed and terrified the Egyptians round about ; and so the way oft beyond measure, so that they durst seems to be, by which he conducts not detain the children of Israel his people to the celestial country: any longer ; nay, they were urgent but it is the right way.— The Red with them to depart, lest they Sea is a large gulf, or arm of the should all be destroyed; and this ocean, stretching between Egypt made them willing to bestow on and Arabia. A wilderness lay on them such things as they required, the Egyptian side, which Israel upon their departure. The nar- had first to pass through ; and on rative is continued, ch, xiii. 17. the other side, betwixt them and .“ It came to pass, when Pharaoh Canaan, was the great and terrible had let the people go, that God wilderness of Arabia ; a large tract led them not through the way of of country, wild, barren, rocky, the land of the Philistines, although mountainous, and uninhabited. that was near ; for God said, Lest Such was the course which the peradventure the people repent Lord chose for them. But no way when they see war, and they re- can be wrong, if we have the guide turn to Egypt. But God led the ance of Providence and grace. people about, through the way of Ver. 20. “ They took their journey the wilderness of the Red Sea. from Succoth, and encamped in And the children of Israel went up Etham, in the edge of the wilderharnessed out of the land of ness. And the Lord went before Egypt, or in rank and file, like a them by day in a pillar of cloud, to regular army marching in due or- lead them by the way; and by der, and not like a confused mob night in a pillar of fire, to give stealing away, or flying in fear them light," God would show that he had con- - In this chapter we have the coma quered Pharaoh, and therefore plete deliverance of Israel, and the brought forth the people in a fatal catastrophe and final over, throw of the Egyptians. The profit. What madness is this ! Lord ordered Moses, “ Speak to But this principle must be over. the children of Israel, that they come and given up, by all that turn and encamp before Piha- shall be admitted into heaven. If hiroth, between Migdol and the any man love the world, the love of sea, over-against Baalzephon; be- the Father is not in him.-Ver. 6. fore it shall ye encamp by the sea. “ And he made ready his chariot, For Pharaoh will say of the chil- and he took six hundred chariots, dren of Israel, They are entangled and all the chariots of Egypt, and in the land, the wilderness hath captains over every one of them; shut them in.” He will suppose and the Lord hardened the heart of they are so entangled between the Pharaoh, and he pursued after the mountains and the sea, that they children of Israel; and the chilcan proceed no farther; and this dren of Israel went out with an will be an inducement to his avari. high hand. But the Egyptian's cious mind to attempt to fetch pursued after them, and overtook them back.--Ver. 4. “And I will them, encamping by the sea. harden Pharaoh's heart (which is And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the to be understood as before), and he children of Israel lift up their eyes, will follow after them; and I will and behold the Egyptians marched be honoured upon Pharaoh and on after them; and they were sore all his host :' i. e. I will manifest afraid ; and the children of Israel myself to be the sovereign Jeho- cried out to the Lord.” In disvah, and a God of justice and tress and danger it is highly promight; “ that the Egyptians may per to cry to the Lord; but not know that I am the Lord;" that in distrust and despondency. they may know it to their sorrow, While they cried, they began their and by awful experience, though trade of murmuring (ver. 11, 12), they would not know it by his to which afterwards they were wonderful works.Ver. 5. " And so much inclined, and which disit was told the king of Egypt that covers what is in the heart of fallen the people fled,” or were actually man. This spirit rules every unon their march ; " and the heart of converted sinner; and the regenePharaoh and of his servants was rate too often find it working in turned against the people.” They themselves, and need to watch had forgotten the terror they had against it. Ver. 15. “ And Moses lately been under ; and they said, said to the people, Fear ye not; “ Why have we done this, that we stand still," i. e. rely on your God, have let Israel go from serving and compose your minds, " and us ?" They repented of having see the salvation of the Lord, done what was right; and the love which he will show to you to-day; of filthy lucre, and the lust of do. for the Egyptians whom ye have minion, prevailed over the influ. seen to-day, ye shall see them ence of all the plagues they had again no more for ever. The Lord endured. Covetousness is an ac- shall fight for you, and ye shall cursed principle, deeply rooted in hold your peace.” He will accomthe depraved heart of fallen man, plish your deliverance; and this and leads multitudes to the prac- shall be the Egyptians' last attice of known sins of various kinds, tempt against you. In every danand ruins them for ever. Few, ger and threatening distress, such alas! will choose to suffer rather as call upon God should trust than sin, and to give up earthly him, and expect a way to escape. gain by strictly obeying the will of " And the Lord said to Moses, God ; nay, few will scruple to Wherefore criest thou to me?” as commit sin, when it will bring them if now there was no room for
hope. « Speak to the children of trary to their nature; and left the Israel, thắt they go forward.” ground dry between. “And the While we pray, we are to use children of Israel went into the every proper means for our own midst of the sea upon the dry deliverance. « But lift thou up ground, and the waters were a thy rod, and stretch out thy hand wall unto them on their right hand over the sea, and divide it; and and on their left.” Thus he made the children of Israel shall go on a way through the sea, for his randry land through the midst of the somed to pass over. " And the sea.” We are to see only that we Egyptians pursued, and went in go forward, and keep the Lord's after them to the midst of the sea, prescribed way; and then every even all Pharaoh's horses, chariots, obstruction will be removed.-- and horsemen.” It might have Ver. 19. “ And the angel of God, been supposed, that when they saw which went before the camp of the Lord so miraculously to interIsrael, removed and went behind pose for Israel, as to divide the them, and the pillar of the cloud sea for them to pass, they would went from before their face, and have been alarmed, and have given stood behind them; and it came over the pursuit, convinced that it between the camp of the Egyp- would be vain to contend with the tians and the camp of Israel ;") viz. Almighty; at least, that they to keep them separate, and to would not venture to follow far guard Israel. "And it was a from the shore. They might well cloud and darkness to them, but expect, after the former plagues, it gave light by night to these ; so what would follow. But hardenthat the one came not near the ed sinners, who will not tremble at other all the night." Those dis- nor, regard the word of the Lord, pensations of Providence which are bent on their own destruction,
are evils and curses to the ungod- and will take warning by nothing, - ly, are blessings, and exceedingly Such was their rage, and so much
profitable, to God's children. What were they resolved on bringing is darkness to the former is light Israel back, or destroying them, to the latter, when beheld through that they had no leisure to attend the promises.-Ver. 21. *66 And to their own safety, and acted conMoses stretched forth his hand trary to the principle of self-preover the sea,” which was the sig- servation. They dared to follow nal and means that God had or- even to the midst of the sea, four dained ; « and the Lord caused or five miles, with the waters super, the sea to go back by a strong naturally standing on an heap on east wind all that night, and made either side. How astonishing the the sea dry land, and the waters presumption and madness! Sinwere divided." God has all crea- ners are first infatuated through tures at command. The wind and the deceitfulness of sin, and then sea, the most boisterous and ra- destroyed. - Ver. 24. “ And it ging elements, obey him, and fulfil came to pass, that in the morning his sovereign word.
watch the Lord looked unto the The Red Sea, in the place where host of the Egyptians” (speaking Israel were to cross, was perhaps after themanner of men), “through about eight or ten miles over, the pillar of fire and of the cloud, from the one shore to the other, and troubled the host of the EgypBy the agency of the wind, the tians." "He began to show some Lord formed them a passage evident tokens of his displeasure. through ; divided the waters hi- Flashes of lightning, or some terther and thither ; made them stand rible appearances, proceeded' from on an heap on either side, "con- the fiery pillar, and exceedingly
Christ. GUARD. VOL. VI.
frightened and troubled them;. Moses did só; and the sea return“ and took off their chariot-wheels, ed to his strength when the mornthat they drave, them heavily.? ing appeared." The Lord, who They were impeded in their march, is Sovereign in the kingdom of and could make no speed..“ So nature, withdrew his power, which that the Egyptians said, Let ús ' had divided the sea, and had kept flee from the face of Israel, for the the waters in heaps. They began Lord fighteth for them against the to flow together again ; " and the Egyptians.” For a while they 'Egyptians fled against them.”. had gone on through the sea swift. They made the attempt, and would, ly and easily, expecting soon to gladly have escaped ; but it was all, overtake and divide the spoil. Now in vain. The waters closed again, the way began to be deep and dif- and overwhelmed them. They. ficult; they could not keep on sunk as lead in the mighty waters. their chariot-wheels; and terrors “ The Lord overthrew the Egypmade them afraid. They began tians in the midst of the sea ; and to apprehend themselves to be in the waters returned, and covered great danger, as well they might; the chariots and horsemen, and al} their spirits sunk, and their cou- the host of Pharaoh that came into rage failed. The Lord fought the sea after him ; there remained against them, and it was a very not so much as one of them.” unequal contest. Thus the triumph- Every individual was buried and ing of the wicked is short. They drowned in the deep.. may go on for a time undismayed. “ Ver. 30. Thus the Lord in the career of sin and pleasure; saved Israel that day out of the but soon this will be over, and ter-' hand of the Egyptians, and Israel rors will set themselves in array saw the Egyptians dead on the sea against them. Those who set shore." This was a niracle of themselves against God, his ways, mercy for Israel, and a miracle of and people, are oft stopped by wrath to the Egyptians. Israel signal judgments. « Let us flee found themselves perfectly secure; from the face of Israel.” Those and the Egyptians were totally that have been bold in sin and destroyed. The Lord gat himself, against reproofs, and persecutors honour. He is glorified in them. especially, always kick against the that perish, as well as in them that pricks. It will be, ere long, to are saved. He is, and ever will their own confusion. The Egyp- be, true to his word. He pursued tians had frightened Israel ; but Pharaolr with judgments, till for How were afraid of them in their his obstinacy he was destroyed turn. They had been eager to from the Gutly, and snatched into overtake them; but now would be a dreadful eternity. Herein the glad to get away from them, and Lord showed who and what he is, were for making as much speed for instruction to all others. back again. They had boldly ventured to pursue them; now they would give the world to be safe out .1. Let sinners learn that Goď of the channel of the sea. But it will conquer at last. If he visits was too late to repent their folly : you with one judgment after anothey are taken in the snare and the ther, and you stand out still in im- '' pit. For,
penitence, death will overtake you Ver. 26. ^ The Lord said to perhaps when you are little aware, Moses, Stretch out thine hand over and you will be swept away with the sea, that the' waters may come the besom of destruction. When again upon the Egyptians, their they say peace and safety, &c. chariots, and their horsemen. And These things are written to teach
Hivi was wonder
and admonish you. Awake, and they will never die, but live to be flee for your life to the free mercy eternally tormented with the devil of God in Christ, before it is too and his angels. How should this late to repent and escape! And alarm and frighten every careless may the grace of God conquer and sinner, and excite him anxiously 'subdue the insensibility and stub- to flee for refuge to the Lord bornness of your hearts ! !! Jesus, Christ, who delivers them
2. A time comes when thought- that believe in him from the wrath less sinners would escape, and can. to come! not; like the Egyptians when God 5. Those that sin together, and troubled them. Now ye may ob- encourage each other to despise tain mercy and forgiveness. But the admonitions of God's word and if ye will not cry for it, and seek `ministers, must perish together, it in earnest now, very soon mercy as Pharaoh and his hosts, and will be gone, and the door of hope then be tormentors of one another. shut against you. When death “Ah! how unconcerned are most and judgment overtake you, then people to escape endless 'misery, shall they call, says God, but I and how forward to run together "will not hear; they shall seek me 'in the broad way of sin, and any early, but they shall not find me, vain and foolish amusement ! and &c, They shall say to the rocks, "how few, comparatively, are forFall on us, &c. If ye had all the ward to go together to the house world to give for a drop of mercy, of God, and to be helpful to each or for a day's respite, it would not other's everlasting interests ! Wide avail. Now Christ says to you by “is the gate, and broad is the way, us, Come unto me, and I will give "that leadeth to destruction, and you rest: but then he will say, 'many there be that go in thereat; Depart ye cursed, &c.
while strait is the gate, and narrow ** 3. Those that perish do in their the way, that leadeth to life, and folly choose death, and rush'with few desire to find it! obstinacy into their own ruin. The 6. All that shall arrive in the Egyptians were not driven into the heavenly Canaan, 'must first pass sea against their wills. ' Indeed the Red Sea of spiritual regenera. they might fancy they could pass 'tion. Except a man be born again, as safely through as Israel did. -- he cannot see the kingdom of God. But careless sinners under the Those who, through grace, become Gospel may know, if they will, the subjects of this divine change, that the end of their course is "must not be surprised, if in an death. Ye are often plainly fore- especial degree they are beset warned of this from the word of with enemies, who will endeavour truth. If ye will persist, ye are to obstruct, or draw them back. acting more desperately than Pha- Satan will seek to hinder or deraoh and the Egyptian hosts. vour; and former companions or
4. Sin persisted in, without par. friends will oppose or dissuade, or don and conversion, will drown assail them with reproach or ridi.. every sinner in far worse destruc- 'cule. And they will have a variety ţion and perdition than this we of adversaries to watch and fight have been considering, viz. in the against in all their passage through Red Sea of God's wrath; the lake the wilderness of this world. Only that burns with fire and brim- see that ye press forward in the stone. O dreadful and confound- appointed course, and be not dising thought! They must be over- mayed. Deny yourselves, and take thrown in the fiery billows, which 'up the cross. Be strong in the will roll over them for ever ; where grace of Christ. The Lord will