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this respect, the image of many a thoughtless the earth with the rod of his mouth, and sinner, who trifle with the judgments de- with the breath of his lips shall he slay the nounced in the word of God, till bitter experi- wicked.” Moses acted by a delegated power: ence teaches them, that every arrow from the Jesus has all power in himself.
" Moses vequiver of the Almighty is both penetrating rily was faithful in all his house as a servant: and poisonous. The proud heart which re- but Christ as a son over his own house." The fused to bend, at length begins to break; and same Moses was the deliverer of Israel, and a slow, lingering, partial, reluctant consent the scourge of Egypt: the same Jesus, who is given to the demand of Heaven; and per- is the author of eternal salvation to them mission is granted to the people, to go, “that that believe, “shall be revealed from heaven, they may do sacrifice unto the Lord.”—The with his mighty angels, in flaming fire: concession, slight as it is, procures a respite. taking vengeance on them that know not Mercy, ever on the wing, flies to succour the God, and that obey not the gospel of our miserable.
Lord Jesus Christ." “ All judgment is comWe have seen Moses and Aaron executing mitted to the Son." “He shall reign, till he the judgments of avenging Heaven, by the hath put all his enemies under his feet.” agency of a rod. Christ himself is the pow “ The last enemy that shall be destroyed is erful word, by which God made and sustains death." worlds; the all potent instrument to save, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, and to destroy.
“With righteousness shall where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, he judge the poor, and reprove with equity, which giveth us the victory through our Lord , for the meek of the earth ; and he shall smite Jesus Christ.” Amen.
HISTORY OF MOSES. .
And Pharaoh's servant said unto him, How long shall this man be a snare unto us? Let the men go
that they may serve the Lord their God : knowest thou not yet, that Egypt is destroyed ?—Exodus x. 7.
How very different an appearance do ob- flux of her stately, overflowing river, except jects wear, according as they are beautified where thousands of populous cities lifted up and exalted by the favour of Heaven, or their proud heads to the skies; or, when the blasted and disfigured by the curse of an of- river retreated, her golden, luxuriant harvests fended God! Eden, before man's apostacy, waving with the fragrant wind. How changEden, fresh planted, by the sovereign hand ed the scene, when the Nile ran, not water, of the Creator, containing every tree that is but blood: after the murrain had destroyed pleasant to the sight and good for food, and all their cattle; after the lightning and the in the midst of it was the tree of life ; but o hail had blasted every tree, had devoured sad reverse, the fatal effect of transgression ! every herb, and the “ locusts had consumed “Cursed is the ground for thy sake; thorns wh:t the hail had left!" What makes earth and thistles shalì it bring forth to thee;" and resemble heaven; and men like angels? The the tree of life is removed to happier regions, presence, the blessing, and the image of or guarded from guilty man's approach, by God! What once covered the earth with the flaming swords of the cherubim. The water, and shall at length destroy it by fire ? plain of Jordan, well watered every where, What sinks men to the level of diabolical, and beautiful as the garden of the Lord, de- damned spirits, and adds tenfold horror to lighted the eyes, and allured the heart of gloomy hell? The wrath of the Almighty, Lot, when he separated himself from his and the deprivation of his glorious similitude. uncle Abraham. But O how awfully changed Nature sinks under the description and the that once delicious spot! The day when denunciation of the divine displeasure. What Lot went out of it, “ Abraham looked towards must it be to endure its dreadful effects, Sodom and Gomorrah, and towards all the without intermission, and without end ! land of the plain, and beheld, and lo, the Instead of going into a particular detail smoke of the country went up, as the smoke of the subsequent plagues wherewith God of a firrnace.” What a charming prospect afflicted Egypt, we shall suggest a few hisdid Egypt present in the days of her glory ? torical and practical remarks upon the subIler fertile surface, covered with the silverject in general, serving to unfold the wind
ings and the workings of the human heart, mysterious volume, sealed to the careless to illustrate and vindicate the ways of Provi- reader as with seven seals, to the serious and dence, to expose the madness of striving attentive soul unveils the hidden wisdom of against God, and to display the wisdom, the God, and, written with a sunbeam, there safety, and the happiness of submitting readily, stands recorded the gracious purpose of Him, cheerfully, and universally to the divine au- who “worketh all things after the counsel thority.
of his own will.". And, first; We observe, that as God has Wouldst thou be satisfied, O man, that the many inconceivable methods of doing good great God has means innumerable, unutterto men; so his power of punishing is unlimit- able, incomprehensible, of conferring lappied, and the treasures of his wrath are far ness on mankind ? Think, O think, how he beyond what fear itself, which magnifies has loved the world, in the redemption of it every object, can fancy. Of his glorious ca- by CHRIST JESUS! Think how many demonpacity and disposition to bless mankind, who strations of grace meet in that one, “God has not enjoyed the sweetest, and frequently spared not his own Son, but gave him up for repeated experience? Whose life is so short, us all!" And when you have runinated, as not to contain a history of benefits, a dis- and ruminated on the history of redeeming play of mercy, a profusion of loving kind- love! when you have recovered from the usness, which astonish while they delight? | tonishment and joy of contemplating what Whose portion of felicity is so scanty, as not God has done for you, lose yourself afresh in to exhibit wonders of goodness infinitely the prospect of what the Lord hath laid up above the desert of angels? What under- for the heirs of salvation—in the prospect of standing is so brutish, what heart so ungrate that great, exceeding, and" eternal weight of ful, as not to recur, at the first call, to a mul- glory,' “ which eye hath not seen, nor ear titude of special blessings, pressing upon the heard, and of which it hath not entered into memory, urging prior or superior claims of the heart of man" to form any adequate conacknowledgment and praise? Need you ception or idea! Fly, O my soul, whitherto be told, ungrateful, forgetful children of soever thou wilt; settle wherever thou wilt, men! Need you to be told, the value of an infinite goodness still supports thy flight, and uninterrupted and steady course of good settle thou must on the rock of ages at last. health; or of the more sensible benefit of re But, ah! my friends, this God, almighty to covery from sickness and pain? Shall I send save, is also mighty to destroy. As his you back to years that are long past, or recall bounty is an inexhausted source of plenty to yesterday to your recollection? Shall I re- bless his friends, so his justice is a capacious mind you of that common bounty which gives quiver, stored with innumerable poisoned you, day by day, your daily bread; or of that arrows, to shed the blood, to drink up the singular, shall I say miraculous, interposition, spirits of his adversaries. Think, in how which seemed to drop down manna around many parts art thou vulnerable ? In every your tabernacle? Must all ages, and nations, particle of thy frame, in every faculty of thy and regions of the world be made to pass in soul. Every sense opens a passage for the review before your eyes; or will you confine entrance of an avenging God. The underyour observation to your own moment of ex- standing at his command, expands to the istence, your own handbreadth of space, your dreadful perception of justice that will not own two or three acquaintances and contem- bend; of severity that knows not to relax; of poraries, your own pittance of knowledge ? vengeance that admits not of pity. Memory, Shall the glories of nature, or the wonders roused by that trumpet which awakes the of Providence, be unfolded to your view? dead, gives new form and substance to the Will you contemplate the fatness and ra- hideous spectres of transgressions long since grancy of the fertile earth, or the vastness and departed, and which were vainly imagined brilliancy of the azure vault of heaven? Will to be laid in the grave forever; and the you confine yourselves to things seen and guilty wretch is dragged to the bitter recoltemporal: or borne as on the eagle's wing lection of what he once dwelt on with uncontemplate things which are unseen and hallowed delight, and now would fain bury eternal? Will you converse with your fel. in eternal oblivion; or which he gladly would, low mortals on the surface of this molehill, at the price of worlds, redeem from the hisor join in the songs and raptures of angel tory of his wretched life. As memory, to who surround the throne, and of the spirits fulfil the righteous judgment of God, can of just men made perfect, immortal intelli- readily summon up all that is past, in order gences, perfectly awake to the full percep- to awaken remorse, and inspire terror; so tion of their blessedness? Choose you to fear launches forth into the boundless, enddwell on the transitory comforts of the life less regions of futurity, and rouses despair; that now is, or to anticipate the joys substan- and in the very abysses of burning hell, tial, sincere, and lasting, of that which is to shudders at the thought of a deeper gulf, come? Creation spreads her fair, her ample, and of a hotter flame. Read, O sinner, the der splendid page to the delighted eye. The history of the plagues of Egyr: and tremble!
Suppose, for a moment, the cup wherewith daring, the presumptuous sinner: whom thou art ready to quench thy burning thirst, goodness could not mollify, nor judgments instantly turned into blood, to the loathing subdue ; and let him who is without sin cast of thy soul and thy flesh. Suppose thy body the first stone at him. Who can flatter himstruck with an universal leprosy, or the dust self with the thought, that the errors of his under thy feet quickened into abominable life were the mere inadvertencies of haste vermin: the air around thy head impregnated and inattention? Who can say of himself, with swarms of noisome insects; thy sun ex “ This fault I corrected, as soon as I distinguished for three tedious lingering days, covered it? Having been once made sensiand the thunder of an angry God rolling over ble of the danger and wickedness of that sinthy guilty, devoted habitation; and suppose ful course, I instantly forsook it, and have all this to be but the beginning of sorrow; returned to it no more. Smarting from the the mere threatenings of wrath to come ; effects of my folly, I have never again dared wo that may be endured, torment that may to provoke the lash of my Father's chastenexpire : for ah ! from yonder fearful pit arises ing rod. The resolutions which I made in the smoke of a fire that shall not be quench- the day of sickness, and sorrow, and calamied; smoke that shall ascend forever and ever. ty, I have faithfully remembered, and diliI hear groans bursting from the bosom of gently kept. Vows made at the Lord's table, despair; and the rattling of everlasting ada- I have made conscience to perform. The mantine chains. Behold the wild looks, the threatenings of God's word I have not disre. agonizing pangs of that poor rich man, when, garded ; the long-suffering of my God I have from the flames of his torment, he beholds not abused." Alas! alas! the reverse of all Lazarus in Abraham's bosom: when he be- this is the truth which condemns every one. holds heaven removed to an inaccessible dis- Not a single, but repeated acts of intempetance: heaven disjoined by an unpassable rance, injustice, impurity, impiety; not casugulf. Heaven, the rest of the weary, and al and undesigned expressions, but deliberate the reward of the faithful, affords to him a and indulged habits of falsehood, malevomomentary glimpse of its joys, only to em- lence, selfishness, and uncharitableness, place bitter remorse, only to pierce the soul with us as criminals at the bar, by the side of keener pangs, and to heat the furnace seven Pharaoh, and forbid us to condemn him, betimes hotter than it was before. " It is a cause we also have sinned. What avails it fearful thing to fall into the hands of the me to say, that my offence is not the same living God.”
with his ? Perhaps I had neither power, nor After serious reflection upon these things, inclination, nor opportunity, for committing our second observation would seem ill found that man's transgression. Have I therefore ed, and destitute of all probability and truth, washed my hands in innocence? Can I did not all history, and daily experience con- therefore plead, “not guilty ?" The great firm the woful certainty of it. It is this : question is, Have I kept myself free from that by frequent indulgence, and inveterate mine own transgression ? And, spared of habits of sin, the heart may at length become God to make the inquiry_let Pharaoh's imquite callous; may be rendered equally in- penitence, and Pharaoh's doom, awaken us sensible to the calls of mercy, and the alarms to a sense of our danger; and urge a speedy of justice. We are struck with astonish- flight from the wrath that is to come. ment, at the sight of a poor, infatuated wretch Thirdly, This history leads us to remark like Pharaoh, repeatedly braving that power the great difference between the slow, rewhich returned to crush and humble him, luctant, partial submission of fear, and the and slighting that grace which as often re- prompt, cheerful, and unreserved compliance lented and afforded space and means for re- of a grateful and affectionate heart. Pharaoh, pentance. Would to God there were room like a sullen, sturdy slave will not move a to think the representation more unnatural step, till stimulated by a fresh application of than it is, and that the character of Pharaoh the whip; the moment that the pain of the were a rarity in the world. But alas! what stripe ceases, he stands still, or turns back. is the life of most men, but an habitual fight- The first summons is treated by him with ing against God? Upon whom falls the insolence and scorn; and he resolves that weight of our remark? Upon a few thought- Israel shall not have a single moment's reless, hardened wretches only, who have laxation from their burthens. Brought to found out the secret of lulling conscience to himself by a few strokes of the rod of God's rest; who, having conquered the sense of anger, he
yields a tardy consent to the interfear and of shame, commit iniquity with mission of their labours for a little while, ana greediness; who "hide not their sin, like to their doing sacrifice to their God: but it Sodom, but publish it like Gomorrah ?" Let must be “ in the land where they dwelt, even us not deceive ourselves, but watch over our in Egypt.” That alternative being rejected, own hearts, and “exhort one another daily, and a new demand made, backed with a new lest any be hardened through the deceitful- threatening, and followed with a new plague, ness of sin." “ There stands Pharaoh, the he agrees to permit the male part of Israel
who were arrived at man's estate, to resort must be overcome? Against whom is this to the place appointed; but he is determined formidable preparation made? There stands to detain their wives, children, and cattle as the enemy, in all his weakness and folly; a hostages for their return. Constrained, at crawling worm on a dunghill provoking his length, by dint of judgments, to let the whole fate, tampering with eternal ruin, hardening congregation depart, he endeavours to stipu- himself against God, and yet thinking to late, that they should not go very far off; prosper. The influence of no malignant sta: and not till broken by the last dreadful is necessary to blast him; there is a neces plague, can he be brought to resign his usurp- sity for no earthquake to swallow him up: ed authority over the freeborn sons of Gon. no archangel armed with a sword of fire, need
We often find men pretending to make a descend to cut him asunder : his breath is in merit of giving up what it is no longer in his own nostrils; he is sinking into his their power to retain. After a man has dust; his own ridiculous efforts are wasting squandered away his means, in riot and ex- and consuming him. Foolish creature and travagance, deserves he praise for living unwise! why wilt thou contend longer ? sparingly? Another has ruined his con “ Wherefore shouldst thou be stricken any stitution by intemperance; is his forced more?” Constrain not him to be thy foe continence an object of admiration? By no who has towards thee the disposition of the means. He has discontinued his debaucheries best of friends, and who is mighty to save, through disability, not from inclination and even “ to the uttermost, them that come unto conviction of his error.
age has debili- him." tated a third ! is he therefore virtuous ? No, Fifthly, In the course of these dreadful no : his vices have forsaken him, not he his plagues, we observe, not only the pride of dices. When a man serves through fear, he man effectually humbled, but the power of does no more than he needs must; but love Satan trampled in the dust, under the feet is liberal and generous, and stands not ques- of the Most High. It is highly interesting tioning, “yea hath God said ?" but, ever on to observe, by what gradual steps the enemy the watch, ever on the wing, the moment and the avenger is laid low, till he is at length that the voice of God is heard, it is ready to destroyed. Presumption, at first, induces reply, “ Here am I, Lord, send me.” This him, in confidence of a permitted power, td leads me to remark,
enter the lists and to try his strength with Fourthly, The wisdom of giving up, at the God. Aaron's rod is turned into a serpent. command of God, with alacrity what we must The magicians attempt the same, and sucgive up at last, whether we will or not. - ceed. Their rods also become serpents. But What a pitiful figure does Pharaoh make in Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.
Ву the end ! baffled in every attempt, driven out and by the water of the river is turned into of every fortress, dishonoured in the eyes of blood, and the fishes die. The magicians, his own servants, transmitted to latest pos- by their enchantments, madly assist the terity a monument of pride and impotence. plague, and acquire a little transitory repuWere not the proud man blind and infatua- tation, by doing mischief. Flushed with this ted, he would yield through self-love; he farther success, they go on to imitate the would submit to preserve his own conse- miracles of Moses and Aaron; but, to their quence, at least the appearance of it. Un- confusion, they fail ihere, where it seemed happily for us, our will stands but too often most probable that they should with greatest in opposition to the will of God. When they ease support their fame. That loathsome come to clash, who ought in reason to give vermin, lice, is to be produced miraculously, way? Who must of necessity submit? Know- which slovenliness and filth naturally proest thou not, Oman, that to destroy thyself, duce without any effort. At the word of thou needest but to follow thy own head- Moses the dust of the land is transformed instrong inclination: knowest thou not, that to this noisome, nauseous insect. But the the gratification, not the disappointment of whole power of hell cannot effect, at the illicit desire, is ruinous ? But who ever time, and in the manner which it would, made a sacrifice of inclination to duty, and what time and carelessness alone, in the had reason to repent of it? Who knows not, usual course of things, would certainly have that to yield submission is to obtain a tri- produced: and they feel themselves attacked amph? In a contention where there is a with a plague which their art could not bring probability, or even a possibility of our pre- upon others. Finally, after having become vailing, it may be worth while to risk a com- the subjects of a miraculous calamity which wat; but who, except a madman, will seek might be borne, they are at length attacked lo encounter a foe by whom he is sure to be with one absolutely intolerable, which drives defeated? And yet, in that mad, that ruin- them from the competition: they give up ous strife, see how many are engaged! Be- their silly arts of sorcery, and attempt to bold the stars in their courses ranged on the rival the true God no more. And thus, when part of their Creator ; behold all nature stand- the mystery of godliness shall be finished an ing ic arms ta espouse his rause; and who astonished world shall behold the sleight and
devices of Satan falling upon his own head, | persons; bidding defiance to the whole force his momentary triumphs covering him with of a wise and populous, and warlike country. more accumulated disgrace, and his infernal And we see them in the course of a few years malice and diabolical craft made ministering takıng forcible possession of one of the strong; servants to the wisdom and goodness of God. est, most impracticable, and best defended A good reason, among many others, why we countries in the world. should judge nothing rashly before the time till I need but hint to you the counterpart of the Lord cometh, who shall bring light out of this. Behold the unconnected son of a carobscurity, and fully vindicate his ways to men. penter, at the head of twelve simple, illite
Sixthly, We observe how unlike the latter rate fishermen, attacking the religious esends of things are to their beginnings. The tablishments of the whole globe, and prevailworld laughs at the idea of two feeble old ing. Behold him, armed with a few plain men, issuing forth from a desert, the patrons facts, and a few doctrines as plain, overturn'of liberty; to force a mighty prince, and a ing the whole fabric of heathen mythology powerful nation, to listen to the dictates of and worship; ingrafting on the stock of justice and humanity, and to liberate a mil- Moses, and the legal dispensation, a scion lion of wretched creatures, whose spirits from a nobler root; which has swallowed up were totally broken by their miseries, and the parent tree, has filled the earth with its who seemed to have lost even the inclina- branches, is feeding the nations to this day tion of vindicating their own rights. Pharaoh with its fruit, and is likely maintain its despised them; the magicians defied them; place till all the gracious purposes of Heaven Israel distrusted them; they themselves are are accomplished. " It is the Lord's doing, ready to sink under the difficulty and danger and it is marvellous in our eyes.” " When of the enterprise. But, conducted of Hea- the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleasven, they attempt, they proceed, they pros- ed God by the foolishness of preaching, to per, they overcome. They invade Egypt, save them that believe." The next Lecture two solitary, unsupported individuals! They will, by divine favour, exhibit the institution leave it at the head of six hundred thousand and celebration of the first passover, with the men, fit to bear arms, with a corresponding event which gave occasion to it. May God number of females, besides old men and chil-bless what has been spoken. To him be dren, and a mixed multitude of non-descript) glory and honour forever and ever.
HISTORY OF MOSES.
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This nonth shall be unto you
the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for a house.--Exodus xii. 1–3.
In the history of all nations, there are eras | in this respect; and to consider how variousand events of peculiar importance, which ly different men, and at different periods, extend their influence to future ages and have contrived to transmit to their children generations, and are fondly commemorated the memory of similar achievements, sucby latest posterity. Hence, every day of the cesses, or disasters. I great stone set up revolving year becomes, in its course, to one on end, a heap of stones, a mound of earth, people or another, the anniversary of some and the like, were, in the earlier, ruder, thing memorable which befel their forefa- simpler state of the world, the monuments thers, and is remembered by their sons with of victory; and to dance around them with triumph or with sorrow. Most of the reli- songs, on an appointed day, was the rustic gious observances which have obtained in the commemoration of their rude and simple world, when traced up to their source, are posterity. The triumphs and the death of found to originate in providential dispensa- | heroes came, in process of time, to be retions; and history thereby becomes the best membered with conviviality and mirth, or interpreter of customs and manners. It is a with plaintive strains and solemn dirges. most amusing employment, to observe the The hoary bard varied and enlivened the operation and progress of the human mind I feast, by 'adapting to his rough voice or 2 A