« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
truth as it is in Jesus eat of the supper. 2. Though born a stranger, yet if engaged to serve, and circumcised, he
In like mane ner, the stranger now, if the foreskin of his heart is circumcised by the knowledge of our God and Saviour, he may participate with the household. 3. A foreigner and a bond-servant could not eat. In like manner, those only who are brought nigh by the blood of Jesus, and made free in his house by the Son, thus shewing themselves to belong to Jerusalem above, which is free, and is the mother of us all, can pat at our feast.
4 In one house, viz. in the church, it shall be eaten. 5. All the congregation shall eat of it ; so now, any who have not communion with the household in this ordinance are none of his. 5. The stranger, if circumcised, shall eat ; so remarkably did even this ordinance point out the fellowship which the Gentiles should in due time enjoy with the natural household in this feast. Lastly, A bone of it shall not be broken. This remarkable circumstance is alone sufficient to prove the direct respect it had to Him, none of whose bones were broken on the cross, and none of whose bones, in a more enlarged view, shall be broken, viz. the members of his spiritual body, for «he keepeth all their bones' with care,' Psalm xxxiv. 20.
In the last verse of this chapter, it is again repeated, that the selfsame day, did the Lord bring out the children of Israel.' The di. yine promise was fulfilled in the most exact manner, as a certain pledge, that the Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count • slackness ;' but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the & night : . What I say to you, I say to all, Watch,' said our blessed Lord, when speaking of this event.
CHAP. XIII.-When the first born of Ham died under the sword of the destroying angel, the first born of Israel were preserved by the sprinkling of blood. From that time, the Lord sanctified' to himself all the first born both of man and beast. On this account, they were considered as sacred. All this had a direct reference to the true first born, whom the Father sanctified, and sent into the world ; hence it becomes an interesting and important fact, that Jesus was the first born of the Virgin. In him the sanctification of all his church is found ; on which account, Paul calls them the church of the first born ;' for
both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one, • wherefore he is not ashamed to call them brethren. In this peculiar sanctification of man and beast, opposed to the death of the first born of both in Egypt, there was a remarkable judgment against her gods. The manner of redeeming the first born of men, by the tribe of Levi, of beasts, by a lamb, or money, will be more particularly considered in its proper place, under the law. The feast of unleavened bread is again enjoined, as well as the duty of teaching their children the great design of these institutions. In verse 17. of this chapter, we are told, that when Pharaoh let Israel go, God led them not by the way of the Philistines, though that was near, but round by the way of the wil. derness. On examining the map, it will readily app ar, that from the northern neck of Egypt to the southern parts of Canaan, there is hot above a week's journey, according to the distance of their usual encampments ; but God led them through the wilderness, to humble them and prove them; he had many important discoveries to make to them there of their own character and wickedness, and of his own divine power and mercy. By the way of the Philistines, they would nei. ther have needed water from the rock, nor manna from the skies, &c.; see Deut. viii. 2. The church of Israel went up harnessed, ver. 18. or by five in a rank,--a striking picture of that church who has had many enemies in all ages ; but, saved by the sword of the Lord, the shield of his excellency, she is terrible as an enemy with banners. There are two remarkable circumstances recorded in the conclusion of this chapter, which demand more particular attention, the carrying up of Joseph's bones, and the cloudy pillar. As to the first, we have already noticed Paul's record as to Joseph's faith, in giving his brethren among whom he died commandment concerning his bones. That generation and several others have returned to the dust ; but the commande ment is carefully attended to. Heaven superintended in this, as an earnest of what shall take place, when the spiritual tribes of Jacob shall return from spiritual Egypt at the last day: they will carry with them the dust of all God's true Joseph. We have in the 20th and 21st verses a most remarkable account of the glorious manner in which they begun and continued their march through the wilderness. They had been, for a long period, an oppressed and afflicted people, groaning under the yoke of their severe and despotic rulers. But the almighty arm of the Lord brought them out triumphantly,or, as it is expressed, with a high hand.' The Psalmist says, that in all that immense multitude, men, women, and children, there was not one feeble among them. But, above all, their glory consisted in this, that the Lord went before them by day, in
a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way ; and by night in a pillar • of fire to give them light.' There never was a grander sight on earth. As Paul tells us, 1 Cor. x. 1, 2. • All our fathers were under the • cloud, and were baptised to Moses in the cloud.' This cloud, then, was a very important matter ; and as being baptised to Moses, evidently implies being initiated into his doctrine, there was an essential part of the doctrine of Moses to be learned from this cloud. It is e. vident from this passage, as well as all the parallel ones, when this cloud is mentioned, that it was a mansion in which the glory of the God of Israel was veiled. From this then it plainly appears, that God manifest in flesh, was an article in what we call the creed of Moses, which was without controversy great. They were led to behold in this cloud, that veil of flesh, in which the glory, as of the only begotten of the Father, was to shine forth resplendent. It was the same cloud which afterwards filled the tabernacle, Exod. xl. 34. 38. -the temple, 1 Kings viii. 10. 2 Chron. v. 13. Ezek. x. 4. This cloud overshadowed Jesus himself on the holy mount, Matth. xvii. 5.; and, with a reference to this, God's presence is promised in the New. Testament church. • The Lord will create on her assemblies a cloud, &c. Isaiah iv. 5. He shall at the last appear in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. This cloudy pillar was to the Israelites a certain proof, that the Lord himself was their protector and defender. It is very remarkable, that this cloudy pillar is, in various passages, said to be the Lord himself. • And it came to pass, as Mo. sus entered into the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended, and stood at the door of the tabernacle, and talked with Moses. And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabarnacle door; and all the people rose up and worshipped,' &c. Exod. xxxiii. 9, 10. This manifestation of the God of Israel in the cloudy pillar, is frequently spoken of as a grand display of mercy ; see Nehem. ix. 12. 19. • He
spake unto them in the cloudy pillar,' &c. Psalm xcix. 7. plainly shewing, that he who there spake was the same word which was • made flesh, and dwelt among us, the glory as of the only begotten of the father, full of
and truth. This cloud, then, which afterwards took up its residence in the ta. bernacle and temple, is here, and in many
passages, called pillar ; seemingly to point out the divinity of his person, to whom all the pillars under the Old Testament pointed. But we are here chiefly called to consider the twofold effect, which was so remarkable: in the day it was a cloud and shade ; in the night, fire and lights. Again, to the Israelites, it was the mean of light, joy, and protection; to the Egyptians, we shall find it yielding trouble and darkness. In these respects, then, the church now appeared, as she has always done under the direction of that great pillar, THE WORD OF TRUTH. That word gives light to guide the way, a shade and tabernacle from the heat, and glory and defence to his people. But to his enemies, that very word is darkness, and ultimately proves
" the savour of • death unto death.'
CHAP. XIV.-We shall take an opportunity of examining the different encampments particularly. In the mean time, the reader will observe, that on the night of the passover, the Israelites set out from Rameses, and encamped at Succoth; from Succoth to Etham; from Ethan they turned back to Pi-ha-hiroth, where they encamped between Migdel and the sea, in such a situation as to appear completeJy hemmed in. The consequence was, that Pharaoh's heart was hardened, together with his servants, so as to induce them to pursuie them. The situation of the church of Israel was remarkably striking, as a figure of the situation of the church when delivered by the great redemption. The Red Sea before them ; their implacable enemy behind them; the mountains of Pihahiroth on every side ; and above all, over against Baal-Zephon, where the greatest powers of Egyptian enchantment was practised. Now, said Pharaoh, • I will * pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; iny lusts shall be • satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword; my hand shall de
stroy them, chap. xv. 10. If it is inquired, why are they led into such a dilemma ? the answer is obvious, that Pharaoh might be induced to complete his own overthrow, and the arm of the Lord triumph gloriously.
Let us now attend to the last effort of the hardened heart of Pharaoh, yet smarting under the Almighty's chastisements ; he rushes against his buckler, an awful example of the pride and deceit of the human heart. On the other hand, let us survey a very distant.
picture, we shall be often called to contemplate, in considering the history of Israel, forgetting the Rock of Age, their Redeemer, their unbelief leading them to murmuring and rebellion. It is difficult to say which of the scenes gives the most humbling view of the human heart,--Pharaoh and his host madly opposing that almighty arm, which had so often rebuked them, or Israel sinking under apprehension, although the power o' heaven was engaged to protect them. Human wisdom could never have delivered; and they soon forgat, that with God all things are possible. The 13th verse gives an extensive view of the gospel of the grace of God. . Fear not yet ; stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.' The divine plan appears now most glorious ! Had Israel been as completely hemmed in, had there been even a possibility of escape, there might have been aome pretext to think or say, that their own arm delivered them, But it is difficult to say, whether the seas, mountains, Baal-Zephon, or hosts of Pharaoh, were the most invincible opponent ! No power less than the power of God could bring deliverance ; and, in this situation, heaven says, Fear not. What can allay such apparently wellgrounded terror ? Nothing but confidence in him who now speaks to them. Nor does God require the smallest iota of aid from them. Stand still, and behold the salvation of God. The full completion of what this day prefigured, remains yet to be fulfilled ; nor is the day
• The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Never was the gospel more powerfully preached than in these words ; never did the nature of the great salvation appear more strongly exhibited than on this occasion. The manner in which the 15th verse is translated, obscures this text. • Wherefore criest thoi • unto me?” The Chaldee Paraphrast renders it, I have accepted thy prayers. The literal meaning seems to be, In the awful dilemma in which they were placed, Moses had prayed to God for direction how to proceed, when the Lord answers, “ According to your earnest
prayer, speak thou unto the children of Israel, that they go for(ward.' Wonderful command, indeed! To go forward and encounter the waves of the Red Sea. Yes ; · But lift thou up thy rod, and • stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it, and the children • of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.' Never did the wonder-working power of God appear more astonishing ! A path in the mighty waters for the Lord to lead his ransomed hosts as on dry land ! Behold here the goodness and severity of God. That sea, which became a new and living way consecrated for the tribes of the Lord, was to prove the bed of death to Pharaolr and his hosts. And in their final overthrow, God was to be awfully ho. noured ; and there were they to be taught to know, that I am Je. • hovah.' No comment can illustrate this chapter ; every verse speaks forth the praises of the Lord more gloriously than the last. The cloudy pillar, which is in the same verse called the angel Jehovah, who had gone
before them as their leader, removed and went behind ; and while it gave light to the one, it threw a gloom and darkness on the other. It also proved a barrier, through which the Egyptians could not force their way.
It is still more remarkable, that through this pilfar, the Lord looked on the morning watch, and troubled the Egyptians.
But we hasten to notice the grand display of the great salvation which was here exhibited. Paul assures, that • by faith Israel passed • through the Red Sea, as on dry land, which the Egyptians essaying • to do, were drowned,' Heb. xi. ; and Paul, in the passage already quoted, 1 Cor. x. 1, 2. connects the passage through the Sea with the cloud, as their baptism to Moses. There was in this transaction, then, a grand display of salvation by the blood of the cross, to which their faith had respect, and into which they were thus baptised. It is impossible in our confined limits to do any kind of justice to one of the most wonderful subjects which the sacred page exhibits ; nor is it so much necessary for our purpose, as the spiritual design of it has been almost universally acknowledged. We shall, therefore, only detain our readers to recommend the following things to his particular examination : 1. That the salvation of Israel in Pihahiroth, is a fine representation of the salvation of the church of God: when there was no eye to pity, nor arm to save, then his eye pitied, his arm brought salvation. 2. He saves his church in a man. ner which human wisdom never could develop, through the billows of the stormy sea, even by the blood of the cross ; for it became • him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, thus to bring many sons to glory. 3. In that sea, he vanquished Baal-Zephon; he overcaine principalities and power3 ; he made a shew of them openly ; triumphing over them in his cross. 4. For the accom. plishment of this glorious work, he descended in the cloudy pillar, viz. he appeared in the likeness of sinful flesh, EMANUEL, God
5. There is here a grand figure of the last signal judgment of God on spiritual Egypt.
CHAP. XV.We have in this chapter the first song which the spirit of God has left on record ; and we find it is a song which the tribes of Israel will sing when they stand upon the sea of glass, and have obtained the victory over the last enemy, Rev. xv. 3. It is to be observed, that it was customary to celebrate any great deliverance of old by a song. Thus we read of Hannah's song, Deborah's, and many others. The highest attention was paid to the melody of their music ; and it was frequently accompanied with dancing, a natural sign of exultation and joy. We shall find the same thing observed among other nations. Dancing was part of the religious ceremonies of the Druids even in Great Britain. The sacred songs were generally sung alternately, or in chorus ; the one party standing over against the other; see Ezra iii
. 11. and Nehem. xii. 24. The angels themselves are represented as using the same manner of worship, Isaiah vi. 4. ; and all the glorified host, who are redeemed from the earth, begin the song, while the innumerable company of angels sing the response, • Amen, Shout angels round the throne,' Rev. vii. 9. 12.
This song was a song of faith ; and if we confine the subject to the mcre temporal deliverance of Israel, and the destruction of Pharaola