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ri SERMON VIII
ON THE SINAI TRANSACTION AND COVENANT
BETWEEN THE LORD AND THE PEOPLE OF 6. ISRAÉL, WITH THE GLORY, MAJESTY, AND
REGALIA OF SOVEREIGNTY, DISPLAYED BY
Exodus xix. 16, 17, 18.
“And it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud, so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp, to meet with God, and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly."
- THE Lord God brought forth his people, with joy, and his chosen with gladness, and went before them in a pillar of a cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night. “He divided the, waters of the Red Sea, and they passed safely through, whilst the Egyptians sank like lead in the mighty waters. : The cloudy pillar, sym bolical of the divine presence, was a gaide to the Israelites in their journies; as it rested on Mount Sinai, in the tabernacle and temple, it was the visible and outward manifestation of the glory of the Lord. When they had passed through the sea on the twenty-first day of Nisan, or Abib, they saw the Egyptians dead on the sea shore, for.which great act they sang the Lord's song, recorded in the fifteenth chapter of Exodus. A very distinct view of their march after they came out of Egypt, may be pleasing, and I will quote it from Dr. Lightfoot; "The clgyd of glory was their conductor. On the fifteenth day of Nisan, even while it was yet night, they, began their march, and went out in the sight of all Egypt, while they were burying their dead: this day they went from Rameses to Succoth; here they set off the sixteenth day of the month, and .came to the edge of the wilderness of Etham, The Red Sea so pointed into this wilderness, that before they passed the Red Sea, they were in the wilderness of Etham; and when they had passed it, they are in it again. The wilderness of Etham and Shur are one and the same: see Numbers xxxiii. 7; 8. compared with Exodus xv. 22. On the seventeenth day of Nisan they came to Pihahiroth; on the eighteenth day of the month, it was told Pharaoh 'that they fled; for till their third day's march they went right for Horeb, according as they had desired to go three days journey to sacrifice; but when they turned out of that way toward the Red Sea, then Pharoah had intelligence that they intended to go to some place which they had not mentioned, or asked leave to visit; therefore he and his Egyptian's prepare to pursue them. On the nineteenth day of the month, they set out on their pursuit; on the twentieth, towards evening, they overtake them encamping beside Pihabitoth, before Baal-zephon; that same night they enter the sea, and by break of day were all marched through, and the Egyptians drowned; on the one and twentieth in the morning they came out of the sea. This was the last day of the holy passover week: they sang the Lord's song, and after three days march they came to Marah, and from thence to Elim.' ,,?. . 1. In the Lord's going before the Israelites, and guiding them through the Red Sea, and overwhelming their enemies, we have full proofs of the care of Christ, and his merciful kindness towards his church." The passage through the Red Sea, and their being baptized unto Moses
in the cloud and in the sea, were figurative of our open passage through the blood of Christ, in the Lord's good way; and also of the ordinance of baptism. The murmurings of the Israelites are very expressive of our's, which are various, and almost always. When the Israelites saw the Egyptians marching after them, they were sore afraid, and cried out unto the Lord; but it seems, by their address to Moses, and by what the psalmist says, Psalm cvi. 7. to be nothing but sinful complaining: he says, “Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt, they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies, but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea."
Having passed safely through the sea, at Marah, a march of three days, they murmur for want of water, though three days before they had sang the high praises of God, for delivering them completely from the rage of the enemy: yet here the water being bitter, it was an occasion of their murmuring. Moses on this account cried unto the Lord, who shewed him a tree, which being cast into the waters, they became sweet. Here the Lord gave them an express ordinance or command to walk in, agreeable to his revealed will, proclaiming himself to be Jehovah, the physician and healer. The bitter water made sweet, may shew and remind us, how Christ and his presence with his people sweetens and sanctifies their greatest and most bitter afflictions: this
place was called Marah, i.e. bitterness, on account of the bitter waters. ..
This place was Shur, in the wilderness: froin hence they removed by the direction of the cloud to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and three score and ten palm trees, and they encamped there by the waters. Doubtless this situation must be very satisfactory to them; and it may serve to remind us of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, whose doctrines are as refreshing to the spiritual Israel of God, as these twelve wells of water were to the Israelites; and also of the seventy disciples sent forth by Christ to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick, who, like palm-trees, were borne up, and Jooking heaven-ward, whose doctrine was green, full of verdure, and where received, caused such to walk in the Lord's ways uprightly. At Elim the children of Israel abode several days, and might, in the twelve wells of water, be reminded of the number of their tribes, and in the seventy palm trees, of the seventy souls of Israel that came into Egypt. From hence they removed to Sin or Zin; from thence to Dopkah, from thence to. Alush, from thence to Rephidiin. .. . ., : . In this wilderness they murmured for want of bread, and the Lord sent them quails and manna. Here the sabbath is first mentioned, though not first commanded; it is conceived that in Egypt they had neglected it, and since their coming