« PoprzedniaDalej »
Saviour, let all these things profit wax cold in me; lastly, that the me which thou hast freely done weakness of my flesh be not overfor me; who hast also given thy- come with the fear of death. Grant, self for me. Let thy blood cleanse O most merciful Father, that and wash away the spots and de- when death shall shut up the eyes filements of my sins. Let thy of my body, the eyes of my soul righteousness hide and cover my may still behold and look upon unrighteousness. Let the merits thee; and, when death hath taken and passion of thy blood-shedding away the use of my tongue, my be satisfactory for my sins. Give heart may cry and say unto thce, me, Lord, thy grace, that my faith Lord, into thy hands I commend waver not, but be firm and con- my soul ; 'Lord Jesus réceive my stant to the end; that my hope in soul. Amen."-He suffered death. thy mercy, and life everlasting, in the year 1540. may not decay; that love may not
ON THE PLAGUES OF EGYPT. long to contend with him, yet if No. X.
they still hold it out, and will not [Continued from Vol. Vi page 406.]
submit and humble themselves, he
will compel them at length to do it Exod. xii. 29, 30. And it came against their wills. When he bec to pass, that at midnight the Lord
ra gins he will also make an end. As smote all the first-born in the land
for God, his work is perfect, both of Egypt, from the first-born of judgment and mercy. Pharaoh Pharaoh that sat on his throne, was brought by the plague of darkunto the first-born of the captive ness to consent that they should that was in the dungeon, and all
take their children with them; the first-born of cattle. And
but he would held their cattle as a Pharaoh rose up in the night, pledge for their return. Further he and all his servants, and
means are to be used to force him
m all the Egyptians; and there was to let them
ewas to let them clearly quit his land. a great cry in Egypt ; for there The people might have departed was not a house where there was with all that they had, during the not one dead.
three days, when the Egyptians WE have here an account of the were imprisoned in darkness, whelast of what are called the ten ther they would or not. For they plagues of Egypt, though, in fact, had perfect light all the time. But there are eleven; and the last the their God would not have them to greatest of all, viz. the drowning of go against Pharaoh's consent, or Pharaoh and the Egyptians in the to steal away in a clandestine man. Red Sea; which shall be reserved ner. He would compel him to for the subject of a future dis- consent, and bring them out pub. courge. When God begins to have licly and triumphantly, like a vic: a controversy with a people, or torious army; therefore the tenth with an individual, he will surely plague is appointed. Obs. 1. The overcome at the last. Though in threatening of it.-2. The judghis 'forbearance, he permits men ment itself.-3. The effect. . .
1. It is denounced in chap. xi. awe of him, and had an exalted
And the Lord said to Moses, idea of his greatness and power Yet will I bring one plague more with God, from the miracles which upon Pharagh, and upon the Egyp- he had performed by his · hand. tians. Afterward he will let you The Lord often causes his servants, go hence.” He will then find that who act uprightly and in charache must do it, if he will preserve ter, to be feared and respected, himself and his subjects from being even by those who do not love and quite destroyed. 6When he shalí regard them as such. let you go, he shall surely thrust Ver. 4. " And Moses said to you out hence altogether.” He Pharaoh” (for here the conversawill be so far from attempting to tion is carried on from the former hinder you, that he will press you chapter) ". Thus saith the Lord, to be gone with all speed.-Ver. 2. About midnight will I go out into ""Speak now in the ears of the the midst of Egypt ;" i. e. in the people, and let every man borrow very next night ; to perform such of his neighbour, and every woman works in a way of terrible wrath, ! of her neighbour, jewels of silver as shall make thee glad to let the and jewels of gold.” Let them people go upon their own terms, ask them of them before their de- viz. with all that they have. “ And parture. It does not appear that all the first-born in the land of they were properly lent, with any Egypt shall die ; from the first-born expectation of being received of Pharaoh that sitteth on his again. But the Egyptians were throne, even to the first-born of the glad at length to get quit of Israel maid-servant that is behind the by giving them something valuable mill,” i. e, that is employed in the as a trespass-offering, for the in- lowest drudgery as a slave ; “ and juries they had done them; and all the first-born of beasts: and the Lord appointed this as some there shall be a great cry throughsmall recompense for the labours' out all the land of Egypt, such as which Israel had performed for the there was none like it, nor shall be Egyptians, and the slavery they like it any more.” Such bitter had endured. And as he has all sorrow and distress would be on hearts at his own disposal, he in- the occasion. — Ver. 7. “ But clined the Egyptians to comply against any of the children of with their demand.-Ver. 3.“ The Israel shall not a dog move his Lord gave the people favour with tongue.” Not the least harm should the Egyptians, and they imparted befal man or beast, while such afto them such things as they re- fecting calamities came upon the quired.” With which treasures Egyptians; “ that ye may know,'' they were prepared to form the and may clearly perceive, and be Tabernacle and its utensils in the convinced more fully than ever, wilderness. Thus the Lord can, “how that the Lord doth put a in whatever way he pleases, pro. 'difference between the Egyptians vide for his children all that they and Israel.” He can remarkably want, and all that is necessary to preserve and provide for his own, promote his own worship and ser- who trust in him in the present vice. This was also a pledge for world. Very soon he will put an the bringing of the Gentiles and astonishing difference between their substance into the Gospel them and others, as between hea. Church. Moreover the man ven and hell; infinite bliss, and in- Moses was very great in the land finite woe.Ver. 8.“ And all these of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh's thy servants shall come down unto servants, and of all the people." me, and bow down themselves They greatly feared and stood in unto me, saying, Get thee out, and
all the people that follow thee; in the dungeon, and all the firstand after that I will go out. And born of cattle.” He smote them he went out from Pharaoh in a with a sudden stroke, and all at great anger." Though eminent once. He inflicted on them a sore for meekness, he was much moved disease, which was fatal to them at Pharaoh's obstinacy and conall. The first-born were singled tempt of God's word and .com. out, and all these were slain. They mandment. It is a hard matter were in perfect health in the evenfor those who have a fervent zeal ing, and dead at midnight. The for God and for the eternal salva. Lord is the sovereign arbiter of tion of men's souls, not to be move life and death. He gave us our ed at times even almost to anger, life, and he is able, and has a right. when sinners treat their message to require it again, whenever he with scorn and neglect, and reso- will, and in whatsoever way. The lutely lasten on in the broad way,' deadly stroke fell on none but the I behelt the transgressors, and was first-born. The Lord had declared grieved. Jesus himself looked on at the first, chap. iv. 22," Israel them with indignation, because of is my son, even my first-born : let the hardness of their hearts. my son go, that he may serve me;
Ver, 9. « And the Lord said and if thou refuse to let him go, unto Moses, Pharaoh shall not behold I will slay thy son, even hearken unto you, that my won- thy first-born.” Accordingly the ders may be multiplied in the land plague lighted upon them, and of Egypt.” God did not infuse them only; and of all ranks and hardness into his heart, but only orders Pharaoh's heir-apparent foretold his obstinacy, withheld to the throne was cut off, notwithhis restraining influence, and left standing his greatness; together him to his own perverseness. If with the first-born son of every he had that day complied, he other person of his subjects, and would have escaped the terrible all' the first-born of cattle. The judgment, of which he had so plain- cattle had suffered for the sin of ly been forewarned; and occasion their owners; and they had been would not have been afforded for a punished with the loss of multifresh display of the power and tudes of them, under some of the justice of God. But the madness former plagues. Now again the of hardened sinners is so great, hand of the Lord is upon their subthat they will fear and regard no- stance, as well as their children. thing, till hell shuts its mouth - Ver. 30. “ And Pharaoh rose up upon them. And then, () that we in the night, he and all his serhad time to spend again ! Pharaoh vànts, and all the Egyptians.” still refused, though with the ut- Never had there been such a night most case he could have averted before. Their repose was awfully the impending judgment; there- disturbed by the sickness of all fore the Lord was as good as his the first-born; whether they were word; and he always will be so, in the state of manhood, or in however stupid sinners may delude youth, childhood, or infancy. themselves, and hope the conAnd they rose up, only to behold trary.
their agonies, and to be witnesses 2. We have the execution of the of their death, which no physithreatening : "And it came to pass cians, and no skill or ability on that at midnight the Lord smote earth, could prevent. This was a all the first-born in the land of heavier stroke than any of the forEgypt; from the first-born of Pha- mer plagues. And it may well be raoh that sat on his throne, to the conceived, what terror and deep first-worn of the captive that was 'distress spread through the land. " There was a great cry in Egypt:" come general. We be all dead the most bitter lamentations, from men. Thus sin finds out the authe most heart-rending grief and thors of it sooner or later; and anguish. The mourning for an God can make men's favourite only son, and bitterness for the sins become bitter and tormenting, loss of a first-born, is spoken of as even in this world, while the heart the most grievous sorrow, and the abides in impenitence. ..' height of severe and pungent dis
IMPROVEMENT. tress. And this was not in one or 1. It was a shocking calamity two families, but throughout the on the Egyptians; so general, and whole kingdom. “ There was not so suddenly coming upon them; a house where there was not one and well might there be universal dead;" and that one the dearest lamentation, mourning, and woe, and most valued in every family. when there was not a house wherein None were at liberty to sympa- there was not one dead. But there thize with, and to comfort others. is a still greater calamity, and Each one had his own burden, and more bitterly to be lamented, if it his own share of grief and terror. was but known and laid to heart,
3. The Effect. The point was throughout this Christian land, now gained. Pharaoh, though not and our own neighbourhood. To brought down by repentance, was speak the language of Bishop Be. brought down by punishment. veridge, there is perhaps scarcely He was at length compelled to let a house in which there is not one the people go.-Ver. 31. " And dead; but few houses in which he called for Moses and Aaron by there are not several dead; and night." Horror and remorse would too many houses in which all are not permit him to wait till morn- dead: spiritually dead; dead to ing.." And said, Rise up, and God, to Christ, to hope, peace, get ye forth from among my peo- and to all divine and spiritual ple, both ye and the children of things; without all taste and reIsrael, and go serve the Lord, as lish for them, as inactive in all ye have said. Also take your spiritual pursuits and exercises, as flocks and herds, as ye have said, a dead corpse in all the affairs of and be gone; and bless me also :" the world. This is the lamentable · . e. by praying that the destruc- state of all unconverted persons ; tion may proceed no further. dead in trespasses and sins; sunk Thus obstinate sinners would be and buried in the earth; stupid glad of help in distress from those and insensible of their misery they have scorned.' “ And the and danger through sin; with. Egyptians were urgent upon the out concern to know what they people, that they might send them must do to be saved; without ap. out of the land in haste ; for they petite for the spiritual food of the said, We be all dead men.” They Gospel; without the spirit, and had not been more anxious to de- even almost without the form of tain them, than now they were to prayer and serious religion: dead send them away. . They found while they live. Consider most them to be a burdensome stone, . houses, and, alas! one or more, and as a torch in a sheaf; and that or all therein, are thus spiritually it was at their highest peril to dead; destitute of all the symphinder them any longer. They toms of spiritual life; impenitent could not think themselves safe for and without feeling: and how few, a moment while they were in the any where, who manifest the least land. All the first-born, and the signs of life, or of the power of
flower of their families, were slain godliness! And let it be consi. · with a sudden stroke ; and they dered, that those that are dead expected the destruction to be spiritually, will die eternally, unless speedy conversion prevents. Search and try your ways, and Surely there is more cause for a turn again unto the Lord. Let it great cry on this account through be for the profit of your souls. this land and neighbourhood. The Learn to sit loose from all earthly means of life and grace abound; comforts; and let the deprivation but most remain entirely dead to bring you nearer to God; and be God. O that mankind would con- thankful that ye have not the lot sider, and at least use the reason of Job. of men! Awake, ye that sleep, 5. Instruct and restrain your and arise from the dead, that children, and in every way bring Christ may give you light. And them up in the nurture and admolet all that are made spiritually nition of the Lord; that ye may alive, lament the case of the be instrumental in saving their dead all around, and beseech the souls ;' and that if ye should be Lord to breathe on the dry bones, called to follow them to the grave, that they may live.
ye may not suffer the agonizing 2. Those who share with daring reflection, that perhaps they are sinners in their vain pleasures, un- lost for ever through your ex. godly practices, and disregard of ample and neglect. How should God's word, must expect to share the dread of this induce you to with them in their punishment; as pray and strive for yourselves and the Egyptians with Pharaoh. them! Though ye may not perhaps run 6. There was a great cry, &c. to the same lengths, yet if ye are We cannot but feel very sensibly in the same course, and are com- on the death of near and dear repanions of the ungodly, ye must latives. But Christians should perish along with them. A com- learn not to sorrow as those that panion of fools shall be destroyed. have no hope. We are to be exCome out from amongst them and cited by such solemn and affecting be separate, and touch not the events, to prepare for our own apunclean thing. Partake not in proaching departure; and to turn their sins, that ye partake not in our grief into the right channel, their plagues.
viz. for our sins. 3. See how children fare the
--Smitten friends worse for the sin of their parents ; Are angels sent on errands full of love; not in the future world, unless For us they languish, and for us they die. they tread in their paths, which, 7. How sudden and unlooked alas! is most likely; but particu- for is oft the awful stroke of larly in the present world. Pha- death, and to young as well as raoh and the Egyptians destroyed old! At midnight it may be said the lives of their first-born by their to any of us, Thy soul is required, disobedience. While pious pa- though we retired in perfect rents entail a blessing, the ungod. health. The Lord could send a ly entail a curse on their children, general mortality on us. Death, in various ways, and by their ex- however, will overtake us, perhaps ample and neglect are murderers very shortly or suddenly. There. of them in body and soul..
fore, whoever thou art, prepare to 4. Such as are deprived of some meet thy God. of their children by death, or of
CLERICUS DERBIENSIS, other temporal comforts, are to inquire wherefore it is ; whether their sins have not deserved it; A WORD TO THE AFFLICTED. whether it is for any particular “ MANY are the afflictions of sins or family neglect; wherefore the righteous.” Nor is there one the Lord contends with them. of them but has learnt this truth