Obrazy na stronie
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Ift, It is expreffed by SEEING; I have seen, I have feen their affliction; or, feeing I have feen it. Here is mercy in his eye; he gives a look of pity and compaffion.

2dly, It is expreffed by HEARING; I have heard their groaning, I have beard their groaning. Here is mercy in his ear, which was open to their cry.

3dly, It is expreffed by a coмING DOWN; I am come down to deliver them. Here is mercy in his feet, and band, and motion, for their help.-Thefe are figurative expreffions, God fpeaking after the manner of men, by an ufual allegory; and you have it very orderly expreffed, Exod. iii. 7, 8, 9.

We fhall here obferve three reafons of thefe expreffions.

1. To fhew his wifdom, that when men would act rightly towards oppreffors or oppreffed, they fhould cognofce, and put matters to a fair trial; or fhould fee with their eyes, as it were, how matters are; and hear with their ears, what humble fupplications are made to them, and act a just and equal part.

2. To let us fee the patience of God, that he runs not at the first to ftrike, like a furious perfon, but comes at leifure, and by degrees: having feen the cafe of his people, he hears their cry.

3. To let us fee the certainty and folidity of God's dealings, that though he fuffers long, he will not fuffer always; and that, when he comes, he comes to purpofe, for judgment on his enemies, and mercy to his friends. When men have pronounced judgment, they may retract, because they have not confidered duly before-hand; but God hath feen, and feen again; and heard, and well confidered matters, before he ftrikes, If he hath come with feet of wool, when he comes, he will have hands of iron. We need not fay, the Lord is long in coming to punish the wicked, for when he comes, his ftrokes are fad, and fure, and heavy. His judgments are great and heavy. Nor that he is long in coming to deliver his people; for, when he comes indeed, he comes down with a vengeance on their enemies, and with an out-ftretched arm of falvation and deliverance towards

them:

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Chrift the true Mofes,

SER. CXX.

them "The day of vengeance is in my heart; for the year of my redeemed is come," Ifa. Ixiii. 4.

Therefore, let us reverence the providence of God in a way of fhewing mercy; let us wait upon God, and give him time; his own time, to fee, and hear, and come. He must have his feeing-time; I have feen their affliction. He muft have his hearing-time; I have beard their groanings. And then he will have his comingtime; I am come down to deliver. "He that believeth, maketh not hafte," but waits his time. Are you op preffed with fpiritual enemies? with ftrong, powerful, and prevalent lufts and corruptions? Are you crying day and night, "Lord, avenge me of mine adverfary?" Luke xviii. 3. Are you longing for God's coming down for your deliverance? O wait patiently upon this merciful and compaffionate God: for he is neither blind nor deaf, nor dead, like the idol gods of the nations; no: he is a feeing God, an all feeing God; I bave feen, I bave feen your affliction: he is a hearing God; I have beard your fecret groanings: and he is a coming God, he is on his way coming down to you; "He is a God of judgment, bleffed are all they that wait for him."

V. The fifth thing in the words, is the means and inftrument that he ufes for their help. And now come, Mofes, I will fend thee into Egypt. Now, we are to confider thefe words, 1. Literally, as they relate to Moles. And, 2. Typically, as they relate efpecially to Chrift, of whom Mofes was but a type and fhadow.

Ift, Let us confider them literally, as they relate to Mofes; Come now, and I will fend thee into Egypt, to be a deliverer to my people there. And here the following remarks may be offered.

Remark 1. "That though God could have deliver"ed Ifrael by his own almighty hand immediately, "without any means or inftrument, yet he choofed to "do it by a Mofes." He that made a voice to fpeak to Mofes, could, by a voice, deliver them without the help or hand of any inftrument. He could, by an extraordinary providence, do whatever he did by an inftrument; but he choofes to employ inftruments.

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Thus God could bring about a reformation in Scotland, without the inftrumentality of any man; but he chooses to do otherwife: therefore let none fay, I need not put to my hand, for God will do his work whether I meddle or not but if he be calling us to do work for him, let us not fay it is needlefs. What if Mofes had faid fo to God, at this time? furely it would not have become him to have refufed fuch an honourable employment. Put to thy hand, in the name of God, to the work of perfonal, family, and national reformation; and, if you can do more, pray the Lord earnestly that he would work the work. We ought not to go into lurking holes, when God hath any thing ado; for, God honours men thus, when he employs them in any good work. Yet it is not for want of ftrength he does this, but to try people, if they will be zealous and valiant for a good caufe. We fhould blefs the Lord, if he be making any fmall number to take the cause of reformation to heart. I have heard how, in our glorious reformation-days, God fpurred a number of young noblemen oftentimes to meet by fix or feven in the morning, to ftay together till nine or ten at night; and, all that time, to be only occupied about religion, and never a word of any other thing; and yet not at all wearied or uneafy. How did this appear to be a work of God! Indeed, if God has a mind to bring about reformation in our day, it looks not very likely as yet, that God is to honour our nobility and gentry to be the beginners of it; but if he fhall leave in the midst of us a poor, afflicted, and despised people, a contemptible handful, and make them his inftrument: he can do glorious things even by very base and contemptible means; for fo did he here. Therefore,

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Remark 2. "Mofes is taken from the ftation of a fhepherd, to be a king in Jefhurun; a commander "and deliverer to Ifrael; like David, from following "the ewes with young." Mofes, from his mean fervice, is called to lay the foundation of the Jewish church. So the apoftles, a company of poor fishermen, were taken from their fhips and nets, to lay the foundation of the Christian church. God doth great things by fmall contemptible means, and means that are defpifed; for fo

was

was Mofes, as you fee in the verfe following the text. This Mofes, whom they refufed, faying, "Who made thee a ruler and a judge?" the fame did God fend to be a ruler and deliverer by the hands of the angel which appeared to him in the bufh. When God appears for his work in a church, fome expect it will be by very remarkable inftruments; and that he will make use of filver or golden trumpets to gather his church: but if he come not that way, but rather by moft defpicable means, like rams horns; why, think they, what will thefe do? O! how apt are we to mistake Christ, even when he comes for our deliverance, especially if he come in some strange unbeaten path, as when he came to the difciples relief, but came walking on the waves of the fea? Indeed, the floods have lifted up their voice: floods of oppofition to God's work, floods of church authority and ecclefiaftical fentences against the work of God, and witnesses for it. If Christ come walking upon fuch floods, and trading but these proud waves, and pouring contempt upon human authority, which ftands in his way fome are frighted at his coming in fuch a road, and afraid it be a fpirit, a delufive fpirit: yea, but God has strange ways of delivering his people; "His ways are not our ways." Man's ways favour of the things of the earth: "Is this the manner of man?" fays David: no; not a man in all the world would have taken. you from sheep-herding, and made you a king; nor Mofes from being a fhepherd alfo to be a prince: yea, but it is part of God's way, whofe ways are above our carnal and earthly ways, as the heaven is above the earth.

Remark 3. "The time of God's employing Mofes ; "Come Now, I will fend thee, &c." Mofes might have thought with himself, why, now? for I was forty years there already; and now it is forty years fince I came out of it: yea, but he was to be employed now a third forty years, in leading Ifrael towards Canaan. But my appearing formerly to be a deliverer among them mifgave, might he think; why wherefore now? Well, but the time was not then come; but now is the time come for delivering them; and therefore his errand was to be the more fuccefsful.

Now

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their affliction is come to any extremity; now is the accepted time; now the four hundred years are elapfed, and the promife to their fathers, that I would appear for them about fuch a time; therefore, there is work for you now, Moles, not only as a prophet, to tell the people that I am about to deliver them; but as my ambaffador to Pharaoh, to demand, in the name of the King of kings, that he would render the Lord's people to him. He is fent as a king of Ifrael to lead them forth. God, many times, when he is about to deliver his people, screws up their trials to the highest degree, that fo their deliverance may be the more wonderful and remarkable.

Remark 4. "That Mofes runs not till he is fent:" he declared himself indeed fomewhat unwilling at first, but this flowed from a fenfe of his own unworthinefs. True amballadors of God are feat of him; they have a regu lar miflion, and muft not fail to go when they are fent. Their comfort, if not their fuccefs, depends upon their being called of God and fent. The fuccefs, indeed, muft be referred to God; but we must evermore look to our duty, and yield obedience to the divine call, ufing the means, and leaving the event to God.

2dly, Confider thefe words typically, as they relate to Chrift, of whom Mofes was a type. His being fent to deliver Ifrael out of the land of Egypt, and out of the houfe of bondage, was a typical reprefentation of God's fending his Son to redeem us from our natural flate of fin and mifery, and worfe than Egyptian bondage. Mofes himfelf prophefied of Chrift's being fent of God upon this errand, Deut. xviii. 18. See Acts vii. 37. where our text lies. Now, as it relates to Chrift, and the fpiritual falvation from the fpiritual Egypt, we are to take a twofold ..view of it, namely, Christ in his perfon, and Christ in his minifters and meffengers.

[1] As it relates to Chrift himfelf, here typified by Mofes, we obferve, That Chrift is the Sent of God to deliver us out of the bondage of a natural ftate. He is fent of God, of God the Father for our redemption, God the Father fays, upon the matter, in this transaction, Come now, and I will fend thee into Egypt. John iii. 17. "God fent not his Son to condemn the world, but that VOL. VII. +Y the

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