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ONLY SAFETY [SER. V“ in abundance, in the chambers of their “ kings. He spake, and there came divers « sorts of flies, and lice in all their coasts. He “ gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire “ in their land. He smote their vines also, " and their fig-trees; and brake the trees of “ their coasts. He spake, and the locusts “ came, and caterpillars, and that without “ number, and did eat up all the herbs “ in their land, and devoured the fruit of “ their ground.” In all these various ways did God punish the Egyptians for disobeying his command, each of them having a particular design, inasmuch as they bore an analogy to the crimes and idolatry of that people'. But the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, and he would not let Israel go. Then it was that “the Lord said unto Moses, " Yet will I bring one plague more upon “ Pharaoh, and upon Egypt: afterward he “ will let you go hence?.” The plague is thus described : “ About midnight will I go out,” saith the Lord, “ into the midst of “ Egypt: and all the first-born in the land « of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of “ Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even “ unto the first-born of the maid-servant “ that is behind the mill; and all the “ first-born of beasts”.” “ But against any “ of the children of Israel shall not a dog “ move his tongue, against man or beast : “ that ye may know how that the Lord doth " put a difference between the Egyptians “ and Israel."
e Ps. cv. 27—35.
f Pryant's Observations on the Plagues inflicted on the Egyptians.
g Ex. xi. 1.
To the mean by which the latter were preserved from the desolation of the former; the manner in which this mean was used; and the success which accompanied the manner of using the mean, our attention is directed in the text.
A few remarks, explanatory of each of these particulars, will first be offered; after which such a use will be made of the text as is suitable to the solemnity of the present occasion. May HE who has the hearts of all men at his disposal, sanctify instruction to our hearts at this time, that his name may be glorified, and our salvation promoted !
k Ex. xi. 4, 5. i Ex. xi. 7.
First, The explanatory remarks will be made. And you will observe,
1. That the mean by which the Israelites were preserved from the desolation of the Egyptians was, “ the keeping of the pass« over, and the sprinkling of blood.”
The passover was a lamb slain and eaten by the Israelites, according to the divine command. Particular directions were given for the choice of the lamb, its preparation for death, and the manner in which it should be eaten.“ Speak ye,” says God to Moses and Aaron, “ 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 faothers, a lamb for an house: and if the house. “ hold be too little for the lamb, let him and “ his neighbour next unto his house take it 56 according to the number of the souls: every “man according to his eating shall make ~ your count for the lamb. Your lamb " shall be without blemish, a male of the < first year: ye ahall take it out from the “sheep, or from the goats: and ye shall “ keep it up unto the fourteenth day of the 6 same month: and the whole assembly of THE HOUR OF DANGER
“ the congregation of Israel shall kill it in “ the eyeningk.” “ And they shall eat the “ flesh in that night, roast with fire; and “ unleavened bread, and with bitter herbs “ they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor " sodden at all with water, but roast with “ fire ; his head, with his legs, and with the
purtenances thereof. And ye shall let “ nothing of it remain until the morning ; “ and that which remaineth until the morn“ ing, you shall burn with fire: And thus “ shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, “ your shoes on your feet, and your staff in “ your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste : “it is the Lord's passover!” The sprinkling of blood, is the sprinkling of the blood of the lamb, as God directed them. “ They « shall take of the blood, and strike it on the “ two side posts, and on the upper door “ post of the houses, wherein they shall eat "it"." This blood thus sprinkled was to be for a token upon the houses where the Israelites were, that thus they might be distinguished from the Egyptians". The reason which God assigns for this will more particularly illustrate the nature of the passover. I will pass through the land of « Egypt,” saith God, “ this night, and will “ smite the first-born in the land of Egypt, “ both man and beast.”—“ And when I see “ the blood,” viz. that sprinkled upon the door posts, “ I will pass-over you; and the “ plague shall not be upon you to destroy “ you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”.
k Ex. xii. 3—6. 1 Ex. xii. 8—11. m Ex. xii. 7.
n Ex. xii. 13.
Such then was the mean by which the Israelites were preserved; “ the keeping of “ the passover, and the sprinkling of blood ;" that is, the blood of the lamb which was to be slain and eaten.
II. The manner in which this mean was used, was by faith.
“ Now faith,” saith the apostle, “ is the A“ substance of things hoped for, and the evi
“ dence of things not seen”.” In both these respects was it exercised in keeping of the passover, and the sprinkling of blood. That which 'was hoped for, was deliverance from the destroyer: and the deliverance, thus hoped for, was a thing not seen as yet. Faith gave the thing hoped for an actual existence in the mind of Moses and Israel, • Ex. xii. 12, 13.
p Heb. xi. 1.