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power over the lives of mankind, by inflicting that punishment which he had before threatened *. It seems to be intimated in this section, that some of the Egyptians were so affected by the judgments they had endured, that they feared to refuse any thing which Moses or the Israelites should require of them; at least they wished to be rid of a people, whose detention had been the cause of so much distress to their country. Pharaoh, however, continued obstinately resolved not to obey the LoR D : and instead of humbling himself, received, with the most furious rage, the awful message which Moses delivered to him. The apostle St. Paul observes, that it is one effect of impiety to deaden the tender affections of the soul + ; and the passage before us affords a striking proof of this assertion. Pharaoh had sufficient reason to believe that the LoRD was able to do what he threatened; and, if his heart had been susceptible of the usual emotions of parental love, he would readily have made a sacrifice of his firide to save the life of his child; the same may be said of his subjects. The expression, the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart, is frequently repeated, perhaps to keep in mind, that unless he had been strengthened, as has been before observed, he could not have maintained such a long contest with Omnipotence. It is certain, that Moses did not suppose that God had doomed Pharaoh to commit evil, and suffer for it, for he frequently admonished him to obey the command of the LoR D ; and repeatedly intreated the Lord to deliver him from the plagues ; this would have been a mockery of God, nay, an act of presumption in Moses, if he had been convinced, that God Himself prevented Pharaoh's compliance, on purpose to bring him to destruction. * Sec Section lviii, t Rom, i. 31. “Without natural affection.”
We learn from this section, that the death of chil<dren is sometimes meant as a divine chastisement to parents. In respect to the Egyptians, it was most likely designed as a punishment for bringing up theirs to defy the Los D. God of the Hebrews. If then we have any desire to preserve the lives of our children, let us be careful not to offend the Lok D by any flagrant act of impiety ourselves; or encourage in our offspring the practice of any vice, that may provoke Him to cut them off in the morning of their days.
the INSTITUTION of THE PASSOVER.
From Exodus, Chaft. xii.
AND the Load spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak ye 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 theiofathers, a lamb for an house. And if the household be too little for the lamb, let him and his neighbour next unto his house take it, 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 shall take it out from the sheep, w from the goats. And ye shall keep it up until the fourteenth day of the
same month ; and the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening., And 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. ` - 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 purtenance thereof. And ye shall let nothing of it remain until the morning: and that which remaineth of it until the morning, ye 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, For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all, the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast : and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment; I am the Lord. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are : and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. - – And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for eyer. Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover. And ye shall take a bunch of hyssop, and dip it in the blood that is in the bason, and strike the lintel and the two side-posts with the blood that is in the bason; and none of you shall go out at the door of his house
“until the morning. For
For the Lond will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel and on the two side-posts, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. - - And ye shall observe this thing for an ordinance to thee, and to thy sons for ever. a And it shall come to pass, when ye be come to the Tand which the Lord will give you, according as he hath promised, that ye shall keep this service. And it shall come to pass, when your children shall say unto you, What mean ye by this service That ye shall say, It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when he smote the Egyptians, and delivered our houses. And the people bowed the head and worshipped. And the children of Israel went away, and did as the Ilor D had commanded Moses and Aaron, so did they.
- of , ANNOTATIONS AN p REFLECTIONS.
Though the Israelites were not firesumptuous or frofane, like the Egyptians, they were yet sinners, and having, as such, incurred the penalty of death”, they had no claim to divine favour, neither could they redeem themselves. But God graciously determined, of His own bountiful mercy, before the foundation of the world, to pardon all those who would repent of their sins, believe, fear, and trust in Him, and obey his Divine commands; and ordained that the firomised seed of the woman should satisfy His justice, and make atonement for the sins of the whole race of mankind, by submitting to a voluntary death for their redemption.
# Rom. vi. 23.
The time for this sacrifice was yet at a very great distance, when Israel was about to be delivered from Egyptian bondage; but as that deliverance was designed to be a type of the greater deliverance from the bond. age of sin ; and also a pledge to assure his faithful servants of the certainty of it; the Lo RD instituted the fassover, as a representation of the great sacrifice to be made in the fulness of time. It was a very significant regulation, that in respect to ecclesiastical affairs, every succeeding year should commence with the solemnization of a rite which intimated a redemption from death, through the mercy of God. y The passover was instituted about the beginning of our March, which prefigured, that the Redeemer of the world should suffer in that month : before the institution of the passover, the Israelites began to date the new year from the middle of September, and still continue to do so in civil concerns. It was required that every houshold should kill a lamb for itself, that each individual might have an op
portunity of expressing his faith in God's promises, by
joining in that divine ordinance, which was a token of
his intended mercy to them. A Lamb without blemish was a fit emblem of a Sā
viour who would live a life of perfect innocence and
holiness. The Lord's commanding the Lamb to be
slain, indicated, that He, having appointed death to be the punishment of sin, it was necessary, for the satisfaction of divine justice, that this penalty should be paid by the Redeemer, of whom the Lamb was a type or representation; and the sprinkling of the blood served at once to testify the faith of the Israelites, and to intimate the efficacy of the blood of the REDEEME R.
The paschal lamb was slain before Israel was delivered