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ness, as in Egypt, and also to chaftise their Enemies. Thrice happy the Nation who have the God of Heaven for cheir Guard ! And wretched that people, who have provoked the Eyes of his Glory, and rendered him their Adverfary! This was then thc different Case of the Israelites and Egyptians: Would we could say it is now that of ourselves, and our Enemies'! But alas! we have all the Reason ima. ginable to dread the contrary.
Well, the now infatuated and obftinate Egyptians, pursuing close after their former Slaves, had now almoft overtaken them, as they were encamped, with the Sea before them, and the Wilderness on each Side: And already had they swallowed them up in their Imagination, there being no Possibility of an Escape. Nay, in such a Strait they were, since there was no Appearance, humanly speaking, of being either able to advance, or retreat, that the trembling Ifraelites, terrified to Distraction at the Sight of their old cruel Oppressors, torgetful of all the Miracles, God, a little before, had wrought for them, and even of that constant one, they had then before their Eyes, in the Pillar of a Cloud, and chat of Fire, which attended on them as their Guide, began to murmur against Mofes, crying, Because there were no Graves in Egypt, haft thou taken us away to die in the Wilderness? Wherefore haft thou dealt thus with us, to carry us out of Egypt? Is not this the Word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians ? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we fould die in the Wilderness. .
Amazing Unbelief, and Ingratitude to their Di. vine Protector! In this more inexcusable, than the Egyptians themselves! And astonishing Condelcenfion and Goodness in their great Creator! That he not only did not deliver them up a Prey to their
Enemics, but even vouchsafed to remove their un. reasonable and impious Fears. And Moses said unto the People, Fear ye not, fand fill, and see the Salvas tion of the Lord, which he will few to you Today : For the Egyptians whom you have seen Today, ye hall see them again no more for ever. The LORD ball fight for you, and ye fall hold your Peace. And, indeed, accordingly, their infinitely gracious God immediately, gave them a Proof of his almighty Aliftance, by the Removal of the Pillar of the Cloud, which was before their Camp, to their Rear, where. by it effectually separated, and secured them from their Enemies ; over whom it diffused a thick Darkness, whilst it gave sufficient Light to the Ifraelites.
But now, the Measure of the Egyplians Iniquity being quite full, approached that dreadful and afto. nishing Hour, which never had its Equal, nor never will ; the Children of Israel are ordered to march forward, though the Sea lay immediately before them. But the Commands of Heaven are not to be disputed ; if the LORD enjoins it, a Way shall either be made through the Deep, or the Waves shall become firm, and stable as the Land, for whoinfoever he pleases to pass over. Accordingly, no sooner did Mofes stretch out his Wonder-working Rod over the Sea, than the obedient Billows retire, stand on Heaps, and form a Wall on the Right and Left of the 1raelites as they pass : Thus did these Favourites of Heaven march in Safety, and dry food, through the midst of the Sea.
Bur far differently did it fare with the wretched Egyptians ; who still impiously resolving to pursue their expected and defined Prey,, madly and despe-, sately attempt a Passage, the same miraculous Ways thus running headlong upon that utter Deitruction and Desolation to which they were now devoted,
and which immediately awaited them. Behold them then all, now advanced to the middle of the Sea, wher, as a Preliminary, and Forerunner, to that dreadful Punishment, for which they were now reserved, the Almighty Lord of Heaven and Earth looks through the Pillar of the Cloud and Fire upon them, takes off their Chariot Wheels, and spreads Terror and Confusion throughout their Army; inlomuch that, in Agony of Spirit, they cry out, but, alas ! too late, Let us Äly from the face of Israel, for the LORD fighteth for them, against the Egyptians.
Poor miserable Wretches ! Were they then to learn this ? What were all the heavy Judgments, he had inflicted upon them in their own Country, at the same time, that the Ifraelites were exempt from them, but so many Instances of his fighting against them? Well, but now at last they are grown wise, and cry, Let us fly from the Face of Il. rael. Ay; but the Question is, which Way? The Waters on each side, like a Wall of Adamant, render it impracticable, to move either to the right or left; there is therefore no other Course, but to turn back ; 'this, indeed, they resolve upon ; but, dreadful Thought! they are in the very midft of the Sea, and before they can again gain the Shore, the Waves may return to their Fluidity, and overwhelm them in an Instant !
Alas! wretched Sinners against your own Souls ! This is but too truly to be apprehended! For, be. hold the Ifraelites, whom you had doomed to Sla. very, or Destruction, being now arrived safe as Land, the dreadful Rod is again Itretched out over
the Sea ; the Waves resume their usual Activity, and - an Abyss of Waters hattens on a pace, on all sides,
to overwhelm every guilty Offender! Good Hea. vens! what Tongue can express, or what Imagina. tion conceive, the Horrors, which, in the mean while,
possessed each trembling Egyptian at chis terrible Sight! No Way remaining to escape, unless they could take the Wings of Eagles ; nor even then, whilst the God of Israel fought against them ; they were all swallowed up then to a Man, bythe merci. less Waters; and will continue, throughout all Ages, a memorable and fearsul Example, of the dreadful Consequences of breaking the First Command. ment. Such was the End of that impious and atheistical Prince, who durst haughtily ask Mofes, Who is the LORD, that I fould obey his Voice, to let Israel go? I knoru not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.
We have dwelt thus long upon this Story, though otherwise sufficiently known, becaufe it is the most remarkable in all History, either sacred or prophane; and, we trust, we have fet several Particu. lars in a much fronger Light than they appear in the short Narraiive of Mofes, for the Benefit of such Readers as are not able of themselves, to make proper Remarks upon each Fact that occurs ; and con. sequently, to see the full Extent and Enormity of Pha. raoh's Crimes, which consisted not only in cruel Opa pression, but in downright Rebellion and Blasphemy, and Defiance of his Creator; and for which, therefore, severe as the Judgments were which befel him, they were no more than both he, and his People who were Partakers in his Guilt, most justly de, served.
The next Example we shall cite of the Blackness and dreadful Effects of violating this Command, shall be that of Sennacherib, King of Allyria. This Prince, the greatest in his Time, having invaded the Kingdom of Judah, then under the Govern... ment of the pious and religious Monarch Hezekiah, and having taken the rest of the frong Towns, proposed likewise to have reduced Jerusalem, and made
an intire Conquest of the Nation. This, probably, he might easily have done, had the Jerus chen been under an idolatrous Prince, and given to the fame Sin themselves ; for whenever they fell from the Worship of the true God, they were sure to be de. feated by their Enemies, and reduced by them ; but whenever they turned again to the LORD, 'he became their Defender and Keeper, from all who would have destroyed them.
Happily, therefore, for them at this Time, and unfortunately for Sennacherib, they were now returned sincerely to the LORD their God; and Hezekiah, their religicus Sovereign, having a just Confidence in him, prepared in earneft for a resolute Defence. The haughty Allyrian, being informed hereof, fent divers of his Captains, with a great Ara my, against Jerusalem ; one of whom, called Rab, Makeh, vomited out many Blasphemies against the
living God, in his Master's Name ; exhorting the : Fews not to trust in him, but to yield themselves
to Sennacherib, and become his Tributaries. Not content with this, the King of Asyria likewise fent a Letter to Hezekiah, wherein he reproached the Almighty, and declared, he should not be able to des liver Jerusalem out of his Hands.
To all these Blasphemies the pious Hezekiab made no other Answer, than redoubling his Cries and Prayers to his God, in whom he placed his only Hope ; and by laying all the Alyrian's inju. rious Speeches, together with his impious Letter, before him in his Temple. Accordingly, he foon reaped the happy Fruits of this his prudent Conduct, and religious Confidence, in the Lord of Heaven and Earth ; receiving soon an Answer of Peace from him, with an Adurance, that Sennacherib should be so far from reducing Jerufalem, that he fhould not be able so much as to loot oneArrow against it, or