網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

rebels, that they could not get free from them, either by bathing, or anointing themselves with oil. Even at this day, it is said, the remains of those vermin are found, which the people of the country call Pharaoh's lice. They are a round insect, of a greyish brown colour; Alining, and of the size of a nut; they are greedy of blood, and their bite is intolerable, in a short time extenuating both men and beasts. We may easily conceive, that they in nowise resemble those animals that are engendered by reason of uncleanliness; we cannot but suppose, that those of Egypt were raised up by the hand that governs nature. Let us examine more particularly, the circumstances of this prodigy. 1. Aaron was ordered to stretch forth his red, in order to perform it. Is it to be supposed, that he wrought this miracle, solely by the virtue of his rod? 2. Aaron struck the dust of the earth, and transformed it into lice. It is a fact, now well-known to every naturalist, that dust is incapable of producing any living thing. Not only is it incapable of producing insects, but it is hurtful to them. We fee quadrupeds and birds roll themselves in the dust, in order to get quit of the vermin that prey on them. 3. It is remarkable, that in all the land of Egypt, the dust suffered this change, at the moment that Aaron executed his orders. Now, though the multiplication of vermin is at all times rapid, yet, that they should extend over the whole country of a large kingdom, that they should attack all the inhabitants, from the king to the meanest of his subjects, and that they should not spare even animals ot every kind, is a circumstance, quite beyond the ordinary operations of nature. 4. If, as David fays, the whole country swarmed with these insects, does it not appear astonishing, that the neighbouring regions should be free from them? 5. The magicians themselves confessed the impotence of their art, and acknowledged the power of that Master who

controled controled them. God might have chastised Egypt, by abandoning it to the voracity of lions, tygers, wolves, and other wild beasts; but he chose to avenge himself by the vilest of animals; he chole that the Egyptians, who prostrated themselves before altars dedicated to insects, should fall under the scourge of their own contemptible idols; he chose to confound the artifices of Satan, destroy his works, and teach Pharaoh, by the mouths of his own magicians, that there is nothing in the universe, that can withstand his almighty power.

The fourth plague of Egypt differs from the third, cnly in this, that instead of one insect, there were various kinds. It is said in Exod. viii. 20. "And the Lord said unto Moses, rife up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, (lo, he cometh forth to the water,) and fay unto him, Thus faith the Lord, let - my people go, that they may serve me; else, if thou wilt not let my people go, behold, I will send swarms of flies upon thee, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thy houses; and the houses of the Egyptians shall be full of swarms of fiies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will sever in that day, the land'of Goihen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall, be there; to the. end that thou mayft know, that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth. And I will put a division between my people and thy people; tomorrow shall this sign be. And the Lord did so: and there came a grievous swarm of flies into the house of Pharaoh, and into his servants houses, and into all the land of Egypt: the land was corrupted by reason of the swarm of flies. And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we (hall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God;

Lo, Lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination os the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us? We will go three days journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the Lord our God, as he shall command us. And Pharaoh said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only you shall not go very far away; intreat for me. And Moses said, Behold, I go out from thee, and I will entreat the Lord, that the swarms of flies may depart from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people to-morrow; but let not Pharaoh deal deceitfully any more, in not letting the people go, to sacrifice to the Lord. And Moses went out from Pharaoh and'entreated the Lord. And the Lord did according to the word of Moses; and he removed the swarm of flies from Pharaoh, from his servants, and from his people; there remained not one." David also certifies this event, in these words of Psalm lxxviii. 46. " He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar,and their labour unto the locust." Josephus confirms the fame truth, and fays, that God sent upon the Egyptians, a number of different infects, the like of which, no body before had seen, and that the whole country was filled with them. 1 his. calamity has all the characters of a miracle. 1. Moses is informed, the evening before, of the time and place where he would find Pharaoh to speak to him, which shews the prescience of the Deity;' 2. The punishment exactly followed the threat; every thing was overspread with insects, except the land of Gcflien, which marks the absolute power which God exercises over the earth. 3. The next day, Moses delivered Egypt from this plague; an evident sign of the almighty power of God, 4. The insects were brought in the space of one night, to a place, in which they are not spontaneously generated, except by degrees. Their eggs must have a certain time before they^are hatched, and the caterpillars

undergo undergo different changes, at different intervals, and lye for many days in the state of a nymph, before they can become perfect flies. This shews, that Nature was no way concerned in the working of this miracle. 5. To create millions of insects, and to destroy them, almost as soon as they were created, certainly could not be the work of men, but of that Being, in whom resides the power of annihilating the bodies, which he alone can bring into existence.

Locusts were the eighth plague which afflicted E* gypt. We shall relate it at length from the tenth Chapter of Exodus. "And the Lord said unto Moses, go into Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants; that I might stiew these my signs before him: And that thou mayst tell in the ears of thy son, and of thy sons son, what things I have wrought in Egypt, and my signs which I have done amongst them; that you may know that I am the Lord. And Moses and Aaron came in, unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus faith the Lord God of the Hebrews, how long wilt thou refuse to humble thy self before me ? Let my people go that tbev may serve me. Else if thou refuse to let my people go, behold to morrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast. And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth, and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field. And they shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all thy servants, and the houses of all the Egyptians, which neither thy father, nor thy father's father have seen, since the day that they were upon the earth unto this day. And he turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh. And Pharaoh's servants said unto him, how long shall this man be a snare unto us? Let the men go, that they may serve

the the' Lord their God: knowest thou not yet that Eygpt is destroyed? And Moses and Aaron were brought again unto Pharoah: and he said unto them, go, serve the Lord your God, but who are they that shall go? And Moses said, We will go with our young, and with our old, with our sons* and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast urttd the Lord. And he said unto them, Let the Lord be so with you, as I will let you go, and your little ones: look to it, for evil is before you. Not so, go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord, for that you did desire. And they were driven but from Pharaoh'^ presence. And the Lord said unto Moses, stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts^ that they may come up upon the land of, Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt; and the Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that flights and when it was morning the east wind brought the locusts, and the locusts went Up over all the land of Egypt, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt, very grie- v vous were they, before them, there were rto such locusts, as they neither after them will be such^ for they covered the face of the whole earth, so that thei land was darkened, and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the fruit of the trees, which they had left: and there remained not any green thing in the trees* or in the herbs of the fields through all the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called Moses; and Aaron in haste, and he said I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you; now therefore; forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God* that he may take away from me this death only. And he went 6ut from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord, and the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind which took away

M ra . the

« 上一頁繼續 »