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controled them. God might have chastised Egyptj 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 chose that the Egyptians, who prostrated themselves before altars dedicated to insects, should fall under the scourge of their own contemptible idols; he chose to consound the artisices 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, only in this, that instead of one insect, there were various kinds. It is said in Exod. viii. 20. "And the Lord said unto Moses, rise up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh, (lo, he cometh forth to the water,) and fay unto him, Thus faith the Lordt 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 flies, and also the ground whereon they are. And I will lever in that day, the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end that thou mayst 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 fliall 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 flics. And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrisice to your God in the land. And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrisice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God j .r Lo,
Lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not (tone 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 frctti thee, and-1 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 Moles; 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 Psai.m lxxviii. 46. ".He gave also their increase unto the caterpillar,and their labour unto the locust."1 Josephus confirms the fame truth, and fays, that God tent 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. This 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 Goshen, which marks the absolute power which God exercises over the earth. 3. The next day, Moses delivered Egypt from this plague; an evistent 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 arc hatched, and the caterpillars
undergo, undergo different changes, at different intervals, and iye 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 Egypt. We stia'l 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 (hew 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 they 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 mall 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 mart be a share unto us? Let the men go, that they may serve
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 seast unto 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 lo, go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord, for that you did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's 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 night, 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 grievous were they, before them, there were no such locusts, as they neither after them will be such, for they covered the face of the whole earth, so that the 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 sields through all the land of Egypt. Then Pharaoh called Moles and Aaron in haste, and he said I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you; now therefore forgive,! pray thee, my sin only this once, and in• treat the Lnrd your God, that he may take away from me this death only. And he went out from Pharaoh, and entreated the Lord, and the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind which took away
M m the the locusts, and cast them into the Red Sea, these Temajned not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt." What is there in all this that is not the esfect of a power superior to that of nature? i. Moses and Aaron threaten the King, and in the space of a day, 'the threatis executedineverypof.it. i. Moses only stretches forth his hand, and all Egypt changes its appearance. 3. An east wind rises in the evening, blows the whole day, and continues during the night, and yet the insects enter the country only at the appointed time. 4. Locusts appear, but of an extraordinary species which never had been seen before; whereas according to the constant laws of animated beings, it is impossible that one kind can produce any thing but its like. 5. Armies of locusts have been 'seen ravaging one province or another of a kingdom; but have they ever been known all at once occupying the whole extent of a country? Have insects ever been found so numerous, as to cover the face of the earth, and to obscure the light of day? 6. Locusts quit one sield, and light upon another; but here they attack Pharoah in his palace surrounded by his guards; thev enter the cabinets of his ministers, they afflict his officers in their houses j they encounter his soldiers in their quarters, and desolate his subjects in their cottages*7. Those insects in their ravages, always leave what is not agreeable to their taste, or at least what they are unable to use, but in Egypt they devoured every green thing. 8. The author of the Book of Wisdom, Chap. xvi. 9. says thaC ** for them (the Egyptians) the bitings of grasshor/pers and flies killed, neither was ("here found any remedv for their lise, for they were worthy to be punished by such." 9. Pharaoh himself consesses this in the prayer he addresses to Moses and Aaron, where he gives these insects the name of death, t0. Lastly, there arises a west wind which purisies Egypt, so that there remains nothing of what the contrary wind had brought, This last fact perhaps may be attributed