Page images






u ver. 9.

Pch. 34. 20.


47. & 18. 15,


1 Heb. to

morrow. ver. 3.

cometh of a beast which 16 And it shall be for
thou hast ; the males shall u token


thine hand, be the Lord's.

and for frontlets between 13 And Pevery firstling thine eyes : for by strength Numb.18. 15,

of an ass thou shalt redeem of hand the Lord brought l| Or, kid.

with a || lamb; and if thou us forth out of Egypt.
wilt not redeem it, then 17 [ And it came to
thou shalt break his neck : pass, when Pharaoh had let
and all the first-born of the people go, that God led

man among thy children them not through the way Numb. 3. 46, 9 shalt thou redeem. of the land of the Philis

14 | And it shall be tines, although that was "Ch.12.26.0, when thy son asketh thee near; for God said, Lest Josh. 4. 6, 21. † in time to come, saying, peradventure the people

What is this ? that thou " repent when they see v ch.14.11, 12.
shalt say unto him, S By war, and w they return to
strength of hand

the Egypt :
LORD brought us out from 18 But God led the

Egypt, from the house of ple about, through the way

of the wilderness of the Red 15 And it came to pass, Sea : and the children of Is

when Pharaoh would hardly rael went up ||harnessed out Or, by five ch. 12. 29. let us go, that 'the Lord of the land of Egypt.

slew all the first-born in 19 And Moses took the
the land of Egypt, both the bones of Joseph with him :
first-born of man, and the for he had straitly sworn
first-born of beast: there- the children of Israel, say-
fore I sacrifice to the Lord ing, o God will surely visit Gen. 50. 25.
all that openeth the matrix, you ; and ye shall carry up Acts 7. 16.
being males ; but all the my bones away hence with
first-born of


children 1 you. redeem.

Numb. 14.

1-4. Deut. 17.16.

*ch. 14. 2. Numb 33.6,


in a rank.

[ocr errors]

PRAYER.—Let Us PRAY, that as the Israelites in Egypt, by faith in God's promise, kept the Passover, and the sprinkling of the blood of the lamb upon

the door-posts of their houses, lest He that destroyed the first-born should touch them-we also, amidst the darkness of surrounding infidelity, the threatenings of God's judgments, the death of souls, and the journeyings through the wilderness of life, may spiritually eat the flesh of the Lamb of Godthat we consecrate ourselves to God as members of the Church of the first-bornthat we follow the guidings of His providence, and remember the promises which comforted our dying friends.

O Eternal Son of God, who in the glory which Thou hadst with the Father before the world was made, didst take upon Thee to do the will of God, and to deliver man; and who didst institute and ordain the sacrifice of a lamb, to preserve among men the promise of Thy first coming, as the true sacrifice, into the world, and didst also institute and ordain the Holy Sacrament of the bread and wine, to preserve the commemoration of the fulfilment of the holy promise --give us, we

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

beseech Thee, such grace, that as Thy people Israel in Egypt did keep the Passover, and sprinkle the blood of the lamb upon the door-posts of their houses, in obedience to Thy holy word, lest the destroying angel should slay them when he passed over the land of Egypt; we also, at all times and seasons, may spiritually, by faith, eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood, and be ready for the day when the soul shall meet its God. We have no hope but in Thee. We have erred and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep. There is no health in us. By thought, word, and deed, we have grievously sinned against Thy divine majesty, and we have no hope of mercy, but in that full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, which Christ, the eternal Son of God, has offered once for all, for the sins of the whole world. O God and Father of the spirits of all flesh! O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, give us such grace we pray Thee, that we follow the example of Thy people Israel in Egypt; and spiritually prepare the lamb of the sacrifice by constant, daily, ceaseless fitness for the hour of our departure from the Egypt of this sinful world. When the judgments of God have been poured forth upon the world, as Thy plagues were sent down upon Egypt; and when the darkness of infidelity and ignorance so surrounds us, that the ways of Thy providence, the warnings of Thy word, and the preaching of the ministers of Thy truth, are alike despised ; then, oh! then, send forth Thy light and Thy truth into our souls, that there may be light in our churches, in our dwellings, and in our hearts ; and that we choose the lamb of the Passover as our portion; and set apart the Son of God within us, as the life and strength of the soul. —As the people of Israel did sprinkle the blood upon their door-posts, so sprinkle our hearts from the evil of which the conscience reproaches us. Take from within us that leaven of sin and vanity, of worldliness and weakness, which will leaven the whole soul, unless it be removed from Thy people by the mercy and grace of God. Ever may we be ready to depart with our loins girded, with the feet shod with the preparation of Thy Gospel of peace, and with perfect faith and dependance on the staff of the providence of God. When the day of our summons shall come, may the sprinkling of the blood of Christ upon the soul be the token of our salvation, the pledge of Thy mercy, and the source of our comfort ; that the second death, the death of the soul, shall not be our portion ; and the deliverance of the soul from the Egypt of the world be completed. Before that day shall come, while we journey through the wilderness of life, still guide, still direct us ; still may our only hope be placed on the spring and fountain of spiritual strength and life, and the blessing of the Holy Spirit be vouchsafed to us, as the humble believers in the merits and death of the only sacrifice for the sins of man. As the first-born of Thy people Israel were more especially consecrated to Thee, so may our souls be consecrated to Thy service, dedicated to Thy honour, set apart to Thy glory, and to their own advancement in purity and holiness; that when the pilgrimage of this short life is ended, we may be found worthy to come to the heavenly Zion, " the city of the living God, the new Jerusalem, the innumerable company of angels, and the general assembly and church of the first-born, even to the spirits of the just made perfect," whose everlasting portion shall be with Christ the Mediator, and with God the Judge and Father of the souls whom Christ redeems.—So lead us, by Thy providence, through all the dangers and difficulties of the pilgrimage of life. Deliver us from the evil world, from Satan the evil one, from an evil heart of unbelief within us - from the evil of presumption, and the evil of despair. In every step of our progress through the pilgrimage that lies between the Egypt of

wilful sin, and the glories of the promised Canaan, let Thy rod and Thy staff guide us. Hold Thou us up, and we shall be safe.-As Thy people obeyed the command of Thy servant Joseph, and removed the bones of the dead to the sepulchre of his fathers in Canaan, so enable us, we pray Thee, to remember the dying exhortations, or the parting words of the friends who have gone before us to their home in Thy glory, to follow their good examples, and to be made partakers with them of that better Canaan, the promised land of heaven, the rest that remaineth for the people of God. So may we learn from the lessons of Thy holy word, and live in Thy faith and fear, and daily grow in grace, till the journey of life be ended, and we be received into the inheritance of the spiritual Israel of God.

We ask all, not in our own name, but in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord, who hath taught and commanded us, when we pray, to say :

Our Father, &c.
The grace of our Lord, &c.


[ocr errors]

Note. On the Totaphot, or frontlets between the eyes, commanded to be worn by the Israelites. Exod. xiii, 16.

The nopin, Totaphot, commanded by Moses to be worn by the Israelites, is generally interpreted to be the phylactery. The later Jews certainly understood and still receive the word in this sense. The commentators, also, generally interpret it in the same manner. After considering, however, the remarks of Pfeiffer (Dubia Vexata, vol. i. p. 120), Rosenmüller in loc., and the usual commentators, I cannot believe that the word was originally used in this sense, though the Jewish custom seems to have been common also to the Arabs of Yemen. These, says Niebuhr, on their outer caps, wear inscriptions, “La Allah, illa Allah," &c., or some sentence of the Koran ; and Shaw believes the custom to have been derived by the Arabians from the Jewish wearing of the parchment frontlets. From the derivation of the word by Jablonski, from an Egyptian root, signifying to cut, or curve ;

ornament, I interpret the word nipis to denote some memorial gem, or jewel, or ornament of gold, silver, ivory, or other substance, with some short commemorative inscription alluding to the events of the Exodus. It was not like the Hindoo sectarian marks, given by Moor in his Hindoo Pantheon ; not the parchment phylactery of subsequent periods ; but a memorial which might be handed down in families from father to son, in perpetual remembrance of the deliverance from Egypt. I mention this, however, as a probable conjecture. The student may com. pare Pfeiffer ut supra, Rosenmüller, and Witeius, and the commentators. I may observe here, as I refer to these books, that the first reference to Witsius in Rosenmüller, should be tu sect. iii. of lib. i. cap. 9, of the Egyptiaca, and not sect. viii. I may observe, too, that Witsius endeavours to prove that the law is to be interpreted spiritually only; and this, indeed, is the general opinion. There can, however, be no objection to the supposition, that the totaphot were to be actually made and worn.


from the expression Type 7'3between thine eyes ;' from the Vulgate translation, 'appensum ;' from the Chaldee paraphrase ; from the Septuagint translation, àoalevtov, which may refer to the firmness of the article carved or sculptured ; from the correspondent translations of Symmachus and Theodotion ; and from the custom of the Egyptians of wearing, as we see in the sculptures (head-dress of the king, no. 1, vol. iii. p. 352, Sir Gard. Wilkinson's Egyptians), an asp, or other permanent

The Jews were not so far advanced in the apprehension of the spiritual meaning of the enactments of their divine Legislator, that they should prefer the recondite to the literal meaning of His laws. The student will find the whole discussion in Witsius, with the references, well worthy his attention. Egyptiaca, lib. ii. cap. ix.

On the word “harnessed ” (Exod. xiii. 18), see the note to the preceding section.




[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Title.The Passover further considered, under its name, time, place, ministers,

guests, rites, and mysteries. The SECOND journey of the Israelites from Succoth to Etham. They are guided by the pillar of cloud and fire. The third journey of the Israelites from Etham to Pi-hahiroth. The Egyptians pursue

them. The despair of the people. The conduct of Moses. INTRODUCTION.

We proceed, as we mentioned in the Introduction to the last section, to consider further the subject of the Passover, under the respective divisions of the derivation and meaning of the word; the time and place of its celebration ; the ministers who provided that all things relating to it were done according to the law; the guests who partook of it; the rites with which it was slain, offered, and eaten, and the chief mysteries implied in the whole of the divine ordinance.—This is the arrangement of the circumstances attending the Passover, by one of the most eminent and learned divines of the last century; and it will enable us to contemplate briefly, but fully, all the particulars of the four separate periods in which the laws of the institution were enacted.—The name, or the word Passover, is not derived, as some of the fathers imagined, from the Greek word, which signifies to suffer, but from the Hebrew word, which signifies to pass over, or to pass by, as God passed over the blood-marked houses of the Israelites when He slew the Egyptians. Because the blood that was sprinkled, with the bunch of hyssop, on the lintels and door-posts of their houses, was the blood of a lamb, that lamb is called the Passover (Exod. xii. 21; Luke xxü. 7); and because, when the lamb was offered, other things, such as unleavened bread and bitter herbs, were eaten with it, therefore these things are sometimes also called the Passover (Deut. xvi. 2–5). The meaning of the word, therefore, teaches us that God passes over and saves the soul of that man, when others perish, whose soul is sprinkled with the blood of the true Passover, Christ our Lord ; that Christ is our sacrifice ; and that our own hearts must be offered with Him, free from the leaven of evil, and remembering the bitterness of the bondage of the immortal spirit in the typical Egypt of an enslaving and sinful world.—The time when the Passover was to be eaten, was the 14th of Nisan, the period when the sickle was first put to the corn (Deut. xvi. 9). Then the first-fruits were to be offered to God: and the lesson we learn from the time of the celebration of the Passover is, that when we approach to God in the name of Christ, we dedicate the first-fruits of our age, our labour, our prosperity, and success, to God, as the flower in the bud, and as the earnest of the harvest, when we shall be cut down as the shock of corn fully ripe ; and also, that at every renewal of the commemoration of the sacrifice of the Passover, we offer and present to the Lord ourselves, our souls, and bodies, as a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice. It was eaten in the commencement of the declining of the sun,

before the Israelites left Egypt, to point out the time when the true Passover should be slain ; and to remind us, that strength to leave Egypt, and to go on to live or die, can only be derived from the flesh of the Passover.— The place where the Passover was killed and eaten, was first, every house where the number of persons who were sufficient to consume the flesh of the lamb could be assembled; and it teaches us that every house should be regarded as a Church dedicated to the living God. And the place where the Passover was afterwards killed and offered, was the court of the Temple, to show us that the Church of the general assembly of the people is the place where the Father of the spirits of all flesh, the God of all the families of the earth, is principally to be worshipped. The ministers of the Passover were, at first, every master of a house, among the highest or lowest of the people. The whole congregation of Israel shall kill it (Exod. xii. 6), as they might offer also all the other sacrifices (Lev. i. 3—5; Lev. iii. 2; and Lev. iv. 2—4). But lest the people should not be in a fit state to offer, the Levites killed the Passover (2 Chron. xxx. 17), while the priests alone sprinkled the blood and burned the fat (2 Chron. xxx. 16, and xxxv. 11). The meaning was, that while it is the duty of every man to bring the offering of Christ and of his own soul to God, the Levite and the Priest are essential to the perfecting of the private devotion in the public service of the sanctuary.— The guests at the Passover, were all true Israelites not unclean ; all heathen proselytes who conformed to the Jewish law; all women as a part of the Church of God. So are all baptized Christians who are not in a state of wilful sin, all converted heathen, and all women, as the companions, the equals, and friends of men, admissible to the Lord's Supper. The number of guests was to be in proportion to the flesh of the lamb; and all were under the control of the master of the family in which the Passover was eaten. So ought no Christian parish, Church, or congregation, to be too numerous for the superintendence of one minister of God. The rites with which the Passover was administered were five,—the Selection, the Preparation, the Slaying, the Roasting, and the Eating. In its selection, it was to be a lamb of the first year; a male, perfect, strong, meek, docile, blameless, spotless : in all which qualities Christ was prefigured.-In its preparation, four days were appointed, from the 10th to the 14th, that its freedom from blemish might be more certainly known, and the worshippers converse on the approaching solemnity. So Christ was set apart at Jerusalem, four days before His crucifixion, to be questioned by the Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, Scribes, Priests, and Heathen ; while His disciples conversed with Him, hearing His last predictions, witnessing His last miracles, and partaking His last meal, before He was offered on the cross.- In the slaying of the lamb, observance was especially to be paid, that the blood did not sink into the earth, as worthless, or useless, or common. It was received in a basin, and sprinkled at its institution on the door-posts, and afterwards on the altar for the people, to prove to us that the blood of Christ is of no avail, unless the partaker of the Passover and of the sacrament, be sprinkled with the blood of the lamb, as the application of the value and merits of the sacrifice to the individual worshipper.

« PreviousContinue »