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We praise and bless Thy glorious name, for our adoption into the family of Thy Church on earth, for the means of grace, the hope of glory, and for the possession and knowledge of Thy sacred word. We thank Thee for the mercy which has granted us even from our youth to know the Scriptures, which make the souls of Thy people wise unto salvation. As thou didst reveal to the ruler and to the people of Egypt the certain coming of Thy sore judgments, if they repented not of their evil deeds, and refused to obey the warnings of Thy servant Moses ; so also do we believe that Thou hast revealed to us much sorer plagues and judgments, which shall remain on the soul for ever, if we hold the truth in unrighteousness, and receive the grace of God in vain.
As Thou didst change into blood the water of the river of Egypt, which Thy Providence designed for the health and refreshment of the people, and the glory and beauty of their land; so shall it be that the river of the water of life itself, which maketh glad the city of our God, shall become hateful and distasteful to the souls of the people, who hear the warnings of Thy prophets, and harden their hearts against them. O preserve us from the bitter condemnation of changing our blessings into curses--and from resisting the Holy Spirit of God, till the things which should have been for our health and strength, our life and glory, be an occasion of falling, and a source of deeper sorrow !
As Thou didst send the frogs upon Egypt, so hast Thou sent upon the souls that continue to despise Thee, strong delusions, that they should believe a lie. Save us from the snares of the tempter, from the falsehood of the worldly reasoners, and from the deceitfulness of our own hearts, which would persuade that Thy threatenings are spoken in vain ; and that man shall not perish though he go on presumptuously to sin.—As the plagues of lice and flies tormented the bodies of the people who continued wilfully to sin against Thee; so has Thy word declared that trouble and anguish shall perplex the minds of those who go on to sin. Make the judgments Thou hast inflicted upon Egypt the warning to our hearts, that we sin no more, lest a worse thing than the plagues of Egypt come upon us.
As the murrain upon the cattle of the Egyptians destroyed their riches; and the boils and the blains upon the people destroyed their health, and spake Thy wrath against them; so dost Thou still curse the riches or destroy the health of those who fear not Thee ; and so dost Thou send adversity upon those who forget Thee in prosperity. Save us, we pray Thee, from the sad necessity of receiving calamities and sorrows from Îhy Fatherly hand, to bring us back to Thee; but enable us in the day of health, strength, youth, and prosperity, when the world smiles upon us, still to remember Thee, and to rejoice before Thee with gratitude, but with trembling. -As the thunder and the fire from heaven visited the land of Egypt, and the repentance of Pharaoh and of his people fled from their souls, when the plague of the thunder was removed ; save, O save us, we pray Thee, from the sin of those, who suffer the punishments which Thy merciful hand inflicts to restore their souls to Thee; but who repent not of their sins against Thee; and while they gnaw their tongues with pain, blaspheme the God of heaven.
As the locusts came forth at Thy command, and devoured the land of Egypt, save us, we beseech Thee, from the more intolerable locusts, which Thy word has threatened to those who repent not of their evil deeds ; who forsake Thy holy worship, and give to their idols of wood and stone, the worship which is only due to the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of the souls of men. Save us from the locusts of apostasy and of heresy, whose power over the souls of the wicked is placed in the mouth that speaketh proud things, to deceive, and
to betray to their ruin the souls that have not on their foreheads the seal of their God (Rev. ix. 3—10).
As the darkness which could be felt was sent upon the Prince and People of Egypt; enable us to remember the threatenings of that worse than Egyptian darkness—the outer darkness which shall be the portion of those who are driven out from the marriage-supper of the Lamb of God—the blackness of darkness which shall endure for ever upon those who reject the light of the glorious Gospel of the blessed God, and who now love the darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; and who shall inherit for ever and for ever the darkness of the wickedness they loved.
As the first-born of the Egyptians, from the first-born of the monarch on the throne to the first-born of the captive in the dungeon, were destroyed in a moment; so let us remember that Israel is Thy first-born—that all Thy Church and people, to whom Thy holy word has been sent, are dedicated as Thy firstborn to Thee;—and that if we be not saved as Thine own spiritual Israel, by the faith which welcomes the blood of the Passover as the only means of our escape ; we too shall perish in that worse destruction of Egypt, when the dead, small and great, shall stand before Thee, and Israel shall be separated from Egypt.So may we lay to heart the instructions of Thy Holy Word. So may the warnings of God lead us all to repentance. Whatever may have been the destruction of the prince and people of Egypt, ever may we remember the sorer destruction of which those shall be thought worthy who hear and read these things which are thus written for our instruction—but remain under the power of evil, and the bondage of sin-and neglecting the very blood of the covenant, of the Passover, by which we are saved, do despite unto the Spirit of grace, which appeals to our souls in vain.—Save, Lord, and hear us, o King of heaven! when we call on Thee. O God of Revelation ! who hast caused all Holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, grant that we may in such wise hear, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that by patience and comfort of Thy Holy Word we may be delivered from Egypt, and be saved among the remnant of the true Israel.
We ask all, not in our own name, but in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord ; and in His words we sum up all our petitions, saying:
Our Father, &c.
NOTE. On the difference between the Patri- to any feast which the God of Israel designed archal and Mosaical religious festivals. We to appoint. In Exod. xiii. 6, it is used with must hold a feast to the Lord, IT IT ? or, reference to the Sabbath after the Passover; for a feast of Jehorah is appointed to us. Exod.
and in Exod. xxiii. 14, and in other passages, x. 9.
it alludes to the three great festivals,-the If the student will refer to Exod. v. 1, he
Passover, the Pentecost, and the Feast of will observe that the expression “hold a feast
Tabernacles. Now the primary meaning of in the wilderness" is, in the Hebrew, ?
the word af is, to move round in a circle, and ,
it is applied in this sense in Judges xxi. 19, to "feast' is used in the Pentateuch. The
describe the festival at Shiloh, when the women ant
of Shiloh were seized in their dancing by the feast given by Lot (Gen. xix. 3), Abraham remnant of the tribe of Benjamin. These reli(Gen. xxvi. 30), Pharaoh (Gen. xl. 20), is gious dances made a part of the rites of the anmon. The word as is referred exclusively cient heathens, and therefore we may justly to the religious festivals or feasts of the Jews. conclude, of the patriarchal tribes from the beIn this passage, and in Exod. v. 1, it alludes ) ginning; for heathenism was only a corruption
and that this is the first time the word ,לי בַּמִּדְבָּר
And it is probable that the word עַל פְּנֵי מָיִם
of Patriarchism. They are supposed to have between us and you ; and He has commanded been the commemoration partly of the return of us to learn His will respecting His new ordithe seasons-of the vernal and autumnal equi- nances, out of this wicked and idolatrous nox; and partly of the creation of the world country ; away from the doininion of you, our -of the circle, or orbit, which presents itself cruel oppressors ; in that place, where He has daily to the spectator of the heavens. The declared that He will meet us. What His book of Job was more ancient than the Pen- new mode of worship will be, what will be the tateuch. The word is there used to describe sacrifices He will ordain, the ordinances He the presence, and therefore the power, of God will decree, the statutes He will command, we in the circuit of the heavens : (Job xxii. 14.) know not. But we must and we will leave 1977. ODD 2? And in ch. xxvi. 10, “He hath Egypt, and then we will begin to establish the compassed the waters with bounds," I PIT
difference between ourselves, as the peculiar
and chosen people of God; and you, the coris used in both places in allusion to the
rupters of the ancient faith, and the persecu
tors of the children of Abraham.”—The result religious festivals, which commemorated at
is known. From that time, the distinction once the power of the Creator, the creation of the world, and the return of the seasons.
between Israel and Egypt began, partly by We have no means of ascertaining to what
the appointment of the ordinance of the Passextent the celebration of these originally
over ; and partly by the additional festivals religious dances had become corrupted in
which were appointed in the wilderness, and the days of the Pharaohs. We know that
on which all the Jews attended, as the Egyp
tians were accustomed to attend, by hundreds eventually they became associated with every form of folly, licentiousness, and riot. Now,
of thousands at a time, upon the festivals of it must have appeared a strange and unmean
their own religion, as mentioned by Herodoing excuse to Pharaoh and his courtiers, that
tus, and referred to by the commentators ; Moses and Aaron demanded permission to go
whose works I always presume, as I have
mentioned in the Introduction to vol. i., to be into the wilderness to celebrate a 37, a com
in the possession of the student'.—The feast mon, well-known, patriarchal religious festival
which Moses and Aaron were about to hold, to the Creator of the world. Or even if the
was still to be the worship commemorative of eternity of the world, and not the creation of
the one true God, but with new sacrifices, the world, was believed by the Egyptian philo- rites, and ceremonies. That one true God is sophers, it must have appeared equally strange
now the peculiar God of the Christian, as He that the Israelites should have made this re
was then about to become the peculiar God quest ; because they might have observed the
of the Jews. The same one true God is now festival, and danced the religious dances, in
worshipped with new sacrifices, rites, and the land of Goshen. Moses however refused
ceremonies, with which the Jews were not to do this ; and the reason of his so doing, is
acquainted. The day shall come, when the given in this verse and in the 26th verse of
same one true God shall be again known to the chapter. 'A festival is appointed by the
the converted heathen, and to the converted Lord to be held by us,' is the meaning of the
Jew, as well as to the Christian Church, as Hebrew in this place; and in the 26th verse
the same one true God, the Father, the Crewe read, we know not with what sacrifices,
ator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of the brotheror in what manner, we are to serve Jehovah,
hood of man. the Creator of the heavens, the earth, and the
For an account of the locusts, the origin of seasons, until we have arrived at that place,
the expression “the Red Sea,” which occurs where his will is to be declared to us.' This
in this section for the first time, and for the is the meaning of the 26th verse, and the
proper meaning of verse 10, I refer to the whole passage therefore may be thus inter
commentators. Will the student forgive me preted : _“ The time has arrived, when the
for again reminding him, that I avoid, as I God of the patriarchs, whom the fathers of
have mentioned in my introduction to vol. i., you the Egyptians, and of us the Israelites,
any notice of the difficulties explained in the worshipped, is no longer to be adored in that
general commentators ? precise mode which he had originally commanded. He is about to make a distinction
1 Herodotus, Euterpe, 59, 60. in the nature of his religious ordinances,
SECTION XCII. EXODUS XII. 1—20.
TITLE. The observance of outward ordinances is essential to the remembering of
spiritual truths, and to the maintaining within ourselves the influence of spiritual religion. The events recorded in Scripture are better understood by considering them in the order of their arrangement. The institution of the Passover, after the plague of locusts, and before the ninth and tenth plagues, of the dark
ness and death of the first-born. Some particulars of its institution considered. INTRODUCTION.—At the time of the celebration of the Communion, according to the services of the Church of England, when the communicants have been conveniently placed for the receiving of the Holy Sacrament'; the congregation is told in the exhortation then read to them, that "to the end that we should alway remember the exceeding great love of our Master and only Saviour Jesus Christ, and the innumerable benefits which, by His precious blood-shedding, He hath obtained to us, He hath instituted and ordained holy mysteries, as pledges of His love, and for a continual remembrance of His death, to our great and endless comfort;" and in the conclusion of the same holy and beautiful services, We do most heartily thank the Almighty and everlasting God, that He vouchsafes "to feed us, who have duly received those holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood of His Son our Saviour Jesus Christ.”—The twofold design of the institution of the Lord's Supper by Christ our Lord, is related in these few words. It was intended partly to impress upon our memory the spiritual truth, that Christ is the only true passover, the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world; and partly, as the means of grace, the channel of God's blessing, the connecting link between the soul of man on earth and the Spirit of Christ in heaven; the chief source of the maintaining within ourselves in our affections, reason, will, and motives of action, the influence of that spiritual religion which is alone acceptable to the Creator. What the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is to the Christian Church, the Passover was to the Jewish Church : and the Christian has always been taught the nature, the meaning, and the benefits of the Lord's Supper, from considering, and from spiritually interpreting, the various portions of the ordinance of the Passover. These will be all contemplated by us as they occur. One peculiar and most wonderful illustration, however, of the spiritual meaning of the Holy Sacrament, has hitherto escaped general attention.— It is, that which we may derive from observing the order of the events, and the typical meaning of those events, in the midst of which the Passover was instituted. It was ordained after the plague of the locusts, and before the two last plagues of the darkness, and the death of the first-born.— The spiritual meaning of the events appears to be that after the wicked and unrepentant world, which, to use the language of the Book of Revelation, is spiritually called Egypt, (Rev. xi. 8,) have so often rejected the appeals of the Ministers of God, that they repeatedly
1 See the words of the Rubric,
harden their hearts, they are punished with the blackness of darkness in their souls; and the final death, the second death of their souls, without the possibility of partaking of the benefits and the blessings of the death of Christ, the true Passover. Those who sin, continuously and remorselessly, against light, knowledge, conscience, appeals, afflictions, warnings, the internal strivings of the Holy Spirit, and the inward convictions that Christianity is awfully and solemnly true-as the Egyptians were convinced that the miracles of Moses were indeed the supernatural proofs of a Divine mission from the Most High ; these men are in danger of sharing the fate of the Egyptians; and being first left in the spiritual darkness of the judicial blindness, which follows lavish and continued sin; their souls spiritually die for ever in the very hour of the death of the body, and in the day of judgment, when the blood of Christ is most needed to save them from the destroying angel, executing the just judgments of God.
That the Passover was thus instituted between the two plagues of the locusts and the darkness, appears from the command in this Section, that the Lamb of the Passover should be selected on the tenth day of the month (the day most probably after the second sabbath in the month). It was to be kept till the fourteenth day, when it was to be eaten by the people, after the blood had been sprinkled on the door-posts (ver. 6, 7). But this took place immediately after the plague of darkness, during the whole of which time the lamb had been kept apart from the flock, as God had commanded. The command, therefore, to observe the Passover, was given before the darkness commenced ; and the particulars of the command to observe the Passover are especially worthy the attention of the Christian, because they mark out in shadow, the very forms of the more spiritual ordinances which relate to the true Passover.
As the Lamb of the Passover was set apart on the tenth day of the month, (Exod. xii. 3.) to be examined and proved to be without blemish ;-Christ, the true Passover, on that very corresponding day of the month, went up to Jerusalem to be proved by the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Scribes and the Elders, the Romans and the Herodians, by the people in general, and by his own traitorous disciple also, to be without blemish.
As the lamb was to be the provision for one house, and if the household was too little to consume it, the neighbours of the master of the family were to be invited (ver. 4); so is charity, benevolence, and Christian equality, the mark of the Christian character. As the lamb was without blemish (ver. 5), so is Christ expressly declared by St. Peter to be the lamb without blemish, or without spot. (1 Peter i. 19.)
It was taken chiefly from among the sheep (Deut. xvi. 2), as Christ was the Lamb of God; but it might be taken from among the goats (ver. 5), to prove, as St. Augustine tells us, that the human nature, which Christ assumed, was deseended from sinners, as well as from the more holy line of Israelites.
As the lamb was kept up till the fourteenth day of the month, and slain between the two evenings (ver. 6), after three, and before six in the evening, Christ was slain at three in the afternoon, the beginning of the evening, the ninth hour. As the blood of the lamb was sprinkled on the two side-posts and upon