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tilence o. At length God “ did blow with his “ wind;" and Pharaoh, with all his host, sunk as lead in the mighty waters.
All the irrational creatures are his hosts. “ Beasts and all cattle, creeping things and flying “ fowl,-praise the name of the Lord.” To punish the idolatry of the mingled nations, which the king of Allyria settled in the land of Israel, “ JEHOVAH sent lions among them ?." Bears were the instruments of his vengeance on the children, who mocked his servant Elisha 4. To the rebellious prophet, the belly of a great fish is provided, as at the same time a prison and a place of preservation. He punished the murmuring of the Ifraelites, by sending fiery serpents to destroy them'. At his command, such legions of frogs assaulted the Egyptians, that the combined power of Egypt was insufficient to vanquish them : Often huih he poured contempt on the power and on the pride of man, by making the meanest or the minutest creatures the messengers of destruction. The god Herod is eaten by worms; as if the true God would, by his end, remind him of the meannels of his origin, and of the contemptible impotence of that divinity aferibed to him by his minions t When he would punish the oppressors of his people," he fpake, and there came divers forts “ of flies, and lice in all their coasts.--He spake, "and the locusts came, and caterpillers, and that “ without number; and did eat up all the herbs E 2
“ in o Exod. ix. 15.; Pfal. lxxviii. 50.
p 2 Kings xvii. 25. 9 2 Kings ii. 24.
Nurob. xxj. 6. - Exod. yui. 6, 6, 1 Acts sii. 21.-23.
“ in their land, and devoured the fruit of their “ground u.” He dignifies these mean creatures, the locust, the canker-worm, the caterpiller, and the palmer-worm, with the character of his “ great “ army;" because, as he sends them for the punishment of a guilty people, they certainly execute his commission v. To convince the Israelites, how easy it was for him to give them the poffesfion of the land of promise, he informs them that he had a very puny host that could easily accomplish the work: “I will send hornets before “ thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Ca$ naanite, and the Hittite, from before thee;" and his promise was verified in their experience w. When we consider these things, juftly may we say with Bildad ; “ Is there any number of his armies = ?"
Our God is still known as “the LORD of hosts," not only in his conduct towards his Church, but in her. The more sensible displays he hath formerly given of his power, may be viewed as emblems of his continued, but more spiritual, operation. As all true Israelites are “ the hosts “ of JEHOVAH,” he honours his servants with the name of angels. Did the stars in their courses fight against Sisera? He “ holdeth the seven “ Jiars in his right-hand," and employs them in fighting against his enerries. Did he cause the fun to stand still on Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon? In carrying on the work of
redemption, » Psal. cv. 31, 34, 35. Joel ii. 25. w Łod. xxiii. 98.; Joth. xliv. 12. * Job xxv. 3.
y Rev. ii. 1. 8. &c.
redemption, and for accomplishing his purposes of mercy towards the Chureh, he hath often covered the fun with blackness, and converted the moon into blood. He hath made the greatest political luminaries to stand still, to alter their courses, or to hide their heads in darkness?: To express the honour put on the prophets, called his two witnesses, they are described as exercising a delegated power over the elements. “ If any man “ will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their “ mouth, and devoureth their enemies. These “ have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in “the days of their prophecy; and have power “over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite “ the earth with all plagues a.” Did God employ the weakest and vilest instruments in punishing the Egyptians and Canaanites? This fitly re. presents the wonderful display of his almighty power by means of the gospel, in choosing " the “ base things of the world, and things which are “ despised, yea, and things which are not, to bring " to nought things that are.”
This name affords comfort to the Church in the most trying and perilous times. This " name of “the God of Jacob defends” her. “ Although " an host encamp” against her, in this she may be confident. He, who is with her, is mightier by far than all that can be against her. She may be encompafled, not by one holt only, but by many. But they are the hosts of JEHOVAH, under his government and control, how malevolent foever E 3
their z Rev. vi. 12.; viii. 12.
a Rev. sj. 3, 6.
their designs. We may therefore still fing ; “ The “ Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is “our refuge.”
It is a special ground of consolation, that this designation belongs to Jesus, the Saviour of the Church. That King, who appeared in vision to Efaias, was the Lord of hosts"; and we know that it was the glory of Christ, which the prophet fawę. Jesus is often represented as the bridegroom and husband of the Church : but of this glorious Husband it is said, “ The Lord of hosts “ is his name d.” Christ is that King and “ Lord “ of glory,” who ascended in the midst of his angels. And " who is this King of glory? The “ Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory e."
This character conveys a comfortable assurance of the Church's triumph over all her incorrigible enemies. The Lord comforts his Church with the proclamation of this name, as her security for victory over ancient Babylon. « Thus faith the “ Lord of hosts, The children of Israel, and the “ children of Judah, were oppressed together; “ and all that took them captives held them fast; -“ they refused to let them go. Their Redeemer " is strong; The LORD of hosts is his name : he “ Thall thoroughly plead their caule, that he may " give rest to the land, and disquiet the inhabi“ tants of Babylon f.” As that kingdom of graven. images was a type of mystical Babylon, the fate. of the one prefigured that of the other. Hence
we o Ifa. vi. 5. c John xii. 41. d If1. liv. 5. e James ii. 1. ; Psal. xxiv, ra. f Jer. 1. 33, 34.
tre are directed to the same almighty power, as the ground of our confidence : “ Strong is the “ Lord God who judgeth her 5."
Of the Holiness of God. Of bis Justice, as ma
nifested in the Threatening and Curse of the Law ;-in the Antediluvian History ;-in the Deluge ;-in the Destruction of the Cities of the Plain ;-in the Resemblance between Sin and Punishment ;-in the Mofaic Economy ;-in the Sufferings of the Mesrah.
ACCORDING to the nature of this work, it is not necessary that we should nicely distinguish between the Holiness and Justice of God. As his holiness is the perfect rectitude of his nature, according to which he infinitely loves what is morally good, and hates what is evil; his justice, as it regards his creatures at least, is the actual difplay of this essential holiness. God hath manifested his holiness, indeed, in various respects, in which there was no call for the operation of his justice. A few of these may be mentioned.
He displayed his holiness in making all things very good. For the evil of fin was not the work