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own uncleanness, humbly has recourse to the grace of God in Christ, ought not therefore to defpond; for, “ the good Jehovah pardoneth every one that prepareth his heart to feek God, Jehovah the God of his fathers, though he be not cleansed according to the purification of the sanctuary," 2 Chron. xxx. 18, 19.
LVI. Again, the Israelites in Egypt were commanded to eat the lamb, girded, shod, and leaning on their staves. To which rites we may see frequent allusions in Scripture. Christ, Luke xii. 35. Paul, Eph..vi. 14. and Peter, i Pet. i. 3. commands us to have our loins girded about: to signify that the souls of believers are to be girded about with truth and foberness; to be ready for the heavenly journey, for the work of the Lord, for the conflict with spiritual wickednesses in heavenly places; to all which undertakings, flowing, and trailing garments, are an impediment. Paul, Eph. vi. 15. speaks of feet (hod with the preparation, or promptitude, of the gospel of peace. For the gospel is to be preached with cheerfulness, and confefTed and walked in without stumbling. God himself is the believer's staff, on whom he leans, and to whom he commends his foul. Faith also is instead of a staff, because by it we are said to stand, Rom. xi. 20. 1 Cor. vi. 13. But we are to take particular notice, that this is the attire of travellers, which is the condition of all who are partakers of Christ For, in this life they are strangers, and in their way to a better country, Pf. xxxix. 13. 1 Pet. ii. 11.
LVII. The Ifraelites were also commanded to eat it in haste, because there was danger in delay from the Egyptians, who were soon to press them to be gone. And this is also applicable to us; because many enemies have a design upon us, the journey is long, the time short, and we feeble and easily apt to flag. Wherefore, as Lot was to go out of Sodom, and the Il. raelites out of Egypt, so we are commanded to make haste, to stretch every nerve in order to escape the jaws of the devil, imitating those violent who take the kingdom of heaven by force, Mat. xi. 12. and remembering Lot's wife, who perished by her delay, Luke xvii. 32.
LVIII. Lastly, We are to observe, that the lamb was to be eaten in one house, out of which it was not lawful to go, for fear of meeting the angel of death. This house is the church, out of which there is no salvation, no communion with Christ. Let the false Nicodemists take notice of this, who imagine they can skulk in safety among the Egyptians, and think it sufficient if they believe in their heart, though with their mouth they confess not the Lord Jesus, separating what the apostle h::s VOL. II.
joined joined together, Rom. x. 9. And therefore, if they be wise, let them not forsake the assembling themselves together with us, Heb. x. 20. And having once entered this house, let them never leave it, least they be condemned for apoftates; concerning whom Paul speaks, Heb. vi. 4-6. and chap. x. 38, 39. and Peter, 2 Pet. ii. 20, 21.
CH A P. X.
of the extraordinary Sacraments in the Wilderness.
T. D ESIDES the ordinary and univerfal sacraments of circumna
D cision and the pasover, fome extraordinary symbols of divine grace were granted to the Israelites in the wilderness, which, in the New Testament, are applied to Christ and his benefits, and said to have the same signification with our sacraments. And they are in order thefe: I. The pasage in the cloud through the Red Sea. II. The manna which was rained from heaven. III. The water issuing out of the rock. IV. The brazen serpent erected by Moses for the cure of the Israelites.
II. The sacred history, Exod. xiv. very particularly relates, how Pharaoh with mad rage at the head of a vast army, pursued the Įsraelites, who were just departed from Egypt, and as he imagined, were entangled on every hand, through a mistake of the way, in unpaffable deserts : how in the first place, a miraculous cloud, interposing between them and the Egyptians, protected the Ifraelites, who were trembling with fear, and calling out to heaven for help: next how the channel of the weedy or Red Sea, was made passable, as on dry land, by the waters giving way on each hand, being divided by the rod of Moses and by a strong east wind. How, in finę, the Egyptian monarch did not delay to pursue them close as they retreated, entered the sea as it opened a way for them, and was destroyed with all his army, the waters immediately returning upon them. For the better understanding of all this, we shall briefly explain these five heads. 1. Why, that sea, which Mofes, Exod. xiii. 18. and xiv. 4. called mob', or the weedy fea; is by Paul, Heb. xi. 29. and generally by writers, called j équoque been doce, the Red Sla? II. Whether that drying up of the waters was natural, or altogether miraculous ? III. Whether the Israelites passed over the whole breadth of the sea, and landed on the Arabian shore pyer against Egypt, or only inarched as far through it, as was
were en then in the ugha' and as
enough to overwhelm the Egyptians, and returned again on foot, by taking a semicircular compass, to the same shore ? IV. In what sense the apostle might say, the “ Israelites were baptised unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea." V. What may be the mystical signification of these things ?
III. The reason is obvious why this is called the weedy sea; namely, because of the plenty of sea weeds, with which it abounds, heaps of which being raised like mountains near the. shore, and laid close together by the continual heat of the sun, . afford the convenience of houses to the inhabitants there, 'who from their eating of fish are called Ichthyophagi. And Agatharcides says, that some of them live under the ribs of fish, covered over with sea weed. Bochart in Phaleg. Lib. 4. c. 22. may be consulted on this subject.
IV. Why it is called the Red or Erythrean Sea, was formerly. not so well known. The ancients generally referred it to the colour of the water; which some think was derived from the reflection of the solar rays; others from the circumjacent mountains being made red by the scorching heat, from which waters impetuously defcended into the sea, and tinged it of a like colour; others, in fine, from the red sand that lay on its shore, or channel: not to mention any thing now about the fable of Perseus, who, after having killed the sea-monster, to which the daughter of Cepheus had been exposed, is said there to have washed away the blood, with which he was all over stained. But the undoubted experience of mariners fhews the falsehood of all this. Ludovicus Vartomannus, who failed over the whole of it almost from its extremity to the mouth of the straits, says, “ it is a thing sufficiently confessed by all, that the faid sea is not red; but like other seas, Navig. lib. 1. c. 21.
The same thing Pietro della Valle, a noble Roman, an eyewitness, testifies; who says the waters are clear, transparent and blue, and the sand of the usual colour, nay, whiter than ours, Itiner. p. 1. c. 30. Diodorus Siculus writes, that in con lour it is altogether green. Not that such is the nature of the water, but on account of the quantity of moss and sea-weed floating theron. What is therefore faid of the red colour is all fable, this prejudice having arisen from an erroneous interpretatjon of the name.
V. They come nearer the truth, who derive its name from king Erythras or Erythrus, who had this fea within the bounds of his empire. But who this Erythras was, all the profane writers are absolutely ignorant. The Scriptures alone inform us of this : from which Nic. Fuller, Miscellan, lib. 4.c. 20. boasts. that he made the first discovery: namely, that this Erythras Nn 2.
was Esau, surnamed Edom or Red, both from the hairy redness, with which he was born, Gen. xxv. 25. and from that red pottage, for which he sold his birthright, ver. 30. This Edom, who, according to the genius of those times, having the whole authority in those parts, gave name to the country reduced under his dominion and power, so that it was also called the land of Edom, and even simply Edom, namely of the feminine gender, Jer. xlix. 17. His pofterity, proud of so great an original of their nation, lived on the borders of the sea, we are now treating of: and hence it had its name: the Hebrew E. domi or Idumean Sea, the Greek équégaños, and the Latin Mare rubrum differ therefore only in language. See among others Vous de Idololat. lib. 1. c. 34.
VI. We are on no account to imagine, that what we are here told, befel the waters of the Red Sea, was either altoge
ther, or for the greatest part natural: as if Mofes, who had · great skill in the knowledge of nature, took the opportunity of
an ordinary reflux, which, on the blowing of an east wind, was both more impetuous and lasting than usual; ventured in the present imminent danger, to attempt the passage, and persuaded the Israelites to follow his example: but Pharaoh, who was ignorant of those things, and delaying too long, was drowned on the return of the flood. For, the whole of this history is full of miracles; which none but the enemies of the Scripture, as Scaliger, de Subtilitat. Exercit. 52. juftly calls them, can doubt of. ist, It was a miracle, that the extraordinary cloud, which went before, and pointed out the way to the Hebrews, should now place itself in the middle, between them and the Egyptians, Exod. xiv. 19. 2dly, It was a miracle, that when Mofes lifted up his rod, and stretched out his hand, the sea should not only go, back, but was also divided; and giving way on each hand, yield a safe passage to Ifrael amidst the waters, ver. 16, 21. which never was, nor could be done by any natural reflux. 3dly, It is a miracle, that the waters, naturally Auid, should be collected together into very high heaps, and stand like a wall on the right and left of the Israelites, ver. 22. 4thly, It was a miracle of miracles, that when Mofes again stretched out his hand and rod towards that part of the sea, where the Egyptians were pursuing them, the waters should return to their natural force, and drown all the Egyptians; while the children of Israel had now either almost finished, or were still prosecuting their journey on dry land, through the midst of the sea, ver. 26, 27, 29. Can any mortal have fo much impudence, as to dare to compare these things with the daily flux and reflux of the sea ? It is indeed true, that God here made use of the wind, but it is
also evident, that the same God exerted an extraordinary power, both by raising the wind so seasonably, and by executing such things by it, as could not be effected by any natural cause, by its own virtue. And therefore the Israelites deservedly admired in this work, that great hand of their God, ver. 31..
VII. The inhabitants on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, though barbarous to the highest degree, preferved the memory of this prodigy for many ages after; as Diodorus Siculus vouches, lib. 3. where he writes as follows. “ The neighbouring Ichthyophagi have an ancient tradition, handed down to them by their ancestors, that, upon a certain great recess of the sea, all the parts of this bay being dried up, and the sea falling back to oppofite parts, the channel appeared of a green colour, and that again the sea, returning with a strong tide, was restored to its former place.” In these words, who does not see that this miracle of Moses is described, the memory of which these barbarians did, though somewhat obscurely, propagate to their posterity ?
VIII. But it is a more intricate point, which is even at this day made the subject of debate among the learned; whether the Hebrews passed the sea straight forward, from the shore of Egypt, to the opposite coast of Arabia; or whether they fetched a semicircular compass in the midst of the sea, and returned to the same shore, from which they set out? The former opinion is by far more commonly received ; and rests on those arguments, collected by Rivet in Exod. xiv. 21. ist, The words of the history seem to bear this meaning; and it tends very much to shew the greatness of the miracle. The Scripture says, that the “ Ifraelites passed through the Red Sea ;' but what others alledge was not a transit or passage, but a circuit. 2dly, It appears from the map of the country, that it must have been fo. For, in order to come from Egypt to mount Sinai, as the Red Sea lies between that mountain and Egypt, it must of ne.. cessity be passed over. For, though the foot paffage from Ramea ses to Sinai is direct, leaving the Red Sea on one side, yet so blocked up, and every where so rough on account of rocks, as not to be fit for the journeying of so great a people. 3dly, The same is concluded from Numb. xxxiii. 8. and they departed from before Pi-hahiroth, and pafled through the midst of the sea into the wilderness;" which seems to denote quite a different thing, from their returning by a circuit, or compass to the wilderness. 4thly, Add the authority of Josephus, who declares, that the Israelites passed over to the opposite shore, Antiq. lib. 2, c. ult.
IX. But the contrary opinion has also great names, and no.