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COTTAGE READINGS IN EXODUS.

EXODUS I. II.

WE
E are now to begin the second book of the

Bible, the book of Exodus. You will remember, my friends, that the last chapters of Genesis told us of the death of Jacob and Joseph, and all his brethren, in the land of Egypt.

That was not their own country; they had been brought down there many years before, out of the land of Canaan, at the time of the seven years' famine. You won't have forgotten how the Lord took care of His chosen people, the children of Israel, by sending Joseph before them into Egypt, where he became the governor of the country, and was able to preserve the lives of his father and all his family when the years of scarcity came.

God meant the children of Israel to stay a certain time in the land of Egypt. He had made known His will about it to Abraham long

A

before any of them were born, that night when He took His faithful servant out, and made him look up and see the dark blue sky spangled with thousands of stars : “And He said unto Abram, Know of a certainty that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years: and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance. .. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again : for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” The Lord had given the land of Canaan to Abraham for himself and his children's children for ever, but they were not to enter into possession till the wicked people who occupied the land then, had had a longer time given them, when some might repent and turn from their bad ways, and the rest would have grown too bad to be borne with any longer, and then the Lord would bring His own people back to Canaan, and drive out before them the ungodly race who had so long abused His mercy and patience, and gone on in their wickedness. That time was coming near when the book of Exodus begins.

The name Exodus means, “ going out.” This book tells of the going out of God's people from the country where they had been kept in cruel bondage, into the land that the Lord had promised them;

but it means much more than that.

The book of Genesis, which we have just finished, began by telling how the world was made; the book of Exodus begins by telling us how the children of Israel were made into God's church, or chosen people. While we learn from Genesis how the world was created by the power of God, we learn from Exodus how it was redeemed by his love, and how His own people were to be saved, to the glory of His great name.

Holy Spirit of God! Be with us now, and teach us to give our hearts to Him who so loved our sinful world, that He spared not His very own Son, but gave His life to redeem it from the power of the evil one, and to purify His own people for Himself.

Now give your best attention, for this will need it all.

The book of Exodus begins by telling us who the children of Israel were that went down into Egypt, saying, “Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt: every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation." You have not forgotten how wonderfully Joseph's life was arranged to shew beforehand the life, and sufferings, and glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. So does his death. While Joseph lived, there were not many of the children of Israel, their number could be easily counted: but after his death, we read that the land of Goshen, which had been given them to dwell in, was soon thickly peopled. The Lord had promised many times to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, that their children should become like the stars of the sky, and the sand of the sea, and the dust of the earth, for multitude, and we see how faithful He was to His word. During the time that the Lord Jesus Christ lived on earth, His followers were very few, only a little company that could be easily counted; but as soon as He rose from the dead and went up to heaven, He sent down the Holy Spirit, who converted thousands in one day, and we know that His church shall become a great multitude that no man can number. Brethren, will you not ask Him to count you among them ?

It is likely that the children of Israel did service to the kings of Egypt in return for the protection and kindness they enjoyed; and all the time that Joseph's master, king Pharaoh, lived, and for some time after, so long as the memory of Joseph, and of all the good he had done, remained among the Egyptians, the Israelites were well and justly treated, so that they increased very much, and grew a great people.

But some years after Joseph's death, we read

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