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determined to pursue them with a mighty host, and compel them to return to their bondage. He therefore made ready his chariots and horsemen and army, and set out with all the force of his kingdom for that purpose. Vain and infatuated man who would make war upon the God of heaven! upon a God who had already made it manifest that all creatures, all elements, all messengers of death, were obedient to him! But equally infatuated is the folly of those who provoke the Lord to wrath by their sins and ungodliness, and refuse the obedience of their hearts and lives to his righteous demands and holy precepts. We read the scriptures in vain, if we do not learn from them lessons of personal application. In vain you hear of Pharaoh and Moses, and the other characters in the sacred history, if you do not use them as examples to yourselves to flee that which is evil and to follow after that which is good. Behold then the madness of the Egyptians. They pursued after the Israelites, "all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army; and they overtook them encamping

by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baalzephon."

And now we have to wonder at the folly and unbelief of others besides Pharaoh. See the strange behaviour of the Israelites themselves on this occasion. As soon as they perceived that the Egyptians were pursuing after them, they were sore afraid. Now wherefore did they fear? Could they not look back upon the wonders which God had wrought for them so short a time before? Could they not remember the recent death of all the first-born in Egypt? Could they not fix their eyes on the pillar and the cloud, and encourage themselves in that immediate token of God's presence with them and his care for them? Alas, how little can we ourselves exercise faith and trust in our own dangers and troubles! how prone are we to forget our past mercies, how incapable to see our present help, and how ready to cry, after all our experience of God's goodness, and all the promises of his word, We “shall surely one day perish." It is true that Israel was in a strait, a very great strait, and their peril

was imminent. They were surrounded with dangers and hindrances on all sides. Before them was the sea; on either side was a craggy impassable mountain; behind them, in the pass by which they had entered into this defile, was the army of the Egyptians, numerous, well-appointed, and disciplined; while they were unarmed and untrained to war. In ordinary cases these would, no doubt, have been circumstances to excite the greatest alarm. But they were not in ordinary circumstances. They had very lately witnessed extraordinary proofs that God had taken up their cause; and they had before their eyes a supernatural appearance which assured them that they were then under his guidance and protection. Their fear therefore was most foolish. The unbelief from which it arose was highly criminal. Hear the Scripture's account of their perverseness. "When Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said to

Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us that we should serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness." How inexcusable were they in these complaints! They were as unobservant of the Lord's hand as Pharaoh himself. They were as forgetful of the Lord's mercies which they had experienced, as he was of the judgments which he had suffered. They looked for nothing but destruction, fretted and contended with Moses, preferred their slavery in Egypt to the sure promise of deliverance, and manifested a most unthankful spirit, and unbelieving heart. They cried out indeed unto the Lord; with what feelings and words we know not; some perhaps with impatience and murmurs; most, it is probable, like the disciples of Jesus in the storm, for fear; a few, it is to be hoped, with real prayer and faith. But

though they cried out unto the Lord, they chode with his appointed servant, who had so evidently confirmed his mission to them by the miracles which he had wrought, and by that which was then visible to them.-The recollection of their conduct may be useful to ourselves when we are in trial and fear. We are ever too much disposed to murmur and repine, and complain of those whom we look upon as the means of our sufferings, or who cause us apprehensions. We should mark the faults of others of which we read or which we see, as beacons to warn us of similar sins. Let us take care not to murmur as they also murmured. It will be inconsistent to cry out unto the Lord, while we quarrel with his ministers and dispensations. But on the other hand to believe against outward appearances, to hope even against hope, and to trust in a dark and cloudy day, these are the triumphs of faith, and the proper characters of the Lord's people.

Moses however will here afford us a bright example. In the danger which appeared,

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