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Pharaoh's heart remaining hardened, the Lord sends a third sore judgment: the dust is turned into lice, throughout all the land of Egypt, man and beast are covered with them. The magicians not being able by their devilish art to juggle and deceive at this time, cry out, " This is the finger of God.”
The Lord sends a fourth plague, which he foretels by the mouth of his servant Moses, with the discrimination he would make between bis people and the Egyptiaus, and which was wonderful that a mixed swarın of flies, wasps, hornets, or as some think, wild heasts, serpents, mice, and the like, should be in every part of Egypt, except in Goshen, where the Israelites were stationed, especially as they had flocks and abundance of cattle. Though a partial effect had so far wrought on Pharaoh, that inclined bion at that time to let the Israelites go, yet this being but on his own terms, bis heart remaining still what it had been, the Lord brings the fifth plague, which was a murrain of cattle. At this time also a marvellous distinction is made between Israel and the Egyptians; it is said, that “ All the cattle of the Egyptians died, but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one."
Pharaoh remaining still unwilling to let Israel go, the Lord brings a sixth plague: boils and blains, an extraordinary and incurable boil which was upon man and beast; it is called the botch of Egypt, Deut. xxviii. 27. and must bave been exquisitely afflictive.
The seventh judgment was hail, and fire mingled with it, thunderings most awful, lightnings most tremendous, which, together with the hail, consumed their cattle, and men who were in the field, and destroyed all the fruits of their ground; from which Israel was wholly exempted, the Lord suffered nothing of this to fall on them or their's. As one flash of lightning took hold of another, and these flames of fire infolded themselves, so they increased and burnt most terribly: this storm of thunder, lightning and hail, was most extraordinary and terrible; the desolation brought upon men,.cattle, and the fruits of the earth, was very great Pharaoh seems to tremble at these voices of God, and is disposed to compromise the matter; but Moses tells him that he knew he would not as yet fear the Lord God; therefore, when, at the prayer of Moses, the storm is turned into a calm, Pharaoh hardens his heart; and the Lord sends the eighth plague: the locusts come up upon the land of Egypt, and consume every green thing, even all that was left after the storm of thunder, lightning, and bail was
The locusts, at the all-commanding voice of God, came so numerous, and to such a degree, that they covered the face of the whole earth; the land was darkened with them, and the ground was corrupted, and such devastation of fruit,
trees, herbs, and corn was wrought by them, that there remained not any green thing in the trees or herbs of the field. Pharaoh sends for Moses and Aaron, confesses he had sinned against the Lord and against them, and intreats that this plague may be removed, which accordingly was granted at the intercession of Moses; a strong east wind removed them, so that they were cast or fell in quantities into the red sea, and there remained not one in all the coast of Egypt.
Yet another plague is brought, which is the ninth, and that is darkness throughout all the land of Egypt for three days, whilst all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings; and now it is conceived they made use of this as a very proper season to observe the ordinance of circumcision, which had been shamefully neglected by them during their abode in Egypt. The learned conclude this ordinance was now observed, from the following passage of scripture, “ He sent darkness, and made it dark, and they rebelled not against his word." Psalm cv. 28. The Israelites are the persons spoken of, and a very fit opportunity it was to submit to be circumcised when the Egyptians could give them no kind of disturbance, they being wrapt up in darkness, and confined to their own houses by reason of the thick impenetrable darkness which the Lord sent as a judgment upon them; the
mists and vapours were such, that the air was quite thick, and the darkness was palpable, such as might be felt by the hand; the heaven was darkened, the sun, moon, and stars weré pot seen; neither did their common fire serve to give them light; they saw not one another, neither rose they from their place for three days. :),
Yet one plague is sent more, the tenth, which was the death of their first-born. A most righteous retaliation on them, for seeking to destroy all the male children of the Israelites. Before this, the orders respecting the paschal lamb, with direction to the people of Israel concerning what they should borrow of the Egyptians, were given; and a solemn message is sent to Pharaoh; concerning the death of all the first-born in Egypt: in which we have the Lord speaking in the name of his people, pointing out thereby his union to his people. Thus Jehovah Jesus having proved bis power over all the idols of Egypt, and made way from the house of bondage for his people, by his stretched-out arm, and by great judg. ments, is pleased to set before them, in the institútion of the passover, a lively figure of his sufferings, blood-shedding, and death, which preceded their Exodus; so that it may truly be said, that the
passover was the means of their deliverance; hence the apostle says, “ Through faith he kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, leşt he that destroyed the first-born should touch them."
Heb. X. 28. The lamb being slain and roasted, its blood sprinkled, and every particular enjoined carefully attended to, at midnight, the Lord smote all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both of man and beast, and thus all impediments being removed, he brought forth bis people with joy, and his chosen with gladness. And our text saith, “ It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations." The deliverance wrought, the means by which it was wrought, the particuJar night on which it was effected, required to be much and carefully observed by these people, that they might thereby testify their gratitude to the Lord for his wonderful interference on their behalf.
In the prosecution of my design on the subject before me, I shall aim to set before you the following particulars.
First, I will speak concerning the change of the year, and the institution of the passover, which was a most solemn type, figure, and me morial of the sufferings, blood-shedding, and death of Christ.
Secondly, I will set before you the paschal lamb, with the several circumstances belonging to it, and enjoined in eating it, and shew how it bore a resemblance unto, and was expressive of