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led upon them from the overshadowing cloud and from the sea, which stood in heaps beside them. . This was a baptism unto Moses, as a typical mediator, by which they were bound to submit to that covenant which he, as the minister of God, was to reveal to them ; but it was especially a type of the later initiating seal of the covenant of grace ;-yea, a type of the washing of regeneration and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus, of which baptism is only the sign.
On the completion of this wonderful deliverance, Moses composed a song, which he and the children of Israel sung unto the Lord ; to which responses were made by Miriam the prophetess, accompanied by timbrels and dances. No doubt among that vast multitude there were many sincerely pious people ; who from the heart, extolled God for his wonderful works. There was the true Church. But all were not Israel, who were of Israel. Indeed the greater part of that generation which came out of Egypt were unsanctified men, and exceedingly perverse. God delivered them from bondage for “ his name's sake, and that he might make his power known.” And if they united in the song of Moses, it was in the triumphs of victory. They sang his praise, but his loving kindness was soon obliterated from their minds. Forty years they wandered in the wilderness, but they were years of constant murmurings and rebellions. Before they crossed the Red Sea, they spake contemptuously to Moses. And within three days after they had sung the praises of the Lord, they murmured at the waters of Marah, because they were bitter. Then in a short period, they murmured for bread, looking back with bitter regret to the day when they " sat by the flesh pots and did eat bread to the full.” God gave them bread from heaven but “their soul loathed that light bread.” Next they murmured for flesh. They were jealous of the honor conferred on Moses and Aaron. They made them a molten calf in imitation of the Egyptian god Apis, and were afterwards joined to Baalpeor ; did eat the sacrifices of the dead, and committed abomination with the daughters of Moab. Their whole life was a continued scene of rebellion. “ Forty years long," said God, “ was I grieved with this generation.” And though he did not destroy them utterly, he sometimes caused them to feel the power of his indignation. At one time three and twenty thousand were destroyed in a day. At another, the Lord sent among them fiery flying serpents which bit them, so . that many of the people died. At another, three rebellious
families were swallowed up in the earth for their sins, and 14,700 persons were suddenly cut off by a plague for murmuring against it. Such was their perverseness, that God sware in his wrath that none save Caleb and Joshua, of that generation, should enter the promised land.
Yet for their father's sake, God was kind and compassionate towards them. Oft he forgave them at the intercession of Moses, when provoked to destroy them. He went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night, and protected them by the angel of his presence. He gave them day by day manna from heaven and quails for flesh. He caused water to flow out in abundance from the rock. He raised in the wilderness a brazen serpent upon a pole, when the people were bitten by the fiery flying serpents, that whosoever looked upon it should be healed. He gave them power over their enemies and wrought for them the most wonderful victories.
" All these things happened unto them for ensamples, and they are written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Their whole journey toward the promised land was typical of the journey of the true Israel toward the heavenly Canaan. They were indeed the true Israel. The true Church was among them ; though the great mass of the people were wicked and rebellious. Were they brought through the depths of the sea? So all the children of God are born of water and the Spirit. Were they baptised by sprinkling from the cloud and the sea unto Moses? So are we baptised into Jesus Christ, 6 buried with him by baptism into death--that we may walk in newness of life.” Were they to live by faith, as to their daily support, in the wilderness? So are we. Were they fed by manna and did they drink of water from the rock? So are we fed by “that bread which cometh down from heaven”. in the dispensation of the word, and our souls are refreshed from the fountain of life. They “ did all eat the same spiritual meat and did all drink the same spiritual drink, for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ.” Were they guilty of much murmuring and rebellion? Did they disbelieve the promises? and was their soul discouraged because of the way? It was but a type of the imperfection, stupidity, disbelief and backsliding of saints. Did the anger of the Lord burn against them and did his judgments destroy them? We may behold in this a lively representation of his grief and indignation at
the misconduct of saints, and of his judgments upon them; though these judgments under the new dispensation are marked with far less severity. Did he, at intercession of Moses, oft forgive their sins, and extend to them his pardoning and saving mercy? So at the intercession of Christ, he pardons the iniquities of his people and will acquit them in the judgment. Did Moses lift up the serpent in the wil. derness, that whoso looked on it should be healed? So was the Son of man lifted up that " whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but might have everlasting life." And did God, finally, bring his ancient Israel into the land of promise, through the waters of Jordan, by his servant Joshua? So does he conduct his saints, through death, by Jesus, the great captain of their salvation, to a better country which is the desire of their souls, even a heavenly. “ The ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and with everlasting joy upon their heads, they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
Giving of the Law. Moral and Ceremonial. Symbol of the Divine Presence. Taber
nacle. Urim and Thummin. Priesthood. Re-institution of the Sabbath. Completion of the Pentateuch. Outpouring of the Spirit. Character of Moses. Two remarkable Prophecies of Christ.
During the wanderings of the Church in the wilderness, four remarkable events occurred which claim particular notice.—The GIVING OF THE LAW. THE RE-INSTITUTION OF THE SABBATH. THE COMPLETION OF THE PENTATEUCH, AND AN EXTENSIVE OUTPOURING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
For 2500 years, the Church had enjoyed much precious intercourse with heaven. Christ, the angel of the covenant, had appeared to Adam, to Noah, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and established with them the covenant of grace, but she had no written law. On the tenth of the third month after leaving Egypt, the Israelites pitched their camp at the foot of Mount Sinai. There they remained a year. On the morning of the third day of their encampment, the mount was in a smoke and there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud upon the mount, for the Lord descended upon it in fire. Such was the majesty of the scene, that the people trembled and stood afar off and said unto Moses,“ Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us lest we die. And Moses went up to God in the mount."
The Ten Commandments were first given. To express their importance and perpetuity, they were written by the finger of God, on tables of stone. These commandments have their foundation in the nature of God and man, and in the relations which men bear to God and to one another. They contain the primary principles of all law. They are obligatory upon all men to the end of time.
Next, God gave to Moses the political and ceremonial law of Israel. He had set a part this nation for himself. Its government was to be a Theocracy. God was to be its King. He therefore gave his statutes for the regulation of the come' monwealth.
It was also to form his visible church; and he prescribed such ceremonial observances as would maintain the knowledge of the true Jehovah; keep the Jews separate from the Heathen; and, by lively types and shadows, prefigure the gospel dispensation.
Under this divine constitution the worship of Israel consisted much in sacrifices and offerings; in presenting to God slain animals and the fruits of the earth.
Sacrifices had been offered by the pious from the promise of a Savior. They were doubtless of divine origin. They were now reduced to a regular system. God prescribed three kinds for the Jewish nation;—the whole burnt offering; the sacrifice, and the thank offering. The first was the most ancient and excellent. It was expiatory. The whole victim, whether a bullock, a lamb, a turtle dove or young pigeon, was burnt; and a libation of wine was poured out upon the altar. The second was a sin offering or trespass offering, made on account of legal pollutions, or sins of ignorance. The third was an expression of gratitude for mercies received. The slain animals were accompanied with unleavened cakes; and most of the animal and the cakes were converted by the person offering, into an entertainment for the poor. All these sacrifices were so many symbols, corresponding with the several branches of piety. In the expiatory sacrifice, the offerer came before God confessing that he was a sinner, and that he deserved to die, as the animal died. The acceptance of the sacrifice on the part of God was a confirmation of the divine promis;
es of pardon to the penitent. But this sacrifice was chiefly figurative of our Lord Jesus Christ, our true substitute; the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world. If any trusted to a fancied efficacy in the sacrifices themselves, and to the multitude of victims, they drew upon them the divine anger.
That the Israelites might have a fixed place where they should offer their sacrifices, worship, and receive communications from heaven, God commanded Moses to build a tabernacle. Noah and the patriarchs had erected altars. As yet, temples were unknown among the people of God. The tabernacle was a moveable tent, made of the most costJy materials. Before it was the court, 150 feet in length, and 75 in breadth, and enclosed by curtains made of linen. In the centre of the court stood the altar for sacrifice, and on one side the laver, with water. The tabernacle was West of the Court. It was 30 cubits from West to East, and ten from North to South, and was divided into two apartments. The outer was called the holy place; the inner, the Holy of holies. In the former, on the North side, was the table of shew bread. On this were placed twelve loaves of unleavened bread, sprinkled over with frankincense; and wine in bowls. On the South side was the golden candlestick, in which seven lamps burned by night, and three by day. In the middle, was the altar, on which incense was offered daily, morning and evening. In the inner room, from which was excluded the light of day, was the ark of the covenant-a small box covered with pure gold. In this was deposited the two tables of stone, on which were written the ten commandments. The lid or cover of the ark was called the mercy seat. On the ends of this seat were placed two cherubims, with their faces inclined towards each other, and towards the mercy seat, and their wings stretched out so as to overshadow it. These wings formed the throne of God, while the ark was his footstool. By the side of the ark, in a golden vase, was kept some of the manna, Aaron's rod, and the books of Moscs.
" Here,” said God to Moses, from between these cherubims, “I will meet with thee and commune with thee." Here was seen a cloud of glory, the visible symbol of Jehovah, which became bright and shining, when God there revealed his will by an audible voice. Such an emblem of Jehovah's presence, accompanied with frequent communications from him, caused the Israelites to feel that he was