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dence. It is moreover said, that in this state of travel for so many years their apparel lasted to the very conclusion of their journeying. The prophet accordingly tells them to their face, Deut. xxix. 5. I have led you forty years in the wilderness: your clothes are not waxen old upon you, and thy shoe is not waxen old upon thy foot. It is farther said, that when they were afflicted with thirst, the solid rocks afforded them streams of water; and that for a long season they were fed with a peculiar > food from heaven. And this must necessarily have been the case, for there was not subsistence in the desert for one hundredth part of their number. It is plain, therefore, that Moses was not the chief agent, but was directed throughout by the God of Israel,
."He brought streams also out of the rock: and caused waters, to run down like rivers. Psalm lxxvii. 16.
* Moses speaks to Israel collectively, Deut. viii. 3. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna ; ' which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know' that man doth not live, by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live.
V. 4. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell these forty years.
Of their. Arrival at Sinai.
In the third month from their departure they came into the wilderness of Sinai; and approached the mountain, of which God had apprized Moses, that, when he brought forth the people out of Egypt, they should serve God upon that mountain, Here the law was given with all the magnificence and terror that the human mind can conceive. Exod. xix. 16. And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that were in the camp trembled---- V. 18. And, Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. Ch. xx. ver. 18. And all the people saw (were witnesses to) the thunderings, and lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it they removed, and stood afar of--V. 21. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. Such was the splendid and
terrific appearance in which it pleased God to manifest himself to the people. The whole was calculated to produce a proper reverence and fear, and make the people more ready to receive the law, and to obey it, when delivered. For the law was of such a nature, and contained such painful rites and ceremonies, and injunctions seemingly so ' unnecessary, and without meaning, that no people would have conformed to it, or even permitted it to take place, if there had not been these terrors and this sanction to enforce it. A meaning certainly there was in every rite and ordinance; yet as it was a secret to them, there was nothing which could have made them submit but the immediate hand of heaven. A shepherd of Midian could never have brought about so great a work, though he had been joined by Aaron, his brother, and all the elders of Israel. But Aaron was so far from co-operating, that, even while the law was giving, while the cloud was still upon Sinai, he yielded to the importunities of the people, and made a golden calf, and suffered them to lapse into the idolatry of Egypt. Moses there
'Wherefore I gave them also statutes, that were not good, and judgments whereby they should not live. Ezekiel xx. 25.
fore stood single ;' he had not a person to as sist him, unless the great God of all, by whose command he in reality acted, and by whom the law was enforced."
An Attempt to get to the Land of Promise.
After the space of three months the children of Israel moved from Horeb, in their way to the promised land. And, before they thought proper to invade it, they sent persons secretly to take a view of it, and to discover the strength of the cities, and the disposition of the natives, and likewise the nature of the soil. This inquiry, according to human prudence, should have been made before they set out from Egypt. If we do not allow the divine interposition, nothing can be more strange than the blindness of the leader, and the credulity of the people. They had with much labour traversed two deserts, and come to the wilderness of Paran, to take possession of a country of which they had no intelligence, and to drive out nations with whom they were totally unacquainted. 'What king, going
to mahe war, against another. king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able to meet him? However, spies are at last sent, and after forty days return. Concerning the fertility of the land they brought a good report; but the inhabitants they described as a formidable race, and their cities as uncommonly strong: The people upon this gave themselves up to despair, and very justly, if they had no arm to trust to but tħat of Moses. For the spies told them very truly---' The people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover, we saw the children of Anak there. All the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature. And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come out of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. Numbers, chap. xiii. ver. 28, 32, 33. The people in consequence of this refused to invade the land, for they were totally unacquainted with the art of war, and the enemy seemed too strongly fenced, and in all respects too powerful. Their refusal therefore was well founded, if they had no trust but in their leader. A party of them did how
"Numbers xiii. 28, 32, 33.