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was their great Prophet and their Lawgiver ; Moses was in the highest Veneration among them; for his Sake, and to preserve the Authority of his Laws, they refused to hearken to any other Teacher; and therefore rejected the Gospel as tending to subvert the Constitutions of Mofes. Yet how was this Man received ? How was this Deliverer entertained ? Was he not evil-intreated ? Was he not, before he could work their Deliverance, forced to seek his own by an hafty Flight from them into the Land of Midian? When he appeared in the Spirit of the Lord, to avenge the Wrongs of his People, and smote the Egyptian who oppressed the Ifraelite, the very next Day he was reproached by his Brethren for the Murder, as they called it: for he had given them a Provocation which it seems they could not bear; he had Shewed himself unto them as they strove, and would have set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are Brethren; why do ye wrong one to another ? So far did the private Paffions and Resentments prevail against the Confiderations of public Safety, that delivering them from the Egyptians was no Merit, because he endeavoured also to deliver them from one another.
To draw Parallels between the Histories in Scripture, and those of our own Times, is fo slippery a Subject, fo liable to be infuenced by the Passions of the Speaker, who can easily overlook the Circumstances which suit not with his View, choose out and adorn those which do; that in such Applications of Scripture History, there is very great Danger of missing the Scripture Doctrine, and publishing our own partial Sentiments, under the Cover of the Book of God, which was given to correct and amend them. I shall therefore, without trying to fhew you how like we are in all Respects, or in any, to the People of Israel; or how nearly our Enemies resemble the Egyptians; confine myself to such Observations, and such Applications of them, as naturally arise from the Text and our own Circumstances.
First then, we may observe from the Text, that Mofes, though raised by God in a wonderful Manner to be the Deliverer of his People, yet fell under great Discouragements from his Countrymen for whose Sake he was raised up.
The People of Israel, at the Time of the Birth of Mofes, were under so severe a Bon
dage, that there was no human Prospect of Deliverance: those who were of Strength sufficient, were held to such constant and hard Labour, that they had neither Time nor Ability to contrive any Thing for themselves. Could it be expected that any Genius should arise from among the Brickkilns, to restore the Liberty of Israel; or that one employed from his Childhood in gathering Straw should attempt to set up the promised Kingdom ? And that mere Srength and Number might not prevail, the Egyptians had taken care to destroy the Male Children of Israel; so that the Prospect for the next Generation was even worse than what the present had. But the Providence of God turned these Circumstances to his own wise Ends. Had not the King of Egypt commanded the Male Children to be destroyed, Mofes, it is probable, had been bred as he was born, a Slave, and sent, as soon as he was able, to take his Share of the hard Labour imposed on his Countrymen : but by being exposed for Fear of the cruel King's Command, he fell into the Hands of the Princess of Egypt, and had his Education even in the Court of Pharoah, and became learned in all the Wisdom
of the Egyptians, and was mighty in Words and Deeds. By this Means he was qualified to undertake the great Work which God had prepared for him; and Ifrael, though in the lowest Condition, had one to go before them, who had been brought up in the Dignity of a Prince; and yet though he had lived in the Plenty of Egypt, and flourished in the Court of its great King, he forgot not his distressed Countrymen, but he partook in all their Miseries, with an Affection which became him who was one Day to be their Deliverer. One would think that these Circumstances, together with the Prophecies relating to their Deliverance, should have pointed out the Person intended by God to bring about their Redemption: Moses himself thought he should at least have been favoured by his Countrymen in his noble Enterprize for their Service; be fupposed bis Brethren would have understood how that God by his Hand would deliver them: but, as it follows in the Text, they understood not. This was so discouraging a Circumstance, that he seems to have laid aside the Thoughts of being able to serve them; he found, that to accomplish the Deliverance of Israel, he must struggle as well against
the the Israelite, às the Egyptian, and subdue the Slaves in order to their Redemption, as well as the Tyrants who oppressed them. And yet notwithstanding this Blindness of the People, the Murderer, as they called him, was ordained by God to be their Prince and Deliverer ; and they were at last happily convinced of their Mistake, by receiving at his Hand the Blessings promised to their Forefathers.
From whence we may learn, in the second Place, what Confidence and Trust we ought to put in God for the Deliverance of his Church and true Religion, notwithstanding the hopeless Prospects which arise from human Affairs.
Had we been to judge by the Rules of human Wisdom and Policy, what Hope was there that Mofes should be the Deliverer of that People, in whom he had so little Interest, that he was forced to fly from them for his own Safety? But the Counsels of God are not to be defeated either by the Folly or the Madness of the People; and his Purposes shall stand, be those whom he intends to punish never so furious or outrageous, or those whom he intends to save never so weak and blind to their own In