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come and appear before the made examples to us, with presence of Gode ?” Doth this intention as the Apostle he not rather say, “Let me instructs us, “that we should never come near Him, for I not lust after evil things as have no relish for His ways they also lusted f.” If we or His worship. I wish there look to their history in the were no church, no sacra- book of Numbers, we find ments, no preaching, no how discontented and miserpraying. I was baptized to able they were under the be a member of Christ, but way of life to which God I never desire to be in His had brought them : “ The company. Let me continue children of Israel wept ato be one of the swine of gain and said, Who shall Egypt, as I have hitherto give us flesh to eat ? It was been, and let my latter end well with us in Egypt; but be like theirs." Such is the now our soul is dried
away ; language which passes in there is nothing at all bemany hearts when it is put sides this manna before our into plain English. Men eyes 8.” Then we read that are called by different names God complied with their at distant periods of time ; murmurings, and sent them but the workings of their meat to the full ; but sent minds are the same in all a plague after it, whereby ages.
The devout Chris- many were destroyed ; and tian follows the calling of the place received its name God at this day, on the from the graves of those same motives of faith as the who were buried for their patriarchs did of old, and lusts. considers this life as a pil- Here the child of this grimage ; while others are world may see his own picdrawn away by the world ture. It is his object to and the flesh, just as they gratify himself at any rate, were whose carcases fell in without considering the the wilderness. They were consequences. e Psalm xlii. 1, 2.
& Num. xi. 4-6.
11 Cor. x. 6.
dise is this Egypt: self- | they thought it worth their denial is a meagre doctrine, while to murmur against and there is nothing to be and despise the ways of got, which he can relish, God, they suffer miserably by the service of God. You in another respect: as it is will therefore see people as said in the Psalm, “He fretful and cross when de- gave them their desire, and votion and self-denial come sent leanness withal into in their way, as the weep- their soul':” so that while ing Israelites, who com- their bodies were thriving plained that they were dried their souls were starving. up with eating manna. If it were possible to see And the consequence is as the souls of some such it was of old, “God is not people, they would look well pleased h” with them : worse than skin and bone ; and sooner or later, every wasting and perishing for man will feel the effect of lack of that grace by which setting God against him by the inner man is renewed. his indifference and dis- He then who wishes to find affection. Some have their death, misery, and the dispunishment in that fulness pleasure of God, which is which they have desired. worst of all, let him turn Who amongst us
cannot back from his Christian recollect many, who have profession, and demand died before their time, by satisfaction for all his lusts. following some ungoverned But let him who wishes to appetite ; and come to the find Canaan at last, be consame end, by the same tent to find a wilderness in means, as they who were the way to it, and there buried at Kibroth Hatta- | take with thankfulness avah? If they live long what God has appointed for to enjoy that for which him.
h 1 Cor. x. 5.
i Psalm cvi. 15.
HISTORICAL FIGURES OF THE SCRIPTURE CONTINUED.
In the preceding Lecture through the Red Sea, afterwe have seen how the dan- wards preferred the slavery gers of the Christian war- of Egypt to the service of fare are set before us, in the God in the wilderness; behistory of the militant state coming weary of His ways, of the Jewish Church in its and despising the better translation from Egypt to for love of the worse. Canaan. St. Paul hath ex- But we followed them pressly taught us to con- only on a part of their sider that history as pro- journey. Other circumphetical of our own situa- stances are yet behind, from tion as Christians; and which the like instruction hath shewed how it is to is to be gathered : and in be applied as an admoni- treating of them, I shall tion or warning to us, that observe the same order as we may not “fall after the the Apostle hath done in the same example of unbeliefa." | 10th chapter of his first We have seen how the peo- Epistle to the Corinthians, ple who had been baptized where he warns us not to under Moses, and had passed be “idolaters, as were some
a Heb. iv. 11.
ON THE FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE &c.
of ther; as it is written, / waters of the sea divided, The people sat down to eat to save them and destroy and to drink, and rose up their enemies? who had to play.” This refers us followed a cloud, which led to the occasion of their them by day, and gave making a golden calf, and light to them by night? worshipping it with the and bad they so soon forriotous mirth of idolaters ; gotten all these wonders, which shewed that they and fallen into the sensehad forsaken the true ob- less mirth of idolatry ? ject of their worship, and Strange it is ! but such had forgotten the design of was the fact. And now let their redemption from the
us observe the consequence. bondage of Egypt. While Moses, whom they had forMoses was in conference gotten, descends from the with God upon the mount, mount when they little extheir folly had taken up an pected him ; he surprises opinion, that he would not them in the midst of their return to them; and con- sin, and sends the Levites, sequently, that they might armed, as his ministers, to fall into licentiousness, execute vengeance ; who without the fear of being smote with the sword from called to an account: so one side of the camp to the thoy danced before a golden other, and there fell some calf, and gave themselves thousands of the people. up to eating and drinking Our Saviour, in one of His and playing, as if they had discourses, hath applied totally forgotten the design this history as an admoniof their journey through tion to those careless sinthe wilderness. Are these ners, who live in pleasure, the people whom God, with and are unmindful of Him so mighty a band, had lately who will shortly return to rescued from the tyranny be their Judge: “But if of Pharaoh ? Are these the that evil servant shall say people who had seen the l in his heart, My Lord de
layeth His coming ; and ject is to him what the calf shall begin to smite his was to the Hebrews. How fellow-servants, and to eat many are there who spend and drink with the drunk- their lives in the dance of en; the Lord of that ser- pleasure, as if they had vant shall come in a day been sent hither for no when he looketh not for other purpose ! others deHim, and in an hour that vote themselves to honours he is not aware of, and will and preferments; and, to cut him in sunder, and ap- accomplish their designs, point him his portion with affect popularity, and worthe unbelievers b.” This ship “the beasts of the brings the history home to people.” Wealth is the ourselves. As Moses for a object of others; and theirs time left the people in the is a calf of gold. The wilderness, so hath covetous
mammon Leader left us, and He is the god of riches; and the now up with God in the sin of covetousness holy mount. In this inter- pressly called by the name val, there are Christians (so of idolatryd. Are these the called) who "wot not what people of God? Are these is become of Him," and they, who were baptized make a profane use of His into the Name of Jesus absence; setting up this Christ as dead unto sin world, in some form or and alive unto righteousother, as their idol, and nesse? Are these the childevoting themselves to the dren of Abraham, followworship of it. Whatever ers of them who through the object may be, which faith and patience obtained any man has substituted in the promises ? Merciful God, the place of God, that ob- what a transformation is
b Luke xii. 45, 46.
c Exod. xxxii. 1. & The learned Mr. Parkhurst, in his Greek Lexicon of the New Testament, gives very good reasons why we ought rather here to understand the sin of unlawful lusts, as in that other expression, “whose god is their belly.” See under the word πλεονεξία. . . Rom. vi. 11; 1 Pet. ii. 24.