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them light in the dark night of soul sorrow and distress; yea, to the godly there ariseth light in the darkness. The darkness of error, the darkness of sorrow, the darkness of death, our Lord dispels with the light of truth, the light of comfort, and the light of life. Though the Lord was with his people all through their walking in the wilderness, yet they were prone to complain and murmur; a most awful instance of the same evil propensity each of us have and feel in our own fallen nature. There was no reason why Israel should, neither is there for our being like them in this particular: while the Israelites were continued in the wilderness, the Lord wrought and continued live standing miracles; the first of which was the continuance of this miraculous cloud; the second was the giving them manna daily; the third was water flowing from the smitten rock which followed them, and was not stopped for near forty years, and then another rock was opened for them; the fourth was, their clothes did not wax old; the fifth was, that though they went continually on hot burning saud, yet their feet did not swell; yea, though their journey was for forty years, yet the Lord put forth his power, and wrought this miracle; and we may see herein that Christ's presence with his church is perpetual; he says, " Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen." He will be unto them the autitypical manna, the bread of God, the bread of life, the living bread: he will be the living, the smitten rock, out of whose fulness the river of the water of life shall flow into their souls; he will be their everlasting righteousness, their robe and garment of salvation; he will keep the feet of his saints, and in him they shall have everlastingTstrength, so that when they are brought to the end of their journey, they shall have good reason for singing, and saying, to Jehovah Jesus, who led his people through the wilderness, be praise and glory ascribed continually, for his mercy endureth for ever. Hallelujah, praise ye Jah Jesus.
As I have set before you the design of the Lord's going before the people in the pillar of a cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night, to go by day and night, I proceed to my last head, and will,
Thirdly, Consider the continuance of it all the time they were on their journies through the wilderness of Arabia, until they came to Canaau. "He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people,"
Thus there was a continual evidence given of the Lord's care and mindfulness of them. If they journeyed, it was at the command of the Lord ; if they rested, it was likewise at his commandment; when they went forward, the Lord went
before them; when they remained in their camps, he was unto them all they called upon him for. They were continually going out of one wilderness into another; a book of their journies was written by Moses, the man of God. Yet, let their frames, temptations, difficulties, munnurings, be what they might, the Lord still continued to be their faithful guide and protector. We may learn from hence, the perpetuity of the Lord's grace and mercy to his church and people; as he loved them from everlasting out of his own heart, and because it was the good pleasure of his will so to do, and manifested his love in dying for them when they were sinners and ungodly, and sent his Holy Spirit to quicken them with new, spiritual, and supernatural life, when they were dead in trespasses and sins; so he is pleased, in the whole economy of his grace towards them, to be "the Lord God, merciful and gracious, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin." He himself will be the protector and guide of his chosen ones; and having engaged in this office, he will not drop it. His mercies will outvie his people's murmurings, his patience their rebellions; having gone before them on bringing them out of the house of bondage, he will proceed to march as their head and guide, their Savior and protector, all through the journey with them. A greater proof he could not give them of his love, mercy,
pity, and compassion to his beloved and redeemed ones; " He took not away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." He continued it as a standing memorial of his presence with them, and his care of them; under the shadow of it they were secure, and might in faith behold the Lord of Hosts as a wall of fire round about them, and their glory in their midst; they had continually proofs before them, that Christ was self-existent and all-sufficient; they were under the shadow of the Almighty, so that they needed not to be afraid of any terror or enemy either by day or night: if they slept, it was under the protection of this cloud, in perfect peace; if they were called to journey in the night, the presence, light, and fire of this cloud was sufficient to animate them: if they were at a fixed station, they had the symbol of the Lord's presence over them, in the midst of them, and all round them, and they could have no cause to fear any evil, any enemy, but sin. Just so it is with the real church and people of the Most High God; they have the Lord for their shield, he is ever near them, ever with them, his eye and his heart is perpetually upon them, they are under his immediate shadow and protection, he is their refuge and fortress against the secret and open attacks of his enemies and their'Sj he is their preserver from the snares of the devil, from the evil of sin, from its universal contagiou, and from all dangers, whether spiritual or corporeal.
The cloud rested on the tabernacle, when it was erected, and over that part of it called the holiest of all. And as the raising it up above, higher, and more visible into the region of the air, was the signal for removing; so when it was thus, as all their motions were directed hereby, when the ark, a type of Christ, the Holy One Of God, the Holy One of Israel, set forward, Moses prayed, and said, " Rise up, Lord, and let thine enemies be scattered, and let them that hate thee flee before thee." This was praying for God's aid in their war heaven-wards. The Lord was leading them against the wicked nations, whose place they were to fill; and when it rested, he said, "Return, O Lord, unto the many thou* sands of Israel."
Thus Jehovah, the angel, who appeared unto Moses in the bush, and now displayed his presence in the midst of his people, commanded and led his people through the wilderness. And it is he that directs and leads his people the way in which they should go; Moses sanctified their journies and their rests by prayer. He gives an account of forty-two of their journies in the 33d chapter of Numbers. Mr. Romaine's note on it is truly excellent, " Their vicissitudes of sins, afflictions, and troubles, were more in number.