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they were under the way of life to which God had brought them: The children of Israel wept again and said, who shall give us flesh to eat ? It was well with us in Egypt, but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all besides this manna before our eyes. Then we read that God complied with their murmurings, and sent them meat to the full ; but sent a plague after it, whereby many were destroyed ; and the place received its name from the graves

of those who were buried for their lusts.

Here the child of this world may see his own picture. It is his object to gratify himself at any rate, without considering the consequences. His Paradise is this Egypt: selfdenial is a meagre doctrine, and there is nothing to be got, which he can relish, by the service of God. You will therefore see people as fretful and cross when devotion and self-denial come in their way, as the weeping Israelites, who complained that they were dried up with eating manna. And the consequence is as it was of old, God is not well pleased with them : and, sooner or later, every man will feel the effect of setting God against him by his indifference and disaffection. Some have their

punishment in that fulness which they have desired. Who among us cannot recollect many, who have died before their time, by following some ungoverned appetite ; and come to the same end, by the same means, as they who were buried at Kibroth Hataavah? If they live long to enjoy that for which they thought it worth their while to murmur against and despise the ways of God, they suffer miserably in another respect: as it is said in the Psalm, He gave them their desire, and sent leanness withal into their soul :* so that while their bodies were thriving, their souls were starving. If it were possible to see the souls of some such people, they would look worse than skin and bone; wasting and perishing for lack of that grace by which the inner man is renewed. He then who wishes to find death, misery, and the displeasure of God, which is worst of all, let him turn back from his Christian profession, and demand satisfaction for all his lusts. But let him who wishes to find Canaan at last, be content to find a wilderness in the way to it, and there take with thankfulness what God has appointed for him.

* Psalm cvi. 15.



In the preceding Lecture, we have seen how the dangers of the Christian warfare are set before us, in the history of the Militant State of the Jewish Church in its translation from Egypt to Canaan. St. Paul hath expressly taught us, to consider that history as prophetical of our own situation as Christians; and hath showed how it is to be applied as an admonition or warning to us, that we may not fall after the same example of unbelief. We have seen how the people who had been baptized under Moses, and had passed through the Red Sea, afterwards preferred the slavery of Egpyt to the service of God in the wilderness ; becoming weary of bis ways, and despising the better for love of the worse.

But we followed them only on a part of their journey. Other circumstances are yet behind, from which the like instruction is to be gathered : and in treating of them, I shall observe the same order as the Apostle hath done in the 10th chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, where he warus us not to be idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play. This refers us to the occasion of their making a golden calf, and worshipping it with the riotous mirth of idolaters; which showed that they had forsaken the true object of their worship, and had forgotten the design of their redemption from the bondage of Egypt. While Moses was in conference with God upon the mount, their folly had taken up an opinion, that he would not return to them ; and consequently, that they might fall into licentiousness, without the fear of being called to an account : so they danced before a golden calf, and gave themselves up to eating, and drinking, and playing, as if they had totally forgotten the design of their journey through the wilderness. Are these the people whom God, with so mighty a hand, had lately rescued from the tyranny of Pharaoh ? Are these the people who had seen the waters of the sea divided, to save them and destroy their enemies? who had followed a cloud, which led them by day, and gave light to them by night?: and had they so soon forgotten all these wonders, and fallen into the senseless mirth of idolatry? Strange

it is! but such was the fact. And now let us observe the consequence. Moses, whom they had forgotten, descends from the mount when they little expected him ; he surprises them in the midst of their sin, and sends the Levites, armed, as his ministers, to execute vengeance; who smote with the sword from one side of the camp to the other, and there fell some thousands of the people. Our Saviour, in one of his discourses, hath applied this hi tory as an admonition to those careless sinners, who live in pleasure, and are unmind. ful of Him who will shortly return to be their Judge: But if that evil servant shall say

in his heart, my Lord delayeth his coming, and shall begin to smite his fellow-servants, and to eat and drink with the drunken ; the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, and will cut him in sunder, and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.* This brings the history home to ourselves. As Moses for a time left the people in the wilderness, so hath our Leader left us, and he is now up with God in the holy mount. In this interval, there are Christians (so called) who wot not what is become of him, and make a profane

* Luke xii. 44.

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