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the thirtieth verse, that “a mixed multitude went up also with them;" we know not the number, but, from the expression, we should conceive it to have been very considerable, and made up, probably, of nominal proselytes, and camp-followers, from among the Egyptians, who hoped to obtain some temporal benefits from their association with the people of God. It is worthy of notice, because they are referred to again in the book of Numbers,* and appear to have been the cause of Israel's sin, in lusting for the flesh-pots of Egypt;" for we are told that “the mixed multitude that was among

them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?” So extremely difficult is it, for the people of God to travel in company with those who know him not, without receiving injury in their own souls. They hear them speak with interest or with regret, of the enjoyments that are past, or with delightful anticipations of those that are to come, and it is not in nature to resist the temptations which are thus carelessly encountered, or voluntarily sought.

How wise, then, and how merciful, as well as wise, is that injunction of our God, “Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” In separation alone, there is safety. The most advanced Christian can scarcely ever join “the mixed multitude,” without receiving transient injury. Disguise it how you may, of one thing be certain, that if the society of the ungodly is your delight, their pleasures

*Numbers xi. 4.

will soon be your pleasures, and their lusts your lusts. To dwell in safety, I will not say, you must diwell alone, for man was not meant to live alone; but

you must be far more careful than men usually are in the choice of your society,—you must act in the same spirit that made the pious David exclaim, 66 I will not know a wicked person;" it is easy to say that this is impossible, but observe what it implies, simply this—I will not intentionally form a friendship with any single individual, who does not honour and obey my God; love and worship my Saviour, believe in and recognise my divine Comforter. will not cultivate an intimacy with those, with whom I cannot, at fitting opportunities, enjoy sweet converse, upon these delightful topics here, and with whom I may not reasonably and scripturally hope to continue such holy and happy intercourse throughout a blessed eternity.

Does this, we say, appear to be impossible? Alas! for the Christianity of the world in which we live, if it be so; alas! for our own Christianity, if we do not endeavour to make such principles the rule of our life and conversation.


CHAP. xiii. 1-22.

1. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2. Sanctify unto me all the first-born, whatsocver opcncth the

womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast : it is mine.

[NotE.Here may be read from verse 3 to 16 inclusive.]

We find the children of Israel now fairly entered upon their long and perilous journey; and the earliest command they receive from the Almighty, is to dedicate all their first-born to him. No doubt, this was the most striking and efficacious method by which the memory of the last great judgment of God upon the Egyptians could be perpetuated. Few men would ever sacrifice or redeem the firstlings of their flock, or consecrate the first-born of their children to God, without reverting to this great and wonderful deliverance, and none could revert to it without feeling their hearts expand in love and gratitude to the Father of all their mercies.

17. And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent, when they see war, and they return to Egypt:

18. But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up har. nessed out of the land of Egypt.

19. And Moscs took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my

bones away

hence with you. 20. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of the wilderness.

It is impossible, not to admire and wonder at every step, in the Lord's dealings with these, his chosen people: how triumphantly did he bring them forth,

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and then how tenderly and watchfully did he lead them! for we are told expressly, that “God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure, the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt.”

They had been too long a nation of slaves to become at once a nation of warriors; so God mercifully shielded them from danger until they were strengthened to meet and overcome it. How often does our heavenly Father act thus, with regard to his chosen people, whom he is, even now, every day delivering from a worse than Egyptian bondage, and calling them, as the prophet says, “ Two of a family, and one of a city, that He might bring them to Zion.” How frequently do we see the young convert, first brought out, like Israel, with a strong hand, from among a people or a family, where God is little valued, and then tenderly led and guided in such a path, that, for a time at least, he is sheltered from dangers, and difficulties, and enemies, who would, in the feeble state of his faith, have overpowered and conquered him! We in our blindness foresee nothing but trials for him, perhaps the only spirituallyenlightened member of some worldly family, and we are perplexing ourselves as to the possibility of his escaping from his numerous and closely-surround. ing temptations: but our heavenly Father has arranged all with infinite wisdom and parental love, and throws so wonderful a shield around him, that the fiery darts of the wicked one fall harmless to the ground; or else leads him into the wilderness, and there, perhaps, by the security of a sick chamber, nurses and strengthens him into spiritual life, until he is well enabled, by God's grace, to go forth among his enemies and make good his passage, in the face of all opposition, and of every species of persecution which Satan or the world can offer. While, on the other hand, sometimes the same merciful and tender Father concludes the education of his child, not by furnishing him with weapons for the conflict, but by calling him to a home where all is peace. What motives are these for the young convert never to fear! Whatever be his trials, or his enemies, God can and will either strengthen him to overcome them, or preserve him from them. For he who has undertaken for him, has graciously promised to keep that which he hath committed to Him against that day, and having begun a good work in him, to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.

21. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night:

22. He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.

Not only, therefore, was the safety of this immense multitude provided for by their divine Leader, but even their very comforts were not forgotten; for we are here told that “ The Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them in the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light." These were their constant directors; when they stopped, whether for an hour, or a day, or a year, the Israelites remained in their tents; and when these

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