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all the former plagues God had separated between them and the Egyptians; and, whatever evil befel the rest of Egypt, the land of Goshen, where they dwelt, was always safe from harm, for God was there. And now in this last and greatest destruction, mark how God provides for them. They are commanded to take, each family for itself, a lamb; to kill it, and to receive its blood into a basin. And they were to take of the blood and strike it on the two side-posts and on the upper door-posts of the houses where they were; and then when at midnight the destroying angel should pass through to slay the first-born of the Egyptians, when the Lord should see the blood upon the lintel and on the two door-posts, the Lord, says Moses, 'will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you. My friends, whatever evil befals the world, the people of God are safe; they dwell in Goshen, where the Lord is. And he has provided for the safety of his people in that great and terrible day, in a way that was figured out to the Israelites in this their preservation. In this lamb, by whose blood they were preserved, we still find Christ. Christ, our passover, says the apostle, is sacrificed for us. Without the shedding of this blood, without this blood applied to ourselves, sprinkled upon our hearts and consciences, there can be no safety in the day of God's wrath. If the Israelites had trusted to any thing else, if they had trusted to their being Israelites, to their being God's people; or if they had disbelieved Moses's statement to them, had disbelieved that the Lord would pass through to destroy the first-born; or if, for any other reason whatever, they had neglected to strike the blood of the lamb on the lintel and the door-posts, they could not have been safe in the general destruction. And, my dear hearers, if you be found putting your trust and confidence in any thing but the blood of Christ, in any works or worth of your own, in your having been baptized, or being called Christians, or having a fair character among your neighbours; or if, notwithstanding all
hear from the word and ministers of God, you will not believe in the wrath to come, and so will not flee for refuge from it; in a word, whatever be the cause, if you be found out of Christ, not relying on his blood, woe be to you; I testify to you, that you shall surely perish, with an utter destruction from the presence of the Lord. And once more I beseech you to consider what an infinitely more tremendous destruction that shall be, than the one which the Egyptians were visited with.—But observe again, the Israelites not only struck the blood of the lamb upon the door-posts, but they ate the lamb itself. And the believer who flies for refuge to the blood of Christ feeds upon Christ, “ feeds upon him, by faith, in his heart with thanksgiving." As by receiving meat, eating and digesting it, we are refreshed and strengthened in body, so the soul receives Christ, meditates upon him, is comforted and strengthened for all good works, yea, lives
upon him. The life which I now live in the flesh, saith the apostle, I live by the faith of the Son of God. But further, all the circumstances with which the lamb was eaten are very remarkable, and have much of the Gospel in them, figuring the circumstances with which Christ is received into the heart. The lamb was to be eaten with unleavened bread. Leaven is perpetually the figure of malice, and wickedness, and hypocrisy. Christ is to be received sincerely, with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, saith S. Paul. It was to be eaten with bitter herbs, signifying that repentance, and that conviction of sin, which may, and in most cases will, for a time, be bitter and terrible to the soul. The lamb was to be entirely eaten,—the head with the legs, and with the purtenance thereof; and Christ must be received altogether, his cross as well as his crown; reproach for his sake, as well as a reward at his hands; a state of suffering now, if need be, as well as of exaltation hereafter. The lamb was to be eaten in a posture of departure out of Egypt, loins girt, shoes on their feet, and staves in their hands; showing us, that when we receive Christ, we must leave the world, “ renounce the pomps and vanities of this wicked world.” This is no longer our home,-it is polluted; we are setting off for the heavenly Canaan.— I have dwelt thus at large upon the Passover, because it embraces so much of the Gospel, in so plain and striking a figure.
5. That institution by which we are first received into Christ's visible church on earth, I mean Baptism,-this, we are taught by S. Paul, the Israelites figuratively underwent in their passage through the Red Sea. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea. And so also our Church, in the service of baptism; “Almighty and everlasting God, who did safely lead the children of Israel, thy people through the Red Sea, figuring thereby thy holy baptism." Let us consider, then, as becomes us, perpetually using these words as we do, how the passage through the Red Sea figured to us the institution of baptism. When the children of Israel entered the Red Sea they were yet scarcely out of the house of bondage, out of the reach of their cruel tyrant, Pharaoh, out of Egypt, that land of pollution and idolatry: but when they came up out of the water of the sea, and were safe on the other side, there was a sufficient defence between them and Egypt; their enemies, the Egyptians, were lying dead upon the sea-shore, they were out of the dominion of Pharaoh, they immediately came under those laws which Moses gave them from God. Now, my friends, imagine an adult, as, for
example, the Ethiopian eunuch whom Philip instructed in the faith of Christ, coming to the holy ceremony of baptism ; coming in faith, so that the water shall be indeed to him the sign and pledge of the Holy Spirit; and so that, as the one is sprinkled upon the body, the other shall descend into his heart, to cleanse and purify it; then see how like the change in such a man's condition is to that which we have described in the condition of the Israelites. He has been in a house of bondage, under a cruel tyrant, Satan, doing the work of sin, serving idols, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; but the Holy Spirit has made him free, he has “renounced the devil, and all his works;" he sees his enemies conquered; he enters into the service of God, which is perfect freedom ; he receives from his master, Christ, of whom Moses was an illustrious type, the laws of the new covenant, written not in tables of stone, but on fleshy tables of the heart. I have taken the case of an adult, because the change produced is more visible: but if we did our parts in infant baptism,-if parents brought their children in faith to be baptized, earnestly desiring for them the blessings of the Christian covenant; brought them, in a word, with that
expectation with which the parents, of whom we read in the Gospel, brought their children to Christ when bodily present on earth; and if the godfathers and godmothers did come with hearty prayers for the children for whom they make such a solemn vow, promise, and profession, what blessed effects might we expect to see from baptism! what beautiful examples of early piety! how many Samuels, called of God while yet children !--young Timothys, knowing the Sacred. Scriptures from a child !-young Josiahs, of tender hearts, humbling themselves before the Lord, and weeping before him! Then, indeed, we need not doubt, but might“ earnestly believe that He would favourably receive ” the infants whom we presented to Him, that He would “embrace them with the arms of his mercy, that He