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ended the 25th of the same; on which day, the frogs came up, and covered the land, and which plague was removed from the Egyptians, as the Bishop thinks on the day following, which was the 26th of Adar.-The third was, “ the dust of the land was turned into lice, throughout all the land of Egypt.” This was on the 27th day of the month Adar, according to Usher.- The fourth was, swarms of flies,” which were very numerous, troublesome, and distressing. The land was corrupted by reason of the swarms of flies. This was on the 28th of Adar, according to the Bishop. - The fifth was, “the murrain on the cattle.” This pestilential disease on the cattle, was, according to Usher, on the second day of the seventh month, which afterwards became the first month Abib, which answers to part of March and part of April, and seems to be about the 17th of March. The sixth was, boils and blains. The Lord giving orders to Moses and Aaron, to bring on this plague, by taking a handful of ashes of the furnace, and sprinkling them towards heaven in the sight of Pharaoh, which ashes being thrown up into the air were so spread as to be over all the land of Egypt, and it came down like showers of snow or sleet every where, only of a hot and scalding nature; and these ashes falling down like the dew, snow, or sleet, produced sore boils, and burning ulcers, rising up in blisters. It is probable,' says Dr. Gill,

this was the third day of the month Abib, about the 18th of March,' that orders were given by the Lord to bring on this plague. -The seventh was,

“ hail and fire mingled with hail,” which came the fifth day of the month Abib.— The eighth was, “ the plague of locusts,” which came up, and rested in all the coasts of Egypt on the eighth day of the month Abib.—The ninth was, of thick darkness," which lasted three days; and that which caused it was even to be felt, the gross vapours, and thick fogs, which were so damp, and clammy, that they put out their fires, lamps, and candles, so that they could receive no benefit from them. This was on the 1 lth, 12th, and 13th of Abib: all which time, the children of Israel had light in their dwellings. And Dr. Lightfoot thinks, that now they attended to the ordinance of circumcision, which had been generally neglected, and was necessary to their partaking of the passover, which in a few days was to be observed by them, and of which no uncircumcised person might eat. See Exod. xii. 48, and which he grounds upon Ps. cv. 28.-The tenth was the death of all the firstborn both of men and cattle; the Lord smote all the first-born in Egypt, the most principal and mightiest in the dwellings of Ham.

It is probable, on the first day of the month Abib, or Nisan, Moses received instruction from the Lord, concerning giving commandment to the Israelites, relative to the ordinance of the passover, and the feast of unleavened bread, to prepare them for their departure, and to set forth to them, that their deliverance from Egypt was typical of a far more great and glorious deliverance by Christ, from sin, Satan, death, and hell; they are commanded by the Lord, to take a lamb according to their families. It was to be taken by them on the 10th

6 the plague day of Nisan, and kept until the 14th day of the same month; at which time, it was to be killed, roasted, and eaten ; its blood sprinkled

upon the lintel, and on the two side posts of the doors of their houses. This was to be their security from the destroying angel.

The whole host of Israel was divided into twelve tribes; those tribes into families; those families into houses ; and then to particular persons, as appeareth from Numb. i. and Joshua vii. 14. This command and institution concerning the paschal lamb, was given before Moses went into Pharaoh, and threatened him with the death of the first-born.

The month Nisan, or Abib, which signifies an ear of corn, and answers to part of our March and April, being the month in which the Lord wrought wonders for Israel, in bringing them out of Egypt, was from henceforth to be to them the beginning of months. They were ever after to begin their ecclesiastical year with it, though their civil year began as before, in the month Tisry, which answers to part of our September. It is said, the Jews had four beginnings of the year. The Ist of Nisan, or March, was the beginning of the year for kings, and festivals :—the 1st of Elul, or August, for the tithing of cattle: --the first of Tisry, or September, for the sabbatical years, jubilees, and planting of trees and herbs :- and the 1st of Shebet, or January, for the tithing the fruit of the trees.

The paschal lamb was a lively expressive symbol and figure of Christ, who is stiled the Lamb of God, without blemish and without spot, in reference to it. The separation of the lamb from the Aock, might shadow forth the separation of Christ in the council of the Trinity, to be the sacrifice for sin. As the lamb was separated for this service on the 10th of Nisan, so on this day the Israelites in after time went through Jordan into the land of Canaan. See Joshua iv. 19. And Christ our paschal Lamb on this day entered Jerusalem, riding on an ass, and a colt, the foal of an ass, and was received of the people with palm branches, and shouts, crying, “ hosanna to the Son of David !” See John xii. 12, 13, 14, 15.

We may conceive the excellency of Christ, as the Priest, righteousness, and food of his people, divinely set forth to view in the paschal lamb, in its purity, meekness, patience, usefulness, and innocency. The roasting it with fire, was very expressive of the dolours and sufferings of Christ, when his soul would be scorched in the flames of divine wrath.

The security of the Israelites under the sprinkling of the blood of the paschal lamb, from the destroying angel

, serves to be expressive even to us of the safety and security of believers under the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus. The eating the passover with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, points out that we feed best on Christ, our passover, when our hearts feel most of the bitterness of sin, and we are mourning after a godly sort. Eating of the lamb, was expressive of receiving, and feeding on Christ, the food of our souls.

(To be continued.)

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ORIGINAL ESSAYS.

LXXXIV.

GOD, THE POWERFUL AND WILLING HELPER OF THE

SAINTS.

FIRST ESSAY. THERE is but one being in existence who is self-sufficient, viz

. the triune God. All the creatures whom he has called into being, are dependent upon him, and they derive their bliss from him. Immortal creatures are so constituted that they cannot be happy but as they are according to the will of God made holy. The powers of the creature man are passively fitted by God for the occupation of the most enlarged knowledge of his being and perfection that he has purposed to reveal to him. But before the revelation made of God in Christ can be received in a spiritual manner, there is a principle of life conveyed by the Holy Ghost to him, which is of the same kind or nature with the things manifested. Before this important change is effected, it is naturally impossible that the things of the kingdom of Christ can be known in a spiritual and saving manner. " The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Hence we learn, that whatever is spiritual in its nature, it will be esteemed only by those who are in possession of a faculty to discern it with love for it. By apostacy from God, the rectitude of our powers is lost ; and therefore natural religion is not now regarded by us as it would have been had it pleased Almigbty God to prevent the breach of law made by the sin of Adam; and as the religion of the Son of God is radically distinct from that of Adam in its kind and tendency, it can only be known to profit by the washing of regeneration. Before a man can be helped by God to perform spiritual duties, he is made the partaker of a heavenly nature; and we have entitled this paper, God, the powerful and willing helper of the saints, in order that we may endeavour to define this truth in a scriptural manner.

A saint is a man who is set apart by God for himself, and is an heir of the kingdom of heaven; but he is passive in his spiritual birth, Christianity is not designed by God to make us accountable creatures, for we are that by the law of creation ; but as we are corrupted by sin, and naturally at a great distance from God, it is an expression of his own good pleasure in Christ towards the election of grace. Yet the word of God, in which his purpose is revealed to bless his children with eternal life through Christ, is not the efficient means by which it is conveyed to them. The Holy Ghost, who loves the heirs of grace, is, with the Father and Son, the one eternal God; he

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knows accurately who are chosen in Christ, and redeemed' by him to God; therefore in due time he is pleased to exercise his creating power in the name and merit of Immanuel on his members, by which means they are constituted personally spiritual. Before this change, there is nothing in the mind of man by which the Holy Ghost can work in an evangelical manner upon its powers to sanctify them; for, though the essential powers of the mind are the same as they were at the moment God created Adam, yet the moral excellency and perfection of the mind was lost by sin. It is very obvious to a spiritual man who is conversant with what passes in his own bosom, that an important change of state has been effected in him, to which he did not contribute anything. Salvation in all the branches of it, is of the Lord; whether it be by purpose, by execu. tion, or by operation. Had not God purposed to save his people from their sin in and by his Son, the Holy Spirit could not save them by the washing of regeneration. For though creation is a powerful work, yet the formation of the heirs of grace to bear the image of the Son of God, is not to be described alone to omnipotent skill. God has wisely and sovereignly chosen the church to union in the person of Christ; and his love to the head and members is bot- ! tomed on his absolute will; therefore, the secret connexion which exists between Christ andi bis seed, is not disturbed by any thing that has taken place by the defection of man, but it abides the same and will for ever endure, because the nature of the church which stands in his eternal person, is by consequence of it rendered relatively immutable, and the Holy Ghost dwells in him, as a fountain : of life and sanctity. When therefore the eternal Spirit takes out from among men by his creating energy the redeemed of the Lord, by the change effected in them,'he communicates to them a principle of eternal life. There is no alteration whatever made in sin, although the siuner is by regeneration saved efficiently to know God in Christ as his Father and Friend. By the principle of life conveyed in re-1 generation the Holy Ghost dwells in the man as in his own temple, and he is described to be as a well of living water springing up into everlasting life.

That the saint is passive in his spiritual birth cannot be denied ; yet there are men who say that it is the duty of sinners to believe on the Son of God to the saving of their souls. No man can act : above the principle of life by which he is governed; for life is the ability of the creature for action, and it is asserted of man that he is dead in sin; that is, if I rightly understand the expression, man? has not lost the life of his soul, for he continues to exist as an immortal beiny ; but he has by sinning' sacrificed the moral rectitude and holiness of his powers, so that he is in equity considered dead, for the has no disposition of mind to serve God comförmably with the claims of law. Now as Adam had not in right nor fact heavenly light, for it was not his due as a creature by the covenant of creation, it can never be the duty of his children who are fallen in and with him, Vol. VIII.- No. 98.]

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to be what their upright father was not when he came forth from the hand of his Creator. Man is bound by that establishment to serve God; for it does not admit of any defect, nor does it point to the remedy which is mercifully revealed in the gospel. Sovereignty interposed in the person of the Mediator to provide a ransom for sinners, and as the church was secretly connected with the Son of God in ties of love before the downfall of Adam and his seed, the covenant of grace and redemption made with Christ cost the saving worth of his life, deeds, sufferings, and death upon his seed, and they are by him redeemed to God. Now as Jehovah the Father has not chosen all men in Christ Jesus to life and salvation, bu: he has passed by in election a part of the race of Adam, and left them in a state of pure creatureship, yet they afterward broke the holy law, and made ihemselves sinners; since Immanuel has made no atonement to justice for their crimes, how can it be their duty to believe on him so as to possess eternal life? If the statement be true, it would be so far as words can go, the means of destroying the unity of the Godhead; for the essence of God is indivisible, and we know that the persons in it are Three, because we have a revelation of it in the person of Christ, according to the covenant of life. The work of the Spirit is as necessary to make a living saint, as the decision of eternity was to constitute a radical distinction in Christ between his seed and the rest; for if there is nothing in Christ for me by the will of God, there cannot be any thing imparted to me by the Holy Ghost. To talk about the trinity of persons in the essence of God, and to describe their operations so as to hide from view the person of the Holy Ghost, is not likely to serve the church of God; for as without boliness no man can please God, so it is equally certain, that the man who is vitally united to the person of Christ, is a partaker of the Holy Ghost by the gospel.

This important and supernatural change is the means of bringing near the heirs of grace to God, for the purpose of holy fellowship with him. The first act of real communion between God and the sinner, is the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son, who is the conveyer of life to the election of grace. This act is the commencement of fellowship which is to continue for ever. No after display of omnipotent grace on a sinner is so great as this, because this is the impartation of that incipient principle of action which is unfolded by a constant and successive influence proceeding from the Son of God to his dependent brethren. We may say, that this principle of life is to the soul what it is to the body. As no : bodily action would be criminal if the union of the soul to it did not constitute it so, (for the complex nature of man is subject to law) so 'neither could there be any spirituality in the actions of man without a connexion with the person of Christ by the sanctification of the Spirit.

When Adam was created, he was at the same inoment of time constituted personally, upright and holy; and so when the Lord the

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