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that the Egyptians may fee that God fighteth for Ifrael against
You may easily discerne how all this is directed to our in-
To awake us to a confideration of the revealed power of God, for if God fhew it, it is, that we may fee it, it was the cause of Ifraels fo many rebellions.
For,whereas God did fo great things for them, That they Pf.78.7. might not forget his works.
They forgate his works and his wonders that he hath fhewed them; and that made them children of difobedience.
To direct to the right use of this mercy of God, which is as you have heard.
I In refpect of God, to give him due praife, that he may have the honour due to his name.
2 In refpect of our felves, to confirme our hope and faith. in his word, and in the arm of his ftrength, believing that bow, and the whole quiver of arrows belonging to it, is on our fide, and we need not fear what man or Devil can do against us.
3 In refpect of this life, that we paffe the time of our dwelling here in fear,living in the obedience and fervice of this Almighty Maker and preserver of men, by keeping his sta tutes, &c.
4 In refpect of pofterity, that we leave them our good example, and the light of our knowledge to inftruct them in the wonderfull works of God, that generation may praife him to generation and declare his power.
5 In respect of our enemies, that they may fee and know whom we have trufted, and may know that our help is in the name of the Lord, who hath made heaven and earth: so that we fhall not need to fear their bow, nor their arrows, upon the string ready to goe off against us, there is a Bow on our fide, and an arme to weild it.
Verfe ic. The mountains faw thee, and they trembled, the overflowing of the water passed by the deep uttered his voice, and lift up his hands on high.
Hefe words have reference to the former wonders of Gods works, in which the Ho y Ghoft Poetically, and Rhethorically doth give life to things in-animate, to expreffe their yielding and giving vvay to Gods extraordinary operations, fome understanding that; For fuch impreffion did the power of God make in the everlasting mountains, as he calleth them before, ver.6. and in the perpetuall hils that they gave way to his people, as if they had feen God himself, and that the feare of God had been upon them to make them tremble.
The like Poeticall ftreine we have in the Pfalmift: what Pla 114.6. ailed ye mountains that ye skipped like ramms, and ye little hils like young sheep? And the words of David do feem to guide my judgement, to expound this place, not of the mountains upon the dry land, but with reference to the miracle of the paffage of the children of Ifrael over fordan, in which God by his power did make the waters of the river rife up like mountains to ftop their way, and yet not to fuffer them to drown the neighbouring Continent, and this was effected with an extratraordinary motion of the waters, leaping and skipping like Sheepe.
Therefore here is added, the over-flowing of the water paffed by, that is, it did not over-flow the way of the Ifralites, but beftowed it felf in the raifing up of the mountains of water: The deep uttered his voice: he meaneth the noise of the waters, running and fwelling in heaps: And lift up his hands on high: for this rifing of the waters into fuch huge hils, did give teftimony of their yielding to the almighty power of God in his working,though contrary to their nature.
This expofition of these words I imbrace,as moft confonant
to the web of the Scripture, yet I will not conceal from you, that fome refer this trembling of the mountains, and this noise of the waters, figuratively, to the trembling of the Kings in Canaan, and the noife of the people afraid,and melting in their hearts at the strange paffage of Ifrael through the red sea first, and now at last through fordan.
Whom I dare not follow, holding it dangerous to admit more figures then need, when fome more literall fenfe may be proper.
Others do refer this to the trembling of mount Sinai, when God appeared to the people in the way, of which McJes faith,
And mount Sinai was altogether in a fmoak, because the Lord Exo.9.18. defcended upon it in fire, and the smoak thereof afcended as the Smoak of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
But this connexion of the trembling of the mountains, with the noise of the waters, doth make it probable to me, that it is one and the fame miracle."
Magifter Hiftoria telleth of a mountain in the land of Ca naan, neer to the river of Arnon,which fuffered a violent earthquake at the time ofthe entring of Ifrael into Canaan, but that is an Apocryphall relation, and the filence of the ftory doth make it queftionable, whether any fuch thing were done.
The figurative and poetical form of fpeech here ufed is in
1 The heaps of waters fwelling to a very great height, are called mountains.
2 Here is attributed to them humane fenfe,motions, and affections, as feeing, trembling, uttering of a voice, and lifting up of hands.
These things are familiar and frequent all the Scripture through, especially in the poeticalf part thereof, as I have thewed.
The fenfleffe and livefeffe creatures are fubject to the will of God, and to serve him.
For that which the heathen do call nature in the creatures,
is in religion the conftant order which God hath established in the univerfall machine and frame of the world, and in every perticular member and part thereof, ferving Gods generall providence that which we call miraculous and extraordinary, is the perticular will of God upon occafion, declared out of his fingular and speciall providence.
In both thefe,all creatures whatfoever do so serve him, as if they knew what they did. The Centurion did not keep his fervants in better awe, and had them not fo ready at his command, as God hath his creatures, their nature is fubject to rule, and that fo as fire fhal burne and not confume, as in the bush, waters fhall stand in heaps, as in the paffage through the red Sea, and here in my Text, in the river of fordan.
Water fhall not put out fire, the haile as watry fubstance fhall mingle with fire in the fame fhoare, and Eliah shall call for fire that fhall lick up the water, and dry the ditches filled to the brim.
The reafon hereof is because there is nothing in the world that hath any being, but it had beginning from him who onely is of himself, and therefore called fehovah, and he never gave being to any thing but for ufe; he hath made nothing idle and unprofitable, for in wifedome he made all things, and that ufe is directed by the Creator and therefore as it is faid of him, that he had made the heaven and the earth by Mofes fo Melchizedeck calleth him the high poffeffor of heaven and earth, as the Prophet David faith: Fecit quicquid voluit in cœlo & in terra, & in omnibus abyffis.
The right of Creation without which nothing had any being, the right of protection which keepeth all things in being, doth put all things in fubjection under his feet, his will is their nature; and it is all one to the inanimate creature to ferve his true will in an ordinary, and in a miraculous way: for his will is the foul that animateth them, and maketh them active, and he could have as eafily let the fea keep his courfe, and let the river of fordan run on, and have brought his people over upon the face of the waters, as Chrift and Peter walkt, as he made them a paffage through. This
This ready obfequence of the inanimate creature to the will of God, doth upbraid man whom God made for himself, and his fpecial honour, with much unworthineffe; for things without life owe leffe to God for creation then things animate, much leffe then man, to whom God gave a living foul,made in the image of God, & having but one law of reftraint put upon him,broke it, and brought a pollution of himself, which like the leprofie of Gehezi runneth in all his pofterity.
It is our shame that all things elfe do ferve him, onely men and devils the corrupters of men ftand out and rebell.
And this maketh God cry, Hear O Heavens! and hearken, O Ila.1.2. Earth! I have nourished, and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.
Why doth God make his complaint to the Heavens, and to the Earth, or why doth he call them to witneffe against Ifrael his people? but to fignifie that creatures without life fhall condemne the difobedience of men, even of Ifrael, the people that God hath chofen to himself.
And truly,when we do look out of our felves upon thefe things, as David faith, when we confider the Heavens, the worke Pla.8.3. of thy fingers, the Sun and the Moon, with, &c.
What is man that thou art fo mindfull of him.
There be two things that may move.
1 What is man that fuch excellent creatures fhould be made for him?
2 What is man that beholding the heavens which do ferve him, and living upon the earth, that is obedient to him, and doth his will, that God fhould be mindfull of man, who of all the works of his hands that enjoy his favours, doth ferve him worst of all.
Do not we thank God for it, and take it for a high favour that he made us men, and did not make us ftones, or plants, worms,or flies, ferpents or toads; or any other kind of hatefuli or hurtfull creature... J Mere