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towards us and towards the universe. It is telling us what His method is in dealing with the creatures whom He has formed in His image. It is telling us how He forms them into societies, and deals with them as belonging to a society; how it is their continual tendency to act as if they w selfish creatures having no relation to each other. It tells us how in so doing they sink into worshippers of the visible, and forget the invisible. It tells us how a family is called out to shew forth the true divine law of society, and to strive against the false and destructive perversion of it. It tells us how the members of the chosen family are just as prone to that perversion as any other men, and exhibit it in a new and more pernicious form, pretending that God has set them up against his other creatures, not as blessings to them. It tells us how He is true, though all men should be liars; how His chosen seed, in spite of its own pride and sin, does its work, and will at last accomplish it altogether.
The book of Genesis forms a very complete introduction to the history of that seed ; not anticipating the subsequent developments, but in a specially simple family-history embodying the principles which must hereafter be seen in the nation and in the church. Some writers are fond of speaking of the characters and facts which it brings before us as types of those which we are to read of in the New Testament. Joseph especially they look
upon as a type of the Son of Man. I have not used this language because I am afraid it is apt to beget a feeling that the Bible is not so much a real book containing a history of actual men, as a repository of ingenious analogies. I know no feeling against which, in these days, we have more need to struggle than that. But the great truth which is implied in this typical view of Scripture I have endeavoured to illustrate in each discourse. Because I regard Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph, as actual men, men made in the image of God, I must regard them as shewing forth some aspect of His character and life whom I recognize as the express Image of God's person; some grace answering to the full grace which was in Him. The whole story of Joseph would seem to me a mere strange episode, an exhibition of virtues for which there was no ground, an awakening of hopes never to be fulfilled, if I did not think that in the fulness of the time He was manifested whose goings forth had been of old, from everlasting, whose life had been in all ages the Light of men; that he was separated from his brethren through their sin; that He was sent before them to preserve life and to build up a family on earth and in heaven, so that God, and not Caiaphas or Pontius Pilate, was the author of His death and His resurrection; by which death and resurrection He has proved Himself to be the Head of His Church, the Brother of every man, the Ruler and Deliverer of the Nations.
THE MISSION OF MOSES.
Lessons for the day, Exodus III, and V.
Preached at Lincoln's Inn, on the Fifth Sunday in Lent, April 6, 1851.
EXODUS V. 22, 23, And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said,
Lord, wherefore hast thou 80 evil entreated this people ? why is it that thou hast sent me ? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in thy name, he hath done evil to this people ; neither hast thou delivered thy people at all. O one doubts that the History in the Book
of Exodus is the history of a deliverance. The most superficial reader would say that the subject of it is the redemption of a people out of slavery. The Church has adopted this view of it so completely that we do not break the ordinary course of our reading on Palm Sunday and Easter Day. The chapters respecting the plagues which were sent to Pharaoh, respecting the Passover, and the passage of the Red Sea, are our lessons on the Passion and the Resurrection. The Law of Redemption (so the Church teaches) is asserted in the Old Testament facts; is evolved and fulfilled in the facts of the New. We are not taught to look upon one as belonging to an earthly, the other to a spiritual economy; the one as merely a figure of the other. The Jewish Redemption is nothing except as it has a spiritual foundation. The Christian Redemption is nothing if its results do not affect the earth. Neither is figurative; both are substantial.
At the close of the book of Genesis we found the records of the Hebrew family becoming interwoven with those of the Egyptian monarchy. There was no confusion between them. The family remained a family surrounded with all its patriarchal traditions, marked out by the sign of a divine covenant. The kingdom of the Pharaohs was already existing. Joseph subverted nothing which he found. He merely taught kings, priests, and people, that they were different parts of an order established by God, that there were relations between them, and obligations due from each to the other. He never for a moment forgot his own peculiar position. Only by remembering it could he help a people which did not share it with him. If he had ceased to look upon himself as a chosen witness for the unseen God, he would have lost his power of serving the king and nation of Egypt.
This is the connexion between the inhabitants of Goshen and the natives of Egypt, when the curtain falls upon the first act of this divine drama. Before it rises again, they are changed. Another Pharaoh, perhaps another dynasty, is ruling. The stranger race has multiplied, it has become dangerous and suspected. They are still no part of the Egyptian nation, but are distinguished from it by race, occupation, the covenant. It is reasonable to suppose that they are also distinguished by want of organization, by ignorance of the arts in which Egypt was beginning to excel, by greater grossness and barbarism.
The patriarchal family had grown into a horde; it must have lost its domestic character, yet it was attached to no polity. The low habits which the sacred historian attributed to the sons of Jacob would assuredly be perpetuated and diffused among their descendants, settled in a rich country, with a considerable command of material enjoyments, still practising pasturage, though surrounded by men who had made much progress in tillage.
A people in this state was ripe for slavery. It only required a monarch with some ordinary notions of policy, and some ambition of making himself illustrious by great works, to conceive the plan of using such a set of ready-made tools to build tombs or treasure-houses. The Scripture narrative brings a monarch of the kind before us, with magicians as his advisers. It scarcely requires the commonest and oldest information we possess respecting Egyptian wisdom, though the latest may be very serviceable, to explain what kind of advisers these must have been. They must have possessed a knowledge of nature beyond that of their countrymen, who had sufficient experience of the utility of such knowledge to reverence teachers endued with any rare portion of it. The magicians must have considered this knowledge as divine, and have come more and more to regard the different powers of nature and