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"dreds of Years Experience of the Tides, he could
not be caught, as he was, through Ignorance, "nor by any foreknown or natural Accident, but by "God's powerful hand only. If Mofes had taken the "Advantage and Opportunity of the Tide, he muft "have left all that End of the Red-Sea toward Sues "on his Left-hand, dry and uncover'd, and when "Pharaoh found the Flood increasing, he might in his "Return have gone before the Tide on his Right"hand. Thofe Words of the Scriptures, that God caused the Sea to run back by a strong Eaft-wind, do rather prove the Miracle, than that thereby was "caus'd an Ebb more than ordinary: For that Sea "did not lie East and Weft, but in effect North and "South, and it must have been a Weft and North"Weft-Wind, that must have driven thofe Waters CC away through their proper Channels, and to the "South-eaft into the Sea. But the Eaft-Wind blew "athwart the Sea, and cut it afunder, fo as one part
fell back towards the South, and main Body there "of; the other part remain'd towards Sues and the "North: which being unknown to Pharaoh, while ← he was check'd by that Sea, which used in all times
before to ebb away, the Flood prefs'd him and "overwhelm'd him.
Atthe giving of the Law, the whole People of Ift rael had warning given them three days before, that they might fanctify and prepare themselves to make their Appearance before the Lord: All the people faw the thundrings, and the lightnings, and the noife of the trumpet, and beheld the Mountain Smoaking: and the Lord fpake, in the Audience of the whole Affembly, the Words of the Ten Commandments and they were ftruck with fuch a Terrour, that they removed and flood afar off, and defired Mofes that he would acquaint them with what God fhould be pleas'd to give him in Command concerning them, that they might no longer hear God fpeaking to them, left they fhould
die, Exod. xx. i8. Deut. v. 22: The cloud of the Lord was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the fight of all the house of Ifrael, throughout all their journeys, Exod. xl. 38. whether it were two days, or a month, or a year that the cloud tarried upon the ta bernacle, remaining thereon, the children of Ifrael abode in their tents, and journeyed not: but when it was taken up, they journeyed, Num. ix. 22. From the time of their efcape out of Egypt, the Pillar of the Cloud by day, and the Pillar of Fire by night; the Manna with which they were fed, during the whole time of their journeying in the Wildernefs, till the very day after they had eaten of the corn of the land of Canaan, Exod. xvi. 35. Jofh. v. 12. and their Garments lafting for fo long a time, without any decay, Deut. xxix. f. these were constant and perpetual Miracles for forty years together; and it is the most impoffible thing in the world to fuppofe, that a People confifting of fo many Hundred Thousands, fhould for fo long a time be impofed upon in things of this nature: their Eyes, and Tafte, and all their Senfes were Witneffes, that they were conducted and fed and cloath'd by Miracle, for forty Years together.
Indeed, it was impoffible to lead fo great a Multitude, through a vaft and barren Wilderness, by fo long and tedious Journeys, without the help of Miracles. If they had been under no other diftress but Want of Food, in fo barren a place, it had been impoffible for any number of Men, and much more for fo vaft a Multitude, to fubfift for any time, without a Miracle: but they were fed with Manna from Hea ven; not with fuch as the Manna is which is now any where to be found, which is a kind of Honey-dew; but with Manna which was fit for Nourishment, not for Phyfick, and fo hard as to be ground in Mills, and beaten in Mortars, and baked in Pans, Num. xi. 8. and yet it was melted by the Sun, and bred Worms and ftunk, if it were kept but one night, except it
158 The Reasonableness and Certainty
were on the Night before the Sabbath; though again, when it was to be preferv'd for a Memorial to future Generations, nothing was more lafting; and it fell on every Day of the Week but the Sabbath. The Manna therefore which is now, of what fort foever it be, is of a quite different Nature from this Miraculous Manna, (tho' it have its Name from it) as a learned Phyfician " has proved. But if the Manna in it felf had been natural and common Manna; yet that it fhould have Qualities which no other Manna ever had, that its Fall fhould be conftant, as Mofes foretold, but with as conftant Intermiffion upon one particular Day every Week, according to his Prediction; this could not be without a manifeft Miracle: Thus the Water flowing from the Rock was like other Water, but the manner of producing it was evidently miraculous. Their Water was as miraculous as their Food, and their Cloathing as either; neither their Rayment decay'd, nor their Bread and Water fail'd, 'till they arriv'd in the promifed Land.
The March of the Greek Army out of Afia, under the Conduct of Xenophon, after the Death of Cyrus, is look'd upon as a thing fcarce to be equal'd in all human Story, tho' that whole Expedition was but for one Year, and three Months; and the Difficulties they met with were nothing, in comparison of those that befet the Ifraelites on every fide, in that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery ferpents, and fcorpions, and drought, Deut. viii. 15. a land of defarts, and of pits, of drought, and of the shadow of the death; a land that no man paffed through, and where no man dwelt, Jer. ii. 6. Nothing but a Power of Miracles could have fuftain'd them; and nothing but the Senfe of it could have kept them within any Bounds of Duty and Obedience.
Jo. Chryf. Magnen. de Manna, C. 2.
We fee how froward and rebellious they were upon all Occafions, notwithstanding the wonderful Power and Prefence of God continually manifeft amongst them; they would have been content with the Ægyp tian Slavery, and the Ægyptian Gods too, rather than endure the Hardships of the Wildernefs. Mofes com plains, that they were almoft ready to ftone him, Exod. xvii. 4. and out of defpondency, pray'd, that God would kill him out of hand, rather than lay fo great a Burthen upon him: And Mofes faid, The people among ft whom I am, are fix hundred thousand footmen: and thou haft faid, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month. Shall your flocks and your herds be flain for them, to fuffice them? or fhall all the fish of the fea be gathered togen ther for them, to fuffice them? Num. xi. 15, 21, 225 Whoever can believe, that Mofes, by his own Skill and Management, could lead fuch a Multitude through fuch a Wilderness, fo many Years Journey, can, it feems, believe any thing rather than the Scriptures; for this is one of the moft incredible things that can be conceiv'd; but it is not in the leaft incredible, that he might do it by the Divine Power and Affiftance.
The Children of Ifrael tempted God ten times, by their Murmurings, and their Diftruft of his Power and Care over them, Num xiv. 22. for which, many of them were punifh'd with Death; 'till at last, the whole Number of Men that were Twenty Years old and upwards, had this Judgment denounc'd against them, That, for their Murmurings, but two of them, by Name Caleb the Son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the Son of Nun, fhould be futter'd to enter into the Promifed Land, and the reft fhould all die in the Wildernefs; but that after Forty Years wandring in the Wildernefs, their Children fhould be brought in to poffefs it: I the Lord have faid, I will furely do it unto all this evil congregation, that are gathered together against me in this wilderness they shall be confumed, and there
fhall they die, Num. xiv. 35. And the Men who were fent out to fearch the Land, and brought the evil Report upon it, died forthwith by the plague, before the Lord, ver. 37. and thefe Men were the Heads of the Children of Ifrael, a Man of every Tribe being chosen out, every one a Ruler amongst them, chap. xiii. 2, 3. and but two of them agreed in giving the true Account of the Land; fo great an Averfion they had to proceed any farther in their Way thither: And all the congregation lifted up their voice and cried: and the people wept that night. And all the children of Ifrael murmured against Mofes, and against Aaron and the whole congregation faid unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt, or would God we had died in this wilderness. And wherefore hath the Lord brought us unto this land, to fall by the fword, that our wives and our children fhould be a prey? Were it not better for us to return into Ægypt? And they faid one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt. And all the Congregation were for ftoning Joshua and Caleb, if they had not been hindred by the glory of the Lord appearing in the tabernacle of the congregation, before all the children of Ifrael, Num. xiv. 1, 2, 3, 4, 10. Now, upon fo general a Defection, to pronounce peremptorily, that but Two by Name, of fo many Thousands fhould inherit the Land of Promise, and that all the reft should die in that very Wilderness which they complained fo much of; and that no less than Forty Years were to be spent in that wandring Condition, of which they were already fo weary. This is fuch a Method of quelling fo general a Difcontent and Mutiny, as never was heard of before nor fince, and which could proceed from nothing less than a Wisdom and Authority which could check and control the most combined and inveterate Perverseness of Men; and a Power which ftruck the Spreaders of this falfe Report with immediate Death, before their Eyes, for an Example of that Vengeance which they must