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16 our athers (f); And were carried over into Sy
chem, and laid in the fepulchre that Abraham bought
for a sum of money of the fons of Emmor the fatiser 17 of Sychem. But when the time of the promifé drew
nigh, which God had sworn to Abraham, the peo18 ple grew and multiplied in Egypt, Till another 19 king arose, which knew not Jofeph. The same dealt
subtilly with our kindred, and evil entreated our fathers, so that they cast out their young
children : to 20 the end they might not live. In which time Moses
was born, and was exceeding fair, and nourished up 21 in his father's house three months : And when he
was cast out, Pharaoh's daughter took him up, and 22 nourished him for her own son. And Mofes was
learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was 23 mighty in words and in deeds. And when he was
full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his 24 brethren the children of Israel.
And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and avenged
him that was oppressed, and smote the Egyptian: 25 For he supposed his brethren would have understood
how that God by his hand would deliver them ; but 26 they understood not. And the next day he shewed
himself unto them as they strove, and would have
set them at one again, saying, Sirs, ye are brethren; 27 Why do ye wrong one to another? But he that did
his neighbour wrong, thrust him away, saying, Who 28 made thee a ruler and a judge over us? Wilt thou 29 kill me as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday? Then
fied Mofes at this faying, and was a stranger in the 30 land of Midian, where he begat two sons. And when
forty years were expired, there appeared to him in
the wilderness of mount Sina, an angel of the Lord (f) The children of Israel were no less the people of God in Egypt, than afterwards; and though he suffered them to be opprefled for a great number of years, yet he was pleased in his own good time to deliver them, and ai length, after a feries of wonderful events, to fcule them in the promised land.
31 in a flame of fire in a bush. When Mofes saw it,
he wondered at the sight: and as he drew near to
behold it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, 32 Saying, I am the God of thy fathers, the God of A
braham, and the God of Ifaac, and the God of Ja
cob. Then Mofes trembled, and durft not behold. 33
Then said the Lord to him, Put off thy shoes from
thy fcet: for the place where thou standeit is holy 34 ground (£). I have seen, I have seen the ailliction of
my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their
groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And 35 now come, I will send thee into Egypt. This Mo
ses whom they refused (b), saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge ? the fame did God send to be a ru
ler and a deliverer by the hands of the angel which 36 appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out,
after that he had shewed wonders and figns in the
land of Egypt, and in the Red fea, and in the wil37 derness, forty years. This is that Mofes which faid
unto the children of Israel (i), A prophet shall the
Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, 38 like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he that
was in the church in the wilderness (k), with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and
with our fathers : who received the lively oracles to 39 give unto us.
To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts
(s) In the East it is not the custom, when they come into the houses of the great, to uncover the head (as we do) but the feet ; and in whatever manner we pay respect to our superiors, we ought certainly to pay the like customary reverence when we enter any place dedicated to the honour of God. (h) This very Moses, of whom you think so highly now, did
your forefathers treat with the same disrespect and obstinacy which
you have shewed to Christ.
(i) Moses himself, the great lawgiver of the Jews, prophesied of Christ, that he should found a new religion, which should set aside his own.
Deut. xviii. 15. (k) Indeed it was by means of the Spirit of Chrif (long before · he was made man) that the Jewish church was founded.
40 turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron,
Make us gods to go before us : for as for this Moses,
in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and *2 rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God
turned (1), and gave them up to worship the host of
beasts, and sacrifices, by the space of forty years in 43 the wildernefs? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of
Moloch (m), and the star of your god Remphan,
figures which ye made, to worship them: and I will 44 carry you away beyond Babylon. Our fathers had
the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had
make it according to the fashion that he had feen. 45 Which also our fathers that came after, brought in
with Jesus (6) into the posseffion of the Gentiles,
whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, 46 unto the days of David : Who found favour before
(1) Turned away from them; withdrew his favour.
(m) They carried about the tabernacle or ark of the cruel Mofoch, to whom they facrificed their children; and Remphan, called also Chiun (Amos v. 26.) who was worshipped in the figure of a far. Somewhat like this is the fuperftitious practice, which prevails in popish countries, of carrying in precession the host, and images of saints.
(n) The service enjoined by the law of Moses, could not be efsential to true religion; for the Jews had it not for the space of four hundred years: and that it was not intended to be unchangeable, appears from the tabernacle, though appointed with the utmost for lemnity, being laid aside, and the temple built in its stead, near five hundred years after: nor was the temple, how magnificent foever, of any regard in the Gght of God; for he is Lord of heaven and earth, and will accept the devotions of his faithful fervants, whether offered up at Jerusalem, or
any other place whatsoever. John iv. 24.
(0) Joshua is here called Jesus, and also Heb. iv. 8. each name (one in Greek, the other in Hebrew) fignifying Saviour.
God; and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of 47 Jacob. But Solomon built him an houte. Howbeit 48 the most High dwelleth not in temples made with 49 hands; as faith the prophet, Heaven is my throney.
and earth is.my footstool : what house will ye build
me? faith the Lord: or what is the place of my 50 reft? Hath not my hand made all these things (0) 51 Ye ftiff-necked (9), and uncircumcised in heart and
ears, ye do always resist the holy Ghost : as your fa52 thers did!, fo do ye. Which of the prophets have not
your fathers perfecuted ? and they have slain thein which thewed before of the coming of the Juft One,
of whoin ve have been nou the betrayers and mur53 derers: Who have received the law by the difpofi
tion of angels (*), and have not kept it. 54 When they hcard these things, they were cut to
the heart, and they gnafhed on him with their teeth.. 55 But he being full of the holy Ghost, looked up sted
fastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and 56 Jesus standing on the right hand of God; And said,
Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of 57 man standing on the right hand of God. Then they
cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, 58 and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him
out of the city, and stoned him : and the witnesses
laid down their clothes at a young man's feet, whose 59 name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon
God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit (s). 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice,
Lord, lay not this fin to their charge. And when he. had said this, he fell asleep.
() See Ifaiah lxvi. 1, 2.
(a) Suff-necked, like unruly oxen in the plough, which will not bend their neck to the yoke.
(r) By the ministry of the holy ngels, wiro attended at the delivery of it with the most awful folemnity.
(s) Observe, that St. Stephen in his last moments commends his departing spirit to our Lord in the very same manner as Christ did on the cross to his almighty Father. Luke xxiii. 46.
с нА Р. VIII. AN
ND Saul was consenting unto his death. And at
that time there was a great perfecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all
feattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea 2 and Samaria, except the apostles. And devout men
carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamen3 tation over him. As for Saul, he made havock of
the church (a), entering into every house, and ha
ling men and women, committed them to prison. 4 Therefore they that were scattered abroad, went 5 every where preaching the word. Then Philip went
down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ 6 unto them. And the people with one accord gave
heed unto these things which Philip (pake, hearing 7 and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean
spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many
that were pollessed with them: and many taken with 8 palfies, and that were lame, were healed. And there 9 was great joy in that city. But there was a certain
man called Simon (b), which before time in the fame
city used forcery, and bewitched the people of Sama. 10 ria, giving out that himself was some great one.
To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the great
est, saying, This man is the great power of God. 11 And to him they had regard, because that of long 12 time he had bewitched them with forceries. But
when they believed Philip, preaching the things con
(a) The church is the society of christians, Matt. xviii. 17. Observe that, by the providence of God, which directs all things, the persecution and dispersion of the faithful became the occasion of extending the knowledge of the Gospel.
(6) He astonished the people with his curious arts, and by his bold profellions he had raised their opinion of him to the highell pitch.