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In this State of Things God thought proper to exert himself in such Acts of Power as should demonstrate his Superiority above all Gods of the Heathen, and _to assume a Character of Distinction, that the Hand might be certainly known from which the mighty Works proceeded : Andit is very observable, that God 'did publickly assume such a Character, and work Miracles, at one and the same Time. The first Miracles, of which we have any Account, were those wrought by Mcffi's in Egypt ; and at the same Time God declared himself to be the God of the Hehrews. And 'this was the first Declaration os himself to the World under 'such a Character: For we do not read he ever styled himself the God of AToah, or the God of Shem, or of any other Person, till after the Call of Ahraham; sor to him he appeared at first, and said, I am the Almighty God, Gen. xvii. I. And, though in the Family of Abraham he was known' by the Name of the God of Ahraham, yet was not that Relition understood in the World, till Mole: had express Command to make it known to Pharaoh and his People. And the Accuracy with which the Message was si delivered, is observable: For, though God, commanded Moses in speaking to the Children . T 4. * Of .
of Israel to say, The Lord Goa' of your Fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of .ssaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me; Ayet in speaking to the King of Egypt', who probably might know little of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, his Orders are to say, The God of the Hebrews hath met us, &e. Exod iii. I 5, ' 18. and v. 3. ct lt may appear strange to us to hear the great God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, assuming to himself a Character that seems to limit the Right of his Dominion: For why does He, who is God of all the World," style himself the God of the Hebrews? Is he not the God of all Nations .P Or, why does he appeal to Miracles wrought under the Character of God of the Hebrews, when the great Works of the Creation (of all Miracles the greatest) are a constant and perpetual Evidence of his almighty Power and uniVersal Domsiinion ? i l'To'account for this, you must confider the State of Religion in the World at the Time when. God affumed this Character, and sent Moshs to shew Signs and Wonders in the Land of Egypt. All the Nations of the Earth had at that Time their several local Deities ; and, as every Nation is naturally inclined to think their own the best, a i Message
Message delivered in the Name of the Deity
forth his Hand upon Egypt. Exod. vii. 3, 5.
Here the Westion plainly was between God under the Character os the God of the Hehrews, and the God of the Egyptians, which of them was supreme: And this Point could only be determined by a Superiority of Power shewn in Miracles. And, if we attend to the Nature of the Miracles wrought by Moses, they will appear to be such as plainly pointed out the Hand of the Almighty Creator.. The Author of the Book of I/Visdom, tells us, That the Egyptians, being deceived hy the fooIi/h Devices of their Mehednest, worshiped Serpents void of Reason, Wisd. xi. I 5. And the most antient Account we have of that People from profane History confirms the
performed by Moses was a direct\Conquest over the Deities of Pharaoh : For, when his Rod was changed into a Serpent, and devoured all the serpents produced by the Magicians, what could Pharaoh reasonably conclude, but that the God, in whose Name Moshs spoke, was God ' of Gods, and Lord qf Lords? And, , when the Magicians were r" compelled to acknowledge the divine Power of Mo/Es, and openly to declare to Pharaoh that the Finger of God was in it, one would imagine that this Triumph over the Deities and Magicians of Egypt should have furnished a complete Answer to that Demand' of Pharaoh, IVho is the Lord, that I should ohey his Voice? But he continued obstinate. But the Purpose of God in sending Msss to shew his VVondcrs in the Land os Egypt was intended not only for the Delctiverance of the Hehre-ws, but to make his Name si known over all the Nations of the Earthi For, as Egyþt was at that Time a great and flourishing Kingdom, and was notoriously the Seat of Supcrstition and Idolatry, from whence the Infection spread to 'all the__Na-, tions round about, it was of all others the' properest Scene for God to exert his Power' and Authority for the Conviction of all Peo-ss ple. Andsor this Reason God had connived _ . a at.