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BY REV. C. SIMEO, M.A.
Exod. XV. 11. Who is like unto thee^ Lord, among the gods ?
who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing
EXALTED favours may well be repaid in devout
acknowledgments: they are the least returns that we
can make to our heavenly Benefactor : and so rea-
sonable is this tribute, that persons who are far
enough removed from solid piety, will, under a
sense of recent obligations, often cordially unite in
paying it to the God of their salvation. The hymn
before us was composed by Moses, on occasion of
the deliverance vouchsafed to Israel at the Red Sea :
and it was sung by all the Israelites, probably by the
men and women in an alternate and responsive man-
mer, Miriam leading the women, and, together with
them, accompanying the song with timbrels and
dances \ It is the most ancient composition of the
kind, that is extant in the world. The two first
verses are a kind of preface, declaring the occasion^
and the inspired penman's determination to celebrate
it''. The mercy then is stated in a most animated
manner ; and afterwards, its effects, both immediate
and remote, are circumstantially predicted. But,
between the statement of the mercy and its effects,
is introduced an apostrophe, addressed to the Deity
* ver, 20, 21. '' Somewhat like that in Ps. xlv. 1.
316 EXODUS, XV. 11. [60.
himself, and ascribing to him the glory due unto his
name. To this portion of the hymn we would now
direct your more particular attention. It declares
that God is,
I. To be admired for his holiness —
God is essentially and supremely holy —
[He is not only called, by way of eminence, ^' The Holy
One," but this attribute is said exclusively to belong to him j
" Thou only art holy." As for the gods of the heathen, many
of them were no other than deified monsters, patrons of lewdness,
of theft, of drunkenness, and every kind of iniquity : and among
the rest there was not found even the smallest semblance of real
universal holiness. Well therefore might the challenge be made
in reference to this, '^ Who among the gods is like unto thee,
O Lord ?" This attribute is, in fact, the crown of all the other
attributes of the Deity ; for, without it, no other perfection could
be either amiable in itself or worthy of the supreme Being. But,
without entering into the general view of this subject, we need
only look at the ^' wonders done" on this occasion ; and there we
shall see a display of this attribute in its most striking colours.
Behold his indignation against sin, how it burned against the
oppressors of his people, and the contemners of his authority !
The very elements themselves were made to rise against the
proud associates in iniquity, and to execute upon them the venge-
ance they deserved ]
For this he is greatly to be admired and glorified —
[o other perfection more attracts the attention of all the
glorified saints and angels in heaven, than this'^. And, notwith-
standing it is hateful and terrific to impenitent sinners, it is an
object of the highest admiration amongst those who have learned
to appreciate it aright. David was altogether enraptured with
it^; and every real saint will *' give thanks at the remembrance
Whilst he is thus admired for his unspotted holi-
ness, he is also,
II. To be feared for his power —
God is a God of unrivalled power —
[The gods of the heathen cannot hear, or see, or move*:
but the power of Jehovah is infinite. What less than omnipo-
tence could have performed the " wonders," which are here cele-
brated ? See how easily the expectations of his enemies were
•= Compare Isai. vi. 3. with Rev. iv. 8. ' Ps. xcix. 3, 5, g.
* See an animated description of their imbecility, Jer. x. 3 — 7.
THE CHARACTER OF GOD. 31/
disappointed, and their bloody purposes were frustrated, by one
blast of his displeasure^! ]
For this he is greatly to be feared —
[For this exercise of his power indeed he was praised ; as
well he might be, for such a merciful and complete deliverance.
But it may truly be said, that he is " fearful in praises^:" for
this display of his power clearly shews, that " it is a fearful thing
to fall into the hands of the living God." Accordingly we find,
that the inspired writers generally make this improvement of
God's omnipotence, and suggest it as a motive to reverence his
majesty, to regard his will, and to tremble at his displea-
sure ^ ]
We may learn from hence,
1. How the mercies of God are to be improved —
[All of us have experienced mercies in abundance : and
from them we may obtain the brightest discoveries of our God.
O what displays of power, of goodness, and of truth, might all
of us behold, if we called to mind the various deliverances which
God has wrought out for us, and especially that redemption
which was prefigured by the history before us ! The connexion
between the two is expressly marked by God himself; and we
are told, what a mixture of admiration and reverence, of love and
fear, a just view of these miracles of mercy will assuredly create'.
Let them then produce these effects on us; and let us now begin,
what we hope to continue to all eternity, " the song of Moses
and the Lamb."]
2. How every attempt against him or his people
shall surely issue —
[Here we see a lively representation of the final issue of every
contest which man shall enter into with his Maker. The forbear-
ance of God may be long exercised ; and his enemies may appear
for a time to have gained their point: but in due time, hell shall
open wide its jaws to swallow them up, and they shall become
the wretched victims of their own impiety. Against God and his
Church, there is no device, no counsel that shall stand.
His Church is founded on a rock, and the gates of hell shall
not prevail against it. The enemies of our souls may follow us
' ver. 9, 10. The picture here is highly finished. The amplifica-
tion in the former verse, and the conciseness of the latter, form a
beautiful contrast ; whilst the image that closes the description,
strongly marks the completeness of the judgment executed.
^ The last clause of the text may be understood as limiting and il-
lustrating tiie two that precede it. Compare Luke i. 4Q.
^ Ps. Ixxxix. 6—8. Heb. xii. 28, 29. Deut. xxviii. 58, 59.
' Rev. XV. 3, 4.
318 EXODUS, XV. 24, 25. [61.
even to the last moment of our lives ; but when the appointed
moment is arrived for the completion of all God's promises to us,
our souls shall he freed from every assault, and " death and hell,
with all their adherents, be cast into the lake of fire ''."]
'' Rev. XX. 14.
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