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Ingraham, J. H. (Joseph Holt), 1809-1860 [1859], The pillar of fire, or, Israel in bondage. (Pudney & Russell [and] H. Dayton, New York) [word count] [eaf611T].
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Palace of Pharaoh, Lake Mœris. My dear Father and King:

It is with emotions of no ordinary kind, that I
find myself amid the scenes familiar to your eyes, when
forty-six years ago, a young man, you visited Egypt.
Every object upon which I gaze is invested with new
interest as I reflect—“And this my father also saw. On
this pylon he has stood and surveyed the landscape;
and along these corridors, his feet have awakened the
echoes which respond to mine.”

The letters which you wrote from Egypt, during the
reign of the wise Queen Amense, addressed to my royal
grandmother, and which are now in my possession, early
familiarized my mind with this wonderful land; and I
recognize every place of interest, from your descriptions.

There are, however, some changes. Pharaoh-Mœris,
who has been long dead, and his son Meiphra-Thothmes,
Thothmeses his grandson, and Thothmeses IV., the present
king, all inaugurated their reigns by laying the
foundations of temples, palaces, and pyramids; while

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the ruins of others have been repaired. Mœris restored
the ancient temple of Thoth, in the Island of Rhoda,
where Prince Remeses was hidden three months, and
also all other temples in Egypt. His reign, though
tyrannical, was distinguished by improvement in arts,
in letters, in astronomy, architecture, and arms. His
pyramid is an imposing one, and singularly pre-eminent,
by having an obelisk at each angle. His lake, however,
is this Pharaoh's greatest monument, if I may so
term it.

This lake was begun by former princes, and enlarged
by Queen Amense, in order to receive the surplus waters
of the Nile, when the inundations, as sometimes happen,
arise and overflow the fields after the corn is up. The
lake, however, was not large enough wholly to correct
this evil, and King Mœris still further enlarged it, by
means of the services of the Hebrews, three hundred
thousand of whom, it is said, perished in the work, before
it was completed. It is ample enough in breadth
and depth to contain the excess of the Nile. One of
the wonders of the world, it is only paralleled in grandeur
by the pyramids. In the midst of this magnificent
inland sea—for such it seems—arise two pyramids,
upon the summit of each of which, three hundred and
eight feet in the air, stands upon a throne, shaped like a
chariot, a statue, one being that of Thoth, the other of
Mœris. Upon the former is inscribed—

“The god prospered;” on the other, “Pharaoh builded.”
Beneath this inscription is written—

“This lake is three hundred and forty miles in circumference,
and one hundred and fifty feet in depth. Within
its bounds it can contain all the rivers of the earth.”

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This sublime work, my dear father, has upon the east
side a canal eighty feet broad, and four leagues in
length. At its entrance are seated two colossi, figures
of Apis and Mnevis; and along its shores are double
rows of trees, bordering a terrace, upon which face palaces,
villas, temples, gardens, and squares. At the Nile
termination stands a single colossus, representing the
god Nilus. He is astride the canal, his feet upon the
bases of pyramids, and beneath him are great floodgates,
that let in or exclude the waters of the river. On
the south of the lake, upon a plain of sand, Mœris
erected a vast temple to Serapis, dedicated it with great
pomp, and inclosed it by gardens a mile square, the
earth of which was carried by Hebrews in baskets,
from the excavations of the lake. He commenced a
noble avenue of sphinxes, leading from the lake to the
temple, and which has been recently completed by
Thothmeses IV., who last week invited me to be present
at its inauguration. It was a magnificent spectacle,
first the procession of priests and soldiers, nobles and
citizens, with the king and his court, in a thousand galleys,
sailing across the lake; then the landing at the
majestic pylon, the march of the procession for a mile
between the double row of sphinxes, the mighty temple
terminating the vista, and the solemn invocations, libations,
and sacrifices before the god.

I marvel, my dear father, at such splendor having no
other object than a black bull; such glory leading to
an enshrined brute, before whom all this magnificence,
power, and rank fall prostrate, as to God! Happy am
I, O my wise and good father, to have been early instructed
in the knowledge of the true God. I pity while

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I admire what I see in Egypt. This king is an intelligent
man, and I often feel like saying to him, “O king,
dost thou believe in thy heart that this bull is God?”

The shores of this vast artificial sea are lined with
groves, palaces, and waving fields. The sides of the
Libyan hills are terraced and adorned with marble palaces
and gardens. At one point, where the cliffs stretch
into the lake, are four temples, facing four ways, respectively
dedicated to Athor, Pthah, Apis, and Bubastis,
the four deities of Memphis; and their sides are covered
with golden bronze, so that, in the sunlight, nothing can
be more gorgeous.

Upon a small island, opposite this gilded promontory,
and left for the purpose, Thothmeses II. erected, during
his brief reign, a temple of Syenite stone to the goddess
Isis, before which is a recumbent figure of Osiris, seventy
feet in length. Its vestibule is enriched with sculpture,
and is the most splendid portico in Egypt. In the interior
it is surrounded by a peristyle of statues representing
the twelve constellations, each eighteen feet in

Besides all these, I have visited, my dear father, during
the six weeks I have been in Egypt, the “Plain of the
Mummies,” the Catacombs, the Labyrinth—a marvel of
mystery and perplexity to one not initiated into the
intricacies of its mazes—the chief pyramids, and that
also of Queen Amense, at the entrance of which I placed
fresh flowers for your sake.

Pharaoh-Mœris greatly extended the bounds of Memphis.
It is not less than twelve miles in circuit. He
covered with it a large portion of the plain westward of
the pyramids; and where once was a barren waste, are

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now streets, avenues, colonnades, temples, public edifices,
aqueducts, causeways, and all the splendor of metropolitan
magnificence. Avenues of sphinxes are almost innumerable;
colossal statues, obelisks, and pyramids
meet the eye everywhere. Near the foot of the hills
he formed a chariot-course, that extends three miles
along the lake. In the rock of the cliff he caused to be
hewn fourteen sarcophagi of black marble, and of gigantic
dimensions. In these he entombed the bodies of as
many tributary kings, when, in succession, they died;
commanding their mummies to be brought into Egypt
for the purpose. He has everywhere multiplied, with
singular variety, his statues; and in front of this tomb of
kings stands one of them upon a pedestal, the feet of
which are fourteen sculptured crowns, representatives
of their own.

But, my dear father, Egypt is so familiar to you, that I
will not weary you with any more descriptions, unless,
indeed, I should visit the City of a Hundred Gates, as
you were not able to go thither. I will speak, however,
of a visit that I paid yesterday to the sphinx that stands
before Chephres, and near Cheops. I was impressed, as
you were, with the grandeur of the whole. But the
great ancient temple, which you spoke of as ruinous,
has, in forty-five years, become still more defaced. Indeed,
the reigning Pharaoh has expressed his intention
of removing it altogether, so that the pyramids may
stand forth in solitary majesty.

Among other events of the reign of Mœris, was the
discovery, by him, that the tradition which represented
the great sphinx as being hollowed into chambers was a
true one. He found the entrance, which was beneath

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the small temple, between the fore-paws of the statue.
What he discovered is known to no man; but it is
certain that he suddenly displayed vast treasures of gold
and silver, jewels and precious stones, with which he
carried on his magnificent and expensive works.

You have not forgotten the Ethiopian captive king,
Occhoris. He still exists, though his beard is snow-white
and his form bent. He remains a captive, each
monarch in succession retaining so important a personage
in chains, annually to grace their processions to the
temples of the gods.

The condition, my dear father, of the Hebrew people,
in whom you are so deeply interested, has enlisted all
my sympathies also. Forty years have multiplied their
number, notwithstanding all the ingenious efforts of
the Pharaohs to destroy them by deadly labors, until
they amount to three millions and a half of souls. The
population of Egypt is only seven millions; and thus,
for every two Egyptians there is one Hebrew. This
alarming state of things fills the mind of Thothmeses
IV. with ceaseless anxiety. He does not hesitate to
confess to me, freely, his fears for the security of his

I have not yet described this monarch to you. When
I arrived and presented your letters, he received me
with marked courtesy; inquired after your welfare and
the prosperity of your reign; asked your age, and when
I told him you were seventy-three, he said he knew of
no king so aged, unless it was Jethro, king of Midian.
He inquired why I had delayed coming to Egypt until
I was forty-two (for I told him my age, which exactly
corresponds with his own); and when I informed him

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that I had been engaged in improving and restoring
my kingdom of Damascus, which I inherited from my
mother, and which the Sabæans had thrice invaded and
devastated before I came of age, he expressed his pleasure
that peace was restored, and that I had come into
Egypt, at last. He seems naturally superstitious, credulous,
and irresolute. I think he possesses little or no
stability of character, and that he is easily influenced to
do evil. He is timid in his policy, yet rash; vain of his
wisdom, yet constantly guilty of follies; a devout worshipper
of his gods, yet a slave to the basest personal
vices; jealous of his rights, yet, from want of courage,
suffering them continually to be invaded, both by his
subjects and tributary princes; a man whose word is
kept, only so far as his present interest demands; who
will pardon to-night a suppliant, from irresolution and
morbid pity, and execute him in the morning when the
coldness of his nature returns. Were he my friend, I
should distrust him; were he my foe, I would not delay
to place the sea between me and his sword.

Under such a prince, you may imagine that the condition
of the Hebrew people is not less pitiable than under
his predecessors. Fearing them, he doubles their tasks
and resorts to every device of destruction, short of open
and indiscriminate slaughter. Yet even this infernal
idea has been suggested by him to his private council;
but it was opposed, on the ground that the burial of so
many millions would be impossible, and that a plague
would result fatal to the population of Egypt.

So the Hebrews still exist, feared, suspected, and
crushed by additional burdens. I have been among
them, and, as you directed, have made many cautious

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inquiries after the learned Hebrew, Moses. They are
more enlightened than when you saw them. The idea
of God is less obscure in their minds, while their hope
of a deliverer is bright and ever present. Few of the
old men remember Remeses, or Moses; and none of them
know any thing of his present abode, but seem sure he
is long since dead. I have become deeply interested in
some of these venerable men, in whose majestic features,
set off by flowing beards, I recognize the lineaments of
Abram, their ancestor, as sculptured on the mausoleum
of his servant, “Eliezer of Damascus.” The beauty of the
children and young women, amid all their degradation,
is wonderful. I was struck with the seeming good feeling
which existed among these and the women of Egypt.
The latter, either from pity, or because the Hebrew
women are gentle and attractive, hold kind intercourse
with them; and at a marriage, which I witnessed in one
of their huts, the Hebrew females, especially the bride,
were decked with jewels loaned to them by their friends,
the Egyptian maidens. I have also been struck with
the patient, uncomplaining, and gentle manner in which
the Hebrews speak of the Egyptians, excepting their
task-officers—who are brutal soldiers—and the king.
Generations of oppression have made them forbearing
and submissive; and, besides, the Egyptians and Hebrews,
who now know one another, knew each other
as children, before either could understand their different

Here and there I have met a lord who recalled your
visit, dear father, with pleasure; but were you now here
you would feel a stranger indeed.

Farewell, my honored and revered father. I will

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continue my inquiries after Prince Remeses. To my sister
Amense, and her husband, Sisiris, king of Sidon, give
my kindest greetings.

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

My dearest Father:

I unseal this epistle to inform you, that while it
has been lying three days, waiting for the galley of the
Lord of Sarepta to depart, I have had intelligence of
your old friend Remeses. He lives, and is in Midian,
as you suspected, and is well, though, of course, far advanced
in years. This is all that I can now add to my
letter, as the secretary of the Sareptan noble is in my
reception-room, and lingers only to take this letter, the
wind being now favorable.

Your faithful son,

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City of On, Egypt.

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Having an opportunity, my dearest father, to send
this letter the day after to-morrow, I will herewith make
known to you, how I obtained the intelligence, that your
ancient friend Remeses is still in the kingdom of Midian,
whither he fled from King Mœris.

In obedience to your last instructions, I have diligently
made all inquiries that were likely to obtain the
information which your lively friendship prompts you to
seek. There is something, dear father, very beautiful in
this undying attachment, which has survived a period of
forty years, and which still looks forward to behold the
beloved face of thy cherished friend once more!

Learning yesterday that a caravan had arrived from
Ezion-geber (by the Edomites called Ekkaba), which
lies near the head of the orient arm of the Red or
Arabian Sea, and not far from which are the borders of
peninsular Midian, I crossed the Nile to the suburbs of
the City of the Sun, where the caravan had found quarters
in the quadrangle of the Serail.

Having found the governor of the company of merchants,
I made myself known to him as a foreign prince,

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travelling for knowledge, and sight of men and scenes.
He courteously received me, and I asked him many
questions about his country, his journey, and the articles
he brought, until he was at his ease with me, when I
inquired if he had ever been in Midian. He answered
that he himself was a Midianite, and that twenty days
before he had left Midian to join the caravan, part
of which belonged to Jethro, prince and priest of that
country. Upon hearing this name, dear father, I was
struck by its similarity to that mentioned in the last
letter of Aaron the Hebrew, as being that of the king
of the country who had invited Moses, while prince, to
visit him.

“Dost thou know this Prince Jethro?” I asked.

“I have sat at his feet—his hand has often rested
upon my head when I was a lad,” he answered.

“You call him a priest,” I said; “what is his religion?”

“That of our sprung from Abram,” I replied.

“Yes, by Sara, his first wife. The Midianites are the
sons of Midian, a son of Abram by Keturah, the wife
he took after Sara died. The cities of Epher, Ephah, and
Hanoch, in Midian, were founded by princes who were
this same Abram's grandsons, and sons of Midian.”

“Do you worship the God of Abram—or Abraham,
as the Hebrews call their ancestor?” I asked.

“Hast thou ever heard, O prince,” he said, with
feeling, “that we were idolaters, or fire-worshippers, or
that we pray to bulls, and beasts, and creeping things,
as these Egyptians do? We worship one God—the
Lord of Heaven—the Almighty Creator, who revealed
Himself to our father Abram.”

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When I told him that I also worshipped the same
God, he took my hand, kissed it reverently, and said

“There is but one God!”

“What is your form of worship, that your king is
also your priest?” I inquired.

“By sacrifices. Morning and evening, the priests
offer up to God incense, and oblations, and sacrifices of
lambs. Hence we have large flocks and herds. On
great days, the king himself officiates, lays his hand
upon the head of the victim, and asks the Almighty to
take the life of the sacrifice instead of that of the people,
and to visit upon its head the wrath which the kingdom
had incurred.”

“Did Abram thus sacrifice?”

“Not only Abram, but Noah, the first father, and all
the fathers of the old world. Our worship, therefore, O
prince, consists in offering the life of a victim, to preserve
our own!”

“Yes, if the great Lord of Heaven will so receive it!
For who can weigh the life of a man with that of his
lamb?” I said.

“None but God, who, in His goodness and glory,
wills it so to be!” answered the Midianite.

“Hast thou ever heard, in Midian, of a Hebrew called

“Dost thou mean Moses the Egyptian?” he asked,

“He was educated an Egyptian, and was supposed to
be the son of Pharaoh's daughter, but was only adopted
by her; and being discovered to be a Hebrew, he left

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“This same Moses, once Prince Remeses, is now in
Midian, where he hath been these forty years,” answered
the venerable chief-captain of the caravan. “He is son-in-law
to our prince, who has made him ruler over all
the companies of shepherds in the region that lieth between
the city of Keturah and the sea, and even to the
back of the desert, where, on the sides of Horeb and
the valleys thereof, he feeds his flocks. Moreover, there
also he meditates, and writes in a cave—for he is a man
of vast learning, and greatly revered in Midian as a
wise sage. He is married to the daughter of the Prince
Ru-el Jethro, and by her hath had many sons, but two
only—mere lads—remain, the rest having died early.
Surely, what man in Midian knoweth not Moses, the
wise shepherd of Horeb?”

Upon hearing this good news, dear father, I rejoiced,
in anticipation, at the pleasure you would receive, when
you should read my letter containing the pleasing
tidings. I now asked the good Midianite when he
would return. He said that in seven days he should
depart, and that it would take him eleven days to reach
that part of the country where Moses dwelt. Upon
this, my dear father, after making sundry other inquiries
about the route, I determined to accompany him; for I
knew you would value one letter from me, saying I had
seen and spoken with your friend face to face, more
highly than many from the hundred-gated Thebes. I
shall be gone but one month, and shall be well repaid,
not only by seeing Moses, whose noble countenance I
can just recollect as a pleasant remembrance of my
childhood, but by conferring upon him the unexpected
pleasure of hearing from you by your son, his

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namesake. Thus, for your sake, as well as for his, and also
my own gratification in seeing a new and rarely visited
country, I take my departure with the caravan. After
I reach Midian, and have seen your old friend in the
land of his long exile, I will write to you fully of all
that may interest you.

May the God of Abraham and of Moses have you
always in His sacred keeping.

Your loving son,
Remeses of Damascus.

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Land of Midian. My venerable and beloved King and Friend:

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With what emotions of joy and gratitude I embraced
your princely son, Remeses, I can feebly express!
I give God thanks for this happiness, vouchsafed to me
in my eighty-first year, of hearing from you again, and
by the mouth of your son. I rejoice to hear of your welfare,
and prosperous reign. The sight of the young Remeses
revives all the past, and in his face I see, with delight,
your features and smile. I also perceive that he possesses
all your virtues, and, above all, that you have
taught him the knowledge of the true God. His presence
here, and his readiness to come across the desert to
see me, gratifies me. It assures me that I am loved
by you both! Although, my friend, I have not written
to you—for, since my flight from Egypt, my life has
been wholly without events—yet, from time to time, by
foreign merchants who have been in Tyre, I have had
news of you, and of your prosperity. Until I beheld
your son, I believed that I was quite forgotten!

I shall keep Remeses with me as long as he will remain.
My way of life, however, is humble. We are a

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pastoral people, and my occupation is that of a shepherd;
for, though I am chief shepherd of the land, yet
do I not disdain to lead my own flocks to feed upon the
mountains,—where, as they browse, I meditate in solitude
upon God, and also think upon the sad condition
of my brethren in bondage in Egypt. Four kings have
reigned and perished, and yet the sons of Jacob toil on,
exchanging only one oppressor for another, each more
cruel than the last! But the day draws near for their
deliverance, O Sesostris, my friend and brother! The
four hundred years of prophecy are drawing to a close!
On the arrival of every caravan from Egypt I look for
intelligence, that a deliverer has arisen, who, lifting the
standard of the God of Abraham, shall call on Israel to
rally around it, exchange their spades for spears, assert
their freedom, and defy Pharaoh and his power! Who
will be this hero of God? Who the favored man, to
whom shall be committed the happiness and glory of
leading the mighty Hebrew nation out of Egypt? Will
they hear his voice? Will they acknowledge his authority?
Will they have the courage to follow him? or
has the yoke of Egypt, so long bound their necks down,
that they have no hope nor desire to be free? Thus I
meditate upon their fate, and meanwhile pray earnestly
to my God to send the deliverer of my people; for the
time is come when He will remember His promise to
Abraham, and to our fathers!

From the painful accounts that your son Remeses
gives me, the cup of their bondage is full to overflowing!—
also the cup of Egypt!—for the same prophecy
which foretells their deliverance after four hundred
years, adds, “and the nation which they serve will I

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judge.” Thus, O king, do I look forward to the over
throw of the power of Egypt, when God shall send His
angel to deliver Israel from beneath Pharaoh's hand of

What courage, wisdom, patience, meekness, faith,
dignity of person, and ardent piety, must the servant of
God have, who will lead Israel out of bondage! What
man on earth is sufficient for this high office? What
man in all Egypt, among the Hebrews, has God raised
up and endowed with these attributes? Alas, I know
none! They are all oppressed and broken in heart, and
the spirit of manhood has died out within them! But
He who wills can do! and He can arm with power the
weakest instrument of His will! Let us trust in Him!
for by His arm, whoever be the agent, they will be

During my exile I have re-written the book of the
life of the Prince of Uz, with great care, and a larger
share of the wisdom of God. At the same time I have
instructed many, in Midian, in the truths of God. It
has also seemed good to me, under the inspiration of the
Almighty, to write, from our divine traditions, a narrative
of the first acts of creation, from the beginning,
when God created the heavens and the earth, down to
the death of Prince Joseph. Of this book, a copy has
been made by my wife Zipporah, which I will send
to you by Prince Remeses for your acceptance.

With greetings of true and holy friendship, I am, O
King Sesostris, thy servant and friend,

Moses the Hebrew.

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Cave in Horeb, Wilderness of Midian. My dear and royal Father:

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I have been two weeks a guest of your venerable
friend, the Hebrew, Moses. My journey across the
desert was agreeable from its novelty, and my sensations
upon the boundless waste, were combined emotions
of solitude and sublimity, similar to those I
experienced on the great sea. Our route, after leaving
the land of Egypt, continued eastward for five
days—most of the time in the Arabian desert, with
the mountains of Etham on our right, far to the south.
Having on the sixth day passed round the western horn
of the Sea of Arabia, we turned southwardly into the
desert of Shur, which terminated at the base of a low
range of hills, of mingled cliff and pasture-land. A
valley opened between, and after three days' journeying,
amid vales filled with herds and Arabian villages, we
entered a mountainous region, the sea being on our
right. Every hour the scenery became more grand and
rugged, until the ridges, constantly rising in altitude,
stretched far southwardly, and terminated in a majestic

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twin-peaked mountain, midway between the two arms
or horns of the sea.

“That is Horeb,” said the chief of the caravan. “It
is in the land of Midian, though remote from the town
of the king. In that mountain the royal flocks are
pastured, and there you will find your father's friend,
Moses the Hebrew, either with his shepherds and flocks,
or in the retirement of his cave.”

The same evening we entered the valley of Mount
Horeb, which rose in sublime majesty, with its double
crown, far into the skies above us. We had turned an
angle of the mountain, which rose as abruptly as a
pyramid from the plain, and were entering a gorge
through which a road lay to the city of the king—a
day's journey distant—when I beheld, from my camel,
a shepherd standing upon a rock and leaning upon his
staff—his sheep reclining about him. He was a tall,
venerable man, with dark locks mingled with white,
and a beard, like snow for whiteness, that descended
over his breast. There was a majesty, and yet simplicity,
in his aspect and costume, which impressed me, as
he stood—the evening sun lighting up his kingly visage—
upon a rock, like the statue of the god of the mountain-pass.

My heart instinctively said, “This is Moses!”

“Lo! there stands the son-in-law of Jethro!” said the

I immediately caused my camel to kneel, and descended
to the ground with haste and joy. The next
moment I was bending before thy friend, my dear
father, crying, with reverent feelings of emotion—

“I am Remeses, son of Sesostris, thy friend!

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Venerable father, give me thy blessing, for I bear thy

He regarded me for an instant with surprise, and
then raising me, embraced me and said, a holy radiance
of love and joy illumining his face—

“I see thy father, and hear his voice, in thee! Welcome,
my son! How fares the good king? Hast thou
ventured across the desert to see the exiled Hebrew?”
he asked, with a smile of benignity and pleasure, as he
gazed upon me. “The sight of thee brings up all the

His voice was disturbed with emotion; though I perceived
it had also a slight natural embarrassment of
speech. I related why I had come, and gave him your
messages of love. He took me to his cave, or grotto,
which is like those of the sacred priests in Lebanon.
The caravan encamped, near by, that night, and I remained
in the company of the wise and virtuous sage.
We conversed, for many hours, of you, of Tyre, of my
grandmother, of Queen Amense, of the Hebrews in
bondage, and his certain hope of their speedy deliverance.

How happy the princely old man was to hear from
you, my dear father! What a venerable and holy
friendship exists between you!—fresh and green at
fourscore, as in the fire and impulse of youth!

The next day, I accompanied him to the chief city of
Midian. There I beheld his matronly wife, Zipporah,
and his two sons, beautiful and ingenuous youth of sixteen
and eighteen. I was also presented to the venerable
Ru-el Jethro, or the King Jethro, now one hundred
and one years old, but retaining the full vigor of

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manhood. He described to me pleasantly, under what circumstances
he first met Moses, forty years ago.

“My seven daughters,” said the patriarchal Prince of
Midian, “were with my shepherds at the well, near the
city, drawing water for the flocks; for the prince of the
mountain having no water, had thrice sent his shepherds
to draw it from this well, when we had but little for our
own herds. I sent my daughters, thinking that they
would reverence their presence; but the mountain shepherds
would have driven them away, when a stranger,
who was seated by the well, rose up, and with great
courage chastised the assailants. Though many in number,
they fled from him in great fear, when he turned
and bade my daughters remain and heed them not; and
he helped them water the flocks.

“When they returned to me earlier than I looked for
them, I inquired the cause, and they replied—

“`An Egyptian, a mighty man of valor, delivered us
out of the hand of the shepherds, and aided us also in
drawing water for our flocks.' `Where is he?' I asked.
`Why is it that ye have left this brave stranger at the
well?' They answered: `He is an Egyptian;' for such
from his dress, and speech, and looks, they believed him
to be. I then sent my daughter Zipporah after him, to
invite him to come and eat bread with me. From that
day we became friends, and when I learned his story,
that he was a Hebrew, and like myself, a descendant of
Abram, I gave him Zipporah to wife, and he was content
to remain in the land, and is now the greatest and
wisest man in it, for God is with him.”

I was much interested in this brief account, my dear
father, and believe that you will be, as it is a

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connecting link in the life of Moses, that has been hitherto

The following week, I retired with Moses to the
mountains, and here I pass my days, listening to his sublime
teachings. Not all the wisdom and learning of
Egypt can compare with his sublime knowledge. The
secrets of nature, the mysteries of creation, seem unveiled
to his intellectual vision. It is his habit to pass
an hour or two every night in prayer, upon the mountain,
beneath the silent stars, communing alone with his
God, as if he were the high-priest of the earth, Horeb
his altar, the universe his temple, and his theme the
Hebrew nation in Egypt. Ah! my dear father, if God
is to deliver them from Egypt by the hand of man, my
heart tells me that Moses will be appointed their deliverer;
for who on earth has so at heart their misery, or
supplicates Heaven so earnestly for aid in their behalf?
It is true he is an old man, seven years your senior, but
his step is as firm as mine, his eye clear and brave, his
natural force not abated, and his looks those of a man
in his prime—so healthful is this mountain life, and the
simple routine of his days.

He has written to you. I shall be the bearer of his
letter, as well as of this, which I write in the door of his
grotto, facing the valley, with the sea beyond. There
go the ships of Ezion-geber, and the galleys of Ind.
Far to the west is the blue line of the shores of Arabian
Egypt, and to the east the rocky land of Arabia,
and Eastern Midian. The prospect is sublime, and, at
this hour of sunset, while purple mists are upon the
hills, and a golden light upon the sea, it is beautiful and

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I had almost neglected to inform you, that your
learned and eloquent friend Aaron, the brother of Moses,
was lately in Midian, and was, for a time, an assistant
priest of the sacrifices in the city; but has now returned
to Goshen, where he married many years ago. His
sister Miriam is here with Moses, and is one of the most
majestic women I ever beheld. She is in her ninety-fourth
year, but is as erect and buoyant in her step as
a young and resolute woman. With her snow-white
hair, piercing black eyes, and queenly mien, she looks
like the venerable priestess of the sun at Baal-Phegor.
The mother of Moses also dwells at Midian; but I
think their father died in Arabia Deserta; for thither
they fled from Egypt, before coming finally into
Midian. Aaron is spoken of here as a noble-looking
and stately priest, when, in his flowing robes, he used to
offer sacrifices according to the simple rites of the Midianites,
in the plain temple hewn from the rock, in
which they worship God.

Farewell, my dear father. I am not surprised that
you love Moses. He has won my heart.

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

-- 491 --


Treasure-city of Raamses, Egypt. My honored and beloved Father:

[figure description] Page 491.[end figure description]

You will see by the date that I am once more in
Egypt; and I am here under circumstances the most
wonderful and amazing. Remeses—that is, Moses, the
servant of the Most High God—is here also. My trembling
fingers can scarce form the letters legibly, so great
is the emotion under which I now write to you! But I
will not delay to give you a history of the events.

I wrote to you last, from the grotto of the shepherdsage
of Horeb.

The following day he led a portion of his own flock,
from a distant plain, to the secluded valley on the rear
of the mountain of Horeb, away from the sea. Expecting
his return, I had gone forth to meet him, and was
descending a steep path, when I beheld him advancing
before his shepherds, and leading his flock up the
valley. He preceded them some distance, and was
quite alone, when I perceived a bright flame arise by
the side of his path. It rose above the bushes, which it
seemed to consume without smoke. At the same moment
I observed that Moses turned aside and

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approached the dazzling fire. In an instant he was lost to my
gaze, and enveloped in its flame. I hastened down the
mountain-path, surprised and alarmed at what I had
seen; and, as the way was winding, it was some minutes
before I came to the valley, where I expected to fine
the venerable sage consumed by the flames, that appeared
to have surrounded him.

Upon reaching the valley, lo! I beheld the shepherds
fallen upon their faces, the man of God standing before
the burning bush, his countenance like the sun, and his
raiment shining with supernatural light! My soul was
seized with an indescribable awe at the sight! His
sandals were removed from his feet, and he seemed as if
he were standing in the presence of his God, so awful
was the majesty of his countenance. He appeared to be
holding discourse with one in the flames. I was transfixed
to the spot, and fell upon my face at the sight of
this stupendous vision, feeling the presence of the Almighty
there. Then I heard a voice utter these words
from the midst of the fire, in which I had seen appear
the form of a man, radiant with glory above the
brightness of the sun:

“I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”

While the calm, divine voice spake in still, soft tones,
the earth seemed to tremble, as if its Creator stood
upon it. I looked up with fear and trembling, and, lo!
Moses was standing with his face covered by his shepherd's
mantle, for he was afraid to look upon God;
while my heart sunk within me, and I became as a dead

When I returned to consciousness, I heard, without

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raising my face again, Moses talking with the mighty
Angel in the flame, which I perceived rested upon the
thorn-bush like dazzling sunbeams concentrated thereon,
but without consuming or changing a leaf. It was
the radiance alone, of this celestial Person's glorious
presence, that constituted the wonderful flame of fire.

“I have surely seen,” said the Voice from the flaming
glory, “the affliction of my people which are in Egypt,
and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters;
for I know their sorrows, and I am come down to deliver
them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to
bring them up out of that land unto a good land, and a
large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey,—the
land of the Canaanites and the Amorites.

“Now, therefore, behold, the cry of the children of
Israel is come up before me; and I have also seen the
oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
Come now, therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh,
that thou mayest bring forth my people, the
children of Israel, out of Egypt.”

Here the holy and divine Voice ceased. How did its
words thrill my heart! Had the mighty God of the
Hebrews come down from heaven at last to deliver His
people, fulfil His promise to Abram, and also make
Moses the servant of His power? My soul was overpowered
with the thought.

Then Moses spake, in accents of the profoundest
humility and fear, and said—

“Who am I that I should go unto Pharaoh, and
that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of

And the Voice replied—

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“Certainly I will be with thoe; and this shall be a
token unto thee, that I have sent thee,—lo! when thou
hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye and they
shall serve God upon this mountain.”

Then Moses answered the Angel of the flame, with that
meekness and humbleness of heart which characterizes

“Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel,
and shall say unto them, `The God of your fathers hath
sent me unto you;' and they shall say unto me, `What
is His name?' what shall I say unto them?”

The inquiry was made by him with the profoundest
homage in the tones of his reverent voice, not as if he
doubted God, but his brethren. Moreover, he now beheld,
as it were face to face, the Lord God of heaven
and earth, whom he had so long worshipped, and whose
name to men, neither he nor any man knew. And I
heard the Voice answer—with majesty inconceivable, so
that my spirit failed before it—and say unto Moses—

I am that I am. Thus shalt thou say unto the
children of Israel, `I AM hath sent me unto you!”'

Then after a brief silence, during which Moses fell
upon his face and worshipped, the Voice from the
midst of the fire said:

“Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, `The
Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the
God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto
you. This is my NAME forever; and this is my memorial
unto all generations!' Go, and gather the elders of
Israel together and say unto them, `The Lord God of
your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of
Jacob, appeared unto me, saying—

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“`I have surely visited you, and seen that which is
done to you in Egypt; and I have said, I will bring you
out of the affliction of Egypt, unto the land of the
Canaanites, unto a land flowing with milk and honey!'
And the children of Israel shall hearken to thy voice;
and thou shalt come, thou and the elders of Israel, unto
the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him—

“`The Lord God of the Hebrews hath met with us;
and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days' journey
into the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord
our God.' And I am sure that the king of Egypt will
not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand; and I will
stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with all my wonders
which I will do in the midst thereof; and after that
he will let you go: and when ye go, ye shall not go
empty, but ye shall spoil the Egyptians.”

When the Voice had ceased, I heard Moses answer,
and say with modest diffidence:

“But, behold, the elders and people of my brethren,
the Hebrews, will not believe me nor hearken to my
voice; for they will say, `The Lord hath not appeared
unto thee.”'

How extraordinary, O my father, this humility of the
wisest of men! How impiously vain some sages and
seers would have been, at such an infinite honor as the appearance
of God to them, to talk with them, face to face,
as He did now to Moses,—veiling the ineffable splendor
of His glory under the form of an angel enveloped
in a mantle of dazzling sunbeams,—His presence a flame
of fire! But see this great and holy man modestly declining
the service, considering himself mean and powerless
when compared with the mighty Pharaoh, and

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utterly unable to do any thing for the Hebrew nation.
Forty years ago, he had, indeed, felt a divine motion in
himself to deliver them, which he then believed was an
indication that God would use him as an instrument for
that purpose: but forty years an exile, forgotten by the
children of Israel, and being only a ruler of shepherds,
and guardian of the flocks of a small province, he felt
the humility and insignificance of his position, as well as
his total want of means and power to do what God now
commanded him to do. But, lo! God condescends to
inspire him with the confidence and resolution, the
magnanimity and fortitude, that his sublime errand demanded.

The voice of the Lord spake and said:

“What is that in thine hand?”

He answered, “A rod.”

This was the staff with which he climbed the sides of
Horeb, and guided his flock, and upon which he often
leaned his head when he stood and worshipped.

And the Voice said, with authority:

“Cast it on the ground.”

As Moses obeyed, I heard first the rod strike the
ground, then a sharp hissing, as of a serpent, and lastly,
a cry of surprise from Moses; when, raising my face
from the earth, upon which I had remained prostrate,
fearing to look upon the glory before me, I perceived,
with horror, a serpent rearing its head angrily into the
air, and Moses flying from before it. Then the Voice
from the ineffable light said to him, “Put forth thy
hand and take it by the tail.” Moses, with hesitating
obedience, obeyed, put forth his hand and caught it,
when, lo! it became a rod again in his hand.

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“This shall be a sign to them, that they may believe
that the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham,
the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared
unto thee,” was again spoken.

I had risen, and stood upon my feet in terror, at beholding
the serpent, and would have fled, but had no
power to move. I now heard the Voice command Moses
to thrust his hand into his bosom; and he put his
hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold,
it was as leprous as snow. Then the Voice said—for I
heard only, not daring to behold the Angel more—“Put
thy hand into thy bosom again.” And he put his hand
into his bosom again; and when he had plucked it out
of his bosom, it was turned again as it was before, like
his other flesh.

Then I heard the Angel of God, who was God himself,
say to him:

“It shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee,
neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they
will believe the voice of the latter sign. If they will
not believe, also, these two signs, neither hearken unto
thy voice, then thou shalt take of the water of the river
of Egypt and pour it upon the dry land, and it shall become

Then Moses looked troubled in spirit, and said unto
the Lord—

“O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore,
nor since Thou hast spoken unto thy servant; but I am
slow of speech and of a slow tongue.”

This embarrassment of speech, my dear father, which
existed in a slight degree, as I have heard you say, when
you knew him, and which proceeded from modesty and

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diffidence when expressing himself in intercourse with
others (though with his pen he is powerful and eloquent
beyond all men), has, no doubt, been increased by his
long retirement as a shepherd, and his love of solitude;
yet, nevertheless, he is the most interesting teacher of
wisdom to whom I ever listened. But no one save himself
would accuse him of being slow of speech and slow
of tongue.

Then the voice of the Lord said, with a rebuke in its

“Who hath made man's mouth? Or who maketh the
dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have
not I the Lord? Now, therefore, go, and I will be with
thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say!”

Notwithstanding all this, the heart of Moses failed
him. He trembled at being an ambassador of God to
his people, and said, with great fear and dread visible
in his countenance—

“Send, I pray Thee; but not by me, but by the hand
of him whom Thou wilt send.”

Thus speaking, he fell prostrate before the Lord and
covered his face.

Then the anger of the Angel of the Lord seemed to be
kindled against Moses, for the flames were agitated and
spread abroad, and shot forth fiery tongues, and I looked
to see him consumed. But from their midst I heard the
Voice demand—

“Is not Aaron, the Levite, thy brother? I know that
he can speak well; and also, he cometh forth to meet
thee, and when he seeth thee he will be glad in his
heart. And thou shalt speak unto him” (the dread
Voice was no longer in anger), “and put words in his

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mouth; and I will be with thy mouth, and with his
mouth, and will teach you what you shall do. And he
shall be thy spokesman unto the people; and he shall
be, even he shall be unto thee instead of a mouth, and
thou shalt be to him instead of God. And thou shalt
take this rod in thy hand, wherewith thou shalt do

Then Moses rose from the ground, and bowed his head
low in submission and obedience to the voice of the
Lord. The flame had already begun to fade slowly,
until it appeared like a golden cloud, which now rapidly
melted away like a mist touched with the setting sun.
The next moment it was invisible, leaving the sacred
bush as before, green with leaves and brilliant with
wild-flowers; and as I gazed, a pair of snow-white doves
lighted upon it.

Then Moses, lifting up his eyes to heaven, said: “O
Lord God, who is like unto Thee among the gods? Who is
like unto Thee, glorious and fearful, doing wonders? The
Lord shall reign forever, great in power and holiness!
He is my God, and I will praise Him; my fathers' God,
and I will magnify His holy name forever! He hath
remembered His covenant with Abraham, and His vengeance
against the nation that oppresseth His people.”

At this moment I beheld Aaron advancing along the
defile. When he beheld Moses, whose person yet
seemed bright with the lingering glory of the divine
Presence, he ran to him, and kissing him, said—

“Thus did I behold thee in my vision, brother!”

“Hast thou also seen God face to face?” demanded
Moses, regarding him with affectionate earnestness,
“that thou art come hither from Egypt so soon?”

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“I was at prayer fourteen days ago, in Goshen, when
a vision stood before me!—such a form, doubtless, as
our father Abraham beheld. It said to me, `Go into
the wilderness to meet Moses.' Then, in the vision, I
beheld thee standing in the mount of God, and the glory
of the Lord shone upon thee, and thou wast talking with
one who seemed like an angel of God, and I knew that
thou wast ordained of Him, with authority to deliver
Israel out of Egypt. Therefore, delaying not, I am come
hither according to the command of the angel of the
Lord. My heart is glad at beholding thee! Speak
now, O my brother, for the angel said to me, `He shall
tell thee all the words of the Lord, and all the signs
which He hath commanded him.”'

Moses then told Aaron all the words which God had
spoken unto him, and how the Lord had sent him to
deliver Israel, and had given him courage and power
to obey, removing his fears and confirming his faith.
Thereupon he showed Aaron the rod in his hand, and
said, “If this rod becomes a serpent, as it did before
the Lord, then wilt thou know that He hath sent me,
and is with me! for this is His sign.”

As he spoke, he cast the rod far from him upon the
ground, which it no sooner struck than it became a serpent,
and ran swiftly towards Moses, who reached forth,
and grasping it by the head without fear, lo! it became
again a rod of almond-wood, as before! The other sign
also Moses showed to his brother, who then answered
and said—

“Thou shalt deliver Israel, and I will be thy servant,
and bear thy rod before thee!”

I had already, by the invitation of Moses, drawn near

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to these holy and great men, and walked with them,
feeling, prince that I am, the deepest sense of inferiority
and humility. I felt that I could be the servant of
both, and that I was honored when taking up the sandals
which Moses had put off his feet. I knelt before
him to put them on; but, in his modesty, this prince
appointed of God would not suffer me.

The two venerable brothers—one eighty years of age,
and the other eighty-three—now walked together towards
the shepherd's cave on the mountain-side, discoursing
of the wonderful and joyful events which had
just passed, of the promised deliverance of Israel, and
how God would accomplish it, and by what sort of exercise
of power and majesty.

The next day Moses returned to Jethro, and said to

“I pray thee let me go, and return unto my people
which are in Egypt, and see how they fare, and if my
brethren of the family of Levi be yet alive—for the
Lord hath shown me that all the men are dead which
sought my life.” And his venerable father-in-law said—

“Go in peace.”

Therefore, my dear father, three days afterwards,
Moses, accompanied by his brother and myself, took
leave of Jethro, and taking his wife and son, and holding
the “rod of God” in his hand, left Midian. The
next day we fell in with a caravan from the East, and
after many days I once more reached Egypt. In sight
of On, I parted from Moses, who went with his family
to that part of the land of Goshen where his tribe

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dwells, which is not far from the treasure-city of Raamses.

The first hours I could command, after reaching the
palace of the Governor of On, with whom I dwell as a
guest, I have devoted, my dear father, to a recital of
these extraordinary events. Moses seems to be a different
man! calm majesty sits enthroned upon his brow,
and he is profoundly impressed with the sublime mission
which Heaven has intrusted to him.

Aaron, who has, from time to time, revisited Egypt,
and is well known to the elders of his people, will be a
great support and aid to Moses, in his intercourse with
the Hebrews. The two mighty brothers are now assembling
the elders together, though it is but two days
since they returned to Egypt. Secretly, messengers
have been going by night throughout the land of
Goshen, calling an assembly, in the name of the God of
Abraham, to meet, two nights hence, at the ruined
fountain of Jacob.

I shall also be present, dear father, by permission of
the inspired Moses. What infinite issues will grow out
of that midnight meeting of these “sons of God,” for
such, though in bondage, are these Hebrews shown to
be! How little Thothmes-Amosis, who calls himself
also, vainly, after Amunophis, the Great, and assumes
the style, “Upholder of worlds,” “Lord of the Diadem
of Heaven,” and “Beloved of the Sun,” upon his
cartouch,—how little, I repeat, he dreams that One
mightier than he, the Upholder of the universe, very
Lord of heaven and earth, and Creator of the sun, is
armed with vengeance against him, and will presently
bring him into judgment for the bondage of the

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Hebrews! I saw him this morning in his palace, for he is
now in his palace at On, having hastened to pay him
my homage after my absence. He was in gay humor,
for news had reached him that his “lord of the mines”
had opened a new vein of silver, in the southern mountains
near Ethiopia.

“I will send one hundred thousand of these Hebrews
to work it, O prince,” he said. “I will, to-morrow, give
orders to all the governors, and chief captains, and
officers over them, to choose me the strongest and most
dangerous, and assemble them in companies of thousands,
and, under strong guard, march them to the Theba
ïd. By the gods! yesterday I was planning some
new device to destroy their children, male and female;
but the mines come happily to my aid!”

Thus does this proud, weak, luxurious, and cruel
monarch, confident of power, and sitting as a god upon
his throne, acknowledging no power above his own,
dream of wealth, and rejoice in dominion!

Did policy prompt me to give him warning? I feared
the God of Moses more than I sympathized with a
contemporaneous prince, albeit Tyre was his ally.

Farewell, my dear father.

My next letter will, no doubt, convey to you startling

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

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City of On, Egypt. My dear Father:

[figure description] Page 504.[end figure description]

The secret assembly of the elders, called by
Moses, met last night. It was in a solitary place, far
from any of the garrisons of soldiers. In the disguise of
a Hebrew, I also was present, standing by Aaron. It
was after midnight before all the elders could elude the
vigilance of their officers, and had assembled. The
well of Jacob, you recollect. It is where you had the
conversation with Remeses (now Moses), upon the condition
of the Hebrews. The Egyptian soldiers, who are
very superstitious, will not venture near this desolate
fountain by night; for the tradition is, that it leads to the
realms of the lower world, and that there are evil beings
who issue from it in the darkness, and drag under the
earth all who walk past it. The Hebrews have no such
superstition, or despised their fears on an occasion like
the present. Aaron, in selecting the spot, knew it
would be safe from intrusion on the part of the Egyptians.

It was a sublime spectacle to see no less than four

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hundred and eighty elders of the Hebrews, forty out of
each tribe, met together beneath the aged palm-trees
that overshadowed the fountain, and where Jacob had
sat, with his sons about him, in peace, under the protecting
sceptre of the king of that day.

The moon shone here and there upon a silvery head,
while others were grouped in shadow. There was a
deep, expecting silence. At length Aaron stood up in
their midst, his venerable figure visible to all present,
as the pale moonlight fell upon him—

“Men and brethren, Hebrews of the house of Abraham
our father, hear, while I make known to you why
I have called this strange meeting—for when before has
Israel met in such an assembly! Your presence, your
readiness to come, your courage, and your success in
reaching here, all show to me the hand of God, and the
power of God.”

Aaron then gave a history of the origin of their nation,
of God's promise to Abraham, of his prophecy of
their bondage and deliverance, and his promise to give
them the land of the Canaanites. They listened with
deep attention, for he spoke with remarkable eloquence.
He then said, “The hour of our deliverance is at hand.
God has remembered His promise, and come down to
our deliverance.” Then, with thrilling power, the venerable
speaker described the scene at the burning bush
on Horeb, and, in conclusion, presented Moses, his
brother, to the elders. He was received with a murmur
of satisfaction; but some doubted. Others remembered
that he had been raised an Egyptian, and openly expressed
their fear that it was a plan to betray them into

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a movement, that would give Pharaoh an excuse to
destroy them all.

“Let us see his miracles! If God sent him, let us see
his rod become a serpent before our faces,” said an
old man brutally and tauntingly.

Moses took the rod from the hand of his brother, and
said with sternness—

“Thou shalt see and believe!”

He then cast it upon the ground, when it not only
became a serpent, but its scales glittered like fire.
With fierce hissing it coiled itself about the form of the
doubter, and lifting its head above his own, darted it
every way with flashing eyes, so that there was a universal
cry of horror. The wretched old man fell to the
ground, the serpent uncoiled from his form, and Moses
taking it by the tail it became a rod again in his hand!

At this miracle, the whole assembly, save one man,
became convinced that Moses had been sent by God to
them. This one said—

“It is the magician's art! He hath been an Egyptian
priest, and knows their mysteries.”

Upon this, Moses said—

“Korah, I remember thee! I was educated as an
Egyptian, but I know none of their magic; and to show
thee that this is the power of God, thrust thy hand into
thy bosom!”

The man obeyed.

“Take it forth!” said Moses, in a tone of command

He did so and it was leprous as snow, and the moon
glared upon it, as upon the alabaster hand of a statue.
He uttered a cry of horror.

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“Be not unbelieving,” said Moses. “Replace thy
hand in thy bosom.” He did so, and took it out
restored like the other. The man who had been entwined
by the serpent also rose to his feet, and both
acknowledged the power of God, and the authority of
Moses. He now made known to them that God had
sent him to demand their release from Pharaoh; and
that the king would at first refuse, but that after he had
seen the power of God he would yield and let them go
forth out of Egypt, to the good land promised to Abraham
for his seed, forever.

“Return now, elders and brethren,” he said to them,
like one who spake by authority to those who recognized
it, “return to your places of toil. Be quiet and
patient, and wait the hand of God. He will manifest
His glory and display His power in your behalf, as was
never done on earth before. Bear patiently your labors,
and do not doubt that the time of your deliverance is
at hand. Let all Israel know the glad tidings of God's
visitation, and that He has surely stretched out His arm
over Egypt, to break their yoke of bondage.”

This extraordinary assembly then separated, each man
to his place; and Moses and Aaron went to the house of
one Naashon, a Levite, whose sister had become
Aaron's wife many years before. Here I remained
until morning; but no eye closed in sleep, for many had
followed the brothers, and till dawn they were holding
discourse with their friends, on the wonderful things
about to happen.

Moses said he should go before Pharaoh the next day
but one, when he held public audience in the

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throneroom, that great hall of Egyptian state, which, my dear
father you once described, and where you were presented
to Queen Amense, as she was seated upon the
same throne.

Farewell, my dear father. In three days I will write
you again.

Remeses of Damascus.

-- 509 --


City of On, Egypt. My dear Father:

[figure description] Page 509.[end figure description]

Moses has met Pharaoh, face to face, and demanded
of him the liberty of the Hebrew nation! The
scene in the throne-room was deeply interesting and
striking; and I will endeavor briefly to convey to you
a conception of it.

The king, on that day gave audience in the throne-room,
when, according to custom, no one, however humble, was
refused permission to lay his petition before his king.
At the hour appointed, Moses the mighty Hebrew, and
Aaron his brother, accompanied by seven of the chief
men of their nation—a venerable company with their
flowing beards and snow-white locks—entered the city
from Raamses, and proceeded towards the palace. The
captain of the guard, seeing they were Hebrews, looked
amazed, and would have stopped them, but the majesty
and authority with which the two brothers moved, side
by side, awed him, and without speaking, he suffered
them to enter the palace, and they passed on, looking
neither to the right nor the left. Knowing that they
would appear at that hour, I stood near and beheld them.

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They traversed the corridor of the vestibule, and the
courtiers and lords and servitors gave way before them,
for they were clad in long robes like priests, and appeared
to them to be some sacred procession: but when
they perceived that they were Hebrews, they looked with
contempt on them, yet let them pass. So these chosen
men advanced, and stood before the ivory throne, where
the king sat in robes of cloth of purple and vestments
of gold, wearing the double crown. His high officers
stood about him, his body-guard were stationed on each
side of the throne, while before him kneeled a single
petitioner. It was a woman, whose son had accidentally
wounded an ibis with an arrow, and was condemned to
die. She plead to the king for his life.

“Nay, woman, he must not live!” answered Pharaoh.
“If he had slain a slave or a Hebrew, I might grant
thy prayer; but to wound a sacred bird is sacrilege.
Retire! But who come hither?” he demanded of his
grand-chamberlain beside his footstool, as he saw the
Hebrew company advancing. “Who are these?”

“They look like Hebrews, father,” said the son of
Thothmeses, a young prince twenty years of age, who
lounged indolently against one of the ivory figures that
adorned the throne.

“Hebrews?” said the king. “What do they here?
And in robes! Ah, Prince of Tyre, welcome!” he said,
turning to me, as, at the moment, I appeared and made
my obesiance before him. “You honor us by your
presence in our hall of judgment.”

While he spoke, Aaron and Moses had reached the
foot of the throne. Their venerable and majestic aspect
seemed to impress him. “Who are ye? Are ye not

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Hebrews?” he demanded, with a face expressing mingled
surprise and doubt.

“We are Hebrews, O king,” answered Aaron, with
respectful homage. “We are two brethren. My name
is Aaron the Levite, and this my brother is Moses the
Midianite; and these others are the elders of Israel—
chiefs of the Hebrew people.” This was spoken with
calmness and fearlessness.

“And wherefore are ye come hither?” the king cried.
“Who of my governors has let you from your work?
Who is Israel?”

“Thus saith the Lord, the Governor of the universe,”
answered Aaron: “`Israel is my son, even my first-born.
Let my son go, that he may serve me.' And if thou refuse
to let Israel go, O king,” continued Aaron with an
air of inspiration, “behold our God will slay thy son,
even thy first-born.”

The king started, and became pale with anger and
amazement; and his son, Amunophis, sprang forward a
step, and laid his hand upon the jewelled scimitar he
wore at the girdle of his vesture, crying,—

“Slay me! What menace is this, graybeard? A
conspiracy, my father!”

“Who is the Lord,” demanded the king, “that I
should obey His voice, and let Israel go? I know not
the Lord, neither will I let Israel go. What threats are
these? Ho! captain of the guard, seize these Hebrews,
and put them in prison!”

The captain of the guard prepared to obey, but not a
soldier moved. The majesty of Moses, as he fixed his
eyes upon them, as it were, paralyzed them. Then
Aaron answered Pharaoh, and said:

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“He is the God of the Hebrews, O king; the Lord of
the sun, and Upholder of worlds. He hath met with us
and commanded us to go three days' journey out of
Egypt into the desert, and sacrifice unto Him, as our
fathers aforetime did: and if we disobey His voice, He
will fall upon us, and destroy us with pestilence or with
the sword; for what other people is there that do not
their sacrifices, save our nation? Therefore, thus saith
the Lord of the Hebrews to thee, O King of Egypt,
`Let my people go, that they may hold a holy feast to
me in the wilderness.”'

“By the gods of Egypt, ye Moses and Aaron,” cried
the king, rising from his throne in great wrath, “I defy
the God of the Hebrews! Wherefore do ye hinder the
people from their works? Get you, and these old men
with you, unto your burdens! Ye seek to destroy
Egypt; for if the Hebrews, which are now many in the
land, be let three days from their burdens, they will do
mischief, and make sedition. Get thee from my presence!
But for thy gray head, O Aaron, you should be
put to death! This is a new thing in Egypt. Let them
forth!” he called to his servitors.

Moses answered, speaking for the first time,—

“O King Thothmeses, the God of the Hebrews, whose
servant I am, will yet make thee know His power, and
that there is none else—no other God but Him!”

The king made no reply. He sunk back upon his
throne overcome with surprise; and I could perceive a
certain look of fear in his eyes. Prince Amunophis followed
the retiring ambassadors of God, and, as they
reached the vestibule, he gave orders to the outer
guard to arrest the whole company. But with a

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gesture of his hand, Moses caused them to retire before him;
and the prince, returning with amazement, said to the

“These two men are gods, O king! They carry the
aspect and majesty of demigods, and all men fear to lay
hands on them!”

“If I hear more of them,” answered Pharaoh, by this
time recovered from his emotion, “I will know whether
they are gods or men! They shall die, by the life of
Osiris! Do these Hebrews want more work?”

The king then commanded to come before him his
chief officers, governors, captains, and head taskmasters,
and said to them, “Ye shall no more give the Hebrew
people straw to make brick as heretofore. Let them go
and gather straw for themselves. And the number of
bricks which they have made heretofore, shall ye bind
them to. Ye shall not diminish aught thereof; for they
are idle, and cry, `Let us go and sacrifice to our God.'
Let there be more work laid upon the men, that they
may be so employed as not to have leisure to regard the
vain words of this Moses and Aaron!”

Thus, my dear father, the first result, of the interposition
of Moses for his people, is to increase their oppression!
Yet their God is above all, and will manifest His
power for their deliverance.

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

-- 514 --


City of On. My dear and venerable Father:

[figure description] Page 514.[end figure description]

Many days have passed since I wrote to you.
You will wish to hear the ultimate issue of the command
of Pharaoh, to increase the burdens of the
Hebrews, and its effects upon them.

In obedience to this command, the taskmasters and
officers of this unhappy people went out and strictly fulfilled
it. The poor Hebrew brickmakers, in whose work
coarse straw of wheat cut fine is necessary to make the
clay cohere, as they are only dried in the sun, are now
distributed all over Egypt seeking straw, which hitherto
the Egyptian laborers brought to them in carts and
laden barges. Thus dispersed, they gather stubble, and
dry bulrushes, and grass, and every thing they can in
their haste find on the surface of the ground; for if
night comes and their tale of bricks falls short, they are
beaten. As, therefore, one half of the time of many is
consumed in searching the highways and fields, instead
of being all the time, as heretofore, engaged only in
making brick, the task put upon them is an impossible
one; and everywhere the sound of the rod and whip,
and the cry of sufferers, goes up from the land. At

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length the elders and officers of the Hebrews (for their
own people are often made their taskmasters, who also
had to account to their Egyptian captains for their fulfillment
of the king's command), got courage from despair,
and meeting the king as he was abroad in his
chariot, cast themselves before him, crying, “Wherefore
hast thou dealt thus with us? It is not our fault that
we cannot make up the number of bricks, as heretofore,
seeing straw is not given us; and thy servants are
beaten; but the fault is in thine own officers.”

Pharaoh angrily answered, “Ye are idle! Ye are
idle! Ye have not enough to do, or ye would not think
ye had time to go into the desert to sacrifice to your
God. Go, therefore, and do your tasks, for there shall
no straw be given you.”

“And shall we deliver the tale of bricks?” they cried.

“To the last one of them!” answered the king; and
with an impatient sign for them to stand aside from his
chariot-wheels, he dashed forward on his way, attended
by his brilliant retinue. The unhappy men then perceived
“that they were in evil case,” as one of them
said to me in relating this interview; and meeting Moses
and Aaron in the fields not long afterwards, one of their
number said, indignantly, and with grief—

“The Lord look upon you, Moses and Aaron, and
judge you, because by your interference with the king,
thou hast put a sword into the hand of Pharaoh to
slay us.”

Moses looked sorrowfully and troubled, and raising
his eyes heavenward as he left them without a reply,
for he wot not how to answer, they heard him cry unto
his God, and say—

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“Lord, wherefore hast Thou so evil entreated this Thy
people? Why is it that Thou didst send me? For since
I came to Pharaoh to speak in Thy name, he hath done
evil to this people; neither, O Lord God, hast Thou delivered
Thy people at all!”

Then came a voice from heaven, which they heard,
and said—

“Thou shalt see what I will do to Pharaoh; for he
shall let you go, and drive you out of his land. I am
the Lord who spake to thee in Horeb, out of the burning
bush; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac,
and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty. But
by my name Jehovah was I not known to them. I
have heard the groaning of the children of Israel.
Wherefore say unto them, `I am the Lord, and I will
bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians,
and I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to
you a God; and ye shall know that I am the Lord your
God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of
the Egyptians. And I will bring you in unto the land
which I did swear to give to Abraham, and to Isaac,
and to Jacob, and I will give it to you for an heritage.
I am the Lord!”'

With these words, Moses sought to comfort the Hebrews,
his brethren, going to them and proclaiming it
to them in their ears; but for an anguish of spirit, and
the great pressure of their cruel bondage upon their
minds, they did not hearken unto him. Hope in their
bosoms was utterly dead. Moreover, many of them
looked on him with eyes of hatred, as the author of this
increase of their wretchedness.

What a situation was this for the servant of God!

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Confident of the power and truth of Jehovah, he could
not reconcile therewith this increase of the power of
Pharaoh. Perhaps, at times, his own faith was severely

Since then, a month has passed, during which period
I saw Moses often in Goshen, where he passed his time
in encouraging those of his brethren who would give
heed to him.

In the mean while, Pharaoh, as if in contempt or defiance
of the God of the Hebrews, has been engaged
in extraordinary religious rites; and every day the streets
have resounded with the music of instruments and choral
songs of processions to the gods. I witnessed all of
these ceremonies, and will describe some of them that
are not mentioned by you in your letters from Egypt,
my dear father.

On the seventh day after Moses and Aaron left him,
Thothmeses went in state to the black marble temple of
the sacred serpent, Uræus, to offer sacrifice and oblation
to its great image of gold with jewelled eyes and hideous
head. He addressed it as the god of wisdom and sagacity,
and presented offerings of flowers, and a necklace
of emeralds; while, for the living serpents, held
sacred by the Egyptians, he left gifts of money to purchase
food for their repletion.

The next day he proceeded, at the head of the priests
and the most magnificent religious procession I have
seen in Egypt, from his palace along the sphinx-lined
avenue to the terrace of the Nile, opposite the Island of
Rhoda, where stands a brazen statue of the god Nilus,
with those of Osiris and Thoth on either side of its pedestal.

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Descending from his chariot, he advanced to the
river, and poured from a goblet, set with diamonds, a libation
of wine into its waves, and invoked the river itself
as a deity, concluding his prayer with a curse upon the
God of the Hebrews. Then, at his command, the chief
sacrificer advanced, leading a Hebrew boy four years
old, whom he laid upon the altar before the statue of the
god, and, at a stroke of his sacrificial knife, sacrificed
there. I could scarcely refrain from a cry of horror. I
knew that the Egyptians, on certain occasions, sacrificed
human beings to the gods; but I never expected to behold
an immolation like this. The palpitating form of
the child was then taken up by two assistants, and the
blood of its heart was poured forth into the Nile, as a
libation to the god. The empurpled wave then received
the inanimate form, amid a crash of instrumental music.
This unusual libation of blood to the Nile was intended
as an act of defiance to the Hebrew Jehovah.

The following day, Pharaoh made a procession to the
temple of sacred frogs, on the borders of the canal of
Amun. Here libations were poured out before a colossal
sphinx having a frog's head, and offerings made. The
frog is held sacred by the Egyptians, because it is supposed
to purify the waters by feeding on poisons in the
marshes and river.

The succeeding day Pharaoh, as if possessed with a
religious infatuation, that now led him to seek the favor
of gods hitherto neglected by him, in his dread of the
God of the Hebrews, paid a visit, with all his court, to
the temple of the scarabæus, or sacred beetle of Egypt.
This is a marble edifice, adorned with a frieze of scarab
æi, having heads of every variety of animal. The god

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himself is a gigantic beetle of black marble, with a human
head. He is supposed to protect the temples from
vermin, such as lice and fleas; for one of these seen in
a temple, or upon the garments of a priest, causes ceremonial
defilement, and neither priest nor temple may
be made holy again but by purification.

The next day a procession was made by Pharaoh and
his people to the little temple of Baal-Zebel, a deity that
is reverenced as their protector from flies, which sometimes
infest the land in ravenous swarms, and which, it
is believed, this idol only can remove. Can Thothmeses
be so superstitious? Or does he make all this show of
piety merely to humor the superstitions of his people,
and sustain the priests of these shrines? Does he fear
Moses and his power, so as to desire to strengthen himself
in the affections of the priesthood and people?

The day after the visit to the temple of the fly-god,
he went in great state to the temple of the sacred ox of
On, Mnevis. Here he sacrificed, prayed, poured libations,
and offered oblations. It was an imposing scene,
as he was attended by one thousand priests clad in rich
vestments, and wearing shining crowns, the whole waving
censers of gold. Of the god he asked protection to
all the cattle of Egypt, and prosperity to the harvests;
and then solemnly denounced the God of the Hebrews,
as a God not known or honored in Egypt, and who, if
He existed, was but a God of slaves.

The next day of this ten days' ovation, Pharaoh proceeded
to the gloomy temple of Typhon, on the edge of
the desert. Here a Nubian slave was sacrificed to the
Evil Principle, by being bound to the altar and burned
alive. The officiating priests then gathered the ashes

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and cast them high into the air, calling on their god
and praying him, that wheresoever an atom of the
ashes was borne on the wind, evil might not visit the

Thothmeses has diligently revived the human sacrifices
which Queen Amense forbade, and the act sufficiently
illustrates the native cruelty and superstition of the

Two days afterwards, having crossed the Nile in great
pomp, he proceeded, in grand procession, to the temple
of Serapis. The god Apis, you are aware, my dear
father, has the peculiar office, besides many others, of
protecting the country from locusts; and at the seasons
when these destructive insects visit Egypt, Apis is invoked
to command them to retire from the land.

The rites performed by the king before the god were
imposing and gorgeous. He invoked him, not against
locusts, but against the God of Moses!

Does not all this show a secret dread of the God he
defies? Yet he knows nothing of His power, and has
witnessed no act of wonder performed by Him. Doubtless
he felt, that a servant who dared to be so bold and
confident, must have a divine Master, who is great and
powerful. Perhaps he had heard of the God of the
Hebrews in times past;—of the dream of Prince Joseph
and the seven years' famine;—of the destruction of the
vale of Sodom, with its cities, by fire from heaven at
God's command;—of the dispersion of the nations at the
pyramid of Babylon;—of the mighty deluge which He
caused to overflow the mountains and drown the world!
Perhaps, for he is learned and intelligent enough, when
Aaron spoke to him of the God of the Hebrews, he

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remembered who He was in times of old, and trembled to
hear His name again.

Three days afterwards the king visited the shrine of
Isis, and poured libations, and made thanksgivings; and
invoked her, as the moon, and controller of the seasons
and weather, to send abundant rains upon the mountains
of Ethiopia, and the sources of the Nile, so that the
annual overflow, now near at hand, may not fail, nor
the land be deprived of its fertility.

Two days later, with a procession of all the priests of
all the temples, and with chariots, and horsemen, and
footmen,—a vast array,—he visited the great temple of
Osiris, or the sun; and, after august ceremonies, himself
acting as high-priest, with the high-priest of On for
his assistant, he presented the statue of the god with a
new crown of gold, and a crook and flail of ivory inlaid
with jewels. He invoked him, by the appellation of
the god of light, the dispeller of darkness, the terror of
clouds, and the foe of lightnings and storms. And he
implored clear skies, and serene weather for the harvests,
as heretofore.

Thus the piety of Thothmeses has been quickened into
unwonted activity by the dread of the God of Israel, as
if he would secure his gods' faithfulness should the God
of Moses be too strong for him. In the mean while the
children of Israel are groaning under the weight of their
increased oppression. I have seen Aaron to-day. He
informed me, with looks of holy faith in his God, that
Moses and he were, to-morrow, by God's command, to
appear again before Pharaoh, and demand the release
of the Hebrews.

What a scene will be enacted! Will these two

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courageous men brave his anger, and escape? I tremble
for the result. They are firm and resolved, being strong
in the strength of their God. I shall be sure to be at
the palace to-morrow, that I may behold these servants
of Jehovah meet, once more, face to face, this cruel
Pharaoh and his gods.

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

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City of On. My very dear Father:

[figure description] Page 523.[end figure description]

You will read what I am about to write, with the
profoundest interest. The two mighty Hebrews again
sought an audience of the king, and boldly demanded
the freedom of Israel.

This meeting did not take place in the palace of On,
but in that at Memphis, on the avenue of the Pyramids.
Pharaoh was seated in the court of the palace, giving
audience to the governors of the thirty-nine nomes,
which now constitute the number of his provinces.
When he had ended his instructions to them, Moses and
Aaron were announced. I stood near him conversing
with the prince; for I knew that the two men of God
purposed to seek the king's presence.

“How darest thou announce these Hebrews?” cried
the king, sharply, to his trembling grand-chamberlain.

“I could not forbid them, O king! I fled instinctively
and without power of resistance before the majesty
of their presence. Behold them advancing!”

Pharaoh turned pale. He essayed to give some fierce
order to those about him, but his tongue failed him.

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“Who will slay me these men?” cried the Prince
Amunophis, seeing the king's troubled looks.

Not a man moved. Awe and curiosity took the place
of all other feelings. Side by side the two brothers
came unfalteringly forward till they stood before the
monarch,—fixing their regards only upon him.

“What are ye come for, Moses and Aaron?” at
length he uttered, in a thick voice. “Have I spared
your lives, that you might come again to mock me in
my palace?”

“We are come, O king,” answered Moses with dignity,
and looking far more kingly than he whom he
addressed—“we are come in the name of the God of
the Hebrews. He hath heard their cry from all the
land of Egypt, by reason of their taskmasters, and I am
sent to command thee, in His name, to send the children
of Israel out of thy land!”

“Have I knowledge of your God? What is His
power? Let Him make Himself known! Or, if He
hath sent thee to me, where are thy credentials from His
hand? I listen to no ambassadors from God or man,
unless they show me that they are sent. By what sign
wilt thou declare thy mission? If a king sent thee,
show me his handwriting; if a god, show me a miracle!”

Aaron held the rod of Moses in his hand, and casting
it upon the marble pavement of the court, it became a
serpent, slowly gliding along the floor and flashing fire
from its eyes. The servants of Pharaoh fled before it.
The king upon his throne, at first, became alarmed, but
seeing the monster inflate its throat and stretch lazily
and innocuously along the lion-skin before his footstool,
he smiled contemptuously and said—

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“Thy Arabian life has given thee great skill, O
Moses. Ho! call my magicians! I have magi that
can equal thy art!”

All was expectation, until at length two stately personages
solemnly entered, each with his acacia rod. They
were Jambres and Jannes, the royal and chief magicians
of Egypt, of whose fame other lands have heard. They
were dark-featured, Arabic-looking men, and dressed
with great magnificence, wearing robes blazing with gold
and jewels. Their bearing was haughty and imperious,
and they looked about them with disdain, as if
they were beings of a better order than the Egyptians,
who stood awed, or prostrated themselves in their

“Seest thou this serpent?” demanded Pharaoh, directing
the attention of Jambres to the monster, which
lay coiled upon the lion-skin before the steps of the
throne; while several of the guard with spears stood
near, to thrust it through, should it approach the king.
The magicians regarded it with surprise, and then looked
fixedly at Moses and Aaron. They had evidently heard
by the messengers, what had passed. “Half an hour
since, he was a rod in the hand of that Hebrew
magician!” said the king. “Show him thy art, and
that we have gods whose servants can do as great miracles
as this!”

The magicians advanced and said—

“O king, beloved of the sun, live forever! Behold
the power of thy own magicians!” Thus speaking, they
cast their rods upon the ground, when they became serpents
also, after a few moments had transpired. Pharaoh
then said, addressing the Hebrew brothers—

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“Ye are but impostors, and have done your miracle
by the gods of Egypt, as my magicians do.”

“If the god of Egypt be strongest, let his serpents
destroy my serpent: but if the God of the Hebrews be
the greatest and the only God, let my serpent devour
his!” Thus quietly spake Aaron.

“So be it,” answered Pharaoh.

In a moment, the serpent of Moses uncoiled himself,
and fiercely seizing, one after another, the two serpents
of the magicians, swallowed them. At this there was
an outcry among the people; and, greatly terrified,
Pharaoh half-rose from his throne; but Aaron catching
up the serpent, it became a rod as before. Instead of
acknowledging the God of Moses, the king became exceedingly
enraged against his own magicians, and drove
them from him, and ordered Moses and Aaron to depart,
saying that they were only more skilful sorcerers than
the others, and must show him greater signs than these
ere he would let Israel go. I have since learned, that
these magicians brought with them real serpents, which
they have the power of stiffening, and holding at arm's
length by pressing upon their throats: that they came
with these, which could not be detected in the obscurity
of the shadows where they stood, and casting them
down they resumed their natural motions. That the
rod of Moses should devour them, and return to a rod
again, ought to have shown Pharaoh that it was a
miracle, and not sorcery. But his heart seems to be
hardened against all impressions of this nature.

The following morning, the governor of the nilometer
having reported to the king that the Nile had
commenced to rise, Pharaoh, according to custom,

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proceeded to the river, where the statue of Nilus stands,
and where he had caused the Hebrew boy to be sacrificed
and his blood poured as a libation into the stream.
Here, with great pomp, he was about to celebrate the
festivities of the happy event, when, lo! Moses and
Aaron stood before him by the river's brink,—the latter
with the rod, which had been turned into a serpent, in
his hand.

“The Lord God of the Hebrews,” cried Moses in a
loud voice, “hath sent me unto thee, saying, `Let My
people go.' Lo! hitherto thou wouldst not hear. Now
thus saith the Lord—`In this thou shalt know that I am
the Lord!' Behold, O king, at His command, I will
smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters
which are in the river, and they shall be turned into

“I defy you and your God, and both of ye shall die!”
answered Pharaoh, pale with anger.

Then Moses, turning calmly to Aaron, his brother,
said, in my hearing, and in that of the king and all his
people, “Take this rod of God, and stretch out thine
hand upon the waters of Egypt, that there may be blood
throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of
wood and vessels of stone.”

Aaron, obeying, stretched forth his hand with the rod
and smote the water at his feet, in the sight of Pharaoh,
and in the sight of the thousands of Egyptians present,
and in a moment the Nile ran blood instead of water;
the fish in hundreds rose to the surface and died, and
the smell of blood filled all the atmosphere. The people
uttered a great cry, and Pharaoh looked petrified with
horror. From the galleys on the river, from the women

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on the opposite shore, from avenues, terraces, and plains,
from every side, rose a loud and terrible wail, such as
was never before heard. The king sought his chariot,
and fled from the face of Moses and Aaron, and all was
wild dismay. These two servants of the God, whose
words had wrought this great wonder, then walked
calmly away. I felt too much awed to come near them,
and in my chariot sought my own palace. On the way,
I saw that the canals were red with blood, also the standing
pools, the lakes, and every body of water. Men
were running in every direction seeking for water; women
wrung their hands, and despair and fear were impressed
upon every countenance. As I passed the fountains
in the court of Pharaoh's palace, I saw that they
also spouted forth blood; and in the corridor and porticos,
the water in the vases for guests, in the earthen
jars for filtering, and in those which stood in the cisterns,
was of the same crimson hue. When I reached
my own apartments, lo! there also the water in the
vases and ewers was of the color of blood. The voice
of Moses, empowered by his God, had indeed turned
all the waters of Egypt into blood. Surely, I said, now
will the king let Israel go. In the afternoon I went
forth, and saw the Egyptians digging everywhere for
fresh water, along the canals and river. I drove out of
the city towards Goshen, and saw all the people in motion
and terror, for but few knew the cause of the awful
visitation. After an hour I reached Goshen, the fair
plain where Prince Jacob once dwelt, and where now
the children of Israel dwell by hundreds of thousands.
With joyful surprise I beheld, as I entered the province,
that the canal was free from blood, the pools sparkling

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with clear water, and the fountains bright as crystal. As
I rode on in the direction of the dwelling of Moses, I
perceived that the plague of blood had not fallen upon
the land where the Hebrews dwelt—only upon the Egyptians.
This was a twofold miracle.

When Pharaoh found that water could be obtained
by digging shallow wells, and also that Goshen was free
from the plague, he sent for Jambres and Jannes, and
offered to pardon them if they could turn water into
blood. They commenced their incantations upon water
dug up from his gardens—for the miracle of the rod
covered only the waters at the time on the surface,
whether in the river or in houses. After art had for
some time been practised upon the water, to my surprise
it was turned to the semblance of blood.

“See,” cried Pharaoh with great joy, “the servants of
Pharaoh are equal to the servants of the Hebrew God!”

“And O king,” said Jambres vainly, “had the Hebrew
juggler left us the Nile, we could have turned
that also by our enchantments.”

Then Pharaoh rewarded him with a chain of gold,
and hardened his heart, and defied Moses and his God.
But in three days afterwards all the fish died in the
lakes, and river of Lower Egypt, and a stench of their
flesh and of crocodiles and reptiles that perished by the
blood in the river, and the difficulty of getting water,
rendered Egypt almost uninhabitable. Thousands fled
to the pure air and water of Goshen, where also I remained.
Every hour I expected to behold a royal courier
coming for Moses and Aaron, ordering them to
appear before the king, to receive permission to lead the
Hebrews out of Egypt. At the end of seven days the

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river and waters of Egypt resumed their natural color
and purity, by God's permission, lest all the people of
Egypt should die for Pharaoh's hardness of heart.

Then God appeared again unto Moses, and commanded
him to go before Pharaoh with the same message as before.
But the king, in great fury, ordered them from
his presence, when Aaron stretched forth his hand over
the streams, the river, the canals, lakes, and fountains,
and in a moment myriads of frogs appeared on the
shores, in the fields, in the streets, squares, corridors,
terraces, gardens, groves, and porticos of the temples.
They leaped upon every place, upon the people, upon
the stairways. They found their way by hundreds into
the houses and bedchambers, and upon the beds, tables,
chairs of palaces and huts; leaped into the ovens and
kneading-troughs, and occupied every place. In horror
the priests closed all the temples, lest they should enter,
and dying there, defile them. Even Pharaoh was obliged
to shut himself up in the recesses of his palace to escape
their loathsome presence.

In great alarm, he was about to send for Moses, when
Jambres, his chief sorcerer, stood before him, and said:

“O king, believe not that the God of this Hebrew is
greater than the gods of Egypt. Thy servants also can
do this enchantment.”

“Do so, and thou shalt have a rod of gold,” answered
the king.

Then descending into a fountain, inclosed by a high
wall of the palace, where the frogs had not yet appeared,
the magicians caused frogs also to appear. “At first,”
said the chief butler, who spoke to me of this deed, “the
king was greatly pleased, but suddenly said:

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“`What thou hast produced by thy enchantments, remove
by thy enchantments. Command them to disappear
from the fountain.'

“This the two magicians not being able to do, the
next day, the frogs rendering every habitation uninhabitable,
and the lords of Egypt appealing to Pharaoh, he
sent for Moses and Aaron. It had become time to do
so. Every part of my rooms was filled with these animals;
they got into the plates and cups, and defiled
every place—while by night their combined roar filled
all Egypt with a deafening and terrible noise, so that if
a bed could be found to sleep in, sleep was nowhere
possible; and by day we could tread nowhere but upon

When the two Hebrew brothers again stood in the
presence of Pharaoh, he said, with mingled shame and

“Entreat your God to take away this plague of frogs
from me, my people, and the land of Egypt; and if
thou canst free the land from them, I will acknowledge
that it is the power of the God of the Hebrews, and will
let the people go to do sacrifice unto the Lord, who
hath commanded and sent for them.”

Then Moses answered the king—

“The Lord shall be entreated as thou desirest; and
thou, O king, shalt set the time, lest thou shouldst say I
consulted a favorable aspect of the stars. Choose when
I shall entreat for thee to remove this plague from the
land, the people, and their houses.”

“To-morrow,” answered Thothmeses.

“Be it according to thy word,” answered Moses;
“and when thou seest the plague removed at the time

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appointed by thee, know it is God's gracious act, and
not our sorcery. To-morrow the frogs in all the land of
Egypt shall be found in the river only.”

What a scene did Egypt present the next morning!
The land was covered with dead frogs; and it took all
the people of Egypt that day and night to gather them
into heaps and cast them into the river: for they threatened
a pestilence.

When Pharaoh saw that his wish was granted at the
time he named, and that there was a respite, he said—
“This was by my voice and my power, and not by their
God, that the frogs died on the morrow I named! The
glory over Moses shall indeed be mine, as he hath
said!” Ceasing to speak, he sent orders to the taskmasters
to increase the burdens of the Hebrews, refusing to
keep his promise to Moses and Aaron.

Then the Lord again sent them before Pharaoh, and
in his presence Aaron stretched forth his rod, and smote
the dust of the earth, when all the dust of the earth became
alive, and rested upon man and beast in the form
of lice!

Then, in a rage, Pharaoh called his enchanters, but
they could not perform this miracle, and said plainly to
the king—

“This is beyond our power. This is the finger of
their God.”

Upon hearing this, Pharaoh drove both his magicians,
and Moses and Aaron forth from his palace. The next
day no sacrifice was offered, no temple open in all
Egypt; for on the priests were lice, and no one could
perform an official act with any insect upon his person,
being thereby made unclean. The Egyptians were

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enraged, both with the Hebrews and with their king—
but, shut up in his palace, he refused to consent to the
demands of Moses.

Three days afterwards, by the command of God,
given at the well of Jacob,—where, in a bright cloud
like a pillar of fire, He descended to speak with Moses,
and seemed to be now every day present in Egypt, in
communion with his holy servant,—the two brothers
again sought the presence of the king, as he was entering
his galley. Reiterating their usual demand, Moses

“The Lord hath said unto me, `Stand before Pharaoh
when he comes forth to the water, and say unto him,
thus saith the Lord, `Let my people go; else, if thou
wilt not let my people go, I will send swarms of flies
upon thee and thy servants, and upon thy people, and
the houses of the Egyptians shall be filled with them,
and also the ground; and I will sever in that day the
land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no
swarms of flies shall be there; to the end that thou
mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the
earth. And I will put a division between my people
and thy people; and to-morrow shall this sign be!”'

Pharaoh, in fear and anger, commanded his galley to
leave the shore, heeding none of the words spoken by
Moses. The next day when I awoke, lo! the air was
darkened with flies. They covered the city like a
cloud, and their noise was like the roar of the sea after
a storm. When the sun was well risen, they descended
and alighted upon the dwellings, and soon filled the
houses, and rooms, and every place they could penetrate.
It was impossible to hear for their hum, or to

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see for their number, as they would alight upon the face,
seek the corners of the eyes and the edges of the eyelids,
and inflict their bite. In a few hours the Egyptians
became frantic under the plague, as it was impossible
to keep them off; and if driven away, they would pertinaciously
return to the attack. All employment in
Egypt ceased. Eating and sleeping were impracticable.
I fled in my chariot towards Goshen! My horses, stung
to madness, flew like the wind. Hundreds of women,
and children, and men were pressing in the same direction,
for safety and relief. I crossed the great canal
which divides the province, and not a fly followed me
nor my horses across the aerial and invisible barrier God
had set as their bounds. All Goshen was free from the
plague, and the Hebrews were extending favors to the
Egyptians who sought shelter among them.

The next day, Pharaoh, unable to endure the plague,
and finding his magicians could neither remove nor
cause it, sent for Moses and Aaron, who immediately
answered his summons.

“Go,” he cried, when he beheld them,—“go, sacrifice
to thy God in this land; for He is a mighty God, and
may not be mocked!”

“It is not meet, O king,” answered Moses, “that we
should sacrifice to our God in the land of Egypt. We
Hebrews sacrifice bulls and rams, sacrifices abominable
to the Egyptians, who call them their gods! Lo! shall
we sacrifice the gods of the Egyptians to our God,
before their eyes, and will they not stone us? If we
sacrifice, we will go three days' journey into the wilderness,
and sacrifice to the Lord our God as He shall command

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Seeing the resolute purpose of the terrible Hebrew,
Pharaoh consented to his demand, only adding, “Ye
shall not go very far away! Now go and entreat your
God for me, for the removal of these flies!”

While this discourse was passing between them, the
fan-bearers of the king, with all their diligence, could
not protect his face from the stings of the flies, which
plagued him sorely; while upon Aaron and Moses not
one alighted.

“To-morrow,” answered Moses, as he went out, “the
Lord, whom I will entreat for thee, shall remove this
plague also. But deal not deceitfully, O king, any
more, in not letting the people go.”

When, the next day, Pharaoh saw that the flies were
removed, so that not one remained, he repented that he
had given his promise, and resolved not to keep it with

Once more God sent his servants, the two Hebrews,
to the king, demanding the release of the children
of Jacob from their yoke of bondage, menacing him
with a murrain upon all the cattle, horses, camels, and
beasts of Egypt, if he resolved to hold them still in the
land. The king, however, who seemed after every demand
to grow more obstinate when the evil had passed,
refused, and sent them away with threats of vengeance.
Indeed, it is surprising, my dear father, that he hath not
slain them before this; and I have no doubt he is miraculously
restrained from doing so, by the Almighty
God, whose faithful and holy servants they are.

On the morrow, according to the word of Moses, a fatal
pestilence seized upon the oxen, the bulls, and cows of
Egypt, so that all the cattle in the land died. When

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the priests of the sacred ox, Mnevis, came rushing
from their temple to the palace, crying that their god
was dead with the murrain; when at midnight came
before him the priests of Apis, exclaiming that the
sacred bull was also dead, then Pharaoh began to know
and feel that the God of the Hebrews was greater than
the gods of Egypt. Early in the morning, when he
rose, hearing that not one of the cattle of the Israelites
was dead, instead of repenting and trembling, he became
enraged, acting like a man blinded by the gods,
when they would destroy him by his own acts.

Judge, my dear father, of the patience and forbearance
of the God of the Hebrews towards him who still
refused to acknowledge His power. Behold the firmness
and steadiness of purpose of Moses and Aaron,—their
courage and independence! What a sublime spectacle!—
two private men contending successfully with
the most powerful king on the earth! What a painful
sight to see this most powerful king of the earth measuring
the strength of his feeble will against the power
of the God of the universe!

Upon the refusal of Pharaoh to let Jehovah have His
people, that they might serve Him, God commanded
Moses in a vision of the night, beside the fountain of
Jacob, where He talked with him as in the burning
bush, to take the ashes of a human sacrifice, to be
immolated by Pharaoh the next day, and sprinkle it
towards heaven upon the winds. He did so; and instead
of protecting the places wheresoever its atoms
were carried, they broke out in boils upon man and
beast, breaking forth with painful blains. The magicians
and sorcerers, essaying to recover their credit with

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the king, attempted to do the same miracle; but the boil
broke forth upon them also so heavily, that they could
not stand before Moses, and fled with pain and cries
from his presence. Yet Pharaoh remained obdurate,
and grew more hardened and defiant; for the boils
touched not his own flesh.

That night, the Lord appeared unto Moses, and commanded
him again to make his demand upon Pharaoh
for His people. Then stood Moses and Aaron in the
morning before the king, who was walking up and down
in the corridor of his palace, ill at ease; for all his public
works were stopped by the sufferings of the Egyptians;
and his soldiers in the fourscore garrisons at On, and
Memphis, and Bubastis, and Migdol, were unfit for military
duty. There was not a well man in all Egypt, save
in Goshen.

“What now, ye disturbers of Egypt and enemies of
the gods?” he called aloud, as he saw them approach
and stand before him.

“Thus saith the Lord god of the Hebrews,” answered
Moses: “`Let my people go, that they may serve me.”'

“The same words! Thou shalt never have thy wish,—
thou nor thy God! Who is the Lord? Will no man
rid me of this Moses and Aaron? Speak! What more?”

“Thus saith the Lord, `If thou, O king, refusest to
let Israel go, I will send all my plagues upon thy heart,
and upon thy people, that thou mayest know that there
is none like me in all the earth! For this cause, O
Pharaoh, have I created thee and raised thee up on the
throne of Egypt, that in thee I may show my power;
and that by my dealings with thee, My name may be
declared throughout all the earth. All nations shall

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behold My works with thee, and My vengeance on thy
gods, and shall know that I am the Lord, and God of all
gods! Thou art My servant to show forth My glory!
Thy proud heart exaltest thyself above Me, and against
My people, and thou wouldst contend with Me! Thou
shalt know I am God, ere thou shalt be cut off from the
earth; and that the heavens are My throne, and the
earth is My footstool, and none can say, What doest Thou?
Behold, to-morrow I will darken the heavens with clouds,
and send hail upon the earth, and every man and beast
in the field shall die by the hail.' If thou regardest the
life of thy servants,” continued Moses, “send, therefore,
for all thou hast in the field.”

This threat was made known everywhere in a few
hours, and those who fear the word of the Lord have
made their servants and cattle flee into the houses prepared
for them; but those who regard not the warning
have left them in the field. What will to-morrow bring

Farewell, dear father.

Warned by Aaron, I depart at once for the sheltering
skies of Goshen.

Your loving son,
Remeses of Damascus.

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City of the Sun. My dear Father:

[figure description] Page 539.[end figure description]

Scarcely had I reached the confines of Goshen,
after the threatened judgment of God upon Pharaoh,
when I heard, as it were in the air, a voice speaking,
which I knew to be the voice of Moses; and behind me
I heard, instantly, loud thunders uttering their voices,
and the earth shook beneath my chariot-wheels. To the
right of me, at the same moment, I beheld Moses and
Aaron standing, side by side, on the tower of the ruined
fountain of Jacob, beneath which I was driving; the
former stretching forth his hands, and his rod therein,
northward towards the city of Pharaoh, upon the obelisks
of which the sun was then brilliantly shining, and
was also reflected in splendor from the shield of gold
upon the lofty tower of the temple of Osiris. Leaping
from my chariot, and leaving it with my servants, whom
I commanded to hasten further into the land of the
Hebrews, I drew reverently near the men of God, feeling
greatly awed by their presence, but assured that
near them was safety,—though they were the visible
sources of God's terrible wrath upon Egypt. I stood
not far off, and beheld, with expectation. Moses, his
rod extended, and waving eastward, and northward,

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and westward, stood with a majestic and fearful aspect,
his eyes raised to the heavens, which were already answering
his voice by far-off thunderings. He continued,
as I drew near, in these words:

“And let thunder, and hail, and fire, O Egypt, descend
out of heaven from God upon thee, and let the
fire mingle with the hail, and smite throughout all the
land of Egypt, all that is in the field, both man and
beast, and every herb in the field, and break every tree!
Only in the land of Goshen let there be no hail.”

No language, my dear father, can convey to you any
idea of the terrible power and godlike authority with
which he spake. To his words, Aaron pronounced a
loud “A-men,”—the Hebrew word for expressing full
assent and confirmation.

Then I looked, with expectant awe, towards the land
of Egypt, over which the thunders rolled without a
cloud; when, lo! from the north came rolling onward a
black wall of darkness, which I perceived was a mighty
cloud from the great sea. It advanced with the swiftness
and roar of ten thousand war-chariots rushing to
battle. Out of it shot forth lightnings, and its increasing
thunders shook Egypt. In a moment it had filled half
the heavens, and still onward it rolled. Beneath it moved
its shadow, dark as itself, extinguishing the light upon
obelisk, tower, and pylon. I am told that Pharaoh,
from the top of his palace, witnessed this scene also.
Directly the sun was blotted out, and the city of On
became invisible. Then I saw fire pour down upon the
earth out of the cloud, as if lightnings could not fast
enough exhaust its angry power; and I heard the voice
of falling hail like the voice of the sea when lashed by

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a storm. A million of Hebrews, who had gathered in
Goshen, stood and beheld what I did. The roads, the
fields, the plain were covered with people flying from
the terror towards Goshen.

Onward marched this awful servant of the Almighty,
more terrible than an army with banners. Fire ran
along the ground before it, and red forked lightnings
shot far out beyond its advancing edge athwart the
blue sky, while, in a moment afterwards, the cloud of
blackness rolled beneath, like the sulphurous smoke
that the priests of Egypt say forever rolls above the
fiery regions of Typhon!

Each instant it enlarged its compass, until from east to
west it enveloped Egypt, while fire, mingled with hail,
ran along the earth beneath it. Now behold, my father,
the power of God! The vast pall which Jehovah had
thus begun to draw over Egypt, no sooner had reached
in the height of heaven over the borders of Goshen,
casting its very shadow, and pouring its stones of hail,
and sending its tongues of fire almost to the foot of the
tower whereon Moses stood, than it ceased to move! It
became stationary in the air a mile high, and there
hung beetling over the verge of Goshen like a crag, its
edge working and agitated by the wildest commotion,
and shooting its lightnings into the blue calm sky over
Goshen, but restrained from advancing further by the
power of Him who commandeth the heavens, who
maketh the clouds His chariot, and who keepeth the
lightnings in His quiver!

At length the darkness became so dense, that it seemed
a wall, between Egypt and Goshen, from the ground
up to the cloud. Over the latter the sun,—oh, what a

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sublime contrast!—shone with unclouded brightness, the
winds slept peacefully, the fields waved with the ripened
flax and full-eared barley, the birds sang their songs
of gladness, and the children of God dwelt in security,
under the protection of His gentle love and terrible power.

Surely Pharaoh must perish if he dare any longer
madly to resist the God of the Hebrews, who has now
shown that He is God of heaven as well as of the earth,
and that He is God alone, and there is none else! If,
my dear father, your early instructions had not made
known to me the God of Noah, who is the God of the
Hebrews, I should, ere this last manifestation of His
awful majesty and terror, have prostrated myself before
Him and acknowledged Him as my God. Wonderful
that He, who dwells in heaven, should stoop to behold
things on the earth, and make such displays of His
glory, and majesty, and strength, for the sake of a poor,
enslaved people like the Hebrews. But, as the holy
Moses taught me the other day, when I was humbly
sitting at his feet, and hearing him discourse on these
mighty events (for which he takes to himself no honor
or merit, but only seems the more meek and lowly the
more he is intrusted with power by God), these displays
of God's majesty have a threefold end: first, to prove
to the trembling and heart-crushed Israelites that He
who is so terrible in power, doing wonders, is their God,
as He was the God of Abraham, and has power to deliver
them from Pharaoh; as well as to teach them that
if He can so punish the Egyptians, He can punish them
also, with equal judgments, if they rebel and do wickedly:
secondly, to punish Pharaoh for the oppression of
His people, to afflict the land upon which they have

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groaned so many generations, and to show the Egyptians
that He alone is God, that their gods are as stubble in
His hand, “that there is none like Him in all the earth;”
and thus bring them to acknowledge Him, and to fear
and worship Him: and, thirdly, that the word of His
mighty deeds and wonders done in Egypt, going abroad
to the ears of kings and princes, priests and lords, and
people of all nations upon the earth, may give them the
knowledge of the true God, prove to them the impotency
of their idols, and the supremacy of the God of the
Hebrews, in heaven, and on earth, and over kings and
people. “Therefore, and for these ends,” continued the
divine Moses, “that He might not leave Himself without
a witness before men, and that He might declare His
power to all His creatures, and His care for the oppressed,
and His judgment upon kings who reign by cruelty,
has He permitted, not only the bondage of our nation,
but raised up such a man as Pharaoh, in whom to show
forth His power and judgments, as He said to this king,
`And in very deed, for this cause have I raised thee up,
to show in thee my power, and that my Name may be
declared throughout all the earth.' Therefore did the
Lord God say to me in the beginning, when He sent me
before Pharaoh, `I am sure that the king of Egypt will
not let you go, no not until I stretch out my hand with
mighty power, and smite Egypt with all my wonders
which I will do; and after that he will let you go!' I
did not understand this all at the first,” said Moses;
“but now I perceive the mind of God, and that He will
do His will upon Pharaoh, and send yet more terrible
punishments; after which, humbled, and acknowledging
God to be the Lord, he will let the people go!”

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What a wonderful mystery is passing before us, O
my father! How dreadful is this God! How wonderful,
how glorious is His majesty! In His presence, and
before Him, what is man but dust, breath, vanity? I
humble myself before Him, and feel that I am a worm,
and no man! Yet Thothmeses, like a madman, stands
and defies this living God!

Not all the horror of the plague of hail and fire, of
the lightnings and thunderings, moved him to let Israel
depart. When the judgment of God was at its height
driven to the interior of his palace,—from the tower upon
which he had ascended “to see what Moses and Aaron
would do,” as he said,—he remained there three days,
until, unable longer to bear the terrors of the scene, and
the cries of his people, he sent for Moses and Aaron.
No messenger could be found to go but Israelisis, your
former page, who, since he returned to Egypt, is a servant
of the king, greatly devoted to him, and from
whom I have obtained much interesting information of
the effects of these divine judgments upon him. Three
couriers, one after the other, had been struck down by
the hail. But the Hebrew walked forth fearlessly and
unharmed, and moved through the showers of ice, as if
he bore a charmed life. This alone should have proved
the power of God to be with the Hebrew servant, and
against Pharaoh and his servants.

Moving through the darkness, amid the fire upon the
ground, and the hail and scalding rain, the man arrived,
and told Moses and Aaron that the king had repented,
and prayed them both to hasten to him, for he knew
their God would defend them from injury on the way.

The king is represented as having received the

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Hebrew brothers in his bath-room, with his physicians
around him, his face ghastly with fear, and anxiety, and
an indefinable dread. It is also said that his manner
was servile rather than humble, and that his speech was
mingled with lamentations and accusations. When they
entered, he said:

“It is enough, O men of God, it is enough! Entreat
the Lord your God for me, that there be no more mighty
thunderings and hail, and I will let you go, and without
any longer delay.”

As he spoke, the palace shook to its foundations, and
the water in the fountain swayed to and fro with violence,
as in an earthquake, while the hail, descending
with a great noise into the outer courts, was piled many
cubits in height against the columns, the sculptured
work of which, struck off in every exposed part, fell to
the earth mingled with the hail-stones.

“As soon as I am gone out of the city I will spread
abroad my hands unto the Lord,” said Moses, “and the
thunder shall cease, and the hail, that thou mayest know
how that the earth is the Lord's. But, O king, as for
thee and thy lords, I know that ye will not yet fear the
Lord God. Has He not mocked the power of your pretended
goddess, Isis, over the heavens, and seasons, and
winds? Who hath known a rain and hail in Egypt in
this month? or hath seen the winds blowing clouds
from the sea? God is God, and Isis is no god; or if a
god, where is her power? Entreat her to remove this
chamsin of heaven, such as earth never before felt upon
her bosom.”

“God is God, and entreat Him for me,” answered the
king, with a feeble gesture of impatience, doubtless

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humbled, and yet angry at being compelled to consent
to lose six hundred thousand working-men from the
mines and great works he is carrying on; for though he
fears the number of the Hebrews, he would rather retain
them, keeping them under by increased oppression,
than release them, and thereby be relieved from the
apprehensions to which their unparalleled increase has
given rise.

When Moses had left the city of On behind him, he
spread abroad his hands towards heaven unto his God;
and the thunders, and rain, and hail, and lightnings

Anticipating the removal of the judgment, I had been
standing for some hours by the tower and fountain of
Jacob. Suddenly the awful mass of ebony-black cloud,
which, for three days, had never ceased to utter its voices
of thunder, and send forth its lightnings, hail, and fire
upon the earth beneath, began to roll itself up, like a
seroll, towards the north. The thunder ceased. The
lightnings were no more visible. The hail fell no more.
And, as the cloud receded, the shadows upon the land—
now smitten and desolate—moved with it. Gradually
the whole landscape reappeared; first I saw the walls
of On, then its towers, then the obelisks caught the
light, and all at once the effulgent sun poured, from the
clear sky above it, the splendor of his beams, which the
shield of Osiris caught and again reflected with its former
brilliancy. Slowly, but with awful majesty, the
cloud of God's anger descended the horizon, and finally
disappeared in the north. And I thought that mayhap
its dark volume would be seen passing over the sea,
even from Tyre, to your consternation and wonder.

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What a scene of desolation the land presented when,
the next day, I returned to On! The fields of flax and
barley were smitten and consumed; the trees were
broken and stripped of their leaves, either by the five or
hail; the houses and villages of the plain were devastated;
in all the fields were dead corpses; and cattle
and horses which had escaped the former plague, or
been purchased from the Hebrews, were lying dead
everywhere with their herdsmen. Chariots and their
riders, overtaken in flight from On, lay upon the highways;
and death, desolation, and horror reigned!

Entering the city, I saw soldiers that had been struck
dead at their posts by the hail, still lying where they
fell; and the streets filled with the dead and wounded,
and with heaps of hail; while the sun shone down upon
a scene of universal wailing and woe!

I passed on to the palace of Pharaoh, my position and
rank having at all times given me free access to his presence.
I found him at a banquet, as for three days and
nights he had scarcely tasted food for terror and confusion,
neither he, nor his lords, nor servants. They were
feasting and drinking wine, and the king's face was
flushed with strong drink; for, seizing the present
moment of security, he revelled, striving to forget the
past terrors. As I entered, his singers were singing a
hymn to his gods; and when it was ended, Pharaoh,
with his cup in his hand, cursed the God of the Hebrews
who had sent such terrors upon his land, for hitherto
he had said it was the gods of Egypt who had done
these things, forced thereto by the powerful enchantments
of the Hebrew brothers.

I turned away from his hall, refusing to go in, when

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Moses and Aaron passed me, and entered his presence.
Upon seeing them, Pharaoh's heart was hardened against
them and their God, and he and his lords rose up in fear
and anger.

“Are ye come again before me, ye Hebrews?” he
cried, in his wrath and wine. “I will not let Israel go!
Not a foot nor hoof shall stir from the land! I have
sworn it by the life of Pharaoh, and by the gods of

Then Moses answered the king, and said—

“Thus saith the Lord God of the Hebrews, O Pharaoh:
`Let my people go! How long wilt thou refuse
to humble thyself before me? Let my people go, that
they may serve me; else on the morrow will I bring the
locusts into thy coasts, and they shall cover the face of
the earth, and devour what remaineth in the field, and
shall fill thy houses, and the houses of all the Egyptians,
even as hath not been upon the earth unto this day!”'

“We have seen locusts in Egypt, O Hebrew, and fear
them not,” answered Pharaoh, with a laugh of derision.
“Go tell your God that Pharaoh and his gods defy Him
and His locusts!”

Then Moses turned himself, and went out from Pharaoh.
But the lords of Egypt feared, and said unto
their king—

“How long shall this man be a snare unto us and the
evil destiny of Egypt? Let the men of the Hebrews
go, that they may serve their mighty and dreadful God,
as He commandeth them. Knowest thou not, O king,
that Egypt is destroyed; and the locusts will destroy the
wheat and the rye which are just bursting out of the
ground, and the leaves that are putting forth?”

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Then Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron, who had
not yet reached the gate of the palace, and when they
again stood before him, he said—

“For the sake of these, and for Egypt's sake, which
thy sorcery has nearly destroyed, I yield to thy demand,
not because I fear thy God. Go, serve the Lord your
God; but who are they that shall go?”

And Moses answered, and said firmly and fearlessly—

“We will go with our young and with our old, with
our sons and with our daughters; with our flocks and
with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto
the Lord, and a sacrifice unto our God.”

Then Pharaoh answered, in great anger—

“Let the Lord look to you, not to me, for his sacrifices,
as if I will let you go, and your little ones, that
you may feast to Him! Look to it! Provoke not my
wrath, for evil is before you! Ask not so. Go now, ye
that are men and serve the Lord, since that is what ye
ask! Now leave my presence! Ye are become the
curse of Egypt. What! Do ye linger to ask more?
Drive the men forth from the palace!”

The guards followed for some paces, but drew not
near them for fear; and with calm dignity of demeanor,
the divine brothers went out of the palace, and left the
city. When we had departed from the presence of
Pharaoh—for I had joined their holy companionship—
he stretched forth his rod over the land eastward,
and invoked the new judgment of God that he had
threatened. Immediately a strong east wind arose, and
blew all that day, and all the night, each hour increasing;
and in the morning, when I waked at a great cry
of the people, I looked forth, and beheld the heavens

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dark with a strange aspect, wholly unlike a cloud, yet
moving like one, or, rather, like a great ocean-wave rolling
along the sky. It was attended in its approach, which
was from the direction of the Arabian Sea, by a confused
humming, like the wind sweeping through the tall
cedars on Libanus. As it drew near, it covered half the
heavens, and appeared many hundred feet in thickness,
the lower surface being not far from the earth. I soon
perceived, from the cries around me, that it was the
threatened plague of locusts coming upon Egypt, loosed
from the open palm of God's hand. My position was at
a window in the house of Aaron, and not far from the
line between Goshen and the rest of Egypt. I saw them,
as they passed over the plains, and fields, and city, and
villages, descend in showers like flakes of snow, hundreds
and thousands at a time, until the whole earth was
brown with them. Thus the flight continued all that
day, and all night, and all the next day and next night,—
an endless cloud, darkening the sun by day and the
stars by night. The surface of Egypt seemed agitated
and alive like the sea after a storm, restless, and in continual
motion in every part; while the noise made by
the wings of the locusts was incessant,—a monotone
awful to hear, without variation or diminution, till the
ear became weary of hearing, and in vain sought relief
from the deep, angry bass of this voice of vengeance of
the Hebrews' God! In crossing the Nile, myriads fell
into it, and covered its surface,—galleys, barges, men,
and sails; and the water was defiled by their presence.
At noon-day there was a dreadful twilight prevailing,
for the beams of the sun could not penetrate this living
cloud. They covered the whole face of Egypt, and

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their voracity left not a bud, or leaf, or any green thing
on the trees, which were just putting out again; or in
the herbs of the field, which had sprung up since
the hail; for much seed was in the ground, which
came up after the hail, only to be destroyed by the

Then the people, in despair, besieged the palace of
Pharaoh with great cries. Though the Egyptians regard
their king as their priest, and as a god, and are
proverbially submissive to his will and power, they had
now lost all fear, being driven to despair by this last
plague. Nothing but famine and death were before
them, and their wives, and little ones! Pharaoh also
became alarmed at the endless power of the God of the
Hebrews! He had long since given his magicians,
Jambres and Jannes, to death, because they failed to
keep pace with Moses and Aaron, and he evidently felt
that this was the power of a God he could no longer
compete with. He therefore sent for Moses and Aaron
in haste. When they came into his presence they beheld
him in a closed room, lighted by the seven golden
lamps which Osirtasen captured from the king of Nineveh;
for the locusts made it necessary to close every
shutter, and turn day into night, in every house. He
was reclining upon a lounge covered with Tyrian purple,
and adorned with needle-work; and was surrounded
by the ladies of his palace, who were imploring him, as
the Hebrew brothers entered, to let Israel go! Even
his son, the careless and gay Prince Amunophis, was
kneeling before him, and urging him to abide by his
resolution, to grant the demand of the God of the Hebrews.
When he beheld the tall and majestic persons

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of Moses and Aaron enter, he rose from his couch, and

“I have sinned against the Lord your God, and
against you. Now, therefore, O Moses and Aaron, forgive,
I pray thee, my sin only this once, and entreat the
Lord your God that He may take away from me this
death only!”

This confession seemed to be made with a certain
frankness and sincerity, and a show of deep humility;
and Moses answered—

“The Lord forgive thee, according to what is in thy
heart. I will entreat the Lord for thee, and the plague
shall be removed from thee and thy people.”

Then Moses went out from the presence of Pharaoh;
and when he had come into Goshen he ascended the
tower of Jacob, and entreated the Lord for Pharaoh.
Immediately the cloud of locusts became tossed as with
a whirlwind; and the wind, changing from the east to
the west, blew strongly, and pressed back the mass of
locust-clouds, sweeping those that were on the earth into
the air, and rolling the whole body of winged creatures
eastward. This wind blew all night, and all the next
day, and the next night, a mighty wind, and on the following
morning not a living locust was visible in all the
coasts of Egypt.

Moses now sent messengers all through Egypt, calling
upon the children of Israel to leave whatever they might
be occupied in, and assemble themselves in the land of
Goshen, with their wives, and children, and flocks, and
all that they had. He had previously sent men into
Upper Egypt and to the mines; and, what is wonderful,
the Hebrews in the mines were permitted to go

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forth from thence by their keepers, for the fear of Moses
had reached their ears, and they gladly let them go!
The messengers whom Moses now sent everywhere,
from Migdol to Syene, were Hebrews, and were nowhere
molested as they went; for a fear and reverence
of them, as the people of the mighty God of Moses, had
taken the place, in the minds of the great body of the
Egyptians, of their former contempt: nay, every one
was willing to do them a kindness.

Now, my dear father, you are prepared to read that
Pharaoh, according to his word, permitted the children
of Israel to depart from his dominions. But Thothmeses
IV. is no ordinary man! Probably, such a character as
his is unknown in the history of kings. Such a union
of opposite qualities is rarely encountered in one individual.
Superstitious, yet sacrilegious! cowardly, yet
braving death! faithful to his oath to his gods, yet a
perjurer of himself to men! tender-hearted as a woman
to his own children and family, yet cruel as a tiger and
relentless as a lion to the Hebrews and their little ones!
Treacherous, sycophantic, malicious, and ironical, he is
twofold in speech, and double-minded in secret intention;
he promises when in danger, and revokes his word
in security! Despising his foes, yet fearing them, he
flatters, smiles upon, and deceives them! Trembling
under judgment, he denies his terrors when they are
past! convinced of the truth, yet opposing it! confessing
the power of God, yet defying it! These qualities,
God, who reads the character in the heart, saw in Pharaoh,
and knew from the beginning what he would do,
and how he would receive Moses, far better than we
can know how our well-known friends would act under

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supposed circumstances. It was perhaps, therefore, on
account of the peculiar character of this Pharaoh, that
God chose the time and the man for showing His power,
glory, majesty, and terror to Egypt, to Israel, and to the
world! Under such a queen as Amense, or such a
prince as the mild Thothmeses II., the first miracle of the
serpent swallowing the rods of the magicians, would
have drawn their consent to let Israel go. Where then
would have been the manifestation of the power of God,
that the earth is now witnessing with awe and fear?
God, therefore, knowing what was in the man, chose
this Pharaoh as the person in whom, through the natural
agency of his obdurate heart, He might make manifest
His name as the God of heaven and earth, whose power
neither man nor gods can resist. Thus Pharaoh, unwittingly,
through the perversity of his own will, and
the instability of his character, is actually carrying out
God's ultimate designs, glorifying Him in His greatness,
and drawing forth these stupendous manifestations of
His Almighty power over earth, and air, and skies!
Yet is he no less guilty before God; for he does not
intend His glory, but, on the contrary, denies and defies
Him in its every successive manifestation!

Pharaoh, therefore, did not stand to his word now,
dear father. When left to himself, he forgot all that had
gone before, and sent word to Moses and Aaron not to
attempt to remove the Hebrews, as he would not let
them go; for Egypt was devastated, and nearly ruined
in every part, and he must first have the labors of the
Hebrews to restore the dikes and canals, and the terraces
and gardens of the lakes, and then he would let
them go.

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Then Moses and Aaron went at noonday and sought
the Lord as aforetime, in the silence and loneliness of
the well of Jacob, where they ever prayed unto Him,
and where He spake unto them all the words He commanded
them to speak before Pharaoh. And when they
had ended their prayers and supplications before their
great and terrible God, whose name they never spake
but with the profoundest awe, the Lord said unto Moses:

“Stretch forth thine hand towards heaven, that there
may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness
that may be felt.”

Obeying the command, Moses ascended the tower of
Jacob, and stretched forth his hand towards heaven.

Then followed a scene, my dear father, of solemn terror.
The atmosphere became the color of blood. The
sun disappeared as if extinguished. A thick and instant
darkness fell upon the earth. The birds ceased their
songs; the cattle lowed; the wail of Egypt went up
in one great cry! Though On is several miles distant,
the cry of the city reached the ears of the children of
Israel in Goshen. But with them all was light, and joy,
and beauty. The sun shone; there was light in every
dwelling; the birds sang; the green harvests waved in
the joyous sunshine; the verdant fields and leafy trees
danced in the soft breeze; for no plague had come nigh
the Hebrews, their fields, foliage, or dwellings. The
darkness stood, like a great wall of black mist rising
high as heaven, between Goshen and Egypt.

Its sudden descent upon Egypt caught the Egyptians
on the road, in the fields, upon the Nile, in the streets,
temples, and palaces, as they chanced to be; and where
it fell upon them, there they were compelled to remain

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No flame could burn in the thick, black fog, which felt
slimy to the touch. I would have entered it for a moment
after touching it, but Aaron warned me not to
tempt God; that safety was alone in the sunlight of
Goshen. Out from the black abyss came, now and then,
a fearful cry of some desolate wayfarer, and the Hebrews
answered kindly back, and so by their shouts
directed the wanderer in the darkness how to move towards
the light. During this darkness, the Hebrews,
by the command of Moses, were collecting their flocks,
and preparing to depart to sacrifice to their God: also,
those who had not been circumcised now received the

This horrible night continued without change—without
moon or star to lend it a ray—until the third day,
when Pharaoh, unable longer to hold out in this unequal
combat against God, sent two Hebrews, born in his
house, to Moses; for only the Hebrew could walk
through this night of God as in the light. Without a
word of impatience or doubt, Moses and Aaron rose up
and disappeared in the awful veil of darkness, in response
to the summons of the king. No sooner did Pharaoh
behold them, than he cried out, in a voice of mingled
complaint and condescension—

“Go ye, Moses and Aaron, ye and yours, only let
your flocks and herds stay in the land; for hast thou
not destroyed,” he added with bitterness, “whatsoever
parteth the hoof in all the land of Egypt? Your little
ones may also go with you.” This was spoken in a tone
of condescension.

And Moses answered and said:

“Thou must suffer our flocks and herds to go with us,

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O king, that we may have sacrifices and burnt-offerings
wherewith to sacrifice unto the Lord our God. Our
cattle, therefore, must also go with us. There shall not a
hoof be left behind.”

When Pharaoh heard Moses speak thus firmly and
boldly to him, abating nothing from his first demand,
he seemed to lose his reason with rage. Casting his
sceptre from his hand at the two brothers, he cried—

“Get ye from me, ye destroyers and curse of Egypt!
Take heed to thyself, O Moses, and see my face no more,
for in that day thou seest my face thou shalt die!”

Then Moses answered, with calm and severe majesty:

“Thou hast spoken well, O Pharaoh. I will see thy
face no more. But hear thou the word of the Lord,
which, knowing thy heart, He hath spoken unto me to
say now before thee: `I will bring yet one plague more
upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt. About midnight will
I go out into the midst of Egypt, and all the first-born
in the land of Egypt shall die, from the first-born of
Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the first-born
of the maid-servant that is behind the mill; and all
the first-born of beasts: and all these thy servants shall
bow down themselves unto me, saying—“Get thee out,
and all the people that follow thee; and thy lords, and
high captains, and governors, and great men, and all who
serve thee, shall come down to me, to urge me to go
forth out of Egypt: after that I will go out.”' These,
O king, are the words of the Lord against thee. Thou
hast cast thy sceptre at my feet. As I step my foot
upon it, so shall the Lord place his foot upon Egypt!”

Thus speaking, Moses went out from Pharaoh in great
anger. As he left the palace, the Egyptians prostrated

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themselves before him, and sought his favor, and some
cried, “He is a god! Let this god, who is mightier
than Osiris and greater than Serapis, be our god!”

“But Moses sternly rebuked them,” said Aaron, who
related to me all that had passed, “and felt deeply
grieved and humbled at so great a sin, and called upon
them to worship God in heaven, whose servant only he
was, with no power in himself to do these wonders
which they had witnessed.”

Farewell, my dear father. My next letter, without
doubt, will convey to you the victory of the Lord God
over Pharaoh and his gods, and the deliverance of the
Hebrows from their bondage.

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

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Written in the Wilderness of Arabia, by the Sea. My dear Father:

[figure description] Page 559.[end figure description]

The events which have transpired since I last
wrote to you, mock my pen by their sublimity and infinite
grandeur. Upon a rock for a tablet, the desert
around me, the Sea of Edom before me, I desire to record,
while they are vivid in my memory, the stupendous
scenes of the past six days. The millions of Israe.
have come forth out of Egypt! The Sea of Suphim
is between them and the land of their bondage! But
I have so much to write, such wonders to relate, that
I will not anticipate your curiosity, but proceed to
send you a narrative of each event in due order. Let
all the earth say that the Lord God of the Hebrews is
the only God: besides Him there is no God!

The day that Moses and Aaron departed from the
presence of Pharaoh-Thothmeses, in truth to see his face
no more, the Lord commanded them to call together the
elders and people of the Hebrews, and instruct them to
take a male lamb, or a kid without blemish, one to each
household, keep it till the fourteenth day of the month,
which day was just at hand, and kill it on the evening

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thereof, sprinkling, with a bunch of hyssop, the lintel and
door-posts of their houses dipped in its blood, and roasting
the flesh, eat it at night, leaving none until morning.
“And ye shall eat it,” said the Lord, “in haste, with
your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your
staff in your hand; for it is the Lord's passover, who
will the same night pass through the land of Egypt, and
smite all the first-born of the land of Egypt, both man
and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute
judgment! I am the Lord: and this day shall be a
memorial to you forever.”

Then Moses did as the Lord commanded. Moreover,
on the day of the night on which the lamb, that had
been selected from the flocks three days before, was to
be slain, he said to the elders of Israel, whom he called,
together, “Thus saith the Lord your God, `Let none of
you go out at the door of his house until the morning;
for this night the Lord will pass through to smite the
Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the
lintel, and on the two side-posts, the Lord will pass over
the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in
unto your houses to smite you.”' There were also other
ordinances of bread unleavened established, which bread
they were commanded to eat for seven days, at the “feast
of unleavened bread.”

And when Moses had proclaimed these and other
ordinances, the people bowed their heads and worshipped
God, and said they would do all that the Lord had commanded
Moses and Aaron to say unto them.

Then, my dear father, followed a scene of the deepest
interest! It was three millions of people preparing
to break their bondage of generations, and to go forth

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from under the cruel sceptre of the king of Egypt forever.
The mighty miracles of Moses had, long since,
silenced the murmurs and doubts of the elders, openly
uttered at the beginning, when Pharaoh in revenge
against Moses and Aaron, increased their burdens,
and denied them straw for their bricks. At each successive
miracle they had gained confidence in their
powerful advocate before Pharaoh; and when they saw
that he could not be equalled by the magicians, they
became vain and proud of him, whom before they had
condemned; and waited, with wonder and expectation,
their mighty deliverence. At the occurrence of the
sixth miracle they threw up all work, and no Egyptian
had the heart to say, “Go to your tasks!” for they saw
that God was with them. Thus from all parts of Egypt,
drawn by curiosity, hope, wonder, and a desire to behold
this mighty leader whom God had raised up, they flocked
to Goshen, until the land was filled with their vast numbers!
The houses and huts could not contain them, and
they slept by thousands in the fields, and by the wayside.
When they perceived that the darkness, and the
locusts, and the hail approached not their land, the most
timid and desponding took courage, and lifted their
voices to the God of their fathers, in hope and gratitude.
Indeed, after the awful plague of darkness, thousands of
the most ignorant Hebrews shouted that he was a god,
and the Egyptians of all classes were ready to acknowledge
him as Osiris or Thoth! And in some of the
temples, the day after the darkness passed, the priests
waved incense to Osiris by the name of Musæusiris, or
Osiris-Moses: and, I doubt not, divine honors will be
paid him in Egypt for generations to come! Yet this

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mighty servant of God moves among the people, as
unassuming and self-forgetful as the humblest of his
brethren, quietly giving his directions for the greatest
movement earth was ever to behold—a nation marching
in one day from bondage to freedom!

I moved in and out, everywhere among them. There
was a strange joy lighting up every face. Old men
looked calm and happy; young men were noisy with
hope; maidens were full of joy; mothers smiled with
delight, as they clasped their babes to their bosoms, in
the certainty that they would not grow up in servitude
to Pharaoh. All eyes were turned to Moses and Aaron,
as they passed to and fro, and many fell on their knees,
and worshipped them; while others shouted, as the only
way they could express their emotions. How must the
heart of the servant of God have swelled with gratitude
to his Creator, as he beheld the happiness around him!
And how deeply he must have realized his responsibility,
as he reflected that the hopes of three millions of people,
whom he had assembled in Goshen, with the promise of
deliverance from the sceptre of Pharaoh, hung upon his
single arm, but which was, for the time, the arm of

With what emotions of awe and expectation did the
children of Israel, each at the door of his house, prepare
to slay the chosen lamb, and sprinkle its blood on the
side-posts and lintel! To them it was the command of
Moses simply, and beyond that none knew the significance.
It was a beautiful and serene evening. The
sun had filled the skies with golden atoms, and the
horizon was tinged with commingled emerald, blue, and
orange colors, fused into an atmosphere of ineffable

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glory. It seemed as if the presence of the God of the
Hebrews was in His skies, beholding His people! At
the given hour, being the ninth of the day, a hundred
thousand sacrificial knives—held in the hands of the men
of a whole nation, which became, for the moment, a
nation of priests to God—flashed in the sun, and the
blood of the victims, pouring upon the land of Goshen,
consecrated it as the altar where the God of the Hebrews
first received the national worship of His people,
and their recognition of Him as their God.

Then, with hyssop dipped in a basin of the blood,
each man sprinkled the door-posts, and cross-piece of
the entrance of his house, in behalf of all who either
should dwell in it, or who, being stranger-brethren,
came from other parts of Egypt, and could enter no
house for the throngs, yet were numbered with some
one household: as, for instance, the house of Aaron's
father-in-law, which could hold but thirty people,
had on its list three hundred and seventy names,
as its household,—all brethren from other provinces;
for Goshen was now like a mighty camp. There were
besides, hovering about the confines of Goshen, and
even mingling with the Hebrews, thousands of Egyptian
families, who, flying from the terror of the Lord in
Egypt, had sought safety near the Hebrews, and under
the wing of the God who had protected them,—hoping
to share their safety. Many of these brought their substance
with them—their rich apparel, their gold, and
jewels, and silver—hoping, therewith, to purchase the
favor of their once despised, and now dreaded, bondmen.

How, my dear father, shall I record the events of the

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night that followed the death of the lambs! As the sun
went down, the Hebrews, with awe, retired within their
dwellings, and closed the doors. Mothers, with anxious
haste, drew in their first-born. Even many of the hapless
Egyptians, who had heard of the command to the
Hebrews, chose a lamb and slew it—their hands trembling,
and hearts sinking between hope and fear—and
sprinkled the door-posts of their wretched places of
shelter, if, peradventure, the great and terrible God of
the Hebrews would, in the coming night of His vengeance
upon Pharaoh, seeing the blood, pass them by, and
spare their first-born also.

At length a silence, like that which forever reigns in
the heart of the pyramids, reigned throughout Goshen.
Not an eye was closed in all Israel, during those first
hours of dread watching for the first sound abroad of
God's coming down upon Egypt. I remained up, in the
house of the venerable Aminadab, the father-in-law of
Aaron. Elisiba, the wife of Aaron, with her arm around
her eldest son Nadab, a fine young man, held him firmly
by her side. Aaron and Moses were apart, in a room by
themselves, engaged in low conversation, or in solemn
prayer. No other sound was heard, but the voice of this
wonderful man talking, as if face to face with his God.

Suddenly, at midnight, a bright light from heaven
shone above the dwelling, and from it went forth a glory
which filled the land of Goshen with its beams. I stood,
at the moment, in the court, and fell with my face to
the earth; for I knew that it was the presence of God.
At length Moses touched me, and said—

“Fear not! Rise and behold the glory of God, that
when thou shalt return and sit upon thy throne, thou

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mayest teach thy people that the God of the Hebrews
is the God of heaven and earth! For thy sake, as well as
for Israel, and Pharaoh, and the Egyptians, and all the
nations who shall hear of this, are these wonders and
judgments done; that Pharaoh, and all kings, and the
whole earth, may know who is the Lord, and worship
only Him!”

I arose, and lo! in the height of heaven I beheld a
column, or pillar of fire, the base of which was above
the roof of the house, and the summit thereof in the
region of clouds. It was in the form of a Hebrew staff,
with a bar of light across it near its top, upon which
seemed to be a crown of glory, shooting forth thorns of
light and splendor. In this cloud, or pillar of light,
there seemed to stand a form like that of a man, but
resplendent with ineffable radiance, and I covered my
face and worshipped. When I looked again, the dazzling
vision, if such it were, was in motion towards
Egypt, and the city of On. As it moved, it lighted up
the whole earth. When it came over the city of the
Sun, a sword seemed to be drawn by the man who stood
in the pillar of fire, and I beheld it sweep over the palace
of Pharaoh, and strike. Then, with the swiftness
and dazzling gleam of lightning, it turned every way
over Egypt, till I could not, dared not behold longer,
and bowed my head, veiling my eyes, and adoring.

Then we heard, even in Goshen, a cry as from the
living heart of Egypt, as if every mother in the vast
cities of On and Memphis, and the hundred surrounding
villages, had lifted her voice in one prolonged, dreadful
wail of woe.

I knew what that cry meant, and trembled in silent

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awe. I prostrated myself before God and cried for

At length the sword was drawn back by the hand of
the man in the pillar of cloud, and the shining column
returned and stood over the house where Moses and
Aaron remained; a calm, lambent light, soft as moonbeams,
being now emitted from it, instead of the angry
splendor with which it shone before.

One or more hours passed, and two horsemen, riding
like the wind, entered Goshen and cast themselves upon
the ground at the feet of Moses and Aaron. They were
couriers from Pharaoh.

“My lords,” cried one of them, pale and trembling
with fear and haste, after he had risen from his prostration,
“the king hath sent us to thee, and these are the
words he hath commanded us to say: `Rise up, Moses
and Aaron, and get you forth from among my people,
and from Egypt, both ye and the children of Israel, and
go and serve the Lord as ye have said. Take your
flocks, and your herds, and all that ye have, and be
gone; and pray your dreadful God for me, that He may
bless me also, for He hath slain my son!”'

Then came, while he was yet speaking, a large company
of lords, and high officers, and great men of Egypt,
whose sons the wrath of God had slain (for there was
not a house in Egypt where there was not one dead,
from the first-born of Pharaoh that sat upon the throne,
to the first-born of the captive that was in the dungeon),
and they were urgent upon Moses and Aaron, and the
Hebrew people, imploring them, with tears and supplications,
to hasten from the land, with all they had, and
to make all haste.

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Then Moses, as soon as it was day, sent word throughout
all Israel to prepare to go forth out of Egypt that
day. He directed the people to take all the jewels, and
gold, and silver, and raiment, which the Egyptians were
forcing upon them to bribe them to hasten; “for,” he
said, “it is yours, as the Lord hath commanded you to
spoil the Egyptians, for whom ye have labored without
wages. It is the Lord's gift to you from those whom
He would spoil, and whose lives He has spared to them.”

Now followed a spectacle of wonderful interest and
sublimity. As if moved by one spirit, Israel marshalled
itself into companies of hundreds, and these into bands
of thousands, and these into mighty divisions of tribes,
so that by noon there were twelve separate armies of
God, ready to march at the voice of Moses. The whole
plain of Goshen, as far as the eye could see from the
tower of Jacob, was covered with their mighty hosts.
Each tribe had its women, and little ones, and flocks
and herds within its own square. They waited now for
the signal to move forward, every man with his loins
girded, his shoes on his feet, and his staff in his hand,
their bread unbaked in their kneading-troughs, and their
persons laden with the jewels and gifts which the urgent
Egyptians had forced upon them, either that they might
see their faces no more, or from fear, or in the hope to
be blessed by their Lord God for these favors: for so
the Lord, to whom the gold and silver of the earth belong,
had disposed their hearts towards the Hebrews.

Then, at the going down of the sun, Moses gave the
signal for this mighty march. There were no trumpets
sounding, no military display of banners and spears;
but they moved to their own tread, which seemed to

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shake the earth. They came on in columns, a thousand
men abreast, and marched past the tower of Jacob, on
which Moses stood, with Aaron by his side, the miraculous
rod in his hand. When the van of this army of Jehovah,
terrible in its strength, came up with the tower, the
white cloud of the Presence of Jehovah (which, all day,
had stood in the air like a snow-white cloud, immovable
and wonderful to behold), advanced, as if borne upon a
gentle wind, and placed itself before the host. Night
came on ere half the divisions had passed by where Moses
stood; and, as the sun went down, never more to rise
upon Israel in Egypt, the Pillar of Cloud became a Pillar
of Fire, and shed a glory over the innumerable armies
of Israel equal to the splendor of day.

It was midnight ere the last tribe had passed by with
its face to the desert. Then Moses and Aaron descended,
and I kneeled before them, and asked if I might be permitted
to go out of Egypt with the Lord's people, and
continue to behold the power of God. Moses answered
me with benignity, and said I should be with him as a
son, that I might see the wonders of Jehovah, and make
known in Phœnicia His glory and power.

While he was speaking, a mixed multitude of Egyptians,
Nubians, slaves, captives of Egypt, and of all
those persons who hoped to be blessed and benefited
with Israel, fell to the ground before Moses, and entreated
him to suffer them to go up to the new land to
which he was going. Moses granted them, without
hesitation, their prayer.

Then I learned that those among the Egyptians who
had, in obedience to the command of Moses, sprinkled
their own door-posts, escaped like the Israelites, for it

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was the sign of the blood of obedience alone, that the
angel of the Lord regarded; on the other hand, several
Israelitish families saw their first-born perish, they having
neglected to obey the command of Moses, from avarice
or indifference, or doubt of the intention of God, or
supposing that being Israelites would save their households.

And here, my dear father, let me make known to you
that I have learned from Aaron the significance of this
sign; for God having made known to him that “he is
to become the high-priest, as Moses is the leader, of his
people, has revealed to him that the slaying of the
lamb is a type of a divine and innocent Person, who
shall come down from God, and one day be sacrificed.
Earth, as the antitype of Egypt, is to be the altar of this
future stupendous sacrifice. And as by the blood of a
lamb, and the death of the first-born, Israel is delivered
from Egypt, so by the blood of the Lamb, the
first-born of God, shall the whole of mankind who look
to his blood be finally delivered from this earth, and
from Satan its Pharaoh, and be led by God into a
heaven above the skies, a land of eternal happiness and
peace, to dwell there till the end of ages.”

Is not this a sublime doctrine? Is God, then, making
with Israel, an outline of what He is to perform with the
whole earth? Shall we escape this world-broad Egypt,
and under a divine leader like Moses, by the blood of
the mysterious Lamb of God, be led to another world?
I have but indistinct knowledge, my dear father, of all
this; but have learned enough to make my heart bound
with joy. For in this enlarged conception of the wonderful
theme, you and I, and all in the whole earth,—

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who shall look to the God of Israel, and by foresight
of faith trust in the sprinkling of the blood of the
Lamb upon the threshold of our hearts,—are also of
Israel; their God is our God; their land of heaven
our land of promise also! Oh, who can fathom the
wisdom, and goodness, and love, and power of God!
To His name be glory, majesty, dominion, and worship
from all nations! Before Him let kings fall down, and
princes prostrate themselves, and every knee of all
people, nations, kindred, and tongues, be bent; for He
is the Lord of heaven and earth, and besides Him there
is no God!

Also, my dear father, Moses, whose lips ever distil
celestial wisdom, was graciously pleased, on the night
before the death of the first-born, as he walked to and
fro in the court of the house of Aminadab, to reveal to
me the divine aim in sending such miracles as He did
upon Egypt, instead of any others. I listened with
wonder and increased awe, and, if I may so express it,
redoubled admiration of the wisdom and justice of God.

Said the holy Hebrew and sage, “The Egyptians have
ever believed, that the jugglery and magic arts, in which
their magicians and priests of mysteries display such
astonishing proficiency, are actual miracles, exhibiting
the power of their deities, and their co-operation with
their priests to enable them to do these deceptions.
Miracles, therefore (or magic), were regarded by them
as acts of their idols. It became necessary that the
Lord God of the Hebrews should manifest Himself
and His power by miracles also; and not only this,
but that the miracles which He performed should be
of such a character as to distinguish them from the

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jugglery of the magicians, and at once convince the
Egyptians that they proceeded from a Being omnipotent
over their idols, and show the Israelites themselves, who
had almost forgotten God, that the author of such
mighty miracles as they beheld, must be the only living
and true God of the earth and skies. Now, my
dear Remeses,” he continued, “if you will give heed to
my words for a few moments, you will perceive how
perfectly fitted the ten miracles which God performed
in the sight of Pharaoh, Egypt, and Israel, were to destroy
their faith in the gods of Egypt, and make known
the true God as the only Deity to be feared and worshipped
by men.

“At first, in conformity with the Divine purpose, the
strength of the magicians was brought out and fairly
measured with my own, as God's servant, inspired by
Him, for of myself I did nothing. Unless this trial of
skill had been made, both the Egyptians and doubting
Israelites would have said that I derived my power
from their gods (for they would not forget I had been
an Egyptian and knew their mysteries), and God would
not have been honored. But when the royal magicians
appeared in the name of the gods of Egypt, lo! the God
of heaven was shown not only to be superior to their
sorcerers by His miracles, but, as you will perceive,
hostile to their idolatrous worship. The observers of
both sides were permitted not only to distinguish the
power of God from the inferior arts of the magicians
of Egypt, but are led to withdraw with us, as is the
case with tens of thousands who seek to follow us
from Goshen,—their confidence in the protection and
power of their gods being utterly destroyed. Observe

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now, my dear prince, the direction taken by the miracles.

“The first one, which confirmed my authority and
mission to Pharaoh, destroyed the serpents. This was
the first assault of the Almighty upon the gods and
sacred animals and things of Egypt; for you are aware
of the temple of the sacred Uræus, where the serpent is
worshipped. The serpent of the rod of God destroying
the serpents of the Egyptians, showed Pharaoh that his
gods could not live, or save themselves in the presence
of the servant of the true God. Thus the serpent form
taken by the rod was not merely an arbitrary shape;
there was profound design concealed thereunder.

“The Nile is held sacred, revered as a god by the
Egyptians, and the fish they regard as holy. Its waters
supply all Egypt with a drink which they quaff with
reverence and pleasure, believing that a healing virtue
dwells in its waves. Changed to blood, and its fish becoming
putrid, they loathed their god and fled from his
banks with horror.

“The next miracle—of frogs—was also directed against
a god of the Egyptians and the worship of these unclean
animals. He was made to become their curse; and as
they dared not kill them, being sacred, they became to
them a terror and a disgust unspeakable.

“The miracle which followed was directed against
their priests and temples; for, by the laws of the forty-two
books, no one could approach the altars upon which
so impure an insect harbored; and the priests, to guard
against such an accident, wore white linen, and shaved
their heads and bodies every other day. The severe nature
of this miracle, as aimed against the religious rites

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and altar-services of the Egyptians, you will perceive.
So keenly did the magicians feel this, and foresee how
it would close every temple in Egypt, that they were
forced to exclaim, in my presence—

“`This is the finger of God!'

“The succeeding and fifth miracle was designed to
destroy the confidence of the Egyptians in their god of
flies, Baal-zebul. This god had the reputation of protecting
Egypt from the swarms of flies which, at certain
seasons, infest the air throughout all Egypt. The inability
of the magicians who were sent for by Pharaoh
to remove them, showed that the Lord God was more
powerful than their fly-god, and thus led them to look
upon their own idol with contempt.

“The miracle which destroyed their cattle was aimed
at Apis, and Mnevis, and Amun, the ram-headed god of
Thebes, and at the entire system of their worship of animals.
Thus, by this one act of power, the Lord Jehovah
vindicated His own honor, and destroyed their confidence
in their idols, and the very existence of their

“When, by the command of God, I took ashes from
the altar of human sacrifices, and sprinkled it towards
heaven, as did their priests, to avert evil, and evil came
in the shape of the boil, God taught them, that what
they trusted to, He could make against them, and out of
their idolatrous rites bring a curse upon them and upon

“The eighth miracle,” continued Moses, while I gave
ear to his words with wondering attention, “was directed
at the worship of Isis, as the moon, and controller
of the seasons, and clouds, and weather. When the

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hail and the rain, the lightning and thunder, was brought
by God upon the land, and all the prayers to Isis failed
to stay the fearful tempest of His wrath, it should have
convinced Pharaoh of the folly of his idolatry, and taught
the people not to put their trust in an idol that could not
help them against the power of the God of the Hebrews.

“The miracle which followed, was directed against
the adoration and rites of Serapis, and his whole gorgeous
system of worship; for the Egyptians saw that the
god who was regarded as their peculiar protector against
the destructive power of locusts, was impotent to remove
the cloud of these voracious insects, which God
brought upon them from the sea; and that only when
Pharaoh entreated God, were they removed.

“The last miracle was aimed at the universal worship
of Osiris, or the Sun. It was intended to teach Pharaoh
and the Egyptians, and also Israel, that the God of
the Hebrews was superior to their `lord of the sun,'
and that He could veil His splendor when, and for any
length of time, it pleased Him! And also that they
were called by the exhibition of this mighty miracle to
worship Him who made the sun, and moon, and stars,
and all the glory of them—Jahovah is His name!”

When, my dear father, the man of God had ceased
speaking, I remained for some time silent with awe,
meditating upon what I had heard; worshipping, and
adoring, and praising God, whose wisdom, and power,
and judgments, are over all His works, who will not
give His glory to another, nor leave Himself without a
witness of His existence upon earth.

Thus you see, my dearest father, that the miracles
were not arbitrary displays of power, but grand divine

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lessons, mingled with judgments. It was Jehovah vindicating
His own worship, and showing the impotency
of false gods, by the manifestation of His supreme power
and majesty, as the destroyer of gods, and the only
potentate,—God of gods, King of kings, and Ruler over
all, blessed for evermore!

Having now revealed to you the mystery, veiled
under the miracles of Moses, I will close my long letter,
leaving you to reflect, my father, upon the wonders of
God, and to contemplate His wisdom. In one or two
more letters, I shall close my correspondence; as, travelling
in the desert, I shall have no opportunity to communicate
with you. I shall proceed into Syria by the
caravan route in a few days, and by the way of Palestine
and the valley of the Jordan, return to Damascus,
and thence, as soon as my affairs will permit, shall hasten
to see you at your palace in Tyre.

Farewell, my dear father.

Your affectionate son,
Remeses of Damascus.

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Horeb in the Desert. My dear Father:

[figure description] Page 576.[end figure description]

I will now resume the subject which occupied
the foregoing portion of my last letter, namely, the departure
of the twelve armies of the Hebrews from the
land of Egypt.

When the last division had passed the tower, after
midnight, Moses and Aaron went forward and travelled
all night, along the column of march, addressing the
leaders of tribes, divisions, thousands, and hundreds, as
they went, giving them words of courage, and commanding
them to keep in view the Pillar of Fire.

This Divine Glory, which the whole people of the
Hebrews, and even the Egyptian followers, were permitted
to behold and gaze at with wonder, as if it were
the moon or sun, moved onward, far in advance of the
last division, and seemingly directly over the head of
the column. When I reached, with Moses, the van of
the mighty slowly-moving host, I perceived that a sort
of sarcophagus on wheels was drawn by twelve oxen in
front of all; and that over this, the “shekinah,” as Aaron
termed the presence of God in the cloud of light, was

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suspended. I had not seen this before, but knew that
it must contain the embalmed body of Prince Joseph,
which the children of Israel had jealously guarded and
concealed from the Pharaohs of the present dynasty,
waiting the time of the deliverance; for the venerable
Joseph, on his death, had taken an oath from his brethren,
the children of Israel, that they would carry up his
bones out of Egypt, when God should send the deliverer
to bring them forth.

Faithfully were this wonderful people now fulfilling
the oath of their fathers to Joseph, after more than two
hundred years had passed. Thus their going out of
Egypt bore a resemblance to a national funeral. At
the side of the sarcophagus Moses and Aaron walked,
and thus the solemn march advanced towards the wilderness.
All that night they journeyed from the plain
of Raamses, and came to the verge of a rocky valley
where the way was rough, compared with the fertile
and level plains of Egypt. When the sun arose, the
pillar of fire faded, as it were, into a columnar cloud
which still advanced miraculously and wonderfully before
us. When the heat of the day increased, the cloud
descended and rested over a place called Succoth.
Here Moses ordered the people to encamp, and bake
their unleavened bread which they brought with them
in their kneading-troughs from Egypt. The next night
they travelled up the valley to a place called Etham, a
short journey; and thence, after a rest, turning back a
little, they traversed the valley between rocks eastward,
and encamped at a well of water called Pi-hahiroth,
where there were many palm-trees. Here they remained
to rest, with the hills on either hand, wondering

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why God should not have let them pass into the desert
at Etham, instead of bringing them into that defile,
which seemed to have no outlet but at the shore of the
sea. Passing Pi-hahiroth, with its castle and garrison,
the latter of which fled at our advance, as also the garrison
of the tower of Migdol, which guarded the way to
Egypt from the Arabian Sea, and so up the cliffs of the
valley-sides, Moses encamped between Migdol and the
sea, which spread far away eastward in front, with the
towers and fortified city of Baal-zephon visible on the
opposite side. The Pillar of Cloud had indicated this
place of encampment, by resting above it near the

When I surveyed the place, I marvelled to know how
Moses would move forward the next day; for the
mountainous ridges of the rocky valley, along which
we had come, continued close to the shore of the sea on
the right hand, and on the left, and I could perceive, as
I walked to the place, no room for a single man, much
less an army, to go either south or north between the
mountains and the water; for the sea broke with its
waves against its perpendicular sides. I concluded,
therefore, that on the morrow the whole host would
have to retrace its steps, and enter the desert by the way
of Etham, where it had before encamped, and so make
a sweep around the head of the sea to the northward
and eastward. But I did not express to any one my
thoughts. The calm majesty and repose of Moses awed
me. Upon his expansive brow was stamped confidence
in his God, who, if need were, could make a road across
the sea for His people, for whose deliverance He had
done such wonders. I reflected, too, that the leader was

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God himself, and that He had gone before, and led them
to the place where they were. I therefore waited the
will of God, to see what in His wisdom He would do.

How little did I anticipate the end! How far was I
from understanding that God had led His people into
this defile, which had no outlet but that by which they
entered, in order to display His glory, and present to the
world the final exhibition of His power, and his judgments
upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians!

The divinely inspired Moses seemed to understand my
thoughts, when I returned to the camp.

“My son,” he said, “this is done to try Pharaoh; for,
when he heareth that we are in the valley of Pi-hahiroth,
before Migdol, he will say, `They are entangled in
the land—the wilderness hath shut them in.' `Then,'
saith the Lord to me, `Pharaoh will repent that he let
you and my people go, and he will follow after you, and
when he shall come after you, I will be honored upon
Pharaoh and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may
know that I am the Lord.' God will yet avenge Himself
upon this wicked king, and reward him for all his
wickedness that he hath done against Him and His
people Israel! Wait, and thou shalt see the power
of God, indeed!”

With what expectation, and with what confidence in
God I waited the result, my dear father, you may conceive.
How wonderful is this God, and His ways how
past finding out! “It was just four hundred and thirty
years from the day Israel left Egypt,” said Aaron to me,
“to the day their father Abram left Chaldea for Canaan;
and that, their books say, is the exact time prophesied
for their deliverance. Their actual residence in Egypt,

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from the Syrian Prince Jacob's coming to settle in
Goshen, to the day they left, was two hundred and
fifteen years. The existence of their bondage began at
the death of Joseph, who died sixty-five years, not
seventy, as you supposed, before the birth of Moses.
This servant of God is now eighty years old; therefore,
the number of years that they were in servitude is one
hundred and forty-five, or equal to five generations.
Thus, were the descendants of Abraham, and Abraham
himself, wanderers without any country of their own
for four hundred and thirty years, according to the word
of the Lord to Abraham; not all this time in bondage,
indeed, but under kings of another language. Now, at
length behold them returning a mighty nation, to claim
from the Canaanites and Philistines the land so long ago
promised to their remote ancestor, Abram. God is not
forgetful of His promise, as this vast multitude proclaims
to the world, though He seems to wait; but His purposes
must ripen, and with the Almighty a day is as a thousand
years, and a thousand years as one day.

Now behold, my dear father, a new manifestation of
His glory and power, and the awful majesty of His judgments,
before whom no man can stand and live! The
next day, being the seventh, whereon a divine tradition
ordains rest, but which in their bondage could not be
regarded, Moses and Aaron commanded the whole host
to repose. Thus time was given Pharaoh, not only to
hear the report,—as he did by some Egyptians who,
in dread of the wilderness, went back,—of their being
shut in by the craggy mountains, with the sea before
them,—but to arm and to pursue and destroy them, or
compel them to submit again to his yoke.

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I have learned from an officer of Pharaoh, who, fearing
God, escaped from the palace, and came and informed
Moses of the king's purposes, that when the news
reached the king, who had been three days bitterly repenting
his compliance with the demands of Moses, he
sprang from the table at which he sat, and, with a great
oath by his gods, cried—

“They are entangled between Pi-hahiroth and the
sea! They have played me false, and are not gone by
Etham into the desert to sacrifice! Their God has bewildered
them in the Valley of Rocks by the sea! Now,
by the life of Osiris, I will up and pursue them!” He
called all his lords and officers, and gave commands to
send couriers to the army already assembled at Bubastis,
and expecting to march against the king of Edom,
who had long menaced Egypt. He ordered this army
to hasten, by forced marches, to the plain before On.
He then sent to the city, where he kept his six hundred
chosen chariots of war, for them to be harnessed,
and meet him the next day before Raamses. Couriers
on fleet horses were sent to every garrison, and all
the chariots in other cities, and in the three treasure-cities,
to the number of four thousand charioteers, each
with his armed soldier, gathered on the plain which
the Israelites had left four days before. The forty-seven
fortresses of the provinces sent forth their garrisons, of
three and four hundred men each, to swell the Egyptian

All this intelligence reached Moses; but he remained
immovable in his camp, the Pillar of Fire also standing
in the air above the tent of Aaron, in which was the
sarcophagus of Prince Joseph. Messenger after

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messenger, sometimes an Egyptian friendly to the Israelites,
sometimes an Israelite who had been detained and did
not leave Egypt with his brethren, came to Moses, and
as they passed through the camp, gave up their news to
the people.

One man said Pharaoh had left his palace, armed in
full battle-armor, and at the head of his body-guard of
six hundred chariots of gold and ivory, was driving to the
plain of Raamses. A second messenger brought tidings,
that the king's great army, from the vicinity of Bubastis
and Pelusium, had passed On in full march,—seventy
thousand foot, ten thousand horsemen, and two thousand
chariots of iron! A third came, reporting that four
thousand chariots had also assembled from all parts
of Lower Egypt, and that every man was rallying to
the standard of the king, to pursue the Hebrews and
destroy them by the edge of the sword. By and by, a
fourth came, an escaped Hebrew, who told that the king
had marshalled his vast hosts of one hundred thousand
foot, twenty thousand horsemen, nine thousand chariots
of iron, besides his six hundred chosen chariots of his
body-guard, and was in full pursuit of the Israelites by
the way of Succoth.

These tidings filled the bosoms of the Hebrews with
dismay. They were in no condition to do battle, there
being among them all, one only who knew the use of
arms, which one was Moses; who, with God on his side,
was an army in himself.

The Egyptian army, marched all night, without rest
to hoof or sandal. Before the sun was up, their approach
was made known by the distant thunder of their
chariot-wheels, and the tramp of their horses. At

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length, when the Pillar of Fire was fading into a white
cloud, and the sun rose brilliantly over the Sea of Arabia,
the van of the Egyptian army became visible, advancing
down the inclosed valley. When the Israelites beheld
its warlike front, and heard the clangor of war-trumpets
and the deep roll of the drums, they fled with fear.
The elders then hastened, and, pale with terror and
anger, came before Moses, and cried to him—

“Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou
taken us away to die here in the wilderness? Wherefore
hast thou dealt thus with us to carry us forth out of
Egypt? Did we not, at the first, tell thee in Egypt, `Let
us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians?' for it had
been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we
should die in the wilderness.”

Then Moses answered their tumult, and said, without
displeasure visible in his godlike countenance—

“Fear ye not! Stand still, and see the salvation of
the Lord, which He will show you to-day! for the Egyptians
whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them
again no more forever! The Lord shall fight for you,
and ye shall hold your peace. Wait to see what He
will do.”

Then Moses, with a troubled face, entered his tent,
and his voice was heard by those near by, calling upon

And the Lord answered him from the cloud above
the tent—

“Why criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children
of Israel that they go forward! But lift thou up thy
rod and stretch out thy hand over the sea, and divide
it; and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground

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through the midst of the sea. And behold Pharaoh,
(whom I withhold from nothing which he chooseth in
his hard heart to do, leaving him to his own devices to
reap the fruit of his own ways), he shall follow you
with the Egyptians into the sea! and I will get me
honor upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his
chariots and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians
shall know that I am the Lord!”

Then Moses came forth from the tent, whence the voice
of the Lord had been heard by all, both near and afar
off. Now, lo! the angel of God in the Pillar of Cloud,
as soon as the armies of Israel began to move forward
to the sea, removed from the front, and went to the rear
of the Hebrew host, and stood behind them in the Pillar
of Cloud! Thus, it stood between the camp of the
Israelites and the camp of the Egyptians, so that
when night came, the Israelites, lying encamped on
the shore, had the full splendor of its light; while the
Egyptians, to whom it presented a wall of impenetrable
darkness, also encamped, fearing to go forward in
the unnatural night which enveloped them. So the
two hosts remained all night, neither moving—the
Pillar of Fire and the Pillar of Cloud between them,
creating day on one side of it, and tenfold night on the

Now, at the going down of the sun, on that day when
the Egyptians encamped because of the cloud, Moses
had stretched forth his hand over the sea by God's command,
and lo! there arose a mighty wind upon the sea,
rising from the south and east; and all that night we
heard the sea and waves roaring, and the hearts of Israel
sunk within them for fear. The Pillar of Fire cast upon

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the sea a radiance like moonlight, so that we could perceive
that it was in a great commotion, and that God
was doing some great wonder in the deep. It is said
that the noise of the waves reached the ears of Pharaoh,
and that he at first believed it was the sound of the
tramping of the whole host of the Israelites, advancing
with their God to give him battle in the darkness. He
called his men to arms, and tried to show front of war;
but the shadow of the cloud between him and the Hebrews,
rendered it impossible for any man to move
from one place to another, or to see his fellow.

At length morning came to us, but not to the Egyptians,
whose night still continued. But what a spectacle
of sublimity and power we beheld! Before us, an avenue,
broad enough for two hundred men to march
abreast, had been cut by the rod of God through the
deep sea, the water of which stood as a wall on the
one side and on the other, glittering like ice on the
sides of the rocks of Libanus, when capped with his
snows. At this sight, the Hebrew hosts raised a shout
of joy to God, for they could see that the sacred avenue
reached as far as the eye could extend across the sea;
but so great was the distance, that its sides converged to
a point far out from the shore, and seemed but a hair
line. Then Moses, lifting up his voice, commanded the
children of Israel to form into companies and columns
of one hundred and eighty men abreast, and enter the
sea by the way God had opened for them. First went
Aaron and the twelve elders, being one of each tribe,
who guarded the body of Prince Joseph. Then followed
the sarcophagus, drawn by twelve oxen, one also furnished
by each tribe. Then came a hundred Levites,

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carrying all the sacred things which the Hebrews had
preserved in their generations. Now came Moses, leading
the van of the people in column. I also walked
near him. As we descended the shore and entered the
crystalline road, I marvelled, yet had no fear, to see the
walls of water, as if congealed to ice, rise thirty cubits
above our heads, firm as if hewn from marble, with sharp
edges at the top catching and reflecting the sunlight.
The bed of the sea was hard and dry sand, smooth as
the paved avenue from Memphis to the pyramids. All
day the Israelites marched in, and when night came not
half their vast column had left the land. All the while
the Pillar of Cloud stood behind, in the defile between
the Israelites and the Egyptians. At length, in the first
watch of the night, it removed, and came and went before
the Israelites, throwing its beams forward along our
path in the sea. Its disappearance from the rear removed
also the supernatural darkness that enveloped the
Egyptians; and when, by the light of the skies, Pharaoh
beheld the Israelites in motion, he pursued with all his
host, leading with his chariots his eager army. It was
just light enough for him to see that his enemy was escaping,
but not enough so to see by what way; but,
doubtless, he suspected that they were wading around the
mountains; for great east winds have, from time to time,
swept the sea here outward, so that the water has been
shallow enough for persons to make a circuitous ford
around the northern cliff, and come in again upon the
same shore into the desert above. Pharaoh knew that
the wind had been blowing heavily, which he at first
mistook for the Israelites in motion, and there is no doubt
that he pursued with the idea that the sea had been

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shoaled by the wind, and that they would come out a
mile or two on the north side, and gain the desert by
Etham, and so double the head of the sea into the peninsula
of Horeb. There can be no other reason assigned
for his pursuit into such a road of God's power, unless
it was judicial madness,—a hardening of his heart by God,
in punishment for his contumacy and opposition to His
will. Doubtless this is one way in which God punishes
men, by making their peculiar sin the instrument of their

Pharaoh and his chariots, and horsemen, and host
pursued, and came close upon the rear-guard of the Israelites,
against whom they pressed with shouts of battle.
The sea was faintly lighted, and the king and the
Egyptians did not see the walls of water which inclosed
them, as they rushed madly and blindly after their prey,
urged on by the loud voice of Pharaoh. At length,
when they were in the midst of the sea, the Lord, in the
Pillar of Cloud, suddenly turned and displayed its side of
dazzling light towards the astonished Egyptians! By
its sunlike splendor, Pharaoh and his captains perceived
their peril, and the nature of the dreadful road in which
they were entangled. The walls of water on each side
of them, say the Israelites who were in the rear and
saw, moved and swelled, and hung above them in stupendous
scrolls of living water, upheld only by the word
of God! The vivid light of the shekinah blinded their
eyes, and bewildered their horses, and troubled the
whole host. All the horrors of his situation were presented
to the mind of the king. With frantic shouts to
his charioteers to turn back, he gave wild orders for his
army to retreat, saying—

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“Let us flee from the face of Israel! for the Lord
their God fighteth for them against us!”

Then followed a scene of the most horrible confusion.
The steady gaze upon them of the Angel of the Lord, in
the cloud of fire, discomfited them! They turned to fly!
Their chariot-wheels sunk in the deep clay which the
wagons of the Hebrews had cut up, and came off! The
king leaped from his car, and, mounting a horse held
by his armor-bearer, attempted to escape, when the Lord
said unto Moses, who now stood upon the Arabian side
of the sea—

“Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters
may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots,
and upon their horsemen.”

Then Moses stretched forth his hand upon the sea, in
the deep defile of which, cleaved by God for his own
people, the Egyptian hosts, chariots, horse and foot,
were struggling to retrace their course to the Egyptian
shore, each man battling with his comrade for
preference in advance. The whole scene, for several
miles in the midst of the sea, was a spectacle of terror
and despair such as no war, no battle, nothing under the
skies, ever before presented. The shouts and cries of the
Egyptians reached our ears upon the shore with appalling

Now Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, out
of the path through which the last of the Israelites were
coming forth, when the billows that had been cloven by
the rod of God, and made to stand in two walls like
adamant, began to swell and heave, and all at once both
edges of this sea-wall fell over like two mighty cataracts
plunging and meeting, roaring and rushing together

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each into the chasm wherein the whole host of Pharaoh—
his captains, chariots, and horsemen—with their faces
towards Egypt, were struggling to escape from the snare
that God, in His just vengeance, had laid for them. The
returning waters covered the whole host of them before
our eyes, and, while we looked, the wild sea rolled its
huge waves, laden with death, above the abyss; and
then subsiding, the great sea once more flowed calmly
over the spot, and Pharaoh, who had been erecting for
years a majestic pyramid to receive his embalmed body,
was buried by the God whom he defied, beneath the
chariots and horses in which he trusted for victory over
the sons of God.

This spectacle of God's power and judgment filled all
Israel with awe. Those who had murmured against
Moses sought his presence, and prostrated themselves
before him, acknowledging their fault, and asking him
to entreat God to pardon their iniquity, declaring that
henceforth they would receive the voice of Moses as the
voice of God.

That day the Israelites encamped on the shore; and
all night the waves cast upon the coast the dead bodies
of Pharaoh's host, and chariots innumerable, with their
stores of quivers of arrows, lances, swords, and spears;
so that the men of Israel, to the number of one hundred
thousand chosen out of each tribe, save that of Aaron,
were armed from the spoils of the dead soldiers and
chariots. Was not this, also, the finger of God, O my
father! The impression made upon the minds of the
children of Israel, by this wonderful exhibition of the
power of God,—of His goodness to them and His vengeance
upon Pharaoh,—was such that they believed

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God, and feared Him, and professed themselves ready
henceforth to be obedient to His voice.

When Moses and the children of Israel saw that their
enemies were dead, they chanted a sublime hymn of
praise and triumph to God upon the shore. Then came
Miriam, the sister of Aaron, the aged prophetess of God,
bearing a timbrel in her hand, and followed by an innumerable
company of maidens and daughters of Israel,
each with her timbrel in her hand, and singing songs of
joy and triumph, while the virgins danced before the

Now, my dear father, I have brought my letters nearly
to a close. I have recorded the most wonderful events
earth ever saw, and displays of Divine power which man
has never before witnessed. In contemplating these
wonders, you will be impressed with the terrible majesty
of God, and overwhelmed by His greatness. You will
be struck with His unwavering devotion and care for
His people whom He hath chosen, and with His unceasing
vengeance upon His enemies, and such as oppress
those whom He protects. You will be awed and humbled
with a sublime perception of his limitless power in
the heavens, on earth, and in the sea; and feel deeply
your own insignificance as a mere worm of the dust in
His sight; and you will cry with me, as I beheld all these
manifestations of His glorious power—

“What is man that thou art mindful of him, O God,
who fillest the heavens with the immensity of Thy presence,
and in Thine own fulness art all in all?”

From the Sea of Arabia, Moses led the armies of Israel,
for three encampments, into the wilderness towards Horeb.
Here was no water but that which was bitter; and

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the people murmuring, Moses pacified them by a miracle.
Thence they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of
water and seventy palm-trees, and here we encamped
for some days. After certain further wanderings, we
came to a wilderness, just one month after departing from
Egypt, God, in all that time, taking not away the Pillar of
Cloud by day nor the Pillar of Fire by night from before
the people. Indeed, the whole journey was a miracle,
and attended by miracles; for in this wilderness, Sinn,
their provisions failed, and the people (who are a perverse
and stiff-necked people, forgetful of favors past,
and rebellious—as is perhaps natural to those who have
been so long in bondage, and find themselves now free),
murmured, and again blamed Moses for bringing them
from their fare of flesh and bread in Egypt, to die of
hunger in the wilderness. God, instead of raining fire
upon them, mercifully and graciously rained bread from
heaven to feed them, returning their want of faith in
Him with loving-kindness and pardon. And not only
did God send bread from heaven—which continues to
fall every morning—but sent quails upon the camp, so
that they covered the whole plain. The taste of this
heavenly bread is like coriander-seed in wafers made
with honey. It is white, is called by the people manna,
and is in quantities sufficient for the whole of them.
The camp thence moved forward and came into the vale
of Horeb, where I had first beheld Moses standing by
his flock. Here there was no water, and the people
murmured in their thirst, and again blamed Moses for
bringing them out of Egypt into that wilderness, not
remembering the mighty deliverance at the Sea of Arabia,
nor the manna, nor the quails. At the first obstacle

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or privation, they would ever cry out against Moses, who,
one day, exclaimed to his God, in his perplexity—

“What shall I do to this people? They are almost
ready to stone me!”

Then the Lord commanded him to take his rod and
strike the rock in Horeb. He did so, and the water
gushed forth in a mighty torrent, cool and clear, and
ran like a river, winding through all the camp.

We are now encamped before Horeb. From this
mountain God has given, amid thunders, and lightnings,
and earthquakes, His laws to His people, by which they
are to walk in order to please Him. They are ten in
number: four relating to their duty to Him, and the
remaining six to their duty to one another. It would
be impossible, my dear father, for me to describe to you
the awful aspect of Horeb, when God came down upon
it, hidden from the eye of Israel in a thick cloud, with
the thunders, and lightnings, and the voice of the trumpet
of God exceeding loud, so that all the camp trembled
for dread and fear. Nor could I give you any idea of
the aspect of the Mount of God, from which went up a
smoke, as the smoke of a furnace, for seven days and
nights, and how the voice of the trumpet waxed louder
and louder, sounding long and with awful grandeur
along the skies, calling Moses to come up into the mount
to receive His laws, while the light of the glory of the
Lord was like devouring fire. In obedience to the terrible
voice, Moses left Israel in the plain and ascended
the mount. Aaron and others of the elders accompanied
him so near, that they saw the pavement on which the
God of Israel stood. It was, under His feet, as a sapphire

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stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness.
* He was absent forty days. When twenty days
were passed and they saw him not, nor knew what had
happened to him, the whole people murmured, became
alarmed, believed that they would never see him again,
and resolved to return to Egypt if they could find a
leader. Aaron refused to go back with them; but at
length they compelled him to consent, if in seven days
Moses returned not. At the end of this period they
called Aaron and shouted:

“Up! Choose us a captain to lead us back to

But Aaron answered that he would not hearken to
them, and bade them wait for Moses.

Then came a company of a thousand men, all armed,
and said:

“Up! make us gods which shall go before us! As
for this Moses, we wot not has become of him.”

At length Aaron, no longer able to refuse, said—

“What god will ye have to lead you?”

“Apis! the god of Pharaoh and the Egyptians, whom
we and our fathers worshipped in Egypt.”

Then Aaron received from them the jewels of gold they
had taken from the Egyptians, and cast them into a furnace,
and made an image of the calf Serapis, and said, in
grief, irony, and anger—

“This, and like this, is thy god, O Israel, that brought
thee up out of the land of Egypt!”

And erecting an altar before this image, these

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Israelites, not yet weaned from Egyptian idolatry, burned incense
and sacrificed before it, and made a feast to the
god, with music and dancing, as the Egyptians do. At
length Moses reappeared, sent down from the mount by
an indignant God, who beheld this extraordinary return
to idolatry. When the holy prophet saw what was done,
he sternly rebuked Aaron, who excused himself by
pleading that he was compelled to yield, and that he
did so to show them the folly of trusting to such an idol,
after they had the knowledge of the true God. Moses
took the calf they had made, and made Aaron burn it
in the fire, and he ground it to powder, and made the
idolatrous children of Israel drink of the bitter and nauseous
draught. Again he rebuked Aaron, and called
for all who were on the Lord's side, when several hundreds
of the young men came and stood by him. He
commanded them to slay all who had bowed the knee
or danced before the calf; and in one hour three thousand
men were slain by the sword, in expiation of their
sin against God.

Now, my dear father, my last letter must be brought
to a close. Moses informs me that the Lord, in punishment
of this sin of Israel, will cause them to wander
many years in the wilderness ere He bring them to the
land promised to their fathers, and will subject them to
be harassed by enemies on all sides, some of whom
have already attacked them, but were discomfited by
the courage of a Hebrew youth, called Joshua, who
promises to become a mighty warrior and leader in Israel,
and whom Moses loves as an own son.

In view, therefore, of this long abode of the children

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of Israel in the desert, I shall to-morrow join a caravan
which will then pass to the northward, on its way into
Syria from Egypt. It will be with profound regret that
I shall bid adieu to Moses, to Aaron, to Miriam, and all
the friends I have found among this wonderful people.
Will not the world watch from afar the progress of this
army of God, which has beheld the wonders by which
He brought them out of Egypt? Doubtless, ere this
you have heard, by ships of Egypt, of some of the
mighty miracles which have devastated her cities and
plains; and you will hear, ere this letter reaches you, of
the destruction of the whole army of Egypt, with their
king Pharaoh-Thothmeses, in the Arabian Sea.

Farewell, my dear father; in a few weeks I shall
embrace you. We will then talk of the majesty, and
power, and glory of the God of Israel, and learn to fear
Him; to love, obey, and serve Him,—remembering His
judgments upon Pharaoh, and also upon His chosen
people Israel when they forgot Him; and, that as He
dealt with nations, so will He deal with individuals!
Obedience, with unquestioned submission in awe and
love to this great and holy God, our august Creator, is
the only path of peace and happiness for kings or subjects;
and the only security for admission, after death,
into His divine heaven above, “whither,” saith His holy
servant Moses, “all men will ultimately ascend, who
faithfully serve Him on earth; while those who, like
Pharaoh-Thothmeses, despise Him and His power, will
be banished forever from His celestial presence into the
shades below, doomed there to endure woes that know no
termination, through the cycles of the everlasting ages.”

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Farewell, my dear father; may the Pillar of Cloud be
our guide by day, and the Pillar of Fire by night, in the
wilderness of this world! With prayer to God to bring
me in safety to you, and to guard you in health until I
see your face again,

I am your ever affectionate son,
Remeses, Prince of Damascus. eaf611n2

* Exodus, xxiv. 10.

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Ingraham, J. H. (Joseph Holt), 1809-1860 [1859], The pillar of fire, or, Israel in bondage. (Pudney & Russell [and] H. Dayton, New York) [word count] [eaf611T].
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