« PreviousContinue »
that he at or upon it promiseth Christ unto them, see Deut. xviii. 15—18. “ The Lord thy God will raise up unto thee a prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shalt thou hearken, according to all that thou desiredst of the Lord thy God in Horeb, in the day of the assembly, saying, let me not hear again the voice of the Lord God any more, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not. And the Lord said unto me, they have well spoken that which they have spoken; I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and will put my words in bis mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I command him."
Moses bids the people not to fear, he would have them dismiss their exceeding great fear,
for “God (says he) is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces that ye sio not.” And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was. Thus Jehovah, the Savior, came down on inount Sinai, and upon the earth, shewed them his great fire, and the Israelites heard bis great voice out of the midst of the fire, God talked with them, and they lived. Moses having, as mediator, a near access to God, received from him a body of laws, by which they were to form and regulate tbeir commonwealth.
This Sinai transaction and covenant with the Lord, and the people of Israel, whereby he solemnly declared himself to be the Lord their God, and took them for his peculiar people, was framed after the example and shadow of spiritual and heavenly things. Their patriarchs, prophets, priests, and kings, were typical characters, in their several offices; and in the more remarkable passages of their lives, they were shadows of him who was to arise as the head of the holy family, the great Prophet, the true Priest, the everlasting King. In this transaction at Sinai was laid the foundation of the Israelitish polity; and a right view and understanding of it is the best key to unlock various passages throughout the old testament, the book of Psalms, and the sacred prophecies: whoever would have a clear and consistent view of the titles of God, of the promises and threatenings of God to his people Israel, of the peculiar honor and dignity of that nation, of their laws, and obligations to the Lord, must study this covenant transaction. May the Lord bless what I have set before you concerning it; may you rightly consider it, and the Lord give you understanding in all things. Amen.
A SOLEMN RATIFICATION OF THE COVENANT OF
GRACE, EXHIBITED TO VIEW AT SINAI, BY
Exodus xxiy, 8, 9, 10, 11.
“ And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words. Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in its clearness.' And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hands; also they saw God, and did eat and drink."
ON the day the law was pronounced, Moses was admitted into the thick darkness where God was. The terrors which the thunders, lightninge, trumpet, and smoking mountain, created in the minds of the people, were such as cannot be conceived, much less expressed. They intreated Moses to be a mediator between God and them. Moses bids them not to fear, “ For, (says he) God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was, And Jehovah said unto him, thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven;" and then he pronounces to him what is contained from the twenty-third verse of the twentieth chapter of Exodus, to the close of the twenty-third chapter. Moses having received those fifty-seven precepts, which we commonly stile the judicial law, though some parts of the ceremonial are connected with it, he goes down and declares them into the people. By these laws the jewish nation and state were to be governed. And the Lord was pleased to promise, out of the riches of his grace, that he would send an angel, even the angel of
his presence, before them, to keep them in the way, and bring them to Canaan.
The Lord having given a most solemn and tremendous display of his majesty, holiness, and power, and of his hatred, wrath, and vengeance, against sio, in the delivery of the moral law, out of the midst of devouring fire, a way was made for a ratification of this Sinai transaction, between himself and the children of Israel.
It should be carefully and closely attended to, that the Israelitish covenant, or God's covenant with Israel, served to direct this one great point, the grant of the land of Canaan, which was made to Abraham. He was the chosen head and father of this people; the multiplication of his seed, the promise of the Messiah, and the grant of the land of Canaan, was promised and confirmed to him by an oath: a most wonderful act of grace and condescension in God! and this is always referred to in scripture, as the reason of God's most gracious forbearance of the penple of Israel, under their manifold provocations, Through and in virtue of the promise made to Abraham, all the favours the Lord bestowed on Israel, were conveyed.
God's covenant with the Israelitish nation, when he brought them out of Egypt, is expressed in the same terms with Abraham's.
When Jehovah, the great sovereign, and absolute proprietor of heaven and earth, says in his