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us into an acquaintance with what is expressed by the Lord in them. The people being come hither, the Lord prepares them to receive from him a body of laws, moral, judicial, and ceremonial. He was about to form them into a church state, to prove himself-their king, by giving forth his mind and will, in his commands and precepts: they were to be a peculiar treasure to him, a kingdom of priests, an holy
.nation; and as such, they were to be separated unto the Lord, and devoted to his service and worship : their observance of the moral, judicial, and ceremonial, law, would keep them a distinct body of people from all others.
The Israelitish commonwealth and polity were now to be settled : the whole was of divine appointment, framed after the shadow and example of things spiritual and heavenly. The ground and foundation of all delivered by the Lord, in this solemn transaction at Sinai, proves that the ancient patriarchs, priests, and kings, of the jews, were typical persons and offices; and that the more remarkable passages of their lives, and the extraordinary endowmentsof their minds, were to express and foreshew him, who was to arise as the head of the holy family, the great Prophet, the true Priest, the everlasting King. The psalmist celebrates the grace here uttered by the Lord to Moses, in Psalm cxxxv. 4. "The
. Lord hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure." Jehovah selected them from all others to be his church, to receive the law and the promises, to have his presence residing in the midst of them, and to be the guardians of his true faith and worship. Thus the Israelites were, by the Lord's own act of designation, a kingdom of priests, a peculiar treasure, an holy nation to the Lord; all which, even in the external privileges, were out of royal favor; so says Moses, "Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord, thy God, hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The Lord did not set his love on you, and choose you, because ye were more in number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people; but because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you. out of the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharoah, king of Egypt," Deut. vii. 6, 7, 8. • •• ..•. 1
Moses and the people had now a fresh fulfilment of God's promise to them, which might serve to confirm their faith; the Lord said to Moses, when he appeared to him in the bush,. "This shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee, when thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain," Exod. iii. 12. which was now ful
filled; and also what be further declared, " 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," Exod. vi. 7. This was now accomplished; and the Lord reminds them of it in the fourth and fifth verses of the chapter before us. Moses informed the elders, as the representatives of the people, of all these words which the Lord commanded him: the whole body of the people with one accord reply, " All that the Lord hath spoken we will do." Moses returns with their reply to God, who informs Moses that he would display his glorious majesty, so as they should bear his voice, and believe Moses for ever to be sent by him unto them, "Lo! I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever." This, Moses made the people also acquainted with; after which the Jbbrd commands him to go unto the people, and prepare them for a solemn approach unto God: they were to be sanctified, by separating themselves from all defilement, washing their clothes, and be ready against the third day, which was just fifty days from their departure from Egypt; on it the Lord said he would come down, in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai: this was in a cloud, out of which he was to speak, and so display his glory, majesty, and regalia of sovereignty, as would prove him to be the Lord God omnipotent.
The Lord commands Moses that bounds be set to that part of the mount, on which he would make this appearance, that the people should be strictly charged not to come near, or touch it; that care be taken to drive the cattle from it; because the least touching it, whether by beast, or man, should be certain death; and a token is given when the people should draw nigh ; "When the trumpet soundeth long, they shall come up to the mount." Moses having received these orders from Jehovah, went down from the mount unto the people, and prepared them for this most near and solemn approach to God. "And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled: and Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the nether part of the mount; and mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in lire, and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace ; and the whole mount quaked greatly."
In these words we have an account of one of the greatest revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ, in his glory, majesty, godhead, sovereignty, and
holiness, which he was pleased to make of himself to the people of Israel. To open and explain'it will require the divine light and teaching of the Holy Ghost, to give each part its due place and weight, that the emphasis of it may rest on our minds shall be my study. For clear perception of every part of the text, I will cast it into the following order and division. - First. 1 will consider the solemn apparatus, with which this display of the glory, majesty, godhead, sovereignty, and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ was introduced.
Secondly. The case of the people, who on hearing the awful thunders roar, and beholding the glare of such lightnings, attended with the sonorous trumpet, trembled: "All the people which were in the camp trembled."
Thirdly. The act of Moses: he brought forth the people out of the camp, to meet with God. And,
Fourthly. The descent of the Lord on mount Sinai, and the consequences which attended it: "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire; and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly."
I am first to consider and set forth the solemn apparatus, with which this display of the glory, majesty, godhead, sovereignty, and holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ was introduced.