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hands of Saul: when the prophet begins to describe the manifestation of divine power in favor of his suffering saint, he borrows his imagery from this illustrious display of Jehovah's, on mount Sinai, see ver. 7 to 15. and read them at your leisure, they being too long to quote. In the sixty-ninth psalm, the prophet commemorates the wonders wrought for Israel, when Jehovah, by his presence in the cloudy pillar, conducted them through the wilderness; when descending to deliver the law, he caused Sinai to quake from its foundations. "O God, when thou wentest forth before thy people, when thou didst march through the wilderness. Selah. The earth shook, the heavens dropped at the presence of God, even Sinai itself was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel." Also, in other psalms, as in the prayer of the prophet Habbakkuk, notice is taken of this majestic display of Jehovah on mount Sinai; "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. ^^^ Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise, and his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand, and there was the hiding of his power; before him went the pestilence, and burning coals went forth at his feet." Hab. iii. 3, 5. Thus God revealed himself in flaming fire; his word is like fire, he is a " consuming fire:'" and thus he gave
forth his law, which from these tokens of hit! majesty, is called a fiery law.
"The mountain quaked, the hills trembled, they leaped like rams, they skipped like lambs," Psalm cxii. 4, 6. The heavens dropped, and Sinai was moved at the presence of God, the God of Israel. All the while the people stood, as before related, at the nether part of the mount: the mountain was burning, and the trumpet continued sounding so loud, so shrill, that Moses, the mediator, cried out, and spake; . what he said is not here recorded, but it is probable it was what the apostle says, " I exceedingly fear and quake." And God answered him by a voice; and it is likely it was heard by the people, and served to comfort Moses and them.
"And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount; and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount, and Moses went up," ver. 20. which argues his being strong in faith. He being with Jehovah on the top of the mount, receives particular orders to go down, and most solemnly forbid the people, not to break in upon the bounds set, on pain of death; and that the priests who stood nearer the bounds than the people, sanctify themselves, lest it should prove their destruction: all of which was to shew that no flesh can approach God, upon the footing of the covenant of works, nor upon the bottom of mere creatureship; it is by the God-man Christ Jesus alone, that there can be access to the three in Jehovah.
Moses descends from the top of the mount, and repeats the Lord's solemn charge; and the priests, elders, and people, standing in the order before given, and in the proper place and distance appointed ; God spake out of the midst of devouring fire, clouds, and darkness, with a great voice, all the ten words, or commandments, so that all the people heard his voice, and understood what was delivered unto them.
The law was given by the ministration of aDgels, it is called the " word spoken by angels," Heb. ii. 2. It is said to be ordained by " angels in the hand of a mediator," Gal. iii. 19.
The people of Israel are said to have received the law by the "disposition of angels," Acts vii. 53. which is to be understood of angels attending when the law was delivered, of the Lord making use of them as his ministring servants, who formed in the air the voices heard, shook the rock, and caused the earth to tremble. It was ordained by them; not that they were the authors of it, but it might be written and spoken by them, as the instruments and ministers God made use of.
Though the tables are said to be the work of God, and the writing the writing of God, and to be written with the finger of God, and he is said to speak all the words of it; yet this hinders not, but thatall this might be done by means of angels, who might be employed in disposing and fitting the stones in the form they were, and in writing the law upon them. They formed in the air those articulate and audible sounds when the law was delivered; were also concerned in the thunders and lightnings, and in the blowing of the trumpet, that waxed louder and louder at that time. I conceive the apostle Paul takes his views of, and represents Christ, as revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. from this account given by Moses, of the Lord's descent on mount Horeb, with thousands of angels.
The eternal Three, in the one incomprehensible Jehovah, having adopted this people, by a national covenant, agreeable to his promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had divine authority to command, and they, as favoured with the grace and privileges of adoption, were under the highest obligations to obey. The blessed relation in which Jehovah stands to his people, is the motive to obedience. In what was uttered, the nature, persons, and perfections of Godhead were expressed, the revealed will of Jehovah was made known; and all contained in the moral law was holy, just, and good. It was a preface to the covenant of grace; hence lie says, " I am the Lord, thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage."
Thus Jehovah, the Savior, made himself known as Zion's King, the King of his church and people. In reference to it, the prophet says, "The Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, he will save us." Isaiah xxxiii. 22. All being delivered, contained in the ten commandments, it is added, ver. 18. of the twentieth chapter, "And all the people saw the thunderings and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountaiu smoking; and when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off;'' the fear which possessed their minds, is very expressive of the effect of the law, in the hearts of awakened persons, before they are brought to Christ, who alone can save them from the curse of the law. The spirit of bondage, is the spirit of all llagar's children, of all legalists, of all who are .under the law. •
The Israelites who had come near, and stood under the mount, were now so moved with fear, that they retired and stood afar off; and they said to Moses, "Speak thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God speak with us, lest we die." The heads of the tribes spake thus for the people unto Moses; thus they desired that he might be a mediator between God and them. What they said was well pleasing to the Lord, so