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under the earth : thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon
the children unto the third and fourth tion of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
" Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain : for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath-day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work : but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God : in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates : for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath-day, and hallowed it.
'Honor thy father and thy mother; that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
" Thou shalt not kill.
" Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
" Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, thou
shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maid-servant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor's.”
Have you ever considered, my young friend, how often
have broken these commandments ? They were intended, you know, to reach the internal feelings, as well as to regulate the external conduct. They must be kept in their true spirit. God looks on the heart, and there demands obedience to his laws.
Must you not plead guilty to the charge of having violated these laws ? Think of the majesty and justice of that Being who gave them. Forget not the terrors of Sinai. The Lord will come in more awful grandeur at the last day, in the person of Jesus Christ, to take vengeance on all his enemies.
Our final Judge is now our only Saviour. He invites us to escape the curse of the law which we have violated, by faith in his atoning sacrifice.
Is this your security ? Have you indeed made it such ? Happy beyond expression, if this is the case! To those who have. God presents no aspect but that of mercy, and of unchanging love.
Communications from God to Moses. Moses descends.
The Covenant ratified.
" The voice of the words " is silent. The Eternal hath spoken. The Divine Law is given. Let man fear and obey it.
Again the vivid lightnings gleam, and the mountain smokes. The thunders roll, deep and terrific. Amid their awful peals, the noise of the spirit-shaking trumpet is heard. What is yet to come! What is to be the fearful issue of these prodigies !
The multitude shrink back from the scene. They remove, and stand afar off. They cry out to Moses, who had come down from the top of the mount,
Speak thou with us, and we will hear : but let not God speak with us, lest we die. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not : for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces,
And the people stood afar altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt-offerings, and thy peaceofferings, thy sheep and thine oxen : in all places, where I record my name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.”
Some further directions were then given to Moses respecting the building of altars of stone ; and to these was added a series of laws and ordinances, regulating the intercourse and transactions of the Israelites with each other, and with strangers ; the offerings of the first-fruits, and of the first-born; the Sabbatical year ; the Sabbath ; the worship of the true God; the three great yearly feasts; and the sacrifice of the
passover. God also told Moses that he would send before the Israelites his Angel, to keep them in the way, and to bring them to the promised land. His voice they must obey, and provoke him not ; for the name of God, (the divine power and authority,) would be in him. In case of their obedience, they should be victorious over all their enemies. They were to avoid as a grievous sin, the bowing down to the gods of the heathen, or serving them. Their idols they must utterly destroy. If they continued to serve the Lord their God, he would abundantly bless them. By degrees he would drive out the inhabitants of Canaan from before them, and they should be increased in numbers, and possess the whole land. That this Angel (as has been before
observed) was no other than the Divine Person, the Eternal Word, who afterwards appeared in our world as the Lord Jesus Christ, is an opinion held by many pious and learned men, and seems to be sustained by reasons of no small weight. But time will not permit us to enter into the discussion of the subject.
God then directed Moses, after going down, and making known to the Israelites the laws and ordinances which had just been communicated to him,—to return again to the mount, with Aaron, and his two sons, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; all of whom were to worship afar off, while Moses alone would be permitted to come near the Lord.
One peculiar feature of these transactions de serves here to be noticed. The Israelites, as we have seen, dreaded to have any direct intercour'SC with the Almighty. The display of his greatness and glory, and especially the awful sublimity of his soul-piercing voice, led them to say to Moses,
Speak thou with us, and we will hear ; but let not God speak with us, lest we die."
Moses is the medium of intercourse between God and his people ; and we shall see him often in this capacity, as we go along in the history. Nay, he intercedes for the Israelites. He is their mediator at the throne of grace : a striking type of that greater Advocate and Intercessor, through whom alone we