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What God is thus doing, he does not for them alone. He shows himself in such terrible majesty, as the Moral Governor of the world. His law is about to be promulgated. It is for the Israelites ;it is for all men ;-that they may learn to fear him all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach thcir children. The eyes
of the multitude follow with intense gaze the forms of Moses and Aaron, as they ascend the mountain. Who but heaven-inspired men would presume to approach the awful presence of Jehovah, amid scenes like these! But he has called them, and they are safe. They go up still higher. They are seen no more. They are lost in the clouds which they have entered. They are approaching the summit; and on that spot the attention of the assembled millions,-deep, silent, and awe-struck,-is riveted.
The mountain still burns with fire, unto the midst of heaven, with durkness, clouds, and thick darkness. Jehovah speaks out of the midst of the fire. They see no similitude ; but they hear the voice of words :
I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
" Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water
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 generation 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 dié. And Moses said unto the people, Fear not : for 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 the Lord said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven. Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An 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