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Moses ascends Sinai. The divine glory passes before him.
He is there another forty days. He descends. The building of the tabernacle.
Having prepared the tables of stone, Moses took them with him, and once more ascended the moun. tain. It was early in the morning. The sun had not yet risen. It was an hour sacred to the holiest and most elevated feelings of the soul. What must have been his, who was now anticipating that vision of the Divine presence which had been promised him ! In what new and resplendent form would Jehovah manifest himself? That it would
surpass all that he had before witnessed, he could have no doubt. Would he be able to endure it?
He reaches the rock. The Lord descends in the cloud, and stands with Moses. He is placed in a cleft of the rock, to be screened, as it were, from the full and overwhelming glory. It comes; the
and transgression, and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty ; visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.”
Moses quickly bows his head toward the earth, worshipping, and offers up this earnest supplication : "If yow I have found grace in thy sight, O Lord, let my Lord, I pray thee, go among us; for it is a stiff-necked people; and pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for thine inheritance."
" Behold I make a covenant," was the reply, (that is, a renewal of the former one which had been annulled by the flagrant disobedience of the Israelites ;) " before all thy people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, in any nation : and all the people among
which thou art, shall see the work of the Lord; for it is a terrible thing that I will do with thee.” Tremendous judgments will be inflicted upon the heathen, in conducting the Israelites to Canaan and giving them possession of the land. Whole nations will be driven out, to make room for the peculiar people of the Lord. While, at the same time, it is strictly eninined upon Moses to form no alliances
groves for the worship of false gods, cut down. " Thou shalt worship,” it was added,
no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God." He will endure no rival. He claims to be adored alone and supremely.
God then gave several precepts to Moses, relating to the feast of unleavened bread; the redeeming of the firstling of cattle, and the first-born of the sons ; the Sabbath ; the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat-harvest; and the feast of gathering at the end of the year. At these feasts all the males were required to thrice each year,
from the various parts of the land, and appear before the God of Israel, at the place where the tabernacle, and afterwards the temple, stood. In doing this, their families which were left behind, and their possessions, as the Lord assured Moses, would be preserved from all harm. So far from suffering on account of any predatory incursions, or hostile attacks, even the very desires of their enemies should be controlled by the divine power. Thểir land should not be coveted by them, nor any evil designs indulged. A standing miracle, for such it proved to be, attending the long, subsequent history of the Jewish nation, and furnishing the most incontestible evidence that the God of the Bible is the true God.
Some further directions were added; and Moses was then commanded to write down what he had
heard; " for after the tenor of these words," said the Lord, " I have made a covenant with thee and with Israel."
Thus, after spending another period of forty days and forty nights on Mount Sinai, during which he neither ate nor drank, Moses came down again, with the two new tables of testimony in his hand; on which God had written the words that were on the first tables.
A striking miracle attended his descent and reappearance before the Israelites. His face shone with such a bright and radiant glory, that when Aaron and the people beheld it, they were afraid to come nigh him. He was himself ignorant of the cause ; and calling his brother and the rulers of the congregation, who, encouraged by his voice, obeyed the summons, he ascertained the reason of their fears. He, then, covered his face with a veil, and the people approaching," he gave them in commandment, all that the Lord had spoken with him in Mount Sinai."
It seems that after this, when Moses went in before the Lord in the tabernacle, to speak with him, he took the veil off until he came out, when he put it on again while delivering the divine commands to the people.
He now, in the presence of the whole congregation, once more enjoined upon them the strictest observance of the Sabbath, and then proceeded to
give the directions which he had received on the mount for the building of the tabernacle, and the preparation of its furniture and the garments of the priests. from among you,” said he,
an offering unto the Lord; whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it,”—of the various materials which would be needed, -" gold and silver, and brass, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, and rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, and oil for the light, and spices for anointing oil, and for the sweet incense, and onyx stones, and stones to be set for the ephod, and for the breastplate. And every wisehearted," or ingenious and skilful, " among you shall come,” added Moses," and make all that the Lord hath commanded.”
The injunction was speedily obeyed. The offerings were presented in abundance ; each bringing the requisite things which he happened to have in his possession; the women who had skill in the art, spinning much that was to be prepared in that manner; and the rulers furnishing the precious