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of Jesus Christ. When the word was made flesh, the light of the glorious gospel shone in the face of Jesus Christ. It is remarkable that Moses was put in a cleft of the rock, viz. the rock which follow. ed them, and that rock was Christ ; that rock which was cleft, and waters gushed out. In the cleft of that rock, there is safety when the divine majesty passeth by. Referring to this, the prophet says,
into the clefts of the rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the * earth,' Isa. ii. 21. We may farther remark, that Moses beheld the full splendour of the glory of his face on the holy mount; for then his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was whiter than any fuller on earth could whiten them.
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Chap. XXXIV. Moses is now called up * again to the mount, and commanded to hew two tables of stone, like the first two which were broken, as a presage of the breach of the old covenant founded on that law. The mount is on this occasion more strictly guarded than before ; even the cattle were not to be allowed to feed before it. Moses must again appear early in the morning. This is a circumstance connected with the distinction of the seven days which has been strangely overlooked. It is a renewed assurance, that early in the morning of the great and notable day of the Lord, he who here de. scended, and proclaimed his glorious name, will descend to make his last display of terror to his enemies, and boundless mercy and grace to all the Israel of God. In like manner it was
very early in the • morning, as it began to dawn towards the first day of the week,' that he arose from the dead. Nor can we refrain from reminding our readers, that on the first day of the week, the Christian Sabbath, • it is a comely thing to shew forth God's loving kindness in the . morning,' as well as his faithfulness in the evening,' by breaking bread in commemoration of what took place that night in which he
was betrayed.' We know not a more comely thing, than to see a company of guilty sinners meeting together in the morning of the first day of the week, praising God for his mercy that endureth for ever; it reminds of the loud alleluias which shall resound from the lips and harps of God's redeemed, in that morning of which the Psalmist says, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.' The night is far spent, the midnight cry, the bridegroom cometh, is now sounding in the stately steps of God's majesty in his judgments throughout the earth. Let us put off the works of darke
ness, and put on the Lord Jesus Christ, making no provision for , the Hesh to fulfil its lusts.'
It will be remembered, that this is the renewed covenant of Horeb, men. tioned Deut. i. and that on this occasion Moses is employed to hew the stones; formerly they were the workmanship of God. Still huwever the writing is by the finger of the Almighty, Eternal, and Immutable.
The Lord descended to proclaim his name ; it was on his descent, in the womb of the virgin, that his name, EMMANUEL, was displayed ; his name, merciful and gracious, manifested. In examining this proclamation, it will be observed, 1. That the godhead is brought to view, JEHOVAH, JEHOVAH, ELOHIM; and 2. That the character of God, or his name, is completely revealed, in seven attributes, 1. Merciful and gracious; 2. Long-suffering ; 3. Abundant in goodness and truth; 4. Keeping mercy for thousands ; 5. Forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin; 6. That will by no means clear the guilty ; and 4. Visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children, to the third and fourth generation. This name of God is alone to be seen in his beloved Son; in the gospel of Jesus Christ, mercy and grace appear in their brightest colours. In him God appears clearing, yet not clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children. The revelation of this blessed name made Moses in.' stantly worship ; indeed there is no acceptable worship to God, but what the knowledge of this name inspires. When Jesus appeared to Saul going to Damascus, the angel said to Ananias, Behold, he • prayeth ;' and he was declared to be a chosen vessel to bear God's name to the Gentiles. This was the same revelation of God's name made to Moses, of which the apostles testified, . There is no other ' name given under heaven amongst men whereby we must be saved.'
In the 9th verse Moses renews his request that God should go with them, that he would pardon their iniquity, and take them for his inheritance. In reply Jehovah says, · Behold, I make a cove
nant :' here the reader will observe, that the covenant is altogether of God; he alone strikes his covenant, as the passage literally reads, that is, he pledges his divine promise, for which the blood of the covenant was shed, that in the sight of all the people he would do marvels, such as had not been done in any nation before. God's whole proceedings with Israel was a work of marvels, and thus the Psal. mist says, " Marvellous things did he in the sight of their fathers, Fsal. Ixxvii, 12. The work of the son of God, in dying for his people, and bringing them into his heavenly kingdom, is a marvellous work. • This is the Lord's doing, and -wonderful in our eyes.'
Sing unto the Lord, for he hath done marvellous things ; his right • hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory,'' Psal. xcviii. 1. 2. The gospel is a display of God's marvellous loving kindness, Psal. xvii. 7. and xxxi. 21. ; and thus Peter exhorts to shew forth • the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his6 marvellous light.'. God's judgments are also called marvellous in scripture; and particularly he shewed marvels, such as had not been done in all the earth, in his awful judgments in unchurching Israel. Isaiah thus speaks of it, and the cause for which it was executed • Wherefore the Lord saith, Forasmuch as this people draw near me
with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have re« moved their heart far from me, and their fear towards me is taught
by the precept of men ; therefore, behold I will proceed to do a
* marvellous work amongst this people, even a marvellous work and a ? wonder,' &c. Isaiah xxix. 14. The whole history of Israel was marvellous ; in Egypt in the wilderness, in Canaan during their captivities, and in their excision; their dispersion among the nations was marvellous ; and may we not truly add, their preservation as a distinct and separated people, among all the nations of the earth, is at this hour a marvel! There is yet another and the greatest of all marvels to be fulfilled in them, when those who crucified the Son of God shall be heard exclaiming, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord!
We have next set before us a renewal of those fundamental statutes which were peculiar to the old covenant, and which we have formeriy glanced at. The God of Israel says (ver. 14.) his name is jealous. This evidently refers to the nature of his connection with that people, which is always represented as a marriage covenant ; and in this view idolatry was adultery ; every approach to that sin would provoke him to jealousy. Jealousy always proceeds from love: “ because I loved
your fathers,' is always given as the source of the covenant made with them. Israel is therefore warned in this chapter against all intercourse or connection with the inhabitants of the land into which they were to go. Nor are these precepts useless to us.
An apostle of the Lord deemed it necessary to exhort new testament disciples, • Little children keep yourselves from idols;' and when another apostle tells us, that covetousness is idolatry,' we may readily see that we are at this day in equal danger with Israel of old. In like manner, we are commanded to keep ourselves unspotted from the world," not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed,' &c. Christians have therefore the utmost cause to be attentive, lest they too mingle 6 with the nations, and learn of them their ways.' In their worship, they have no fellowship with any but who appear to be of the truth, and belonging to the Israel of God: with these their hearts and souls are united and knit; and thus their charity is not the charity of the world, and they will be reproached by the world as very uncharitable. They doubtless must have an intercourse with the world, in the ordinary affairs of life, otherwise they must needs go out of the world; but they will be found keeping separate from those things which the law of God forbids ; as strangers and pilgrims abstaining from fleshly lusts, and passing the time of their sojourning here in fear. They will be leading quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty ; rendering to Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's, and to God the things which are God's. Conducted by the fear of God, they will put to silence the ignorance of foolish men; and in every thing make those ashamed who falsely accuse their good conversation in Christ.
The feasts, sapctification of the first born of man and beast, Sabbath day, and unmingled sacrifice, are again enjoined, and Moses commanded to write the precepts concerning them in the book of the co
venant. He was * forty days and nights with the Lord, who wrote again the ten commandments on the two tables of stone. As Moses returned from the mount, with the two tables in his hand, he wist not that the skin of his face shone, which, when Aaron and all Israel saw, they were afraid to come nigh to Moses. He therefore, divinely directed, put a vail over his face when they came nigh, and he rehearsed to them all that the Lord had given hiin in charge. When Moses went in before the Lord, he took off the vail ; but when he came out and spake to the people, it was put on his face. This shining of the face of Moses, and covering with the vail, are very remarkable circumstances, and much misunderstood.
The shining of the face of Moses, was an undoubted testimony to all who saw him, that he had been with God. When he first came down from the mount, his eyes sparkled with anger, and his face with fury ; now it reflects the beams of Divine Majesty. A ray of that glory which was on the top of the mount, and in the sight of all Israel like devouring fire, when the TEN WORDS were thundered from Sinai, now reflected on the face of Moses, when he came from the mount, with the tables of testimony in his hand. Among the other reflections brought against the apostle Paul, by those who questioned his authority as an apostle, it appears to have been none of the least weighty, that when Moses came down from the mount, the shining of his face gave irresistible testimony that he spake with authority from God, but Paul brought no visible proof of his ministry, ' his bodily
presence was weak, and his speech contemptible.' The apostle answers this charge at full length, in the 3d chapter of his 2d epistle to the Corinthians throughout : • But,' says he, if the ministration • of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the • children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses, for • the glory of his countenance, which glory was to be done away; how • shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious ?” When Moses brought the tables of stone in his hard, he ministered death to them, for they could not endure that which was commanded.' It was the glory of God's justice in defence of his holy, just and good law ; a glory which assured all who saw it, that the soul which sinneth must die. This was the cause of that fear which they manifested, so that they would not come near bim. It brought their sins to their * remembrance, and thus the law wrought wrath, and ministered death,
* Moses was forty days and nights with the Lord on the mount, without eating bread, or drinking water, receiving God's law ; Elias, the restorer of that law, travelled forty days into the wilderness fasting; and Christ, the fulfiller of the law, fasted forty days, tempted of the devil. This remarkable coincidence of periods and circumstance, did not happen, nor is it recorded, without particular design by the Spirit of God. Our Lord's answer to Satan, is perhaps the best key for the purpose of explaining this : Man shall not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. The great design of this law, which Moses spent forty days and nights in receiving, was to support the life of the Israel of God; hence Stephen says," he received the lively oracles to give
to their guilty consciences. Had they, been able to have looked stedfastly to Moses, and heard the gracious word of eternal life which he had in charge to communicate to them, they would have found support to their mind, in the broadest view of their guilt ; and while the law he held in his hand condemned them, the words of mercy he their Mediator delivered to them would have supported them. But, beholding only the glory of the infinite justice, purity and hodiuess, their minds were blinded as to the design ; the gracious and merciful purpose for which their Mediator came to them from God ; and they trembled. Moses therefore put a vail over his face, which pointed out two very remarkable things, Ist, The vail which is upon the gospel in the law of Moses ; and, 2dly, The vail which was on the heart of Israel of old, which continued in the days of the apostle, and which remains untaken away on the minds of many Gentiles, as well as Jews, in reading the Old Testament. As to the 1st, The ceremonies and ordinances of the Old Testainent are merely a vail covering the glory of the face of Moses, which glory was finished in Christ, the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. In reading the Old Testament, without attending to Christ Jesus the Lord, as the spirit of that law, Moses will appear vailed. This is the reason why so many consider the Old Testament of so little value: as dark and mysterious; as having nothing glorious to attract or deserve our notice, they see not through the vail, the glory which is thus as it were covered up. Thus the church of old prayed, Open • ( unvail) mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy • law,' Psal. cxix. 18. There are wondrous things indeed to be found in the law of Moses, when his face is unvailed ; but this can only be done by turning the things of that law to the Lord. The prophet, in the name of the Lord, remonstrates with the church, I have • written to Ephraim the great things of my law, but they seemed • to him as strange things, Hoseah viii. 12. When we enter the tabernacle of Moses, and behold the brazen altar smoking with the blood of bulls and goats, and the golden altar with costly perfumes, we see nothing but what appears to be • weak and beggarly elements ;' but turn them to the Lord, withdraw the vail, and the blood of Christ, with his divine righteousness and intercession, appear conspicuously in view. But, 2dly, There was a vail on the heart in resisting the doctrine of Moses, even after the manifestation of the Son of God as the spirit of the law. It was this vail which prevented the Jews from beholding the divine glory of Jesus Christ himself; and thus he says, • Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me, for he wrote of . me.' Then Paul says, ' which pone of the princes of this world • knew ; for had they known it, they would not have crucified the ' Lord of glory,' I Cor. ii. 8. There is no reason why the word of God is neglected and despised by one class, and perverted by ano. ther, but this--the vail remains on their heart untaken away. Oppo sed to this, the apostle says, “ But we all, with unvailed face, behold. ing (the law of Moses) as in a glass, the glory of the Lord, change