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found among that holy number. May we meet Thee with joy, and not with grief. When this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, then, O then, God of mercy, God of judgment, may that saying be accomplished in us, "Death is swallowed up in victory.-O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory ?"-O remove our sin, for it is the sting of death. O remove our guilt, for the guilt of our sin is the victory of the grave. O may our language rightly, justly, gratefully be, "Thanks be to God which giveth us the victory over sin and death, through the Lord Jesus Christ." So may it be, that not in fear and terror, not with trembling and sorrow, not in agony and despair of Thy mercy, we look forward, O Lord, to Thy coming. In joy, and hope, and peace, and holy calmness of heart and spirit, may we expect the hour of death and the day of judgment; and now, and at the hour of death, patiently expect the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Constantly may we look for that blessed hope, and for the manifestation of the glory of the great God, even our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath loved us and given Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify ourselves to Him as His own, His peculiar people, zealous of good works. Hear our imperfect petitions. Let us not pray to Thee in vain, but give us Thy grace, Almighty God, that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty, to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life of immortal happiness through Him, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, one God, world without end.”—In His name and words we sum up all our petitions, calling upon Thee as

Our Father, &c.

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The Grace of our Lord, &c.

NOTES.

NOTE 1. On the place where the people of Israel assembled to hear the delivery of the Law. Exod. xix. 17.

The Hebrew name denotes a district of cleft rocks, supposed to be situated in a mountainous part of Arabia Petræa. The Sinaitic group is of great extent, but the name Sinai is more properly applied to any lofty ridge lying between the valleys of Sher and El-leja. The northern extremity is called Horeb, the southern Sinai. It is difficult to determine the exact spot in which the law was delivered. From Deut. i. 6; iv., xviii., &c., it would appear to be Horeb. Sinai is generally reputed to be the place, and the southern end of the range is denominated Moses' Mount; but this may have arisen from confounding together two meanings of Sinai, as it denotes a district, and a particular part of that district. It was no doubt on Horeb, in the region of Sinai, that the law was promulgated. In support of this view, Dr. Robinson says, "There is not the slightest reason for supposing that Moses had anything to do with the summit which now bears his name. It is three miles distant from the plain on which the Israelites must have stood, and hidden

from it by the intervening peaks of the modern Horeb. No part of the plain is visible from the summit; nor are the bottoms of the adjacent valleys; nor is any spot to be seen around it where the people could have been assembled." On reaching the summit of Horeb, Dr. Robinson remarks,-" Our conviction was strengthened that here, or on some one of the adjacent cliffs, was the spot where the Lord descended in fire,' and proclaimed the law. Here lay the plain where the whole congregation might be assembled; here was the mount that could be approached and touched, if not forbidden ; and here the mountain brow, where alone the lightnings and the thick cloud would be visible, and the thunders and the voice of the trump be heard, when the Lord came down in the sight of all the people upon Mount Sinai." "-" We gave ourselves up to the impressions of the awful scene, and read with a feeling that will never be forgotten, the sublime account of the transaction and the commandments there promulgated, in the original words, as recorded by the great Hebrew legislator 2."

1 Biblical Researches in Palestine, vol. i. p. 154. 2 Ibid. vol. i. p. 158.

NOTE 2. On the giving the law by the ministration of angels.

The fact of the existence of an order, or rather of many orders and degrees of beings, between God and man, is so plainly declared in the revelation which God has imparted to man, that neither the Sadduceeism of the Jews, nor the imagined superiority of modern philosophy over simple Christianity, have shaken the faith of the believer. The attempts that have been made to reduce the angels to mere phantoms of the imagination, to the simple elements of nature, or to unusual physical phenomena, have signally failed; and all such attempts must fail so long as the contents of Scripture shall be honestly judged of by tested and correct principles of hermeneutics.

The names, and ayyeλot, by which these superior spirits are designated, are indicative not of their nature but of their office1. They are the messengers or servants of Jehovah, whose agency He employs for the revelation and execution of His will. They are represented as "ministering unto Him by thousands of thousands2;" "standing before him to receive his high behests3;" "flying with the utmost alacrity to perform his pleasure" "excelling in strength for the purpose of carrying into effect his wise and holy designs," and specially as AurovρYIKÀ πVEÚpara, "ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for those who shall be heirs of salvation "." Effects which God might have produced in a direct or immediate manner, without the intervention of secondary causes, He has been pleased, for the greater display of His infinite wisdom and goodness, to devolve upon the operation of their agency. Of the mode in which this agency is generally exercised, we are totally ignorant, it being conducted invisibly, imperceptibly, and upon principles belonging to a higher sphere of action than that with which we are conversant. Nor can any one reasonably be surprised at our ignorance on this head, who reflects on the deficiencies of our knowledge with respect to the manner in which even human spirits act on each other; or the very limited acquaintance which we possess with the nature and operations of our own intellectual powers. We receive the fact on the authority of Him who cannot

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deceive us, and leave the mode to be discovered, if it shall please Him to reveal it, in that world where we shall enjoy immediate intercourse with these celestial messengers, and where, as there is reason to anticipate, the history of their wondrous and greatly diversified ministrations, will furnish themes of exalted and ineffable delight.

is derived from an obsolete Hebrew root, which is preserved in the Ethiopic and Arabic, and signifies, to send, to delegate; send or go as a messenger, render or perform any service.' See Gesen and Win. in Simon."Αγγελος λέγεται, διὰ τὸ ἀγγέλλειν τοῖς ἀνθρώποις, ὅσαπερ βούλεται αὐτοῖς ἀγγεῖλαι ὁ τῶν ὅλων ποιητής. Justin Martyr, in Dial. cum Tryph. ap. Suicer. i. 20.

2 Dan. vii. 10.

a Ibid.

4 Dan. ix. 21.

5 Ps. ciii. 20.

6 Heb. i. 14.

Of the several remarkable instances of the agency of angels furnished by the sacred volume, that presented by the accounts therein contained of their personal appearance is most calculated to strike and interest the mind. Other instances in which their ministry was employed, exhibit the wonderful effects of their power; but these effects were brought about in an invisible manner. And even when they revealed the will of God in visions or dreams, presenting themselves to view on such occasions as divine messengers, this appearance did not consist in any actual contact into which they were personally brought with the sense of vision; but solely in a scenic representation which they impressed upon the imagination of the persons to whom the revelation was made. But in the cases which we have here in view, real visible objects were presented to the organ of sight. They appear to have usually assumed for a time a material body, in which they held converse as man with man 1.

Of this we have examples in the xviiith and xixth of Genesis, where two angels appear to Abraham, as well as the Jehovah Angel of the covenant; in the history of David (1 Chron. xxi.); of Zechariah (Luke i.); and of the resurrection, &c. The most eminent instance, however, of the permitted interference of angels in the transactions of man, is that of their taking part in the giving of the law from Mount Sinai. "In asserting that this transaction," says the learned writer who has treated upon this subject so memorable in the History of the Hebrews, "exhibits a mixed character, we do it on the ground that it consisted partly in the exercise of the mediatorial agency of the Logos, and partly in that of angels; and combined, in the entireness of the scene, a remarkable personal manifestation with the employment of invisible power, and the widely-extended production of audible and intelligible language." The presence of an immense number of angels on that occasion can only be called in question by those who make light of the testimony of Scripture, or do not believe in the existence of such beings, or in their ministry in reference to human affairs. In direct allusion to this event, the author of Psalm lxviii. 17

1 Divine Inspiration, or the Supernatural Influence exerted in the communication of Divine Truth, and its special bearing on the composition of the Sacred Scriptures, with notes and illustrations, by Rev. E. Henderson; London, 1836, lect. ii. p. 106, &c.

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sings in the following strains: "The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels: the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place." In the poem composed by Moses, and delivered to the children of Israel immediately before his death, he thus commences in language of uncommon grandeur and beauty:

"Jehovah came from Sinai ;
He arose from Seir;

He shone from Mount Paran;
He came with holy Myriads.

In his right hand he had a fiery law,
(Yet he loved the people).

All thy holy ones were with thee,
They bowed themselves at thy feet:
Each conveyed thy oracles.

A law Moses ordained for us,

An inheritance for the congregation of Jacob.
In Jeshurun he was king,

When the chiefs of the people assembled,
When the tribes of Israel were one 1."

1 Deut. xxxiii. 2-5.

'he rose up to

Verse 2. The rendering of them,' in our common version, clogs the passage. The dative of the pronoun is here, as frequently, redundant after an intransitive verb of motion. The Targum of Onkelos, the LXX., and the Syriac and Vulgate versions read, the first person plural; but the reading is clearly to be attributed to emendation. It is unsupported by manuscript authority. in, He came with holy myriads.' The LXX., mistaking, Kodesh,' for 'Kadesh,' renders the words thus, oùv uvρiáoi Kádns, 'with myriads at Kadesh;' but still, having an impression that reference was had to the angels, they add, ἐκ δεξιῶν αὐτοῦ ἄγγελοι μετ' αὐτοῦ. Aquila, however, Symmachus, the Venet. Greek, and the Syriac, agree with Onkelos in considering the term to be a substantive, signifying holiness;' which, being governed by the preceding noun, has the force of an adjective, and is by Symmachus so expressed. That, the fem. plur., should be employed of angels can excite no surprise, since this numeral is only used in the feminine. See among other pasIn fact,

Making every allowance for the poetic costume in which the facts here described are arrayed, it is unquestionable that it is the object of the Jewish legislator to celebrate the majestic descent of Jehovah on Sinai, the effulgence of which was reflected through the whole of the Arabian desert; that, in this descent, he was accompanied by myriads of holy angels, that the object to be attained by it was the solemn announcement of his law, that these superior sprits prostrated themselves in his presence, and received the divine commandments to promulgate among the people; that though the law was delivered under circumstances that were highly calculated to inspire the Israelites with alarm, it was, nevertheless, to be regarded as a signal proof of the love of Jehovah towards them, and, finally, that the law thus given became their peculiar and exclusive property.

That it was the Logos, or the Son of God, in his pre-existent manifestive character, whose glory was displayed on this occasion, is placed beyond dispute by the declaration of Stephen, that it was "THE ANGEL, TOÙ ̓Αγγέλου, who spake to Moses in the Mount Sinai" namely, the same angel whom he had just mentioned as having appeared to him in the bush, whom he designates the angel of the Lord, and who proclaimed himself to be the God of his fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of

and Gesenius, in his Thesaurus, very ingeniously traces its etymology. The singularity of its occurrence in pure Hebrew is not greater than that which is exhibited in several other parallel instances. That the construction should be, and not

, according to rule, seems at first sight to present an obstacle to the rendering, 'law of fire,' or 'fiery law;' but the prominence which the writer intended to give to the igneous phenomenon is sufficient to account for the anomaly. Winer's observation in Simonis Lex. is, "In loco Deut. xxxiii. 2,

דַרְכְּמוֹנִים שְׁתֵּי רִבּוֹת : 71 .sages, Neh. vii

-have greatly per מִימִינוֹ אֶשְׁבָּת לָמוֹ The words

it is employed in the dual form of the fem. in the parallel passage, Ps. lxviii. 17.

plexed interpreters. The principal difficulty has been occasioned by the unusual combination, which, as it is found in upwards of a hundred of Kennicott and De Rossi's MSS., and in twenty-five printed editions, has been supposed to come from, or even from the corresponding Arabic root, and interpretations agreeing with such derivations have been advanced; but they have all failed in affording satisfaction. Those who have most distinguished themselves for critical taste, regard the word as compounded of and an opinion which is confirmed by the circumstances, that it is included by the rabbins in the number of fifteen words, which, though written as one, are nevertheless to be read as two, and that in a great number of the best MSS., the Keri exhibits ng, which several editors, both Jewish and Christian, have adopted as the textual reading. With respect to the significa. ny, tion of 'law' is now pretty generally acquiesced in ;

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significare videtur ignem legis; h. e. legem igneam, media inter fulgura promulgatam." The in, at the end of the verse, is the poetic singular, as in the preceding instance, only it is here used as the dative of possession.

Verse 3. In there is an evident continuation of the third person from the foregoing participle, though the transition in the following word to the second person renders it necessary in a translation to

adopt the change earlier. TH is quite idiomatic, and does not express more than the simple preposition, or the particle See Gesen. in voc.

Ta a. The awak λeyóuevov (n), signifies, 'to bend one's self, fall down, fall prostrate,' and is here used to express the deep reverence of the angelic hosts, on the occasion to which reference is made.Ni is taken partitively, as, Isa. xlv. 24, “he,” i. e. each, "saith." The verb has here all the preg nance of its meaning: signifying not merely 'to take,' 'take up,' but to take up so as to bear away.

Verse 5. That the king, mentioned in this verse, was Jehovah, and not Moses, as Abenezra interprets, seems past dispute.

Jacob1 (Acts vii. 30-38). Nor is the evidence of this fact less convincing which is furnished by Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews. Warning that people against apostasy, he reminds them of the punishment which had been inflicted upon those who refused to obey Moses, who was merely of earthly origin; and contrasting with his the superior dignity and authority of Christ, he adds, "WHOSE voice then shook the earth 2," a statement which is allowed by the best commentators to identify our Saviour with Jehovah, the God of Israel, whose voice convulsed Sinai, and filled the people with terror. In corroboration of this view of the subject, may be adduced the circumstance, that soon after the promulgation of the decalogue, when, by special invitation, Moses with Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, ascended the Mount, they were favoured with a vision of the God of Israel. It is common, indeed, to explain the object of this vision, so as to make it signify nothing more than a singular display of the divine glory; but such an interpretation is no less at variance with the usage of the phrase than it is with other parts of the sacred narrative. To see God, in the language of the Pentateuch, signifies either to have a view of his divine essence, which is declared to be impossible for mortals; or to have such a view of him as was afforded when he is said to have appeared to any one, namely, in a certain visible form, more or less glorious, according to circumstances. The Israelites saw the glory of the Lord (Exod. xxiv. 17), yet it is never affirmed of them that they saw the Lord himself. On the contrary, Moses appeals to their own knowledge of the fact, that no similitude was presented to their view (Deut. iv. 12): "The Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire: ye heard the voice of the words, but saw no similitude; only ye heard a voice." It was a privilege, however, which Moses enjoyed, as we are expressly informed, (Num. xii. 8). "And the similitude of the Lord shall he behold." And there is reason to believe, that though his elect companions were not permitted to enjoy so full a manifestation on the occasion to which reference is here made, as that conferred upon him, they, neverthe

Most of the fathers recognized the divine Logos in the angel who appeared at the bush; but none of them has expressed himself more explicitly than Theodoret: Ὅλον τὸ χωρίον, he says, δείκνυσι Θεὸν ὄντα τὸν ὀφθέντα κέκληκε δὲ αὐτὸν καὶ ἄγγελον, ἵνα γνῶμεν, ὡς ὁ ὀφθεὶς οὐκ ἔστιν ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πατήρ τίνος γὰρ ἄγγελος ὁ πατήρ; ἀλλ ̓ ὁ μονογενὴς υἱὸς · μεγάλης βουλῆς ἄγγελος. Interr. v. in Exod. Opp. i. 78., edit. fol., Par. 1642.

2 Heb. xii. 25, 26. "Whose voice," i. e. the voice of Christ: so Michaelis, Storr, Cramer, Rosenmüller, Boehme, Kuinoel, and Bloomfield. It is one of the many passages of the New Testament which ascribe to Christ the same things that are ascribed to Jehovah in the Old Testament. Stuart in loc.

less, did behold Him, who before his actual assumption of human nature, existed "in the form of God," (v μoppy Oεou, the similitude, likeness of God), "and thought it no robbery to be equal with God.” (Phil. ii. 7.) The language of the whole passage is quite peculiar; "And they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet, as it were, a paved work of a sapphire stone, and, as it were, the body of the heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand also they saw God, and did eat and drink." (Exod. xxiv. 10, 11).

Most of those who have admitted the fact of angelic ministration at the giving of the Law, confine that ministration to their attendance in regular hosts or bands; while some go further, and maintain that they were employed in producing the awful physical phenomena which accompanied the event. The former class endeavour to find support to their hypothesis by pressing the etymological meaning of the words employed by Stephen and Paul, when describing the transaction. In his address to the Jews, the proto-martyr states, that their ancestors, whom they resembled in obstinacy, "received the law by the disposition of angels,” εἰς διαταγάς ayyilov (Acts vii. 53). And the Apostle writing to the Galatians (iii. 19), says, that it “ was ordained by angels, διαταγείς δι' ἀγγέ Awv, in the hand of a mediator." In the passage in the Acts, the original term rendered "disposition," is derived from that which, in the Epistle, is translated "ordained." And as both have been taken in a military sense to denote the marshalling, or arranging of troops in order of battle, and the divisions or squadrons thus arranged, it had been inferred that the idea intended to be conveyed is, that of the regular order or arrangement which obtained among the myriads of angels who were present at the promulgation of the law. Now, though it is conceded that the word diarάoow is frequently used in a military sense, yet the substantive diaray is never so employed; and as both are applied in common usage to acts of legislation, which is the subject of which the sacred writers are treating; it seems more reasonable to conclude that they used them in their current acceptation, as it respects the act of promulgating laws; than that they only meant to say, that, when the law was given, the angels were present in cohorts or troops, attending upon the Divine Majesty. The one interpretation is tame, and little to the point, the other is appropriate to the occasion. Nor does it seem the most natural construction to be put upon the passages in question, to restrict the meaning to anything like mere accessory subserviency; as if the angels only increased the external pomp, or, at most, produced the thunders, lightnings, and tempest, but took

no direct or immediate part in announcing the law itself to the assembled Israelites. It only requires a cursory glance at the parallel instances quoted by the critics, to perceive that the terms here employed express actual agency, with respect to the communication of the divine institutes; and that if anything less had been intended, very different phraseology would have been employed.

But what appears to set the question completely at rest, is the positive manner in which the apostle speaks respecting it (Heb. ii. 2), where he asserts that the word was spoken by angels ὁ δι' ἀγγέλων λαληθεὶς λόγος. That it is the Sinaic law he means by "the word," and not any of the other communications made through their instrumentality to the ancients, is evident from the connection, from what is predicated of those who treated it with contempt, and from a comparison with chap. x. 28, 29, and xii. 25. And it is equally clear, from the identity of the mode in which the Law and the Gospel are here said to have been announced; that it was a verbal ministration with which the angels were occupied at Sinai: the law which was spoken by them being contrasted with the message of "salvation which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was afterwards confirmed by them that heard him" (ver. 3). It has been objected to this view of the subject, that no mention is made of any articulate words enunciated by angels, in the history of the transaction contained in the Pentateuch; but that, on the contrary, whatever was spoken, is said to have been spoken by God himself. But to this it is sufficient to reply, that the history makes no reference whatever even to the presence of angels on the occasion; and that we are warranted to believe that they were actually engaged in communicating the law to the people, on the very same authority on which we be lieve that they took any part at all in the transaction, namely, the express testimony of the New Testament. Nor must it be forgotten,

1 The statements of the New Testament in regard to this subject are quite in accordance with the traditionary interpretation of the Jews. Thus Josephus puts the words into the mouth of Herod, when addressing the Jewish army: Τῶν μὲν Ἑλλήνων ἱεροὺς καὶ ἀσύλους εἶναι τοὺς κήρυκας φαμένων, ἡμῶν δὲ τὰ

that though the passage already quoted from Deuteronomy is not clothed in the simple style of history, but appears in the garb of poetry, it is, nevertheless, based upon historical facts; and as we have already shown, unequivocally teaches both the presence of those celestial beings, and the nature of their ministry at the giving of the law. With respect to that part of the objection which asserts to Jehovah the exclusive enunciation of the decalogue; it will not weigh with any who are familiar with the circumstance, that in the Bible, just as in other books, an individual is frequently said to do that, which he really effects through the instrumentality of another; or which they do conjointly.

The fact of the case seems to have been this ;-God distinctly and audibly delivered his law on the mountain, and each commandment, as it was pronounced, was repeated in loud and thrilling tones by the vast company of angels by whom he was surrounded, just as afterwards, when the news of the Saviour's birth were announced to the shepherds, "there was suddenly with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will towards men." It is not more difficult to conceive of the transmission of the articulate sounds in the one case, than it is in the other, though it is impossible for us to form any adequate conception of the transcendently powerful effect which must have been produced by the magnitude of sound proceeding from the united myriads, whose service was employed on the solemn occasion. While such a representation of the nature of this great transaction at Sinai cannot, it is presumed, give offence to any candid mind; it has the advantage of harmonizing the otherwise conflicting circumstances, which press upon our notice. It is advanced, of course, purely as an hypothesis, as every statement necessarily must be which respects objects, whose existence, but not the manner of whose existence and operations, is revealed to us1.

κάλλιστα τῶν δογμάτων, καὶ τὰ ὁσιώτατα τῶν ἐν τοῖς νόμοις δι' ἀγγέλων παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ μαθόντων.Antiq. lib. xv. v. 3. Henderson, ut supra, lect. iii. p. 123, &c.

SECTION CIII. EXODUS XX. 1—17.

TITLE.-Order to be adopted in the following Sections, till the death of Moses. Archbishop Laud's Harmony of the Laws of Moses. No soul of man remains in covenant with God, but by the observance of the commandments, in prayer and intention, in resolution and action. The delivery of the Law by the minis

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