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Mount Sinai and Mount Sion.

Mount Sinai and Mount Sion.

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


EXODUS iii. 12.

This shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee : When thou hast
brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this
mountain.
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


EXODUS iii. 12.

This shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee : When thou hast
brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this
mountain.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 04, 2013
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MOUT SIAI AD MOUT SIO.BY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.EXODUS iii. 12.This shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee : When thou hastbrought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon thismountain.In the chapter from which these words are taken, we havethe first b^inning of what may be called the earthly re-demption of Crod's Israel, as in the accounts of our Lord'sbirth, in the first chapters of St. Matthew and St. Luke,we have the beginning of the spiritual redemption of Israel. It is very desirable to bear in mind, wherever itis possible, in reading the Old Testament, the connectionof what we there read with ourselves and our own condition,lest we should regard it merely as so much past history,and separate it too much from any direct interest of ourown. ow, the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egyptwas not merely a great deliverance for a particular people ;here, as in so many other instances, the Israelites were theministers of good to us. For if we consider how they hadlived in Egypt, and for how long a time, — that they musthave generally lost all remembrance of their fathers,the patriarchs, and have greatly forgotten the God of their fiithers, — we shall see how hardly the knowledge of God could have been preserved amongst men, had not theIsraelites been separated from amongst the Egyptians,and settled by themselves in a land of their own. AndVOL. VI. c18 MOUT SIAI AD MOUT SIO.had it nob been for the knowledge of God possessed by the
 
Israelites, and spread through them and through theirScriptures amongst the adjoining nations, it does notappear how there could have been any soil prepared toreceive the seed of fuller truth, when the Gospel itself was in its due season revealed to mankind.This being considered, will give us a much deeperinterest in that particular part of the Scripture historywhich will be read for the next two Sundays, as well asto-day. And in taking the several passages of the lessonfor this morning, the words of the text seemed to me tocontain much that was deserving of notice. For, first,the words may not be at first clear to every one, and somay require to be explained ; and then, when we haveexplained them, they lead us to consider one of the moststriking parts of God's dealings with the Israelites ; andthence, — as His dealings with the Israelites in the oldcovenant have almost always some analogy or resemblanceto His dealings with us under the new covenant, — theylead us also to consider a very striking part of the dis-pensation of the Gospel.First, then, let us try to explain the words, ' This shallbe a token unto thee, that I have sent thee : When thouhast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serveGod upon this mountain.' How was the mere fact, thatMoses should bring the people to worship Gtxi on thatmountain, to be a token to him that God had sent him ?because, if he led them thither in obedience to God'scommand, it could not be properly a token to him thatthat command was from God, but rather a proof to thepeople that he believed it to be so. But in the words,* ye shall serve God upon this moimtain,' there is moremeant than that the Israelites should come there to offertheir sacrifices. The meaning is, that God would, as itwere, meet them on that mountain ; that when they wor-MOUT SIAI AD MOUT SIO. .19
 
shipped Him there, He would be found by them ; thatHis presence should be shown to them so manifestly, thatMoses and all the people should know that He whom theyworshipped, and He by whom they had been delivered outof Egypt, and who had called Moses from tending sheepto be the leader of His people, was indeed the Lord of Heaven and earth, the one eternal God.Mount Sinai, then, was to aflFord the great sign of thedivine mission of Moses ; there God would be revealed tohim, and show that He was God indeed. Wherefore Hecame down with all the signs and seals of His presence,with His power, and His wisdom, and His goodness. Hecame with His power, with blackness and clouds, andthick darkness, wiih fire, and the sound of a trumpet, andwith a mighty voice. Hear, and think upon the solemnityof that day on Mount Sinai, when God gave the signs of His power : — ' Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke,because the Lord descended upon it in fire, and the smokethereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the wholemount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trum-pet sounded long and waxed louder and louder, Mosesspake, and God answered him by a voice.' These werethe signs of power ; and thus we find Moses appealing tothem as such, when he asks the people, ' Did ever peoplehear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of thefire, as thou hast heard, and live ? 'But there were also given the signs of God's wisdomand goodness : there was given on that same MountSinai, that law of which St. Paul bore true witness, whenhe described it aa holy, just, and good. There were givenall those statutes and ordinances which met so many of the worst evils of society, evils which it has been found sohard to deal with, — statutes which, while they madeallowance in some respects for the hardness of the people'shearts, for their imperfect notions of right and wrong, yetc 2

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