Hopkins - HP BR75 .H65 1710

Firft .Commandment. 53 The Manner wherein this Law was delivered, is defcribed to be very terrible and a!l:onifhing: the Wif<lom of God defign'd it fo, on pm·pofe to polfefs the Peopl• With the greater Reverence of it; and to awaken in their Souls <l e;iuc Refpea to thofe old defpif~d Difrates _of their Natures, wherr they fhould fee the fame Laws revived and mvtgorated With fo ~uch Ctrcumftance and Terrou::. For·mdecd the Decalogue is not fa much the enatbng of any new Law~ as a revtvmg oflthe old by 3 more folenin Proclamation. And for the greater Majefty and Solemnity of the ACtion, we read, Fir{l, That the People were com~nded . to prepare theinfelves two days toge- 1. ther by a Typical Cleanfing_of themfelves·,from all external and bod1ly_ Pollut1ons, before they were to ftand m the Prefence of God. So we find It en)Ollled, :They were to be fanC:l:ified, and to wafh their Cloaths, and be ready agaitift the third :r;>ay, E d whercon t~e Lord would come down in the fight o~ ~11 the People, upon Mount J~: ~·,'_9· ·~ . . Now tliis fignifies unto Us two things~ · . Fir.ft, That we ought to be ferioufiy prepared when We come to wait before God t. in his Ordinances, and to receive a Law at his Month: Indeed, the.Djfpenfation of the Gb(pcl is not fuch a Miniil:ery of Terrour, as than of the Law was; God doth not now fpeak 11nto us immediately by his own Voice, which they .that heard it, were not a tile to endure ; he cloth not pronounCe his Law in Thunder, nor wrapt it up in Flame and Smoak; but he fpeaks unto us in a ft'ill VOice, by Men like out fehres; and cOnveys the rich Treafure of his Will unto us in earthen Ve{fcls, of the fame Mould and Frailty with our felves. He treats with us by- his ,Mcffengcrs and Amb:trfadors; whOfe Errand, though it be delivered with rlefs Terrour, yet ought not to be received witli: ~efs Reverence, for it is God h"imfclf that fpeaks in them, and by them ; and every word of Truth which they deliver unto you in the Name of the Great God, and by theAuthority of. that Commiffion which he hath given . them,. ought to be received wit~ ~s riit;ch prolhate Veneration and AffeCtion; as tho' God hmtfelf had fpoken to you tmmeduttely from Heaven. _ ' Think then how folicitous thC Jfraclitts w.crC in fitting themfclves for that great and dreadful Day of helting the Law; a Day mOre great and . dreadfu l than ever any !hall be, except that of Judging Men according to thel..aw .; think how their hearts throb'd and thrill'd within them, when they heard the clang of the heavenl y Trumpets mixtand blended with loud and terrible cracks of Thunder:, and both giving rhe1~1 a Si~nal of the near Appro:~ch of God: , think, if you can, what thOughts they had when they faw the Mountain burning with Fire, and invclopcd with Clouds and Smoak, o'ut of whiCh on every fide wera fearful Lightnings fuqt among them ; think how they trembled, when they faw the Mountain tremble and totter under the Weight and Greatnefs of God defcending,down upon it: And bring with you the fame AffeCtions, if not fo terrified, yet as much over-:twed, whenfocver you come to wait upon his holy Ordinan.ces ; for it is the fame God that fpeaks unto you, and he fpeaks the Iame things to you, as then he did ; not indeed with fhch amazing Cir~umftanCes, yet with the very fame Authority and Majelly. . . Were God no~ to come down among you in his tertibleMajefi:y, or fhould a tllick Cloud fill t~ i s _place, and LightningS flafh. out of it; fhould you heat: the Thunder of his VOice, I am the Lord; thou fl~alt have na orlier Gods before me; certainly fuch a dreadful Glory would make your hearts tremble within you , and the very E:~rth tremb!e under ?on:_ Could you ~~en give way to Sloath .and Drowfinefs; c;:ould your Hearts run gaddmg. after Vamttes and Trdles, or cou l~ there be any Object confidetable_ eno~1gh to dtvert your Thoughts and Affi:ctions fr611) fo terrible a Glory? Why believe It, God IS as really prefent here, a.s when he thus manifcfted himfelf to the Ifraelites ; and prefent tlpon the very fame occafion too.. He is now delivering_his Law to ym1, pronouncing his high and foYcreign Commands; and if he fo f~r confit_lts our ~eaknefs, as not to do it in fu.ch a!). aftonifhing manner : Yet far be that d1fingenmty from us, t~at w~ lliou)d be e1ther the lefs oreful to pre· pare for, or the lefs rcvere~t m attendmg oil the Declarations of his high Will and Pleafure, t~ough he makes 1t known to us by Men of the fame Temper, yea, or DiR .ftempers w1th our felves. Q