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the body of 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.'
Now this took place immediately after the descent of God upon Mount Sinai, in awful majesty, when he spake the Ten Commandments unto all the people; then amounting in number to six hundred thousand.
For "it came to pass on the third day, in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud: so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice."
These awful manifestations of the immediate presence of God had, as we might naturally expect, so great an effect upon the people of Israel; that they entreated the Lord to speak to them through his servant Moses; lest, hearing the voice of God again, they should die with fear.
To which, he graciously condescending to listen to their prayers, and mercifully pitying
the infirmities of his creature man, consented; and therefore called up before his throne, "Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu: and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel.”
Another customary appearance of God in person, was in the midst of a thick cloud; in which, a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night, he led his chosen people through the wilderness.
The book of Exodus, or the going forth of the Israelites from Egypt, abounds with similar accounts of the immediate presence of God on many important occasions; and it well repays our attentive perusal, by strengthening our reliance upon the truth, wisdom, and unchangeable power of Almighty God, the Father of Creation.
Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses; "and they said, hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it. And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam: come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out. And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood
in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam, and they both came forth.
"And he said, hear now my words: if there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
"With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches ; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold; wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses? And the anger of the Lord was kindled against them, and he departed. And the cloud departed from off the tabernacle; and behold Miriam became leprous, white as snow."
Upon the repentance of Aaron and Miriam, and their entreaty that Moses would ask God to forgive them, thereby acknowledging the justice of their Maker: he was graciously pleased to restore Miriam to health.
Again: when "Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men
of renown," gathered themselves together against Moses and Aaron, the glory of the Lord appeared unto all the congregation.
And the Lord spake unto Moses, and unto Aaron, saying: separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment. And they fell upon their faces, and said: O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation?
And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: speak unto the congregation, saying: get you up from about the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. "And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah."
Thus God again personally showed himself to be the God of Israel; and this judgment was for ever remembered among them. David, four hundred years after this event, reminded his countrymen of it, where he says in the 106th Psalm:
They angered Moses also in the tents, and Aaron the saint of the Lord. So the earth
opened, and swallowed up Dathan, and co
vered the congregation of Abiram. And the fire was kindled in their company: the flame the ungodly."
burnt up To these
may be added, as another strong, and positive, proof of the actual Being of Almighty God, his appearance in Three Persons to the Patriarch Abraham; recorded by Moses in the eighteenth chapter of Genesis.
"And the Lord appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre; and he sat in the tent door, in the heat of the day. And he lift up his eyes, and looked, and lo! three men stood by him and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground. And said, my Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant."
I will only remark that Moses here uses the word "Jehovah" in the Hebrew; translated" the Lord" appeared unto him.
It has, therefore, considering all the circumstances related in this very remarkable chapter; been received by the most eminent Divines of our Church, as a personal appearance of the Holy Trinity to Abraham, the father of the faithful.
A similar proof of the existence of one God,