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language, to this coming used to join mountains, hills, &c. So we find it historically and actually transacted', · The Lord came down upon mount • Sinai, on the top of the mount, &c. Typically spoken of, either as past or future, • the moun• tain which God desireth to dwell in,' &c. and prophetically foretold 3 • God (77158, Alue, the God of • Jacob) came, or rather, will come, from Teman, * (the south, the right hand), and the holy one
( 77, quedush, passive, the sanctified, separated, one) from the mountain Paran (of splendour). • Selah.? Such a coming of Jehovah the Psalmist had in his eye, with its joyful consequences, when he broke out thus, Let the field (singular, the Gen‘ tile field) be joyful, and all that is therein ; then • shall all the trees of the wood (in confirmation of · what I have said on ver. 3. of this chapter) rejoice
before the Lord, for He (N), ba, the church's word • in her song here) cometh, for he cometh, *' &c. And again, still more pointedly to the case in hands, “Let the mountains be joyful together, be• fore the Lord, for he cometh,' &c. In the business of this coming, the mountains, we see, are typically employed. So says the Psalmist, (in one of those Psalms inscribed for Solomon, • The mountains • also shall bring peace, and the hills righteousness - unto the people. Therefore ‘righteousness and
. peace have kissed each other.". And St Paul calls Melchisedec”, King of Righteousness, by his name, and by his designation, King of Peace. In this peaceful coming, we have seen the prophets describing the mountains as joyfully concerned. • Upon the mountains, the feet of him that bring
eth good tidings '-1990, mebashar, from the root ws, bashar, which the Psalmist applies to this purpose ?, • The Lord (Adon) gave (will give, yo, • future) the word, great the company of the • preachers, of those that published it, (Onwand, hamebasharoth, feminine), the things preached,' &c. This root bashar is the word for flesh, so cannot but present a most pleasing meditation to us, from the similarity, or rather sameness, between · good tid. ings 4' and flesh. Hence this apostle describes the great mystery of godliness (ins EuosBeas, the right, acceptable worship) to be, • God manifested, made * visible in flesh.' Accordingly we find this prophecy of Isaiah's literally, as it were, accomplisheds, when Jesus went up into a mountain, and thence published his good tidings of peace: And before this, it is worthy of notice, that the first vic
i Psalm 1xxxv. 10.
2 Heb. vii. 2.
3 Psalm 1xviii. 15. 4 In Greek, as by St Paul's quotation, Rom. X. 15. from the LXX. svayyerov, gospel.
5 St Matth. v. i. 6- The Alue Mebashri, as Job calls his Redeemer, (Job xix. 26.) • God in my flesh,' the word that Adam uses in describing his wife, mebashri,' of my flesh,' Gen, ii. 23.
tory he got over Satan, that old serpent, and as a prelude of his full and final conquest, was upon an exceeding high mountain'. All this the evangelical prophet Isaiah alludes to, in further explication of the subject before us. In the last days,' (which the Rabbins acknowledge to be the days of the Messiah), the mountain of the Lord's house • shall be established in the top of the mountains, • and shall be exalted above the hills,' &c. • And
in this mountain 3 shall the Lord of hosts make *unto all people a feast of fat things---of wines well • refined and it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is • our God, we have waited for him, and he will save *us,' &c. To the same purpose, says Ezekiel ", I • will take of the highest branch of the high cedar, (the contents of the chapter in our Bibles call this • the cedar of the gospel), and will plant it upon an • high mountain and eminent; in the mountain of * the height of Israel will I plant it.' .
It will not be amiss to enquire into the reason, why these writers make so frequent mention of mountains and hills, in their prophetical raptures. From the Old Testament history it appears, that the idolaters had early begun, and did long continue, the abuse of solemnizing their impious rites upon such eminencés -Upon every high hill, and
i St Matth. iv. 8--11. 2 Isaiah ii. 2. See also his contemporary Micah, ch. iv. I. : ; 3 He says again, ch. xxv. 6-10. 4 Ch. xvii. 22, 23.
* under every green tree. But whence they deriya ed this practice may be a question. Perhaps they may be thought to have chosen the tops of mountains and hills to carry them nearer to their God, the heavens; as they are represented' to have been once foolish enough to have thought of building a tower, whose top ‘might reach unto heaven;' and So, upon being disappointed of that grand project, might have had recourse to the natural heights of mountains, with the same view. But indeed this does not seem to have been the case : for however corrupted they were in religion, they were not, so far back at least, such fools in philosophy, as to entertain the idle conceit charged upon them by our wise men now-a-days, of imagining that the
sun and stars were at the back of such and such a • hill. It is certain that the earliest of them had, by tradition, carried off the remembrance of most of the old dispensations of either typical institution or real transaction; and in all probability this among the rest, of dedicating mountains to their idolatrous uses> : either in reference, after that event happened, to the glorious descent upon mount Sinai, which, though designed for a peculiar purpose, would undoubtedly make a mighty noise among the neighbouring nations, and is old enough to be the origin of all the practices of this kind that we haye any account of, in the most ancient annals
• In our translation at least, Gen. xi. 4.
* Hosea iv. 13, &c.
of profane history: or, if this shall still be thought too particular an epocha, and belonging only to what some writers are pleased to call“ a stupid obscure handful of people ;' let us suppose the custom we are speaking of to have been in commemoration of a more general affair, indeed of an universally interesting event, which would be long remembered, and has not been forgotten to this day, the resting • of the ark upon the mountains of Ararat',' when all mankind literally, all the church spiritually, found deliverance and salvation upon a mountain. However disputable the origin may be, the fact itself is unquestionable. That great oracle, the Bible indeed of classical knowledge, Homer, is in every school-boy's mouth, with his Z:V TATER I8nDev uzdowy,. Jupiter upon mount Ida, Parnassus, Olympus, &c. These sacred presidencies of their deities, where they got, or fancied they got, responses and voices, are standing monuments of the practice. And Mahomet's mountain, (which he went to, because it would not come to him), makes a flaming figure in the history of that diabolical ape. To reform or prevent these abuses, Jehovah reclaims all to himself, and, through the whole of his Old-Testament revelation, continues the symbolical appropriation, as he had done by the ark after the flood, of mountains and hills, to typify his power in triumphing over them, and his goodness in proclaiming
1 Gen. viii. 4. 2 Isaiah liv. 9. 1 St Peter iïi. 20. 21.