Sinai, The Shivering Mountain

Mam Tor in High Peak, Derbyshire, is otherwise known as The Shivering Mountain because of its frequent rock falls. Mam Tor means Mother Hill, referring to the many smaller hills surrounding it which its rock falls have created. In 1979, the local council conceded defeat in the battle to keep open the A625 which was frequently subjected to the fallen rocks. It's a stunning mountain and the remains of Iron Age earthworks can still be seen on its summit. 

It reminds me of Mount Sinai in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress. Christian has been led astray by the smooth-talking Mr Worldly Wiseman into veering from the path to the Cross where his sin-burden can be released. Instead, he suggests that a nearby town, called Morality, is just as good a place to find salvation; Mr Legality and his simpering son Civility would save him the trouble of going to Calvary:

So CHRISTIAN turned out of his way to go to Mr. LEGALITY'S house for help. But, behold, when he was got now hard by the hill, it seemed so high, and also the side of it that was next the wayside did hang so much over, that CHRISTIAN was afraid to venture farther, lest the hill should fall on his head; wherefore there he stood still, and knew not what to do. Also his burden now seemed heavier to him than while he was in his way. There came also flashes of fire out of the hill, that made CHRISTIAN afraid that he should be burned:  

"And 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 Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly." Exodus 19:16-18 

here, therefore, he sweat and did quake for fear.  

"And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake" Hebrews 12:21

Sinai, the mountain upon which Moses received the Ten Commandments, is here a picture of legalism. Legalism is when humans attempt to gain salvation by keeping laws and rules, and being good. The problem with this approach is that we are never good enough. Those who attempt to reach God by ascending Sinai are crushed in its rock falls. No, we cannot be saved by morality, legality and civility. It's not the shivering mountain to which we must repair, but the hill of Calvary. Only a crucified Saviour can take away the burden of a guilty conscience. 

The view from above, with the pre-Roman Earth works visible.