« הקודםהמשך »
prayer was answered by the Saviour in an open vision of death on the cross. Here my blessed master saw the crucifixion of the Son of God. Yea, he saw his persecutors pierce his hands and his feet. He saw them part his garment among them, and cast lots on his vesture. This made him so dotingly fond of this little hill, Who can describe the feelings of a soul encompassed with the fears of death, and chains of guilt? When the great Redeemer appears burdened, as the sinner's sponsor, in all the agonies of an unparalleled sufferer, burdened with all his sins, under the awful arrest of vindictive justice, and sinking into the threefold shades of treble death!
Oh love, love, love! Love fixed upon an enemy; an enemy in open rebellion! Love that would undertake to cope with divine vengeance! Love that would expose truth, purity, and innocence, to ignominy, scorn, and derision; and all to redeem, rescue, and reconcile, a rebel to the best of sovereigns, and make the completely miserable eternally happy! My master's hope sprung from the visions of death, and pursued the resurrection of his adorable Lord to “ an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth
Surely it was an imperceptible faith that made him importune; and it was patience in importuning that brought him to such a blessed experience; and the experience of such a deliverance brought him to hope.
Oh that I may never forget, or lose the sense of his deliverance; the petitions that he put up; nor this sacred spot, where his deliverance was wrought, Here it was that he said, “Oh, my God! my soul is cast
down within me, and thou raised me up; therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan, and of the Hermonites from the hill Mizar. Deep calleth unto deep," Psalm xlii. 6, 7.
Here it was that the clouds of God's displeasure against his sins began to gather thick over his head, and to threaten a fatal discharge on him. The waterspouts were felt, and justice spoke in them, demanding perfect obedience, or infinite punishment. This made him try to hasten his escape from the stormy wind and tempest. Blessed be God, who revealed his crucified Son to him, when under the cloud of impending judgment, whose blood, from the becalmed conscience of my royal master, met with the approbation and favour even of divine justice itself.
Well might the evangelical prophet say, and “a man shall be an hiding-place from the storm, a covert from the tempest, a river of water in a dry place, and the shadow of a great rock in this weary land.” The Lord God of Israel did not reveal his dear Son to my valuable master with a drawn sword, as he did to Balaam, who said he should see him, but not now, and behold him, but not nigh; but he accompanied the vision with an appropriating faith. To see a Saviour and a Judge in one person, without faith in his salvation, is of all sights the most afflicting, and would sink a soul for ever: “ I had utterly fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living,” Psalm xxvii. 13.
Cushi now descended the hill Mizar, which led with a gradual descent into a verdant valley. Here he was blessed with a most ravishing view of the covenant of promise, which afforded matter of pleasing
and delightful meditation, and every fresh discovery gave him fresh entertainment, which caused his soul to sink down into the sweetest rest and quietude, while the glorious beams of light and love shone with divine radiance upon his whole soul.
In this light he saw a little river through the midst of the vale, which his thoughts led him to trace to the fountain head; and he found it to be, what his royal master called," the still waters,” Psalm xxiii. 2; which came from the Father to the Son, and through the Son to us.
These waters forcibly reveal the Father's love, and the Son's salvation, and sanctify and make meet souls for heaven, without whose aid no promise comes with power, nor does the word quicken or refresh the soul. * Poor Cushi, finding the good work, formerly begun, to be revived, and restoring grace so sweetly to operate on his 'soul, was afraid to engage again in state affairs, or in any other lawful calling, fearing a second relapse; which holy fear certainly was good. But, as God does not light a candle to put it under a bushol, nor under a bed, that it should be hid, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all that are in the house, it is necessary to let it shine before men, that they may see the light within, while it reflects its holy rays without. To be diligent in business, and fervent in spirit, is a command given to every Christian, and what the most eminent saints have been brought to submit to, from Abel, the first martyr, to Amos the prophet, and even from Jesus Christ to Paul the tent-rnaker.
However, it was with much reluctance that Cushi left his lodgings, and the verdant meadow. But so conspicuous a proof of the faithfulness of his Lord made him depart with this persuasion and confession, “ The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures; he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake," Psalm xxiii. 1-3.
Cushi now rose up, and travelled off, most sweetly refreshed, and he intended to walk quite through the verdant valley; but he had not got far before a bright cloud appeared in sight, and he expected a shower; and when it came over his head he felt a most pleasing sensation on his spirit, wonderful motions in his mind, and a particular flow of affections, which for a while made him stand as one entranced; and he supposed he saw a real cloud. But this text occurred to his mind: “ In the light of the king's countenance is life; and his favour is as a cloud of the latter rain," Prov. xvi. 15. And so he found it, for the thoughts of God in the promises dropt in such an abundant manner on him that his cup overflowed, till he vented it in confession, adoration, thankfulness, and praise. « The words of a man's mouth are as deep waters, and the well-spring of wisdom as a flowing brook," Prov. xviii. 4. Cushi, finding such divine light and understanding crowd in upon him, sadly wanted to minute down what he saw and felt; but his mind was so taken up, that all efforts to begin a diary proved vain; he had no thoughts at command for that;, he was therefore forced to breathe out the overflowing of his joys to the fountain of life, from whence they
The church, when thus filled, is a fountain sealed,
until the seal opens, and lets it forth. “A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed,” Song iv. 12. But, when the Spirit opens the heart, it plays all its streams into the fountain of divine fulness, from whence the streams came.
Thus the Lord drinks his own wine with his own milk, and eats his own honeycomb with his own honey, Song v. 1; or, to speak in express terms, he is entertained with the fervent devotions produced by his own Spirit. Thus God the Father, and God the Son, are glorified in the gracious soul by God the Holy Ghost. God is a spirit, and will be worshipped by his own Spirit in us; and, as a God of truth, he will be worshipped in truth; not as an object represented in a false light, nor with a false heart.
Cushi's devotions were truly divine, for he broke forth into the following expression of sympathy and gratitude to his much-slighted and long-neglected Lord. O, thou source of all divine happiness, and fountain of light and life, who hast promised to the parched and barren souls of thine elect both the former and the latter rain moderately in their season, I received thy blessed word at first with the dew of thy special grace to give it root; but, alas! worldlymindedness soon caused my joys to wither; but thou hast revisited my barren heart, and made the parched ground a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water. Astonishing, that an heart, once the habitation of dragons, should be turned into a springing well ! Isaiah xxxv. 7. O that I never may be left to wander from thy shadow again, nor to slight the sanctuary service of my God! “ Blessed are they that dwell