« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
calling, fearing a second relapse; which holy fear certainly was good. But as God does not light a candle to put it under a bushel, 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-maker.
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 paths of righteousness for his name's sake," Psal. 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. "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 dropped 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 came.
But this text occurred to his mind:
The church, when thus filled, is a fountain sealed, until the seal opens, aud lets it forth. "A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse, a spring shut up, a fountain sealed." But when the spirit opens the heart, it plays all its streams into the fountain of divine fulness, from whence the streams
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! worldly-mindedness 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, Isai. 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 in thy house; they will be still praising thee; blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who, passing through the valley of Baca, make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools," Psalm lxxxiv. 4—6.'
Cushi had now almost crossed the valley of Baca, and suddenly he espied an hill before him, with a gradual ascent, and he shortly began to ascend it; and the higher he went, the greater his
joys were: till at last he vented the fulness of his soul in praise and acclamations of joy, saying, ‘Oh my God, as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God doth cause righteousness and praise to spring forth in my once barren, but now revived heart,' Isaiah lxi. 11.
Cushi having gained the summit of the hill, saw a fine spreading tree, and under it a seat, with a man sitting thereon, who had a book in his hand.
The reader being pensive in thought, did not discern the approach of Cushi. Cushi perceiving this, approached as near as he could, without disturbing the attention of the reader, and stood still to hear him read. The passage that he was reading was, "and Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh; as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen," Gen. xxii. 14.
Cushi said unto him, understandest thou what thou readest? The good man started up in a surprise, and said, How can I, except some man should guide me? and he desired Cushi to sit down with him. 'I am glad,' said Cushi,' to find thee blessed with a sense of thy native ignorance, and endowed with a teachable spirit. Pride will not submit to learn of those whom God hath taught. I think a teachable spirit is one of the characteristics of a child of grace. The Jewish Pharisees, who were wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight, refused the tuition of God the Saviour, "became vain in their imagina
tions, and their foolish heart was darkened; professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." God has determined to destroy all grounds of boasting, and to stain the pride of all human glory. Hence it is, that the Prophet Isaiah foretold that God would take away all trust in "the mighty man, and the man of war; the judge, and the prophet; and the prudent, and the ancient; the captain of fifty; and the honourable man; and the counsellor, and the cunning artificer; and the eloquent orator;" and that he would give children to be their princes, and babes should rule over them, Isaiah iii. 2-4. Men of great natural or acquired parts can never submit, without humbling grace, to yield obedience to, what one calls, the foolishness of the cross.
However, the Prophet says, "whom shall he [God] teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts; for precept must be upon precept; precept upon precept; line upon line; line upon line; here a little, and there a little," Isaiah xxviii. 9, 10. This is an humbling declaration for a counsellor, an astrologer, a star-gazer, or a monthly prognosticator, to regard, Isaiah xlvii. 13. But as Paul says, If man will be wise, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.
'But to give my dear brother an account of this mountain, on which we sit: I believe it to be Mount Moriah, which, perhaps, may signify the