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fit for nothing but silent solitude, and therefore I took David's book of Psalms in my hand, and determined to tread in all the footsteps, if possible, that he had gone; and when I came to any spot where he had been visited by the Lord, and delivered from any particular trouble, my soul felt such an unutterable love to him as cannot be expressed; indeed I never knew his worth till I felt my loss. And verily God made me feel all that I read of his writings, just as if it was all my own experience; surely this is going forth by the footsteps of the flock, Song i. 8.

I went and wept over his sepulchre by the hour, and felt an affection to his remains, as I believe the sleeping dust of Samuel and other holy prophets had often affected David himself; He had taken pleasure in the stones of Zion, and favoured the dust thereof, Psalm cii. 14. From thence I came into the valley of Baca, and read what David said of that; and I am sure I enjoyed and felt every word of it, until I took his words as my own, and spoke to my long-suffering and propitious Redeemer in the language of his eminent type and faithful servant David; and, through the superabounding and recovering grace of my covenant God, I am arrived at Hermon. Blessed be God, I have been now for some weeks under the sweet teaching of that divine instructor that taught me the path of life at first, and God grant that I never may fall, nor stray from him again, neither in heart nor in life.

Ahimaaz. Wonderful are the works of God, and wonderful has his mercy been to thee, my brother; I think the union you have found with David's spirit in his writings, is what another means when he says, We are come to mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the spirits of just men made perfect, &c. Heb. xii. 22. The real believer, that has fellowship with the Father and the Son, by the Holy Ghost, is of one spirit with all the heavenly family; for we find a union of sentiment with them; we see as they saw; and are in the same path of tribulation that they were in; are under the influence of the same spirit; and find a love to them, a union with them, and a hope of joining them, and enjoying their company to all eternity,

Cushi. It certainly is the apostle's meaning; for we are united to the same head of influence that glorified souls enjoy above; there is but one blessed Spirit that unites the elect family both of heaven and earth to one head; only we have but the first-fruits of the Spirit, Rom, viii. 23; while they enjoy the inheritance of the saints in light, Acts xxvi. 18; for, as a good man says, Grace is glory begun below, and glory is grace in perfection. But let me hear a little of the dealings of God with thee, my brother.

Ahimaaz. Pray do not you know me?
Cushi. No, not that I recollect.

Ahimaaz, Do not you remember a person that pressed upon Joab to carry tidings after the

death of Absalom, when the rebels were routed in the woods of Ephraim?

Cushi. Yes, I do, his name was Ahimaaz, a fresh-coloured young man. He was one that brought the wretched counsel of Ahithophel to David.

Ahimaaz. You are right; and I am the man. Hushai the Archite sent me with tidings to the king, and I was obliged to stay by Enrogal, the king's gardens, for fear of being taken by Absalom's spies; and at last I was hid in a well by a good woman who was a lover of David, 2 Sam. xvii. 14-19.

Cushi. Why you are much altered since that time.

Ahimaaz. Yes; I have had a good deal to humble me since that, and blessed be God for it; for though I have been sorely afflicted, yet it has been for the good of my soul; for I find where there are no inward nor outward trials there is no growth in grace; but when once an heart has been thoroughly humbled, a little cross will bring it low.

Cushi. I am glad at my heart to see thee, my brother; and especially to find thee a lover of the great and blessed Messiah.

Ahimaaz. Not more glad than I am to see thee, and especially to find thee a scribe so well instructed.

Cushi. But do tell me how thou camest acquainted with David at first, for I almost forget

thee; for, to the best of my remembrance, thou didst not abide long in the king's service; nor do I remember the cause, nor the time of thy going out.

Ahimaaz. My father's name was Zadok, a priest and a Levite; and he received a charge from David to carry the ark from following him back to the city, 2 Sam. xxiv. 25. My father being a priest, and a Levite, he was much in favour with the king; and indeed David sometimes stiled him a seer or prophet; and therefore, as David's confidant, he sent him back as a spy over the conspirators, and I went with him, as you read: "The King said also unto Zadok the priest, Art not thou a seer? Return into the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar."

My being the son of a pious priest, as well as a seer, I learnt to talk of religious matters fluently; and being kept close to the worship of the Jews, as well as to family prayer, I was capable of speaking in prayer, and had an outside appearance of sanctity; and indeed thought at times that I was a real saint and prophet of God, as well as my father: but, alas! I have found since, that grace is not hereditary; it is the gift of God, and from God we must receive it for ourselves, if ever we are saved.

Cushi. All the principles of religion that children learn by rote from their parents, be they ever so sound, they will give them all up when

they are brought under deep convictions; and be just as self-righteous and as self-willed as the most stubborn Pharisee in the world, until God brings them out of bondage, and then he will apply those wholesome truths to their heart, which before had only a lodging in their head.

Ahimaaz. Indeed, my brother, that is a true assertion, I know it by experience; whatever doctrines are instilled into people's heads by men, will easily be drove out by men, unless God apply them by the Holy Ghost.

But, to proceed: I was sent by my father, in company with Jonathan, to carry tidings to David from Hushai; and when we had delivered our message to the king, I considered myself a man of consequence; first, as the son of a seer; secondly, as a messenger to the king; and, thirdly, as a loyal subject to David when so many rebelled against him. This was followed with the alarming tidings of Ahithophel's having hanged himself. I saw the Lord had answered David's prayer when he said, "O Lord, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness;" and was much surprised at the terrible judgments by which God had answered it. I secretly thanked God in my heart that I was not like Ahithophel, and was not a little pleased with my loyalty; and truly I thought myself on the Lord's side, because I was with the Lord's anointed. And indeed this awful judgment falling on so great a man, in answer to David's simple prayer, so fired my zeal, that I followed the king to Mahanaim,

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