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Jerusalem, which were on the right hand of the mount of corruption, which Solomon, the king of Israel, had builded for Ashtoreth, the abomination of the Zidonians; and for Chemosh, the abomination of the Moabites; and for Milcom, the abomination of the children of Ammon; did [Josiah] defile," 2 Kings xxiii. 13.
Cushi. There never was above one man yet that found a way to Jerusalem, so as entirely to escape that mountain, for it stands right before the city: and it is upon that mount that all the abominable Babels, vain towers, baseless castles, and imaginary structures, have been reared. I believe it is the mount that bears up the whole fabric of iniquity; it is a spot barren of all good; no good fruit ever grows there. This the great Messiah shewed to his followers, when he cursed the fruitless fig-tree; that tree was barren, and yet it grew almost a quarter of a mile from that mount.
Ahimaaz. They never could get the Messiah to put his foot on that mount; he kept close to the mount of Olives, until he came to the foot of the mount of Corruption; then he sent his servants to fetch the ass, and rode all the rest of the way upon the garments of his followers, as it is written, “ And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him, and many spread their garments in the way," Mark xi. 7, 8. Perhaps this was done to shew them that their filthy rags of self-righteousness, (Isa. xlvi. 6) or their filthy garments, (Zech. iii. 3) ought to be left at the foot of that mount, as more fit for the foot of an ass than the ornament of a Christian. - Cushi. That is right, and you have hit the mark; the Saviour did nothing in vain. It was not without a cause that he stopped at that mount, nor did he curse the fruitless fig-tree, mount the ass, or ride on the clothes of his followers, for nothing. But I suppose you learnt something by your fall; that is, you had some strange sensations, and found yourself too much disabled to run with tidings, did you not? • Ahimaaz. Indeed I did; for I never knew what the fall of Adam meant, till I fell upon that mount; nor did I form any true idea of corruption until I stumbled on that mount myself; for I thought I fell from all hope of mercy, and felt myself the basest mortal in the world. My beauty and self-sufficiency all vanished, and I thought the mount and myself were both of a .piece, for "all my comeliness was turned into corruption, and I retained no strength" (for bearing tidings), Dan. X. 8.
Cushi. Then I suppose you could hardly credit your own tidings; I mean, that all was well, nor yet praise the king, as usual.
. Ahimaaz. Indeed I found neither love to the king nor to the loyalists; I was full of enmity as well as corruption.'
Cushi. Then you was more fit to carry tidings than ever you had been before. I suppose you found yourself in a fine pickle; pray who helped you up? . :: Ahimaaz. Indeed, if I had been sent with tidings then, they would have been heavy tidings indeed, and consequently I should not have run so fast...
There appeared to me a man with a shining countenance, who asked me what country I was of? I told him I was not a countryman, but a citizen of Jerusalem, and the son of a certain priest.' He replied,
I did not ask after your descent, but your residence.' If you are a citizen of Jerusalem, there is a fountain opened for the inhabitants of that city" for sin and for uncleanness,” Zech. xiii. 1. I told him that I could not stand. He answered, “ Let the weak say, I am strong," Joel iii. 10. But I replied, 'I cannot see.' He answered, " I bring the blind by a way that they know not,” Isa.xlii. 16. I fell into a kind of a gloomy trance, and was insensibly conveyed to a fountain, of which my mind had some glimmering views; and I found myself, in three days after, before inount Calvary, clothed, becalmed, cleansed, in perfect peace, and in my right mind: but what I saw there, and what I felt, I shall never be able to describe; nor how this amazing change was wrought, shall I ever be able rightly to relate; for I soon found that all my elos quence and sublime style were insufficient to relate or represent so divine an operation, and so glorious a change.
Cushi. But did you not run to some of the king's messegers, and tell them the vision?
Ahimaaz. Yes; and in this I acted like Daniel, “I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it.” Dan. viii, 27.
Cushi, But did none laugh at it, nor rail against it?
Ahimaaz. Yes; some called me a mystic, some a Sadducee, some an enthusiast, some a fanatic, some a Pythagorean, and others an Antinomian; but I knew no more what they meant by these names than
they did of my vision. coCushi. It is very well you did not; for they only
called you by these names because they were provoked to jealousy by your happiness; they will take care not
to explain the meaning of these reproachful names, lest they should appear applicable to themselves.
Ahimaaz. They seemed to me to be quite strangers to the mountain whereon I fell, and indeed so was I till I tumbled upon it; for I have often gone over it without feeling its dreadful effects. ,
Cushi. Yes, and so have many more; but the great Messiah, when he stood at the foot of the mount of Olives, took particular notice of the mount of Corruption: for, " in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig-třed dried up by the roots. And Peter, calling to remembrance, saith unto him, Master, behold, the fig-tree which thou cursedst is. withered away. And Jesus, answering, saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whoseever shall say unto this mountain (pointing to the mount of Corruption, which was parted from the mount of Olives only by a valley), Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith," Mark xi. 20-23. : Ahimaaž. If you see any thing in the Messiah's words, my brother, I wish you would explain them to me, as I am concerned in their meaning, and 'have not the least desire of satisfying a vain curiosity.
Cushi. Depend upon it, my brother, that the Messiah never spake or did any thing in vain. You say you know what the mount of Corruption means by woful experience; if so, when the Saviour pointed to that mount in the singular number, doubtless he meant the sins of men, and the guilt they have contracted, both which go by the name of corruption; and, when he says that faith shall remove it into the sea, he, means that those, who really believe in a reconciled God through himself, shall find the guilt and destroying power of their sins, and at last the whole body of corruption, removed for ever; agreeably to this text, “ He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us, he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea,” Micah vii. 19.
. If we had faith enough to remove the mount of Corruption, no mountain of difficulties would discourage us, nor would mount Sinai itself terrify us.
Ahimaaz. I believe you, my brother; for a man's worst enemies are the corruptions of his own heart; and I believe the main root of all is unbelief. If I had faith enough to pluck up unbelief, I could say to the sycamine-tree (mentioned by the Messiah) “ Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou plánted in the sea; and it should obey me,” Luke xvii. 6.
Cushi. It was that kind of tree that Zaccheus. climbed up into, in order to see the Saviour, Luke xix. 4. If he had climbed up into Ezekiel's cedar, I believe the Messiah would never have called him down, for that is to be “a refuge for all fowl of every wing,” Ezek. xvii. 23. But pray how did you fare among the messengers of the king after they had heard of your vision?
Ahimaaz. Why, after they had treated me and my vision with contempt, I began to think lightly of it myself, and so gradually lost all the comfort of it. That which gave the greatest disgust to them was my saying that it was a sovereign and discriminating act of God to bring me that way: and such an act it was