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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; 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 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 teach
able 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 imaginations, and their foolish hearts were 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 iï. 2-4. Men of great natural or acquired parts can never submit, without humbling grace, to yield obedience to what is called the foolishness of the cross. . However, the prophet asks,“ Whom shall 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 delaration for a counsellor, an astrologer, a star-gazer, or a monthly prognosticator, to regard, Isaiah xlvii. 13. But, as Paul says, “ If any 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 may perhaps signify the Lord revealing. If it does, it shews how those souls are exalted whom the Lord condescendeth to teach, to whom he reveals his mind and will, though it be attended with bitterness, which may be included in the word Moriah. Mount Calvary, you see, is almost opposite, where our Lord was crucified; and he whom God teacheth on mount Moriah is sure to have some views of what was done on mount Calvary. “The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the little hills, by righteousness," Psalm lxxii. 3. The grand design of divine teaching is, first, that we may know God in his law to be an holy, just God; and, secondly, that we may know him reconciled in his Son; as a God reconciled to sinners. The gospel reveals him, " And this is life eternal, to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent.” Hence the gospel is called the word of reconciliation.
Ahimaaz. If this is mount Moriah, it is the very spot where God gave testimony to Abraham's faith, even from heaven; and to be sure he must ascend this mount with as heavy an heart as a mortal could carry. But God often lays the greatest burden on the faith of his favourites just before he intends a deliverance. As speaketh the Lord by Moses, that he will appear “ when he seeth that his people's power is gone, and there is none shut up or left," Deut. xxxii. 36. And such conspicuous deliverances have a blessed tendency to endear God to his people, and excite their love and gratitude; and I doubt not but this was the case with Abraham. The thoughts of slaying his beloved son must go near his heart; and the simple expressions of Isaac, when he said “Where is the lamb for a burnt-offering,” must touch Abraham's feelings very sensibly. But, when he received his little one back to his arms, and obtained an articulate testimony of the love and approbation of his Maker, it must lift him as high in joy and heavenlymindedness as the thoughts of slaying him had sunk him in sorrow.
Cushi. I am glad to find thee, my brother, such an observer of the gracious dealings of God. If believers were to observe the various frames, changes, and deliverances, that pass on their souls, and bring them to the word of God, they would be more comfortably established in the truth than they are. +
Many gracious souls are strict observers of external forms, and modes of worship, to which they are led by the wisdom of men, and prejudiced in favour of by the bigotry of men, instead of adhering to an experience on their own souls. “Let every man prove his own work,” saith Paul, “ then shall he have rejoicing in himself, and not in another;" that is, he shall rejoice in the power of God, not in the wisdom of men.
I believe Abraham had the sweetest views and sensations on this mount that ever he had in all his pilgrimage. His son Isaac was a sweet type of Christ, the promised seed, in whom all nations were to be blessed. The wood, that Abraham laid in such particular order, prefigured the cross. The intended victim laid on the wood represented the blessed Jesus, the meek and passive lamb, submitting to be nailed to the accursed tree. Abraham's knife shadowed forth the flaming sword of justice, once seen by our
first parents at the east gate of Eden. By Abraham's parental love and affection for his son the immutable love of God was exhibited, “who so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,” John iii. 16; freely offering him up for us all. Abraham's joyful reception of his son, as it were from the dead, typified the cordial reception of Christ into the bosom of God the father. As Isaac prefigured Christ as a lamb, and as the promised seed that should come, so the ram prefigured Christ as the everlasting father of all his sheep.
The horns of the ram represented Christ's kingly power; and his being hung by the horns in the thickest bushes shewed the submission of the omnipotent Saviour to the wicked hands of men, who are compared to briers and thorns, Cant. ii. 2. Thorns, being badges of God's curse, shewed his being made a curse for us; and that he was to be crowned with thorns was typified by his ramis being hung in the thorns by his head. Thus Abraham's faith saw the Saviour, both in his beloved son and in the bleeding and burning ram; and to this agrees the Lord himself: “ Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it and was glad,” John viii. 56.
Ahimaaz. It is a pretty light, my brother, that you have cast on that text; and the proof that you brought from the Saviour's mouth is a confirmation of what you have said. But some of the learned tell us that we should be very careful how we allegorize and spiritualize the scriptures, lest we get into the regions of fancy. Though I do believe there are many in our days, who are stigmatized enthusiasts and fanatics, that are blessed with divine tuition, and wonder