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JUSTIFICATION OF A SINNER, &c.
Cushi having lost his royal master, took a solitary walk to reflect on the past experiences, and wonderful deliverances, left upon record by him; until, in a measure, he thought they became, according to his sensations, like his own experience. He suddenly found his understanding much opened, worldly things vanished from his mind, and every thought of his heart appeared at command, which he employed in reflecting on past mercies, and in pleasing anticipations on future glory.
Reflections on his past conduct brought many things fresh to his mind, which afforded matter for real contrition. But the thoughts of God's long
forbearance and slowness to anger dissolved his - soul, and excited his warmest gratitude. He came suddenly to the brow of a little hill, which is called the Hill Mizar. Here Cushi meditated upon the former deliverance of his royal master.
On this spot, said he, his false hope gave way, and the burden of his sins sunk him into the keenest sensations of divine displeasure, which involved him in all real and imaginary horror. Here it was that he prayed out of the depths of despondency; and his 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 reteem, 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 not away.”
Surely it was an imperceptible faith that made him importune; and it was patience in importuning that brought him to such a blessed expe
rience; 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; 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 water-spouts 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 as an hiding-place from the wind and a covert from the tempest, as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a 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 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 run 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; 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