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The things that are considered, and attempted to be explained, are the spiritual resurrections of a sinner“his arraignment and justification_his spiritual birth, heirship, and inheritance—his evidences for heaven-the conflicts he hath with the devil—and the office of Christ as an Advocate.
And in order to convey my thoughts as intelligibly as possible it is written by way of dialogue,-question and answer being an excellent
way of conveying information, and with which the word of God is replete.
The persons made choice of to carry on the dialogue, are Cushi and Ahimaaz, two servants of David, both ftiled in Scripture good men. Cushi is here represented as one wrought upon by grace while he observed the visible hand of God with David; which is intended to Thew how a Chriftian's life, and the hand of God with him, impresses the mind and convicts the conscience of a sinner. Ahimaaz is represented as running with tidings before he was sent; which is introduced as a caution to the many in our days, both learned and illiterate, who take on them the office of the ministry, without any spiritual qualification for it, or divine call to
it; who are encouraged and emboldened by nothing else but pride, insensibility, and ignorance. A thirst for human applause, and ignorance of the experience and wisdom of the the Church-ignorance of the plague of the human heart-ignorance of the majesty of God, and the importance of the ministry, appear to be the basis and bulwark of too many
The houses of Saul and David are introduced as prefiguring the family of the old Adam and the household of faith. Cushi's halting between the two is intended to exhibit the struggles that the weak believer feels between the flesh and the spirit. The revival of the work of grace on Cushi, at the death of David, is introduced to shew that many young converts, who are a scourge to the fervants of God in their lives, are brought to lament their death, being ignorant of their worth till they feel their loss; as Israel of old, who was a perpetual burden to Moses for forty years; but when he was dead they bemoaned him for thirty days: or like Saul, who was so often a plague to pious Samuel in his life, yet would fell himself to the devil for a sight of his mantle when he was dead.
I have studied plainness in this work, and endeavoured to be as intelligible to my Reader as possible; not expecting that the consequence of the noble, the acquired knowledge of the scholar, the wisdom of the critic, the refined judgment of the polite and gay, will ever submit to a perusal of any performance of mine, unless it be to cavil at it. To be short, if any part of the revealed will of God be made plain to the seeker or to the believer ; if his judgment be informed, his doubts and fears removed ; if any blessing of the covenant be discovered ; if his mind be entertained, his faith established, and his covenant God endeared to him, I trust my end is answered ; and what the outside profeffor, or the open enemy to truth may have to say, will have but little weight with me, except it be to
That the believer
prejudice, and profit by reading, is the desire and prayer of, Courteous Reader, thy willing servant, and tried companion in tribulation,
Cushi having lost his royal master, took a folitary 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 paft 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 nowness 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 medicated upon the former deliverance of his royal master.
On this spot, said he, his false hope gave way, and the burden of his fins funk 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 finner'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
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 redeem, 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 inberitance incorruptible, undefiled, and that Mall never fade away.
Surely it was an imperceptible faith that made him importune ; and it was patience in importuning that brought him to such a blessed experience; 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