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everlafting peace, and the witness of our adoption; he informs the judgment, and inclines the will to choose, embrace, and hold fast, the better part, that cannot be taken from us. Truth, in the love of it, flows in, and the promises flow in with their richest blessings, in all their fweetness, power, love, and joy untpeakable; while the blessed and adorable Comforter opens them up, explains them, and applies them as nails fastened by the Master of assemblies. He also helps our infirmities in prayer, testifies of Jesus, and of our interest in him, and fills both heart and mouth with a thousand thanks, blessings, and praises. “ This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise.”
O could we continue in this mount without the company of Moses and Elias ! This would be heaven on earth. But, alas! how often is this fwect enjoyment of his company interrupted. So fearful is the soul of offending, lest he should awake and depart; what weeping, praying, cleaving, and struggling to hold fast, when he is about to withdraw; and what tormenting anxiety, when gone, for fear he should return no more! Then comes that wicked counsellor, that enemy of all rightcousness, with a “ Where is now thy God ?” But he returns again and again, according to his appointed times of life, and revives and renews his visits and his work, saying, “ For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will
I gather thee; in a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy redeemer.” So speaks the great Jehovah; so fings Philomela; so I must subscribe. '.
But the arch enemy will lay many traps for thee in thy new and glorious connexion, in thine exalted state, and in the happy enjoyment of that dignity to which thou art so unexpectedly preferred. And, as thou hast been so long habituated to the legal embraces of Moses, thou wilt find a self-righteous spirit within, that will at all times bend thee that way; and there will be a cleaving to him, notwithstanding all the hard treatment thou hast met with from him. His first wife was a Cushite, or Ethiopian; and all are black, but none comely, to this day, that are wedded to him. Contending, finding fault, cursing, and accusing, are all that can be expected by those who sue not out a divorce from him. His embraces gender nothing but bondage to fear; and all conception by him is followed with endless foul-travail and fruitless labour; and the whole issue is “ fruit unto death," and nothing else.
No wedding garment, no ring, no beautiful feet with shoes, ornament those who abide by the fide of that hulband. “ A bloody husband art thou unto me,” says the Cushite, “ because of the circumcision.” Then she is sent back; and how long the remained in widowhood I know not.
However, her father brought her to him again in the wilderness; for I do not read that he ever went after her himself; and what became of her afterwards, none know. I think he starved her to death : for Moses gave them not the true bread from heaven; they ate manna, and are dead. John vi. 32, 49. And I think that he hath starved all the wives that he hath had since; and, if at any time he gets a little comfort in his own heart, which makes him appear with a bright and cheer ful countenance, he is sure to put a veil over his face, that nobody may look to the end of it but himself. 2 Cor. iii. 13. There is no such thing as living with him, nor with any of his family. What a life had our poor venerable mother Sarah all the time that Hagar was in her tent! She wanted to be the princess, though she was in bonds; and expected that her spurious fon would have been heir both of the promises and of the homestall, till, by an order from the higher powers, they were both banished from the pavilion, which was to be inhabited by the legitimate offspring of the free woman. But, notwithstanding all that I have said, thou wilt get into these legal embraces, veiled, blinded, bound, straitened, barren, lifeless, peevish, fretful, rebellious, hardened; yea, and thou wilt even cleave to these things, as soon as ever the best Beloved hides his face, withdraws, and provokes thee to jealousy, in order to try thy love, thy faithfulness, and thine attachment to him; not that he
may know how thou wilt behave, but that thou mayest know what he hath done for thee; and that, by his going and coming, by his absence and his presence, thou mayest come to a more perfect knowledge of him, and at a more familiar acquaintance with him. At his departure the old man will shew his head; and when the Lord visits thee he will creep into his holes; for he is truly a night-bird. He cannot endure the light, nor Thew his head where divine confolations abound. But, as soon as ever the good man takes his bag of money with him, and withdraws from his spouse, then the owls, bats, and evening wolves, creep forth; but, when the sun arises, they lay themselves down in their dens. At such times we must pray, watch, wait, and look, even “ from the lion's dens, and from the mountains of the leopards;" for at these seasons the legal spirit works in a very unobserved way. The soul senfibly feels its loss; its love, joy, and comfort, abated. Consequently it doth not perceive the Lord, as usual, working in it both to will and to do. What is it then? Why, if he be not working in us, we must work for him. Then corruptions rise up, and interrupt us in the performance of our task. At this anger rises; then conscience accuses; then unbelief prevails, and hardness of heart and rebellion follow; and the wrath and the bondage of the law come on, and hold fast; and now we are discontented, and fret at every thing, even against
the Lord himself. The more discontented we are, in our deserted state, the more we strive, being driven with a hasty spirit; and the more we strive, the faster we are bound; till the light of his blessed countenance darts another healing ray, and the voice of peace rebukes and becalms the storm. Then the Lord returns with double love, and we diffolve in double gratitude. Now Moses holds his peace, and is content. The lion sculks off to his thicket, and the old man faints and dies once more, while we look to the cross. The nails pierce him, the spear lays at him, the cancelled debt-book silences him, and God, shining reconciled in the face of Christ, banishes him. Our old man is crucified with him: but crucifixion is a long lingering death, and the old man dies hard. He is of the same lineage, and in the same state, as the devil his father; both are condemned, both cursed, both are destroyed; and yet both are in being, and we know it to our sorrow. God was with Judah, and they drove the Canaanites out of the mountains; but they could not drive them out of the vallies, because they had chariots of iron. To keep them out of the mind and affections is a great thing; but to root them out of the heart is a work not to be done till we engage the last enemy; I mean death : for, though there is no discharge from that war, yet there will be a full discharge when that war is over; and then there shall be no more the Canaanite in the