"THE TOP OF PISGAH."
Deut. 34:1

Robert Hawker
(1753-1827)


"The top of Pisgah."–Deut. xxxiv. 1.

There is somewhat truly interesting in this account of Pisgah, to which Moses ascended before his death. The relation, no doubt, was intended to convey seasonable instruction, of a spiritual nature, to all true believers in Christ, in their Pisgah contemplations of the promised land. My soul! sit down this evening, and see what, under divine teaching, thou canst make of it. Probably thy Lord, thy Jesus, may grant to thy faith, sights yet more glorious than even Moses beheld in open vision, when he went up to Mount Nebo. "The top of Pisgah" afforded to the man of God, a beautiful prospect of Canaan; and as we are told, that "his natural force was not abated, neither his eye become dim;" he might possibly view the boundaries of Israel's dominions; which, in point of extent, reached but little more than fifty miles in one direction, and about three times that length in another. Indeed, we are informed, that "the Lord shewed him all the land;" and the same power which gave him the prospect, would doubtlessly give him a suited strength of vision for the purpose. But what, my soul, are thy views on Pisgah's heights? The utmost extent of the imagination cannot be sufficient to take in what is opened before thee, of that "length and depth, and breadth and height, of the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge!" And if he, who led Moses to the top of Pisgah, go with thee; if the same Lord that shewed him all the land, shew thee also "the glories to be revealed :" think what blessings will pour in upon thee, of "joy unspeakable and full of glory." It is true, thy Pisgah views are in the distant means of grace, and the ordinances of worship; where, very frequently, clouds arise, and darken thy prospect. Nevertheless the word of God opens a true map of that Judea, which is above, and which is "the glory of all lands;" and God the Holy Ghost can, and will give the seeing eye to see, and the awakened heart "to believe, the glorious things which are spoken of the city of God." And if Moses, from the first moment that the Lord spake to him from the bush, when the visions of God began, had been accustomed to contemplate in every thing the view of Jesus; and, like the other patriarchs, had seen his day afar off, so as to rejoice and be glad; surely, since the Lord first called thee by his grace, and was pleased to reveal his Son in thee, thou hast had increasing desires after Jesus, and increasing knowledge of, and communion with Jesus; and therefore on Pisgah's top, in thy evening meditation, thou mayest find sweet anticipations of the glories of that kingdom above, which, ere long, thou hopest to enter into the full enjoyment of, amidst the heirs of God, and the joint heirs with Christ. One sweet thought more, the top of Pisgah opens to the mind, in beholding the man of God going up to it: I mean in that he went alone, the divine presence only being with him. Here indeed is the very life of communion. The blessings Jesus imparts, in Pisgah views, to his redeemed, are all personal, and alone. They are joys with which a stranger cannot intermeddle. The white stone, and the new name, and the hidden manna, which Jesus gives, are all in secret: "no man knoweth, saving he that receiveth," Rev. ii. 17. My soul! art thou acquainted with these things? Are these among the privileges of the true believer; and dost thou hope, after a few more revolving suns have finished their daily course, and the shades of night are done away, to realize these glories, and enter upon the everlasting possession of them? –Get up then, by faith, in thy evening meditations; yea, hear Jesus calling thee by name, as he did Moses, and saying, get thee up into this mountain, Abarim, and behold the land which I have taken possession of for Israel! Oh! for grace and faith in lively exercise, to look olden "within the veil, whither our glorious forerunner is for us entered," and there behold Jesus on his throne, and speaking in the same precious words, as to the church of old:" To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father in his throne," Rev iii. 21. And while these soul-ravishing triumphs of faith are upon the mind, with all the warmth of holy joy, from Pisgah's heights, surely, like Simeon, the soul will then cry out in the same language as he did, when he caught Jesus in his arms: "Lord, let thy servant now depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation."

From the POOR MAN'S MORNING AND EVENING PORTIONS.

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Robert Hawker



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