Excerpts from
Mountains of Spices
Hannah Hurnard
Oneness, the Essence and Law of Love.
  • Offers full mercy and forgiveness
  • Full of compassion and grace
  • Looks out for the best interest of others
  • Is made complete through obedience
  • Healing/life-giving
  • A place of refuge/safety
  • Fruitful
  • Wards off spirits

Mountain of Pomegranates - The Law of Love

On this mountain grows orchards of fruit trees of every variety, but the pomegranate orchards are prominent and favored by the King, because these trees exemplify love. He delights in the way these trees bear flowers and fruit at the same time and how they provide cool shade. The pomegranate tree is an evergreen and was believed by some Eastern peoples to be a safe place to lie down and rest because evil spirits will not dare to come near it. The flowers are beautiful and the fruit delicious, full of seeds and able to provide a healthy, refreshing drink.

Place of refuge and safety.
Beautiful, fruitful, evergreen..full of life, healing, and able to ward off spirits.. Love.

(pp.39 & 40)
Joy - Love rejoicing
Gladness of heart & the Victory of Love
  • Evidence of true forgiveness
  • Full of His strength
  • Full of the hope He gives
  • Enjoyment of the pleasures He gives

Mountain of Camphire - The Victory of Love

This is where the camphire bushes are grown and cultivated for their lovely perfume and costly dye, the fruit of joy. These bushes are laden with small white blossoms, and the flocks of birds that alight on their branches cause them to sway with grace. Before the perfumed oil can be produced by the plant, the ground around the bushes must be manured with a bitter substance which the roots of the bushes draw in from the soil and change into the oil of gladness. The season just before the winter rains and snows begin, when everything on the bushes has faded, fallen to the ground and the branches are left completely bare is when His workmen treat the soil this way.

The season when the bushes are stripped bare and the bitter substance is poured into the soil and is left to be watered by the rains of heaven, is called up here "the Night of Sorrow." But this present season, when the bushes are laden with blossoms and the oil is ready to be extracted from them, is "the Morning of Joy" when all sorrow and bitter experiences are changed into gladness, and the birds can be heard singing on their full branches.

(pp.65 - 67)

Peace - Love at rest
Restful in God - the Atonement made by Love.
  • Being at rest through trust in God and an acceptance of His will
  • Result of being in harmony/of one mind, one heart, and one spirit with God and others
  • Being in perfect harmony with the law of love

Mountain of Spikenard - The Atonement Made by Love

On this next mountain grows a special variety of shrubs which require a high altitude far above the mists and clouds that often covered the lower slopes of the mountains. The King's Spikenard cannot be produced anywhere else in the world, but grows in abundance on these slopes, and it is from this medicinal plant that He extracts the healing balsam of peace, a balm for all restlessness, pain and fever. It comes from the root of the shrub in the form of a fragrant oil. All the inhabitance of the High Places carry a supply of this balsam with them, especially when they go down to the valley below, anointing themselves with it daily.

The roots of these shrubs thrust themselves down eagerly and thirstily into the waters along whose banks they grow, accepting and drinking up everything the streams bring them. Nothing is rejected, but all is accepted with joy, and, after being drawn within, is transformed into beauty and fragrance and healing balm. The true nature of peace can only be produced by acceptance with joy of all that the will of God permits to come along the way. The streams of pleasure sing this truth as they leap down from the High Places to the valley below,

"I delight to do Your will, O my God."

The calm on this mountain restores the soul, yet the shortest route to the High Places is up the sides of this mountain where the greatest storms and tempests are generally strongest and most violent.

Up here on this Mountain of Spikenard the truth of love is learned, that love can never rest until real peace, which is perfect harmony with the law of love, is brought to the hearts of all men everywhere. For love must share with others or die. It must give to others all that it received or it cannot remain love; love can only live in one's hearts as it multiplies itself by sharing.

(pp.89 - 95)
Patience - Love waiting
Longsuffering - Suffering Love
  • True forgiveness
  • Acceptance with love
  • Long suffering of love to reach the oneness of love

Mountain of Saffron - The Suffering of Love

This fourth mountain juts out in front of the others in the range of the Mountains of Spices and is therefore so exposed to the elements and the ranging tempests that it is almost bare, yet on it grows spice flowers, the saffron of longsuffering. This mountain towers up to a particularly beautifully shaped peak and a great part of it is always covered with snow, but its slopes are carpeted with saffron crocuses of the most delicate and beautiful hues. Even on the areas where the partly melted snow still lingers, they push themselves through the white covering to greet the light, forming patches of mauve, lavender, periwinkle blue, yellow and orange, deep purple, and palest rose pink. No part of the mountain remains unclothed, either in the pure white of snow or the rainbow colored robe of flowers. There are clusters of golden stamens at the heart of each crocus, and from the cross-shaped stigmas of the flowers, after they are dried and pressed, a spicy seasoning and sweet perfume can be obtained. The flavor of this spice is delicious, and as it can only be obtained on the High Places (except for a very inferior quality found on the lower slopes) it is considered a great delicacy with which even the Shepherd's enemies are glad to have their food flavored, despite the fact that only His servants can provide it!

It is impossible to walk anywhere without treading on these delicate hued flowers and using them as a doormat! Yet the dauntless, gay little things bob up again at once, as fresh and uncrushed as though they had not been trodden upon, a characteristic of true longsuffering. It bears quite happily everything that is done against it, not resenting having been trampled underfoot, and reacts to the wrondoing of others against itself as though no wrong had been done at all, or else as though it had forgotten all about it!

Suffering is the result of discord in the oneness of love.

(pp.116 - 120)
Gentleness - Love empathising
The Music of Love
  • Evidence of true humility
  • Bowing with grace, regal poise and perfect balance
  • Bearing with others in love and respect

Mountain of Calamus - the Music of Love

The Mountain of Calamus is where the spices of gentleness are cultivated, and from the slopes of this mountain a soft, musical sound like the murmur of water on far-off seas is heard. This music, with its definite cadences, is very distinguishable, as though a very soft but lovely song is being played by a great multitude of sweet-toned instruments performing in exquisite harmony. The fields of slender reeds on the mountain's slopes produce these sweet murmurings as they sway in the breeze and toss lightly in rhythmic motion like waves on a slightly rolling sea. On this sea of reeds are lines of foamy white crests, for at this season the reeds are all flowering with each sheath opening out into a frothy white cobweb around the brown stamens. It is the wind blowing through this sea of gently swaying reeds which produce the low musical murmurings.

The chief product from these reeds is a perfume that is extracted from the lower part of the canes. When worn, this perfume lingers about the persons wearing it all day long, very fresh and fragrant and soothing. It is the pliability of these reeds and their perpetual motion which develops the spice from which the perfume is made. The reeds have an exquisite grace and loveliness, an unresisting meekness with which they bow themselves before the wind, sometimes right to the ground, only to sweep aright again from that low position, without any effort or strain of any kind as soon as the wind has passed over them. A lovely gracious submissiveness characterizes their every movement and yet at the same time there is something grandly regal about the poise and perfect control of their motions, no weakness of any kind but the most perfect command. The lovely fragrance is developed by their daily practice of bending submissively to life's hard and difficult experiences without bitterness or resentful resistance and self-pity. No storm, or tempest can break them because they learned to bow themselves so easily to the least breath of wind, without offering any resistance at all. It is this gentle movement of submissiveness, combined with perfect balance and graceful motion, that produces the cadences of music sounding all over the mountainside, for the wind turns every reed into an instrument through which to play the harmonies of heaven.

(pp.136 - 139)
Goodness - Love initiating
The Judgements/Wise Prescriptions of Love
  • Sweet fragrance of right and just dealings in love
  • Provides healing to produce wholeness
  • Gives to satisfy out of the abundance of love(Is. 63:7)

Mountain of Cinnamon - The Judgment of Love

This next mountain is where the trees of goodness grow and cinnamon is cultivated. These trees are very stately and beautiful, covered with glossy dark green leaves which make a beautiful background for the pure white blossoms. The inner bark of the trees is very aromatic and of a rich, golden brown color. This inner bark is stripped off the trees at certain seasons of the year and from it is obtained the spice of cinnamon which the citizens of the High Places love to carry about with them, concealed in their garments. Not only does this spice give forth a sweet and refreshing fragrance (which is one of the marks that distinguish the servants of the King who live on the High Places from the valley dwellers), but it also possesses healing and curative properties, which are greatly valued. The long strips of bark must be stripped away, leaving gaping wounds through which the rich, blood-hued inner bark is visible, and from these wounds in the sides of the trees exudes into the warm summer air a fragrant perfume so sweet and strengthening that it strengthens the soul to desire to be healed and made perfect by love through suffering.

It is always safe to trust Love's plans, and it is always true, even though every single circumstance on the pathway of life may at times appear to contradict it. For Love Himself is the Judge who knows perfectly well what is needed next in the experience of every one of His creatures to bring them into a fuller experience of His goodness and His love. It is true for those who are already following Him and just as true for those who are still fleeing from Him. For He is the Great Physician who prescribes according to the condition of every suffering soul.

All the "judgments" of love are the wise prescriptions which are intended to bring about the healing of His creatures. It is the Goodness of Love the brings Him to make whole again.

(pp.168, 169 & 172)
Faithfulness - Love keeping its word
Committed to the end - the Response of Faith to Love
  • Obedient, faithful responsiveness to God's Will
  • Right and true and just
  • Will never leave or forsake

Mountain of Frankincense - the Response of Faith to Love

Like the Mountain of Cinnamon, the Mountain of Frankincense is clothed with trees, yet these trees are much taller. They are gracious and stately gums and their trunks are beautifully and most variously colored, ranging from a silvery grey and ivory white or cream, to palest lemon, misty blue, lavender, golden tawn, rust red and rich brown, and in places there are streaks of crimson. But the leaves of the tree are even more beautiful. They are very long and narrow, and they hang down in great festoons from the slender, swaying stems, so that from a distance they look like loosely flowing veils of silver hair. Every breeze and every gentle breath of wind stirs these lovely trees and sets all the leaves whispering together and rippling like waves on the sea.

The leaves of these trees are gloriously responsive with a mysterious union between them and the light summer wind, as though invisible fingers are gently sweeping a keyboard of leaves and liberating whole harmonies of intricate, rhythmic motion. The King can do anything, yes anything where there is this kind of perfect faith or faithful responsiveness to His will. It is their beautiful responsiveness which awakens the music in the trees of frankincense. There is nothing in the whole world that gives Him more joy and appears fairer His sight than the response of human hearts to His love. It is this will to obey Him which makes the union complete and enables Him to pour His life and power into those who love Him and respond to Him continually.

A quite different view can be seen from this mountain: the whole length of the valley below can be seen as well as other valleys which wind away among other mountain ranges as far as the eye can see.

(pp.197 - 200)
Kindness/Meekness - Love interacting
Tender and Humble Heart of Love
  • Forgiving
  • Tenderhearted
  • Patient, humble, and self-giving

Mountain of Myrrh - Heaven is the Kingdom of Love

The Mountain of Myrrh is where the King grows the lovely trees of meekness, which yield in great abundance His favorite spice. These trees clothe its slopes almost from top to bottom and are similar to its relative thorn tree which had been transplanted to grow beside and sweeten the bitter waters of the spring of Marah that flows along the path up to the High Places. These myrrh trees growing on this mountain in their native element are short, covered with thorns, and possess very scanty foliage, yet in this season they are also covered with buds, preparing to break forth into royally crimson colored blossoms. At this moment, however, a group of the King's workmen are busy among the bushes, making incisions in each little tree trunk from which will "bleed" the precious gum-resin of meekness into vessels carefully placed to receive it. Before the trees can bloom in all their all their glory they must offer themselves and their precious inner treasure of fragrant resin, to all who care to gather it. They bare themselves to the sharp knife, that through the incisions thus made they might empty themselves in glad self-giving and thanksgiving. "These are my happy trees," said the King with a smile. "These are the meek who inherit the earth - and are the Kingdom of Heaven in their willingness to be emptied and humbled, for it is the very characteristic of the Son of Man Himself."

Meekness is self-giving and sharing, the very opposite of self-assertion and self-getting. Here in these trees of meekness is the perfect picture of the Kingdom of Heaven, which is everywhere where the law of love is practiced and perfectly obeyed, where I, who am the King of Love, reign.. It is my Kingdom come on the hearts of men and then, through them, come on earth. The meek already live in heaven, for they have their roots there.

(pp.222 - 227)
Self-Control - Love resisting temptation
Self-Controlled by Love
  • Full of strength
  • Patient with full knowledge and understanding, offering safety
  • Even-tempered, reacting for the good of others

Mountain of Aloes - Self-Controlled by Love

Here grows the lign-aloe trees of self-control. They are very great trees, giants of strength and loveliness, and beside them even the tallest of forest trees appear to be as dwarfs. Their trunks are of immense thickness, their branches spread out to gloriously shading an area vast enough to shelter a cathedral. Also, they are magnificently proportioned and are crowned with a gracefully vaulted roof of foliage, so thick that not a drop of rain or hail can penetrate to the cool, shady depths beneath.

These trees do not grow close together but are widely spaced apart over the slopes of the mountain, each one rising like a noble and gracious temple in the shadowy depths of which chants a melodious choir of birds. In the all-embracing shelter of these trees whole families of happy creatures find safety and make their homes. The spice yielded by these trees is obtained by stripping off the perfumed bark from the great trunks of the trees, but the bark grows back so quickly that this "stripping" process can be repeated several times each year, and it always results in the further strengthening and growth of the trees.

These trees of Self-Control-by-Love are the most fully developed and most perfectly proportioned trees up here on the High Places, and the secret of their development lies in the fact that their great roots spread out underground far beyond the spread of their branches overhead. Each of these lovely giants sends at least some of its roots down into the river of life which you see flowing through the valley and which has come down from the very high places above.