Imágenes de páginas

Here is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” And here more especially do we find an emblem of the immutable purposes of God in redemption. Direct allusion is made to this in the book of the prophet Jeremiah. " Thus saith the Lord, If you can break my covenant of the day and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season, then may

also my covenant be broken with David my servant:"* that is, with Christ and his people, of whom David was a type. The “covenant of the day and night” is that recorded in the text; of which the rainbow was the token and sign. Be- . hold then the immutability of the covenant of grace

in Christ Jesus. See in the ever-recurring appearance of the rainbow a visible symbol and pledge that the God of nature is alike unchangeable as a God of grace. His word cannot fail. “ This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life.” These are the sure mercies of David! our David, who “is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” How strong the consolation for every penitent sinner who flies unto Jesus for help and salvation! Let him but look to him through the tears of repentance, let him but turn to him in faith, and then it is impossible that he can perish. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but God's word cannot pass away! Oh that every one who feels himself to be a sinner would seek this Saviour! And whenever he beholds the beautiful phenomena of the rainbow, let him think of the glory, beauty, sufficiency, and unchangeableness of the Son of God, the Redeemer of the world!

* Jer. xxxii. 20, 21.

But, III. We may behold “THE BOW IN THE cloud” AS A TOKEN OF THE COVENANT WHICH EXISTS BETWEEN GOD AND HIS ELECT PEOPLE. Traces of this covenant may be found both in the Old Testament and in the New: a glimpse of it was vouchsafed to David in the hour of his dissolution. Although my house be not so with God, yet hath he made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure; for this is all my salvation and all my desire, although he make it not to grow.

And by such assurances alone have the faithful in all ages been cheered and supported. Thus the Lord comforted his afflicted and tempted people in the days of Isaiah the prophet. In allusion to the very transaction to which the text refers, the Lord himself declares, “ For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor


* 2 Sam. xxiii. 5.

rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the COVENANT of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” * Here, and here alone is the security of the select people of God;" the unalterable

purpose of Jehovah ! The Father has given them to the Son—that Son has sealed them with his own blood, and renewed them by his Spirit. “Thine they were,” saith he to his Father, “and thou gavest them unto me:” “I pray for them, I pray not for the world; but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” | These chosen ones shall never perish, nor shall any pluck them out of the Father's hand! These exceeding great and precious promises God hath “ confirmed by an oath, that by two immutable things in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.”

And has God declared of these promises, “they are as the waters of Noah unto me?" then may the tried and afflicted believer, like the newly awakened sinner, look upon “the bow in the cloud,” and find peace to his soul in the day of

* Isa. liv. 9, 10.

+ John xvii. 6-9. Heb. vi. 17-19.


trouble. Is he suffering under temporal calamities? The sky may be very dark and lowering, and his soul may be chilled with fear and sorrow; but then there is “the bow in the cloud," the token of the undeviating covenant of God, assuring him that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

And even in a yet more cloudy day than this, “when tempted believers walk in darkness and have no light, when their “spirit is wounded,” when their hearts are heavy within them through consciousness of sin and prevailing corruptions, when the flesh lusteth strongly against the spirit, so that they cannot do the things that they would; when God appears to have forgotten them, and “ Satan thrusts sore at them that they may fall,” saying, “Where is now thy God?”—then are they like mariners appalled by the certain indications of a coming tempest! what unwonted darkness! what awful stillness ! -direful may be the result of the gathering storm! already a few drops of rain announce its near approach—when lo! an opening in the clouds, a ray of light, and a splendid bow in the cloud! It is the sure token that relief is at hand. 66 THE LORD LOOK ETH UPON IT,” and the terrified believer looketh on it—the eye of God and the eye of his sorrowing servant meet on one spot-it is on Jesus Christ and as the

* Rom. viii. 28.

We never

Lord remembers his covenant, and thinks upon his servant for good-so' the troubled believer “ trusts in the name of the Lord and stays upon his God!” The darker the cloud the more brilliant the reflection—the heavier the trial the sweeter the promise. There are views of Christ which can only be obtained beneath a cloudy sky, and amidst many showers of tears. can know him in prosperity as he is known in the soul's adversity: his love must be tried, his faithfulness brought to the test, or we shall not see him in all his glory, love, and faithfulness.

What consolation should this hope afford to all God's children in lowering days, and under threatening dispensations ! Against the dark shadow of trial, temptation, and sorrow, the bright beams of God's promises shall be displayed, with a vividness, beauty, and distinctness never before perceived ! And as in the varied combinations of light and shade, of cloud and gleams of sunshine, the matchless colours of nature are displayed, so in the mysterious dealings of God with his afflicted people, exhibitions of his love, power, majesty, and faithfulness are vouchsafed, which fill their minds with overwhelming sensations of awe, mingled with gratitude and affection. Let then every tempted believer in the dark day of adversity expect to discern the token of God's unbroken covenantlet him look for “ the bow in the cloud”_and

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