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bow shall be in the clond ; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” The covenant of
grace, brethren, reconciles man unto God; it is the source of all scriptural and Divine peace; indeed, its character is, that it is the covenant of peace. Through its influence we shall “dwell in quiet habitations and sure resting places” for ever. Yea, God, giving his own account of it, says, “ For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no inore go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor 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." This rainbow, then, that surrounds the throne of God, is a sign that the happiness of the saints shall be no more interrupted, that they shall be no longer subject to the inundations of trouble of any kind : seas of tribulation, and floods of distress, shall be known no more; the former things will be passed away. Here, indeed, they were liable to torrents of temptations, to persecutions, to famine, to sword, and nakedness; but, over all these things they shall be
than conquerors through Him that loved them." And the bright rainbow will make known to them the designs of God; will show them their unfading felicity. Jesus, their Sun, shall display his beams of glory, and thus gild the clouds with the most beauteous rays: the saints of God then will have to be thankful for so peaceful a sign, when suns and stars shall be extinguished for ever. Deluges of
woe shall never overspread the city of our God, which is the New Jerusalem : there, there shall be no more pain, no more iniquity, no more death. Violence shall no more be heard in that land, wasting and destruction within its borders : the heavenly inhabitants “shall hunger no more, nor thirst any more, neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat; but the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of water, and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.'
Remember then, Christians, that for all this you are indebted to the free grace of God, and that it is all secured to you in the covenant of grace. It is because your names are enrolled in the record of the skies, because you are given into the hands of Christ by the Father, that heaven and all its glory will be revealed to your view, and possessed by you for ever and ever. (), with what delight will you survey this significant bow! what rapture will fill your minds under the pleasing idea, that the wild dismaying scenes of life are over for ever; and that, instead of anarchy and confusion, the Prince of peace reigns, dispensing quietness and assurance for ever! The wearied spirit will weep no more, but will wear an eternal smile of joy, since its communication with its God will be without interruption, and its holy pleasures without an end.
“O may I bear some humble part
In that immortal song;
And love command my tongue.” IV. Is the rainbow said to be 'round about the throne of God? The covenant of grace includes in it, and glorifies all the Persons in the Trinity, and is ever in their sight and remembrance.
Our text says,
“ There was a rainbow round about the throne;" the throne of God is inclosed in it: so the covenant of which we speak, interested the whole Deity; the powers of the Eternal Mind were engaged in the salvation of poor and miserable sinners; and herein he thus displayed and harmonized all his perfections. What wisdom there was in devising a scheme like this, which could never have entered into the mind of any but The Eternal! What goodness, what power, in putting it into full execution ! and what faithfulness in consummating the scheme of human redemption ! Not one of the adorable Persons in the Trinity but was engaged in this covenant: the agreement was peculiarly entered into between the Father and the Son ; and the Holy Spirit brings home all the blessings of this covenant to the consciences of sinners; he applies the work of Jesus to our hearts, and herein glorifies abundantly all that the Father and the Son had done before.
More of God too, let it be remarked, in his character and designs, is developed to us by the covenant of grace, than could otherwise ever have been known, and by this covenant a revenue of glory will redound to his own great name.
And if this rainbow is round about the throne, it must be always in the sight of God; he beholds it, and is well pleased for his righteousness' sake. Amidst our backslidings, á sight of the rainbow caused our covenant God to say, “ For a little moment I hid my face from thee, but with everlasting mercies will I gather thee." It is our mercy that he cannot be unmindful of his covenant, and that, because “he is of one mind, and none can turn him ;" and never can he cease to be mindful of
the welfare of those whom he chose out of the world, and whose names are continually before him. This rainbow, will be before him for ever and
He will delight in his covenant ; it will never repent him that he saved sinners : with complacency will he behold the glorified spirits of his saints, who will be enjoying more largely than ever they had done before, the distinguishing favors of the covenant of grace : being made thus
accepted in the Beloved,” he will bless them with the smile of approbation, and the lifting up of the light of his countenance.
V. Are we informed that the rainbow was in sight "like unto an emerald,” green, beautiful, and durable? How delightful to contemplate and enjoy the blessings of the covenant of grace! It is always new, and lasting as the throne which it surrounds.
An emerald is a precious stone, next in hardness to the ruby, and its green color much refreshes and strengthens the sight. The rainbow of the new covenant then, is like unto an emerald. What beauties meet in it! what order! how admirable to consider its nature and institution! and is it not like that faith which apprehends it ? like the promises with which it is fraught, exceedingly precious ? David of old could testify its value to his mind amidst domestic trials, saying, “ Although my house be not so with God, yet he hath 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.”
This covenant may animate us in the greatest depressions; it may cast a lustre upon the dark
dispensations of Providence, because it teaches us that they will all end well. A knowledge of an interest in it disarms death of its terrors, yea, bids him lay our ruin in the grave ; seeing that death and hell combined cannot interrupt the repose of a saint in the bosom of his covenant God. No emerald is so beautiful, so precious, so refreshing, as this rainbow; this covenant claims the last accents of our poor faltering tongues, and will employ the first notes of our celestial harmony.
It is also more durable than an emerald : hard and lasting as precious stones may appear, they are mouldering dust and perishing atoms when compared with the designs of God. This is styled an everlasting covenant; it endures as long as its Author ; the blessings of it are enjoyed through the unnumbered ages of eternity : it was first entered into, never to be broken, and it will remain immutable. This rainbow will surround the throne of God, as long as God will have a throne for it to surround; for, “ Hath he spoken, and will he not do it? hath he commanded, and shall it not stand fast ?!
“ My God, the covenant of thy love
Abides for ever sure;
My happiness secure."
“ The Lord loveth judgment, hates robbery for burnt-offering, will direct our work in truth, and has made an everlasting covenant with us :" so that “all that see us shall take knowledge of us, that we are the seed which the Lord hath blessed."
By way of inference,
Let believers always be mindful of this covenant. Since God has done so much for you, can