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tions to one another, is no better than gazing at the sky. Let us therefore, in the ordinance before us, draw near to Chrift with true hearts in the full affurance of faith, keep the feast with fincerity and truth, eat and drink together with brotherly love, and walk worthy of him, who has called us to his kingdom and glory.

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REVELATION iv. 3.

And there was a Rainbow round about the Throne, in fight like unto an emerald.

GOD is a fpirit pure and immenfe, invisi

ble to human eye, and incomprehenfible to human thought. But he condefcends to exhibit himself to us by fuch figurative expreffions and fenfible emblems, as may give us fome faint apprehenfions of his perfections and glories, and awaken in us fuch fentiments and regards, as are correfpondent to his character. To denote his knowledge, wisdom, power and goodness, the fcripture afcribes to him human faculties and affections. To denote his fovereign dominion, it represents him as feated on a throne, and there attended by his minifters of ftate. To denote the glory of his dominion, it describes this throne as placed in the heavens, and encompaffed with a

rainbow. John fays, "I was in the fpirit; and behold, a throne was fet in heaven, and one fat upon the throne. And he that fat upon it was to look upon like a jafper, and a fardine stone, and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in fight like unto an emerald." In these names there is an allufion to the precious ftones, which the eastern princes wore in their crowns and garments, when they appeared in their highest grandeur and magnificence. The rainbow about the throne is an allufion to the token of God's cov enant with Noah, and with all flesh, that the world fhould not be drowned by a fecond deluge. After the patriarch's deliverance from the flood, God faid to him and to his fons, "I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall there be any more a flood to destroy the earth. And this fhall be a token of my covenant, I do fet my bow in the cloud, and it fhall be a token of my covenant between me and the earth; and it fhall come to pafs, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow fhall be seen in the cloud, and I will remember my covenant." John, in a vifion, fees the throne of God furrounded with the rainbow, the ancient token of his mercy to a guilty world. This figurative representation denotes, that God's government is ftill a government of grace and mercy, as well as of majesty and power.

The emblem here exhibited may usefully employ our present meditations.

1. God's being feated on a throne in the heavens denotes his fupreme and univerfal government over his creatures, and his perfect knowledge of all things, which are done by them, or take place among them.

"The Lord is in the heavens, he hath done

whatsoever he pleased. The Lord is in his holy temple, his throne is in heaven. His eyes behold, and his eyelids try the children of men. The Lord trieth the righteous, but the wicked his foul hateth. On the wicked he will rain an horrible tempeft, but his countenance beholdeth the upright."

As God made the world, and all creatures in it, fo he continually upholds them by the word of his power. A creature can no more preserve, than it could originate its own existence. God's government is univerfal; for every particular being is as dependent on him, as the creation in gen

eral.

His government extends to moral, as well as to animate and inanimate creatures. He treats all beings agreeably to the natures, which he has given them. He has made men capable of a moral conduct, and he exercifes over them a moral government, and will finally judge them, as moral beings, according to their works. Innocent beings, that they may be entitled to his acceptance, must persevere in their innocence. was originally the character of man. made upright." Such was originally the condition of his acceptance. "If he obeyed God's law, he was to live by it."

Such

"He was

But for fallen and guilty man, there is gra ciously introduced a new conftitution adapted to his lapsed and impotent condition. Pardon, immortality and glory, through the intervention of a mediator, are procured for, and offered to this guilty creature. The terms on which he becomes entitled to these bleffings, are repentance of past fins, faith in the appointed redeemer, and a life devoted to God in new obedience. We are to be judged according to this conftitution. "God

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will judge the fecrets of men according to the gofpel-according to the law of liberty." Not perfect innocence and finless obedience, but fincere repentance and heart-purifying faith are now. the terms of our admiffion to God's eternal fa

vour.

God, who fits on his throne, knows the hearts of all men, and he will bring every work into judgment with every fecret thing. To them who, by patient continuance in well doing, feek for glory, he will render eternal life. To them who obey not the truth, he will recompenfe indignation and wrath.

The moral government of God is just and perfect. Whatever complaints men may now make against it, the time is coming when every mouth will be stopped. God will reveal his righteousness to the full fatisfaction of the faints, and to the utter confusion of the ungodly. The former will admire his wifdom and grace; the latter will be filenced under a conviction of his holiness and justice.

2. John, in his vifion, had a view of the glory of God's character, exhibited in the rainbow, which furrounds his throne.

The rainbow, which is one of the most beautiful and majestic phenomena in the heavens, is aptly chofen to reprefent the glory of God. The beauty of the rainbow is the affemblage of all the colours in nature, in a foft, but fplendid luftre. The glory of God is the union of all conceivable perfections in one character; fuch as power, wif dom, goodness, juftice, truth and faithfulness. Thefe perfections, like the colours in the bow, blend and mingle with one another.

We confider the perfections of God separately, for our narrow minds cannot view them compre

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