Page images

you may spiritually enter into that Saviour, whom God has prepared for you, to the saving of your soul.

To all those, who have already by faith embraced the merciful proposal of the gospel, let me, in conclusion, observe, that the preservation of Noah affords to them the strongest assurance of safety. Does it not prove to you, that the Lord will not destroy the righteous with the wicked ? and moreover that he knows how to deliver the godly from every danger? Surely he who shut


Noah in safety in the ark, will also keep you from the final destruction which awaits an ungodly world: he who guarded that Saint of old in the raging tumult of the waters, will cover your head from the fires by which they will be consumed. Oh! yes, be assured, all ye

who truly believe in and love your Redeemer, that that day, so full of terror to the impenitent and ungodly, will be to you a day of inconceivable magnificence and glory.

To you also exhortations are addressed. Holy Scripture has a word in season for every case and every character. Listen to the

language of the inspired volume. “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless.” And let me add one more admonition, also from the word of God.

« Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares."



GENESIS ix. 13.

I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.

In the last sermon we saw a most tremendous judgment on the wickedness of men, the most tremendous with which God has ever visited the earth, involving the whole human race, and with them every living thing that had the breath of life, eight persons only, with an appointed number of other creatures, being preserved alive by the special interference and care of God. And since what has been may be again, the inhabitants of the earth, having had one instance of a universal deluge, might well fear a repetition. It would be easy to him, whose power controls all nature, again to exert that power which he has once put forth. Were he to bid the tides to flow without an ebb for a few weeks, or command the clouds of heaven to pour out their waters without cessation, in the torrents which we have sometimes seen for a short time, what an overwhelming desolation would speedily ensue! Either of these causes, if allowed to operate, would be sufficient to produce another deluge; how much sooner and more terribly would it come, if both were united ? Now these causes he holds in his hands, even he who formed the seas, and the clouds, and gave the heavenly bodies their powers of attraction, and first ordained the laws of nature under which they act in regular order. But the great omnipotent, who could again destroy the world with a flood, has assured us that he will not ; and of this assurance he has given us a pledge in one of the most beautiful appearances in nature on which our eyes can look. The many-coloured bow, which gilds the rain-charged cloud, presenting its lovely and majestic arch to the beholder's view, becomes the appointed symbol of forbearing mercy. God said, “This is the token of the covenant, which I make between me and


and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations : I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud : and I will remember my covenant that is between me and you, and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; 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. And God said to Noah, this is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.”

I do not intend to enter at all into a question which has been made the subject of much enquiry amongst the learned, much less to determine it, that is, whether the rainbow ever appeared before the deluge, or was now for

« PreviousContinue »