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them, to whom God has given assurance that they shall not be destroyed, and they need the comfort of such a token as this. Sometimes to them a storm seems to be gathering in their horizon ; temptations rise with threatening aspect; dark clouds of trouble and sorrow, and sometimes of unbelieving doubts, seem to hang heavily over their heads; and then where is their comfort? It should be in this token,
-the blood shed on the cross. God looks upon it. They should also look
it. God remembers mercy promised.
They should rejoice in mercy received.
God's face may seem to be hid, but the Sun of righteousness shall soon shine again in full force upon their path. The crimson colour of this token reflects the love of Him who shed His blood for them. It tells of righteousness covering all defects. It tells of a curse endured in their stead. It tells of victory gained over death and the dark grave.
It tells of a glorious promise of resurrection unto life. God looks upon the token, that He may remember the everlasting covenant. Believers in Christ should look upon it and rejoice in their safety. The rain may last a few hours, or a day, but it shall not overwhelm them. The
The very clouds that threaten are big with mercy. By these the soul is made more fruitful, and though not
joyous but grievous now, “they yield afterwards the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby.”
“What shall we then say to these things ? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him
up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things ? Are we then interested in this covenant ? All receive the benefit of that covenant of which the rainbow is the token ; but all do not receive the benefit of the New Covenant in Christ. This is made with the believers in Christ,—with him who fears the wrath of God, flees to the cross, cries for mercy, and receives the atonement.
Reader, have you thus fled from the wrath to come ? Has a sense of sin really awakened you to your need of a covenant of mercy ? Are you eager for a sure token that the covenant includes
? Have you the three-fold witness testifying to your safety,—the Spirit, the water, and the blood. Is your conscience clean through faith in the blood ?-your heart clean through the water of the “word spoken" by Christ? Does the Spirit bear witness with your spirit that you are a child of God? Yet a little while, and you will want these witnesses ; but they must “ bear witness” for us “ in earth,” or their witness will not be for us, but against us in heaven.
PRAYER. Blessed God, who hast caused all Holy Scripture to be written for our learning and admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come ;
I pray for light and grace to understand, and apply this portion I have read.
Teach me, O Lord, more and more, to feel my need of a Covenant being established with me, to take away my sin. Make me deeply sensible of my sin. Cause me to see with faith, the fearfulness of the wrath to come. lead me to value, and to love thy promises of pardon and peace, to believers in thy dear Son. Lord, look upon the blood of my Saviour, and remember not my offences. Take away every cloud of doubt and unbelief between thee and me. In every trial may I see thy love. Cause the Sun of righteousness to break through every cloud of infirmity and sin. the light of thy countenance upon me.
Make mine the path of the righteous, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day, through Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. AMEN.
THE BUILDING OF BABEL.
“And the whole earth was of one language, and
of one speech.
“Therefore is the name of it called Babel;
because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the
face of all the earth.” GEN. XI. 1-9. “A LITTLE leaven leaveneth the whole lump. The earth has been cleansed by the waters of the flood, and one would have thought it would have been a lesson long remembered by man, and that sin would have made slow progress after such awful proofs of God's wrath and indignation against it. But not so. Evil had, alas ! been shut up in the ark, -in the breast of at least one individual. And the same chapter relates God's covenant with the remnant saved in the ark, and sins committed by some of those that came out of it. Noah sinned, and his sin was the occasion of his sons sinning. Ham the father of Canaan sinned, and a curse was pronounced upon his posterity.
The leaven of evil soon spread. The chapter before us records sinful conduct in which numbers were engaged, and God's judgment of that sin which remains in a measure to this present day
It is wonderful to remark, through what lengthened ages the effects of sin may be traced. The punishment remains long after the sin itself in its first commission has ceased. We may see,-nay, feel among ourselves in the present day, the effect and consequences of sin committed thousands of years ago. Thus it is we feel the effects of that one transgression of Eve's, when she ate of the forbidden tree. Sorrow in conception experienced by every mother, - the toils and troubles of man earning his daily bread, sickness,—-old age,-death,— are some, but not the worst of the consequences of that one weak moment in which Eve listened to the whisper of the great deceiver.
The rain and the rainbow remind us to this day of God's judgment of sinners before the flood, as well as of His mercy and longsuffering. .
The sad, wretched, and miserably degraded condition in which the descendants of Ham, the father of Canaan, are to this day found in the coasts of Africa, is the fulfilment of a curse pronounced thousands of years ago.